Traditional Toffee Recipes for Halloween - Cinder Toffee, Toffee Apples and English Treacle Toffee

by KathleenDuffy

Here are three recipes for traditional English toffees for Halloween and Bonfire Night. Cinder Toffee, Treacle Toffee and Toffee Apples are easy-to-make old favourites.

The dark nights are drawing in and Halloween and (here in the UK) Bonfire Night are looming. Time to create some delicious sweets to tempt your ghoulish guests with!

After all, when ghosts, witches and other scarey creatures of the night knock on your door you have to make sure you keep them happy. These traditional toffee recipes will definitely do the trick - and be a treat!

A Note About Using a Sugar Thermometer (Useful but not essential)

Have the sugar thermometer beside the pan in a saucepan of very hot water. Do not put it cold into a pan of hot mixture. It could burst.

While using the thermometer, always replace in very hot water. Never cool it too quickly, and always make sure it is thoroughly clean when finished using.

Traditional English Cinder Toffee

Cinder Toffee
Cinder Toffee

Traditional English Cinder Toffee

Cinder Toffee (known by various other names, Sponge Toffee, Honeycomb Toffee, Hokey Pokey) is made with a combination of vinegar and bicarbonate of soda. The reaction between these two ingredients creates a hard, crunchy froth of toffee, light, golden and delicious.

It is best made with Lyles Golden Syrup. If Lyles is not available in your area, it can be obtained from Amazon. Some recipes use corn syrup, which is acceptable, but for the traditional English toffee Golden Syrup gives the best results.

Safety: Vinegar and bicarbonate of soda react by frothing up the sides of the pan, so make sure you use a large pan to allow for this. It also gets very hot. Be aware of safety issues with small children around.


  • 50 g/2 oz butter
  • 300 ml/½ pint water
  • 4 teaspoons malt vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 450 g/1 lb granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)


  1. Grease an 11” x 7” baking tin.
  2. Heat the butter, water and vinegar in a large saucepan until the butter has dissolved.
  3. Stir in the sugar and Golden Syrup until they too have dissolved.
  4. Bring to the boil, but without stirring until the mixture reaches the Hard Crack stage. (With Thermometer: temperature will be 300°F, 150°C. Without Thermometer: To test, remove the pan from the heat and drop a teaspoon of mixture into a cup of cold water. When you remove from the water and feel between finger and thumb it is brittle.)
  5. With the toffee mixture removed from the heat, carefully stir in the bicarbonate of soda. Be careful! The mixture will froth up.
  6. Stir until the bubbles have subsided a little.
  7. Pour into the greased tin.
  8. Allow to completely cool then break the toffee into pieces.

Traditional English Toffee Apples

Toffee Apples
Toffee Apples

Use a large, heavy-based pan, a large greased baking tin and you will also need some wooden lolly sticks.


  • 12 Small eating apples
  • 450 g/1 lb brown sugar
  • 50 g/2 oz butter
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 150 ml/¼ pint water


  1. Wash and dry the apples
  2. Push a lolly stick into each stalk end
  3. Put all remaining ingredients into a large pan
  4. Stir over a gentle heat until sugar is dissolved.
  5. Boil rapidly for about 5 minutes, stirring a little.
  6. Test for the Hard Ball stage (With Thermometer: 265°F, 130°C. Without Thermometer: To test, remove the pan from the heat and drop a teaspoon of mixture into a cup of cold water. When you remove from the water and feel between fingers and thumb it feels like hard ball but is still chewy)
  7. Keep boiling until this stage is reached
  8. Remove pan from heat and very quickly dip the apples in the mixture.
  9. Swirl them around in the toffee for a few seconds, shake off the surplus and place on the greased baking tin to set.
  10. If the toffee should start to set in the pan, heat it again gently.

Don't forget those lollipop sticks!

...and a lovely Traditional Recipe Book
Wilton 1912-1001 4-Inch Lollipop Stic...Favourite Sweets and Toffee Recipes (...

Traditional English Treacle Toffee

Treacle (or Bonfire) Toffee
Treacle (or Bonfire) Toffee

For a nice variation substitute half the treacle with honey.

Makes approx. 900 g/2 lb

You will need a well-greased tin 23 cm/9 inches square which gives pieces approximately 1 cm/½ inch thick


  • 450 g/1 lb Barbados sugar
  • 450 g/1 lb black treacle or molasses
  • 2½ tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 125 g/4 oz butter in thin pieces


  1. Put sugar, treacle or molasses and vinegar in a large saucepan
  2. Stir over a low heat until sugar is completely dissolved
  3. Very slowly bring mixture to boiling point.
  4. Keep it boiling for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Very carefully and slowly stir in the butter, one piece at a time
  6. Continue to boil until temperature reaches Soft Crack stage (With Thermometer: 284°F, 142°C. Without Thermometer: To test, remove the pan from the heat and drop a teaspoon of mixture into a cup of cold water. When you remove from the water and feel between finger and thumb it is hard but not brittle.)
  7. Remove from heat and let it settle for a minute
  8. Pour carefully into greased tin.
  9. Allow to cool, then mark into squares
  10. When cold, break into pieces
  11. Store in waxed paper or an air-tight container

Happy Halloween!

Here's Some More Baking Utensils For Halloween

From E-Bay
Updated: 08/29/2013, KathleenDuffy
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KathleenDuffy on 08/30/2013

Hi Maggie! Give it a go! It's fun to watch it frothing up!

MaggiePowell on 08/30/2013

I love making my own candy, and have make toffee every Christmas.... I will have to give the Cinder Toffee a try for Halloween.

KathleenDuffy on 08/29/2013

It's gorgeous! :)

AngelaJohnson on 08/29/2013

I love toffee although I've never made any. Maybe I'll give it a try.

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