This rich and buttery homemade toffee is easy to make and only takes about thirty minutes from start to finish. Perfect for parties, holiday gifts, and snacking!
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Easy Homemade Toffee Candy
We always make a batch of this homemade toffee during the holidays. It’s such an easy toffee candy recipe and is perfect for beginners. Microwave caramels, Christmas crack toffee, peanut brittle and slow cooker rocky road candy are at the top of our list too!
One of our favorite things to do during the holidays is to make homemade treats for family and friends along with these easy saltine cracker toffee. This homemade toffee is perfect for gift-giving, and is so simple to make too!
I’m definitely a candy-making novice, but this recipe is simple enough that it’s perfect for beginners. 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 makes a candy maker out of even the most novice of cooks.
- Pantry staples. It only takes a few ingredients that you probably already have on hand.
- Flexible. You can tailor this recipe to your tastes. Use your favorite chocolate, nut, or topping to make it your own.
- Tasty. It is so sweet and addictive and makes the perfect gift any time of year.
I love that this homemade toffee doesn’t require a ton of ingredients to make this. I usually always have all of them on hand, which makes it so easy and convenient.
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.
- 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.
How to Make Homemade Toffee
The most difficult part of this homemade toffee recipe is making the caramel. After that, it 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 degrees, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. It will be bubbly and incredibly hot, so be careful not to burn yourself! Pour the 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 homemade toffee with chopped pecans. You could definitely substitute other nuts for the pecans, such as almonds, peanuts or walnuts. All would be yummy! Let the toffee cool completely, then break into pieces and enjoy!
- Candy thermometer: Investing in a quality candy thermometer is well worth it for best toffee results.
- Quality ingredients: There are minimal ingredients in this recipe, only 7 ingredients and that includes both the salt and nuts on top, so using quality butter and real vanilla extract really make the difference.
- 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
Yes! I actually love snacking on frozen homemade toffee. I usually make 2 batches…one to enjoy right away and one to stick in the freezer. When I’m craving a chocolate sweet treat, I’ll grab a piece (or two)!
Toffee hardens by releasing moisture, so humidity may make it soft if there is too much moisture in the air. For the best results, I suggest making it on a day that is dry.
Storing + 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 toffee pieces are, you may need to use two containers or bags.
This homemade toffee 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: To store in the freezer, just place in an airtight container or bag. It should keep in the freezer for a couple of months.
TIP: If you’re looking for a way to use up homemade toffee leftovers, try making these delicious toffee cookies. Just chop into toffee bits, then fold them into the dough. The toffee adds the perfect chocolate and caramel flavor!
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- 1 cup unsalted butter , cut into pieces
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup chocolate chips (milk chocolate or semi-sweet)
- 2-4 Tablespoons chopped pecans , or almonds
- 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°F. Immediately remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Pour tonto 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.
Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!
Originally written by Alicia from The Baker Upstairs.
This is very good but for some reason my toffee didn’t get hard and I followed the steps perfect. Any suggestions? Thanks
Hi Karen! It’s hard to say without being there. Did you use a candy thermometer to test the temperature?
Easy recipe to follow. We used chopped almonds & substituted dark chocolate melts for the chocolate chips & it turned out great! Thanks for posting!
Sounds delicious! Glad you enjoyed the homemade toffee!
Does it work to make a half batch? Or should I just stick to a full batch? Thanks!
I haven’t tested with half a batch, but let us know if you test it out!
I love this recipe! It’s so delicious. Have you ever doubled the recipe? Or is it best to do it one batch at a time?
So glad you enjoy the toffee! I find it works best to work 1 batch at a time.