Warning: This simple candy is seriously addictive. The recipe relies on the natural foaming action of baking soda to create a crisp, candy-like texture you’ll want to enjoy by the handful. If you don’t have pumpkin seeds, you can easily substitute your favorite toasted nut. For more sweet inspiration, check out our Salty Hazelnut BrittleToasted Cashew and Bacon Brittle, and Matzo Brittle. And check out all the best of pumpkins on Chowhound.

  • Yields: About 2 pounds
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total: 20 mins 
  • Active: 20 mins

Ingredients (7)

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), in chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted unsalted pumpkin seeds (sometimes called pepitos)


  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and liberally grease it with vegetable oil. In a small bowl, stir the baking soda in the vanilla to dissolve it; set aside.
  2. Cook the sugar, 1/2 cup water, corn syrup, and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until the mixture boils, stirring occasionally, until it turns a deep amber and measures 335°F to 340°F on a candy thermometer, 8 to 12 minutes.
  3. Remove the sugar mixture from the heat and carefully stir in the vanilla mixture and salt, being careful of any spattering. Immediately stir in the pumpkin seeds and pour into the prepared pan, using a wooden spoon to spread and evenly fill the pan. Let the brittle cool to room temperature, 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Gently twist the pan to release the brittle (if necessary, invert the pan on to a piece of clean parchment while tapping release it), then break it into large chunks. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.