This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Make chewy, buttery, and crunchy pumpkin spice toffee on the stove with only 8 ingredients. Top with a layer of sweet white chocolate and add lots of flavorful toasted pecans for an irresistible fall treat. Follow my video tutorial and guide for helpful homemade candy tips.

stack of pumpkin spice toffee

This is pumpkin spice toffee and you can find the recipe below and on page 109 in my cookbook, Sally’s Candy Addiction.

About Sally’s Candy Addiction

My 2nd published cookbook, Sally’s Candy Addiction cookbook, was published in 2015. This cookbook is complete with 75 photographed recipes that are exclusive to the cookbook. You will find how-to’s, tips, tricks, and recipes for everything from toffee, caramels, and fudge to truffles, chocolate bark, and marshmallows. Plus a chapter filled with cupcakes, cookies, and cakes using candy such as Snickers, M&Ms, and more. This cookbook was voted one of the best cookbooks of October 2015 on Amazon!

pumpkin spice toffee pieces

What is Toffee?

Have you ever eaten homemade toffee before? Like REAL homemade toffee? A simple combination of butter and sugar, toffee is your sweet tooth’s dream. Unlike hard-as-rock brittle, toffee softens and melts in your mouth. There are dozens of ways to prepare it including cinnamon toffee or dark chocolate almond toffee. You can even make a shortcut version like this popular saltine toffee.

Today, we’re focusing on a seasonal variation. Thick, sweet, salty, pumpkin spiced, toasted pecan filled, white chocolate covered toffee. This is my favorite recipe in the entire cookbook and if you visited me on my book tour a few years ago, you likely tasted it!

pumpkin spice toffee

Ingredients in Pumpkin Spice Toffee

I bet you didn’t know that you only need a few ingredients and a stove to make homemade toffee. Here are the basic toffee ingredients I use and why each is imperative to the final taste and texture:

  1. Butter: Butter is the base of toffee. Cut it into pieces before adding to the saucepan.
  2. Warm water: The melted butter will be warm, so the water should be as well. Any sudden changes in temperature spells candy disaster.
  3. Granulated sugar: Not brown sugar, which holds too much moisture. Though brown sugar is my ideal choice in most baked goods, I never use it for toffee because the candy won’t set properly.
  4. Salt: Toffee is supremely salty and sweet! It’s the best.
  5. Light corn syrup: There’s a lot of debate over adding corn syrup to toffee, but I always use it. Corn syrup guarantees a smoother texture (no sugar crystals!) especially when cooked to a high temperature. Though other liquid sweeteners can sometimes be substituted for corn syrup, candy making is not one of those instances. Again, it’s chemistry! You only need 1 teaspoon for the recipe.

For today’s pumpkin spice toffee, we’ll also add:

  • Pecans: Offer texture and a delicious nuttiness! Toast them before beginning for even more flavor.
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice: Gives the toffee classic fall flavor. I like to measure this from a big batch of homemade pumpkin pie spice, but if you just want to add the individual spices, you can make your own using 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger + 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg + 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves + 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice.
  • White Chocolate: Use baking white chocolate, found in the baking aisle. I suggest Bakers, Ghirardelli, or Lindt brands. Baking chocolate is sold in 4 ounce bars, so you’ll need 1.5 bars. If desired, you could use 8 ounces and have an extra thick layer of white chocolate on top. 🙂
2 images of ingredients for pumpkin spice toffee and 2 sliced sticks of butter

How to Make Pumpkin Spice Toffee

Cook the first 5 ingredients on the stove until the candy reaches 290°F (143°C), known as the Soft Crack Stage. Once it reaches 290°F (143°C), about 25 minutes (though that highly depends on your stove because on an electric stove in my old kitchen, it took 40 minutes and now on my gas cooktop– 25 minutes!), you’ll stir in the pecans and pumpkin pie spice. If you have 10 minutes before you begin, I strongly recommend toasting the pecans in the oven. After you stir them into the cooking toffee, pour it all out onto a lined baking sheet, then let it cool for about 5 minutes before topping with melted white chocolate, more toasted pecans, and pumpkin pie spice. Let it cool and break into pieces.

I guarantee this will be the best pumpkin treat you taste the entire fall season because it’s not pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cookies, or pumpkin bread. It’s homemade pumpkin spice candy!

Such a unique treat.

Cooking toffee on the stove to 290 degrees Fahrenheit
Spreading white chocolate on pumpkin spice toffee and a zoomed in image of white chocolate topping

5 Helpful Tools

Candy Thermometer: There’s no way to make old-fashioned toffee that (1) has a crumbly texture (2) has zero sugar graininess and (3) is literally bursting with the caramelized flavors of properly cooked butter and sugar… without a candy thermometer! This tool makes the entire candy cooking process EASIER- there’s no mistaking temperature. For ease, I recommend a digital candy thermometer that clips onto your pot like this one or this one. If calibrated, a candy thermometer is more accurate than using your eyes to detect candy’s doneness.

  • Calibrate: I’ve never had to do this, but if you think your candy thermometer’s readings are off, you can test it with a pot of boiling water. At sea level, water boils at 212°F (100°C). Each 500-foot increase in altitude lowers the boiling point by about 1 degree. If your candy thermometer reads above or below the boiling point for your location, make the necessary adjustment when cooking candy.

Heavy bottomed saucepan: I’ve ruined many batches of toffee by using a cheap pan. A deep and thick saucepan with straight sides is the ideal place to cook candy. Thin pans, which often have hot spots, do not withstand the heat required for toffee cooking. I burned 837258 batches of toffee before realizing this. These days I have a few pans I use for making toffee: here and here. Both pots are excellent choices. The Cooks Standard is a great option for beginners, while the All-Clad is ideal for controlling the temperature of your candy. Well-crafted, heavy, and maintaining precise temperature, copper cookware is the best for candy making.

Wooden spoon: Wood has a high heat tolerance. It also doesn’t conduct heat, so it won’t suck heat out from the cooking candy which causes crystallization. If you need one, here’s a wooden spoon set that I love for all my cooking!

  • Crystallization: the formation of sugar crystals in cooking candy. It will turn your smooth syrup into a lumpy and grainy mess!

Pastry brush: A pastry brush helps rid the saucepan of sugar syrup that may have splashed up around the sides. This syrup could burn and crystallize, ruining your batch of toffee. Wet it with water and wipe the sides of the pan clean. It’s ok if some water drips down into the cooking candy.

Silicone baking mat: A silicone baking mat makes your candy making experience much easier. Why? When you pour the toffee out onto the baking sheet, it is so much easier to spread onto AND remove from this slick silicone surface compared to a bare baking sheet, parchment, or aluminum foil.

pieces of pumpkin spice toffee

Pumpkin Spice Toffee Video Tutorial

Now that you’ve read up on toffee-making, watch me make the pumpkin spice toffee from start to finish with helpful tips along the way. Most of the “work” is stirring on the stove. Not too bad, right?

6 Homemade Candy Tips

  1. Smaller/larger batch: I don’t recommend halving, doubling, or tripling candy recipes, especially this toffee. Increasing or decreasing the quantity may work for baking, but the extra or decreased volume could prevent the candy from cooking properly. Make separate batches instead. Or if you need less, simply freeze or gift the leftovers.
  2. Weather: Candy is picky about the weather. Never cook candy on a particularly humid day, as it will absorb moisture from the air, which will result in too-soft candies or even crystallization. Cool, dry days are ideal.
  3. How to clean a sticky saucepan: It’s not always easy or fun, but I have a helpful solution! When you’re finished making sticky candy, simply fill the dirty saucepan with water until the water covers all of the candy residue. Place any utensils, such as spoons or knives, that may have gotten dirty inside the saucepan. Place the saucepan on the stove over low heat. Let the warm water simmer and melt the sugar off the sides of the pan. Pour out the warm water, then let the tools sit until cool enough to handle. Rinse clean.
  4. Medium heat: Fast doesn’t always win the race. Cook the toffee on medium heat. A gradual rise in temperature prevents scorching.
  5. Butter separation: If you notice the butter separating during the cooking process, remove the pan from heat and stir vigorously to bring the mixture back together.
  6. Be prepared: Read through the recipe and watch the video above before starting. Have all of your tools ready and ingredients measured next to the stove because things happen quickly!
pumpkin spice toffee on a gold plate

Homemade candy, toffee especially, has the reputation for being difficult and finicky. The rumors are definitely true; candy making is legitimately chemistry. However, if you have the right tools and follow the recipe closely, you’re guaranteed success. I’ve made way too many mistakes to let your batch of toffee fail! For something easier, you can always try my pumpkin spice truffles or pumpkin spice puppy chow.

See Your Pumpkin Spice Toffee

Thank you for sharing photos of my recipes in your own kitchens on social media!

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
stack of pumpkin spice toffee

Pumpkin Spice Toffee

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 pound 1x
  • Category: Candy
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Pumpkin spice toffee only requires a handful of basic ingredients and will be your new favorite fall treat.


  • 1 and 1/2 cups (150g) chopped unsalted pecans
  • 1 cup (2 sticks; 230g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup (120g) warm water
  • 1 cup + 1 Tablespoon (215g) granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, divided*
  • 6 ounces (170g) quality white chocolate, coarsely chopped*


  1. Toast the pecans: Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Spread the chopped pecans on top and toast for 7-8 minutes or until fragrant and lightly browned. Set aside. 1 cup will be used inside the toffee and the rest are sprinkled on top.
  2. Make the toffee: While stirring with a wooden spoon, melt the butter over medium heat in a 3-quart heavy-duty saucepan. Once melted, add the water, 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar, salt, and corn syrup. Stir constantly until the sugar dissolves, then brush down the sides of the pan with a water-moistened pastry brush. Attach a candy thermometer to the pan, making sure the bulb is not touching the bottom of the pan (as you’ll get an inaccurate reading).
  3. Stir the mixture every minute as it begins to boil. Rapid bubbles, a thicker consistency, and a slightly darker color form around 240°F (116°C). Continue to stir every minute until it reaches 290°F (143°C; soft crack stage). Be watchful– the temperature slowly rises in the beginning, but then skyrockets quickly. If you notice it’s rising very fast, you can even turn off the heat when the toffee reaches 285°F (141°C), as it will continue to cook in the few seconds after.
  4. Immediately remove the pan from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice and 1 cup toasted pecans. Pour the toffee out onto a silicone baking mat lined baking sheet. Smooth into an even layer. The toffee should be thick and not spread all the way to the edges of the pan. Cool the toffee for 5 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, get the toppings ready. Mix the remaining 1 Tablespoon of granulated sugar with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice. Melt the white chocolate. You can melt it in a double boiler or use the microwave. I melt it in the microwave in 20 second increments, stopping and stirring after each.
  6. Spread the melted white chocolate on top of the toffee, then sprinkle with remaining pecans and sugar/pumpkin pie spice mix.
  7. Refrigerate toffee for 20 minutes or until white chocolate has set. Peel off the silicone baking mat and break toffee into pieces.
  8. Store toffee in an airtight container at room temperature in a cool dry place for up to 2 weeks.


  1. Make Ahead Instructions: Freeze toffee for up to 3 months and thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
  2. Special Tools: 12×17-inch (or similar size) Rimmed Baking Sheet | Wooden Spoon | Silpat Baking Mat | Saucepan: this pan or this pan | Pastry Brush | Candy Thermometer – either of these
  3. Pumpkin Pie Spice: I like to measure this from a big batch of homemade pumpkin pie spice, but if you just want to add the individual spices, you can make your own using 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger + 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg + 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves + 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice.
  4. White Chocolate: Use baking white chocolate, found in the baking aisle. I suggest Bakers, Ghirardelli, or Lindt brands. Baking chocolate is sold in 4 ounce bars, so you’ll need 1.5 bars. If desired, you could use 8 ounces and have an extra thick layer of white chocolate on top.
  5. Tip: If you notice the butter separating at any time during the cooking process, remove the pan from heat and stir vigorously to bring the mixture back together.
  6. Candy Cooking Stages: Though I always encourage the precision of a trusty candy thermometer, it’s helpful to be familiar with candy cooking stages. I included a chart on page 17 in Sally’s Candy Addiction, but you can find a thorough one here as well. To use the chart, simply drop a bit of the candy syrup from a clean spoon into a small glass bowl of very cold water and watch what happens. You’ll cook toffee to 290°F (143°C), which is the soft crack stage.
  7. Be extra careful as cooking candy is very hot and may splash; wear long sleeves and have a pair of kitchen gloves or oven mitts handy.

Keywords: pumpkin spice toffee

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. This is the perfect recipe to make for fall! I’ve only ever made your dark chocolate almond toffee and it’s my favorite ever recipe. I have a couple of questions about the differences in the recipe. With the almonds one, you added the nuts at 265 F and cooked the mixture till it hit 290. Is there a reason this is different? I’ve had trouble with the mixture separating after the addition of nuts. Will this help?
    Also, could I replace pecans with almonds or cashews?

    1. Hi Krithika! I found that the nuts mix in a little easier when the toffee is finished cooking. However, both methods work just fine. Toffee doesn’t spread very easily as it’s sticky and there’s lumps/bumps from the nuts, but do your best with a wooden spoon. You can use almonds or cashews in this pumpkin spice toffee instead.

  2. Nut Allergy Mom here! You think pretzels would work as a substitute for the pecans?

    1. Hi Christina! Pretzels could work, yes. Or you can use pumpkin seeds (pepitas) or leave them out completely.

      1. Oh pumpkin seeds, great idea! Looking forward to making this. Thanks! 🙂

  3. What are your thoughts about cooking the toffee in a glass pot? I don’t have a good copper pot, and I really want to make this!

    1. Hi Regina! I don’t recommend it. You don’t need a copper pot– any heavy duty 3 quart metal saucepan works.

  4. Do you have a favorite brand of white chocolate, or a few that you recommend? It’s not normally something I buy. Thanks!

    1. Hi Jen! I just added a note about the white chocolate since I received a few questions about it. I prefer Bakers, Ghirardelli, or Lindt.

  5. Hi Sally,
    Just made this and the flavor combo is phenomenal! Mine spread too much though after pouring on the baking sheet…it almost went all the way to the edges of the Silpat, which is exactly what you said should not happen. Any idea what I did wrong? Thanks for your top quality recipes!

    1. Hey Catherine! It sounds like the butter may have separated a little or wasn’t completely incorporated into the toffee. That’s perfectly fine– if you decide to try it again, really give it a good stir every minute as it cooks to incorporate that butter. Even remove it from heat as it nears 290F to stir it vigorously!

  6. Hi Sally- I want to make this for a family reunion this weekend 🙂 My question is in regards to the cooking pot- would a Dutch oven work for this? I know you say to use a heavy-bottom pot… when I make caramel for the fantastic bacon caramel corn recipe I usually use the Dutch oven and it comes out fine… but since this cooks for so much longer I am just curious if I can get away with using it here. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Hi Angela! You know, I’ve never tried cooking this homemade toffee in a dutch oven pot, but assuming it is the correct 3 quart size, you can use one. The candy may take longer on the stove because dutch ovens take longer to heat up.

  7. The one and only time I tried to make candy, it boiled over and made a horrible mess on the stove and counter. Bless my husband’s heart, he cleaned it up for me, but I felt so badly about that I’ve been scared to try making candy ever since. 🙂 However, “pumpkin spice” are two of my favorite words in the English language SO I may have to try again with this recipe! Question…does it have to be light corn syrup, or is dark ok? I always keep dark corn syrup in my pantry for my favorite chocolate bourbon pecan pie recipe and wanted to double-check it was necessary to purchase a separate product before doing so. Thanks!

  8. I made this toffee last night. Followed the recipe exactly & it came out perfect!! Love love love the toasted pecans!! The addition of the white chocolate is a nice touch. Will be making again very soon!

  9. What did I do wrong? When I poured it out of the pot the butter separated out and it was watery

    1. Hi Celeste! It wasn’t stirred enough in the pan. If you decide to try it again, stir vigorously to combine that butter into the cooking candy.

  10. Hi Sally
    I’m eager to try this toffee but can’t find corn syrup here in the uk and am not sure if there’s a suitable substitute that you may be able to recommend ?

  11. Hi Sally- I made this toffee recipe for the first time yesterday with my sister and it turned out sooo yummy! Especially since this was either of our first time making candy, But for some reason our toffee never really got that nice dark golden color…. ours stayed a blondish color. it hit the temp on the candy thermometer. And I weighed the ingredients. And when you bite into it the taste is great and it has that right amount of TOFFEE crunch. Any ideas that caused ours not to darken?

    1. Tierney, it’s actually a lot of various little reasons from the type of pan you use to the brand of butter to the weather that day. Sometimes my toffee is much lighter if I use another pan or brand of butter. As long as it tastes good, that’s fantastic. So glad you and your sister tried the pumpkin spice toffee!

  12. Hi Sally,
    I was excited to try out this toffee recipe and everything was going smoothly until I started to smell burning. I followed the directions stirring vigorously every minute and used a 5-ply saucepan. When I poured my toffee out on the silicone mat I noticed a burnt spot directly underneath the candy thermometer. I was unable to stir where it was placed and didn’t think to move it while cooking the toffee. Has this ever happened to you?

    1. Hi Nicole! It hasn’t happened to me before and I’m so sorry you experienced it! Are you using a heavy pot? If you decide to try the homemade toffee again, you can always move the candy thermometer over along the pan’s rim so you can stir underneath it.

  13. First time trying your monthly baking challenge! Thanks for the super thorough steps and the video, it all really helped! It was my first venture into candy-making and it wasn’t a complete disaster! My only issue was some slight butter separation right at the end when I went to pour into the pan (and reached the sides of the pan on 2 sides). I was JUST about to ask for thoughts on what might have went wrong, but I see in the comments I might not have been stirring it as often as I should have. Always next time! Thanks again and looking forward to November’s challenge!

  14. So I made this last week. It turned out perfectly! So yummy and much easier than I thought it would be. You cured my fear of candy, Sally!

    One word of caution: it has apparently become my job to make this stuff. 😉 I made two batches and brought some to work last week. This week, no fewer than 3 coworkers and my boss came into my office to ask when I planned to make more. I took the other batch to my mom when I visited her this past weekend. She texted me to tell me that HER coworkers asked when I would be making more as well. You have been warned. 🙂

  15. Hi Sally, I cant seem to find the white chocolate baking bar. My stores have everything from semi-sweet to bitter-sweet bars but no white chocolate. Can I substitute Ghiradelli white baking chips?

    1. Hi Lana! White chocolate chips could work in a pickle, yes. Sprinkle them on top of the warm toffee right after you pour it out onto the baking sheet. Let them sit for a few minutes to soften from the heat, then spread all over. Enjoy!

  16. This was trickier than I expected! The first batch was very dark, had a slight burnt flavor, and the butter separated at the end, despite taking it off at exactly 290 degrees. The second batch I skipped the candy thermometer and just took it off the heat when the color matched yours! Perfect! Except the butter did still separate at the end. I stirred almost constantly the entire time and even followed your tip of taking it off the heat and stirring vigorously to get it back together. It tastes wonderful but wondering why my butter separated??

    1. Hi Amanda! I’m so glad it worked out for you despite the butter separating. Keeping the candy on medium heat and in a HEAVY saucepan will help prevent it from separating. The only fix it to just continue stirring vigorously (off heat) to bring it back together.

      1. Make sure that you use high quality butter. The store brands just don’t work. The ONLY toffee I ever ruined was due to using cheap butter. Well once I shorched a batch, but that was my fault.

  17. Sally does it again! This is absolutely delishious! Not only does my home smell like a candy store, but the toffee looks so elegant in a glass jar! This is a keeper recipe for fall staples. Thank you!

  18. OH.MY.GOD!!!!

    I think I’ve just died and gone to heaven. This is what I want be buried with when the time comes. This is so good it is unreal.

  19. This recipe is so easy, just time consuming. I tried it last year and my butter separated so I bought a better saucepan. This time everything was perfect!

  20. hi sally
    I didn’t have any problems with butter separation or burning. However, the white chocolate separated from the toffee when I cut it into pieces. Do you have any suggestions?

    1. Hi Carol, if you wait too long and your toffee layer is completely cold before adding the white chocolate they can separate. Next time let the toffee cool for only 5 minutes so it’s still a bit warm when spreading your chocolate and also be sure to use a good quality pure white chocolate.

  21. If your butter separates you can also add a tablespoon or 2 of water, this is the only way I have had luck with bringing it back together. I have thrown out a few batches with the stir only method. But adding the water works!

  22. The recipe calls for light corn syrup, but is dark okay if necessary? If you covered this in the post and I missed it, I apologize!

  23. Hi Sally! I love your website and all of your delicious recipes!! Is there a way to make this recipe without corn syrup? Thanks!

    1. Hi Robin, We haven’t tested it but a couple of readers have used the same amount of honey with good success. Let us know if you try it!

  24. I’d love to try this, but I really do not like white chocolate and no one else in my family does either. Any suggestions for something else for the top?

    1. Hi Angela, Dark chocolate would also be delicious on top, or you can leave it plain!

Leave a Review!

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.