Microwave Peanut Brittle Recipe

Microwave Peanut Brittle may be the easiest thing you’ll do all month. Staying away from it... now that’s another story. Every golden bite is fluffy, nutty, and gloriously addictive.

The whole reason to make candy and cookies is to delight, and it doesn’t get more delightful than a plate of Christmas Crack or Homemade Snickers Bars. All the best cookie recipes are just a click away.

Microwave peanut brittle in a clear jar.
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Most people think that candy making is difficult, but the only thing that’s hard about making this recipe for peanut brittle is not eating it all in one sitting.

Perfectly toasty peanut brittle should taste like honeycomb, sponge candy, or fairy food. It should snap when you break it and melt in your mouth. That's exactly what this recipe is. It's never burnt or bitter.

The best microwave peanut brittle recipe ever isn’t without a few tips and tricks, though—some of which are pretty genius—so you can make it again and again.

Keep reading!

Microwave Peanut Brittle Ingredients:

  • Granulated sugar. Plain old white sugar works great, but there’s a variation for Peanut Brittle with brown sugar down below.
  • Light corn syrup. Corn syrup is an essential ingredient in candy making, responsible for making the brittle crack.
  • Peanuts. Salted or unsalted. Raw peanuts are okay, too.
  • Butter. A little pat of butter contributes to the rich flavor.
  • Vanilla.
  • Baking soda. Making peanut brittle without baking soda may not give you the results you’re looking for, so head back to the store!
    An overhead shot of microwave peanut brittle ingredients in various bowls.

What does baking soda do to peanut brittle?

Adding baking soda to the hot sugar syrup makes lots of tiny air bubbles that give the candy the porous, honeycomb texture it's famous for. It’s also more delicate, so it's easier to bite.

How to make Microwave Peanut Brittle:

This recipe makes about a pound of brittle. It might be difficult to make double batches of it, so if you want more, make batches assembly-line style.

Get ready, because making peanut brittle in the microwave moves pretty quickly.

  1. First, line a baking sheet with parchment, or lightly butter it. At this stage, to make clean-up easier, coat the bowl you’ll be using with non-stick spray, as well as the spoon or spatula you’ll stir with.
  2. Then mix together the sugar and corn syrup; it will be stiff. Microwave on HIGH power for 4 minutes.
    An overhead shot of microwave peanut brittle ingredients in a clear bowl.
  3. Next, stir in the peanuts and microwave on HIGH powered until the picture is a light golden brown. Keep your eye on it during this crucial stage. In most microwaves, this could be anywhere between 3 and 5 minutes.
    An overhead shot of microwave peanut brittle ingredients cooked in a clear glass bowl.
  4. Then stir in the butter and vanilla and microwave on HIGH until the peanuts are lightly toasted, 1 to 2 minutes longer.
  5. Now for the fun part! Stir in the baking soda. The mixture will get very foamy and lighten in color.
    An overhead shot of microwave peanut brittle ingredients being mixed together in a clear glass bowl.
  6. Quickly pour the hot mixture onto the prepared pan and tilt the pan one way and then the other to let the brittle spread out.
    An overhead shot of microwave peanut brittle on a cutting board.
  7. Let cool for 30 minutes before breaking into pieces.
    An overhead shot of microwave peanut brittle on a cutting board.

Why did my peanut brittle turn out chewy?

Oh no! When you don’t cook the candy long enough, the brittle never reaches the hard-crack stage, so it sets up sticky and chewy.

Make sure you cook the brittle until it reaches a light caramel color, before adding the baking soda.

Tips for the best Microwave Peanut Brittle:

  • Grease the pan. Butter a baking sheet or line it with parchment so the brittle doesn’t stick.
  • Make thin brittle. Warm the sheet pan in the oven for a few minutes—this helps the brittle spread spread out quickly before it cools. Once you pour it out, just tip the sheet pan so the hot brittle spreads naturally. It's easier to bite, and it makes more pieces.
  • Whatever you do, don’t help it along with a spatula; just let it flow like lava.
  • Make clean-up a breeze. Spray the bowl and the spoon or spatula with a non-stick spray before you use them; it will make the hot brittle less sticky and make clean up a little easier.
  • Use the right equipment. Hot sugar can be dangerous, so play it safe. Make sure you use a high-quality glass or microwave-safe bowl when making peanut brittle, as the bowl can get very hot during cooking. A 2-quart Pyrex measuring bowl with a single handle works well, too, so you can manage it with one hand and scrape the candy out with the other.
  • Not all microwaves behave the same. 1100 volt, 1200 volt, every microwave is a little different. Some cooks use an older (weaker) model just for making peanut brittle!

If you're not sure and would prefer to eyeball it, microwave it in 2-or 3-minute increments and just keep an eye on it! Do that until the candy is light brown in color before adding the baking soda.
AN overhead shot of microwave peanut brittle in a rectangular tin.

Delicious Microwave Peanut Brittle Variations:

  • Chocolate peanut brittle. Sprinkle a layer of semi-sweet chips as soon as you pour the hot brittle onto the pan. Then wait a minute for the chips to melt and gently spread the chocolate over the surface. Amazing!
  • Microwave Peanut Brittle with brown sugar. Some readers love to throw a little brown sugar in the brittle recipe. Feel free to add an extra 1/4 cup of brown sugar to the recipe if you like an extra deep flavor.
  • Microwave Peanut Brittle without corn syrup. Unfortunately, there isn’t a good recipe out there for an easy microwave peanut brittle that doesn’t call for corn syrup.

It’s possible to make a hard, caramel-style candy using a lot of nuts, but corn syrup is key in the favorite peanut brittle.

How do you store peanut brittle?

Whatever you have left over stores well between layers of parchment or wax paper, sealed in an airtight container or a pretty cookie tin.

How long can you keep peanut brittle?

This is the perfect make ahead candy recipe will last well for up to two months!

What kind of nuts do you use for peanut brittle?

Salted peanuts are most people’s favorite, but you can also use cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts or pecans.

Microwave peanut brittle in a clear jar.

Microwave Peanut Brittle Recipe

Microwave Peanut Brittle may be the easiest thing you’ll do all month. Staying away from it... now that’s another story. Every golden bite is fluffy, nutty, and gloriously addictive.
4.93 from 13 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Cooling time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8 servings (2 oz each)
Calories: 188kcal
Author: Meggan Hill

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1 cup peanuts
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Instructions

  • Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper, wax paper, or a silicone mat. In a deep microwave-safe bowl, combine sugar and corn syrup. Mix thoroughly and microwave on HIGH for 4 minutes.
  • Stir in peanuts and microwave on HIGH until the mixture is light brown, about 3 to 5 minutes longer.
  • Stir in butter and vanilla until combined. Microwave on HIGH until peanuts are lightly browned, about 1 to 2 minutes longer.
  • Stir in baking soda until mixture is light and foamy. Pour onto prepared pan and cool 30 minutes. Break into pieces to serve and store in an airtight container.

Notes

Yield: About 1 pound.

Nutrition

Calories: 188kcal
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  1. Sheronne CARLIN

    5 stars

  2. Charlotte

    Super easy recipe. I also poured chocolate over it. My husband loves chocolate peanut brittle. Thanks

  3. Janice

    Absolutely amazing recipe. It is so easy and fast. I recommend staying with the recipe exactly as the author intended. DO NOT USE RAW PEANUTS. I cannot stress this enough. The peanuts will be rubbery I guarantee it. Use roasted or Spanish (leave skins on to add great flavor and their beautiful in the final product). The salt from roasted or Spanish peanuts also add great flavor and dimension. The peanuts will not burn if you do not vary from the original recipe. Please try this recipe its fantastic!5 stars

    1. Meggan

      Thank you so much Janice! I’m glad you like it! -Meggan

  4. Robin

    I’ve made this same recipe for years but from other sources. Sometimes it was chewy or tried to pull out my fillings, but your recipe worked perfectly!
    Btw I have a 900 watt microwave and did 4 mins, 4 mins, 2 mins and it’s perfect. I also use dry roasted peanuts and haven’t had them burn. I pour onto parchment on a baking sheet and tilt to thin it out. Throw it right into the fridge to cool, makes it snap nice too.5 stars

  5. Jenny

    I have used this recipe for a long time. Only thing different is i use 1 1/2 tsp butter and 1 1/2 tsp vanilla. I don’t time mine either. I eyeball it. It is absolutely amazing. Never had 1 complaint. And it doesn’t last very long in our house. Thank you for this recipe.5 stars

  6. Loria

    What watt is your microwave?

  7. Sarah

    I really want to try this. All of the writing says 50% power, but the recipe says high power. I’m confused, I feel like I’m missing something. Which do I do?

    1. meggan

      Hi Sarah, I’m so sorry about that. I have been retesting this recipe and updated the recipe card, but not the text in the post! I used to have the recipe at 50% power, but people (including me) had a lot of trouble with it. After retesting, I believe 100% power is the way to go. When I make it that way, it starts to smell burnt towards the end, but it doesn’t TASTE burnt. Not sure if that stokes your feelings of confidence. :) Overall microwave peanut brittle is really challenging because everyone has a different microwave, and it’s really easy for everything to be a disaster. But, I’ve had good luck with the 100% power version (and corresponding shorter cooking times). I’ll fix the post. Sorry again! Thanks. -Meggan

  8. LV

    Hi Meghan I just dumped a batch of burnt peanut stuff “YUCK” I followed another recipe then I saw yours ,going to give another try @ 50% . Thanks

  9. Trevor

    I have tried this twice but the peanut brittle is chewy any ideas of what I might be doing wrong would be appreciated

  10. Katherine

    I make peanut brittle with the same recipe but once i used spanish peanuts. It was absolutely delicious. A little messy removing the skins but worth it.5 stars

  11. Gloria

    Thanks Meggan, for your reply.  I hunted thru stores frustrated not finding Raw peanuts until a baker happened to be in my local grocer.  He said always go to the baking ingredient aisle and there are bags just for recipes there. Love peanut Brittle but not with any burnt taste.  5 stars

  12. Gloria

    I learned thru trial and error, you must use RAW PEANUTS, or the time specified will burn your recipes. No need for all the adjusting, just hunt for Raw . there is a big difference in the taste .4 stars

    1. meggan

      Thank you Gloria! This is super helpful! I appreciate you.

  13. Fiorella

    Hi! I’m a newlywed so we have one of those 30 dollar microwaves lol so I don’t think I have the option to adjust the power it cooks it in. I was just happy it had a potato button!

    Any suggestions for cooking it in a standard microwave? Or just eyeball it and maybe use the raw peanuts I saw suggested earlier.
    Thank you!!

    Ps: YOUR RECEIPIES ARE AMAZING. We made those cheese and pepperoni pizza bites for our one year anniversary and we couldn’t eat enough!!! And then that blueberry and lemon yogurt cake was to die for. You’ve helped me feel like a successful wife in the kitchen! :D5 stars

    1. meggan

      Fiorella, I’m so happy to hear you are having fun with cooking! :) I guess I would *try* to microwave it in 2 or 3 minute increments and just keep an eye on it! Just do that until it’s light brown in color (and definitely start with raw peanuts, just in case!). I would also say, give yourself a break if it doesn’t work out the first time! For me, cooking is so much about practice, and the first time I make something, I accept that it might just fail. :) But it sounds like you’ve had a lot of success, so you obviously have some natural talent! Congrats on one year of wedded bliss, here’s to many more! XOXO

  14. This is brilliant! I love peanut brittle and make it every season, but it’s a bit of a pain because of the temperature regulations and down-right messiness of the whole thing. Your method is genius! I’ll definitely be using your recipe next time I make brittle.  5 stars

  15. ann

    Thanks for the e-cookbook Meggan.
    Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.5 stars

  16. Peanut Brittle is my dad’s favorite. Thanks, because he is gonna be real happy!5 stars

  17. Sharon P

    I have a very similar recipe, main difference if the peanuts are raw peanuts. Can you advise if yours are regular or raw peanuts. Thank You.

    1. meggan

      Hi Sharon, I just used regular salted cocktails peanuts, I assume they were cooked in some manner. I’m sure they must have been. I wonder if this is why I always had so much trouble with burnt peanuts?! Perhaps if I had used RAW peanuts all along I wouldn’t need to cook on 50% power. Hmmmm.

  18. I’m glad you hubs set you straight, because peanut brittle is the jam!  LOVE that you made this in the microwave!  Gimme convenience and delicious all day!  This is genius!  Thanks for sharing the YUM!  Cheers!5 stars

    1. meggan

      Thank you Cheyanne, sometimes a girl just needs her husband to square things away. ;) Calling things “the jam” is totally my jam, BTW. ;)

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