The easy-to-follow Divinity Candy Recipe

Divinity candy is a classic Southern treat that conjures up warm memories of kitchen gatherings and family holidays. Its cloud-like texture and sweet vanilla flavor make it a favorite among both children and adults, and its traditional recipe is one that has been passed down through generations. 

In this article, we will delve into an easy-to-follow Divinity Candy recipe that even a novice cook can master and include tips and tricks to ensure your candy turns out perfect every time.

The Sweet Beginnings: Understanding Divinity Candy

Divinity candy, with its light and airy consistency, is a confection that is as delightful to eat as it is to look at. Originating in the early 20th century, divinity has roots in the Southern United States, often appearing on dessert tables at church potlucks and family reunions. 

The name “divinity” is said to come from its heavenly taste, akin to what angels might enjoy.

The base ingredients of divinity are simple: granulated sugar, corn syrup, and egg whites. The magic happens when these ingredients are combined and beaten to create a fluffy, nougat-like candy that melts in your mouth. 

Though the recipe is straightforward, making divinity can be a bit temperamental. Humidity is its nemesis; a dry day is crucial for divinity to set properly. Moreover, patience is key — the mixture must be beaten for the right amount of time to achieve the quintessential texture.

The Foundation: Ingredients and Tools Needed

Before diving into the divinity candy recipe, let’s gather the essentials. For a basic batch of divinity, you will need:

  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Two egg whites at room temperature
  • A pinch of salt
  • One teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • Optional: 1/2 cup of chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts work well)

The tools required are equally essential to ensure your divinity candy is a success:

  • A heavy-bottomed saucepan
  • A candy thermometer
  • A stand mixer with a whisk attachment or a hand mixer
  • A spatula
  • Parchment paper
  • A spoon or a candy dropper

With your ingredients measured and tools at the ready, you’re set to embark on the candy-making adventure.

The Process: Mixing and Cooking

The process of making divinity candy can be likened to a delicate dance — it requires precision and timing. Begin by combining the sugar, corn syrup, and water in your heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. 

Once the sugar has dissolved, stop stirring and insert the candy thermometer into the saucepan. You’ll want to cook the syrup until it reaches 260°F (126°C), known as the hard-ball stage.

As the syrup cooks, take this time to beat your egg whites and salt in the stand mixer until stiff peaks form. The goal is to have the egg whites ready and waiting by the time your syrup reaches the correct temperature. 

Timing is everything — if the syrup is ready before the egg whites, it can harden and ruin the texture of your candy.

The Crucial Step: Beating the Candy

Once your syrup has reached the hard-ball stage, the next step is crucial. With the mixer running, carefully pour the hot syrup in a thin stream into the egg whites. Begin to beat the mixture on high speed. 

This is where patience comes in; the mixture will need to be beaten for about 9 to 12 minutes. What you’re looking for is for the candy to hold its shape when dropped from a spoon — the mixture should be glossy and have stiff peaks.

At this stage, add the vanilla extract and continue to beat the mixture. If you’re including nuts, fold them in gently with a spatula until just incorporated. The candy should be thick and no longer glossy.

The Finale: Shaping and Setting

Now, working quickly, drop spoonfuls of the divinity mixture onto parchment paper. If you prefer uniform pieces, a candy dropper can be a helpful tool. The candy will start to set as it cools, so time is of the essence. 

Once all your candy is shaped, allow it to sit undisturbed. Depending on the humidity levels, this can take anywhere from a couple of hours to overnight.

As your divinity candies set, you’ll notice the texture become firmer, and the exterior develops a slight crust while the inside remains soft and pillowy. Once fully set, your divinity candies are ready to be enjoyed. Store them in an airtight container to keep them from becoming sticky.

Crafting with Care: The Art of Perfecting Divinity

Perfecting divinity candy is an art that requires attention to detail and an understanding of the nuances that make this confection so special. This section will guide you through some additional considerations and tips to ensure that your divinity is not just good but great.

First and foremost, it’s essential to understand the role of temperature in making divinity. Temperature affects not just the cooking syrup but the egg whites as well. Room-temperature egg whites will whip to a higher volume than cold ones, which is crucial for the fluffiness of divinity. 

On the flip side, the syrup must reach the exact hard-ball stage temperature of 260°F to form the proper structure when mixed with the egg whites. An accurate candy thermometer is indispensable for this purpose.

Another tip for crafting perfect divinity is to add a small amount of an acid, such as cream of tartar or lemon juice, to the egg whites before beating. This helps stabilize the egg whites and allows them to hold more air, resulting in a lighter candy.


Making divinity candy may seem daunting, but with the right conditions and a bit of practice, you can produce confections that are sure to impress. Remember, choose a dry day for making your candy, have patience during the beating process, and work quickly when shaping your candies. 

If you follow these guidelines, you’ll be rewarded with a batch of heavenly divinity candy that will become a new tradition in your home. 

Whether enjoyed alone or shared with loved ones, divinity is a sweet treat that carries with it a sense of nostalgia and the warmth of home-cooked delicacies.

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