how to: make homemade toffee.

I make homemade toffee for Christmas every year.  I give it to friends, neighbors, family, and the mailman. No, seriously I do, he’s the nicest guy ever.

Sometimes I wish I’d never started this tradition because my kids won’t let me stop.

It’s not that making toffee is complicated {it’s not} but that I make batches and batches and batches of it, until my house smells of nothing but butter and we’re eating toffee for breakfast. But it’s as much a part of Christmas as our Polish Christmas Eve dinner, and my kids look forward to it all year, so I’ll continue to make it {and secretly love it} as long as I can.

Here’s what it takes:

It’s basically butter and sugar, which is why it tastes so good. The vanilla is totally optional, (just like it is in my homemade sugar scrub) but it adds a little something extra.

To make one batch, which fills up a cookie sheet, here’s the recipe.  Also, have a greased cookie sheet at the ready, because the second you finish the toffee, you’ll be pouring it straight onto the sheet.

Homemade Toffee Recipe
Cook time
Total time
Make your own homemade toffee with this simple, super easy recipe and only a few ingredients!
Recipe type: Dessert / Candy
Serves: 1 lb
  • ⅞ lb of butter (3 sticks, oh yes)
  • 2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • dash of vanilla (optional, but I love everything a little more with vanilla
  1. Melt the first stick of butter in a pan over low/ medium heat. We're not trying to boil anything yet, just melting.
  2. Once you've melted the first stick completely (no boiling yet) add the remaining two sticks of butter to the pan.
  3. They'll melt like buttah. (I slay myself)
  4. Now that you have a pan full of melted butter its time to turn up the heat and add some sugar.
  5. Add one cup of sugar, stirring quickly as you do. You can never, ever stop stirring while you're making toffee, it's the law. (You will burn almost a pound of butter and that's a total waste)
  6. Stir in the second cup of sugar and it will look like this butter/sugar paste.
  7. Turn the heat up to medium/high to get the butter bubbling.
  8. Boil the butter until it gets all bubbly and foamy.
  9. Next add the corn syrup, stirring the whole time.
  10. Keep stirring, as the toffee turns from yellow to a light brown and keep boiling and stirring on low to medium heat until the toffee is caramel brown and is a silky consistency.
  11. Add the salt, stirring quickly and remove pan from heat.
  12. Immediately pour onto a greased cookie sheet.
  13. Using a wooden spoon, spread it out to the edges of the cookie sheet.
  14. As the toffee is cooling, use a wooden spoon to score it in even lines. Give it a few seconds to cool and then score it with your wooden spoon. This makes it easier to break into manageable pieces once it has cooled.
  15. Once the toffee has cooled, take a spatula and scrape it out of the pan.
  16. BOOM! Enjoy your delicious toffee.


There are casualties in every batch, but don’t even think of throwing them away.  Save all the broken bits to add to other cookies later.  SO YUM, especially in chocolate chip cookies.

Put several big pieces of toffee in a cellophane bag with a ribbon and tag to deliver to your neighbors.  They’ll love you forever.


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Hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. I do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, home remodel projects, and cool DIY crafts you totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!


  1. Donna :

    Yummy! Hope I get some!

  2. Carol :

    Mmm, your toffee looks good and easy. I'll have to give it a try! Great tutorial! Thanks! Stop by and visit sometime!

  3. Petit Elefant :


    I'll make another batch, just for you.


    You have to try it, you'll love it!

  4. SLCFoodie :

    I love toffee! This is a perfect gift. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  5. Camille :

    I'm sorry, but every time I hear about toffee at Christmastime, I revert back to the film "Nora's Christmas Gift" where the lady goes blind and ends up dumping a bottle of salt in her toffee, then throws a fit and doesn't want to go watch the MoTab concert. Ever seen it? It may have been before your time. :)
    I'm sure yours tastes so much better than hers!

  6. Petit Elefant :

    Vintage Mixer,

    It is good, you have to make some and tell me how it goes.


    Sadly, I haven't seen it. But if I dumped too much salt in, it wouldn't be that much different than when I burned a whole batch. Awful.

  7. Naomi :

    Totally going to have to get MY five year old to work on this… mmm!

  8. Petit Elefant :


    Mine has been helping me with batches all day long, it's perfect for keeping the monkeys happy.


    I know, I'm gaining about 5 lbs just making it. No worries about your teeth though, it's hard as a rock!

  9. melissa :

    You saved my neighbors! I made cookies for them last week, but something in them was rancid.

    And…I can now say I've made candy. So easy with your fun directions! (It's been on my bucket list.)


  10. Petit Elefant :


    You're so sweet! I'm so happy the instructions were easy to follow, I hope your neighbors are happy.

  11. MostlyFlumxd :

    Thank you for this post- I just gained 5 pounds reading it and my teeth are stuck together! Looks yummY!

  12. The Breeders Digest :

    We make homemade caramels which is just as tricky — that delicate butter/sugar/boiling point trinity is nerve-wracking! We'll have to try toffee!

  13. Petit Elefant :


    Oh it is yummers, my bum is getting bigger just making it.


    It is tricky! I had no idea how hard it would be, but it's down to the second isn't it?

  14. Marie {Make and Takes} :

    Delish! I also make an English toffee that has a chocolate topping, yum!

  15. Petit Elefant :


    I did that one time, but it took too much time! I need to do it again because the combination is YUM CITY.

  16. noreen :

    we love making toffee to, we uauslly add chocolate on top. I just want to clarify your recipe you list 3 stick of butter which is 3/4 of a lbs of butter but you list 7/8. I am thinking you meant 3/4 (of 6/8)
    The recipe I use is similar but no cornsyrup and makes a much smaller batch.
    A hint would be to butter tinfoil in your pan which really helps get the candy out, I will have to try the scoring of the toffee before it cools if we make a batch without chocolate. We made a batch for Daddy on Father's day and they added sprinkles, not the yummiest but they would so proud.

  17. Petit Elefant :


    Yep 7/8, 3/4, it's all the same. Too much butter! The tinfoil trick is definitely something I'll have to try next year, thanks!

  18. londonfoggirl :

    holy smokes that looks good!!!! YUM!

  19. florence :

    Love toffee and use it to ass a yummy crunch to all sorts of fruit deserts in the summer.

    Fresh peaches, vanilla yogurt, with a sprinkle of toffee is the bomb!! mostly healthy with a luscious topping..