Toffee Making

by Donna
(Willis, TX)

I'm having toffee making troubles!

How do you make toffee without the butter separating?

How do you keep the toffee from becoming chewy and sticking to your teeth when it starts out crunchy?

Hi Donna,

Toffee making! Yum! I hope these answers will help your candy making adventure go a little more smoothly.

Toffee, chewy or crunchy?

Toffee is rather known for sticking to your teeth, I'm afraid. If yours is getting too sticky or chewy, you may not be heating it to the proper temperature.

If that's not the problem, but it gets more chewy over time, it may be absorbing more moisture, causing it to become extra chewy.

When making toffee, the butter can separate from the sugar for a number of reasons:

  • You didn't stir enough. Most toffee recipes call for constant stirring. If you don't keep the mixture moving, it can get too hot and the butter tends to separate.

  • Too hot and humid in the kitchen. If it's a hot and humid day, it's really not a good time for candy making. The humidity in the air may cause the butter to separate.

  • Rapid temperature changes. Start out melting your butter and sugar at a low/medium temperature. Don't raise the temperature abruptly. Using a heavy saucepan is safer because it conducts the heat better and more evenly than thin pan.

  • Use salted butter, rather than unsalted. If you use unsalted butter, add 1/4 tsp. of salt to help stabilize the mixture.

  • If your butter starts to separate while cooking, remove it from the heat and stir it continually until it blends back together again. Don't stir too fast. You may splash yourself with hot butter, and it can also cause more separation. Gradually return to heat, stirring constantly.

  • Another way to 'save'
    the toffee if the butter starts to separate is to add 1 Tbs. of very hot water to it, stirring it through. You can add an additional tablespoon or so if needed until it returns to a blended mixture. Don't add more than 1/4 cup of hot water in total.

This Toffee Recipe is supposed to be foolproof, if you want to give it a try, let me know what you think...


  • 1 1/2 cups chopped almonds
  • 1 cup of butter (salted)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 Tbs. light corn syrup
  • 3 Tbs. water
  • 8 semisweet chocolate squares (1 oz. each) - you could also use chocolate chips or Hershey's candy bars

  1. Place chopped almonds on a cookie sheet; toast in moderate oven (375 degrees F) 10 minutes, or until lightly golden.

  2. Combine butter, sugar, corn syrup and water in a medium-size heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring CONSTANTLY to 300 degrees F on candy thermometer. (A teaspoonful of syrup will separate into brittle threads when dropped in cold water.)

  3. Remove from heat; stir in 1 cup of the toasted almonds. Pour into a buttered 13x9x2" pan, spreading quickly and evenly; cool. Turn out onto wax paper.

  4. Melt chocolate in the top of a double boiler over hot water; remove from heat. Spread half the melted chocolate over top of candy; sprinkle with 1/4 cup nuts; let set for about 20 minutes; turn candy over and spread with remaining chocolate and sprinkle with remaining nuts. Let stand until set. Break into pieces.

Store chocolate toffee candy in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge if you live in a hot climate.

Hope this helps. Now you've got my mouth watering. I'm dying to make some toffee myself!


Comments for Toffee Making

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Dec 14, 2019
Dairy Free and It Worked! NEW
by: Tra

This was my third recipe try for English Toffee and
it worked! I had a problem with the other recipes with the butter separating. I stirred this one slowly, so that may have been part of the success. I used Earth Balance Organic margarine since I am allergic to dairy. I had a craving for English Toffee and now I am just waiting for it to cool. :)

Dec 11, 2016
Finally! Thank you NEW

I have been using my husbands aunts recipe for years and sometimes it's a hit and sometimes an epic fail. I tried hers twice this weekend and both were epic fails! I said screw it and I'm straying away. Found this recipe and to my surprise WOW! I almost gave up. Thank you!!

Dec 08, 2016
toffee! NEW
by: boomer

thank you for your recipe! it turned out just perfect!

Mar 22, 2016
did that and my toffee does not crunch right NEW

toffee is not supposed to be chewy, but snap, crunch, and then crumble as you chew, breaking down seamlessly--gritty yes, but ultimately disolving into sweet buttery bliss, and NOT sticking back together or to your teeth. Now: following your directions--including cooking up gradually at medium heat, stirring constantly, and using candy brush to keep the sides of pan clean, the Toffee produced had a totally garbage texture. At first chomps the toffee is too tough. Then as you continue to chew, rather than breaking down as I described above, this toffee became very sticky, sticking to teeth and back to itself, finally becomming a small, dense, quite tough and barely pliable clump, that when bitten feels quite capable of ripping your teeth off.

Dec 21, 2015
Burned sugar NEW
by: Hazel

I made this recipe once and it was fantastic! Tasted great, just the texture I wanted, no issues. So, I decided I would make another batch, but this time my temperature stayed at 250 for what seemed like forever. Finally, the temperature rose quickly towards 300, but by that point, the sugar had burned and the mixture was a dark brown. How could I prevent this from happening?

Dec 10, 2015
Separation of butter and sugar NEW
by: Brenda C

I had the problem until I figured out I had an electric stove that kept the burner at the same temperature by turning it off and on automatically while cooking. THAT back and forth was the problem. To fix this, I kept the burner at a temperature BETWEEN the fixed numbers and that kept the burner on all the time. This fixed the problem.

Dec 07, 2012
sugary toffee
by: Anonymous

i cooked my toffee but when it set it went sugary any reason why ?? thanks

Nov 28, 2012
Soft instead of Crunchy toffee
by: Anonymous

I am making Almond Toffee. Usually I have good luck with it but today only 4 out of 6 batches turned out. We have had 6-8 inches of snow lately, could the humidity be causing problems. It has cooked and looked good but a few batches are soft instead of crunchy.

May 25, 2012
Sticky Candy Apples
by: Angie


It sounds like the moisture in the air got to the candy making it sticky. I don't know of anything you can do now that the toffee is already on the apples. You'll just have to make the best of it, I think.

Candy apples are notoriously sticky, so I would imagine everyone is going to expect that to some degree. If they are sloppy sticky (like the syrup is runny) that's another matter and may not be worth salvaging.

May 25, 2012
sticky toffee
by: sam

I made my toffee apples and they where good and hard the way there meant to be, left them over night as it was late when i finished and got up to rape them and they are sticky, so not happy as that was the 5th time i had tryed and finly got it, is there something i can do to get the toffe hard again?

Jan 05, 2012
Toffee Separating
by: Angie

Hi Jenn,

I moved your question about separating toffee over here so you could join this discussion and hopefully find the help you need.

There's also another page here that talks about the chocolate separating from the toffee, so you can pop over there and join that discussion, too if you like.

Here's the link...
Why does the chocolate fall off of my homemade toffee?

Jan 05, 2012
How do I keep toffee from separating?
by: Jenn

How do I keep my toffee from separating? The butter/sugar mixture from the crackers, but especially the butter/sugar from the chocolate?

Jan 10, 2011
Toffee Receipe
by: Mark

I followed your receipe exactly. Toffee turned out great, crunchy and tasty. Only problem was getting it out of the buttered pan. Seeing the problem I was having in removing it from the pan, I melted the stated amount of chocolate and spread it over the toffee, then added chopped, toasted almonds to the top of the chocolate. After cooling, I tried again to remove the toffee but had to extract it from the pan in large pieces. Then, I turned the pieces over and applied remaining chocolate to other side of toffee pieces. Put all in freezer for 10 minutes. It's still the best tasting toffee I've ever made. Some friends asked if I used Heath Bars to make it! lol
Thanks for the receipe!

Dec 21, 2010
Toffee Separating
by: Angie

Have you tried the tip above regarding what to do if you see your toffee starting to separate?

***If your butter starts to separate while cooking, remove it from the heat and stir it continually until it blends back together again. Don't stir too fast. You may splash yourself with hot butter, and it can also cause more separation. Gradually return to heat, stirring constantly.

Maybe that will help.

Dec 21, 2010
trouble with toffee!
by: Anonymous

I have been trying to make toffee for days now. Every time I make it my sugar and butter separate. I tried your foolproof recipe in hopes that I could avoid this problem. My mixtures was fine until it hit 300 degrees, then it started to separate. Any suggestions of how to prevent this? Also, my mixture never changed colors. Any idea what I am doing wrong?

Dec 20, 2010
by: Anonymous

i have made my toffee receipe for years with good results---now for some reason I'm having problems having the sugar to disolve properly, it seems to be grainie and doesn't have the correct consistancy. Okay what am Idoing incorrectly ???

Dec 15, 2008
by: Donna

Thank you so much for your advice! I tried everything you suggested, although I didn't need the water, and used the recipe I've always used and if was perfect. I was ready to give it up, but now I can't seem to make enough!
Thanks again!

Dec 15, 2008
Water Fixes Toffee
by: Angie

Hi Sue,

I'm so glad to hear that you had success in your toffee making!

It's amazing that something as simple as hot water fixes toffee when it starts separating, isn't it?

I hope your family enjoys and appreciates your diligent efforts on their behalf. :-)


Dec 15, 2008
Thank you!
by: MiracleSue

I have been having problems with my toffee separating for years! I thought it was due to the humidity and would not make it when in rained. Well, now I live in Oregon and it always rains so I hit the internet looking for help. I used my same old recipe and took care to dissolve the sugar before it hit the boiling point and kept the heat low and the toffee moving. The first batch came out perfect, but the second batch separated a little so I added some water and to my amazement it went back together! Thank you so much for your advise, I know my friends and family thank you also!

Coos Bay, OR

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