Blue Ribbon Coffee-Toffee Pecan Pie

by Dorothy Reinhold on November 15, 2023

Print This Post Print This Post Blue Ribbon Coffee-Toffee Pecan Pie, from the pie lady of Malibu on Shockingly Delicious

Coffee-Toffee Pecan Pie is 3-ribbon winner and among the best pecan pie recipes ever! It’s perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas dessert, or anytime you want to impress your family or guests. It is a rich, full-flavored pecan pie with toffee and crunchy pecans complimenting the coffee undertone.

UPDATE: Oct. 2011 — This pie won two more ribbons this month! So far it has racked up 1st-, 2nd- and 3rd-place ribbons.
–1st-place 2010 Malibu Pie Contest
–2nd place 2011 Pacific Palisades Pie Contest
–3rd place 2011 Malibu Pie Contest.
If that isn’t enough to convince you to make it, I don’t know what is!


Oct. 12, 2010: You know what they say about food contests – if you win, the judges were brilliant, and if you lose, the judges had no taste. 😀

I’m here to tell you that Saturday, Oct. 12, 2010, the judges at the Malibu Pie Contest were brilliant, because I was lucky enough to win three ribbons!

Blue Ribbon Coffee-Toffee Pecan Pie, from the pie lady of Malibu

Beribboned, and holding a black pie festival apron (loot for 1st prize).

This is a favorite yearly festival for me, not only because I loooove pie, but because it is a fun community event put on by a local church. You bake your pie(s), submit them for judging, and then the pies are sold by the piece, with all money going to charity. Sweeeeet!

Blue Ribbon Coffee-Toffee Pecan Pie, from the pie lady of Malibu

I baked six pies. The oven was going, and after the first one, I got into a rhythm and it just seemed easier to keep shoving them in there. You get in your pie zone, and you just go.

As I baked I got to thinking about the economics of it. OK, let’s say each pie is cut into eight slices. One slice is removed for judging, leaving seven slices for sale per pie, at $4 per slice, plus a $10 entry fee per pie. So the math of my pie baking is 6×7=42x$4=$168+$60=$228.

So, strolling around outside in Malibu on a lovely sunny October Saturday, eating pie, chatting with nice people all while making a $200+ contribution to a worthy charity? That’s a good day, my friends!

6 pies packed into the back seat of a grey mini van

How do you bring 6 pies to a contest? Verrrry carefully in the mom van

Blue, red and white ribbons won in the 2010 Malibu Pie Contest

Very patriotic colors!

I began entering this contest in 2003, and have won 23 ribbons in the ensuing years. Nine of those have been for pecan pies of one sort or another, and the funny thing (to me anyway!) is that pecan pie is NOT my favorite type of pie! In all that time, I have never repeated a pie entry recipe. Whew.

But I digress. Let’s get to the pies!

My 2010 ribbons:

1st place: Coffee-Toffee Pecan Pie
2nd place: Rum Walnut Chocolate Chip Pie
3rd place: Chocolate Chunk Pecan Pie

Full list of winners is below.

Want to make the blue ribbon pie for your own family? It’s easy! Hint: This pie would be perfect for Thanksgiving dessert.

Blue Ribbon Coffee-Toffee Pecan Pie, from the pie lady of Malibu

I look a little grabby there…hope I was saying ‘thank you’

Blue Ribbon Coffee-Toffee Pecan Pie, from the pie lady of Malibu

My friend Laurie Principe also won a ribbon! We don’t know the man to the right, but he seems to want to hug us. Pie people are very friendly!

Blue Ribbon Coffee-Toffee Pecan Pie, from the pie lady of Malibu

A word about crust: Certainly, you may mix up and roll out your own crust (please do if you want to!), but just for today, since crust-making is the scariest part of pie-making for most people, I suggest you buy a pre-rolled Pillsbury crust (red box, refrigerated section of the supermarket), and call it a day on the crust. Really, it’s no crime, and I want to make sure you have a successful pie the first time around, with no crust drama. We can make homemade crust another day. Today, we let Mrs. Pillsbury do the hard work. M’kay?

A word about the size of the pie pan: I prefer a 10-inch pie dish. For pie contests, I usually use a 10-inch foil pan (Hefty brand makes one) because I don’t want to risk my dish getting broken, and it seems easier to transport. Also, you don’t have to go hunt down your pie dishes among hundreds after the contest is over. I also like the looks of a 10-inch pie, and I never, ever have spillovers into the oven. (I don’t like cleaning the oven.)

OK pie peeps, let’s bake!

Blue Ribbon Coffee-Toffee Pecan Pie

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours

Yield: 8 slices

Blue Ribbon Coffee-Toffee Pecan Pie

Coffee-Toffee Pecan Pie is 3-ribbon winner and among the best pecan pie recipes ever! It's perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas dessert, or anytime you want to impress your family or guests. It is a rich, full-flavored pecan pie with toffee and crunchy pecans complimenting the coffee undertone.


  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup (a British syrup import, available at fancier grocery stores)
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup very finely chopped toasted pecans
  • 2 cups toasted pecan halves + 8 for garnish
  • 1 blind-baked 10-inch pie crust
  • 1/2 cup English toffee bits + 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (OR 1/2 cup crushed chocolate toffee candy pieces such as Heath or Skor)


  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven, set a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet on the rack, and heat the oven to 375°F.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and cook, swirling the pan occasionally, until the butter is brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Immediately whisk in the brown sugar, corn syrup, and Lyle’s Golden Syrup until smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool slightly. When cooler, whisk in the eggs one at a time (if you whisk in the eggs when the mixture is too hot, you will risk scrambling them!). Whisk in the bourbon, espresso powder, vanilla, and salt. Stir in the chopped pecans.
  3. Sprinkle half of the pecan halves in the pie crust, followed by the toffee candy pieces and mini chocolate chips, and then the remaining pecan halves. Pour the syrup mixture over all. Carefully float 8 pecans halves around the outer edge, spacing evenly; this is for pretty, and for a cutting guide later. When it comes time to cut your pie, you will cut between the pecan halves, leaving the half pecan neatly in the center of each piece on the outside edge.
  4. Put the pie on the heated baking sheet and reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Bake 25 minutes, then rotate the pan, and bake another 25 minutes, until done. You will know the pie is done because when the pan is nudged, the center of the pie will no longer wobble, but the whole pie will jiggle just slightly, and the filling will bubble at the edges.
  5. Transfer to a rack and cool completely before serving. The pie can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.
  6. Cut between each pecan half, making 8 slices of pie. There will be a pecan half at the center edge of each slice.


Source: Thanks to Nicole Rees, whose recipe in Fine Cooking magazine (Sept. 2009) I slightly adapted.

This pie won: --1st place, 2010 Malibu Pie Contest, seasonal category --3rd place, 2011 Malibu Pie Contest, seasonal category --2nd place, 2011 Pacific Palisades Pie Contest

pin this please!Pin the image below for Coffee-Toffee Pecan Pie to your Pinterest board to save this recipe

Pie in top photo and ribbon winner in 2nd photo 

Blue Ribbon Coffee-Toffee Pecan Pie, from the pie lady of Malibu

I like to eat my pie with a fork; your mileage may vary!

Complete list of winners 2010 Malibu Pie Contest

Congratulations to all the winners of Malibu’s 2010 annual pie contest!

Blue Ribbon Coffee-Toffee Pecan Pie, from the pie lady of Malibu1. Dorothy Reinhold: Coffee-Toffee Pecan Pie
(Tie for 2nd Place)
2. Eric Colicchio: Island Pumpkin Pie
2. Laurie Principe: Banana Pumpkin
3. Claire Mandeville: Home Grown Pumpkin Pie

1. Chris Chambers Goodman: Chris’ Chocolate Pecan Pie
2. Dorothy Reinhold: Rum Walnut Chocolate Chip
3. Dorothy Reinhold: Chocolate Chunk Pecan Pie

1. Veronique de Turenne: Heirloom Apple Pie
2. 4th Grade Juan Cabrillo: Apple Pie
(Tie for 3rd Place)
3. Nancy Green: Cranberry Apple
3. Claire Mandeville

1. Lynda Pingatore: Summer Blueberry Pie
2. Alexandra Spezzoti: Crostata Di Lamponi
3. Kara Seward: Hennessey Blueberry Pie

1. Christina Hoag: Miami Key Lime Pie
2. Susan Kelly: English Trifle Pie
3. Maria Layon: Bodacious Banana Cream

1. Wendy Davis: Pumpkin Cheesecake
2. Lynda Pingatore: Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake
3. Dominica Schiro: Italian Cheesecake

1. Ava Ellis: Tropical Mango Coconut Pie
2. Susan Johnson-Fox: Strawberry Pie

1. Hannah Hannley: Fruity Pebble Pie
2. Joshua and Zoe Doyle: Chocolate Rock Pie
3. Joshua and Zoe Doyle: Dirt Worm Pie

AGE 10 TO 14
1. Christina Leonardo: Midnight Pudding Fudge Pie
2. Sonny Thatcher: Mississippi Mud Pie
3. Abby Blackwood: Radical Raspberry Lemon Pie

1. Savory Restaurant: Rustic Apple Pie
2. Savory Restaurant: Mango Passion Fruit Cheesecake
3. Kevin Taylor: Divine Chocolate Mousse

Other Shockingly Delicious pecan recipes you’ll like

Maple Glazed Pecans on white parchment paper

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This was originally published Oct. 12, 2010 and has been refreshed and republished today.

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Nettie Moore January 15, 2015 at 2:21 pm

I want to make this pie!! Makes me homesick for LA!! Love your blog! Nettie


Dorothy Reinhold January 15, 2015 at 4:26 pm

Make it, make it, make it!


Callie July 27, 2013 at 9:04 am

Hi to every body, it’s my first pay a visit of this blog; this weblog consists of amazing and actually good information for visitors.


Nicole Carreon December 18, 2012 at 11:09 pm

I made this pie for Thanksgiving, it was AMAZING! Thank u!! Just curious if you’ve tried it in a deep dish frozen pie crust….


Dorothy December 19, 2012 at 8:31 am

So glad you liked it! I don’t usually buy frozen crusts. If I want a pre-made crust, I use the Pillsbury All Ready Crusts, which you unroll into your pie dish, crimp and go! My standard pie dish is a 10-inch deep dish glass dish, which usually prevents any spillovers.


Gisele aka LA2LAChef November 19, 2012 at 11:10 pm



Christina November 18, 2012 at 9:46 am

Congrats on all your ribbons, Dorothy! I would LOVE to make this Toffee Pecan Pie, but my daughter is deathly (literally) allergic to all tree nuts. Will have to put it on my “to bake when she’s away” list!


suebaby November 16, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Oh man, I can’t wait to dish this up at the Turkey Day table. Thank you, Beautiful Pie Fairy, for this scrumptious concoction; if you feel a warm rush of love around 3:00pm on Thanksgiving, you’ll know that the pie was a hit! I did want to share sumpin pretty cool about the Golden Syrup. I was going nuts trying to find it in my area, when lo and behold, my local Fresh & Easy had it. Victory dance! It was in their British Goods section and it wasn’t even very expensive. Just wanted to spread the word to any frustrated fellow bakers out there; give em a try! Cheers! 😀


Dorothy November 16, 2011 at 5:21 pm

Beautiful pie fairy. I could get used to that name!


Holly June 19, 2011 at 9:47 am

I really want to make this pie. I am completely new to making pies, but my dad really likes them. In fact, wanted to make one for him today for father’s day but trouble finding the ingredients. I could only find the Lyle syrup online at….but now I can’t find Toasted pecans. I see some online at amazon but some are “roasted” and some are “toasted and salted” and they are pretty expensive. What do you suggest on how to find toasted pecans and which is it – roasted or salted and toasted. Thanks for your help!


Dorothy June 19, 2011 at 10:56 am

You might be able to find Lyle’s Gold Syrup at Whole Foods or a health food-type store, as well. If not, the Cook’s Thesaurus says you can sub equal parts honey and corn syrup, or two parts light corn syrup and one part molasses, for example. You can read that here

You can find toasted chopped pecans at Trader Joe’s, or easiest of all, make your own! Put raw pecans on a cookie sheet and toast them in a 350-degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Watch closely so they don’t scorch. When they get near 8-ish minutes and begin to smell nutty, you are done. They’re already brown, so watching for a color change isn’t so helpful. Remove from oven, cool, and chop or use as you need. Toasted pecans add more flavor to a dish than untoasted, so that’s why they are recommended. In this case, the words toast or roast mean the same thing.

Good luck! Your pie is going to be GREAT!


Holly June 19, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Thanks for the quick reply. We just moved from STL to a small town in Iowa, so the only grocery stores are Fareway, Hy-Vee, and Wal-mart and Target. Not a single specialty store anywhere that I can find. (I read the substitute for Lyle’s but it also says “it’s not quite the same.”) I may try to order it online.

Thanks for how to on the pecans – I will just make my own with your instructions!


Dorothy June 20, 2011 at 9:37 am

Good luck, and let me know how you like it! You’ll do fine on your pie.


julie November 21, 2010 at 11:47 am

Ok, Dorothy, here goes! I logged on to the Fine Cooking website b/c I make their chocolate espresso pecan pie every year for Thanksgiving – but when i read your recipe, I decided to give it a go this year. I even found Lyle’s syrup in the local natural foods store. I figure I’m already making a chocolate cream pie, so the chocofiles will still get their fix of major chocolate. (also making a standard pumpkin pie and an apple crisp with my homemade vanilla bean ice cream!) Hope my version is as good as yours!


Dorothy November 21, 2010 at 10:34 pm

I want to come to YOUR house for dinner! The dessert offerings sound magnificent!


Jerri November 16, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Sounds wonderful! I’m featuring you this week for my Sweet Thursday event!


Lentil Breakdown October 16, 2010 at 10:01 am

Congrats, Dorothy! That is a very unusual recipe. I’ve made lots of pecan pies and bars, but that one takes the cake!


kATHY October 15, 2010 at 2:08 pm

Congrats and keep on cooking delicious pies. Check out this wonderful and innovative site to hang and display your ribbons. They are local (South Bay) and will deliver to you.

Best of luck…


Nancy@acommunaltable October 13, 2010 at 9:14 pm

I can’t believe pecan pie is not one of your favorites! Definitely was in my house. In fact, my mother used to order her pecans from Georgia (and yes, I got to shell them.. ALL of them) but oh my… I loved that pie. Although reading this recipe I think it may just replace my mom’s in my “pie heart”!!


sippitysup October 13, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Wowza! Three ribbons? Are you gonna wear them in your hair? Congrats and pass the pie. GREG


Jennifer October 12, 2010 at 9:58 am

Hey! I saw your blog on the TOH forums, CONGRATULATIONS on the ribbons! Wow! All the pies look great 🙂 So how much did you bribe those judges haha


Surfer Girl October 12, 2010 at 8:52 am

OMG – I think I’ve died and gone to heaven! This pie has got all of my favorite food groups in it: coffee, pie, pecans, pie, toffee and… of course, PIE! It’s going to be on my table for Thanksgiving for sure. 🙂

Congrats and keep up the good work – not sure how you keep your girlish figure with all the goodies you create!


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