My easy 30-minute homemade toffee recipe makes a rich, buttery, crunchy toffee. It has a sweet chocolate topping with toasted nuts that’s perfect for parties and gifts.
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Easy Homemade Toffee Candy
I would recommend having a candy thermometer on hand to make things easier. They’re inexpensive and they take a lot of the guesswork out of candy making.
Why this Recipe Works
- Simple. This homemade toffee recipe is foolproof and makes a candy maker out of even the most novice of cooks.
- Pantry staples. It only takes a few inexpensive ingredients that you probably already have on hand.
- Gift. This homemade toffee is perfect for gift-giving, and is so simple to make too!
- Tasty. It is sweet and addictive with incredible flavor. It’s the perfect gift any time of year just like my old fashioned hard candy!
I love that this homemade toffee doesn’t require a ton of ingredients. It starts with a buttery, golden brown English toffee layer that is topped with chocolate and nuts.
Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
- Butter: Unsalted butter works best. I like to chop it up until cubes before adding to the pan so that it melts quicker and more evenly.
- Sugar: White granulated sugar is best for this recipe.
- Vanilla: I recommend a high-quality pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
- Chocolate Chips: Semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips are my favorites that make it taste like a Skor candy bar.
- Pecans: Chop the pecans into small pieces before using. You may also use chopped almonds if preferred.
- Salt: Using unsalted butter allows us to control the amount of salt used in this recipe. Adding a hint of salt is the perfect compliment to the sweet, caramelized flavor.
Homemade Toffee Variations
- Chocolate. Swap the chocolate for dark or white chocolate.
- Spice. Add spice to the chocolate: cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne, or even things like chai spice
- Nuts. Go nuts with something other than pecans or almonds. Cashews work really well, too. You could also sprinkle the nuts on the bottom of the pan instead of over top.
How to Make Homemade Toffee
The most difficult part of this homemade toffee recipe is making the caramel. After that, this buttery chocolate treat is as simple as sprinkling and layering.
- Boil. Start by adding butter, sugar, water, and salt to a saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Keep a close eye on the toffee as it cooks (don’t walk away).
- Make caramel. The mixture will start out as a pale yellow color, then deepen into a rich caramel tone. Mine was perfect at 285°F on my candy thermometer (a minute or two after I took the above picture). Be careful not to let the mixture get too dark, or it will have a burned taste.
- Stir. When it’s reached 285°F degrees, remove pan from heat and stir in the vanilla. It will be bubbly and incredibly hot, so be careful not to burn yourself! Pour mixture onto a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, and let it cool for 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle. Then sprinkle the toffee with chocolate chips and let it sit for 10 minutes so they can melt.
- Spread. When the chocolate chips are starting to melt, spread them over the toffee with an offset spatula, trying to make a smooth and even layer. I used semi-sweet chocolate chips because I wanted a little more of a dark chocolate taste, but milk chocolate chips would work well too.
- Toppings. Finally, sprinkle it with chopped pecans. Almonds, peanuts or walnuts would also be yummy! Cool completely, then break into pieces and enjoy!
- Candy thermometer: Investing in a quality candy thermometer is well worth it for best toffee recipe results.
- Patience: Avoid the temptation to turn up the heat to speed up the process! You will end up burning the toffee.
- Avoid making on a humid day: Toffee hardens by releasing moisture, so humidity may make it soft if there is too much moisture in the air. Wait to make on a dry day.
- Quality ingredients: There are minimal ingredients, only 7 ingredients and that includes the salt and nuts , so using quality butter and real vanilla extract make a difference. Avoid using margarine as is contains too much water content.
- Chocolate bars: You could use three Hershey’s bars in place of the chocolate chips. The chocolate is softer though and will melt a bit as you hold it, but really gives it a candy bar essence.
5 star review
Oh I can’t thank you enough for your homemade toffee recipe! I am an experienced baker and have had many more failed attempts at toffee than successes. Your recipe is the fail-proof recipe I have been searching for! Such an easy and tasty recipe!– Emma
It is a crunchy, sweet and buttery sugar candy. It’s similar to caramel and butterscotch but yet unique in it’s own way! Caramel contains additional cream to make it sweeter and creamier, like in this caramel sauce. Butterscotch is made with brown sugar and is not cooked to a hard crack stage.
No, some people use the hard crack test or just know by the color. If this your first time making it though or you want to ensure foolproof results, I highly recommend it.
This could happen especially if you have used margarine that has too much water content or have used a butter that has butterfat over 80% (like a European-style butter).
If it starts to seperate, try slowing stirring one Tablespoon of water in at a time until it comes back together. If you are still having trouble, use a thicker based, heavy bottomed saucepan.
If you’re looking for a way to use up homemade toffee leftovers, try making these delicious toffee cookies. Chop into toffee bits similar to a Heath bar bit, then fold them into the dough. The toffee adds the perfect chocolate and caramel flavor! You could also sprinkle the bits on homemade brownies, apple pie or cupcakes.
Storing and Freezing
Storing: Place homemade toffee in an airtight container or zip-top bag. I like to layer my toffee between wax paper sheets to prevent sticking. Depending on how big your pieces are, you may need to use two containers or bags.
This candy is good for at least two weeks if stored at room temperature. If your home is a bit on the warm side or if you’re holding onto it for gift-giving, I would store it in the fridge. It should last for a couple more weeks if you stick in the refrigerator!
Freezing: I love snacking on frozen homemade toffee when craving a sweet chocolate treat. To store in freezer, place in an airtight container or bag. It should keep in the freezer for a couple of months.
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Homemade Toffee Recipe
- Butter or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the butter, sugar, water, and salt over medium-low heat. Stir frequently with a wooden spoon until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved. Leave the spoon in the pot and clip on a candy thermometer, if desired, being careful to not let it touch the bottom.
- Stirring only occasionally, simmer until the caramel is a deep amber color and the thermometer reads 285°-290°F (takes about 20 minutes). Immediately remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Pour onto the baking sheet and let it spread. Cool 5 minutes. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and let sit 10 minutes.
- Spread the melted chocolate with an offset spatula and sprinkle with pecans.
- Cool completely before breaking into pieces. Enjoy!
- Swap the chocolate for dark or white chocolate.
- Add spice to the chocolate: cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne, or even things like chai spice
- Go nuts with something other than pecans or almonds. Cashews work really well, too.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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