This irresistible Toffee recipe is the perfect holiday treat with a rich buttery flavor, satisfying crunch, and simple ingredient list. It’s easy to make, and we’ve made it even easier with our video tutorial on how to make toffee included below.

Toffee is one of our family’s favorite homemade candy recipes. We love to wrap it up as gifts for neighbors, teachers, and friends. It’s also a great addition to your holiday cookie platter along with Sugar Cookies, classic Gingerbread Cookies, and don’t forget the Candied Pecans.

Toffee candy stacked up high with almonds and chocolate

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What is Toffee?

Toffee candy is a sweet confection made by slowly heating butter and sugar to the hard crack stage, about 300 degrees. English toffee is traditionally made with brown sugar for a darker color and deep caramel flavor (think SKOR bars), while in America, it’s often called buttercrunch candy and is made with white sugar and topped with a layer of melted chocolate and nuts. Think Heath bars or Almond Roca.

These days, the two names are used interchangeably, because when it’s this buttery and delicious, what’s in a name anyway?

Here’s why you’ll love it:

  • So Tasty – Amazing buttery, chocolatey flavor, and perfect crunch
  • Easy – with step-by-step directions 
  • Foolproof – we included tips to ensure success
  • Homemade gift idea – Impressive enough to give as gifts
  • Keeps well – Can last a long time on the counter—but only if it doesn’t get eaten first.

Homemade Toffee Video

Watch Natasha make this easy toffee recipe to learn her foolproof technique. Let’s get cooking!

Pro Tip:

Toffee can be made without fancy equipment, but it’s so much easier and failproof with a candy thermometer, heavy-bottom pan, and a wooden spoon.

Ingredients for English Toffee

With only 5 main ingredients, this toffee recipe is easy to make.

  • Almonds – toasted (use store-bought or see our Pro-tip on toasting your own nuts below) and chopped, you can substitute with any kind of nut. You can also omit nuts if needed.
  • Sugar – this recipe uses white sugar for the light caramel color, crunch, and flavor.
  • Butter – we use unsalted butter to control the sodium
  • Vanilla extract – use homemade vanilla or storebought to add flavor, but it can be omitted if needed.
  • Salt – sea salt balances the butter and sugar perfectly
  • Chocolate chips – we use semi-sweet chocolate, but you can use milk chocolate for a sweeter candy or bitter-sweet for less sweet. You can also use chopped chocolate.
ingredients for homemade Health bars with almonds, butter, sugar, chocolate chips, salt and vanilla extract

Substitutions

It’s easy to make this toffee recipe your own, try these ideas:

  • Nuts: Swap the almonds for pecans, walnuts, cashews, or pistachios (or a mix of nuts)
  • Chocolate: Use white chocolate chips or butterscotch chips instead of regular chocolate or use a combination and swirl the chocolates when spreading
  • Add toppings: you can make them festive by adding sprinkles, or try toffee bits, flaked salt, or candy cane pieces
Toppings for holiday candy such as almonds, butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips, chocolate chips, pecans and holiday sprinkles

How to Make Toffee

The secret to making toffee is low, consistent heat to avoid breaking the candy, so fight the temptation to speed up the process, it will be well worth your patience! Also, a clip-on thermometer takes all the guesswork out of it.

  • Prep the ingredients before beginning because once the butter and sugar get to temperature, you have to move quickly – grease and line a 9″x12″ or 9”x9” baking dish.
  • Toast the nuts: Heat whole almonds over medium heat in a skillet for 5-7 minutes. They can burn easily, so stir every 30 seconds and don’t walk away. Or roast the nuts on a baking sheet at 325 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Chop the toasted almonds and spread half of them over the prepared baking dish.
  • Mix butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a heavy-bottomed, 3-4 quart saucepan (the bottom of the pot is thicker than the sides). Heat over medium heat while stirring with a wooden spoon until it comes to a boil. Then slowly stir continuously for about 8-10 more minutes until the mixture gets to the hard crack stage (300-310 degrees) and resembles the color of peanut butter or caramel. Careful it’s hot!
  • Pour the toffee immediately onto the nuts on the parchment-lined pan, and then tilt the pan to spread the toffee over the nuts.
  • Sprinkle chocolate chips over the hot candy and let it melt for 2 minutes until glistening. Then use an offset spatula to spread the chocolate evenly over the candy. Sprinkle on the remaining nuts (or other toppings) and lightly push them down to stick.
how to make English toffee step-by-step tutorial

Pro Tip:

To stir the toffee, use a long-handled wooden spoon to keep your hand away from the hot sugar. The wood won’t cause temperature changes that will make your toffee separate.

Layered buttercrunch candy step-by-step tutorial

Let the toffee cool completely until the chocolate is set and hard, which takes at least two hours. Use a knife to cut toffee into various-sized pieces or use your hands to break up the toffee. Your toffee is ready to serve and enjoy.

Broken up pieces of English Toffee on a baking sheet

Common Questions

What is the difference between caramel and toffee?

Caramel and toffee contain cooked butter and sugar, but caramel includes milk or cream and cooks to a lower temperature for a softer, creamier consistency. Toffee is cooked hotter to the hard crack stage where the candy dries hard. But wait, what’s butterscotch? Here’s a great explanation.

Why did my toffee separate?

If you notice a buttery layer forming in your toffee, the candy might be separating. This usually happens when it is heated too quickly, heated higher than 310 degrees, or if the temperature fluctuates too much while cooking. It may also be from stirring too vigorously.

Can I save my toffee after it separates?

You can try to save separated toffee in the pot by removing the pan from the heat and stirring until the buttery layer mixes back in. Also, off the heat stir in 2 Tbsp of hot water which can help bring it back together then put it back over medium heat to bring it to 300˚F.

Do I have to use a candy thermometer to make toffee?

You don’t need one, but it makes it so much easier! A clip-on thermometer is our go-to and be sure to test the candy temperature without touching the bottom of the pan. If you’re making candy at a high altitude your hard crack temperature may be lower.

Why are there sugar crystals in my toffee?

The sugar can become grainy or crystalized with uneven heating or rapid stirring. Try stirring slowly and don’t scrape the sides of the pan. If you do see sugar crystallizing, wet a pastry brush with a bit of water and try sweeping it back into the candy.

How can I tell the toffee is at the hard crack stage?

A candy thermometer reading 300 degrees is your best bet, but you can also look at the color as it should be the color of peanut butter. Another option is to do a hard crack test: Drip a few drops of candy into a cup of cold water. If it is bendable, it’s not ready, but if it snaps, it’s ready.

Can I double the recipe?

Sure. Remember it may take longer to get to hard crack temperature, but be patient! Also, make sure you use a bigger pan to set the candy since you don’t want it too thick.

Chocolate and nuts layered with candy in a red holiday dish

Make-Ahead

Homemade Toffee keeps well on the counter, so it’s easy to make ahead and give as gifts.

  • To Store: layer between parchment or wax paper in an airtight container on the counter for 7-10 days
  • To Refrigerate: store the container in the fridge for 2 weeks
  • Freezing: Freeze the container for 3 months
  • To Thaw: set in the refrigerator overnight
Delicious homemade toffee with almonds and chocolate layers

This buttery, crunchy homemade toffee recipe is the perfect holiday candy that’s easy and fun to make. It stores well and is perfect for a dessert table or to give as a gift. Whip some up today!

More Homemade Candy and Treats

After you make this easy toffee recipe, check out these other great holiday dessert recipes you’re sure to love:

Toffee Recipe

4.96 from 42 votes
Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Toffee recipe with toasted almonds, chocolate and buttery candy
This crunchy English Toffee is one of our favorite Homemade Candy recipes and makes for the perfect gift. It’s also a great addition to your holiday cookie platter. With only 5 ingredients, it’s simple to whip up, and with our video tutorial above, you’ll love this easy toffee recipe.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Cooling time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 24 pieces

Instructions

  • Prep: Grease a 9×12 or 9×9 metal baking dish, and line it with parchment paper. Do not grease the top of the parchment paper.
  • Toast the nuts: Heat whole almonds over medium heat in a skillet for 5-7 minutes. They can burn easily, so stir every 30 seconds and don’t walk away. Or roast the nuts on a baking sheet at 325 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Coarsely chop almonds and spread half of them evenly into your parchment-lined baking pan. Set aside the remaining nuts for topping.
  • In a large heavy saucepan (at least 3-4 quarts), combine butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Set over medium heat and use a wooden spoon to stir constantly until the butter melts and the mixture comes to a boil. Slowly stir continuously until it turns a caramel color and reaches at least 300 ̊F on a candy thermometer (300-310 is the hard crack stage and takes about 8 to 10 minutes over medium heat). Be careful since the mixture is extremely hot (do not sample!) and will brown quickly toward the end.
  • Immediately pour your toffee into your prepared pan. Right away tilt the pan to spread evenly over the nuts. It doesn’t have to reach the edges or look even.
  • While hot, sprinkle the top with chocolate chips and rest for 2 minutes (they will glisten once they have softened) then use an offset spatula to spread the chocolate evenly over the surface. Sprinkle on the remaining 1/2 cup of nuts, pressing them gently into the chocolate layer to adhere.
  • Let cool for at least 2 hours at room temperature or unit the chocolate is fully set then cut or break into pieces to serve. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Notes

If your toffee separates: remove the pan from the heat and stir until the buttery layer mixes back in. You can also stir in 2 Tbsp of hot water which can help bring it back together then put it back over medium heat to bring it to 300˚F.

Nutrition Per Serving

178kcal Calories14g Carbs2g Protein14g Fat7g Saturated Fat1g Polyunsaturated Fat5g Monounsaturated Fat0.3g Trans Fat21mg Cholesterol50mg Sodium89mg Potassium1g Fiber11g Sugar240IU Vitamin A23mg Calcium1mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Toffee Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
178
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
14
g
22
%
Saturated Fat
 
7
g
44
%
Trans Fat
 
0.3
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
5
g
Cholesterol
 
21
mg
7
%
Sodium
 
50
mg
2
%
Potassium
 
89
mg
3
%
Carbohydrates
 
14
g
5
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
11
g
12
%
Protein
 
2
g
4
%
Vitamin A
 
240
IU
5
%
Calcium
 
23
mg
2
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Candy, Dessert
Cuisine: American, English
Keyword: english toffee, toffee, toffee recipe
Skill Level: Easy/Medium
Cost to Make: $$
Calories: 178
Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the creator behind Natasha's Kitchen (established in 2009), and I share family-friendly, authentic recipes. I am a New York Times Best-Selling cookbook author and a trusted video personality in the culinary world. My husband, Vadim, and I run this blog together, ensuring every recipe we share is thoroughly tested and approved. Our mission is to provide you with delicious, reliable recipes you can count on. Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy you are here.

Read more posts by Natasha

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  • Crystally
    January 31, 2024

    Most delicious recipe. I was a little daunted to make this but it couldnt have been easier and the end result is really impressive and so yummy! Ive had to freeze half of it to stop me eating it (and it still tastes amazing straight from the freezer!)

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      January 31, 2024

      I’m so glad you loved it!

      Reply

  • Janine
    January 20, 2024

    Just made this last night! SOOOO easy, simple, and delicious. Definitely going in my recipe book!!!!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      January 20, 2024

      That’s wonderful, Janine!

      Reply

  • Julie
    January 13, 2024

    I made this exactly as the recipe is written, it was delicious! The only issue I had was it does stick to your teeth. I read other places that cooking it to 310 degrees could help that. Your thoughts? Also, can this be doubled?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      January 15, 2024

      Hi Julie,I haven’t had an issue with it sticking to my teeth, but yes ensuring you hit the right temperature is critical to ensure it is in the hard crack stage. If its too cool its considered soft crack and then it can stick to your teeth.

      Reply

  • Barbara
    January 9, 2024

    I made four recipes this Christmas, and they were all gone within an hour. It is THAT GOOD.

    I used pecans, and it was terrific. I wonder how it would be to add some Rice Krispies to this?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 9, 2024

      That’s just awesome! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review, Barbara! I haven’t tested this with rice krispies, if you experiment, let me know how you liked the recipe

      Reply

  • Mary Kulak
    January 7, 2024

    Hi Natasha, these were amazing and so easy to do, I find it easier like you said to get ingredients ready, so much better. But everyone loved them, better than store bought. Thankyou again for another delicious recipe!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      January 7, 2024

      You’re very welcome, Mary. Thank you for sharing.

      Reply

  • Judy Funk
    January 6, 2024

    My grandmother used to make this with filberts(hazelnuts) and milk chocolate. It was delicious.

    Reply

  • Penni
    December 26, 2023

    Made this for the first time, came out perfect. Everyone loved it!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 26, 2023

      I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us, Penni!

      Reply

  • Joylene
    December 24, 2023

    I made this for the first time today and it turned out great! Can’t keep my husband out of it, so I had to hide it.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 24, 2023

      So glad you loved it!

      Reply

  • Carrie M.
    December 23, 2023

    I commented before to ask a question, but figured it out (didn’t use roasted/salted nuts, went with recipe). O.M.G. this is the best toffee I’ve ever tasted. Thank you! Followed the instructions exactly, and 2 batches came out perfectly!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 23, 2023

      I made the same yesterday for Christmas! I love it also but I do find that I have to give it away so that I don’t eat too much of it. I can’t seem to keep my hands off it! ha! Merry Christmas!

      Reply

      • Carrie M.
        December 28, 2023

        Same here! We made it for neighbors. Now I’m sad because I don’t have any, may have to make more. 🙂
        Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you!

        Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          December 28, 2023

          Merry Christmas & Happy New Year Carrie!

          Reply

  • Carrie M.
    December 23, 2023

    Hi! Can’t wait to make this. I did a grocery order, and accidentally picked roasted and salted almonds. I see that the roasted part is fine, how about the salt? Wondering if it will make it too salty? thanks

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 23, 2023

      Hi Carrie! I haven’t tested it with salted almonds. IF you like the sweet and salty combo, I think it could work.

      Reply

  • Suzie
    December 22, 2023

    Oommgg this is so delicious and easy! Can’t stop eating it! Gonna make it and give as gifts! Thankyou for another wonderful recipe!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 22, 2023

      Hi Suzie! So glad you loved it!

      Reply

  • Lauri
    December 22, 2023

    Just tried this! I forget how easy toffee is. I couldn’t find my candy thermometer but took it off the heat as soon as it turned a little amber color. Perfect!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 22, 2023

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Lauri!

      Reply

  • Sharon
    December 22, 2023

    This was my first time making it. Your video and your instructions made it so easy for me. Thank you! I do use a lot of your recipes.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 22, 2023

      I’m so glad to hear that, Sharon!

      Reply

  • Sara W
    December 20, 2023

    Definitely a keeper! I received many compliments and sooo yummy!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 20, 2023

      Wonderful, Sara! So glad it was a hit.

      Reply

  • Ann
    December 20, 2023

    I have just tried this recipe twice, and both times, the butter and sugar are separating and when I pour it in the pan it is a big oiley mess. I was so hoping to be able to master the toffee recipe. I followed the recipe exactly.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 20, 2023

      If you notice a buttery layer forming in your toffee, the candy might be separating. This usually happens when it is heated too quickly, heated higher than 310 degrees, or if the temperature fluctuates too much while cooking. It may also be from stirring too vigorously. You can try to save separated toffee in the pot by removing the pan from the heat and stirring until the buttery layer mixes back in.

      Reply

      • Ann
        December 21, 2023

        I’m sure this recipe is wodnerful but I give up. I have wasted 6 sticks of butter and 3 cups of sugar. I took your advice and cooked it slowly and barely stirred and it still separated. 🙁

        Reply

  • Juls
    December 17, 2023

    Hi Natasha. I only have TFal non-stick type pans. Do I need to purchase a stainless steal pan in order for this to cook right?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 18, 2023

      Hi Juls, since there is parchment lining the bottom, it doesn’t matter what type of baking pan you use. Its easier to see the color change with a stainless steel pan but I think it should still work with a nonstick pan to heat the caramel – just be sure to use a thermometer and keep a close eye on the temperature and color change. Also, don’t use a thin pot – it should have a heavy bottom to conduct heat well without scorching and hot spots.

      Reply

  • Bev Cooper
    December 16, 2023

    Oops sorry. Guess I should have read the “Common
    Questions” section. I’ll give it one more try 🤞

    Reply

  • Bev Cooper
    December 16, 2023

    Was looking forward to making this toffee and, as easy as it seems to be, TWICE the butter and sugar separated before it reached the 300 degrees. Stirred it constantly over med heat but when it was about 275 that’s when it fell apart. What have I done wrong?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 17, 2023

      Hi Bev! Are you using a wooden spoon to stir? If not, I recommend using a long-handled wooden. The wood won’t cause temperature changes that will make your toffee separate.

      Reply

  • Jean Vazquez
    December 15, 2023

    I just made these for the first time!!! The toffee is amazing!! I only had pecans so I toasted those. These will be Christmas gifts for the neighbors (if they make it that far😁). Thank you, @natashaskitchen.com for the yummy recipe!!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 15, 2023

      Hi Jean! You’re very welcome. I’m so glad you love this recipe. Merry Christmas!

      Reply

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