Divinity Candy Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 5 min. Cook: 40 min. + standing
Like fluffy clouds from up on high, divinity candy truly earns its heavenly moniker.

Updated: May 09, 2024

Divinity candy is an old-fashioned confection that truly stands the test of time. Made from just a few ingredients, this light and fluffy treat is a breeze to make (as long as you have a candy thermometer on hand).

While timeless, divinity candy is a common sight at holiday gatherings (particularly in the South), but it can be enjoyed any time of year. And because of its simplicity, the number of flavor variations is virtually endless. Like most candy recipes, anyone can make divinity with a little bit of guidance!

What is divinity candy?

This sweet confection hearkens back to the early 20th century when corn syrup was first introduced as a sweetener in the United States. Though today it is commonly made throughout the country, divinity is often thought of as a southern treat thanks to the addition of pecans.

While somewhat similar in ingredients and texture to nougat and meringue, divinity candy truly belongs in a category all its own. Unlike nougat, divinity is only cooked to the hard-ball stage, while nougat requires cooking to the higher temperature hard-crack stage. As a result, nougat tends to be a bit denser and even chewier than divinity. In contrast, meringue is cooked to a lower temperature than divinity, leading to a flatter shape and crisper texture.

Ingredients for Divinity Candy

  • Egg whites: Egg whites contribute to the candy’s fluffy texture. To beat your egg whites to stiff peaks more quickly, make sure your egg whites are at room temperature before using them in this recipe. Here are a few reasons why you should always use room-temperature eggs for baking and other recipes.
  • Sugar: Use white granulated sugar in this recipe. Brown sugar will be too wet and will affect the texture.
  • Corn syrup: This recipe calls for light corn syrup. It helps prevent the sugar from crystallizing and provides the candy with its smooth texture and shiny appearance. Avoid using dark corn syrup, which has a darker color and heavier molasses flavor.
  • Vanilla extract: Vanilla gives the divinity candy its signature flavor. Like all recipes that use vanilla, use the best you can buy.
  • Chopped pecans: Chopped nuts add a little crunch to the light and airy candy. Toasted pecans will add even more flavor. Here’s how to toast nuts for the best results.

Directions

Step 1: Prep the egg whites

Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, line three 15x10x1-inch pans with waxed paper.

Editor’s Tip: Make sure there is no yolk in your egg whites. Even the tiniest bit of yolk can prevent the egg whites from whipping properly. And make sure your bowl is clean of any debris or water.

Step 2: Heat the sugar mixture

In a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, water and corn syrup. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar. Cook, without stirring, over medium heat until a candy thermometer reads 252°F (hard-ball stage). Just before the temperature is reached, beat egg whites on medium speed until stiff peaks form.

Editor’s Tip: A candy thermometer is crucial to successful candy-making. Here are some more candy-making tools everyone should own.

Step 3: Combine the sugar mixture and egg whites

Slowly add the hot sugar mixture in a thin stream over the egg whites, beating constantly and scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Add the vanilla. Beat until the candy holds its shape, five to six minutes. (Do not overmix or the candy will get stiff and crumbly.) Immediately fold in the pecans.

Step 4: Portion out the candy

Dropped candy mixture on pan with spoonTMB Studio

Quickly drop the candy mixture by heaping teaspoonfuls onto the prepared pans. Let it stand at room temperature until dry to the touch. Store between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container at room temperature.

Recipe Variations

  • Go nuts: Replace the pecans with chopped peanuts, hazelnuts, pistachios or walnuts.
  • Turtle: Stir in mini chocolate chips along with the pecans. After the candy has dried, drizzle with caramel before serving.
  • Take it to the tropics: Stir in chopped dried pineapple and shredded coconut for a tropical flavor.
  • Flip the flavor: Instead of vanilla extract, try almond, lemon or orange extract.
  • Get minty: Replace the nuts with crushed peppermint for a minty version. Add in a couple drops of red food coloring for a pink-hued treat. For even more flair, drizzle with melted chocolate after the candy has dried.

How to Store Divinity Candy

Improper storing is one of our top five candy-making mistakes. To ensure it stays fresh, store your divinity candy in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to two weeks.

Can you freeze divinity candy?

While technically you can freeze divinity candy, for best results, it is not recommended. Freezing will affect the divinity candy’s signature light and fluffy texture. It’s best enjoyed fresh.

Divinity Candy Tips

Divinity Candy on blue baseTMB Studio

What can you do if your divinity candy won’t dry?

Much like making meringues and other confections, the key to making a successful divinity has everything to do with the weather! If possible, always make divinity on a cool, dry day. As sugar attracts water, any humidity or moisture in the air can affect how your divinity turns out. Divinity should be dry and set within two hours, but have patience. It may take a little longer. If you would like to try correcting a thin divinity, beat in a little bit of powdered sugar at a time until the consistency is drier and thicker, before dropping onto sheets of waxed paper again to dry.

Do you need a candy thermometer to make divinity candy?

A working candy thermometer is key to making divinity candy. We recommend that you test your candy thermometer before each use by bringing water to a boil; the thermometer should read 212°. Adjust your recipe temperature up or down based on your test.

Watch how to Make Divinity Candy

Divinity Candy

Prep Time 5 min
Cook Time 40 min
Yield 60 pieces (1-1/2 pounds).

Ingredients

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Directions

  1. Place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, line three 15x10x1-in. pans with waxed paper.
  2. In a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, water and corn syrup; bring to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. Cook, without stirring, over medium heat until a candy thermometer reads 252° (hard-ball stage). Just before the temperature is reached, beat egg whites on medium speed until stiff peaks form.
  3. Slowly add hot sugar mixture in a thin stream over egg whites, beating constantly and scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Add vanilla. Beat until candy holds its shape, 5-6 minutes. (Do not overmix or candy will get stiff and crumbly.) Immediately fold in pecans.
  4. Quickly drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto prepared pans. Let stand at room temperature until dry to the touch. Store between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container at room temperature.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 61 calories, 1g fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 4mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate (12g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.

Every Christmas my grandmother and I made divinity candy, just the two of us. I still make it every year. —Anne Clayborne, Walland, Tennessee