Homemade Almond Roca


This Homemade Almond Roca is an easy English toffee with almonds, covered with dark chocolate. No candy thermometer required. Perfect for holiday gifts!

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

I have a severe weak spot for almond roca during the holiday season. I can resist fruitcake, all manner of Christmas cookies, puddings and mince pies.

But when it comes to almond roca, will power abandons me. (That will be an extra hundred situps for the next two weeks, please.)

Homemade Almond Roca

My mother’s friend Myke brought over a delicious batch a week ago, which lasted, um, an hour? A phone call with a rave review prompted her to bring us a second batch along with the recipe. Thanks Myke!

Homemade Almond Roca Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes

Use an inexpensive chocolate such as Hershey's. It has low cocoa butter content. If you use a premium chocolate with a high cocoa butter content, unless you temper the chocolate first (look up directions online), the cocoa butter may separate into white streaks as the melted chocolate cools.

You can use other kinds of nuts such as pecans or macadamia and white chocolate.

Do not attempt to make this on a humid or rainy day. Do not double the recipe, make one batch at a time.


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1/2 lb butter (2 sticks - NO substitutes!)
  • 1/2 lb. slivered almonds (2 cups)
  • 1/2 lb. bar of regular Hershey's dark chocolate (7 oz okay)


1 Melt butter with sugar, syrup and water in a pan (such as a large non-stick frying pan) on medium to medium-high temperature. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon.

When butter is melted, add the almonds.

2 Cook until the mixture turns a warm amber color, and the boiling sounds like a crackle: When mixture comes to a rolling boil, set your timer for a minimum of 10 minutes and keep stirring (no more than 15 minutes). The mixture will thicken and turn darker in color. The almonds will roast.

Keep stirring and cooking until you hear it crackle. If you don't cook it long enough it will not harden, so keep stirring and listen for the crackling sound.

Elise's note: I have found it very hard to distinguish between the boiling sound and the crackling sound in this recipe. A better guideline for me is by color. When the mixture turns a warm amber color, at about 11 or 12 minutes into the boiling, that's the time to pour it out. Wait too long and it will burn.

If you try to make this, please read all the comments listed below. It's actually trickier than one would think.

3 Pour mixture out onto a large cookie sheet: When the mixture crackles, pour the mixture out onto a large sheet pan or cookie sheet and spread it as thin as possible with a fork.

4 Spread chocolate over the top: While the almond mixture is still hot, break up the chocolate into chunks and distribute it over the almond mixture and let it melt. Spread it evenly on the top.

5 Cool to room temp: Let the almond roca cool to room temperature. When cool you can lift the whole thing off the pan and break into small pieces.

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The Cold Water Candy Test

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

134 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Sue

    I make Almond Roca every year, I want to try yours this year. I do use a candy thermometer, this gives me the same consistency so I know when it’s done. I cook mine to 310 degrees, hope this helps.

  2. Jennifer perrino

    I made this for the first time and it’s not as difficult as I thought. I was a bit intimidated after reading all the comments. It did help though. One thing that I’m not sure of is my Rocha did not turn out as hard as I thought it would, like the almond Rocha I’m used to.
    Everyone told me it was delicious.


  3. Goldie

    I just want to thank you for posting this recipe. I make several batches of it for Christmas every year and give it away to our really good customers and friends. People rave about it and always ask for the recipe. Thanks also for the extra cooking tips – they were really helpful and took the scariness out of making candy.

  4. carolina p

    i make this for christmas every year along with cookies to give as gifts…this roca steals the show every time. don’t be intimidated by this recipe, candy-making requires familiarity but it is simple magic really!
    follow elise’s instructions – don’t do this on a humid day and don’t double quantities; but do use a heavy bottomed pot/pan, and do use a candy-thermometer.
    i use whole raw almonds with the skin, and i toast them a bit first in the oven, adding them in towards the end of the cooking time for the caramel. i use a chopped bar of bittersweet chocolate for the top…absolutely stellar!
    if it is a cold day – you can pop the pan outside to cool rapidly – i store mine in the fridge.
    happy new year elise and to all of you as well!

  5. Tasha

    Well, I have made 5 batches of Almond Roca over the past week, and only 1 has actually worked. The one that turned out was beautiful but as I think I know what went wrong with the other 4, I thought I would give everyone the benefit of knowing the mistakes before they are made…
    1. This one burnt as I had the element on too high. There was only a small burnt patch at the bottom on the pan once I rinsed it out but it was enough to ruin the flavour of the whole batch. I thought it smelled burnt but it was my very first batch so didn’t know what to expect. If it smells burnt, it is!
    2. Butter separation: this one happened midway through the cooking and nothing could bring it back together. After lots of reading on the Internet, I think I was over stirring as I was worried about it burning (first batch).
    3. Fudge consistency: well, I just didn’t cook this one enough. I had made one perfect batch without a candy thermometer so I thought I could do it by sight and smell alone…nope. The toffee never got that ‘snap’ and the texture was too grainy. Buy a candy thermometer! I have since bought one for $6 at the grocery store.
    4. Butter separation…again! This time I was busy unwrapping Hershey kisses as I ran out of the chocolate chips so I was not watching the butter melt. When I added the sugar, the butter was too hot and the shock immediately made it separate. I took it off the heat and whisked it back together (or so I thought?) and made the toffee with the added almonds. When I added it to the pan to cool, it separated again. I am not sure if the pan was perhaps too cold and the shock did it again but either way, the batch didn’t work out well.

    Good luck, when it works out, it is worth the work!

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