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?

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Dec 28, 2017
Probably can't be fixed if... NEW
by: Angie

Hi Bea
I doubt that you will be able to fix the toffee if you have already added the chocolate and nuts.

I suppose that if it was completely inedible you could give it a try since you wouldn't have anything to lose.

I would maybe just try putting it in the oven to reheat and see if it helps but I think it would be a long shot.

Dec 26, 2017
gritty English toffee NEW
by: Bea

You didn't ANSWER the question? Is this a repairable problem?
Can we recook it even tho the chocolate and the nuts are in it.
It is not pleasant to eat but it is hugely expensive to make and I hate to throw it away if re-cooking will FIX IT - at least make it more palatable and taste the way it should.

Nov 20, 2017
Gritty toffee NEW
by: Donna

Can I re cook the toffee that is gritty?

Dec 24, 2011
Under Cooked NEW
by: Anonymous

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

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 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 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.

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