Crunchy Sesame Brittle | Clean Vegan Candy Recipe
Health-ified Sesame Brittle Candy Recipe with CLEAN Ingredients: Sesame Seeds, Maple Syrup & Coconut Sugar
It’s tough to find cleaner, vegan candy options in the grocery store. So why not make your own healthy homemade candy and YOU can control the ingredients? This sesame brittle candy recipe is a great place to start! Inspired by Chinese peanut and sesame brittle, it’s just as addictively good and simple to make—but with CLEAN ingredients.
I’ve nixed the refined sugar, butter, and peanuts from the classic recipe, and crafted my own health-ified version using just 4 simple ingredients: sesame seeds, maple syrup, coconut sugar, and salt. Perfectly sweet with just a hint of saltiness, the same crave-able crunch, but totally nut-free and vegan!
Don’t get me wrong, this health-ified sesame brittle IS still candy. It’s definitely a sweet treat that should be enjoyed on occasion, in moderation! But, unlike ultra-processed, highly-refined store-bought treats, this healthier homemade candy uses REAL ingredients that come from nature.
So, indulge mindfully and enjoy every sweet, crunchy bite—without worrying about countless artificial ingredients wreaking havoc on your body!
How to Make Vegan Candy that’s Cleaner & Unrefined
Usually, Chinese sesame candy recipes involve melting together refined white sugar with some kind of fat, like butter or vegetable oil. Since I wanted to make a cleaner, VEGAN sesame brittle, I nixed the butter and the inflammatory vegetable oil altogether, and I replaced the refined sugar with two natural, unrefined sweeteners: coconut sugar and maple syrup.
These unrefined sweeteners are indeed sugars, but still they contain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are stripped away when foods are refined. And because of this, they can affect our bodies and even our blood sugar differently than refined table sugar.
Since coconut sugar is made from coconut sap, it has a wetter, sticker texture. Combine that with maple syrup, and the two are plenty sticky to hold this sesame brittle candy together on their own— no dairy, oil, or fats necessary!
The only ingredient left is your sesame seeds, which are naturally clean, unrefined, and highly nutritious. In just 3 tablespoons of sesame seeds, there are around 5g protein, 5g of healthy monounsaturated fats, and 3g fiber. Plus, they’re rich in minerals like copper and manganese, and research suggests sesame seeds may help fight off inflammation!
Step by Step: How to Make Sesame Brittle Candy
First, heat your coconut sugar and maple syrup in a saucepan over medium heat, until bubbly. Once the mixture is bubbling, lower the heat and add your sesame seeds, along with a pinch of salt. (Some people prefer to dry toast their sesame seeds in a pan before making their syrup—which you can absolutely do if you prefer!)
Stir the mixture continuously for around 10 minutes or so, until the seeds begin to brown. Be patient, but also be mindful as you’re stirring—don’t let your sesame seeds burn and don’t let the pan begin to smoke! It’s important to pay attention because the mixture will turn quickly once the seeds begin to brown.
Then, remove the pan from the heat and get ready to work QUICKLY before the sugar sets! Pour your sticky mixture onto a silicone baking mat or Silpat mat (if you have one), or onto a lined baking sheet that’s been sprayed well. Spread the sticky mixture out in an even layer across the mat, before the sugar hardens.
Once you’ve got a smooth, even layer, allow your sheet of sesame brittle to dry and harden for just a couple of minutes. It will happen pretty fast!
Then, once it’s solidified but before it’s completely cooled, transfer to a cutting board and cut into squares or bars. It’s important to do cut your sesame brittle candy while it’s still warm, otherwise it will be much harder to do later!
Allow your cut sesame brittle pieces to cool for a bit before serving and enjoying! Of course, you likely won’t eat ALL of it at once, although you may want to… So simply store in an airtight container on the countertop and they’ll for up to 2 weeks.
Crisp and crunchy, salty-sweet, and deliciously CLEAN—this vegan sesame brittle candy is one of my favorite homemade sweets I’ve ever ventured to try. I love that the ingredients are all natural and unrefined, and that I even get some nutrients when I munch on a piece of this sweet treat.
One serving of this sesame brittle candy (1-2 pieces, depending on the size you cut them into) contains just 50 calories, with only 8g of sugar from natural sweeteners. Plus, a bonus of 2g of fiber and 1g of protein—in a crave-ably crunchy candy!? Now that’s a SWEET treat!
Crunchy Sesame Brittle Candy
- ½ cup sesame seeds
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- pinch of salt
- Grab a silicone baking mat (or Silpat mat), if you have one, so it’s ready. Or, grease a baking sheet with oil, butter, or any cooking fat.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, combine coconut sugar and maple syrup and heat bubbly and frothy.
- Lower the heat and add sesame seeds and pinch of salt. Stir continuously for 10-15 minutes, until the seeds begin to brown. (Be mindful as you stir so the seeds don’t burn, and don’t let your pan begin smoke—this mixture will turn quickly!)
- Remove from heat and pour sticky mixture onto your silicone baking mat or prepared baking sheet, smoothing it out into an even layer. (Work quickly because the sugar will set!)
- Once smooth set aside to dry for just a few minutes.
- Remove dry sheet of brittle from baking mat and cut into squares or bars while still warm.
- Allow to cool 15-20 minutes before serving and enjoying!
- Keep in an airtight container for 2 weeks.
- Yields ~24-48 pieces of sesame brittle candy, depending on size of cut.
12 Comments on “Crunchy Sesame Brittle | Clean Vegan Candy Recipe”
Will it work to use parchment paper instead of silicone or veg oil/butter?
Hello! Great question. We have only tried making this crunchy sesame brittle on a silicone mat because it was so sticky. However, it will likely work on a sheet of parchment paper, as long as you spray it well with cooking spray or grease it well with oil. Since it is so sticky, you need some kind of oil to prevent it from clinging to the paper! I hope this helps 🙂
This is just fantastic. I love to make it and I love to eat it even more. It can be a bit sticky but getting messy is part of the fun for me. Thank you, Alyssia, for sharing this recipe
Hi Darlene, we’re thrilled to hear you’re enjoying this crunchy sesame brittle recipe! The messiness and stickiness and mindfulness during the process is all part of the fun 🙂 thanks so much for giving the recipe a try!
I forgot to bake it is that why it didn’t come out crunchy? I used honey instead of maple syrup so that I could have a honey flavour. I also noticed that it was very liquidy for half a cup of sesame seeds for literally half a cup of coconut sugar and 1/2 a cup of syrup. So I just added another 1/2 cup of sesame seeds and it seemed to balance better
Hi there! This recipe actually doesn’t require baking, just cooking over the stovetop. The idea is to create a syrup by boiling the maple syrup and coconut sugar until frothy, then adding the sesame seeds and stirring for 10-15 minutes. During that time, some of the liquid should boil off. Once sticky, you pour the mixture onto a baking mat to let it cool, and the sugars will re-crystallize and harden as they cool – that’s how it becomes crunchy! Is this how you prepared the recipe? Would love to know more about your preparation process to see how I can help! 🙂
Hi there! this recipe looks great! I’m planning on trying it today. But first I have a question. why does it look like you have water on your silpat sheet? Is it water? does it help with something?
Hey there! That’s actually not water, it’s cooking spray! I think it looks like water droplets just because it collects/pools together on the silicone surface. It’s not necessary, but we used it just to be safe so our sesame brittle wouldn’t get stuck to the sheet! 🙂
I wish I could figure out how to get it to be crunchy. Its very chewy. I cooked it to 300 degrees F and still not that great crunch I was looking for. Any suggestions?
Hey there! Since this recipe is lightened-up by using half regular sugar, half coconut sugar, it unfortunately isn’t as SUPER crunchy as classic sesame brittle candy. Since coconut sugar comes from coconut sap, it contains a bit more moisture and makes for a stickier syrup that doesn’t harden/crystallize quite like regular refined white sugar.
For maximum crunch, your best bet is to get rid of the cleaner/less-refined coconut sugar and just use ALL white sugar in this recipe! It’d no longer be a lightened-up candy, but the tradeoff is you’d get better crystallization and crunch. Hope this helps! 🙂
Thanks for sharing this recipe.i didn’t know you can create a nutritious candy out of sesame seeds and maple syrup i can add this on my Keto meal plan diet, all the ingredients are on my keto diet.
So glad this recipe fits into your lifestyle and you’re enjoying it!! Thanks so much for giving it a try 🙂