Southern Divinity Candies Recipe

Homemade candy is so much better than anything you can buy at the store. And what better way to tell someone that you love them than by making them airy and delicious candies? These southern divinity candies are the perfect treat to wow a crowd and once you start eating them, you won't be able to stop. This recipe requires only a handful of ingredients, making it super simple.  According to Slurrp, Turkey and Europe often take credit for the recipe though many others believe it originated in the United States in the 20th century.

Recipe developer Catherine Brookes developed this no-bake candy recipe that's great for a crowd. "This recipe is something super fun and original to make on the weekend or to prepare as a gift. I love the light, fluffy texture and nutty taste of these delicious sweet treats," Brookes shares. "They're great to enjoy as a snack or dessert, or to package up as gifts for friends and family."

Gather the ingredients for these southern divinity candies

To make this candy, you will only need a few things. Head to the store and get light corn syrup, white sugar, water, salt, egg whites, chopped pecans, and vanilla extract.

Add ingredients to a saucepan

Take out a large saucepan and place it on your stove. Toss in the corn syrup, sugar, water, and salt and stir together to combine. Turn the heat to medium and cook the mixture until it reaches a temperature of 260 F. While you wait for it to reach that temperature, make sure you do not stir the contents of the saucepan. It should take 10-15 minutes for the mixture to reach 260 F. Just use a candy thermometer to check the temperature.

"Ensuring the sugar reaches the temperature of 260 F creates just the right texture to allow the candies to set firm while remaining soft and fluffy. A candy thermometer is essential here," Brookes notes. "I would definitely recommend using a thermometer for this recipe."

Beat the eggs

While the sugar mixture cooks in the saucepan, grab the eggs. Add just the whites to the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk together until stiff peaks form. This shouldn't take long at all. 

Combine the eggs and sugar mixture

Change the whisk attachment on your stand mixer to a paddle attachment for this step. Once the sugar mixture reaches the proper temperature, slowly pour it into the bowl with the egg whites. Keep the beater on high speed as you mix the two together. Continue beating for 5-10 minutes until the mixture becomes glossy. You can also check it's done by scooping it out with a spoon and making sure it holds its shape.

Next, add the chopped pecans and vanilla extract. Mix just enough so the pecans are distributed evenly through. "When beating the mixture before adding the pecans and vanilla, make sure it's holding its shape well; otherwise, the candies may not firm up properly," Brookes notes. "Continue mixing until you get to this stage."

Scoop the candies and allow them to set

Lightly grease two spoons and scoop the mixture by the spoonful onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let the candies sit at room temperature until they set. Try to be patient, as this can take 5-12 hours, depending on the temperature and humidity. "When the candies are set, the outside will no longer be sticky, and they'll hold their shape when you pick them up," Brookes notes.

Serve and enjoy

It's time to dig in! These are spectacular on their own, but Brookes provides a few additional serving suggestions. "They are great served with fruit, ice cream, and chocolate sauce," she notes. 

This is also a good recipe to make ahead of time. "These should keep well up to 2 weeks at room temp. Keep them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place," Brookes notes. We hope you enjoyed this classic candy. 

Southern Divinity Candies Recipe
5 from 13 ratings
These Southern divinity candies feature sweet nougat candy with crunchy pecans.
Prep Time
Cook Time
southern divinity candy on baking sheet
Total time: 5 hours, 30 minutes
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 2 ⅓ cups white sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg whites, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Add the corn syrup, sugar, water, and salt to a large saucepan and stir together.
  2. Heat on a medium setting without stirring until the temperature reads 260 F on a candy thermometer. This should take about 10-15 minutes.
  3. While the sugar mixture heats up, add the egg whites to the bowl of an electric stand mixer with the whisk attachment fitted. Whisk until stiff peaks are formed.
  4. Once the sugar mixture has come to temperature, begin to pour it very slowly and gradually into the egg whites whilst beating on a high speed, now with the paddle attachment fitted.
  5. Beat the mixture for about another 5-10 minutes, until it becomes less glossy in appearance and holds its shape when scooped out with a spoon.
  6. Add the chopped pecans and vanilla extract and mix briefly again to distribute them through.
  7. Using two lightly greased spoons, scoop out spoonfuls of the mixture and drop them onto a baking sheet or board lined with parchment paper.
  8. Leave at room temperature until set. This can take between 5-12 hours depending on temperature and humidity.
  9. Once set, serve the candies.
Calories per Serving 181
Total Fat 3.7 g
Saturated Fat 0.3 g
Trans Fat 0.0
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 38.1 g
Dietary Fiber 0.5 g
Total Sugars 37.5 g
Sodium 49.0 mg
Protein 0.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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