Why is my homemade toffee gritty?

by Cheryl
(Waxahachie,Texas USA)

This is my question:

Why is my homemade toffee so gritty?

Hi Cheryl,

Toffee gets gritty because the sugar has crystallized.

Crystallization usually happens because you either let the temperature get too hot, or sugar crystals formed on the sides of the pan while you were cooking and then spread through the candy mixture like a chain reaction.

There are a couple of things you can do to try to eliminate this problem in the future.

First of all, be sure your candy thermometer is accurate. Test it first by bringing water to boil and then place the end of the thermometer in the boiling water. The temperature should read exactly 212° F.

If the thermometer is off, you need to allow for that by raising or lowing your cooking temperature.

While stirring your toffee mixture, stir steady and gently, trying not to splash the mixture up the sides of the pan. If some does get up there (it usually happens), just take a pastry brush and dip it in hot water, washing the sugar back down into the rest of the mixture.

Don't worry about the water. It will evaporate back out again.

Finally, I see you are in Texas. If it's a humid day, candy making can be really difficult. Humidity has a habit of causing all kinds of candy making problems.

If you are making candy when it's humid, try letting the mixture get 2 degrees hotter than called for to compensate for the humidity. Just be careful not to burn it!

Hope that helps you get some success in making homemade toffee that isn't gritty.


Comments for Why is my homemade toffee gritty?

Click here to add your own comments

Dec 01, 2011
Why is my English Toffee crumbly? NEW
by: Julie

It appeared to be okay while cooking it, though when I went to spread it on the cookie sheet to cool, it did not spread out smoothly (it was difficult to spread). After it cooled, I discovered it was a crumbly mess. It was grainy and soft.

Dec 01, 2011
Toffee Gets Grainy and Crumbly NEW
by: Angie

Hi Julie,

I moved your question over here so that you can read the explanation above about how the sugar can crystallize when making toffee causing it to get grainy like you described.

Hope that by reading that explanation you'll be able to make a delicious batch of English Toffee successfully!

Dec 22, 2011
Crumbly toffee NEW
by: Anonymous

Drives me insane. It's like sand than the butter seems to not mix in ! It was a mess but we ate it anyway.

Dec 24, 2011
Under Cooked NEW
by: Anonymous

Think my problem was under cooking it.. Toffee is turning out good again!

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Toffee.

Search our Site:

Sign up for our FREE newsletter,
Charmingly Chocolate

E-mail Address

First Name


Don't worry -- your e-mail address is totally secure. I promise to use it only to send you Charmingly Chocolate.

Some of our delicious Site Sponsors

best gourmet chocolate gifts

chocolate club