How to Make Toffee

This post was updated on September 3, 2014 to include new images and a recipe video.

How To Make Toffee

Merry Christmas!

I hope you are all having a fabulous holiday (if you celebrate Christmas, of course) and you are surrounded by loved ones and good memories. For this Saturday post, I thought I’d do something special.  And, what better way to do something special than to make homemade toffee?  Right?  I knew you would agree.

I’ve made homemade toffee several times, but I always seem to forget just how easy it is to make.  My guess would be, like me, a lot of you have passed on making toffee because it looked too difficult.  If this is the case, please read further.  I promise: you won’t regret it. Not only is making your own toffee cheap and easy to do, it’s actually fun and makes great gifts for the holiday season.  Hint.  Hint. I like my toffee with a little bit of dark chocolate and sliced almonds.  I know, I’m totally alone with this preference.  Heehee.

How To Make Toffee

I think you’ll be amazed at just how simple toffee is.  All you need is a stove, some simple ingredients, a deep pot and a candy thermometer.  You can find a candy thermometer at most stores that sell kitchen equipment.  They cost about $5 and are super helpful when making things like toffee and fudge.  You can certainly make toffee without the thermometer, but it is more tricky that way.

How to Make Toffee

In a large (tall), heavy-bottomed pan, heat the butter, sugar and salt over medium heat, stirring frequently until the butter is melted and the ingredients combine. Allow the mixture to slowly come to a boil. Stirring occasionally, boil the mixture over medium heat until the color changes to an amber color and the candy thermometer reads 285 degrees. Meanwhile, cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

How To Make Toffee - Cooking the sugar and butter

Once toffee has reached 285 degrees and is amber in color, carefully spread it over the parchment paper using a spatula. Try to spread it as evenly as possible, as this will effect the thickness of the toffee once it has cooled.

Sprinkle the chocolate morsels over the hot toffee and allow to set for a few minutes to melt. You will know they have melted when they lighten in color.

Gently spread the melted chocolate over the toffee as evenly as possible. I use a hard plastic spatula to do this. The chocolate should create a thin layer over the entire toffee.

How To Make Toffee - Spreading the chocolate

Sprinkle the almonds over the melted chocolate layer. Using a sheet of clean parchment paper or a large Ziploc bag, carefully and gently press the almonds into the chocolate. This step can get a bit messy, as the chocolate will try to stick to to your parchment paper, Ziploc bag and/or hands as you press down. Try to let this happen as little as possible. Be brave.

How To Make Toffee

Place the toffee into the refrigerator until solid. I usually allow at least an hour to be sure, though it does harden quickly. Once thoroughly chilled, carefully break into pieces by picking up ends of the toffee and bending. The toffee will do most of the work for you.

How To Make Toffee

Making your own toffee is super simple.  I top this homemade toffee with dark chocolate and sliced almonds, which makes an amazing flavor combination.  This homemade toffee recipe makes enough for snacking plus some to share as gifts.

Who doesn’t love homemade toffee?

Watch me make this super simple and delicious toffee in the video below.


How to Make Toffee (and Merry Christmas!)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Making your own toffee is super easy and incredibly delicious. Follow these simple steps to learn how to make toffee!
Author:
Recipe type: Easy
Ingredients
  • 2 cups unsalted butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
Instructions
  1. In a large (tall), heavy-bottomed pan, heat the butter, sugar and salt over medium heat, stirring frequently until the butter is melted and the ingredients combine. Allow the mixture to slowly come to a boil. Stirring occasionally, boil the mixture over medium heat until the color changes to an amber color and the candy thermometer reads 285 degrees.
  2. While toffee is cooking, cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper and prepare space in your refrigerator for it to be placed. Set aside for now.
  3. Once toffee has reached 285 degrees and is amber in color, carefully spread it over the parchment paper using a spatula. Try to spread it as evenly as possible, as this will affect the thickness of the toffee once it has cooled.
  4. Sprinkle the chocolate morsels over the hot toffee and allow to set for a few minutes to melt. You will know they have melted when they lighten in color. Gently spread the melted chocolate over the toffee as evenly as possible. I use a hard plastic spatula to do this. The chocolate should create a thin layer over the entire toffee.
  5. Sprinkle the almonds over the melted chocolate layer. Using a sheet of clean parchment paper or a large Ziploc bag, carefully and gently press the almonds into the chocolate. This step can get a bit messy, as the chocolate will try to stick to to your parchment paper, Ziploc bag and/or hands as you press down. Try to let this happen as little as possible. Be brave.
  6. Place the toffee into the refrigerator until solid. I usually allow at least an hour to be sure, though it does harden quickly. Once thoroughly chilled, carefully break into pieces by picking up ends of the toffee and bending. The toffee will do most of the work for you.
  7. For storage, I like to leave my toffee in the refrigerator to remain cold, though it can be moved to an airtight container for better storage.

Want more easy recipes?

If so, sign up now to receive a FREE copy of my eCookbook with 40 original ASPC recipes. Plus, get emails with even more easy recipes and cooking tips. Sign up now!

About the author: My name is Lacey and I’m so glad you’re here. I am a foodie, a photographer, a chef, and a project manager at a local tech start-up in Austin. But, most importantly, I am the mother of three adorable little kiddos (Jordan, Savannah and Hunter) and am madly in love with and married to my high school sweetheart, Dustin.

54 comments… add one

  1. NanaBread (Jeanne) December 25, 2010, 5:09 pm

    When did you sneak into my kitchen and take photos? I swear I just made toffee last week, and it looked exactly like yours! And it was delicious, too. Our ingredient list is a little different, but the outcome is identical. Toffee is a family holiday tradition at our house. It’s amazing how easy it is to make, and how well it turns out. Everyone should try this! Thanks for sharing your version. Merry Christmas! I hope your first in your new home was very special. -Jeanne

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef December 27, 2010, 10:38 pm

      Haha, Jeanne! I’d be interested to know what’s included in your ingredient list. Thank you, we had a wonderful Christmas in our new place. Take care!

      Reply
      1. Audra April 3, 2012, 7:44 pm

        Have you ever added almond extract to your toffee? I’m very interested to know if it adds anything to the candy…or takes away from the taste. How about the salt I keep seeing on chocolate in recipes; ever tried it on top of the toffee?

        Reply
      2. Gizmo April 12, 2013, 8:12 am

        My mother left me her recipes when she passed. She was a baker and candy maker for 58 years and had her own little business that always did well. The difference in her recipe is pecans – and once the finished product is done, she calls for a very light dusting of powdered sugar. IT IS ABSOLUTELY SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIELADOSIOUSLY GOOOOD! :o) I’ve been making candy for 27 years and I love watching people’s smiles when they taste what I’ve made. Be safe and God Bless all!

        Reply
        1. Lacey Baier October 17, 2014, 8:47 pm

          Ooh, I love the idea of adding some pecans and powdered sugar. Thank you for sharing, Gizmo :)

          Reply
  2. NanaBread (Jeanne) January 1, 2011, 9:31 pm

    Here’s my ingredient list:

    2 cups butter
    2 cups sugar
    1 cup almond slivers
    1/2 cup water
    2 Tbsp. light Karo syrup
    pkg. of semi-sweet chocolate chips
    1/2 cup toasted almond slices

    In my version, you bring the butter & sugar to a boil; boil for 5 minutes stirring constantly. Then add almond slivers, then water, then corn syrup (in that order) & stir constantly to 310F on a candy thermometer. Pour immediately into a sheet pan and spread to about 1/4″ thick. Allow to cool for 4-5 minutes, then sprinkle on the chips. Let them sit a few minutes to soften, then spread them until smooth & top with toasted almond slivers.

    The big difference is the water, Karo syrup, and the final temperature. Other than that, it comes out looking exactly like yours. I’ll try your recipe if you’ll try mine, then we can compare notes. I’ll need a little time, though. I just ate the end of the batch I made for Christmas. Maybe we can hold a toffee-off for Valentine’s Day?

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef January 1, 2011, 10:27 pm

      Jeanne, you have yourself a Valentine’s toffee-off date! Love the idea. I too am a bit sweetened-out after the recent holidays, but I look forward to trying your recipe in February. I am very intrigued by adding the almonds into the actual toffee mix too. Yay! :)

      Reply
  3. NanaBread January 2, 2011, 1:48 pm

    Done! This February, we shall have a toffee off. I’m putting it on my calendar today! This is going to be fun.

    Reply
  4. Frankie January 4, 2011, 11:51 am

    Oh yum! I’m completely obsessed with toffee. Knowing how to make it will not be helping my diet. :P

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef January 4, 2011, 10:11 pm

      Been there! I hope I have provided you with a recipe worth breaking your diet, Frankie! :)

      Reply
  5. Lauren February 21, 2011, 9:17 pm

    help ! I just tried to make this ,but the butter separated from the sugar and I could not get the butter to incorporate despite continuing to stir. How much should this mixture be stirred,and what is the texture of the mix ? Thanks for any help you can impart here.

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef February 21, 2011, 9:32 pm

      Oh no! Let’s see…had it yet reached 285 degrees and or being amber in color? If not, I would recommend just continuing to cook it until i does, stirring occasionally and at a slow boil. It can seem like this process takes a long time…Let me know if that helps. Good luck!

      Reply
      1. hope April 24, 2012, 7:12 pm

        thanks lacey @—

        Reply
  6. Lauren February 22, 2011, 10:49 am

    thanks for the speedy reply. I am going to try again , at some point , but will try a different ( taller )pot , and maybe a better candy thermometer. Your pictures are great, and do give a clue as to how the mixture should look. I neglected to mention that I used Baker’s sugar, which is finer in texture. Could that be part of the problem ?

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef February 22, 2011, 3:38 pm

      It is possible that, because the baker’s sugar has a finer grain than granulated sugar, you are actually using more than the recipe calls for. Next time, I’d definitely try the granulated sugar instead.

      Reply
  7. Lauren February 22, 2011, 8:03 pm

    Once I recover from the fact that I dumped two cups of butter down the drain I will try again and hope I will be victorious!!!! thanks again for responding.

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef February 22, 2011, 9:49 pm

      I can understand the heartbreak you must have suffered…I’m so sorry, Lauren. Once you get your nerve up again, I’d love to know how it goes!

      Reply
  8. NanaBread (Jeanne) February 23, 2011, 9:28 am

    Lacey & Lauren,
    When I make toffee, the butter and sugar DO separate in the beginning. It’s not until it reaches a vigorous boil and a higher temperature that it starts to combine again. Just keep stirring constantly and hang in there!

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef February 23, 2011, 1:16 pm

      Yes, very true … which is why I was wondering for how long Lauren had tried before she gave up. Thanks for the advice and help, Jeanne!

      Reply
  9. Lauren February 23, 2011, 2:52 pm

    I stirred until the temp reached 285 F , and then kept stirring when I realized the butter had separated. I know sugar burns very easily,but maybe I gave up too soon…….:0 Toffee is my favorite candy, and while I do not aspire to be a professional candy maker, I will keep trying until I get this right.

    Reply
  10. angela April 22, 2011, 8:18 am

    Hi can you tell me how to measure two cups using scales as i find using cups as a guide confusing and would rather use scales, thanks

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef April 23, 2011, 10:24 pm

      Hi Angela. I’m actually not very versed on converting cups to other types of measurement using a scale. I own a scale that I use for such things, which does tend to make things easier when I need to know how many ounces are in something. I just did a quick search on Google for conversion tables and found quite a few. I’d recommend checking them out to help you with your conversions. I hope that helps!

      Reply
  11. Jenny October 4, 2011, 10:48 am

    So did the toffee date go ahead? :D I must know!

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef October 11, 2011, 10:16 pm

      Ugh, Jenny. It never happened. Our calendars didn’t seem to cross paths for the toffee showdown.

      Reply
  12. Angie October 18, 2011, 6:20 am

    First attempt: Made this once, and took it out too soon. Fortunately, I checked up your pictures and saw what ‘amber’ was supposed to look like, so I rushed back, reboiled, added a teeny bit more sugar and waited… too long. It came out slightly burnt, which is awful because it looks so good but it’s impossible to swallow. Better luck next time? :-/

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef October 20, 2011, 1:47 pm

      Ugh…I’m sorry it didn’t turn out for you on the first attempt. I hope attempt #2 goes better!

      Reply
  13. Audra October 25, 2011, 7:52 pm

    Hi Lacey,
    Your recipe turned out beautifully for me!!
    How long will the toffee last in an air tight container? Put it in refrigerator? Any guidance is appreciated!!

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef October 31, 2011, 10:17 am

      I’ve had the toffee last a good two weeks (if you don’t eat it all by then!) in an air-tight container and in the fridge. The fridge will keep it nice and fresh and crisp :)

      Reply
  14. Mary October 28, 2011, 8:49 am

    Hi,Lacey
    I want to make a Banoffe Pie but all the recipes ask for 2 cans of condensed milk(to boil for a couple of hours) to make the toffee layer. I live in very south of Italy and nobody sells condensed milk. Do you have a recipe for creamy toffe by scratch? This one seams more like candy toffee(looks delicious!) PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!!

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef October 31, 2011, 10:36 am

      Hi Mary. I’m so sorry, but I don’t have a recipe for creamy toffee nor do I know how to make it. This one is definitely for hard toffee. I’d recommend searching for recipes on google or other recipe sharing sites. I wish I could help more. Good luck!

      Reply
  15. claire November 7, 2011, 4:02 am

    wow!! it works! thanks alot,had loads of diff recipes of ppl n the toffee did not set,it was always runny but this works and tastes great! i added brazil nuts to mine though yummmmmmmmy! lol
    cheers
    claire x

    Reply
  16. sarah December 9, 2011, 2:21 am

    i keep coming back to this page to make this toffee but havent done so yet, i cant get kosher salt is there something else i can you use instead please, i so want to make this today :)

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef December 20, 2011, 3:18 pm

      You can substitute some table salt or sea salt in for the kosher salt. Just use half the amount for table salt. Good luck!

      Reply
  17. Jen December 17, 2011, 1:30 pm

    I just made two batches of this with great success! Thank you so much for such an easy introduction to candy making. I made one batch with milk chocolate, and the other with bittersweet. I cannot wait to give it out next week at Christmas…which brings me to my question: what is the best way to store this for the week? is it ok just at room temp? your help would be appreciated. thank you!

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef December 20, 2011, 2:57 pm

      Hi Jen! I’d recommend keeping it in the refrigerator, but room temperature isn’t horrible either. Enjoy!

      Reply
  18. Krystal February 18, 2012, 11:07 am

    Does it usually take a while for it to turn amber? I feel like Ive been in the kitchen all morning.

    Reply
  19. John March 6, 2012, 6:11 am

    hello mam, can you be precise about the two cups of butter how much is it in grams.

    Reply
  20. Patty August 3, 2012, 12:16 am

    I just made this recipe. My toffee came out really greasy for some reason. When I poured it on a tray lined with parchment, it looked like it was swimming in clarified butter. Did I do something wrong?
    I ended up blotting it with a paper towel.

    Reply
  21. Lorenz August 14, 2012, 3:25 am

    Hello Ma’am, I tried to do this amazing recipe but it ended up as a disaster (not to offend you) it was probably my fault because i may have done a mistep but as i was checking through other websites, they needed white vinegar and it made me thought if it became a disaster because i didnt include vinegar. Please Help !

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef August 15, 2012, 1:33 pm

      No worries! Sometimes recipes don’t work out. Did you follow my recipe instructions exactly? It’s very important to let the sugar and butter reach the appropriate temperature. And my recipe does not include vinegar. Good luck!

      Reply
  22. Steven November 24, 2012, 6:46 pm

    Your toffee recipe was my first attempt at candy making, so let me say thank you for making it easy, fun, and tasty! In a holiday tin this will make a perfect gift for my neighbors and coworkers :-)

    Reply
  23. brik December 15, 2012, 6:06 pm

    What if you don’t have parchment paper? I have wax paper will that work?

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef December 15, 2012, 9:53 pm

      Wax paper should work just fine. I usually prefer parchment paper, but I don’t see why you’d have any trouble.

      Reply
  24. Dr.Yasien Sukar December 30, 2012, 2:33 am

    Dear Sir.
    I want to prouduse sepridaple liquid toffee to fell it in plastice cans and i want to bay batch cocker for this prouduct.
    can you help me in this project.

    Reply
  25. Kathy Cicciarelli January 12, 2013, 11:22 pm

    I had a separation problem the first time I tried to make toffee. I figured out it was because I stirred too vigoursly too long and didn’t let the toffee get to the right temperature. I trashed it, but tried again and has great success. My question is, how long can you keep the toffee in the refrigerator in a sealed container. I’d like to give it as Valentine gifts, and it’s Jan 12th and I don’t want to have to make it again, if possible. Thanks.

    Reply
  26. ella January 30, 2013, 8:13 pm

    Hey! i was just wondering how you would make this toffee without a candy thermometer? Do you do something different, or just wing it? Thanks !

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef February 2, 2013, 8:39 pm

      Hi Ella, as far as I know it’s pretty much winging it. You will want to watch for signs in the color and texture. Good luck!

      Reply
  27. Nika May 13, 2013, 9:33 pm

    Im 10 years old, but that does not mean i dont cook!

    half cup butter
    half cup chocalite
    Half cup sugar
    14 cupcake liners

    i make melted chocalite foundation spread the caramal. on top i make a little ball place it in the middle and sprinkle it up with german rock sugar
    THE END

    Reply
    1. Lacey Baier October 17, 2014, 8:47 pm

      That’s awesome, Nika. Thank you for sharing and keep on cooking!! :)

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Rate this recipe: