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 and pecans on a red and white plate

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.

piled white divinity on a plate with pecans

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.

Candy thermometer in a pot of boiling sugar, water and corn syrup for making divinity candy.

Then chopped pecans and a little vanilla are stirred in at the end for texture and flavor.

Stand mixer with divinity candy batter and pecans ready to be mixed in.

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 (affiliate link) 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.

A plate full of mounds of divinity and pecans with a tray of old fashioned divinity next to it ready to be cut into squares.

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.

pile of divinity with whole pecans

What are your favorite food gifts to share with others during the holidays?

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Old Fashioned Divinity Candy

4.99 from 59 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 40 pieces
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! 

Ingredients
  

  • 2 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg whites at room temperature
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Video

Notes

From everything I have seen, divinity can be finicky about setting up on humid days.  I haven't experienced this firsthand, but thought I would give you a heads up that you might not want to try this recipe for the first time on a rainy day.

Nutrition

Calories: 31kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Sodium: 12mg | Sugar: 3g
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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Reader questions and reviews

  1. I love divinity and need to try making it again. The first time was a bust but I really didn't know what I was doing. You give such clear directions! Thanks for joining the holiday food gift event!

    1. 5 stars
      I'm a Yankee in Tx, so I scored big points with this recipe!!
      We made our second batch last night and split it up plain and peppermint. It came out perfect again. Humidity is the key. The recipe tips on weather are spot on.
      I give this 5*****

      1. I can make it rain or shine. Mine always comes out. Humidity is an old wives tale. The secret is 100% grease free utensils. You get any grease in mixer and it will never set up right. Been making it 50 years the same way.

        1. I agree. Yet, here I am, after 40 years of making divinity, pouring rain or shine, on this sunny day I have failed. It has been a few years since the last time I made it, but same old recipe. Ugh 

    1. Hold the phone - you got to work at the Disneyland candy store?!?!?! I seriously would waste a good hour at the park just watching through the window while they make candy there.

  2. I've never heard of Divinity Candy, but I'm a big fan of making candy around the holiday season, so I'm definitely going to try it soon!

  3. Oh my gosh, I have to make this! It looks so amazing! This recipe reminds me of the divinity my mom and I used to make when I was growing up! I love how food leads to such good memories!

  4. Is humidity a factor when making this recipe? That is something I have always heard I live in a very a Rainy part of the country and am hesitant about making divinity. 😞

    1. So I have never personally experienced it as a factor, but yes, I've heard that humidity can be problematic too. But it seems like the day I made this batch it was raining off and on here and my divinity set up just fine!

      1. I have made divinity for years. I have made it during an Oklahoma toad strangler!! In a kitchen with no air con running and the windows open. I don't think weather matters. 

      2. Started making divinity when I was a kid in Mobile AL. You don't get much more humid than that. Just make sure everything is clean, no oil on your equipment. Stop mixing as soon as it starts to hold its shape. Work quickly when scooping out on baking sheet/wax paper. I use a food scoop to make the process go a little faster. You don't get the fancy swirl on the top but you can compensate by pressing in a pecan half or a candied cherry.

    2. Divinity doesn’t usually set up in more humid climates or on rainy days, but Martha Stewart has a good trick for these situations - add a teaspoon of powdered sugar at the end. If it still isn’t setting up, add another teaspoon, and so on. It works like a charm!

      1. Such an interesting trick! We've had some rainy weather again lately! I will have to try this next time and see how it works!

    3. Great recipe. I add peppermint candy canes broken up to a batch and it tasted delicious. The only thing was it dried out the mix something fierce. I think if I do it in the future I will add it earlier or add a response of water.
      Just add broken up candy canes...should solve the humidity problem

    4. As a South Louisiana native, yes, humidity is definitely a factor but the powder sugar technique is a perfect fix, just don’t add too much. Start with small amounts until you reach the desired consistency. Don’t forget you can always add but you can’t take away!!
      Also note: this recipe pretty much nails what we grow up with down here. Great job! 🙂

  5. Divinity is one of those things that I always thought would just be too hard to make. You've inspired me to challenge this. It definitely helped when you gave variations of flavors...like coconut!!!

  6. I have never had divinity candy! May be it's time to change that.. should go on a look out for some and see if the local sweet shop here in Bucharest keeps them and then give it a try myself maybe.

    Thanks for sharing

  7. My Mother used to make Peanut Roll like this After she cooked the sugar ingredients and poured into the egg whites she would use confection sugar to roll out then spread peanut butter over then roll it up and slice the candy was absolutely delicious. I have lost her recipe to you think I can use this recipe to make the Peanut Roll? Thanks

    1. Judy, those vintage recipes are so special and I love that you have this memory of your mother! I wish I could say whether this would work to recreate the peanut roll, but since I have never had a peanut roll, I can't really be sure! I'm sorry! But I hope it would work for you! If you try, please let me know how it turns out! I'm going to have to research more about peanut roll candy!

    2. Oh my gosh!  My Aunt Joyce always made a potato candy with peanut butter rolled up like this!  She would use leftover mashed potatoes and whip them with powdered sugar until they were “stiff.”  She would them roll this out and cover with peanut butter, then roll it up and slice it!  DELICIOUS!!!  Thank you for reminding me of that recipe!

  8. I look forward to trying this recipe for Divinity! My grandmother lived with my family when I was growing up in Memphis, TN. We always made this at Christmas. Before we made the candy we had to check the weather report! Nana said that divinity would not set up if it was raining outside. Thank you for the memory!

  9. 5 stars
    Thank you for the recipe. I can't wait to try it. One question, about how long does it take to set up (hours)?

    Thank you.

    1. It should only take 2-3 hours unless you are experiencing high humidity. I have heard that some people whose divinity doesn't set up will pop them in the oven at a very low temperature for 20 minutes or so to help them along, but I haven't tried that personally yet.

      1. I am wondering if the cherries would add to much moisture to the candy? I want to try this recipe for my Grandchildren.

        1. They can, but if you chop them and pat the dry on paper towels first, it's manageable. I've made cherry divinity before and it tastes delicious, but is a bit trickier. I will have to do a separate post for it!

    2. Just made this and it turned out perfect! Doubled the recipe.. it was a bad  idea because my kitchen is covered in divinity and so am I lol! 

  10. I tried this today but it came out like nugget. I think I may have overbeaten it. Has anyone had this happen? Any tips?

    1. Oh dear! It sounds like the divinity got beaten too long. The hardest part about divinity is knowing when to stop. I would recommend stopping earlier and testing it every 30 seconds of beating or so. When it stops melting down into a puddle, it's done. But when I have gone too far with beating in the past, I have been able to save a batch of divinity by adding a few drops of hot water (maybe 1/2 teaspoon or so at a time) and beating that in to soften it back up and get it to the right consistency.

  11. I used to love my grandmother’s divinity, having spent my early childhood in Missouri. I have a black walnut tree in my back yard now - and will be making black walnut divinity for my mother-in-law this holiday season. I look forward to the nastalgic childhood trip down memory lane. Thank you for the recipe and tips.

  12. 5 stars
    Delicious! This is just how I remember it from when my mom or grandma would make it. Thanks, Amy,

    I hope next time I make it I'll have a stand mixer. It's about all the electric hand mixer can handle. As I was putting things away, my hand crank beater caught my eye. I thought ... Um. No. not a chance! haha. So... Stand mixer. (Did you hear that, Santa?)

    1. I only know of light or dark corn syrup and you wouldn't get the beautiful white color using dark. I'm guessing regular corn syrup IS light corn syrup.

  13. 5 stars
    I said I was NOT going to make candies this year!!! Your recipie sucked me in!!! I had to make 2 batches since the man wouldn't stay out of them....lol

  14. Am I suppose to stop the mixer the minute the shine starts to go? I think I over mixed it. Also do we still use the mixer when we add the pecans? Or so we hand. Mix it?

    1. Yes, once that shine starts to go you are pretty much there. Try some of the drop tests mentioned in the post - if it puddles, you need to keep beating. But that change from puddling to holding its shape happens quickly. You can use the mixer to stir in the pecans, because it can get pretty thick for hand mixing.

  15. 5 stars
    Ok all went well. Had divinity then added maraschino cherries. Big mistake. Turned right back into a sticky goo. So i froze it and cut it and diped it into chocolate. Happy accident.

    1. Oh no; for sure don’t add anything wet into your fluffy whipped up divinity. It goes South on you & pulling your mixing spoon out is like trying to pull a stuck truck out of a back road mud hole after a big rain. But like the truck where there’s a will there’s a way. Once out that old farm truck cleaned up real good. Just like you hit pay dirt on rerouting the fluffy stuff down a different road. So what is the moral to the story for those following this cooking venture?
      You don’t go down Cherry Lane after a big old rain with a load of the white fluffy stuff because if it gets wet your spoon is sure to get stuck!
      Y’all come to see me now, just watch out for them mud holes.

  16. 5 stars
    I just made this recipe today, and it came out fabulous! I haven't made divinity since before I had kids, and my kids are now old enough to help in the kitchen. We had a blast! Just as a note, it set up beautifully and we not only live in a humid climate, but it was pouring rain all day.

    1. Does anyone know how it takes to set up and how to store it? It doesn’t say anything about the set up process. Also I forgot to add vanilla because I didn’t see it in step 5! 🙄 

      1. If mixed properly, this divinity sets up almost immediately! I always store it in an airtight container on the counter at room temperature for up to 5 days.

      2. I did too! Lol. I had already scooped half of the divinity on to a tray so I just mixed the vanilla with the other half. Both batches are delicious 🤤 

  17. 5 stars
    I remember this candy as a special treat made only around Christmas. It is really hard to get it to set in Louisiana, too humid most days, so using a tad less water helps.

    Twila Tilley
    Lafayette, LA

    1. 5 stars
      This recipe worked beautifully for me. Someone had asked if this recipe would work for the peanut butter roll and the answer is yes. That's the only way I make divinity, my grandmother taught me the process and we did this together when I was a kid. I lost the recipe and she has passed so I tried yours and it worked beautifully. I'm waiting for it to set up now! Humidity DOES play a factor in this candy, I live near the gulf coast in Mississippi and I can't make this candy in summer. It will not set up. Thanks for the recipe, I'm loving the results so far!!

  18. Tried this for the first time. It turned out great. I especially liked the tips at the end to make sure it set up properly. It was an overcast and somewhat humid day but it turned out fine. Live it

  19. I made this tonight. It was stiff and I put on parchment and it stayed. But 2 hr and it’s sticky still. Any suggesyions

    1. It's a reusable baking mat like parchment paper except made out of silicone. You could use parchment paper instead though.

  20. Thank you so much for this recipe! My dad's grandmother (born in the 1800's!) used to make this for him growing up and I remember him telling me it was his favorite thing ever, but that it was so hard to make that he hasn't had it since childhood. I live in Scotland now, but am flying home for his 70th birthday party in a few weeks so, I made this today in a test run because I want to surprise him with it. I set up a dehumidifier in the kitchen and sealed it off overnight and then followed your recipe. I was so worried it would be too hard for me as I never cook, but it turned out amazing! I'm not sure what it's supposed to taste like, but this tastes amazing! I'm was so excited I cried. To be able to bring my dad something he loved so much as a little boy for his 70th is so incredibly special for me. Thank you so much for such an easy to follow recipe!!

    1. Mariah, your comment absolutely made my day. I love that you are making these for your dad! What a sweet, special idea.

  21. I stumbled on this recipe today so I am late to post. I had a beloved great aunt who was the divinity expert in our family. (God rest her soul!). She would always make a small mountain of divinity once the weather turned for the better/drier. My dad was the beneficiary of the candy goodness every year. Little sister and I would go on raids trying to scam a taste of that wonderful stuff and Dad managed to foil us every time. 😩 Curses!!! Looking forward to trying this recipe for myself.

  22. The only place you can buy this in town is at one gas station they sell a bar that's a foot long.

  23. Soooo saw your note after the fact.. it was raining. Followed steps perfectly and didn’t set lol I’d say it was true!!!

  24. I love this. I lived in Seattle for years and have never had trouble getting to set up. Winter or summer. This recipe is a little longer but worth it.

  25. Hi, there! I have only had one experience with eating divinity. Lets just say, it was not a fond memory. Is divinity supposed to have a chewy quality to it or dry like meringue? Im guessing chewy, what I had was dry, crumbly and overly sweet. I would love to try it again, making it myself. Thanks for your response in advance!

    1. It's sort of between the two. It's not chewy like a caramel but it shouldn't be dry and crumbly. It's much closer to fudge, although slightly firmer, I would say. But not dry like meringue at all.

  26. This. Is the divinity that my mom always made. I live in southern Missouri where the humidity is pretty high at times.  We have wood heat, and starting a fire in the stove will dry out the air so your divinity isn’t runny.  We used to send a whole day making candy when my mom was alive. When it was time to make divinity she’d start a fire and we’d change into tank tops and shorts and sweat our way through the afternoon.  

    1. I don't think it will last longer than that without going stale or dry. It's never lasted longer than that in our house, at least. You could try freezing it, but I'm not sure how it would hold up. I might need to try that with a couple of extra pieces when I make it this year.

  27. My Aunt Helen made Divinity every Christmas. My favorite was the Black Walnut....then cherry. She also made Pecan Tassies. So good

  28. I saw divinity yesterday at Walmart in southern Utah. Like you, I'd never seen it sold (except at bake sales).
    I hadn't even thought about divinity in years. I saw it often when I was in school around holiday times, but not much since and not at all in the last several years. I grew up in this area, but I live in Michigan now. Makes me wonder if I made a batch if anyone would know what it was. Hehe

    1. It could be a number of things but my first question would be whether it was raining or very humid when you tried to make this, as that tends to be the biggest culprit. Otherwise, if the temperature was correct, then the candy probably wasn't beaten long enough.

  29. Great recipe. I add peppermint candy canes broken up to a batch and it tasted delicious. The only thing was it dried out the mix something fierce. I think if I do it in the future I will add it earlier or add a response of water.

  30. Just finished a batch and it came out perfect. We live on the coast so divinity is a finicky candy to attempt because of the humidity. I had problems making it last year and gave up. I am so glad I attempted it and it was a success. My mother in law and I made this 50 years ago every Christmas. Sometimes it came out sometimes it didn’t. The humidity always was a factor in those failures. Luckily today it was low humidity and beautiful sunshine.  Hopefully it last until tomorrow. It sure is good!