Full of buttery caramel, luscious chocolate, and crunchy nuts, this Classic English Toffee recipe is perfect for the winter holidays. With minimal ingredients, you can have this beloved candy ready to join a cookie platter on the dessert table or package up as a homemade edible gift for friends and neighbors.
You’ll love this easy no-bake recipe that layers hot homemade toffee, melted chocolate, and chopped pecans into an irresistible and decadent treat that’s crisp and rich. I love this recipe because it allows for variations with the chocolate as well as the nuts and other toppings. Make a batch of this classic candy soon!
Butter – use salted butter for the extra flavor
Sugar – use white granulated
Water – is needed to help the toffee mixture come together
Semisweet Chocolate Chips – you can also use milk chocolate for a sweeter flavor or dark chocolate for a less sweet taste
Pecan Pieces – for the topping
How To Make Classic English Toffee
Note: this is a summary of the steps. For complete instructions, see the recipe card down below.
STEP 1: Line an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 pan with parchment paper and set aside.
STEP 2: Make the toffee mixture in a heavy-bottomed saucepan by combining the butter, sugar, and water until melted. Once bubbling, add the candy thermometer to the saucepan and continue cooking until the temperature reaches 300 degrees F.
STEP 3: Turn off the heat and using a whisk, briskly whisk the mixture until it all comes together and is a light amber color.
STEP 4: Pour the mixture into your prepared pan and let it sit for 3 hours to set or slide it in the refrigerator to harden for 1 hour.
STEP 5: Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave then pour over the hardened toffee and spread into an even layer.
STEP 6: Immediately sprinkle the top with the pecan pieces.
STEP 7: Set aside to let the chocolate harden completely before removing it from the pan and cutting or breaking it into bite-size pieces.
Do I Need To Use A Candy Thermometer?
For this recipe, yes. The toffee base differs from a softer caramel base in that toffee needs to come to 300 degrees F, which is the temperature that allows the mixture to crack once it hardens. Using a candy thermometer will help you know when that temperature is reached.
Can I Use A Different Variety Of Nuts?
Absolutely! Here, I’ve used chopped pecans, but try walnuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews, or even peanuts for a different flavor. Don’t like nuts or have an allergy? Just leave them out altogether!
Can I Use A Different Chocolate?
Yes. Here, I’ve used semi-sweet chocolate chips, but if you would like your toffee sweeter, use milk chocolate chips. Don’t want it too sweet? Opt for dark chocolate chips. And, for something completely different, try white chocolate chips!
While this recipe calls for sprinkling the top with pecan pieces, you can use mixed nuts, chopped peppermint candies, festive sprinkles, or flaky sea salt.
Can I Make Just The Toffee Base?
Sure! This is a great idea for those who want just the buttery flavor and snappy crunch of toffee. Make it according to the recipe directions and pour it into the prepared pan. Let it harden completely before cutting. Oh, it’s also a great base if you want to just drizzle some melted chocolate over the top for a little tasty decoration.
What’s The Best Way To Cut Classic English Toffee?
Once the candy has completely set and hardened, you can use a sharp knife to cut the toffee into random pieces. Once you begin cutting, the base layer of toffee will usually crack and make odd sizes and shapes on its own. You can also just break the toffee into large pieces using your hands.
Store leftovers at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. You can also freeze leftovers for up to 6 months.
More Easy Candy Recipes
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Classic English Toffee is a delicious treat popular during the holidays and all year round. It's a delicious treat that only has 5 ingredients and creates a crunchy buttery toffee topped with chocolate and pecans. This is perfect to make and give out as gifts.
- 1 cup salted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1⁄4 cup water
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup pecan pieces
- Gather all of the ingredients.
- Line an 8x8 or 9x9 pan with parchment paper.
- In heavy heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the butter, sugar, and water.
- Stir over medium-low heat until everything is melted and combined.
- Once it comes up to a bubble add in your candy thermometer.
- Watch the candy closely and wait for it to come to 300 degrees, the hard crack stage on your thermometer.
- Turn off the heat and using a whisk briskly (and carefully) whisk the mixture until it all comes together and is a light amber color.
- Pour the mixture into your prepared pan.
- Let set for 3 hours to set or pop in the fridge to harden for 1 hour.
- In the microwave in 30-second intervals melt the chocolate and pour over the toffee and spread into an even layer.
- Immediately sprinkle with the pecans.
- Set aside to let the chocolate harden.
- Remove from the pan and carefully use a knife to break into bite-size pieces.
Tips and Tricks
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 months or freeze for 6 months. Will last at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
- You can use any crushed nut you like, or skip the nuts and just use sprinkles.
- You can use white almond bark as well.
- Toffee can be a bit finicky but if you whisk and whisk at the end you will see it change and come together and that is what you want.
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Amount Per Serving Calories 300Total Fat 23gSaturated Fat 13gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 41mgSodium 124mgCarbohydrates 27gFiber 1gSugar 25gProtein 1g