My Toffee Recipe makes buttery, crunchy homemade toffee after just 15 minutes on the stove. I’m including lots of tips so you can feel confident making this candy at home. Recipe includes a how-to video!
A Foolproof Toffee Recipe
I know firsthand how frustrating a failed batch of toffee can be. Many, many batches of ruined candy made their way through my kitchen on my journey to discover perfectly crisp, buttery toffee perfection. Fortunately, after plenty of trial and error, I’m finally proud to share the BEST toffee recipe. Today’s post includes plenty of tips, tricks, and straightforward, easy steps!
One of the most important tips I can give you for this recipe is to use a candy thermometer! While you can skip the thermometer for my family’s favorite chocolate fudge or potato candy, please DON’T do so here. A reliable candy thermometer will make all the difference with your final result, so please use one.
Also, if you’re new to making candy or haven’t made it in a while, remember that you must be patient when cooking candy. During my research process, the temptation to bump up the heat to speed up the process was real, and often my most fatal mistake. Take it slow!
Why use my toffee recipe:
- Cooks in just 15 minutes!
- Thoroughly tested to produce perfect toffee, every time.
- Requires just six ingredients and NO corn syrup!
- Customizable; use whatever nuts or chocolate you like, or leave them out.
What You Need
You only need six simple ingredients to make my toffee recipe (seven if you count water!).
- Butter. I like to use unsalted butter and add salt myself for better control. If you want to use salted butter, read my salted vs unsalted butter post for the proper substitution.
- Sugar. We’re using regular granulated sugar here and NO corn syrup!
- Vanilla. Some toffees are made without vanilla extract, and I don’t understand why. Vanilla adds such a nice flavor to this (or any) toffee recipe, and I can’t imagine making it without it! We’ll be adding the vanilla after the toffee is removed from the heat to preserve its flavor (if added to soon it will simply evaporate out).
- Chocolate chips. This recipe is a rare instance where I actually prefer milk chocolate chips, but semi-sweet would work too.
- Almonds. I love adding nuts to my toffee, but if you want to make yours nut-free, you certainly can. If choose to add nuts, you can use whatever kind you like (toasted pecans would also be great!).
SAM’S TIP: This toffee recipe works best if you have all of your ingredients ready before you begin. Once your toffee reaches 305°F, it’s time to move. You won’t have time to go scrambling to your spice cabinet to measure out your vanilla, find that rogue measuring spoon in your kitchen drawer, line your pan with parchment, chop your almonds…you get the idea. Be prepared and set yourself up for success from the beginning. I also recommend reading through the whole recipe at least once and even watching the video before you begin.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Toffee
- Bring on the bubbles – Stir together butter, sugar, water, and salt over medium heat until the mixture boils. Use a wet pastry brush to sweep any sugar crystals back into the pot during this time.
- Cook the candy – Once boiling, attach a candy thermometer (don’t let it touch the bottom!) and keep stirring as the mixture turns golden. Remove from heat and add vanilla once the toffee reaches 305F.
- Assemble the layers – Pour the toffee into a parchment-lined pan scattered with almonds. Let this sit for 5 minutes, top it with chocolate chips, and cover with foil. After 5 more minutes, smooth the chocolate evenly over the top of the toffee and sprinkle on additional nuts and salt.
- Cool, crack, and enjoy! Let your toffee cool completely before cutting or breaking apart.
SAM’S TIP: While your mixture makes its way to a boil, you may notice some sugar crystallizing on the sides of the pan. Use a lightly dampened pastry brush to nudge these sugar crystals back down into the pan (demonstrated in the video below). You can stop doing this once your mixture comes to a boil.
SAM’S TIP: Do not try to speed up your toffee making process by turning up the heat! You you will risk burning your toffee and will have start all over again. Have patience!
Frequently Asked Questions
This usually happens when the toffee mixture is heated too quickly or at too high of a temperature. Make sure to use medium heat (or medium-low) and go SLOW! Have patience and don’t crank up the heat.
Store your toffee in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. It will keep this way for several weeks (which makes this toffee recipe perfect for gift giving!).
Some people will argue that they can make perfect toffee just fine without a candy thermometer. They may use the hard crack test to see if it’s done (drizzling a small bit of the candy into a cup of cold water), or they’ll just know it’s done by the color.
However, for most of us, a candy thermometer is a critical tool for making perfect candy. I highly recommend using one for this toffee recipe! It will come in handy with many other candy recipes, too, (like my peanut brittle or peanut butter fudge!).
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
- Line a 9×9 pan with parchment paper and scatter coarsely chopped almonds evenly over the bottom. Set aside.
- Combine butter, sugar, water, and salt in a medium-sized pot over low heat. Meanwhile measure out your vanilla extract and have it ready nearby.
- Stir ingredients frequently over medium heat. During this time (only before boiling), use a wet pastry brush to brush down the sides where any sugar may settle on the side of the pot to prevent sugar crystals.
- Once butter is melted, increase heat to medium and continue to stir frequently until mixture comes to a boil (this may take a while, have patience and do not turn up the heat or you will ruin your toffee).
- Once the mixture comes to a boil, attach your candy thermometer. Make sure that the point of the candy thermometer is not touching the bottom of your pan.
- Continue to stir occasionally, the mixture will slowly thicken and will turn a more yellow hue as it cooks, and cook to hard crack (305°F/151°C).
- Once toffee reaches 305°F/151°C, immediately remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract (careful, it bubbles and steams a bit).
- Pour mixture evenly into your prepared pan over the almonds. Allow to sit for 5 minutes and then sprinkle chocolate chips evenly overtop the mixture. Cover with foil and allow to sit another 5 minutes, then remove the foil and use a spatula to gently spread chocolate chips evenly over your toffee.
- Immediately sprinkle with additional finely chopped almonds and flaky sea salt, if desired. Allow to cool completely at room temperature before breaking and serving.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.