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?

More Candy Recipes You'll Love

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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. My dad used to make this for me and my little sister when we were kids back in the 60's. I've never tried to make it but I am now. I have 9 grandkids and I've been showing them how good food used to be and how to make it from scratch and not a box or buy it already made. They love the home made donuts and ask for my old fashioned hard fudge that melts in your mouth. Anyways I recall some of my dad's divinity having color. Is there a way to add color and if so how and when do you add it?

    1. You can always add food coloring to tint your divinity. Or you can make jello divinity where you add a package of powdered gelatin, although that will add flavor as well as color. Either way, I would add them immediately after pouring in the hot liquid before beating the divinity until it holds its shape.

  2. 5 stars
    I’m looking very forward to trying this recipe. It is very humid where I live, so for my meringues, I generally use cream of tartar to help hold its shape. So when I do make this recipe, for 2 egg whites, I will also add 1/8 tsp cream of tartar.

  3. 5 stars
    I cooked this respie for the first time while it was snowing and it turned out almost perfectly! Just remeber not to beat it to much which was the mistake I made when first cooking it. Love it and and my family has come to enjoy it too.

  4. 5 stars
    Terrific recipe that works really well. I use my KitchenAid stand mixer for this and it's a huge help. Also, because I'm hopeless dropping spoonfuls of this stuff because it firms up so fast and it's so sticky, I just spread it into a greased eight inch square pan and let it cool down before slicing into bars. Works well for me that way.

    1. I love that you just make it work! Spreading it into a pan is a great idea too! For the holidays we sometimes do mini tins of it for neighbor gifts and it works great!

  5. 3 stars
    Love Divinity since growing up in Wis.
    just wanted to tell you how Lovely your candy mounds are!
    Once the mixture is ready it’s usually a race to get all the candies on buttered wax paper before they harden!
    I usually have to add a few tsps of hot water to the last of the candy in mixing bowl.
    On a humid day, I cook my candy a few degrees higher.
    Thank you for recipe & comments

  6. 5 stars
    I just finished making this Divinity !! It was easy to follow the recipe, It came out perfect, thanks Amy .

  7. Divinity is not a southern creation. I made this with my grandmothers (Olsen &Swenson) as a kid. Theyd never been to the south. Just because something is used somewhere doesn't mean it originated there. Candy has been around longer then the American north or south.

    1. you're right but it is THOUGHT to be originated in the south. Where exactly is unclear but it's thought to be originated in Louisiana or Georgia in the 19th century. even then its thought be influenced from Turkish and European nougat and meringue candies. recipes travel so is totally possible that it originated from the south

  8. 5 stars
    It was my first time ever to try making divinity. To my surprise, it set up and turned out pretty good for my first attempt. It was a little dry but still held together! Thank you for the recipe. Great directions!!

  9. If I spoon the divinity into a parchment-lined 9" x 5" loaf pan and let is set up, will it crumble badly when sliced or will it slice cleanly? Thanks!

    1. That's a great question but unfortunately I haven't tried it yet! I think as long as the mixture is done right you should be able to get a decent slice without it crumbling too much but it's hard to say because divinity can be finicky.

  10. Looking forward to making this! My Gaga used to make this when I was a kid with peppermint. Can’t wait to make these! I’m going to try with pecans and also with peppermint!

  11. My moms favorite candy has always been divinity. She is dying and her birthday is this, so I want to give her some joy by making her favorite. Thank you for your simple recipe❤️

  12. I followed this recipe to a t. Why did mine turn out so crumbly? And will it still be good or should I start over?

    1. That's common when the divinity gets mixed too long. It's a tricky one that might take a few tries to get right! But even the crumbly stuff is delicious.

  13. 5 stars
    I have been making divinity using Jello but wanted to make some Vanilla flavored. This looks like the same basic recipe so I am excited to try it. Also, I do add cherries or blueberries, etc., to the cooking mixture (about 1 cup) and it gives the divinity a pretty color as well as great flavor. Can't wait to make yours without having to add Jell-o!

  14. I hope I can make this my mom has tried many times and burned up the mixer and she is a great baker so wish me luck and thank u for posting this

    1. You can do it! Just follow the steps and you've got it. If it doesn't work the first time, don't give up! Let me know how it goes!

  15. 5 stars
    Humidity has nothing to do with whether divinity sets or not. Grease is the problem. Everything you use must be squeaky clean. Mixing bowl, attachment, spoons, spatula, measuring cups, even the dish rag and sink. I live in MS and have made divinity since I was a young girl with my mother. I'm 61 now and I've made divinity on rainy days and cloudless days. Never had a bit of trouble with it setting up. Don't forget the thermometer too!

    1. OMG i think you might be right. I have been having failure after failure lately with my divinity (used to make it no problem). The change is that i am using ground up nuts! Always looks ok until I add them. I think there is oil from the the nuts killing the foam! I am going to do chopped nuts and add them at the very end. Thanks for the insight!

  16. 4 stars
    Turned out great just make sure the eggs beat stiff and u are patient! I removed my sugar mix when it hit temp and let it cool then whipped up my eggs it seems to take less time to loose it’s gloss when it’s cooler. Great recipe!

  17. 5 stars
    Awesome recipe and awesome directions! It’s definitely much easier with my kitchenAid. I followed the directions exactly and it turned out perfect. Thank you!

  18. I’m just curious, could this be put into a bag and piped into mounds, as one does with meringues? I think this would be faster for me and might get through it before it sets up.

  19. 5 stars
    Thanks for this wonderful recipe! I found you on YouTube, then printed the recipe out from your website. Made my first batch today. The directions were easy to follow and I had success. My husband loves divinity because his mother used to make it. I had a microwave recipe and tried it twice, but it failed both times. This is now my go-to divinity recipe!

  20. Question. I have been making divinity for years using this recipe and never had a problem. This evening I was making a batch and just as my sugar mixture reached the correct temp, it began to brown. I went ahead anyway but it didn't turn out right. Could it be I cooked the mixture at too high a temp? I had it on med heat but maybe I need to lower it a little?

  21. I didn't have the right attachment when I mixed the sugar mixture with the egg whites and it set up to hard,is there anything I can do to fix this, I hate to just throw it in the trash

    1. Sometimes you can get away with mixing in some hot water to save it, but it doesn't always work. If it sets too hard, you could always crumble it over ice cream or bake it into brownies or something though.

  22. 5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe 3x…so far😂 the first time I didn’t follow the directions closely enough and poured the cooked mixture into the egg whites too quickly. The results was tiny lumps in the candy. The second and third times I followed the directions exactly and the candy was/is fabulous! Just like I remember from my childhood. I have a Kitchenaid which is a lifesaver and makes recipes like this much easier.

  23. I've always done this recipe by hand with a wooden spoon. With a mixer you have more of a chance of going too far with it. When this candy loses it's gloss, just like a fudge recipe I have does, it needs to be put in a pan or dropped by spoonfuls quickly so it doesn't set in the bowl or on your spoon. Loved this recipe for over 50 years. I am now type II so I can no longer have it.

  24. I've not made your recipe yet but it's basically identical to the one I use. I found a lady on YouTube that made divinity while it was pouring rain and storming outside! She made that video just to prove that it could be done! So, I dug deep and decided to try myself during inclement weather! The result? It turned out perfect!

    I don't think I'd recommend a beginner cook/baker to try it. But just know it can be done! Now to give your recipe a go! 😊😋

  25. 5 stars
    My mom used to make this candy when she was alive. I love divinity. Do you or any one have a divinity cookie recipe as well? One of my friends said her mother in law made divinity cookies and said they were made almost like the candy and I wanted to try the cookies if any one had a recipe for divinity cookies.

  26. 5 stars
    Does any one have the candy recipe called peanut butter pillows? My dad would bring this candy home when we were kids and other kinds. I can't remember the names of the other candy.

  27. I am 70 now, an I remember this candy being made every year at Christmas. Seeing these recipes brought back a lot of good times an family. Thank you for sharing.

  28. I wonder if the divinity cookies someone mentioned are "Forgotten Cookies"? It's just a meringue cookie. Even easier to make than these divinities. You just mix together the ingredients, put them into a preheated oven then turn it off. You leave them overnight (no peeking!) and in the morning you have crisp, luscious meringue cookies that melt in your mouth. There are plenty of recipes online.
    I haven't tried this recipe but it sounds similar to my recipe for homemade marshmallow fluff, except you heat the syrup to soft ball, not hard ball for that. I checked out this recipe because I overcooked my syrup and the fluff came out more like divinity than fluff!

  29. I have lived all over the country and people have always seemed to be well aware of divinity candy. Not a lot of people make it as they perceive it as difficult. It may be particularly popular in the south, but it is certainly not regional and not a secret.