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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

  • There are no substitutes for the corn syrup in this recipe. In order to for your almond buttercrunch to turn out, you must use corn syrup.
  • 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’s bars. If you use low-quality chocolate like that, you’ll find it will easily separate from the buttercrunch when cooled. 
  • 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.
a stack of almond butter crunch on a plate
5 from 8 ratings

Homemade Almond Roca Recipe

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Cooling time: 3 hours
Total: 3 hours 30 minutes
a bowl of homemade almond roca on a white board with almonds and chocolate chips
Addicting homemade candy, this recipe for almond roca is the perfect holiday treat.


  • 1 pound almonds {blanched and sliced} ~2 1/2 cups
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup {no substitutes}
  • 1/2 pound butter (2 sticks)
  • 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate


  • Line a 12×17 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/buttercrunch 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 toffee/buttercrunch 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 toffee/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.


  1. There are no substitutes for the corn syrup in this recipe. In order to for your almond buttercrunch to turn out, you must use corn syrup.
  2. 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.
  3. To avoid the toffee separating, keep the temperature constant and avoid cooking the buttercrunch too quickly.
  4. 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.


Serving: 33gCalories: 261kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 3gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 58mgPotassium: 172mgFiber: 2gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 195IUCalcium: 50mgIron: 1.3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @sustainablecooks or tag #sustainablecooks!

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About Sarah

Helping you serve up budget-friendly sustainable recipes with a side of balanced living.
Come for the food. Stay for the snark.

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  1. This was such a huge hit this year with our holiday treat giving! I will be ordering a candy thermometer as I think I let the mixture go just a second too long but it was still so well received that I shared the recipe site at least five times.  Thanks for your awesome instructions as this helps my confidence when trying brand new recipes. Another recipe win!5 stars

    1. I think in that case, it’s all about marketing and you tell people it’s “browned butter toffee”. 🙂

      So glad you enjoyed it! My Nana would be so pleased to know people are loving her almond roca.