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This Old Fashioned Divinity Candy Recipe is a wonderful, Southern confection that is perfect for adding to a plate of goodies to share with loved ones during the holidays!
If you love making homemade candy during the holidays to share with friends & family, be sure to also check out my Southern Pecan Pralines, English Toffee, Easy Homemade Peppermint Bark, and Old-Fashioned Homemade Peanut Brittle (my second most popular candy recipe after this divinity!).
Old Fashioned Divinity Recipe
This old fashioned divinity candy recipe is a sweet treat I love to make and share during the holiday season, and I'm guessing fewer people have heard of it, much less tasted it before, unless you grew up in the South.
Old fashioned divinity is a vintage recipe for a meringue-based candy that I would describe as somewhere between fudge (even though there is no chocolate in most divinity, it is often even referred to as Divinity Fudge), nougat, and marshmallow.
It's a billowy light, super-sweet, airy candy confection and it tastes...well, divine. Hence the name.
The only place I have ever actually seen it sold is on Main Street USA in Disneyland in the candy store where it comes packaged in little rectangular tinfoil trays next to the walnut fudge. It's what I would pick out as my special treat when I was a kid and we would go to the park with my aunts and grandparents, who would let us choose one thing to take home and share.
Divinity is a classic candy recipe made with just a few ingredients: granulated sugar, corn syrup, and water get boiled together with a pinch of salt until they reach a hard ball stage before very slowly pouring the liquid sugar mixture over stiff egg whites in a thin, steady stream.
Then chopped pecans and a little vanilla are stirred in at the end for texture and flavor.
Tests to Make Sure the Divinity is Done
The trickiest part to making this old fashioned divinity candy recipe is knowing when it is done and ready to be dropped into little mounds or poured into a pan to set. But I have two tests to help you out.
The first test is by just turning off your mixer and lifting the beaters. If the candy falls back into the bowl in ribbons that immediately merge back into themselves, the divinity is not done and you need to keep beating.
Eventually, the divinity candy will lose it's glossiness and sheen and stop being so sticky, which means it's ready.
The second test is even easier, I think, because all you do if you are having a hard time telling whether the divinity is still glossy in the first test is to go ahead and stop the mixer, drop a teaspoonful of candy onto wax paper, and check whether the candy will hold its shape.
If it puddles, the divinity isn't ready, but if it holds a peak and stays in a nice mound, you are good to go.
You definitely want a candy thermometer for this recipe though, because if you don't bring the sugar/corn syrup mixture up to 260 degrees F before slowly adding it to stiff egg whites while beating, then candy won't set.
Divinity Candy Variations
There are a few popular divinity candy variations because the base itself is such a great backdrop for mix-ins like the pecans that I chose to use here. But some other great flavor ideas would be to stir in the following combinations.
- Walnuts and 1 teaspoon of maple extract for maple walnut divinity
- Crushed peppermint sticks for peppermint divinity
- Maraschino cherries for maraschino cherry divinity
- 2 cups coconut for coconut divinity
- Almond extract with dried cranberries for cranberry almond divinity
And you can color any batch of divinity with just a couple of drops of food coloring just to change things up. Although I love the pure white look and nutty taste of this classic, old fashioned divinity candy recipe. And it's the one that gets made most at our house.
What are your favorite food gifts to share with others during the holidays?
More Candy Recipes You'll Love
- Old-Fashioned Homemade Peanut Brittle
- Grandpa Johnson's Easy Homemade Rocky Road Fudge
- Grandma Nash's Best Butter Almond English Toffee
- Christmas Pretzel Hugs
- Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods
- Gourmet Homemade Caramel Apples
Old Fashioned Divinity Candy
- 2 ½ cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup light corn syrup
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 egg whites at room temperature
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat and set aside.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, water, corn syrup and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, just until the mixture starts to boil. Then clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and continue to cook without stirring until the temperature reaches 260 degrees F, about 8-10 minutes.
- While the sugar mixture is cooking, beat the egg whites on high speed using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until stiff peaks form.
- Once the sugar mixture reaches 260 degrees, remove from heat and very slowly pour it in a thin, steady stream, over the egg whites while mixing on high speed. It should take about 2 minutes to pour the hot liquid over the egg whites, so go slow and don't rush this step.
- Continue to beat on high speed for another 5-8 minutes until the candy loses some of its glossiness and starts to hold its shape. You can stop mixing and test a small amount of candy by dropping a small spoonful of it onto the parchment paper to see if it holds its shape in a nice mound with nice swirls on top or if it melts down into a puddle. Continue to beat a minute or two longer if the divinity doesn't hold its shape yet, test again.
- Mix in the vanilla and the chopped pecans when the candy stays in a mound instead of melting into itself.
- Using two spoons sprayed lightly with cooking spray, drop tablespoon size scoops of divinity onto the prepared baking sheet, using one spoon to scrape the hot candy off the other spoon. You will want to work quickly while the candy is still hot.
- Let the candy set, then store for up to 5 days in an airtight container.