Soft, chewy and snow white, this old fashioned divinity candy is made with just 4 simple ingredients! This nostalgic Southern candy has a sweet flavor, pillowy texture and tastes just like the version grandma used to make.
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Old-Fashioned Divinity Candy Recipe
This is one of those classic old fashioned holiday desserts to make around Christmas time. Not only does it taste incredible, but the bright snow white color, similar to a meringue cookie, is perfect to add to a Christmas goodie plate. Divinity is a nougat like candy and the best way to describe it is as a marshmallow taffy.
My grandma made divinity candy every year at Christmas (along with cream cheese mints, homemade caramels and saltine cracker toffee). She always stored it in these metal film containers in the freezer and I love that I have one to store it in as well. Anytime someone would stop by, she would pull the divinity out to share.
Below is the recipe card she gave me. As you can see, it didn’t have many instructions so we had to call my grandpa to help us remember her tips and tricks. It took us a few times to get it just right, but I’m so happy with how it turned out. We all loved it!
- Sugar: The bulk of the sweetness comes from the granulated sugar in this recipe.
- Corn syrup: This helps create that chewy, taffy-like texture. Make sure to use light corn syrup.
- Egg whites: These get whipped until stiff peaks form, much like a meringue.
- Vanilla: For an extra boost of flavor, I always add a few teaspoons of pure vanilla extract.
- Pecans: These are optional, but I love the added flavor. You can either fold them into the batter or sprinkle a few on top of each piece.
How to Make Divinity Candy
- PREPARE. Preparation is key for this recipe. Get out 2 baking sheets and line them with parchment or wax paper. Then place 2 small spoons and a knife on top. You’ll want to also have your electric mixer handy as well. Plug it in and add the beater attachment. Then pour the vanilla and egg whites into the bowl of your mixer, but don’t mix yet. It helps to have everything prepared and ready to go because you’ll need to work fast when making the candy.
- BOIL. Add the sugar, corn syrup and water in a large sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Make sure to continue stirring the whole time so that the mixture doesn’t burn. Clip a candy thermometer to the pan.
- WHIP. While the sugar boils, turn your electric mixer on and start whipping the egg whites and vanilla until stiff peaks form.
- MIX. When the sugar mixture has reached 240°F on your thermometer, turn the heat to medium high and drizzle half of the mixture slowly into the bowl with the egg whites. Place the pan back on the burner and cook until the temperature reaches 260°F. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the mixer and mix on high speed. When the other half of the sugar mixture reaches 260°F, pour it slowly into the egg whites. Scrape down the sides again and beat on high speed until it no longer has a glossy finish (about 5 to 10 minutes). Then fold in the pecans if desired.
- SCOOP. Immediately after you’re done mixing, start spooning the mixture onto the parchment lined baking sheets. You need to move quickly or else it will harden. Then let the divinity set for about 1 hour.
- Don’t make on a rainy day. For some reason the humidity won’t let the divinity set right and it will look like a puddle in the photo above.
- Sugar on edges. If the sugar starts to come up on the edges of the sauce pan, use a pastry brush dipped in hot water to wipe it down.
- Scrape the sides. Make sure to use a spatula to scrape the sides of your mixing bowl immediately after pouring in the sugar mixture.
- Consistency. When you’re mixing the last step, watch for a marshmallow cream consistency. If the mixture is still shiny, it’s not ready. As soon as the divinity starts to thicken and lose its shine, start testing with a spoon on the paper. Make sure that the candy mounds into a ball and doesn’t flatten. If it flattens, keep mixing on high for another minute and then test again.
- Multiple people. Make sure to keep a close eye on the entire process. This recipe works best with 2 people helping as it moves fast and it’s easier to have one person mixing the egg whites and one person watching the candy on the stove. It also helps to have an extra person to help getting the candy onto the paper before it hardens.
Storing + Freezing
This homemade divinity will keep for up to 2 weeks if stored in a covered container at room temperature (I store mine in a metal tin like my grandma did). I like to add a layer of parchment or wax paper before adding the candy, so that the bottoms don’t stick to the container. You can also freeze the candy for up to 3 months.
More Homemade Candy Recipes
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- ¾ cup light karo syrup
- ¾ cup water
- 3 egg whites
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup chopped pecans (optional)
- Line 2 baking sheets with wax or parchment paper. Place 2 smaller spoons and a knife on top (so it’s all ready to go) or grab a medium cookie scoop if you have one. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, add the egg whites and vanilla. Add the beater attachment and plug in the mixer so it’s ready to go.
- In a large sauce pan, combine the sugar, karo syrup and water over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir constantly so it doesn’t burn. If the sugar starts to come up on the edges, use a pastry brush dipped in hot water to wipe it down. Clip a candy thermometer to the pan.
- While the mixture is boiling, start whipping the egg whites with vanilla in the mixing bowl. Beat until a stiff peak forms. Leave the beaters on as we’ll add the sugar mixture into this bowl.
- Once the candy mixture reaches 240°F, turn the heat to medium-high and drizzle about half the mixture SLOWLY into the bowl with the egg whites. Place the sauce pan back on medium high heat until it reaches 260°F. Scrape the downsides of the mixer and mix on high speed. When the remainder of the sugar mixture reaches 260°F, slowly pour into the egg white mixture. Scrape down the sides and then beat on high speed until the candy loses its glossy finish (about 5-10 minutes).
- When the beaters are lifted up, the candy shouldn’t drizzle off. Test a spoonful on a piece of wax paper. If it begins to flatten, keep mixing on high and check another spoonful after a minute. Fold in pecans if desired.
- Once it’s ready, you need to move fast or it will harden quickly. Take your spoons or cookie scoops and scoop onto the paper. Allow 1 hour to set.
- Store in a covered container at room temperature for 2 weeks or in the freezer for 3 months.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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