Indulge in a Scrumptious Sea Salted Toffee Bar Recipe

You may think that coffee and candy bars are two separate entities, with nothing in common except for their place on the grocery store shelves. But what if I told you that you could have the best of both worlds: a mouthwatering treat that combines the rich, robust flavor of coffee with the sweet, buttery toffee goodness of a candy bar? That’s right – I’m talking about Sea Salted Coffee Toffee Bars.

These bars are a perfect balance of salty and sweet, with a dense buttery cookie base that has just a hint of coffee flavor. On top of that, is a soft, nutty topping made from chopped raw pecans and hazelnuts, mixed with toffee bits and finished off with a generous sprinkling of sea salt. It’s like taking a bite out of heaven itself.

But why stop there? One of the great things about these bars is how versatile they are. They’re perfect for snacking on at your desk or enjoying with a cup of coffee in the morning. Or maybe you’re looking for something more indulgent – try adding a scoop (or two) of ice cream on top, or drizzling them with some salted caramel for an extra sweet treat.

Not convinced yet? These bars were even selected as the grand prize winner in the 2019 Theo Chocolate Bar Recipe Contest, beating out over 1400 other entries. And who doesn’t love a good winner?

So go ahead – indulge yourself with this recipe. You won’t regret it.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Sea Salted Coffee Toffee Bars
Sea Salted Coffee Toffee Bars

Listen up, folks. I know you’ve probably had your fair share of sweets before, but this sea salted coffee toffee bar recipe is on another level. Why will you love this recipe? Let me paint you a picture: imagine taking a bite into a dense buttery cookie with a hint of coffee that forms the base. Then, top that off with a soft and nutty topping finished with a sprinkling of flaky sea salt. Are you drooling yet?

But that’s not all – this recipe is versatile. It can be eaten as a snack, a dessert or even served as an appetizer garnished with fresh fruits and whipped cream. Not to mention, it’s also perfect for giving as gifts or bringing to potlucks.

The combination of sweet and salty in these bars will tickle your taste buds like you’ve never experienced before. And let’s not forget about the added crunch from whole pecans and hazelnuts mixed in with irresistible toffee bits. Trust me when I say, one bite of these sea salted coffee toffee bars and you’ll be hooked for life.

Oh, and did I mention the recipe won the grand prize in 2019? Yes – this recipe is tried and true by real people just like you who know what they’re talking about when it comes to good food.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your apron, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and let’s get baking!

Ingredient List

 Rich and buttery meets a subtle bite of sea salt.
Rich and buttery meets a subtle bite of sea salt.

Sea salt, whole pecans, and hazelnuts provide the crunch while pure vanilla extract and dark rum add depth to these Sea Salted Coffee Toffee Bars. The buttery, coffee-flavored base is made up of butter, sweetened condensed milk, and instant coffee crystals. To create the classic toffee texture, all you need is a mixture of all-purpose flour, salt, and dark brown sugar, with a touch of sea salt for flavor. To make the first layer, you’ll need 2 sticks (1 cup) of butter, soft and fluffy, along with 1 and 1/2 cups of the flour mixture. For the second layer, combine 1 can of sweetened condensed milk with 2 tablespoons of instant coffee and pour it over the first layer. Finally, you will need to chop raw pecans, hazelnuts, and toffee bits for a nutty topping finished off with a sprinkling of flaky sea salt on top.

The Recipe How-To

 A tempting treat for coffee and chocolate lovers alike.
A tempting treat for coffee and chocolate lovers alike.

Now that you have gathered all the ingredients, let’s dive into making these Sea Salted Coffee Toffee Bars. This recipe has three parts – the base layer, the toffee layer, and the topping. Follow these easy steps to make these delectable and chewy bars.

Base Layer

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat together two sticks of softened butter, 1 cup dark brown sugar, and 2 tsp pure vanilla extract until it forms a light and fluffy mixture.
  3. Add in 2 cups all-purpose flour and 1/2 tsp salt and mix until well-incorporated.
  4. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  5. Once the mixture is well-combined, transfer it into the baking pan by pressing it flat using a spatula or clean hands.
  6. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.

Toffee Layer

  1. While your base layer is baking, make your toffee by melting 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter in a medium saucepan over low heat.
  2. Once melted, add in 1 can of sweetened condensed milk, 1 cup dark brown sugar firmly packed, 2 tbsp instant coffee crystals, and 1/4 cup of dark rum (optional).
  3. Whisk continuously over low heat for about 10 minutes or until it thickens into a caramel-like consistency.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in one cup of finely chopped pecans or hazelnuts, and half cup of toffee bits or chopped raw coffee beans.
  5. Pour the hot mixture over the baked base layer, spreading it evenly with a spatula.


  1. For the topping, sprinkle two teaspoons of instant coffee onto the still-warm toffee layer.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of chopped pecans or hazelnuts with 1/2 cup of toffee bits or chopped raw coffee beans.
  3. Distribute this nutty mixture evenly over the toffee layer to form a dense, buttery cookie hint with a salted crunch.
  4. Return the pan back to the oven and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned on top and crisp at the edges.
  5. Let it cool completely before cutting into slices or bars using a sharp knife.

These Sea Salted Coffee Toffee Bars are absolutely addicting and perfect for any occasion!

Substitutions and Variations

 Satisfy your sweet tooth cravings with these irresistible toffee bars.
Satisfy your sweet tooth cravings with these irresistible toffee bars.

When it comes to making these sea salted coffee toffee bars, there is a world of potential substitutions and alterations. Here are some ideas for how you can mix things up and still end up with a batch of delicious dessert bars.

– Nuts: While the recipe calls for whole pecans and hazelnuts, you can swap in other nuts depending on what you have on hand or what flavors you prefer. Walnuts, almonds, macadamias, or cashews would all work well in this recipe.

– Toffee bits: If you can’t find store-bought coffee toffee bits, or if you’d simply like to change things up, you can make your own toffee bits using this recipe from Real Simple. You could also substitute regular toffee bits for the coffee-flavored ones.

– Sweetness level: The sweetened condensed milk and dark brown sugar give these bars a rich, sweet flavor balanced by the sea salt topping. However, if you prefer a less-sweet dessert, you could reduce the amount of sugar or use bittersweet chocolate instead of semisweet.

– Flour type: While all-purpose flour works great in this recipe, you could experiment with using other types of flour as well. Whole wheat flour would add a nutty flavor and heartiness to these bars, while spelt or oat flour could provide extra texture.

– Chocolate topping: While the sea salt topping is an essential part of these bars’ flavor profile, you could also consider adding another layer of decadence by drizzling melted dark chocolate on top of the cooled bars. Alternatively, stir some dark cocoa powder into the toffee mixture to give it a deeper chocolate flavor.

– Vegan swaps: If you want to make these bars vegan-friendly, you can use coconut oil or vegan margarine in place of butter and coconut condensed milk in place of sweetened condensed milk. Theo makes a delicious vegan dark chocolate bar that would work great as a topping.

No matter how you choose to customize this recipe, one thing is for sure – once you take a bite into the dense, buttery cookie base and nutty topping finished with a sprinkling of sea salt, you won’t be able to resist making these bars again and again.

Serving and Pairing

 Each bite brings a perfect balance of flavors and textures.
Each bite brings a perfect balance of flavors and textures.

Alright, folks. We’ve made it to the fun part: serving and pairing these sea-salted coffee toffee bars. When you take your first bite of these babies, you’ll have an explosion of salty and sweet flavors in your mouth. So what’s the best way to enjoy them?

First things first, pair them with a cup of coffee. It’s not called “coffee toffee” for nothing, right? The nutty and chocolatey flavors in the toffee perfectly complement the rich and bold flavors in coffee. If you’re feeling fancy, try a shot of dark rum or a splash of pure vanilla extract in your coffee to really take it up a notch.

Now, let’s talk about serving. These bars are dense and buttery, so they’re perfect for snacking on their own or as an after-dinner dessert. However, if you want to get creative, try crumbling them up and using them as a topping over ice cream. Trust me, there’s nothing better than a scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with chunks of sea-salted coffee toffee bars.

If you’re looking for other ideas, try pairing these bars with some fresh fruit like strawberries or blueberries to balance out the sweetness. The nutty flavor also complements other desserts like brownies or cookies.

No matter how you choose to serve and pair these sea-salted coffee toffee bars, you won’t be disappointed. They’re sure to be a crowd-pleaser at any occasion, from a fancy dinner party to a casual weekend get-together with friends. So go ahead and indulge in this delicious treat – you deserve it!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A little bit of salt and a little bit of caffeine make these bars a winning combination.
A little bit of salt and a little bit of caffeine make these bars a winning combination.

Congratulations! You have successfully baked the sea salted coffee toffee bars, and now you’re wondering how to store and reheat them. Don’t panic! Here are some instructions that will help you make the most out of these delicious bars.

If you want to make these bars ahead of time, it’s best to store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. This way, they will retain their freshness and texture. However, if you’re looking to keep them longer than that, it’s best to freeze them.

Freezing these bars is easy. First, let them cool down completely before wrapping them in plastic wrap tightly. Once wrapped, place them in a freezer-safe container or bag and label them with the date. They will last up to one month in the freezer.

When you’re ready to eat them, defrost the bars at room temperature for about an hour or two before enjoying them. You can also reheat them by placing them in the oven at 350°F for ten minutes or until warmed throughout.

Although these bars are perfect on their own, there are many great ways to serve and pair them. Try serving these coffee toffee bars with a scoop of vanilla or caramel ice cream and top it off with some extra sea salt flakes for contrast. Or pair them with a cup of freshly brewed coffee or hot chocolate for an indulgent treat.

Finally, remember that these bars are incredibly addictive, so it’s best not to make too many at once – unless you’re planning on sharing, of course!

Tips for Perfect Results

 A must-have dessert for any coffee shop lover.
A must-have dessert for any coffee shop lover.

When it comes to making sea salted coffee toffee bars, there are some critical tips and tricks that can mean the difference between a perfect batch and a disaster. Here are some essential tips for achieving the best possible results with this recipe:

Firstly, ensure that you use good quality ingredients! Your efforts will pay off much more and give you the fantastic taste of the toffee bars. Use organic and high-quality nuts like whole pecans or hazelnuts, premium dark chocolate like Theo chocolate bar, fair-trade sugar or cane sugar for making the toffee. The base layer of the bars is a dense, buttery cookie with a hint of coffee flavor, so it’s essential to use instant coffee crystals with good quality brands like Real Simple.

Next up, don’t skimp on butter! Butter is the main ingredient in this recipe. It gives richness and flavor to the nuts layer and helps hold everything together. Make sure you use softened butter when preparing both layers of the bar. Beat it together with dark brown sugar and salt until light and fluffy, as this forms the base of your bars.

One tip when baking your toffee is to make sure you preheat your oven at least 10-15 minutes. By doing that, the temperature will remain constant during baking time which ensures uniform cooking.

Flaky sea salt on top adds flavor and texture to these bars, but be careful not to overdo it! A few pinches after baking the bars would be enough rather than salting them excessively before baking.

While making these bars involves just seven ingredients, there can always be variations in oven temperature or cookie thickness that affects baking time. So watch your toffee carefully while cooking; make sure that the caramel has formed before adding your nuts topping.

Finally, give your sea-salted coffee toffee bars plenty of time to cool before slicing into neat squares with a sharp knife. Once cut neatly into pieces, plate them up with a scoop of ice cream or pair them with black coffee or coffee with small amounts of milk for an enjoyable treat.

By following these helpful tips, you can make perfect sea salted coffee toffee bars every single time!

Bottom Line

Are you ready to take your taste buds on a flavorful journey with me? I hope this sea salted coffee toffee bars recipe has made your mouth water and your stomach growl. These bars are the perfect blend of sweet and salty, crunchy and creamy, and nutty and chocolatey. With whole pecans and hazelnuts, pure vanilla extract, dark rum, and instant coffee crystals – these coffee toffee bars are sure to impress anyone who tries them.

The versatility of this recipe allows for customizations to suit individual preferences. Use all-purpose flour for the base, swap out the pecans for a different type of nut, or perhaps add some dark chocolate chunks for an extra indulgent touch. The possibilities are endless!

These salty-sweet treats are ideal for any occasion – perfect as a hostess gift, a dessert to end a dinner party or an afternoon snack paired with a hot cup of coffee. And best of all, they can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days or frozen for longer storage.

In conclusion, with its delightful balance of flavors and textures, these sea salted coffee toffee bars are guaranteed crowd-pleasers for any occasion. Impress your friends, family or guests with this decadent recipe that is easy to make but tastes like it came straight from a gourmet bakery. Try this recipe today – you won’t be disappointed!

Sea Salted Coffee Toffee Bars

Sea Salted Coffee Toffee Bars Recipe

Print Recipe
A dense, buttery cookie with a hint of coffee forms a base for the soft, nutty topping. Finished with a sprinkling of sea salt, these bars offer a contemporary balance of both sweet and savory flavors.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword < 60 Mins, Bars, Christmas, Cookie and Brownie, Dessert, Thanksgiving
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Servings 18 2-inch bars
Calories 328.5


First Layer

  • 1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee crystals

Second Layer

  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract or 2 teaspoons dark rum
  • 1 1/2 1 1/2 cups almonds or 1 1/2 cups mixed nuts
  • 1/2-1 tablespoon crystal sea salt (large crystals)


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a mixing bowl, beat together butter, brown sugar and salt until light and fluffy.
  • Add flour, 1 cup at a time, stirring between additions. Add instant coffee crystals and blend until well incorporated.
  • Pat batter into ungreased 9x13x2-inch baking pan in an even layer.
  • Bake until edges are lightly browned and center is puffy, 12 to 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in heavy saucepan, stir condensed milk and 2 tablespoons butter over low heat until butter melts. The mixture will thicken and become smooth. Stir in vanilla or rum, remove from heat and let sit until bottom layer is done baking.
  • Sprinkle nuts over baked bottom layer and pour hot condensed milk mixture evenly over nuts using a spatula to spread.
  • Return to the oven and bake until top is golden and bubbling, 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Immediately sprinkle desired amount of sea salt over bubbling toffee top. Cool slightly in pan and cut into bars. Bars can be kept up to one week in an airtight container.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 1294g | Calories: 328.5kcal | Carbohydrates: 35.9g | Protein: 4.1g | Fat: 19.5g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 391.5mg | Fiber: 1.2g | Sugar: 24.3g

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