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!

Old fashioned divinity and pecans on a red and white plate.


Table of Contents
  1. Old Fashioned Divinity Recipe
  2. Tests to Make Sure the Divinity is Done
  3. More Candy Recipes You'll Love
  4. More Favorites from House of Nash Eats
  5. Old Fashioned Divinity Candy Recipe

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.

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!).

Piled white divinity on a plate with pecans and a bite taken out of the top piece of candy.

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 on a pink and white plate.

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

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Old Fashioned Divinity Candy

4.95 from 149 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
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, room temperature
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

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 (affiliate link) 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 whisk attachment until stiff peaks form. Then switch to the paddle attachment.
  • Once the sugar mixture reaches 260 degrees F, 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 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. 

      1. My grandmother made perfect divinity for 50 years with no thermometer. The hard call stage is very reliable. FYI, she always rescheduled divinity making if the day turned humid!

    1. My grandmother taught me without a thermometer and I’m still doing it that way 30 plus years later. I pour half the mixture @ soft ball stage and cook the rest just a bit longer to a hard crackle stage them pour it in and it’s almost always perfect

  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!

    2. you don't have to get angry about web development. Sheesh. Be nice. Nobody wants to help an angry, belittling reader. I am confident, this was an accident, and not all OS's and phones read things the same way. Lead with kindness jen, not with a super horrible aggressive attitude.

  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..

    2. I made this today in celebration of my Mother’s 88th birthday. Her Mother used to make it and it was wonderful. I’ve never made it very successfully before. Humidity here is Atlanta is 50%. I followed directions exactly. It is “setting” now but I think it may be a success. I will say the first 6 dollops look very pretty and smooth. After that, mixture started cooling and they are not smooth but rather jagged.

      1. Hi! I hope it all worked out! I love that it is a family tradition making divinity candy. Food brings us together in amazing ways!

  20. I made the divinity and the temperature went to exactly 260F but it's not setting. they're very thick and hold their shape but aren't hard enough to pick up and eat. Do you know what i could've done wrong?

  21. Fudge is a type of sugar candy, chocolate fudge is only one of many possible kinds of fudge, many with no chocolate at all

  22. You don't need a thermometer or a standing mixer. We made this all my life and never had either. You can test the candy syrup w a cup of tap water. When it starts being thick, drop a drop into the cup and when it hardens in the cup of water it's done. A hand portable mixer works fine.

  23. The one I use by Betty Crocker says remove a tablespoon of the water before adding to the mix in damp or humid days. Almost foolproof, almost… 😉

  24. In Louisiana Walmart sells divinity around the holidays in the bakery. I rather homemade. Less expensive and easy to make.

    1. 5 stars
      Bought divinity at Walmart today! Ate it today lol. Along with a friend. I live in Arkansas and hail from Mississippi. This has been a tradition for our family for 70 years. Thanks for the recipe. I’ll compare it to the purchased kind. Oops have to buy some more for the comparison. Better hurry tho because last year it sold out fast!

  25. I made it twice, and the texture/set turned out a little different. The first time it was completely not sticky on the outside and lifted off the Silpat with very little residue. The second time it's still set, but it's softer and the bottom is pretty sticky. I'm assuming the first was correct, but I've never had it or even seen it before so I'm flying blind. Both are delicious but I want to get it right to surprise my mom, so would love some input. Thanks!

    1. The first time was correct! It shouldn't be sticky on the outside and the bottom shouldn't be very sticky either. Sounds like you knocked it out of the park with your first try!

  26. 5 stars
    My mother left this recipe with only the ingredients and no instructions written down. I thought I would never have it again until I found this. Thank you so much.

  27. 5 stars
    Mom used to make this!! Every CHRISTmas! Old Fashioned Fudge, Peanut Brittle, Penuche, PopCorn Balls, Peanut Butter Fudge.....no creamy fudge, whatsoever! Last, but not least Divinity! Not to forget Praline candy!
    She was the best candy maker ever! I’m not saying that, because she was my mom! Mom actually was the best candy maker! We should’ve marketed her candy! Thanks you for your recipe! Especially since I can’t find hers!

    1. I'm sure your mom was amazing! I love candy making too and have made all of those except for the penuche! Adding it to my list!

  28. This recipe brings me back to wonderful Christmas holidays with my grandmother. I bought three stuff yesterday and am about to get started. Thank you everyone for the comments. I now have a lot to work with. All the feedback is great info. I know what to look for. Thank you stay blessed

  29. This is a great recipe! By the way I love in idaho and I don't know anyone that hasn't had divinity so I'm not sure how southern it is. 🤷‍♀️

  30. 5 stars
    This looks like the recipe my aunt Opal used in make in back in the day. Know how delicious it is, I will rate it at 5 stars!

  31. 5 stars
    I just tried your recipe for divinity candy and it turned out really good. I toasted the almonds before stirring into the candy and I used regular corn syrup instead of the light and my candy still turned out white. Everyone has their hands into my mixing bowl tasting the candy while it sets. Thank you for this wonderful recipe and I think it will be a keeper. It’s a great recipe for anyone vegan who can’t have many of the other traditional candies you would have at Christmas. Thank you again.

  32. 5 stars
    I used to make this with my Mom growing up but haven't made it for many years. I don't think I cooked it long enough and was going to throw it away. (Used the hard ball method). It sat for a couple of hours and eventually lost its gloss. They looked like flat cookies but were the right texture and just delicious!! We're making another batch for Christmas eve and will cook it longer. Thanks for the recipe! I had a wonderful call with my mom and read her your recipe which she wrote down. Merry Christmas!!

  33. 1 star
    Honestly, I’m so confused how anyone managed to make this recipe without issue.
    I found it essentially looking for ingredients to make this as it’s something my grandmother and I made every year before she passed.
    I followed these directions exactly - even choosing to use the recommended paddle instead of the whisk attachment. Still confused how one manages to whisk egg whites with a paddle.
    I then took the sugar mixture all the way to 260 … huge mistake! The moment the sugar mixture touched the egg whites, it instantly became hard and almost destroyed my mixer.
    I’m choosing to use your ingredients again, but I am using the whisk attachment (had to swap back because I thought maybe the paddle while pouring the mixture might be a better method, it was not) and went based on my grandmother’s eyeball it method by looking for the threads/whisps that come off the sugar when you pull your spoon out of the hot mixture.

    1. I'm getting ready to make this and watched the video, too. In it, she did say to use the whisk for the egg whites, then only switched to the paddle when mixing in the syrup mixture.

      In reading the recipe instructions, she did leave that out and just mentioned the paddle attachment.

      Amy?

      1. You are right - sorry for any confusion! Yes, I recommend using the whisk attachment just to get the egg whites to stiff peaks, then switching to the paddle attachment before adding the sugar syrup.

  34. 5 stars
    Same recipe I’ve used for 30 years. It’s a great smooth and creamy candy. Remember altitude when you’re cooking too. Decrease the 260 degrees by 1 degree for every 500 feet above sea level.