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The Davenport Soft Peanut Brittle Recipe

December 21, 2020

The Rich History Of Spokane’s Davenport Hotel

The Davenport, located in Spokane, Washington, is a stunning historic hotel that opened in 1914. In its turn of the century glory, it was known as the most modern hostelry in the United States, boasting air conditioning, a pipe organ, a central vacuum system, housekeeping carts and accordion ballroom doors.

This landmark hotel shut down in 1985, but local entrepreneurs, Walt and Karen Worthy bought the hotel in 2000 and gave it a top-to-bottom renovation, restoring it to its former glory.

You can now walk the balcony overlooking the elegant main floor and imagine what it would have been like to waltz into one of the grand ballrooms next to the dapper top hats and sophisticated floor length gowns of the 1920s.

The Famous Soft Peanut Brittle

Along with the echoes of nostalgia, The Davenport also carries some signature items that make it famous. One of these is their homemade soft peanut brittle.

I still remember the first time I tried it. Wrapped in a pretty box with an elegant bow, I was sure I was not going to be impressed with anything but the wrapping, as I don’t really like traditional peanut brittle. I was so wrong! It was one of the best candies I had ever tasted. It is 100,000 times better than traditional peanut brittle. You can order it here from the hotel.

Thus began my hunt for the recipe.

I did a little research, found a basic recipe, then adapted it. Trial and error is the only way I ever make my way around the kitchen. I share with you what I’ve learned – what to do and what not to do. I now make this every Christmas and all of my mistakes will hopefully save you time and money!

Once you start making soft peanut brittle, be ready, people will ask you for it every year.

A few things before you start:

This recipe is all science.

While I can’t explain why it works the way it does, someone much smarter than me could. What I can tell you is that if you don’t follow the directions to the letter, it will not turn out. It will be too chewy or too hard. So there’s that.

Don’t plan to do anything else while you are making this recipe.

All of your attention is needed when making this recipe or it may not turn out. There have been times where I sat and watched the thermometer for an hour, then walked away to check social media or work on something else, and when I came back the temp. had skyrocketed and the batch was ruined. Candy making is an “all in” baking activity.

The Dav (what locals call it) turns out the hot candy mixture onto marble slabs to let cool.

This is genius and it scientifically works. However, most of us don’t have cold marble lying around the house, so we have to use what we have. Cookie sheets or granite cutting boards/slabs work well. I put mine in the freezer and then pull them out when I’m ready to spread the mixture.

A Few Extra Notes

Don’t leave the brittle in the freezer too long or it will harden. Just cool it until it in the freezer until it comes back to normal room temperature. A deep freeze works best if you have it and don’t open the freezer until you are ready to check it.

I have had better luck with Silicone sheets than parchment in getting the texture to turn out the way I like. Parchment is just fine and will totally work, but if you have silicone, give it a try.

Soft Peanut Brittle Video Tutorial

Ready to try it? Just follow the directions closely! Enjoy.


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    The Davenport Soft Peanut Brittle Recipe

    This famous Spokane candy is perfect for Christmas gifts, but it’s also a crowd pleaser anytime of year.  

    • Author: Krista Gilbert



    2 c creamy peanut butter

    1 1/4 c sugar

    1 3/4 c light corn syrup

    1/4 c water

    2 Tbsp butter

    2 c peanuts…raw or roasted

    1 tsp baking soda

    1 tsp vanilla


    In a double boiler over hot water, place peanut butter to heat while preparing syrup.


    In a large saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 cup of the water. Cook over high heat to 275 degrees on a candy thermometer. 


    Reduce the heat to medium and add butter, stirring until melted.


    Add peanuts and cook stirring for about 5 minutes or until candy starts turning brown and reaches 285-300 (see note) degrees on the thermometer. Do not overheat. It will make the candy hard.


    Remove from heat, stir in baking soda that has been dissolved in a teaspoon of water.


    Add vanilla and stir.


    Working quickly, fold in the warmed peanut butter, while stirring gently.


    Working quickly, pour candy mixture onto a well greased marble slab or a cookie sheet.


    Spread as thinly as possible and cool quickly.


    When cold …break into serving size pieces.


    I have experimented heating the candy between 285-300 degrees.  I like heating to 300 if it is immediately taken off the heat and cooled.  It hardens quickly if you go over 300 even a little bit.  Most people have had success with the brittle at any temp in between 285-300, but like I said, I prefer closer to 300 degrees.  

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    1. Liz says:

      Sounds like a lot of work but I’m going to try it. Should I freeze my granite before putting brittle on it? What candy thermometer should I get? How long did you leave the brittle in freezer before you put it into pieces? Thanks! Merry Christmas!

      • Krista says:

        Do it – it’s worth it :). Don’t leave the brittle in the freezer too long or it gets too hard. Just leave it long enough to become solid and pull it right out. I have the nice Williams-Sonoma candy thermometer and I’ve had it for years – worth the money. Oh and it can’t hurt to freeze the granite!

    2. Jen says:

      I made this today and it turned out delicious! I got the order wrong towards the end. (I put the peanut butter in before the baking soda and vanilla.) It still turned out great! I did watch the temperature very closely. Once it hit 275, I lowered the heat. Once it hit 300, I took it off the heat. My baking sheet seemed a little small, so the overall brittle seemed kind of thick. HOWEVER…it is soft, crumbly and delicious. Now I’m going to give some to my friend down the street who chipped her tooth on peanut brittle they bought years ago! Thanks for the recipe!

      • Krista says:

        Hi Jen! What a great idea to make this during this time for others. I love it! Glad it turned out for you. Blessings!

        • Jennifer says:

          Hi, Krista! Did you adjust the temperatures for this recipe since I last made it? My printed copy has the candy cooking to 300 degrees. Should I lower the temperature to 285 degrees as stated here or does it matter? It was perfect first and only time I made it! So grateful for this recipe!

          • Krista says:

            Hi Jennifer!
            I’ve done it both ways. Some people have had mixed results at 300, but it could be their temperature is off or they let it go over a bit (candy is an exact science). If 300 works for you, stick with it!

    3. Jeannie Hignell says:

      A friend from Spokane came and stayed at our house several years ago and brought Bruttles as a thank you gift. I have been addicted since then. My daughter made it a couple of years ago, but I just order it. I think I’m going to have to make it at Christmas this year.

      • Krista says:

        I love it Jeannie! Yes, it’s a special treat for sure. It’s actually very do-able to make – let me know if you give it a try 🙂 I’d love to hear. Blessings to you and your family!

    4. I am so excited to try this tomorrow. Thanks.

    5. Nid Moody says:

      Made this today. VERY yummy!! I love this softer version! It was a little tricky getting the timing right, to create a thin spread! I used Adam’s natural peanut butter and salted dry roasted peanuts. Would love to hear which ingredients people love the most!
      Thanks for sharing!

    6. Lori Lee Bell says:

      Hi Krista, Thank you fit this recipe. I have fond memories of a small piece on my pillow at turndown at the Dav! Just a couple questions in advance. Exactly which peanuts do you like best? Are they Spanish peanuts with skins? Are they salted. Thanks in advance. We are trying out new traditions this year as everything is different.
      Warm regards, Lori Bell

      • Krista says:

        Hi Lori!
        Yes Spanish peanuts are best for sure. Unsalted is fine, but if you can only find salted, I love a little extra salt in the recipe. Have fun and let me know how it goes!

    7. Lauren Hidalgo says:

      Hi Krista-
      The recipe says it’s ok to use either roasted or unroasted peanuts. I really love the blistered peanuts from Costco, but worry the peanuts might taste burnt or bitter if they are pre-roasted. Just double-checking before I make them.

    8. Vicki says:

      I was late to the discovery of the Davenports wonderful soft peanut brittle….now it is a must have! I made your recipe with salted peanuts and it was easy and turned out wonderful! Thanks for sharing. I will be making this every year but I doubt it will make it far enough to give away! I hope I can tho!

    9. jeff says:

      I have never made any candy type item before and the process seemed a little nerve wracking at first. Mostly trying to get the mixture to temp. I was afraid I had ruined it, but it came out amazing, just like the real thing. I customized the next try with organic corn syrup, light brown sugar, 3 cups of peanuts ( those big ones in a can from Costco ) and 3 tbl of butter. It was a bit richer tasting and I definitely liked the extra peanuts.

    10. Jean Thomson says:

      I made this today and it turned out really good. I don’t have marble, so I froze a buttered cookie sheet before I started this. It’s easy to get off the sheet, but I don’t care for the bottom of the peanut brittle, a little too buttery feeling. Should I use a non stick pan, or maybe spray the pan with PAM instead of butter?
      This was great, thanks for posting for all to see.

    11. Jean Thomson says:

      Does this need to be refrigerated? How long will it last?
      Mine came out great

    12. Jean Thomson says:

      Krista, I’m finding my candy is hard to eat, too sticky. I don’t remember the Davenports being so stuck to my teeth! Any ideas what I might have done wrong. I thought I followed the recipe exactly. Tastes great, but just hard to get out of my teeth. Thanks for any advise.

    13. LaRayne says:

      I just have to say, this soft peanut brittle may be even better than the Davenport’s Bruttles! I live in Spokane, and have bought Bruttles many times. I put a silicone mat on my largest baking sheet and put it in the freezer before I started, I used roasted, unsalted Spanish peanuts. I rubbed them between paper towels to remove most of the skins. Next time, I will stir the water/baking soda mixture again just before it goes in, because the soda had settled to the bottom of the dish. Make sure you use a sturdy spoon, because the mixture does become hard to stir.. It helped to have my husband handy to pour in the final ingredients while I kept stirring. You think it will take forever to get up to 285, then the temp moves up quickly at the end, so don’t take your eyes off the thermometer! I put the finished brittle in the freezer to cool. It turned out perfect! It’s not at all hard, and is flaky and the flavor is just like Bruttles! Thank you, Krista!

      • Krista says:

        Wow that is HIGH PRAISE indeed! 🙂 I’m so happy it turned out so well for you – hooray! And yes, sounds like you watched the temp carefully and that is KEY! Nice work.

    14. Tamara Beckwith says:

      Hi Krista. I am at high elevation. 5,000 feet above sea level.
      Do I decrease the temp on the candy thermometer to 275° ?

    15. Laura B says:

      I just made this wonderful Soft Peanut Brittle for our family’s Christmas Eve celebrations. It turned out perfectly AMAZING! I followed your instructions precisely for a great result. My husband and I have many fond memories of several stays at the Davenport Hotel. Thank you for sharing this treasured recipe! 🤗

    16. Lori L Bell says:

      Delicious!! Couldn’t find Spanish peanuts, but it didn’t matter. Great instructions. Thank you! 5 stars

      • Krista says:

        Yes I’ve always used Spanish but others tell me they have great results with other kinds as well. So glad it turned out well 🙂

    17. Amber R Remillard says:

      Perfect recipe! I really wanted to make it today but really didn’t want to go to the store. So I did it with chunky peanut butter and sliced almonds (toasted) instead of whole peanuts. It worked really well especially if you don’t love whole peanuts in brittle. I prefer the smaller nut pieces so this worked great!! The attention to process detail in the recipe is on point. I prepared and used two baking sheets. That allowed me to get the brittle nice and thin very rapidly. Thanks for the great recipe!

      • Krista says:

        I love the creativity Amber! Way to go. and I’m so glad the instructions helped – it’s so important to get the science right in this one. Nice work and thanks for weighing in!

    18. Josette says:

      I love Bruttles and can’t wait to try the recipe. I’ve had both the Bruttle squares half-dipped in chocolate and the plain pieces of brittle. Do you think they’re the same–just different shapes? And have you tried melting some dark chocolate on top of the brittle? Also, I’ve seem cashew Bruttles dipped in white chocolate. Maybe that’s your next recipe.

      • Krista says:

        Hi Josette – yes they are the same just different shapes. I like the chocolate as well, and I’ve been thinking of getting some silicone molds for this purpoose. Thanks for stopping by! Let me know if you try it!

    19. Jacquie Winters says:

      Imagine how excited I was recently to have the opportunity to stay at the Historic Davenport on my first visit to Spokane. Lovely little town, incredible hotel. But I was even more excited when I discovered the Peanut Brittle in the gift shop and read the ingredients. It’s Vegan! This is a real find for someone like me. I am curious as to why you found it necessary to add dairy? Did you try it without and it failed? I could use vegan butter, there are so many delicious kinds now that bake well, but I would rather not.

      • Krista says:

        Hi Jacquie!
        Well that is one question I’ve never had 🙂 I am sure it would work great with Vegan butter but I’ve never tried it. Let me know how it goes and I’m so glad you liked Spokane!

    20. Marg says:

      The best 👍

    21. Nedra Gallagher says:

      Hi Krista! Just found this recipe, and am preparing to make it for son-in-law’s BD. Questions:
      When you say, in step 2, “combine sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup OF the water, do you mean a quarter of the quarter cup listed in the ingredients? Or do I use the entire quarter cup here? (and then add a teaspoon of water to the baking soda later?)
      Also, I am using crunchy peanut butter and will substitute roasted pecans (chopped, not too fine) for most of the 2 c peanuts. If I am looking for the “salty-sweet’ result, do you think I should add any more salt? If so, how much? I have really enjoyed reading all the comments on this recipe. I grew up in Spokane, and have fond memories of the Dav.

      • Krista says:

        Hi Nedra!
        Add the complete 1/4 cup of water.
        I’m curious about the pecans. I’m sure it will work but I’m unsure if it will compliment the taste. Report back so we all can hear 🙂

    22. Nedra Gallagher says:

      Hi Krista, Thanks for the timely response! Odd that you would question the taste/flavor of pecans with peanuts in a peanut/butter brittle. When I described my plan to my husband, he vetoed the idea! Am wondering if almonds might work, but will most likely just go with additional peanuts.
      If I do put pecans in some of it, I will definitely report on the outcome! Thanks. Nedra

    23. Emily miller says:

      Can I use crunchy peanut butter?

    24. Emily Miller says:

      Amazing!!!!!! I have made it 2 times. The first time I did it I did 1 cup crunchy and 1 cup creamy peanut butter. It was really good!!!!!! I did a double batch today and I don’t recommend it unless you have a helper.

    25. Nancy says:

      I love this end results, however I wish I had a second person to help when it was time to pour it and spread it. That pan was heavy! And hot! It is delicious, though

    26. Nedra Gallagher says:

      Hi Krista,
      Here is my report. I ended up using just peanuts. (Trader Joe’s roasted, 1/2 salted, 1/2 unsalted) with the crunchy peanut butter. Hubby protested the “mixed” nuts idea! I was able to follow directions quite consistently, and end product tasted great, although it did seem too crumbly. (Any ideas why?) I was worried about shipping the pieces and having them arrive as “dust!” Happily, the uneven “chunks” mailed without breaking, packed in a tin, and son–in-law confessed that he is reluctant to share his gift!! Thanks for sharing this recipe, and it just may become our December Birthday tradition!

      • Krista says:

        Thanks for reporting Nedra! The crumbly texture is all about the heating / cooling process. For some it gets too sticky, for others too crumbly. I find if I leave it in the freezer too long, it gets sticky, so I watch it carefully. It could have to do with the kind of pans you were using for cooling too. This recipe is a science for sure! Well done – sounds like the son in law loved it 🙂

    27. Cindy says:

      Thanks to your excellent directions, our first batch of this divine treat turned out perfectly! Thank you for sharing it!

    28. Rob says:

      I had the best peanut brittle someone gave me and it was soft, and I looked for a recipe and found one but it made regular peanut brittle. Then I saw this, which makes sense because I live in Spokane. Im excited to try it! I dont call it the “Dav” tho btw lol 😂

      • Krista says:

        Wait you don’t call it “the Dav” Rob??? You might want to think about starting 🙂 Let me know how it goes – I think you’ll like it!

        • Rob says:

          Hi Krista, turned out great! I used a mixture of the corn syrup and some golden syrup and I did a thing where I folded it in half between parchment to fit it in the freezer, breaking off the ends and then refreezing since the middle took longer to cool. My result looks more translucent medium brown than the kind of light tan/frosty surface you seem to. But I’ll continue to work on it! 🙂 thanks for the recipe!

    29. Eddie Copeland says:

      I made this once and it turned out excellent.
      Am attempting my second batch today. I use pans with silpat sheets. Thank you for this wonderful recipe. 😍

    30. Tina says:

      Love this brittle! I made it last night and it turned out more like caramel. 😢 Any ideas what went wrong? I followed the recipe and poured onto a chilled marble slab.

      • Krista says:

        Oh noooo! Gosh candy is TRICKY. It’s a science and even the temperature and humidity in your home matters. Sounds like you need to go higher on the temp. What temp did you get to?

    31. Terri says:

      Hi Krista,
      We just went to the Dav, and on a whim I bought the soft peanut brittle, but the chocolate flavor. It is soooo good. Do you know if the soft peanut brittle would just be covered in chocolate? If not, do you have a recipe for that?
      I’m so excited to get home to try your recipe! Thanks for posting it💕

      • Krista says:

        I have covered ours in chocolate before, but I don’t prefer it when it comes to this recipe. You may disagree! LMK if you try it.

    32. Mary Xuereb says:

      Hi Krista,
      I have made your soft peanut brittle for the last couple of years with great results. This year I had a problem with parts of my two different bathes having a layer of sticky peanut butter on the bottom. I like to give it as a gift to family and friends at the holidays, but I can’t put it in a bag with this sticky layer of peanut butter on the bottom. What is causing that? Am I not stirring the peanut butter enough before putting it in the pan? I was under the impression that we don’t want to stir too much (I believe your recipe says to “fold” the peanut butter into the candy mixture). Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

      • Krista says:

        Hi Mary – This has happened to me before also. Usually it’s a mixing problem. Be sure sure to mix it really well before pouring!

    33. CASSEL says:

      I stay at the Davenport all the time and I LOVE the brittle, It’s almost too soft but it’s quite special so I always bring some back. I made your recipe tonight and rather impressed, mine is not quite as “soft” as theirs but the flavor is pretty spot and it’s way way softer than a normal brittle, Thanks for sharing!!

    34. Stephen Mitchell says:

      I love all the comments. I was gifted some of the Davenports soft p brittle several years ago and was ecstatic someone cloned the recipe. I’ve now made the recipe 3 times. On the 3rd batch, I added more peanuts (3 cups vs 2) cut the creamy peanut butter to 1 1/2 cups and cooked to 290 degrees. Seemed even closer to the version from the Davenport. Thanks for your work!!!!

    35. Brian Porter says:

      This recipe is excellent! It tastes just like the original made here in Spokane.

      To make it 100% vegan I subbed out butter and added peanut oil (which I took straight from the Adam’s PB jar).
      Thank you for posting!

    36. Nedra Gallagher says:

      Hi Krista! Here’s hoping you’ll see this soon. I am preparing to make this soft peanut brittle yet again for my son-in-law (he LOVES it!) Last year I had a heck of a time getting it to break into single-serving size pieces. I would love to be able to “cut” it or snap it so that not so much gets wasted! Would it be possible to either cut or “score” the slab before it goes into the freezer to cool? Any other thoughts on this? Thanks for your help! And thanks for a recipe that has become a bit of a birthday ritual!

    37. Jean says:

      I have been making this successfully for the last couple of years, but I would also like to know how to “cut” it if possible.

    38. Rawline says:

      I have made this for 40 years. My family loves it! You tricks and tips made all tge difference as I get older, harder to stir. I mixed the vanilla with the baking soda, new to me. Added butter, new to me; and peanut butter in a double broiler. All game changers…lol who knew.

    39. Shelley Williams says:

      I’ve made this many times and it’s always great. Now I have one neighbor who gets a whole bath just for him.

    40. Joann Trinder says:

      best peanut brittle recipes ever.


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