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Homemade Almond Roca Recipe

Addicting homemade candy, this recipe for almond roca is the perfect holiday treat.
a bowl of homemade almond roca on a white board with almonds and chocolate chips

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My Nana’s Almond Roca Recipe is the perfect holiday treat. A delicious buttercrunch toffee topped with melted chocolate, this will become a family holiday favorite year after year.

a bowl of homemade almond roca on a white board with almonds and chocolate chips

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My aunt painstakingly recreated my Nana’s famous recipe for almond roca after her passing with the help of the world’s vaguest recipe card found in my grandma’s kitchen.

Much like Aunt Barbara’s Old Fashioned Fudge and my mom’s Nordy Bars, homemade almond roca is a holiday tradition that we enjoy once a year. And I’m excited to share it with you and your family!

Helpful Almond Roca Recipe Supply List

*If you don’t have a candy thermometer, read the recipe carefully for visual cues to know when your toffee is done.

Blanched almonds are best for making buttercrunch, but I do often use the presliced almonds that have a little skin still on them from Costco without any trouble. If you want to blanch your own almonds (it takes forrrrrever), follow this recipe.

Common Almond Roca Issues

The most common issue when making the buttercrunch is allowing the ingredients to change temperature too rapidly. I cook mine on a constant medium to medium-low (depending on your stove) temp to maintain a steady temp.

If you adjust the temperature of the toffee suddenly, it may “break” and the butter could separate. Steady heating the whole time is the way to go! And yes, it does take a long time of stirring (almost 15 minutes if done correctly) to make the buttercrunch. Your arms are going to get jacked. Be excited.

two photos showing the finished toffee for making almond roca

Left: toffee after 5 minutes of cooking. Right: toffee after 15 minutes of cooking on medium-low. Notice how the toffee separates when the spoon is pulled through it. That’s a GREAT sign it is ready!

Speaking of even heating, you’ll need a quality heavy-bottomed saucepan to prevent the buttercrunch from burning. Stick with a larger saucepan (12ish cups) that you can still lift to pour. I use this saucepan

Another common mistake is making your homemade roca on a hot or rainy day. For best results, make your almond roca on a cool dry day. Additional humidity in the air can and likely will impact the quality of your toffee. Science!

If you use crappy unsalted butter, your roca is going to have some issues. The buttercrunch may become grainy and lack flavor.

And finally, my last piece of advice is to NOT try to double this recipe. It’s so tempting (all the stirring!), but just like when you’re making jam, doubling = trainwreck.

3 steps showing how to make almond buttercrunch

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes

  • Pay attention to the cooking times noted in the recipe card. This is a recipe that is easy, but it does require patience and if you rush the steps, your almond roca is going to have problems.
  • Once fully cooled, break the toffee into pieces and store at room temperature in an air-tight container for up to 4 weeks.
  • If you have Trader Joe’s near you, they carry very affordable organic corn syrup around the holidays.
  • This is one of those recipes where it is worth shelling out the extra cash for top-quality butter. I use Kerrygold from Costco or Organic Valley’s European-style butter. Never use margarine.
  • I recommend the best chocolate chips you can afford. I’ve seen recipes where people use Hershey bars. If you use low-quality chocolate like that, you’ll find it will easily separate from the buttercrunch when cooled. 

More Delicious Homemade Treats You’ll Love

a stack of almond butter crunch on a plate

a bowl of homemade almond roca on a white board with almonds and chocolate chips
Print Recipe
5 from 5 ratings

Homemade Almond Roca Recipe

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Cooling time3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 30 mins
Addicting homemade candy, this recipe for almond roca is the perfect holiday treat.

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Line a 12x17 baking sheet with parchment. Place it on top of hot pads where it can rest undisturbed for 3-5 hours. The baking sheet will get very hot when the toffee is poured onto it.
  • Pulse 1/4 cup of slivered almonds in a food processor or finely chop by hand. Set aside.
  • Bring 1/4 cup water, sugar, and corn syrup to a boil over medium heat.
    1/4 cup water, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • Add the butter, stirring gently. When it has melted, add the almonds.
    1/2 pound butter, 1 pound almonds {blanched and sliced}
  • Stir constantly until the toffee has browned and it smells like caramel (~15 minutes. Be patient, it's a slow process.). The mixture will be very thick but keep stirring! If you're using a candy thermometer, it will be ready at 295 degrees (hardcrack stage).
  • Remove from heat and using a wooden spoon, very quickly pour it onto the baking sheet lined with parchment, and spread it around as evenly as possible. Work quickly because it becomes hard to spread as it cools. 
  • Sprinkle the buttercrunch with the chocolate chips, and allow them to get melty. Pro tip: If your kitchen is cold, lightly tent a piece of foil over the baking sheet to assist the melting process of the chocolate chips.
    12 oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • Once the chocolate chips are shiny, use an offset spatula or butter knife to spread the chocolate evenly over the toffee.
  • Immediately sprinkle with reserved crushed almonds.
  • Place the tray in a cool place in your house and allow to cool completely. It can take up to 5 hours to cool completely. It has cooled when the chocolate on top is no longer shiny.
  • Break into pieces and store in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 4 weeks.

Notes

Important: for best results, make your homemade almond roca on a cool dry day. Additional humidity in the air can and likely will impact the quality of your toffee. 
To avoid the toffee separating, keep the temperature constant and avoid cooking the buttercrunch too quickly.
If you don't have a candy thermometer, the toffee will be ready when it is a creamy beige color and it will smell like caramel. You'll be able to move a wooden spoon through it and the toffee will stay separated for a few seconds. See photos in the post above for a visual of what the finished toffee should look like.
Nutrition Facts
Homemade Almond Roca Recipe
Amount Per Serving (33 g)
Calories 261 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 16mg5%
Sodium 58mg3%
Potassium 172mg5%
Carbohydrates 23g8%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 19g21%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 195IU4%
Calcium 50mg5%
Iron 1.3mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

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17 comments on “Homemade Almond Roca Recipe”

  1. The parchment paper is unnecessary. There’s so much butter in the toffee that it won’t stick.

  2. My family also does roca every year, recipe is slightly different,  it comes together essentially the same way. We found out through happenstance a couple years ago that if you use a non-stick pot (I have a Calphalon that is… 4qts) you don’t have to stir. At all. After 30+ years of wicked arm work outs, this was a welcome find. I know some folks are anti non stick, which is totally legit, but if you’re not, it’s a good way to save your arms. 

    • Ohhhh, amazing find! I don’t have a non-stick pan but I’m sure someone does and will find this tip so helpful.

      Meanwhile, I’ll just keep bulking up with my Thor arms. 🙂

  3. Unsalted butter in the dog’s wotsits!

  4. chocolate… yum. butter… yum.5 stars

  5. for some reason the ingredients just crack me up, I had no idea that is what is in these! And they are so good5 stars

  6. I’m super lazy and am wondering how essential it is to blanch the almonds. Is it just for looks? *crosses fingers hopefully*

    • You can buy blanched almonds! It is to make the finished product more clean and pleasing. Almonds with skin on have some bitterness. Plus the skins will start to come off during all the stirring and will be floating around in the toffee. If it doesn’t bother you, go for the skin-on.

      • Perfect! We bought a huge thing of almonds years ago and I’m looking forward to using them up. Thanks!

      • It’s a Christmas miracle! Not only did the Rocca turn out beautifully, but both kids napped during the crucial boiling and spreading times. Thank you for sharing this family recipe!5 stars

      • Isn’t it amazing when the kids actually nap when we need them to? Praise the Christmas miracle. So glad you were able to make it and I hope you loved it.

  7. Thank you for sharing this SWEET family tradition!

  8. WHY would you tempt me with this delicious looking treat!?! I am so trying this for Christmas baking. Thanks for sharing.