Southern Divinity Candy is a classic holiday confection. The pillowy nougat is embellished with toasted pecans making it the perfect small bite to satisfy your sweets craving.
How to Make Southern Divinity Candy
Divinity is a nougat like candy made with egg whites, sugar and corn syrup. It's sometimes embellished with chopped nuts or candied fruit and other times it's simply adorned with a single pecan on top. It's also possible to change the flavor of divinity adding flavored extracts such as cherry, maple, raspberry, almond or peppermint. This recipe is for classic vanilla divinity mixed with toasted pecans.
Helpful Tips for Making Divinity Candy
- Don't attempt to make this on a humid day. When doing so, it will take much longer to beat, and may not work at all. Divinity is finicky that way.
- This is one of those moments a stand mixer is a godsend. You can certainly make divinity using a hand mixer but, it might be helpful to have an extra set of hands to assist in pouring the hot liquid into the egg whites.
- Divinity can be made in various forms. Most often it's dropped by spoonfuls in mounds onto a non stick surface such as a silicone mat or wax paper. My preference is to use a small cookie scoop (1 Tbsp) for a more uniform look.
- If preferred, you can always use a regular tablespoon to drop into desired size mounds. Keep in mind divinity is sticky and it's helpful to have bowl or glass of hot water nearby to dip the spoon, then dry before continuing. You don't have to have special equipment, a scoop or a tablespoon will work.
- Divinity can also be spread into a 9 x 9 inch baking pan, lined with wax paper. Leave enough overhang for easy lifting. When doing so, let the divinity dry according to the recipe, then lift from the pan and cut into desired size squares for serving.
- Clear vanilla helps divinity keep it's snowy white appearance.
- Hard Ball stage is between 250-262°F. I find that divinity does best on the high end of that range.
- The yield for this recipe can vary depending on how the candy is divided.
How to Store Divinity
Divinity can be stored in an airtight container lined with wax paper at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. If stacking, place wax paper between layers to prevent the candy from sticking together. It can also be frozen for up to 2 months in an airtight container.
Other candy recipes to try:
- Sweet and Salty Crock Pot Candy
- Toffee Peanut Clusters
- Chocolate Peppermint Truffles
- Christmas Fudge from Recipe Boy
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Southern Divinity Candy
- 42 pecan halves toasted
- 1 cup chopped pecans toasted
- 2 ¾ cups granulated sugar
- ¾ cup light corn syrup
- ½ cup water
- 2 large egg whites room temperature
- 2 tsp clear vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread pecan halves and chopped pecans on a baking sheet. Toast for 6-8 minutes or until fragrant. Set aside.
- On the stovetop on low heat, cook sugar, corn syrup and water together in a heavy bottomed saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer. Stir constantly, just until sugar is dissolved. (If you continue to stir, the sugar may caramelize.)
- Continue cooking, without stirring to 260°F on a candy thermometer, or hard ball stage. (Alternately, until a small amount of mixture dropped into very cold water forms a hard ball that holds its shape but, is still pliable.)
- Meanwhile, beat egg whites in a medium-size mixing bowl using an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. (A stand mixer works best)
- Lower speed to medium, Continue beating constantly while pouring hot syrup in a thin stream into egg whites. Add vanilla. Continue to beat on medium speed until mixture holds its shape, about 8-10 minutes. Gently stir in chopped nuts until evenly distributed.
- Have nearby 3 large sheet pans lined with wax paper. Working quickly using a 1 Tbsp cookie scoop or Tbsp, Drop into even rounds on wax paper. Press one pecan half onto each. (Have a bowl of hot water nearby to dip scoop, if needed, then dry before continuing to form divinity)
- Let dry completely at room temperature for 8-12 hours.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature, separate layers by wax paper for up to 2 weeks. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 2 months.