Crispy, buttery toffee covered with a rich layer of dairy free chocolate – this vegan and nut free buttercrunch toffee is perfect for eating and gifting. You’ll be surprised at how easy this is to make. If you love Heath bars, I think you’ll love this homemade candy recipe!
What traditions do you enjoy during the holidays? You probably have your favorites – the special dishes you make for holiday meals, the decorations that you hang each year, and homemade desserts that you make with your children.
Sometimes it feels like certain traditions or recipes are impossible to recreate with the food allergies or dietary restrictions that we face. You can still have wonderful and meaningful traditions in your family, no matter what food allergies you have.
Baking and sharing treats with the ones we love is a wonderful way to create memories and enjoy time with family and friends. In addition to baking cookies, we enjoy making toffee and caramel corn in our family during the holiday season.
Sweet, salty, crunchy…this buttercrunch toffee is the perfect holiday candy. When topped with a layer of dairy free chocolate, it’s so delicious, and incredibly hard to stop eating it. This treat is just right for a Christmas party or a special gift for friends.
- Sugar – I used organic cane sugar, but you could also use regular white, granulated sugar. Brown sugar is not a good idea for this recipe – the molasses will add extra moisture and the toffee may not set.
- Vegan Buttery Spread – I always use Earth Balance Soy Free Vegan Buttery Spread for this recipe, and the toffee always turns out well. I have not tried this recipe with any other vegan butter.
- Corn Syrup – I have used Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Light Corn Syrup as well as Karo Light Corn Syrup. Both of these brands work well!
- Dairy Free Chocolate Chips – I used Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Chips this time. I have also used the Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips before. Either variety will work in this recipe.
Corn Free Variation
For those of you who don’t want to use the corn syrup, this can be made without the corn syrup and water. Without these ingredients, the toffee does come to the temperature a little sooner, and it does need to be watched carefully – you don’t want it to burn.
The corn syrup and water results in a toffee mixture that stays slightly lighter in color and cooks slower. Be patient, and once it gets to 280 degrees, keep a very close eye on it. A good candy thermometer is a must to make this toffee work.
Step by Step Instructions
- Put the vegan buttery spread, sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt in a heavy bottomed pot.
- Cook over medium high heat, and once the mixture starts to boil, clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pot.
- Once the mixture reaches 280 degrees, watch the thermometer carefully until it reaches 290 degrees.
- Once the toffee reaches 290 degrees, take the thermometer off the pan, and pour the mixture onto a cookie sheet that has been lined with foil.
- Let the toffee set for 2-3 minutes, then sprinkle the chocolate chips on top.
- Once the chocolate chips are melted, use an offset spatula to smooth them out.
- Place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator. Once the candy is cool, break it into thirds, and place in a ziploc bag. Whack the bag against the counter to break the toffee into smaller pieces.
- Enjoy! Toffee can be eaten immediately or stored for up to 10 days.
Tips for Success
- Use a heavy bottomed pot – this should help keep the toffee from burning.
- You need a candy thermometer to make this recipe – no guessing on the temperature!
- Stir the toffee constantly so that it doesn’t burn.
- Once you pour the toffee onto the foil covered baking sheet, let it sit for a couple of minutes to set before adding the chocolate chips. You will see it become hard and glossy.
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More Vegan Candy Recipes
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Vegan and Nut Free Buttercrunch Toffee.
- 1 cup Earth Balance soy free vegan buttery spread
- 1 cup organic cane sugar
- 3 Tablespoons water*
- 1 Tablespoon organic corn syrup
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces dairy free chocolate chips
Line a 13×9 inch cookie sheet with foil.
In a heavy bottomed saucepan, melt the vegan buttery spread, sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt.
Cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly.
Once the mixture comes to a boil, clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan, and boil, stirring constantly until the mixture reaches 290 degrees F. (When the mixture gets to 280 degrees, watch it very carefully so it doesn't burn).
Take the saucepan off the heat, and remove the thermometer, then pour the toffee mixture into the foil lined cookie sheet.
Wait for 2-3 minutes until the toffee sets, then sprinkle the dairy free chocolate chips over the toffee. Once the chocolate chips are melted, use a spatula to spread the chocolate over the toffee.
Place the pan in the refrigerator until the toffee is cool and firm.
Use the foil to lift the toffee from the pan, and break into pieces. I broke it into three big pieces, then put those into a ziploc bag and whacked it on the table to get lots of smaller pieces.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or at room temperature. This toffee will last for about 10 days.
If you don’t want to use corn syrup, you can leave it and the water out of this recipe. The toffee will reach the temperature more quickly, and there is a greater risk of burning the toffee. Be careful, stir constantly, and watch the temperature.
Once you pour the toffee onto the cookie sheet, you will need to wait just a couple minutes for it to set. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on after about 2 minutes – the toffee should be still be hot enough to melt the chocolate.
Feel free to sprinkle large flake sea salt on top of the chocolate while it is melty for even more salty/sweet goodness.
Store toffee in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
I’ll preface this by saying it tasted so good I practically ate the whole batch myself! However, it was SO sticky/chewy. Like stick
-between-my-teeth-sticky. I had to really prepare my jaw for all that chewy-ness. Again, taste on point but what did I do wrong to not have it crunchy?! Thanks in advance for your feedback!!
What brand butter did you use?
I think this may be one of the best things I have ever made. It was incredible! Chewy, delicious and satisfying, I’m so happy. The recipe worked an absolute treat. 😊
Yay! I am so happy to hear that!
I read in another recipe for toffee bits (not vegan, but I was hoping to veganize it) that you should resist the urge to stir, otherwise the toffee will be grainy. So I’m confused that you say to stir constantly. That recipe used dairy butter and I was just going to sub Earth Balance or similar. Wasn’t sure if non dairy butter would work, so I was happy to see your recipe that I would try without the chocolate, since I’m just looking for toffee bits.
Have you tried this recipe with the Country Crock plant butters? Also, I do not have a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, may I use a double boiler instead?
I haven’t tried the country crock, so I’m not sure how that would work. A double boiler would work fine!
I used Rice syrup instead of corn syrup with great results.. Can’t wait to put this on my chocolate and caramel cake!
So happy to hear that rice syrup worked well!
Thank you! I was about to post there aren’t non-corn syrup instructions but it mentions you don’t have to use it.
Just made this, turned out great!
I’m going to try this one next year. I always make several gluten free and now also dairy free desserts for my daughters and friends with allergies. I’ve made regular toffee and always love to put finely chopped nuts on top of the chocolate since nuts are not a problem for any of us. Would you be able to include a video? It would be helpful to see how it is supposed to be looking during different stages of the baking process.
I will have to see if I can do that at some point!
What can I do if the chocolate chips do not al entirely melt when I sprinkle them on the Toffie? I waited five minutes. I definitely boiled it to 290°.
I have never had that issue! I’m sorry you did. Make sure to pour the chocolate chips on right away while the toffee is super hot.
This is so good you can’t stop eating it :-) everyone loves it.
Thanks for sharing! Does that buttery spread substitute the butter? Is it good on other stuff?
I followed the instructions exactly and the butter and sugar separated with the butter floating at the top of the pan. ?
I’m sorry that happened, this article may help: https://www.thespruceeats.com/why-did-my-butter-separate-when-making-toffee-or-caramel-520448
Tried this and it turned out horribly.
I made this for my dairy allergic daughter and it did work wonderfully and had a great toffee texture. She is able to eat soy, however, so I also tried the recipe using Smart Balance made with olive oil instead of Earth Balance soy free, and found that it had a better buttery flavor without the weird smell Earth Balance seems to have.
I’ve tried this twice now and can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. It seems to begin smelling funny when it’s not even 250 degrees and then when I pour it into the pan, it separated, both times. Help?
Me too!?!?! Would love to know where we could have gone wrong…? Love the look of this though! I hope we can work it out!!!
This article may help: https://www.thespruce.com/why-did-my-butter-separate-when-making-toffee-or-caramel-520448
What type of butter or buttery spread did you use? I’m not sure about the smell, but here are some ideas about why toffee can separate: https://www.thespruce.com/why-did-my-butter-separate-when-making-toffee-or-caramel-520448
You have to be careful which butter substitute you use. Some of them at high temperatures develop a horrible taste. I’ve had to throw a whole batch out because of the butter sub I used. Just thought I would add to this about the flavor.
Could I use agave in place of the corn syrup? Thanks!
I haven’t tried it, so I don’t know if that would work.
I love toffee! Thanks for a great recipe, looks like a good one to try.
It’s an easy one!
Can’t wait to try this!!!
Kayte @ Allergy Bites
AH-MAZING! I love toffee and can’t wait to make this allergy-friendly version for my daughter. Thank you!
I can’t even begin to describe my love for toffee//anything butterscotch related. This crunchy toffee has my mouth watering like crazy! I’ve never tried making it at home and now I’m anxious to do so!
Sarah | Well and Full
This toffee looks AMAZING!! Seriously, the texture is just spot-on. Who says you miss out when you go vegan? ;)
Amen! Just made this and my entire (non-vegan) family is salivating over it! ? I’m afraid to leave the kitchen because it may not be there when I return!