Cyflaith (Treacle Toffee)


Toffee was part of the Dydd Calan (New Year) festivities in the 19th century and involved the entire family making it together ready for Calennig (small gift). Although dying out, Calennig is a tradition still upheld in some Welsh villages. Early on New Year’s Day groups of young boys visit all the houses in the village carrying an evergreen twig and a cup of cold water drawn from the local well. The boys would then use the twigs to sprinkle the faces of everyone they met. They would receive the Calennig, usually in the form of copper coins or treacle toffee in exchange for reciting:

Mi godais heddiw ma's o'm t?
A'm cwd a'm pastwn gyda mi,
A dyma'm neges ar eich traws,
Sef llanw'm cwd â bara a chaws.

In English:
I left my house today
With my bag and my stick,
And here is my message to you,
Fill my bag with bread and cheese.

The custom continued from dawn until noon after which it was considered very unlucky.

Ingredients - Makes about ¼lb (100g)

4oz (100g) butter A drop of milk
6oz (175g) Demerara sugar A drop of vinegar
2 tablespoons treacle  


  1. Melt the butter, sugar and treacle in a pan.
  2. Bring the ingredients to the boil and add the drop of milk and then stir in the drop of vinegar.
  3. Continue cooking for a further 10 mins or until the toffee is set.
  4. Test for setting by putting a few drops of the toffee mixture into cold water. When it is set it will harden at once.
  5. Pour the mixture into a greased tin and mark into squares.
  6. Leave in a cool place to set.
  7. When it is cold, break the toffee into pieces.


Treacle Toffee Cyflaith