in , ,

Clear Sunflower Brittle

Sunflower seed husked1

Sharing is caring!

Sunflower seedsHere is a very tasty sunflower brittle recipe that Julia, a San Francisco garden designer, recently cooked up using a recipe adapted from The Joy of Cooking.

This brittle is light and sunflower nutty and a perfect snack for an afternoon in the garden.

Julia advises that you might want to have ready a pair of clean white cotton gloves before you get started.

For this recipe, it is best to use raw sunflower seeds that will be cooked in the syrup. If you only have roasted seeds, add them after the syrup is cooked. If the seeds are salted, rub them between paper towels and omit the salt from the recipe.

Clear Sunflower Brittle

Yield 1.25 pounds

This recipe makes a tender clear brittle. For a porous brittle, combine ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar with the sugar, and sprinkle ½ teaspoon of soda all over the hot syrup just before pouring.


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups raw shelled sunflower seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil over low heat in a large heavy pan. Remove from heat and stir in until dissolved 2 cups sugar and 1 cup corn syrup. Wash down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in warm water.
  2. Raise the heat and cook to hard-ball stage (265ºF –measured with a candy thermometer) then add raw shelled sunflower seeds and salt. Stir occasionally to submerge any exposed nuts so that they cook thoroughly and are coated with the syrup. Make sure the candy does not burn.
  3. Cook to almost hard-crack stage (295ºF). Remove from heat. Stir in lightly butter, baking soda, and vanilla.
  4. Pour onto a well buttered slab at once, scraping out bottom of pan. Spread mixture rapidly with a spatula.
  5. At this point, don the cotton gloves (or well buttered plastic gloves). Loosen the mass from the slab with a scraper, reverse it and set aside the scraper.
  6. Stretch and pull the brittle so thin that you can see through it. When cool, crack into eating-size pieces and store at once in a tightly covered tin.


Substitutions: You can use pumpkin seeds, peanuts, or some other nut or seed combination for the sunflower seeds.

Courses Dessert

My favorite shaggy sunflowers
My favorite shaggy sunflowers

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

How To Grow Tips

How To Grow Tomatoes

How To Grow Peppers

How To Grow Broccoli

How To Grow Carrots

How To Grow Beans

How To Grow Corn

How To Grow Peas

How To Grow Lettuce

How To Grow Cucumbers

How To Grow Zucchini and Summer Squash

How To Grow Onions

How To Grow Potatoes

Melon and berry dish1

Melon en Surprise

Mint tea1

Mint Tisane