Bonfire toffee: the sweetest festive treat

This Bonfire toffee recipe will delight kids and adults alike; indulgent and so, so tasty

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Who isn't guilty of enjoying Bonfire toffee? Bonfire Night is one of the best times of the year to indulge in the sugary treat of toffee – it just goes so well with the chilly weather and the cosy atmosphere of the bonfire. It's super-easy to make, too, using only a few ingredients. 

What is special about Bonfire toffee, and how is it different from ordinary toffee? The answer is in the colour: black treacle is added to give this toffee type its distinctive black sheen. 

Find more delicious recipes at our food page. 

Bonfire toffee recipe


  • Brown sugar, 400g
  • Black Treacle, 100g
  • Golden syrup, 100ml
  • Cream of tartar, quarter of a teaspoon
  • Hot water, 120ml
  • Vegetable oil, for greasing 


1. Add sugar to the hot water and gently simmer on low heat on the hob, in a heavy pan. Do not stir.

2. Combine all the other ingredients in a pouring jug. To prevent the mixture from sticking to the sides, grease the jug with oil prior to mixing.

3. Once the sugar has completely dissolved in the water, add the rest of the ingredients, mixed.

4. Slowly bring to a boil, which can take up to half an hour. You may find it easier to use a food thermometer – you need a temperature of 140°C.

5. Once hot and boiling, pour the liquid into tray lined with oiled greaseproof paper. Do not pour straight into a baking tray, as it'll be difficult to get the toffee out.

6. Leave the liquid to cool and solidify. Once solid, break up with a rolling pin. 

How long does toffee last?

So, you've made your toffee can't eat it all. The stuff is sweet, so small portions is best. Don't worry, though, all that sugar is a natural preservative and will keep your toffee fresh for up to two months, provided you keep it in a sealed bag or container in a cool, dark place. Just make sure it's not left out in a hot, steamy kitchen, as it will begin to melt. 

Toffee, caramel, fudge: what's the difference? 

The difference is basically whether you add milk and butter or not. Toffee can be used either without any butter (as in the Bonfire recipe above), or with butter for sticky toffee pudding or if you're making toffee apples. Caramel is usually a mixture of cream and sugar, melted at a lower temperature than toffee. And fudge? This indulgent treat has milk/cream, butter, and sugar.