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Crispy Caramel Brittle

Crunchy Caramel Nut Brittle

This Crunchy Caramel Nut Brittle takes us back to Cuba. While we may not have been there, we have all heard stories from our parents or grandparents about the vendors that would spin candy along the shoreline. They called it Piruli de Nuez. This is our spin, and it just happens to be the perfect recipe this holiday season.

This Crunch Caramel Nut Brittle is the perfect crunchy addition to any dessert. It looks impressive, but it’s actually pretty easy and makes any dessert a little more special. Get ready to work fast once the caramel turns color! 

We love it topped over our Pumpkin Flan but you can top our classic flan with it too. You can also make our Rum Cake and add this brittle to the center or decorate it with the chunks of brittle. It’s also perfect as something sweet in a Holiday cookie box, crumbled over ice cream or an indulgent snack on its own.

The trick to a good Caramel Brittle is the color. You want the caramel to be an amber color. If it gets too dark it can be bitter. Then you want to work fast. Once you pour the hot caramel over the silpat you want to throw in the nuts or whatever you are using before it sets. Once it cools you can break it up into pieces or chop it with a knife.  

My mom always says this reminds her of being a child in Cuba, where street vendors would sell freshly spun sugar on the beach. The hard sugar candy known as piruli, was in the shape of cones, sometimes a golden caramel color or colored like the rainbow. She remembers walking the beach and sucking on a piruli.


It’s no wonder Cuba holds so many magical memories for that generation of Cubans. Eating freshly made candy by the beach sounds pretty magical to us! 

Tips for Crunch Caramel Nut Brittle

  • You will NEED a silpat to make this recipe. We’ve tried it with cooking sprays and oils but it just isn’t the same
  • If you want to keep it nut free you can do it exclusively with pumpkin seeds. Just keep some whole and chop up the others to replicate that texture you get from all the nuts. 
  • Don’t decorate the flan with the brittle until you are ready to serve. Or it can melt

Crunchy Caramel Nut Brittle

Recipe by Abuelas Cuban CounterCourse: Uncategorized


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1 1/3 cups of sugar 

  • 2/3 cup of water 

  • 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds 

  • 1/3 cup of slivered almonds 

  • 1/2 cup of chopped pecans 

  • 1 teaspoon of maldon sea salt


  • In a bowl, add the pumpkin seeds and nuts. Mix together and set aside. 
  • In a small pot add the sugar and water until combined. Turn the heat to medium and allow it to simmer. Like with any caramel don’t whisk or touch the sugar again once the heat is on. It can crystalize and for chunks of sugar. 
  • Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. It should be amber in color. Remember to pull it off just before it’s the right color. As it sits the color will continue to deepen and the caramel will continue to cook. 
  • While that is simmering, fit a baking sheet with a silpat mat. Have all your ingredients nearby and get ready to work very quickly. You don’t want the caramel to harden before adding the nuts. 
  • As soon as the caramel is the right color pour the caramel over the silpat. Quickly sprinkle the nuts all over. Pushing them into the caramel if you need to. Sprinkle with the sea salt. 
  • Let the brittle cool for 15 minutes until it isn’t warm to the touch and is completely hard. 
  • Crumble and break apart with your hands or a knife. It should look like broken pieces of glass.  
    Store in a Ziploc bag in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.