Homemade Toffee Bits Recipe (2024)

Tessa’s Recipe Rundown

Taste: Sweet, nutty, and delicious.
Texture: Perfectly crunchy with a slight candy chew.
Ease: Just 3 ingredients and 15 minutes prep and cook time.
Pros: Such a fun DIY!
Cons: None.
Would I make this again? Absolutely, I like to make a double batch and sprinkle them on everything I bake for weeks.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read ourdisclosure policy.

I adore toffee.

Like butterscotch, toffee seems to be caramel’s forgotten cousin. To me, it deserves as much adoration as caramel. Maybe more!

Homemade Toffee Bits Recipe (1)

As much as I love a buttery toffee recipe on its own, my favorite is when it’s added to something already delicious.

It’s the perfect addition to a chocolate chip cookie, blondie, brownie or even banana bread. Or sprinkle the toffee on cupcakes, French toast, or ice cream. Plus, you likely already have the simple ingredients on hand to make it from scratch.

Bonus: this toffee recipe is also a great treat for giving as delicious holiday gifts during the holidays or Christmas!

How to Make Homemade Toffee Bits

What is Toffee?

Toffee is a crunchy, sweet, buttery, cooked sugar candy, similar to caramel and butterscotch. These three classic dessert components seem very similar – so how do they differ?

  • Caramel: Based on white granulated sugar. Typically, butter, milk/cream, and vanilla are added for flavor and to produce a thick, creamy caramel. Caramel can be heated less for a sauce consistency, longer for a chewy soft caramel, or even longer for a crunchier hard caramel. I have a recipe for caramel sauce here.
  • Butterscotch:Similar process to caramel, but made with brown sugar instead of granulated white sugar. Cream and vanilla are also often added. I have a recipe for butterscotch sauce here.
  • Toffee:Just like butterscotch, toffee starts with brown sugar – but the difference between butterscotch and toffee is the temperature it’s heated to. Toffee is cooked longer to a much higher temperature – all the way to the ‘hard crack’ stage. This means that toffee will harden completely as it cools, and can then be cut or broken into pieces, to be added to other delicious desserts, or simply enjoyed by itself!

What are Toffee Bits?

Just what it sounds like! Bits of crunchy sweet toffee, chopped or broken into pieces about the same size as chocolate chips.

Can’t You Just Buy Toffee Bits?

Yes, you can buy them in the baking aisle under the Heath brand. However, they can be difficult to find in some regions and stores. Additionally, many stores only carry chocolate-covered toffee bits, which you may not always want.

But trust me, this homemade toffee recipe is even tastier than the Heath version! Plus, no preservatives or artificial flavors in these homemade sweet morsels!

Only 3 Ingredients Are Needed for Homemade Toffee Bits:

  • Butter (make sure to use American unsalted butter – European butter has too much butterfat and the toffee will separate)
  • Light brown sugar
  • Salt
Homemade Toffee Bits Recipe (2)

Why American-Style Butter Only?

European-style butter (such as Kerrygold) contains a higher butterfat percentage, compared to American-style butter. This lack of water content in European-style butter results in the toffee separating, and/or refusing to set fully. Any butter over 80% butterfat will cause these issues and unfortunately, we have yet to find a way to make this recipe work with butter containing higher percentages of fat. If you are successful in creating a hard toffee using European-style butter, please let us know in the comments below.

How to Make DIY Toffee Bits From Scratch:

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Then, add the sugar and salt and whisk until combined. Continue whisking for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture looks like melted peanut butter (reference the picture below). Make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan or pot.
  3. Pour the toffee onto the prepared baking sheet pan, allowing it to spread. Let cool for about 20 minutes.
  4. Use a mallet, rolling pin, or heavy object to crack the batch of toffee into small bits.
  5. You can now use your toffee pieces to amp up the flavor in cookies, brownies, streusel toppings, sprinkled on top of vanilla ice cream, you name it!
Homemade Toffee Bits Recipe (3)

Tips for Making Toffee:

  • Before you start the recipe, line a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. It’s best to do this first because you will need to pour the finished toffee onto the prepared pan immediately.
  • If your toffee burns on the bottom or you’re having trouble with the toffee separating (and you’re using American-style butter!), try a thicker-based heavy saucepan. Pans with thinner bottoms will heat too aggressively and may cause separation or scorching.
  • Never step away from the toffee while it’s on the stove. It can burn quickly.
  • Do not try to touch or taste the sugar while it’s cooking, as it will be extremely hot.
  • Separated toffee can sometimes be saved by removing the saucepan from the heat and whisking vigorously until it comes back together into a smooth mixture.
  • A candy thermometer is so helpful in making toffee. This is my favorite candy thermometer.
  • Make sure to let the toffee cool completely before you break it into bits and store it.

How to Store Toffee Bits

Once cooled and cut or broken into pieces, freeze in an airtight container or zip-top bag for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw at room temperature before enjoying or adding to cookie dough, streusel or other baked goods.

Recipes Using Toffee Bits:

  • Browned Butter Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Chocolate Coffee Toffee Crunch Muffins
  • Salted Caramel Toffee Cupcakes
  • Caramel Apple Streusel Pie

Homemade Toffee Bits Recipe (4)

How to Make

Homemade Toffee Bits

By: Tessa Arias

4.84 from 78 votes

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Prep Time: 5 minutes mins

Setting Time: 20 minutes mins

Cook Time: 10 minutes mins

Total Time: 35 minutes mins

Review Print


Just 3 ingredients and 15 minutes and you have DIY homemade toffee bits from scratch! They’re absolutely amazing in cookies, brownies, streusel toppings on muffins or pies, or just as a sweet snack.


  • 1 stick (113 grams) unsalted American butter*
  • 1 cup (200 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt


  • Line a small rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

  • In a heavy-bottomed small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sugar and salt and whisk vigorously for one minute until combined. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture looks like melted peanut butter and a candy thermometer reaches 295 to 305°F, about 10 minutes.

  • If the mixture separates at all, remove from heat and whisk vigorously until recombined. Return to heat and continue cooking.

  • Immediately and carefully pour the hot toffee onto the prepared baking pan, allowing it to spread into an even layer. Let cool and harden for about 20 minutes.

  • Place the sheet of toffee on a cutting board or in a zip top bag. Use a mallet, rolling pin, or heavy object to crack it into small pieces. You can also cut into bits with a sharp serrated knife. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Show us!If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a picture and share it on Instagram with #handletheheat so we can all see!

Recipe Notes

*Don’t use European-style butter (82% butterfat+) in this recipe. It contains too much butterfat and will cause the toffee to separate.

Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.


Inline Feedbacks

View all comments

Homemade Toffee Bits Recipe (6)


8 days ago

I’m English and to answer to your butter question, I asked my Gran because she always made toffee when we were kids and it was consistent. She said “you can use English butter (100% buttermilk) but you have to heat it up slowly and evenly. Heating to quickly ‘shocks’ the mixture and causes separation”

She comes from an age when people made bread/baked items fresh everyday


Homemade Toffee Bits Recipe (7)


15 days ago

IT WORKED! I was very nervous, because not only did I only have salted butter (just figured i wouldn’t add the salt separately), but I’m pretty sure my stove’s “medium” was more like “medium high.” The sugar didn’t necessarily melt the way i was anticipating once i added it, and I’ll be honest, the mixture separated TWICE. The first time, I removed from heat and added some water (just took some lukewarm from my water glass). then, I think the temp was too high again, or I was mixing wrong – not sure – so I removed from heat, REALLY WHISKED IT for several minutes, and then put it over heat (lower this time) to re-melt everything. At this point, it had been over 20 minutes and I was getting very nervous as I saw the separated butter browning and did not want to burn it. It never reached the bubbling consistency in the pictures, nor the darkness, but once I saw it had recombined (my hand hurt a lot at this point) I figured I’d just pour it out and see what happens. And hey, I’ve got toffee! Even though it took me a bit longer due to my mistakes, it worked out and I’m very pleased with the results. Thanks for the recipe!


Homemade Toffee Bits Recipe (9)

Emily @ Handle the Heat


Reply toAmanda

14 days ago

Way to persevere, your toffee looks great! Adding water to the mixture could very well have been the issue, but I’m so happy that it turned out for you 🙂


Homemade Toffee Bits Recipe (10)

DC chick

1 month ago

So. I tried this yesterday but didn’t pay close attention to the measurements and completely burned the first batch. Disaster. Tried it again today using American style butter with light brown sugar and a thin bottomed stainless saucepan since that’s what I have in my kitchen. Made the following adjustments since I don’t have a candy thermometer: set timer to 10 mins with heat closer to medium low. It still started separating about halfway through but since so many of you wonderful reviewers noted using hot water saved the day, once I saw the separation, I put a small bowl of water in the microwave to heat to boiling. I then turned off the heat and added 1/2 t of water at a time to get the consistency back. All total, it took about 15 mins for me. As I said, I don’t have a candy thermometer so I couldn’t tell when it got to the correct temp. I also never got to the stage where it seemed to “thread” when I raised the spoon. Because I didn’t want the disaster I had the day before with a house full of burnt sugar smell (which I can tell you is not the least bit pleasant), I took a chance when the mixture seemed to “pull” from the bottom of the saucepan in one large mass. I spread it onto my baking sheet lined with parchment and success!!! It’s quite good and I look forward to the next step of trying the chocolate chip w/toffee cookies.


Homemade Toffee Bits Recipe (11)


1 month ago

could you pour this into molds?


Homemade Toffee Bits Recipe (12)

Kiersten @ Handle the Heat


Reply toelse

1 month ago

Hi Else! We haven’t tried that, so I can’t say for sure! Let us know how it goes if you experiment with this 🙂


Homemade Toffee Bits Recipe (13)


1 month ago

Recently have become addicted to toffee. I m a llitle tired of heath and prices of some online companies is just too much. I decided to try making it myself. This recipe is great! I had to make a few adjustments but it turned out great. I doubled the recipe using 1 cup white sugar and I cup light brown sugar and margarine. Your directions are so user friendly, THANK YOU!!


Homemade Toffee Bits Recipe (14)

Emily @ Handle the Heat


Reply toRebecca

1 month ago

Glad you enjoyed this recipe, Rebecca!


« Previous191011

Homemade Toffee Bits Recipe (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Jonah Leffler

Last Updated:

Views: 5549

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (65 voted)

Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Jonah Leffler

Birthday: 1997-10-27

Address: 8987 Kieth Ports, Luettgenland, CT 54657-9808

Phone: +2611128251586

Job: Mining Supervisor

Hobby: Worldbuilding, Electronics, Amateur radio, Skiing, Cycling, Jogging, Taxidermy

Introduction: My name is Jonah Leffler, I am a determined, faithful, outstanding, inexpensive, cheerful, determined, smiling person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.