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?

More Candy Recipes You'll Love

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.

Stay in the know

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!

Share This With the World

PinYummly

Related Recipes

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.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

How many stars would you give this recipe?




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Reader questions and reviews

  1. I just made this for the first time and it’s delicious!! I live in a super rainy area so it wasn’t setting right but I added a tiny spoon of powdered sugar and it set immediately!! 

  2. Recipe worked great! But I think the calories are way off...

    2.5c sugar = 500 grams = 2000 cal
    0.5c corn syrup = 450 cal
    1c pecans = 760 cal
    2 egg whites = 40 cal

    So if you make 40 of these, 3250/40 is 82 calories each. 

  3. I would really love to read this recipe, but you have some video ad pop up stuck right in the middle on my phone screen that I absolutely can't closer, I am looking for the x to closer it, and there's none!!! 😡 To boot, I can't even read this comment as I am writing it because the ab it's right over the top! WTH?!

    1. I'm so sorry you had that experience! That definitely shouldn't be happening and I've reached out to my ad network who handles all my ads to report this to them and see what's going on. We'll get that fixed!

  4. I would like to know why the peanut brittle have a 7 day shelf life and the divinity only a 5 day shelf life. I was going to ship some cookies this holiday season but now I don't think I should ship either of those as I don't want to make anyone sick.

    1. No one will get sick if either is a little beyond it's prime as the sugar will preserve the candy. It's more that the divinity tends to dry out a bit over time and doesn't taste as fresh. Brittle, which is cooked longer and is hard already, doesn't have the same issue.

  5. Hello,

    My wife, who is from northern California, was telling me about this "Divinity" recently, how much she misses it, and how she hasn't seen/had it in years. Thanks to you and your instructions, I was able to make it on the first try (R.I.P. my little hand mixer lol) though I had to use one of the reviewers' trick and add a little bit of powdered sugar to help finish it.

    We live in a very humid place (near the West coast of Canada) - but I got a new mixer, and this time, the Divinity turned out even more amazing than the last.

    My wife is happy, and my friends are impressed; thank you Amy for putting all this together <3

  6. I love your recipe. I grew up with my M and Grandma both making it for the Holidays. No Southern history of either, Aberdeen S Dakota. I never was a fudge eater, but I could eat eat Divinity til I was surgar overdosed. Thanks so much for making real Divinity, and not the frosting kind.

  7. I've been making divinity with my Mom for years (she's now 90). We've always used a Sunbeam mixer. Now we have a Kitchenaid. My question is: How do you pour the hot syrup into the mixer without hitting the beaters and having it fly everywhere? On the Sunbeam mixer the bowl spins and the beaters are stationery so it's fairly easy to pour. With the Kitchenaid the bowl is stationery and the beaters move around the bowl. When I tried the Kitchenaid mixer for divinity the hot syrup hit the beaters and flew everywhere! Thank you for your help.

    1. Yep, the syrup ends up on the side of the bowl. I wonder if that’s why my yield was half of an 8x8 pan. What I did end up with was delicious.

  8. It is true this recipe will not set up in the South on a rainy humid day.
    Also, you can check the temp of the candy the old fashioned way by dropping a little in a cold glass of water. If it rolls into a ball, it's ready.
    Love this recipe! Thanks!

  9. Got to keep your eye on this recipe don't start whipping your meringue too early to where they peak before you reach 260. After I poured sugar mixture into the egg whites it seized up on me so be sure to keep a close eye on it and don't go by the time 5 to 6 minutes is more like it and candy thermometer more around 250 I would think also.

  10. You say you've only seen this candy sold at Disney Land, in from Louisiana and and my way here looking for the original recipe because it's a louisiana Christmas favorite growing up my mother would cover the kitchen in the stuff lol and buckeyes to and yes the humidity will keep it from getting hard we want to hand this tradition to our kids so thank you for the recipe and merry Christmas may you and yours be blessed and healthy

  11. You have Nailed It ! Now i have the Correct recipe & make it tomorrow night with Crushed Walnuts - Chocolate chips too maybe ?

  12. Omg!!! You helped us save our divinity!!! We were doing it all wrong and your do’s and don’ts were out saving grace! You’re the rock star of Christmas to these divinity rookies turned pro!!! Thanks again!
    Ginger and Kevin in California  

  13. I'm making your recipe tonight. My sis in Texas just called & asked if I could PLEASE make her some.
    I don't pay attention to humidity..if that were the case people in the UK would never make macarons or candy.. lol.

  14. My batch was ruined because it only took about a minute for the candy to get too thick after I poured the hot syrup into the egg whites. Nowhere near the 5-6 minutes the recipe said. I should have taken the syrup off the heat before it hit 250 degrees. 252 was too high I think.

  15. 5 stars
    I love divinity! It’s not just a Southern thing, however. I’m a New Englander and have been eating this for more than 60 years. My grandmother always made it for us, but you are correct that it is definitely a vintage recipe that most people have forgotten.

  16. 5 stars
    I haven't had Divinity in 40 years and this is exactly the way I remember it. I learned the hard way that when adding the sugar in a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment, not the wisk. Oh- and I missed '2 lightly oiled' on the spoons so I got to lick a spoon and finger for a bit. And still--- a perfect treat.

  17. 5 stars
    The recipe worked great! It was rainy here in Oregon and it still set up fine. I asked my 90 year old Mom if she wanted the spatula and she got a big smile on her face. ❤️ She always made divinity at Christmas time so it’s a fond tradition for us. She always put it in an 8x8 pan so that’s what I did. It stays a little moister. The recipe filled half the pan, so next time I’ll either put it in a loaf pan or double the recipe. Hope my KtchenAid can handle a double batch! Merry Christmas everyone! 🎄

  18. 5 stars
    So delicious! Perfect recipe. I live in Florida where it is always humid and had no problems. Make sure you whip it long enough. Thank you!

  19. 5 stars
    I am from Southeast Missouri,just a few miles from the Arkansas line. Divinity is a must for any Christmas tray. This is the same recipe my family has used for generations. It is the best. But, remember the weather has a lot to do with the set up, just like fudge. Thanks for sharing this.

    1. My best friend gave me her “special Divinity Candy recipe an I have misplaced it 😢she passed a number of years ago-thank you for the recipe. I’ll think if her and you while I make it and enjoy it. 🥰 she was from Kentucky. My Mother in Law also made it..