Cast Iron Pan Candy


This candy tastes like butter toffee, and it’s so simple, you probably have the ingredients right now. It’s very inexpensive–and delicious! It’s also fun to make (and a good one to make with kids).

I found the recipe here. It was posted on the Chickens in the Road forum as a suggestion right after Morgan got her braces off. I meant to try it, then forgot about it. Then remembered it! So here it is. The original recipe called for regular sugar. I was living dangerously, so I decided to try this with brown sugar. I chose vanilla for the flavoring. You could use any flavoring you have on-hand–lemon, orange, rum, etc. You can make this in whatever quantity you want, just keep the butter and sugar in equal parts.

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How to make Cast Iron Pan Candy:

1 cup of butter
1 cup of brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla

Melt butter in a cast iron pan over medium-low heat.
Add brown sugar.
Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 15 minutes as sugar gradually blends with the butter. At this point, I turned it up a little, to medium. At first it looks as if the butter is separating from the brown sugar. Keep cooking and stirring non-stop–the butter and brown sugar will meld together as the mixture thickens.

Update to add: My stovetop is gas and it goes from Low then 1 through 9 then High. I cooked this on 4 the first time and was having trouble getting the butter and sugar to meld and I turned it to 5 and it worked great. The next couple of times, I did it on 5. That temperature works best for me with my stove for this candy. That’s really more medium than medium low.
Be careful not to overcook and burn it–you should finish with a nice, rich caramelized color. In the last few minutes, stir in the vanilla. The directions suggested spooning or pouring small amounts onto waxed paper for individual candies. I decided to pour the whole pan out and cut the individual pieces apart later. This was much simpler. Butter the waxed paper very lightly to prevent sticking before pouring the candy out. (Ask me how I know that.) I also think it would do just fine to let it set up right in the cast iron pan. It would take longer to cool and set up (and the pieces would be thicker), but I don’t see why that wouldn’t work. I’m going to try that next time.
Let the candy cool and set up. After it’s firm but before it’s competely set, cut it into pieces. Then you can shape it, roll it, twist it, whatever you want to do to pretty it up. Store in an airtight container. Give it as gifts or eat it all by yourself! (You know you want to.) Suggestions on the forum included dipping spoons into the melted mixture, then cooling, to give as coffee stirrers. (Wouldn’t that be good? An alternate idea to the chocolate-dipped spoon gift–a butter toffee-dipped spoon!) You could also cut it into narrow “straws” to go right into coffee, without a spoon.
This is a plain and simple candy, nothing fancy about it, just good. I’m sure you have butter and sugar! Are you on your way to your kitchen right now?

See this recipe at Farm Bell Recipes and save it to your recipe box.

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  1. Jeni says:

    I make this every year for Christmas, but I take it to hard crack stage. Then I pour it over nuts (I prefer walnuts). While it’s still hot I put milk chocolate bars on top. They melt right away, then you spread them out. Break it up and enjoy!

  2. umstetter says:

    Yum, yum, yum!
    Due to lack of money, we’re “not having much of a Christmas”. Actually, we’re going to have a great Christmas! It will be a “Charlie Brown” Christmas for sure, but if we have fun, who cares? You’ve just given us another goodie to make for gifts for ourselves and for the kids’ dad and step-mom.

    I think we just need to be careful not to mix the hot glue on the twigs with hot candy on the plate! lol

  3. Marla says:

    Easy, great recipe for when you get those sugar cravings! But who gets those? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. Jenny says:

    It looks delicious… and so easy to make.

  5. Sara says:

    oh my :eating: I just gained 20 pound s read this and the other coments with…going to try this over the weekend

  6. CindyP says:

    I’m trying it, too! And to use the spoon idea (I’m going to use the pretty real silver ones from the thrift store) to give with my homemade Hot Cocoa Mix…..

    Next year, you need to create a written plan for us for what you’re going to be doing! All of these great ideas are coming out, and I want to do them all! All I need is time!!! :happyflower:

  7. Claudia says:

    That looks easy to make…. the chocoholic in me says dip it in chocolate! Homemade Heath bars! yum! :hungry:

  8. Tracey In Paradise,Pa. says:

    HOMEMADE HEATH BARS!! Oh yummmmo!! :shimmy:

  9. Leah says:

    If I had’nt just eaten a cookie,I’d be dying right now.

  10. Johanna says:

    Just made peanut brittle yesterday during the blizzard. Just a bit more complicated than your candy — and so classic! I love all the goodies of Christmas!

  11. JOJO says:

    This is such a versstile recipe, so many possible variations, but wonderful as is, I am looking forward to trying this.

  12. SarahGrace says:

    We don’t put in vanilla but we do pour it over graham crackers and top with almond slivers. Yum!! I don’t have a cast iron skillet or pan (they’ve been on my wish list for years!) so it can be done in a normal pot. Just make sure the heat isn’t up too high.

  13. Debnfla3 says:

    This looks sooo good! I’m going to make it today.

    That’s a great idea about dipping spoons in it to stif coffee with. That is going to be David’s stocking stuffer this year…toffee spoons! David loves all those flavored coffee creamers, I love just plain ole cream of half and half.

    Thanks for showing this. It really helps seeing the pictures you take when making recipes. I can be so unsure of what a direction means and seeing it done sure does help.


  14. Missy42 says:

    Oh Wow!! that looks awsome!! I’m going to try that, & maybe CindyP could post her homemade Hot Cocoa recipe? that would be great too!! YUM!!!!!
    Thanks Suzanne & have a great day!

  15. Kathie Truitt says:

    Not that I’ve lost respect for you as a writer because I definitely haven’t! BUT, I think you may have missed your ‘true’ calling! You need to be a food reporter, critic or better yet – have your own cooking show! These recipes are incredible.

  16. Julie Harward says:


  17. Wldflwr008 says:

    I can never decide if I want to open your page first, cuz I cannot wait………or save it for last… for last. It is just a joy to read and I always enjoy the photos. I grew up in an orange grove and our wood for the fireplace was orange wood. Such a glorious fragrance. That is the memory your fire brought today. I think I will go back and check some old posts and see the critters. Thank you, Suzanne.

  18. Maggie says:

    A friend gave me a recipe for cracker candy years ago using graham cracker and no nuts. It was so adictively good that I ‘misplaced’ it in an effort to save my hips. Now that my hips are beyond help I think I will have to start making this again.

    Happy Hanukkah everyone!

  19. Chic says:

    You brought back memories Suzanne…I used to make something similar to this years ago when my kids were little. I haven’t made it in years so today I’m going to make this…I love the other ideas too like the dipping spoons or putting chocolate on it or even the cracker thing. Great ideas for gifts…thanks! :hungry2:

  20. Minna says:

    I wonder if white sugar would work here…
    I would really need a Cup so that I wouldn’t have to convert Deciliters into Cups all the time. Maybe I could get one by swapping…

  21. Carol Langille says:

    Since my husband collects antique cast iron skillets, I’m definitely going to try this Cast Iron Skillet Candy…it looks wonderful and who doesn’t love the taste of butter toffee!! Heath Bars are my favorite candy in the whole world!
    Eat them s-l-o-w-l-y to make them last!
    You know something, Suzanne? If my Mom were still alive, she would absolutely LOVE Chickens in the Road! You have so many ideas for living life not just well but joyously and she was like that by necessity. You don’t need much money…just enough for the basics hopefully and everything else is just so much gravy…thank you for sharing so much with so many. You are a bright and shining star!

  22. Claudia W says:

    I am going to love this candy, I just know it!

  23. Cyndy Buiniskis says:

    ((sigh)) Poor me…sitting at my desk trying to start my workday and now consumed with cravings for homemade candy…hehehe

    WOW, this reminds me of making candy when we were kids,haven’t even thought of doing it in forever! Hubby loves his cast iron pans, wait til I show him this!! TGIF and a recipe for the weekend…SWEET! (pun intended)

    Thanks again Suzanne! Very much looking forward to trying this! yummmmmmm

  24. Miss Becky says:

    oh this looks yummy. Suzanne, yesterday I was tasked with making dozens of cookies for an office birthday celebration. One of the recipes I used was your Cheesecake Cookies recipe and reports coming in this morning indicate that it is a favorite among the hungry hordes gathering around the cookie trays. I have to agree, it is one of my faves, so you score again! I nominate Cheesecake Cookies as one of my current top 5 Christmas cookies and I now have immediate plans to try your Cast Iron Pan Candy! :eating: :happyflower:

  25. Cindy says:

    I do have butter and sugar! But…but…I don’t have a cast iron pan! What am I gonna do??? This looks yummy, and I know my mama would love it. Especially if I dipped an end of it in melted chocolate and rolled it in crushed almonds or pistachio nuts…

  26. Bertie says:

    I haven’t thought about this candy for years!! My mom and grandmother used to make this when I was little. Thanks for the “sweet” memories Suzanne!!

  27. RuthieG/TXLady says:

    Yum that looks wonderful…..can’t wait to try it.

  28. Just Kris says:

    Looks wonderful!! Is there a way to ensure it would be a softer caramel?? Would it require less cook time?

  29. JenInStCharles says:

    I am making this for sure! this looks great! Did you use unsalted or salted butter, Susanne?

  30. JenInStCharles says:

    whoops… typo…. Suzanne…. ๐Ÿ˜•

  31. Myrna Mackenzie says:

    I so do not need candy now (but I want it)! It’s been a long time since I’ve made anything like this, except…sometimes my son talks me into making Chocolate Peanut Butter fudge (or he makes it himself). It’s one of those things you can make in a microwave in minutes, so it’s good for lazy people like me (I take it Cast Iron Pan Candy is like that, too? We lazy people like fast, easy yummy things like that).

    See, now you have me thinking about fattening things. Life is so cruel. And I mean that in the best I’m-going-to-make-candy-this-weekend way when I wasn’t even thinking about it before this morning.

  32. brenda harmon says:

    I am so going to make this today. I love the idea Cindy had of dipping an end in choc. and nuts.

  33. Susan says:

    Excellent recipe! So easy and simple and sounds de-lish! Can’t wait to try it at home.

  34. Celia says:

    Oh wow! I need to get off the computer and in the kitchen! YUM! :yes:

  35. carol bellamy says:

    I am going to try this (in between the twigs I am hopelessly hooked


  36. Billy says:

    Good idea for homemade Presents.

  37. catslady says:

    This looks even easy enough for me lol.

  38. Angela says:

    Hey Suzanne!

    That lookis so simple and easy to do! :grinch: Plus it doesn’t cost much to do at all. :grinch: Most of us have all of the ingredients right in our pantry and frig. :grinch: I like the idea that someone mentioned about putting it on graham crackers and putting some chocolate on top! :grinch: This sounds like it is such a versitile recipe that you could do just about anything with it! :grinch:

    Angela :wave:

  39. debbie says:

    Wonder if I’d have the patience to let it cook ssssllloooowwwly. I tend to “help” things along by cranking that burner up.

  40. Jo says:

    I see that you said that this can be done in a regular pan….but you know what is so sad? I don’t own one cast iron pot and I used to sell them on ebay! Never kept one for myself. Now I shake my head. I sold lots of stuff on ebay that now I wish I had for myself. I’ll have to dig me up a couple cast iron pans at an auction.

    This recipe looks good!

    p.s. I got my Blue Ball book today! (thank you to the first person/company who sponsored it, they’re from St. Cloud, MN which isn’t too far from me!)

  41. Patty says:


    Turned it up too high.

    Burned it.

    Whole house smells like burned sugar.

    Sad. It was my last two sticks of butter.

    Now I have to go out in the cold. :snowman:

    I will not be defeated.

  42. rain says:

    :snoopy: heavenly !! :fairy:

  43. Julianne H. says:

    =( I just tried making this… but it didn’t come out right. The butter and sugar separated and never really melded together. I followed all the directions, except I reduced all the measurements in half. I’m thinking that maybe I burnt the sugar. Although, I had it on low/medium heat and was stirring the whole time. Should I have reduced the cooking time as well?

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      Julianne, I don’t know for sure as I haven’t tried it reduced in half. Someone over on the forum mentioned having the same problem when they tried it. It makes me wonder if the size of the pan might matter? If you’re using less, you might have better luck with a smaller pan. Or it could be temperature. My stovetop is gas and it goes Low then 1 through 9 then High. I cooked this on 4 the first time and was having trouble getting the butter and sugar to meld and I turned it to 5 and it worked great. The next couple of times, I did it on 5. That temperature works for me with my stove. That’s really more medium than medium low. The recipe instructions I was taking this from said medium low. (I should go add this note to the directions in my post, shouldn’t I? I’m going to do that right now!)

  44. lisa brawner says:

    my diet ended glad.. Now i can enjoy goodies. I have so many neat recipes from your blog to try out. I love the way you show the steps and how it all turns out….

  45. Emily says:

    I tried it today. Didn’t work. The first time i did it, it turned into a goopy, grainy pile so i figured I didn’t cook it long enough. The next time the butter and sugar never melded and I used the exact measurments. What am I doing wrong? Should it, or shouldn’t it bubble while cooking?

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      Mine bubbles while I’m cooking it. I cook it on 5, which is medium on my cooktop, for 15 minutes.

      • Emily says:

        I’ve never made candy so this is new for me….ok…so the tempurature needs to be high enough that it’s bubbling but not so high that it’s boiling and sticking to the bottom of the pan? I think that’s where I went wrong…I was too afraid to burn it so the tempurature wasn’t high enough….I guess that would cause not melding and not caramelizing.

        • Suzanne McMinn says:

          The original recipe said medium low but I didn’t feel like it was working and I turned it up to 5. (That was the first time I made it.) It came out fine. I’ve made it twice since then and both times I put it on 5 from the beginning, which is right smack in the middle of the settings on my cookstop, it would be medium on however yours is set up. I found it works really well on medium. Be sure to stir constantly! And I go the whole 15 minutes. The original recipe said 10 to 15. I’ve made this three times so far and every time it’s worked!

  46. Patty says:

    I made it twice, the first time I had it too high I think and it never melded. It still tasted like toffee SO good! Second time all I had was margarine so i tried it anyway. I only did 1/2 of each, and I kept it just barely bubbling and stirred and it was PERFECT. My kids are impressed. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll be making more of this for sure!

  47. Sheila Bergeron says:

    What a stinker you are! Sweet though I reckon. The kids liked this.

  48. Jeremy Welch says:

    Ok this reminds me of something I used to make when I was younger… My mother hated it but I loved it… Mostly she didn’t like it because I would take sugar and water and heat it up to make a sugar candy and then put the pot in the freezer because I was to impatient to wait for it to cool… Thus using up one of her pot’s… If you have problems with the sugar being grainy might I suggest using a higher heat. When the sugar is grainy, it’s usually because it didn’t get high enough in temp to melt down. Once the sugar melts down it’s easier to mix with whatever liquid you have in there. Now that’s all with white sugar. I hardly ever had the pleasure of working with brown sugar because of its price and the lack of money for my little experiments. Anyway… Still stuck in Iraq… With no stove to try this on… Lol. TTYL.

  49. Emily says:

    ok…Third time NOT a charm. Ingrediants were measured, heat set on dead medium, and timer set to 15 minutes. It was looking good with 5 minutes left on the clock but then WHAMO it started unmelding…I guess that would be separating. By the end of the timer I had something that reselmbled tar…and tasted like it too. Still haven’t been able to make this, and I feel like a total idiot since it’s supposed to be the easiest candy to make. On the bright side, if I ever need to repave a road I can make my own materials.

  50. Emily says:

    Fourth time. At least I got the coffee spoons made. It was still a little crumbly though. I think I undercooked in fear of overcooking. I’m candy making deficient. I give up. I’ll stick to baking.

  51. Victoria says:

    Not sure why, but I am using light brown sugar, yet my candy always seem to be a lot darker then yours shown. I keep the heat at a medium-low, apprx. at 4 on the flat top stove. Any ideas?

  52. Wendy says:


    Have you ever heard of potato candy? I grew up in WV and remember my grandmommy making this the day after Thanksgiving with leftover mashed potatoes. I may be missing something, but I remember her mixing powdered sugar w/the potatoes, rolling it out like a sheet of cookie dough, and then spreading peanut butter on it. She rolled it into a long, narrow log and cut off thin sections of it. Fridged it, and YUM. I’d love to know if this was something others did, or just my weird family. ๐Ÿ™‚

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