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Bonfire Toffee (Treacle Toffee) - featured image-8976
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4.86 from 14 votes

Bonfire Toffee (Treacle Toffee)

Bonfire toffee is also known as Treacle Toffee or Plot Toffee and is traditionally eaten on Bonfire Night when the UK celebrates the downfall of Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder plot. Rich, buttery and deliciously dark, this hard toffee also makes a great Halloween treat.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: British
Servings: 12
Calories: 215kcal


  • 450g/ 1 lb Dark Brown Sugar
  • 125ml/ ½ cup Water
  • 125g/ 4 ½ oz Golden Syrup See notes on substitutions
  • 100g/ 3 ½ oz Black Treacle See notes on substitutions
  • 25g/ 1 oz Butter
  • Either 1 tbsp White wine vinegar or ¼ tsp cream of tartar


  • Before you start read the recipe notes for all of my cooking tips
  • Grease & line a metal pan (see notes for size) with baking parchment and put on a flat, heatproof surface. Also lay any silicon lollipop molds on a flat, heatproof surface
  • Put all ingredients into a large, heavy-based saucepan and put over a medium heat. Cook until all sugars have dissolved and the liquid is smooth and dark
  • Turn up the heat (medium high) and boil, stirring frequently, until the liquid reaches the hard crack stage (150C/ 300F) on a food/ sugar thermometer. This will take around 15 minutes - be patient and do not leave the pan unattended since it could boil over and/ or the toffee could overcook and burn
  • As soon as the toffee reaches 150C/ 300F, tip it into your tin and/or molds and leave to cool completely
  • Once cool, give the toffee a few firm taps with a toffee hammer or the end of a rolling pin to break it up. If using silicon molds, the lollipops should unmold easily. 
  • Store in an airtight tin (using baking parchment to keep layers of toffee seperate) or wrap up in boxes or cellophane bags to give as gifts


  1. The size of tin required depends on your preference. If you like a thick toffee, go for a square or round tin approx 8 inches across. If you prefer a thinner toffee, use a rectangular tray approx 8 x 12 inches.
  2. If you are making lollipops, then you will most likely have far too much toffee to fill your molds. Prepare a couple of tins of different sizes to pour the excess toffee into. As a guide: I made 8 lollipops, each measuring approx 1.5 inches using ¼ of the recipe listed here
  3. If you cannot get hold of golden syrup, try using light corn syrup
  4. Black treacle is an extremely thick, dark, sugar syrup containing cane molasses which gives it a special flavour. The treacle, however,  is less bitter than pure molasses, so substituting dark molasses could result in a more bitter toffee. If you cannot get hold of black treacle, try using equal quantities of molasses and golden syrup
More Tips
  1. You can use brown sugar or dark muscovado sugar. Muscovado has a stronger molasses taste
  2. Some recipes suggest adding cream of tartar or white wine vinegar. This is to help prevent the formation of sugar crystals. You can use either. But watch the quantities - my recipe calls for 1 tbsp of vinegar or ¼ tsp cream of tartar - quite a difference
  3. It is essential to use a reliable food thermometer that can withstand temperatures up to 150C/  300F. I use a Thermapen.
  4. I recommend lining your baking tins with baking parchment. Although some recipes suggest greasing the baking tin and pouring the toffee in, I have had mixed results. Lining the tin with parchment removes the risk that the toffee will weld itself to the tin and refuse to come out
  5. Use a large heavy based saucepan - the ingredients should come just ¼ up the side of the pan when added. As the toffee cooks it will bubble and boil, rising up the side of the pan significantly. If your pan is too small the toffee will take a long time to reach the required temperature. And, if it boils over, onto your hob, it will be nasty to clean up
  6. The toffee is going to reach a very high temperature. Do not make this recipe with small children. Do not be tempted to taste the toffee as it cooks. Resist the temptation to multi-task. Keep your eye on the pan to avoid it bubbling over and to ensure you do not overcook the ingredients & end up with bitter, burnt toffee
  7. If you are making the lollipops ensure you use silicon molds that can tolerate the high temperature of the cooked toffee. Do not use metal molds - remember, toffee can weld itself to metal. And no amount of teasing or bashing will shift these lollipops out. How do I know? ..... 24 hours of soaking my pops out of metal molds #kitchenfails
  8. Store the toffee as soon as it has cooled entirely in an airtight container. If you have already broken the toffee into chunks use baking parchment to separate the layers. Store at room temperature and avoid a humid environment. If left in the open bonfire toffee will become sticky (but it will still be edible and delicious).


Calories: 215kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 26mg | Potassium: 175mg | Sugar: 50g | Vitamin A: 52IU | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 1mg