pepita brittle recipe

piloncillopumpkin seeds

Pepita Brittle

Pepita Brittle

Palanqueta de Pepita

Recipe Yield

10 to 12 servings

Cooking time

45 minutes

Rate this recipe

4.17 from 6 votes


  • 2 cups raw hulled pumpkin seeds or pepitas, lightly toasted
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature divided
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons piloncillo grated or more brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • Vegetable oil to grease the spatula
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Sprinkle of kosher or coarse sea salt optional

To Prepare

  • Heat a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add the pumpkin seeds and let them toast, slightly, until they start making popping sounds and have begun to darken, 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape onto a bowl and let cool.
  • Use 1/2 tablespoon of the butter to grease a 6” x 10” nonstick rimmed baking sheet.
  • In a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat, combine the water, brown sugar, granulated sugar, piloncillo and corn syrup. Stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until the sugars dissolve. After 15 minutes or so, the mixture will have achieved a very thick syrup consistency and will be actively bubbling. Check with a candy thermometer to make sure it reaches 290 degrees Fahrenheit (but no more than 300 degrees), or the sugar is at “punto de bola” or “hard crack” stage, then, turn off the heat.
  • Now you have to move fast: Grease a spatula with vegetable oil. Remove the saucepan from the heat, add the baking soda, the remaining butter, and the pumpkin seeds, and quickly stir as fast as you can. The mixture will be bubbling for a few seconds. Stir well and immediately scrape the mixture onto the buttered baking sheet, as it hardens incredibly fast. Spread evenly with the greased spatula to about 1/4" thickness. Sprinkle salt on top if desired.
  • Let cool for 20 to 25 minutes and break into pieces. If you want to cut the brittle in even square or rectangle shapes, use a moist knife to do so a few minutes after you poured, before it really hardens. Leave it to further cool, dry and harden.
  • The brittle will keep for a month in an air-tight container.


30comments inPepita Brittle

  1. Carol nelson

    Apr 22

    The lasagna looked amazing
    As well as the crackle
    Will try both of them

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 06

      Yay, enjoy them Carol 🙂

  2. Mr. Eric Sessoms

    Aug 03

    “Sounds so delicious to the faithful baker Pati!”

    1. Pati Jinich

      Aug 09

      Yay 😉

  3. Charlie

    Sep 04

    Hola Pati!!

    I used several mixed nuts. Everything turned out perfect and delicious.

    Thank you

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 27

      Yay! So glad you liked this recipe Charlie 😉

  4. Melinda Hayes

    Feb 07

    Oh my gosh, I had a mess and wasted a lot of food. I am very familiar with making peanut brittle as we used to make tons of it at church for fundraisers. So i felt comfortable using pepitas and following your recipe. I watch you all the time, make many off your recipes. I also followed the recipe exactly. First off, with the temperature on med. Low after 15 minutes I was no where near 290 degrees. It was very bubbly and changed to a dark brown color and was somewhat sticky but still thin. So after 20 minutes I raised temp to medium and could not get past 255 degrees…? So after 25 minutes I increased to medium high… recheck and finally 294 degrees 30 minutes later. Very frothy bubbly and thick. Followed directions exactly…but in 3 seconds it was all dust? What did I do wrong? Should I start off on med low until sugar melts and then increase to medium hi inn order to get the temp to 290 in 15 minutes? Also i know at church as soon as we turned off the heat first was baking soda, stir quickly, then nuts and butter..stir and spread. Am I wrong? Should I have mixed the toasted pepitas, butter and baking soda in a bowl first so that it was already ready to throw in the caramel when 290-300? Or add seperately? Thank you Mrs. Jinich!

    1. Pati

      Feb 26

      Oh I’m sorry! Making brittle an be very tricky. I’ll post a video soon to help out.

  5. Flor Leyva

    Oct 13

    Hola pati, puedo hacer un bache mas grande, o poquito a poquito? Quiero hacer bastante para un “fall theme” party. Para que todos mis invitados lo prueven.

    1. Pati

      Oct 18

      Sí, puedes hacer un bache mas grande o poquito, Flor.

      1. Anonymous

        May 29


  6. Tom Bartolomei

    Jun 02

    I remember you talking about how, as a child, you used to eat Pepitas in the movies. So, having decided to take your advice, I bought a bag and snuck them into my local movie theater. OMG! Che rico! I’ll never eat popcorn in the movies again. Gracias Pati!

    1. Pati

      Jun 05

      That’s awesome, Tom!

  7. Kim

    Oct 12

    What went wrong?
    As i poured this into the pan it turned dry a powdery. It didn’t work. Please help me troubleshoot.
    I followed this recipe exactly as written, took the sugar mixture off heat at 290 and did the rest. I did not substitute any ingredients.

    1. Pati

      Oct 18

      ​It sounds like you may have cooked it too much or at too high of heat. Stovetops range from one to the other… give it another try, ​the process for caramel making can be pretty whimsical and capricious!

  8. Liz

    Oct 08

    Is the piloncillo that you use in a cone shape?? Thank you! I’m thinking of making this for my family to take home after thanksgiving.

    1. Pati

      Oct 12

      Yes it typically comes in a cone shape… I hope your family likes the brittle Liz!

  9. Alison

    Jun 23

    Is there an alternative for corn syrup? It’s difficult to purchase corn syrup in Australia. Would honey work?

    1. Pati

      Jul 06

      Alison, if you can you find maple syrup or agave syrup or can substitute with that.

  10. Dr. Jim Metcalf

    May 21

    I followed the recipe very carefully, but I think the 6″ X 10″ baking sheet may be a misprint. The finished quantity would easily have over run that small pan. I went to a 10″ X 15″ sheet but the brittle was still so thick that I had to pound it with a mallet to break it up. When you made it on your show it was thin, amber, and broke into pieces by hand. I’ll try again with a still larger pan, unless you have a better suggestion. Ayudame, por favor!

    I’ve been to Cozumel MANY times and along the west coast, but I’m really enjoying visiting the east coast cities via your show. I’ve also reproduced some of your recipes. I’ve recently ordered some achiote paste that adds another level of flavor to my dishes. Me gusta mucho su presentacion. Mil gracias!
    DrJimM –

    1. Pati

      May 25

      ​Hmmm Jim, that is very strange. Are you sure you are doing the quantities in the recipe?

  11. Diane Fant

    Feb 14

    Patti, love your show. I was at TJ Maxx today and purchased a bag of snacks. One of the bags had a snack
    with pumpkin seeds, cashews and almonds. It looks just like the Pepita Brittle. I was wondering if we could add the almonds and cashews for a added change.

    1. Pati

      Feb 16

      Thanks so funny! Yes, of course you can add almonds and cashews to the mix.

  12. maria

    Feb 09

    Hi Pati love to watch your show love all your recipes but my favorite is when you take a bite of your food it
    looks like you really enjoy it, makes me feel like running to the kitchen and cook

    1. Pati

      Feb 13

      Haha…I REALLY do enjoy it Maria!

  13. Karin Collinsworth

    Jan 01

    I tried to cook this, but without a candy thermometer…so I tried to guesstimate but I don’t think I am going to be successful in getting it to firm up. Can I bake it to firm it?

    1. Pati

      Jan 05

      As long as you follow the recipe in what the caramel needs to look and feel like, amount of time and level of heat, you should be fine! Baking won’t work… it will ruin it…

  14. Leslye Borden

    Dec 11

    I made this several times. I found you have to raise the temp after the sugar melts to get the temp to increase to 290 degrees in 15 minutes. Excellent recipe. I have given the brittle to friends. They love it and ask me for the recipe.

    1. Pati

      Dec 13

      This makes me SO happy, Leslye! Thank you so much

      1. Leslye Borden

        Dec 13

        I have already given the brittle (as a holiday gift) with two of my friends, both of whom reported they ate all I gave them in one sitting (with husbands). My husband and I ate the rest of the batch together too. Making more tonight for more holiday gifts.

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