Honeycomb / Cinder Toffee

Honeycomb / Cinder Toffee

This super simple honeycomb / cinder toffee recipe only uses 3 ingredients. It has been a British favourite for decades and most famously known in the form of a chocolate bar called Crunchie, which I used to love as a kid.

It’s such a good recipe to master and can be used in a variety of ways to elevate cakes and ice creams or to simply make your own crunchies. Check out my chocolate fudge cake recipe, where I used it to decorate the top and bottom edge of the cake.

You might also know it as: honeycomb candy, sponge toffee, fairy food candy, puff candy, seafoam, sponge toffee or hokey pokey, depending on where you’re from. It has so many names, but the recipes are almost all the same. For my recipe all you are going to need is these few ingredients: sugar, honey, water and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda). I prefer to use honey as different honeys can give different flavours to the finished toffee, but most recipes use an inverted sugar, such as corn syrup, glucose, molasses or golden syrup. So, if you don’t have honey, any of these will happily replace it! The structure of honeycomb toffee comes from when the bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and acid react to form carbon dioxide, which gets trapped as the sugar cools and hardens, creating a hard sponge-like texture, but the toffee remains light. Once cooled they can be broken up and dipped into melted chocolate, for a special treat, which are also perfect for gifting!


Honeycomb has a reputation for being tricky to make, but it is really quite simple and is all down to the preparation. Overall, it only takes about 10-12 minutes to make, but having the correct equipment and everything prepared in advance is key. One of the most important items to have is a tall saucepan. When the bicarbonate of soda is added to the sugary syrup, the mixture will bubble up and you will see why the tall pan is so important. You will also need a whisk, a heat resistant spatula and a sugar thermometer will make your life a lot easier, but if you don’t have one you can still give it a go!

If you decide to give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment below and rate it – it’s really helpful to me and the other readers. And don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #thegourmetlarder on Instagram. I love seeing what you come up with! 🙂


  • Ease: easy, using just 3 ingredients, remember preparation is key.
  • Diets: this recipe is gluten and dairy-free.
  • Great for: making other desserts, afternoon tea, picnics or friends and family visiting.
  • Taste and texture: a delicious sweet, crunchie toffee, covered with chocolate.
  • Serving: great on its own.
  • Quantity: 300g or 50 pieces (one 2cm square weighs around 6g)
  • Time: 15 minutes, plus 1 hour cooling.

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    For this recipe all you need are these ingredients:

    • Sugar – is key to getting the structure.
    • Honey / corn syrup / Golden syrup – are all a form of inverted sugar which helps prevent crystallisation.
    • Bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) – is a raising agent that reacts with the sugar and heat, to give us the air pockets, throughout the toffee.

    TIP: I highly recommend adding a good pinch of salt to your sweet creations. It would seem counterproductive, but it’s not I promise. Salt helps balance out the sweetness and richness. It also elevates the other ingredients, bring out the best characteristics of the recipe. In a seemingly absurd or contradictory way, salt intensifies the mouth’s ability to taste sweetness. Sodium sends signals to move glucose into the sweet taste receptor cells in our tongue, triggering the cells to register sweetness. The result is that salt not only alerts our ‘salt sensitivity’, but also our ‘sweet sensitive’ taste buds.


    • Different flavoured honeys – I used rapeseed honey but there are so many to choose from; sunflower, blossom, wildflower and heather to name a few.
    • Salt – for that additional saltiness, sprinkle the toffee once it is in the baking pan with a little salt.

    If you experiment, I would love to know how you get on and share it with the other readers.


    Serving: 6g piece

    Nutrition information can vary for a recipe based on factors such as precision of measurements, brands, ingredient freshness, or the source of nutrition data.

    I strive to keep the information as accurate as possible but make no warranties regarding its accuracy.

    I encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

    honeycomb toffee


    It is best to store the honeycomb toffee, in an airtight container, making sure to separate the pieces with parchment paper between. Depending on how well the container seals, will determine how long the honeycomb will last. The more they are exposed to air, the stickier and softer they will become. If you are only storing a small amount, I recommend using a glass jar and they should last up to 2 months.

    Do not place them in the fridge or freezer.

    © THE GOURMET LARDER. All images and content are copyright protected. Do not use my images without prior permission. Further information can be found in my FAQ’s.


    Here is some kitchen equipment that I use and recommend for this recipe.

    TIP: If you have ever ended up with dry, dense or crumbly baked goods, it might be because you’re using inaccurate measurements. I highly recommend using metric measurements and a digital scale, rather than cup measurements for example. You will find it much easier, less messy and you will get far better, consistent results weighing your ingredients. 🙂


    • Use a tall heavy based saucepan – once you add the bicarbonate of soda, it will expand significantly.
    • Preparation – make sure to prepare before you start. Have your lined baking pan ready and the bicarbonate of soda premeasured, along with a whisk and heat proof spatula.
    • Stay vigilant when making the honeycomb – don’t leave the pan of sugar syrup unattended and keep that heat on medium, too hot and it will catch, and you will end up with bitter caramel.
    • Temperature – allow the sugar syrup to reach the required temperature of 149°C known as hard crack. Taking the syrup off the heat too soon is a common mistake, causing the honeycomb to be sticky.


    honeycomb toffee

    Honeycomb / Cinder Toffee

    Preparation:2 minutes
    Baking:13 minutes
    Cooling:1 hour
    Total:1 hour 15 minutes
    Servings: 300 g or 50 pieces (6g each)
    Tools you’ll need:
    • 20cm / 8inch square baking pan
    This super simple honeycomb / cinder toffee recipe only uses 3 ingredients. It has been a British favourite for decades and is most famously known in the form of a chocolate bar called Crunchie, a sugary toffee with a light, rigid, sponge-like texture.


    • 300 g caster sugar
    • 100 g honey
    • pinch of fine sea salt (optional)
    • 3 tsp bicarbonate of soda / baking soda


    • Line and grease a 20cm (8inch) square pan with baking/parchment paper. *See notes.
    • Prepare the bicarbonate of soda and place it to one side for later.
    • In a tall, medium sized heavy based saucepan, add the sugar, honey and 2 tbsp of water and place the sugar thermometer to the side. Put it on a medium heat, until all of the sugar has dissolved. Try not to let the mixture bubble until the sugar has disappeared and if you need to give it a stir, use a heat-proof spatula. Scrape down the sides of the pan if the sugar comes up, as sugar crystals are your enemy and will cause it to be grainy. Be extra careful as it will be extremely hot.
      honeycomb toffee
    • Once completely melted, turn up the heat slightly and simmer for 8-12 minutes, until you have an amber coloured caramel. (Avoid stirring as it will create sugar crystals.) If you have a sugar thermometer you want it to reach 149°C / 300°F, also known as hard crack.
    • Then as quickly as you can, tip in the bicarbonate of soda and whisk for 3-4 seconds, until it has all disappeared and the mixture is foaming. Be careful as it will bubble up and expand quickly.
      honeycomb toffee
    • Immediately, pour into your lined greased pan as quickly as possible. Leave to cool fully for about 30-60 minutes.
      honeycomb toffee
    • Once cool, remove from the pan and break it into lots of pieces.
    • Chocolate coating: Melt some chocolate in a small heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Make sure the bowl is not touching the water. Once melted, dip your honeycomb into the chocolate and leave to cool on a wire rack or some greaseproof paper. Enjoy.

    Notes & Tips

    • Pan size – the size of pan will determine the height of your finished honeycomb. I use a 20cm square baking pan for tall honeycomb and a simple lined baking tray for thin honeycomb. I also recommend placing a baking tray/sheet underneath in case the honeycomb overflows.
    • Cleaning – fill your empty saucepan with hot soapy water, with any utensils you have used and leave for a few minutes before washing.
    KEYWORDS hokey pokey, honeycomb candy, seafoam, sponge toffee




    If you tried this Honeycomb Toffee or any other recipe on my website, please let me know how you got on in the comments below. I love hearing from you. Also, please leave a star rating whilst you’re there!

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