What Is Toffee Nut? Answered

Are you confused when Starbucks releases the annual seasonal menus, and are wondering what is toffee nut? Let’s learn more about this sweet, nutty brew. 

What is toffee nut
Add an interesting flavor twist to your coffee with toffee nut syrup

Nothing is worse than a bland-tasting shot of espresso or coffee in the morning. With toffee nut syrup, you can add an interesting flavor twist to your cup of Joe, but what is toffee nut? 

Toffee nut is a sweet and delicious syrup made from buttery toffee and crunchy walnuts, pecan, or other nut flavorings. It has a slightly caramelized flavor which pairs perfectly with coffee. For those die-hard coffee lovers out there, toffee nut is a great way to bring a new flavor element into your morning cup of coffee.

Why Toffee Nut Is So Popular

While toffee nut syrup and traditional toffee sauce have been around for quite some time, most people are now paying attention thanks to Starbucks‘ annual holiday drink menu.

The coffee giant releases festive-themed drinks every year. Often, one of the stars is the toffee nut latte or a toffee nut cold brew. This concoction is made with a toffee nut foam topping, real toffee nut sprinkles, and a bit of vanilla flavoring as well as using Starbucks toffee nut syrup within the cold brew itself.

Today, more and more coffee shops, restaurants, and cafés are jumping on the trend. You can find toffee nut syrup being added to cappuccino flavors and blended into cold brews. There’s always the option of adding it yourself to craft your own delicious drinks.

The nostalgic taste of toffee nut syrup can easily transport you back to childhood memories of the Christmas and winter holidays.

What Is Toffee Syrup?

Most people know about toffee candy. It’s that hard, super sweet, brittle candy that comes mixed with different nuts that you get during Christmas. But toffee nut syrup is a bit of a twist on the traditional toffee recipe.

To understand what makes toffee nut so special, you’ll need to get a basic understanding of toffee syrup. Unlike toffee nut flavors used today in coffee, toffee syrup has been used for centuries in traditional English desserts like sticky toffee pudding. Today, it has been modified slightly to include an array of flavors, from dark chocolate, butterscotch, and, most importantly, the nutty flavor of walnuts or almonds.

Traditional toffee syrup is made with a blend of ingredients, including brown sugar, butter, cream, and vanilla extract. The yield is a super thick caramel syrup that can be used to enhance the flavor of ice cream, shakes, smoothies, and of course, hot or cold coffee.

Most people put this caramel sauce on waffles or other pastries, too, for a delicious, sweet kick. When making toffee syrup, the darker and thicker the sauce, the richer the flavor will be.

What Does Toffee Nut Taste Like?

Pan of homemade English toffee
Toffee nut tastes like the warm freshly cooked butter toffee

Have you ever smelled freshly cooked, warm buttery toffee? That’s what toffee nut tastes like! It has a rich buttery flavor that blends nicely with your cup of coffee.

It creates a slightly sweet, but not overpowering, flavor. The flavor is unique and pairs brilliantly with coffee as it takes away some of the bitterness associated with traditional espresso or black coffee while giving it a deeper, warmer flavor profile.

Some people have compared it to the taste of butterscotch. It’s a lot like that, but with more of an underlying nutty flavor. The nuttiness comes from using walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, or almonds in the recipe to create a more complex and distinct flavor profile.

Toffee Syrup Vs. Toffee Nut Syrup

While making toffee syrup is relatively straightforward, toffee nut flavors are a bit different. Toffee nut has the same main components as traditional toffee syrup – cream, butter, sugar, vanilla extract – except it also includes walnuts or other nuts and hints of golden, browned butter. The combination of these ingredients creates an irresistible flavor profile that will make you want to add this syrup to your morning coffee.

The addition of macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, or almonds in toffee nut syrup creates a unique flavor that pairs amazingly with coffee. The sweetness and nuttiness of the syrup go perfectly with espresso shots, lattes, mochas, hot chocolate, and cappuccinos.

While it is incredibly delicious, don’t be confused by the lack of thick, syrupy goodness. Most toffee syrups for coffees now come in clear or golden liquids, which are easier to mix with your flavored coffees.

How To Use Toffee Nut Syrup

The great thing about toffee nut syrup is that it goes with almost any type of coffee-based drink. You can add a few drops of the syrup directly into your mug or cup, or you can add it when making espresso, lattes, or cold brew. You can also drizzle toffee nut syrups over whipped cream.

Finally, you can add thinner syrups to cold drinks, like blended iced coffee or cold brew, for a delicious flavor boost. You might also find our caramel macchiato vs. vanilla latte guide useful.

Finding The Perfect Flavor

If you’re new to trying nuts, don’t think you’ll like the way they taste, or haven’t had a chance to really grasp the intricate flavors of nuts, try this experiment out first. Take some raw nuts such as macadamia, almond, or hazelnut, and roast them in a 350-degree oven for a few minutes. The smell that comes from these roasting nuts should give you an idea of the flavor components of toffee nut syrup.

Don’t eat the nuts cold since it won’t allow you to grasp the full flavor profile. After you’ve toasted your nuts, you can see how different flavors of toffee nut syrups pair with your coffee; some may have a subtle flavor, while others will be more intense. For instance, the macadamia nut is usually more subtle than hazelnuts, while almonds are a bit more intense. 

Using Toffee Nut Syrup With Your Coffee 

Once you’ve found your preferred nutty flavor, you’ll want to shop around for the best toffee nut syrup to go with your coffee. Most modern syrups, such as those made by Starbucks, Torani, or Monin syrups, can easily be found at your local supermarket or on Amazon.

These toffee nut syrups aren’t thick like traditional toffee sauce, but they still have that same syrup taste. Instead, they have a clear, brown, or golden hue and are a thin liquid you can easily stir into your coffee or use to make a toffee nut latte. A word of caution, you won’t want to use more than a pump or two of this flavoring syrup for your coffee since they might leave an overwhelming, concentrated taste lingering due to artificial flavorings.

While you might not like the idea of artificial flavoring, remember that people with nut allergies can benefit from these artificial syrups, as they are formulated without nuts. However, always check the label to see the allergen information. Some toffee nut syrups might be made with a combination of natural flavors and ingredients, including tree nuts and artificial ingredients too.

Homemade Or Artisan Toffee Nut Syrup

If you’re looking to keep things simple and would prefer a syrup that is more natural, many companies now offer flavored versions of their traditional toffee nut syrups. These are made with a blend of real cream, butter, and sugar with a blend of nut extract. Most commonly, almond extract is used to make toffee nut syrup.

It’s thicker than regular syrup because it’s meant to be used as more of a topping for your coffee rather than just mixing it in. However, some companies do offer versions that are thinner and easier to mix with your coffee drinks. Whether you choose to buy a store-bought or homemade version of toffee nut syrup, you’re sure to be delighted by the flavorful and sweet addition it makes to your morning cup of coffee.

Can I Make Toffee Nut Syrup At Home?

Sweet almond oil, first extraction in a jar
The most popular choice for homemade toffee nut syrups is an almond extract

The good news is that you can make toffee nut syrup in the comfort of your own home. All you need are some simple ingredients and a little bit of patience. The most popular choice for homemade toffee nut syrups is an almond extract, but you can also use hazelnut or macadamia nut extract if you have it on hand.

Follow this recipe below:

  • Bring half a cup of brown sugar, half a cup of white sugar, toffee nut bits, and one cup of water to a simmer for around seven minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add a pinch of sea salt and one teaspoon of your preferred nut extract.
  • Take the syrup off the heat and strain it into a heat-proof mug or container. Let it cool and refrigerate.
  • Remove the top layer of gunk from the top after it’s cooled, and voila.

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy learning how to make caramel iced coffee with a Keurig

Author

  • Veronica Heurta

    Veronica Huerta is a Journalism major who graduated in 2021 with a BA in Journalism from California State University Long Beach and AA in Journalism from Long Beach City College. She is not only a writer, but also has a decade working in the medical field as an emergency medical technician and psychiatric technician. A Los Angeles native, she knows how fast fads come and go, and what it takes to create high-quality coffee. Her combined career in the medical field and as a writer allow her to write objective and highly-researched reviews on coffee and other products that can benefit people's physical and mental health.