I don’t know why I don’t venture into candy making territory more often. Sure, sometimes it can be tricky, but a lot of it is actually super easy. Like this English toffee! It requires just a few simple ingredients and can be made in about fifteen minutes.

Toffee is essentially butter and sugar that is cooked until it turns a nice amber color and hardens upon cooling. You will need a candy thermometer, but don’t let that scare you. I’m telling you, you can do it. After you’ve made the toffee, spread it with a thin layer of melted chocolate and a sprinkling of pecans or almonds to finish off this addictive treat.


It’s almost December, the time when goodies aplenty are exchanged between friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers. Cookies are a no-brainer, and fudge is fun, but why not consider adding some homemade candy to your next round of treats? English toffee is sure to please and impress.


I’m not kidding about this stuff being addictive. If you aren’t planning on giving it away, watch out! It’s of course perfect all by itself, but would also be great stirred into ice cream, or crumbled on top of cakes and cupcakes. I even added some to a slice of pumpkin pie with whipped cream and loved the combined flavors and textures.

Give it away or keep it all for yourself, but make sure you try homemade English toffee this holiday season. You’ll love it!


If you like this recipe, you may enjoy these other candy recipes:

Divinity by Completely Delicious
Vanilla Bean Caramels by Annie’s Eats
Chocolate Truffles with Sea Salt by Completely Delicious
Rum Balls by My Baking Addiction
Chocolate, Caramel, and Walnut Turtles by The Comfort of Cooking

English Toffee
Caramel, chopped pecans, and chocolate come together in this addictive candy.
Yield: Approximately 2 pounds of candy.
  • 2 cups (452 grams, 1 pound) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups (445 grams) sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon (1 gram) salt
  • 2 cups (340 grams, 1 bag) semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
  • 1 cup (113 grams) pecans, finely chopped
  1. Line a rimmed 13×17 sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. In a heavy bottom saucepan, melt the butter over medium low heat. Stir in the sugar. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Insert a candy thermometer and cook the mixture until it reaches 285 degrees F, stirring occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring occasionally.
  4. Once the butter and sugar mixture reaches temperature, immediately pour into the lined sheet pan. Let set for a few minutes, then spread the melted chocolate on top. Immediately sprinkle with the chopped pecans.
  5. Let set for several hours until firm, the toffee will set up quickly, the chocolate will take a while. Break the candy into small pieces. Store in an airtight container at room temperature, candy should keep for several days.
Recipe adapted from All Recipes.

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26 Responses to English Toffee

  1. Kalyn says:

    This is my favorite Christmas candy ever, and something my mom would make every year. I don’t think there is anything that could possibly taste better!

  2. Kelli says:

    I remember downing this toffee as a kid without a care in the world…my how that all changes when you become an adult and are aware of calories, fat & sugar! I still look forward to it, but in more reasonable portions!

  3. My mother in law would love me forever if I made this for her!! Thank you for securing that relationship. I know what I’ll be giving her for Christmas this year!!

  4. Oooh I need some of this!! What a great goodie to give this Christmas!

  5. Katie says:

    This looks AMAZING :)

  6. Anna says:

    I am hesitant since the procedures require expertise. The use of additional gadgets like the candy thermometer, etc. I am afraid it may not harden or turn out really sticky…I guess if I stick to the procedures and follow everything correctly, it may just turn out okay. The first time is the hardest but, the most rewarding. This is a must try! Thanks for the post!

    • Annalise says:

      I know that using a candy thermometer makes it sound scary, but it actually makes it much easier. You just insert the thermometer into the sugar and butter, and when it reaches 285, pour it out onto a prepared pan. All you have to know how to do is read a thermometer. It will work. Promise!

  7. Kelley says:

    I will echo many of the responses above while saying I love English toffee. A friend of mine makes it every year for our annual cookie swap. Can’t wait for some!

  8. The ease of this recipe is both a blessing and a curse. Blessing – – perfect for any holiday basket. Curse – – sooooooo easy for me to over indulge. GREAT recipe :)

  9. Rebecca says:

    What size pan did you use? I don’t want my toffee to be too thin or too thick. Thanks!

  10. I believe I would willingly eat a whole tray of this. Love how simple it is to make.

  11. Sweet Sue says:

    I love English toffee too, and have made it for many years, so I would like to share a shortcut of mine that you and your followers might find helpful. Instead of melting the chocolate chips, pour them onto the top of the hot toffee as soon as you put it into the sheet pan. The heat of the toffee will soften the chips in a minute or so, and you can spread them out over the surface. No messy double boiler to clean up, and no chocolate wasted! You can also use 3-4 plain standard size Hershey bars in the same way as you’d use choc. chips. This makes making toffee even easier than it already is. It also freezes beautifully. Just wrap in an airtight container and freeze. (I mark the container “chicken gizzards”, then I know the toffee will still be there when I want to take it out and use it!)

    • Annalise says:

      Thanks for sharing the tip! I’ve used that trick before, and it definitely saves on dishes and time (and who doesn’t love that?). But I find it a little harder to get a clean, uniform, and thin layer of toffee underneath a thin layer of chocolate. I find the finished product to be a little messier that way, which is why I melted the chocolate first. But it is a good option, so thanks for sharing!

  12. Alyssa says:

    I just made this and you are not kidding about it being addictive. It’s like crack to me. My favorite candy bars are Skors, so I should’ve figured. I need to give it away stat.

  13. Laura says:

    This looks awesome. I may be blind, but I don’t see when the salt I added. Do I add it to the butter as it’s melting?

  14. Joanne says:

    I made this exact recipe for more than 30 years. Then one year I could not make it any more. No matter what I do the butter and sugar separate, making a brown greasy mess. My children, who are now grown keep asking for it, as does the lady who runs the candy table at the church fair. I keep trying. What could have changed? What am I doing wrong?

  15. Niki says:

    Thanks so much for this recipe…absolutely DELICIOUS! I’m not much of a candy maker but this was pretty simple. I wish the chocolate would set up a little harder. I’m curious if a little chocolate almond bark mixed with the chocolate would help with that.

  16. Gabriella says:

    Can I use margarine instead of butter to keep it non-dairy?

  17. Julie says:

    I can’t wait to try this. I see salt in your list of ingredients. When do you use it?

  18. Sonia says:

    Just wanted to say your pictures are great, all over the site :). Thanks
    for the recipe

  19. Karin says:

    Ohhhh YUM! I made this quite a few times after learning the recipe in Girl Scouts (10 yr olds with scalding sugar- so lucky it was the 80s!). Decided to try again as a grow up, and so glad to have your recipe. Exactly what I was looking for. I did heat it to just over 300 for a lovely Hard Crack. Can’t wait to share the finished product so I don’t eat it all.

  20. Gail says:

    I use this recipe and don’t use a candy thermometer.

    Just cook over heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is the color of peanut butter, then watch the edges of the batter for “smoke”. Yes. smoke not steam. The toffee will start to brown or “burn” just a touch around the edges of the sauce pan. That’s the time to remove and pour…immediately.

  21. Debbie says:

    Amazing! Time in the refrigerator finally set the chocolate but this turned out too good. Thanks for the easy making

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