If you remember my vegan crunchie bars recipe from a couple of years back, this recipe was adapted from them. The addition of a few ingredients helps turn these bars into a copycat version of the original Butterfinger candy bars.
So what do you need for that classic crispy peanut butter center? The addition of two key ingredients, cornflakes, and peanut butter. Just like my vegan rice crispy squares, these vegan butterfingers are just as good (or if you ask me in my biased opinion) far better than any store-bought candy bars.
They have been a real crowd-pleaser with everyone who has tried them, and they make the perfect Halloween treats!
- Caster sugar: This is the main ingredient that makes up the "cinder toffee" filling for these candy bars.
- Golden syrup: This prevents the sugar from crystallizing to an extent.
- Baking soda will react with the acid found in the sugars and create air bubbles.
- Vanilla extract: vanilla helps to add depth of flavor to the recipe, and who doesn't love a little vanilla?!
- Cornflakes: I usually find mine on the free-from aisle in the supermarket, most often I use Dove's Farm Cornflakes. I always recommend checking the labels of the brand you're using to see if it is suitable for vegans, as sometimes there are animal products added in the form of dairy or vitamins. Some brands differ depending on the country you're in. As highlighted on veganfriendly.org.uk, vitamin D can be derived from wool-bearing animals, which is unsuitable for vegans.
- Peanut butter: The main flavor of these bars, and what gives them that classic Butterfinger flavor is smooth peanut butter.
- Chocolate: feel free to use any dairy-free chocolate of your choice. Depending on your taste, dark and vegan milk chocolate both work really well for this recipe.
How to make homemade butterfingers (with step-by-step photos)
(Full ingredient quantities and instructions are in the recipe card at the end of this post)
Firstly, get all of your equipment prepared. When working with sugar syrup preparation is key.
- Blend the corn flakes until finely ground - set these aside for later.
- Add the sugar and golden syrup to a saucepan with some water and simmer. Pop your candy thermometer into the pot and wait for it to reach 149°C (300°F), this will take around 15 minutes, so be patient but keep a very close eye on the pot.
- Meanwhile, melt the peanut butter over a double boiler (bain-marie) and stir in the ground corn flakes until thoroughly mixed.
- Mix together the baking soda with your vanilla extract to form a paste and add this to the heated sugar syrup. Remove from the heat and whisk to combine.
- Carefully fold the honeycomb mixture into the bowl with the peanut butter and corn flakes. Be cautious not to over-mix it at this point as you could risk deflating the airy cinder toffee.
- Press the mixture into a lined cake pan and allow it to sit at room temperature. This shouldn't take more than a couple of hours.
- Once completely set, you can remove the butterfinger from the pan and cut it into serving bars.
- Lastly, coat in chocolate, and go for a second coating if you feel like it!
Expert tips for making the perfect peanut butter fingers
Prepare ahead of time
There really aren’t that many steps to getting set up for this recipe. However, it’s extremely important that you get all your ingredients and equipment prepped and ready to go before turning on the hob. The only way to get the right consistency and crunch of your cinder toffee is to adhere to the exact recipe method and timings – so spending that couple of minutes setting yourself up at the start could mean the difference between crunchy honeycomb and rock hard or sticky mess!
These bars don’t like heat, cold, or moisture. So be sure to store them in an airtight container at room temperature. They'll last for a week or two, if you can keep your hands off them that is!
- Roasted peanuts: If you want to take that peanut flavor and crunch to the next level you can toss some crushed peanuts over the top of these candy bars.
- Popcorn: Some lightly salted popcorn would be amazing on top of these bars. Just bear in mind that it will you don't eat them the same day.
- Flaky salt: I love adding this on top of homemade candy bars as it adds another layer of flavor and crunch.
- Butterfinger crumbs: If you have any odd pieces of butterfinger left after slicing your bars, you can crumble them on top of the chocolate!
Frequently asked questions
These homemade butterfingers can be adapted as gluten-free by opting for gluten-free corn flakes.
These bars do not need to be refrigerated and last well in an airtight container at room temperature for about a week or so.
In order to make honeycomb, the sugar syrup needs to come to 149°C (300°F). This is known as the hard crack stage. I highly recommend using a thermometer here for accuracy (and less stress!). But if you are stuck for one but really want to give these bars a go you can test the mixture in water. Instructables.com has a great post on how to test the hard crack stage without a candy thermometer if you're interested.
More vegan copycat candy bars
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star ★★★★★ rating in the recipe card below and consider leaving a comment as well, thanks!
- Begin by making sure that you have all of your equipment ready and ingredients measured out, as you will need to work quickly once the honeycomb mixture is ready.
- Line an 8 inch square pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Add the cornflakes to your food processor and blitz for a couple of minutes until they are ground down into a medium-fine crumb.
- Add the sugar, golden syrup and water to a medium/large saucepan and place on a medium heat. Stir using a wooden spoon for a minute or so until all of the sugar has melted. At this point stop stirring the mixture, as continuing to do so will cause the sugar to crystallise.
- Turn the heat up to medium-high and place your candy thermometer into the syrup to monitor the temperature. You want the syrup to get to 149°C (300°F), this will take around 15 minutes, so be patient but keep a very close eye on the pot.
- Meanwhile add the peanut butter to a large heat resistant bowl and heat over a double boiler, whisking until smooth. Add the crushed cornflakes to the bowl and gently stir them together.
- In a small bowl or glass, mix together the baking soda and vanilla extract.
- Once the sugar syrup has reached 149°C (300°F), add the baking soda-vanilla mixture and whisk for a few seconds to combine the mixture. Be careful not to touch it as it will be extremely hot!
- Pour the sugar syrup mixture into the peanut butter mixture and fold until combined, being careful not to over-mix.
- Transfer the mixture to the lined pan and press it evenly into the edges, using a spatula or flat bottomed glass to even out the surface. Allow this to set at room temperature for 2 hours.
- Once it is completely set and at room temperature, you can remove the butterfinger from the baking dish. Carefully cut it into bars using a sharp knife.
- Melt the chocolate over a double boiler and coats the bars, using two forks to dip them into the chocolate. Sit the coated bars on a sheet of parchment paper and allow them to set completely for 1-2 hours.
- These bars don’t like heat, cold or moisture. So be sure to store them in an airtight container at room temperature. They'll last for a week or two, if you can keep your hands off them that is!
- If you want to take that peanut flavour and crunch to the next level you can toss some crushed peanuts over the top of these candy bars.
- Some lightly salted popcorn would be amazing on top of these bars. Just bear in mind that this will soften if they aren't eaten on the same day.
- I love adding flaky salt on top of homemade candy bars as it adds another layer of flavour and crunch.
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