English Toffee


Homemade English toffee! Top this crunchy, caramel toffee with dark chocolate and toasted nuts. It's so easy to make and keeps for weeks. Ships well, too!

Photography Credit: Irvin Lin

Toffee is so dangerous for me to have around the house. No one should eat as much as I do when it’s available.

But for special occasions, I’m more than happy to bust out the sugar and whip up a batch!

This nutty, chocolate-covered toffee is the quintessential holiday treat, perfect for nibbling at the end of a big meal or gifting to a friend.

Video! How to Make English Toffee

What is English Toffee?

I make this classic English toffee with sugar, butter and touch of salt. A thin layer of chocolate over the toffee makes it even more of a treat, plus there are nuts in both the toffee itself and sprinkled over top.

Ideas for Swaps and Substitutions!

I use chopped toasted pecans in my toffee, but feel free to omit the nuts or substitute another nut in its place.

I also opt for dark chocolate chips because toffee is pretty sweet and the dark chocolate helps balance that sweetness. But feel free to use whatever chocolate you like to eat. White, milk or dark chocolate are all good!

Homemade English Toffee Chunks on Table

Tips For Toffee Perfection

Making toffee isn’t very difficult, but it can feel scary if you don’t do it very often. Here are a few tips to make it easier:

1. Get a decent candy thermometer.

Yes, you can go by the color of the caramel to gauge when it’s ready, or you can drop a spoonful in a glass of water to see if it forms a ball. But why fuss with either option when a candy thermometer costs $8 and is such a better way to guarantee a successful, delicious batch of toffee?

If you’ve never used a candy thermometer before, this recipe is a good place to start. It’s fairly forgiving and doesn’t require many steps. Just heat the sugar, butter, and corn syrup to between 295F to 305F (hard crack stage), and you’re done.

2. When it comes to toffee, corn syrup is your friend.

The corn syrup in this recipe helps prevent the sugar from crystallizing. This gives you one more layer of insurance when making this toffee.

3. Still nervous? Place a bowl of ice water near the stove

This way, if you do accidentally spill some hot caramel on your hand, you can immediately plunge your hand into the water.

Please don’t let any of this scare you away from making toffee. It’s significantly easier than you might think, and the reward for your bravery will be all the English toffee you can eat!

Homemade English Toffee

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English Toffee Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Cooling time: 1 hour
  • Yield: About 40 pieces

You can substitute any favorite nut or chocolate in this recipe.


  • 1 cup (130g) pecans
  • 1 1/2 cups (340g or 3 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups (400g) white granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups (10 to 12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Special equipment:



1 Toast the pecans: Place the pecans in a medium skillet and turn the heat to medium high. Dry-toast the pecans (without oil), stirring frequently, until they start to brown and smell nutty. Remove from heat and let cool.

2 Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with aluminum foil. Roughly chop the cooled pecans. Sprinkle half of the chopped pecans in the bottom of the pan evenly. Set aside the remaining pecans for sprinkling over top.

Homemade English Toffee - Add the bottom layer of nuts

3 Make the toffee: Place the butter, sugar, corn syrup and salt in a large saucepan. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan; make sure the tip is submerged in the ingredients but doesn't touch the bottom of the pan.

Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the butter has melted. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has melted and the mixture has turned golden brown. The toffee is ready when it reaches 295F to 305F (hard crack stage) on the candy thermometer. Total cooking time should be 10 to 15 minutes.

4 Pour the toffee over the chopped pecans in the baking pan. Spread the toffee evenly over the bottom of the pan with a heatproof spatula and tap the pan a few times to force any air bubbles to pop.

Homemade English Toffee - Add the toffee

5 Let the toffee cool for 2 to 3 minutes, then sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over top. Wait another 3 minutes, until the chips look softened and partially melted from the residual heat of the toffee. Use an offset spatula or heatproof spatula to spread the melted chocolate evenly over the top of the toffee.

Homemade English Toffee - Sprinkle the chocolate chips over top Homemade English Toffee - Spread the melted chocolate over the toffee

6 Sprinkle the remaining chopped pecans over the chocolate. Carefully press the pecans into the chocolate with the palms of your hands.

Homemade English Toffee - Sprinkle the top with nuts

7 Let cool to room temperature (about an hour) then move it to the fridge to cool overnight.

8 Once cooled, pull the toffee up directly out of the pan with the aluminum foil and then peel the foil off. Coarsely chop or break the toffee into small pieces pieces.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

Homemade English Toffee

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Irvin Lin

Irvin Lin is an IACP award-winning photographer, food writer and recipe developer, blue-ribbon baker, public speaker, and occasional social media consultant. His blog is Eat the Love and his first cookbook is Marbled, Swirled and Layered.

More from Irvin

26 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. amelia

    These sound amazing! I think I’ll try using the Reynold’s Nonstick Foil & see how it goes

  2. Jackie

    You can use parchment paper instead of foil. Toffee slides right off! Great recipe!

  3. Jay

    I made this for a potluck. Very easy and tasty. EXCEPT. The chocolate layer separated from the toffee when I pulled it out of the pan and broke it up. The only changes I made were to use finely chopped chocolate, instead of chocolate chips, and I spread the chocolate on top when the toffee had cooled to around 105 degrees, about thirty minutes after pouring it into the pan, since I was afraid the hot toffee would burn the chocolate.


    Show Replies (1)
  4. Tom

    I use an old double metal ice cube tray. Pour it into the tray and after the final step insert the dividers and let it harden. Pull up the handles, it loosens the toffee and you have all same size pieces. It works great !!!

  5. Thomas

    Got it right on the first try. Only seven hundred feet above sea level in Chicago. Nothing was unusual. As a rookie of candy making I can’t stress more about taking your time to heat the mixture. Plus reading everyone’s responses helped lead to a good outcome. Thanks y’all.


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