This English toffee recipe comes from a treasured church cookbook that my Grandpan put together with her friends back in the 70s! It’s crisp, buttery and topped with milk chocolate and salted almonds. Perfect for your holiday parties or cookie boxes!

You also might like these recipes from the same church cookbook for caramels, nougat, peanut brittle and pecan log candy.

English toffee stacked on a countertop


 

English toffee is a classic holiday treat for a reason. It’s hard to be the buttery crunch of toffee paired with rich chocolate and salted nuts!

Here is the original recipe from my Grandma’s friend, Elda Peck:

photo of english toffee recipe from old cookbook

This is a classic toffee recipe made with simple ingredients, but I’ve added a few more details and tips to the instructions (besides “cook to a nice color “-ha!) to help it turn out every time.

If you’re not experienced with making homemade candy recipes, I have good news. You can totally still have success with this English toffee! Just read the instructions thoroughly, make sure you have all of the necessary equipment (like a candy thermometer and heavy-bottomed saucepan), and you’ll be ready to roll.

Why I Love This Recipe

  • Buttery caramel flavor: Crunchy toffee, sweet milk chocolate, and crunchy, salted nuts all come together for one irresistible homemade candy.
  • Simple ingredients: You can see from the original recipe above that this recipe is made with very simple ingredients! I bet you already have all the ingredients on hand.
  • Classic vintage recipe: Coming from an old church cookbook, this recipe is as old-fashioned as it gets.
  • Great for holiday gifting: This recipe makes a large batch so it’s great as to give your neighbors, co-workers, and loved ones during the holidays!

Ingredients You’ll Need

English toffee ingredients on a countertop
  • Sugar: This ingredient is the base of our caramel. It adds sweetness and, when cooked, creates a classic toasted caramel flavor. I love Domino fine granulated sugar for this recipe and all of my baking, but any granulated white sugar will work! (Brown sugar will not work for this recipe.)
  • Chocolate: Adding chocolate chips to the toffee is optional, but the hint of sweet milk chocolate with the caramel and nuts is delicious! I’m using milk chocolate chips, but pretty much any chocolate will work, including dark chocolate, white chocolate, or semi-sweet chocolate chips. Be sure to use high-quality chocolate chips for this recipe, like Guittard. It makes all the difference in the taste of this English toffee!
  • Water: Water adds a bit of extra moisture to help soften the caramel and prevent it from separating.
  • Almonds: I like using roasted and salted almonds that are freshly and finely chopped. They’re so much fresher and more flavorful! I don’t recommend using raw almonds for this English toffee.
  • Butter: Butter adds richness and delicious flavor to the toffee. Make sure to use a good, high-quality butter in this recipe — it really makes a difference! Since we’re using salted nuts for the topping, I like to use unsalted butter for this English toffee recipe.

How to Make English Toffee

english toffee nuts and sugar syrup being made
  • Line a 9×13” pan with parchment paper or foil and spray it lightly with nonstick cooking spray. 
  • Sprinkle 1 cup of chopped almonds evenly over the pan. 
  • Add the granulated sugar and water to a large heavy heavy-bottomed large saucepan set over medium heat. Cook the sugar, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, just until it is beginning to bubble around the edges. 
cooking toffee to correct temperature
  • Add the butter to the sugar mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until the butter has fully melted. 
  • Still stirring constantly, bring the caramel to a boil and cook until just until it is golden brown and reaches exactly 300F on a candy thermometer. Be patient– this should take about 10 minutes over medium heat.  
english toffee over nuts and with chocolate
  • Once the toffee reaches the hard crack stage, immediately remove it from the heat and pour it evenly over the chopped almonds in the prepared pan, cookie sheet, or baking sheet. Spread the caramel out with an offset spatula if needed. 
  • Allow the toffee to sit for five minutes, or just until it has hardened, before sprinkling over the chocolate chips. Then let the chocolate chips sit for 1-2 minutes, or until they are warm and melted.
sprinkling nuts over toffee and breaking it into pieces
  • Spread the milk chocolate evenly over the English toffee caramel and sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of chopped almonds on top. If the chocolate chips don’t completely melt, just microwave the toffee for 30 seconds to warm them up. 
  • Place the English toffee in the fridge until the chocolate has set– about 1 hour. Then break it into pieces and enjoy. Garnish with a sprinkle of flakey sea salt, if desired. 

Storage Instructions

Store any leftover English toffee in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days or in the fridge for up to 10 days.

English toffee in a baking sheet with parchment paper

English Toffee Recipe Tips

  • Roasted, salted almonds are the most common nuts used for English toffee. But you could use pretty much any nut that you like, including pecans or walnuts.
  • Be sure to use high-quality chocolate chips for this recipe, like Guittard. It makes all the difference in making perfect English toffee!
  • Remember to stir constantly while the English toffee caramel is boiling and rising in temperature. This ensures even melting and smooth texture.
  • I love making this English toffee well ahead of the busy holidays. It makes a great addition to cookie boxes or gifting on its own!
English toffee in a baking sheet with parchment paper
English toffee stacked on a countertop
5 from 5 votes

English Toffee

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 12 large pieces
This English toffee starts with a crisp, buttery caramel that is topped with a thin layer of milk chocolate and crunchy, salted almonds. It's the perfect make-ahead treat for your holiday cookie boxes!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups finely chopped roasted and salted almonds divided
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup butter, cut into tablespoons (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips

Instructions 

  • Line a 9×13” pan with parchment paper or foil and spray it lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Sprinkle 1 cup of chopped almonds evenly over the pan.
  • Add the granulated sugar and water to a large heavy bottomed saucepan set over medium heat. Cook the sugar, stirring occasionally, just until it is beginning to bubble around the edges.
  • Then add the butter. Cook, stirring constantly, until the butter has fully melted.
  • Still stirring constantly, bring the caramel to a boil and cook until just until it is golden brown and reaches exactly 300F on a candy thermometer. Be patient– this should take about 10 minutes over medium heat.
  • Immediately remove the caramel from the heat and pour it evenly over the chopped almonds in the prepared pan. Spread the caramel out with an offset spatula if needed.
  • Allow the toffee to sit for five minutes, or just until it has hardened, before sprinkling over the chocolate chips. Then let the chocolate chips sit for 1-2 minutes, or until they are warm and melted. Spread the milk chocolate evenly over the caramel and sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of chopped almonds on top. If the chocolate chips don’t completely melt, just microwave the toffee for 30 seconds to warm them up.
  • Place the toffee in the fridge until the chocolate has set– about 1 hour. Then break it into pieces and enjoy. Garnish with a sprinkle of flakey sea salt, if desired.

Notes

  • Roasted, salted almonds are the most common nuts used for English toffee. But you could use pretty much any nut that you like, including pecans or walnuts.
  • Be sure to use high-quality chocolate chips for this recipe, like Guittard. It makes all the difference in the taste of this English toffee!
  • Remember to stir constantly while the toffee is boiling and rising in temperature. This ensures even melting and smooth texture.
  • I love making this English toffee well ahead of the busy holidays. It makes a great addition to cookie boxes or gifting on its own!

Nutrition

Calories: 413kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 132mg | Potassium: 180mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 507IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 1mg

FAQs

What is the difference between English toffee and regular toffee?

English toffee and “regular” or American toffee are very similar and the terms are often used interchangeably. However, the most traditional English toffee is made without nuts, while most American toffee is made with a layer of almonds on top.

What is English toffee made of?

English toffee is made from just a few simple ingredients, including sugar, water, and butter. The warm toffee mixture is then covered with a layer of chocolate chips, which are spread into a thin layer as they melt. Sometimes the chocolate layer is topped with almonds or other nuts.

Why do you need salted butter for toffee?

You can use either salted or unsalted butter for English toffee — it depends on your preferences. Unsalted butter gives the toffee a sweeter flavor that pairs well with the layer of milk chocolate. However, some people prefer the contrast of salted butter with the sweet chocolate and delicious toffee.

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Hi, I’m Erin!

BS Food Science,

MS Nutrition

I believe you can make amazing, gluten-free food with everyday ingredients that everyone will enjoy. I’m here to share my tried-and-true recipes with you!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    We love english toffee at our house!! It’s a great filler for goodie plates, too. It’s one of those treats that everyone loves getting.

  2. 5 stars
    Really amazing English toffee.i like it very much.
    So, I will try to make it home.in last I appreciate your kind efferts.so good so nice
    Thanks alot.

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