How to Make Divinity Candy

divinity candy recipe

My friend Megan asked me if I could try out a family recipe of hers. She said that it was giving her a hard time and if I could see what I could do with it. I love a challenge, so of course I said that it would be no problem. Yeah. I was wrong. On the fourth try I got it right. Not just right, but perfect. It is exactly what I was after. Slightly crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside, full of pecans and vanilla. The texture is like the inside of a Three Muskateers bar. I understand why this candy is named what it is named. It is truly divine.

Divinity Candy is a southern Christmas staple. Grandmothers all over the south are making this confection come December. Candy making is a dying art if you ask me, and I think that making candy from scratch is incredibly satisfying. I love working with sugar, but you need to pay careful attention to it and it is truly scientific. I tried Megan’s recipe the first time and her recipe was lacking a few details. I did a little research and played around with the proportions and made some notes to fill in the blanks. My kitchen journal came in very handy for sure.

Divinity is extremely temperamental. This is not a rainy day project. If there is a lot of humidity, this recipe will not turn out the way that you want it to. You need a candy thermometer for this recipe, you need to reach specific temperatures. Also, you need to have everything ready to go before you start. You can either put the divinity in a pan and cut into pieces after it has cooled and hardened as I have done or you can drop it by the spoonful and leave it free form.

divinity candy recipe4 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup water
3 egg whites
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups chopped pecans

divinity candy recipeIn a medium to large saucepan, stir together the sugar, corn syrup and water. You can stir it together before you put it on the heat, but not while it is on the heat. You are going to cook this mixture over high heat until it reaches 266 degrees on a candy thermometer. This is called the hard ball stage.

divinity candy recipeMeanwhile. in the bowl of a mixer with the whip attachment, beat the egg whites and the salt until stiff peaks form.

divinity candy recipeThis is what the sugar will look like when it is ready.

divinity candy recipeIf you are going to put the Divinity on a cookie sheet or a pan, make sure that it is covered with parchment and coated with cooking spray. Do not forget this step. I did and I had to make it all over again.

divinity candy recipeWith the mixer running slowly pour the sugar into the egg whites. Make sure it is a thin stream and that you are really careful not to splatter the sugar. The sugar is 266 degrees and will burn you badly.

divinity candy recipeYou are going to beat the mixture for about 5 minutes. It will lose its gloss and it will be straining the mixer when it is getting close.

divinity candy recipeAdd in the vanilla and the nuts.

divinity candy recipePour the mixture into the prepared pan. If you are dropping them onto the paper, use two spoons. If it starts to harden whip in a little hot water.

divinity candy recipeSpray an offset spatula with cooking spray and spread it evenly in the pan. Let it cool and harden.

divinity candy recipeThe easiest packaging yet. I found this cute little felt bucket in the dollar bin at Target. I put the Divinity in a clear bag tied it with a ribbon and put it inside the bucket. I thought that the white candy would look so cute with the snowman. And I think that I was right.


divinity candy

Divinity Candy

Yield: makes 12 to 18 squares

How to make Divinity candy - a friend challenged me to recreate her father's favorite candy, the very tempermental divinity. Not only did I do it, he told me that it brought him back to his childhood.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 egg whites
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. In a medium to large saucepan, stir together the sugar, corn syrup and water. You can stir it together before you put it on the heat, but not while it is on the heat. You are going to cook this mixture over high heat until it reaches 266 degrees on a candy thermometer. This is called the hard ball stage.
  2. Meanwhile. in the bowl of a mixer with the whip attachment, beat the egg whites and the salt until stiff peaks form.
  3. This is what the sugar will look like when it is ready.
  4. If you are going to put the Divinity on a cookie sheet or a pan, make sure that it is covered with parchment and coated with cooking spray. Do not forget this step. I did and I had to make it all over again.
  5. With the mixer running slowly pour the sugar into the egg whites. Make sure it is a thin stream and that you are really careful not to splatter the sugar. The sugar is 266 degrees and will burn you badly.
  6. You are going to beat the mixture for about 5 minutes. It will lose its gloss and it will be straining the mixer when it is getting close.
  7. Add in the vanilla and the nuts.
  8. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. If you are dropping them onto the paper, use two spoons. If it starts to harden whip in a little hot water.
  9. Spray an offset spatula with cooking spray and spread it evenly in the pan. Let it cool and harden.
Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0Total Fat: 0g

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Oh hey there!

Well, hello there! I’m Bree Hester, the Boston-based blogger and food photographer here at Baked Bree. Here you can get lots of weeknight meal inspiration, eat more plant-based meals, and still indulge in a decadent sweet treat. Baked Bree is a place where you will find great recipes and inspiration for your next family adventure.

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This Post Has 48 Comments

  1. Lisa

    That divinity looks awesome. Thanks for taking the mystery out of it and showing how doable this recipe is.

    1. bakedbree

      My pleasure. I hope that you have fun making it.

  2. Shannon

    ohhh nougat?! it looks like it, I was just thinking the other day that I really want to learn how to make nougat.. it looks divine.

  3. Lee Ann

    My mom made divinity every year when I was little but it never looked this good… sorry mom. I’m going to try this recipe.

    1. bakedbree

      I hope that you like it. It was really fun to make.

  4. The Blue-Eyed Bakers

    Why have we never made this!? It looks amazing!!

  5. Sportsgirl

    Love the pictures, love the cute little bag! Does it taste like nougat?

    1. bakedbree

      It has the texture of nougat for sure. It taste like a marshmallow sort of.

  6. Nicole

    OK, you seriously have a gift for recipes like this! I saw candy thermometer a

  7. Nicole

    (sorry hit reply!) …saw candy thermometer and ran away! You rock!

    1. bakedbree

      do not be afraid of the candy thermometer!

  8. Jenn@eatcakefordinner

    Divinity is one of my favorite homemade candies!! I bet you were mad that you had to throw away all those ingredients – 4th times the charm!

    1. bakedbree

      yes. It killed me to have to toss that many pecans.

  9. Barbara Bakes

    My husband makes divinity every year, definitely a finicky candy. Your little bars look scrumptious.

    1. bakedbree

      Thank you Barbara! Yes, it is a particular recipe for sure, but so worth it in the end.

  10. Farmgirl

    I’ve never had divinity but heard of it so I will try making some today. One question I have is does it freeze well? If I were to make it, cut it into small squares and freeze it?

    1. bakedbree

      I do not think that it will freeze well, but if you keep it in an airtight container it should last for awhile.

  11. DeniseJoJosTreats

    Is this possible to create without nuts? I work for my mom in a candy shop and we’re trying to figure out the perfect ingredient to make something like a milky way midnight. do you think this would work better than regular vanilla nougat?

    1. bakedbree

      I would give it a try. It would be like a mix between taffy and marshmallow.

  12. Kelly

    Because you had such clear directions, it came out for me on the first try. So thanks!! I mixed in chopped candied cherries, and a mix of chopped pistachios and pecans. (Red, green, and white!) Doesn’t it look pretty when you slice it into squares?

    1. bakedbree

      Wow! I am impressed! This is not the easiest recipe ever and it can be picky, especially if the weather is not right. Yours sounds beautiful with all of the colors!

  13. Kat

    I can’t wait to try this! Over the last year I’ve discovered how much fun candy making can be and this looks like a fun challenge.

    1. bakedbree

      I love making candy, and it is challenging. But I love it!

  14. Beth

    Your tutorial saved the day. I have my grandmother’s recipe which differs slightly, but, of course, does not come with detailed instructions. Prior to this year, I’d only made it once successfully. I just finished a perfect batch thanks to your detailed instructions. Thank you so very much. Off to update the family recipe.

    1. bakedbree

      I am so glad Beth! Divinity can be tricky to make, that’s for sure!

  15. Jason

    Have you tried adding cream of tartar?

    1. bakedbree

      The recipe is the recipe that I use.

  16. Jason

    Do not stir sugar, water and karo syrup while it is boiling? wouldn’t it burn?
    Does a kitchen aid mix fast enough? What speed are you mixing everything?
    Whip in a little hot water if it hardens in the pan when you’re pouring onto the paper?

    1. Jason

      How long does it take stiff peaks to form when whipping the egg whites? How long do you mix the sugar mixture into the egg whites?

      1. bakedbree

        5 minutes? Until the mixer has cooled.

    2. bakedbree

      No, it will crystallize. You do not stir. Obviously it does, as you can see from my pictures. And high speed. No, work quickly, you do not add water.

  17. Alli

    Eureka! Thank you for perfecting this. My grandmother made this when I was a child, I had fond memories but couldn’t get it to work! The first try ended up as a taffy with my recipe. This was perfect! Thank you!

    1. bakedbree

      I am so glad that it worked for you!

  18. Erin

    Looks yummy! How much does this make? How big of a pan did you pour it into?

    1. bakedbree

      I guess 24-36 squares depending on how large you cut them. 9×13.

  19. Christine

    Hello Baked Bree! This is my first time see your blog. I enjoyed looking at your pictures and so I subscribed. These divinity candies look delicious! Thank you for sharing this recipe. I have been wanting to try to make divinity candy (nougat) for quite some time but was quite scared to do so because of it hardening during the process.
    In your instructions, you said: “If it starts to harden whip in a little hot water”.
    Could you please explain further how this is done? Does it just soften up with the hot water making it easy to mix?
    Also, after putting in all the melted sugar in the mixer, do we continue mixing at slow or do we switch to high speed for 5 mins? 🙂

    1. bakedbree

      Hello!

      It does. The hot water softens it enough to make it easy to mix. Once all the sugar is in, you switch to high speed. Good luck!

  20. Cristy

    I tried this recipe today and the divinity came out great. Just about perfect! Three notes: Use a 3 qt or larger saucepan. The sugar mixture boils up a lot and overwhelmed the 2 qt pan I foolishly used — I had to switch pans. Also, in my hands it took about 15 minutes to beat the divinity enough. Finally, when I make this again I won’t start beating the egg whites until the sugar is mostly cooked, since it doesn’t take that long to beat the whites to stiff peaks and if they sit for a while they tend to “slump.” Anyway, thanks so much for a great recipe!

    1. bakedbree

      I’m glad that it turned out for you, this can be a tricky recipe.

  21. patrick johnson

    IT so easy to fix DIVINITY CANDY IF IT FLOPS here is all you have to do if it flops on you and looks like a pancake lol FIRST OF ALL GET A MICROWAVE SAFE BOWL A BIG ONE BECAUSE IT WILL SWELL UP ALOT PUT YOUR FAILED DIVINITY IN THE BOWL THEN PUT IT IN THE MICROWAVE ON HIGH ABOUT 2 MIN YOU WILL KNOW WHEN ITS READY IT WILL SWELL UP AND START BUBBLING TAKE IT OUT OF MICROWAVE PUT ABOUT 3 TO 4 TABLESPOONS OF POWDERD SUGAR IN IT THEN STIR FOR ABOUT 2 MIN THEN PUT IN YOUR FREEZER FOR ABOUT 4 MIN TAKE IT OUT STIR ABOUT A MIN AND IT WILL SET UP PERFECT NO PROBLEM HAVE FIXED SEVERAL BATCHES LIKE THIS NEVER FAILS

    1. bakedbree

      Thanks for the save.

      1. Maedean

        Thanks I needed this save to my concoction,lol it is good but didn’t set.

        1. bakedbree

          It’s tricky to make and the weather really plays a factor.

  22. Susan

    Just found your website when I was looking to see if anyone else still made divinity at home, My recipe is similar to yours and was handed down by my great grandmother who had it handed down many more generations to her! The recipe doesn’t use a candy thermometer. Instead you cook it until you can spin a thread (when a spoon with the sugar/syrup mixture on it is held above the pan and as the sugar/syrup mixture drips off the spoon a fine thread of the mixture makes a thin wispy “thread”.. I have never had it turn out right with a thermometer. Go figure!!LOL Whatever works!

    1. bakedbree

      That’s right, whatever works! Divinity is also notoriously temperamental.

  23. Joshua

    How long does it take to cool

  24. Joshua

    And harden

    1. Bree Hester

      Probably an hour or so?

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