Divinity Candy is a southern classic confection made with simple ingredients. It has a pillowy-soft and chewy center that truly is divine!
This old-fashioned Divinity Candy is a southern confection that's perfect for adding to the holiday sweets tray. Divinity candy has a soft, chewy inside, almost like nougat but just a touch lighter. Its sweet vanilla flavor and marshmallow-y center really is a bite of divinity.
It's a great candy to make if you're new to candy-making in general because it's not too difficult, and it's made with very simple staple ingredients such as egg whites, sugar, water, vanilla, and corn syrup.
What is Divinity Candy?
Divinity candy is an old-fashioned confection made with very simple ingredients such as sugar, egg whites, water, vanilla, and corn syrup. It is nougat-like in texture, but slightly lighter, and nuts, dried fruit, or candy are often added.
Is Divinity the Same as Meringue?
No, while, like nougat, divinity and meringue share the similar ingredients of sugar and whipped egg whites, meringue doesn't require the sugar be turned into a syrup. It's simply whipped together and baked. Divinity is not baked at all.
Meringue cookies have a dry and crispy texture on the outside, where divinity is a bit softer and chewier.
What is the Difference Between Divinity Candy and Nougat?
Nougat and divinity candy are even more similar than divinity is to meringue, and often there are nougat recipes floating around the internet that are actually divinity.
In both divinity and nougat, you are pouring heated sugar syrup into stiffly beaten egg whites and then whipping them. In the case of nougat, this process is done twice, and the syrups used are of different water contents. As a result, the nougat is a bit heavier and chewier than the divinity.
Special Equipment for this Recipe
There are a couple of special equipment items that you need for this recipe that you will want to grab before starting. I'll also include some at-home substitutions for a few if you're in a pinch.
- Candy thermometer - One that hooks on the edge of the pot so the thermometer will be constant and not touching the bottom. In a pinch, you can hold a meat thermometer steady without touching the bottom to take the temperature.
- Electric Mixer - a stand or hand mixer will both work here. It is too much beating to try by hand.
- Piping bag - to keep the texture of the divinity candy smooth, you may want to place it all into a piping bag and pipe dollops instead of using a scoop. In a pinch, you can use a large gallon zip baggy and cut off one of the bottom corners to pipe.
Divinity Candy Variations
Divinity candy is a perfect template for other flavors, with it's soft vanilla taste and smooth texture. Fruits, extracts, and nuts can all change the overall flavor. Here are some popular variations to consider.
- Flavorings: Try adding different flavorings such as almond extract, peppermint extract, or maple extract.
- Nuts: Walnuts and pecans are the most common for desserts and work great here.
- Fruit: Dried fruit works best so that there's not any extra moisture. Try dried cranberries, cherries, or raisins. You can also use fresh, such as maraschino cherries. Make sure these are patted dry to prevent the candy mixture from being too runny.
- Candies: Crushed candies work well here too! Chopped chocolate or chocolate chips, nerds, crushed peppermints, toffee pieces, or any of your other favorites. Just fold them in at the end.
- Sprinkles - top with festive sprinkles to add some extra color and fun!
Why is my Divinity Candy Crumbly?
Divinity candy can get crumbly from being over handled, especially as it cools and dries. The easiest way to prevent this is by adding the finished candy mixture to a piping bag, and piping candies. This way they're not exposed to air until they're at they're final destination and supposed to be drying and setting.
Can You Freeze Divinity Candy?
No. Divinity candy will not keep its texture when introduced to any additional moisture, making them not freezer-friendly.
More Candy Recipes You'll Love
- Microwave Caramels - foolproof recipe for soft, chewy, buttery homemade caramels.
- 2 Ingredient Peanut Butter Fudge - the easiest fudge of all time, and no one will even know how easy it was. Tastes just like classic, homemade peanut butter fudge.
- Vanilla Meringues - delicate and lightly, these softly sweet treats are simple and use basic ingredients.
- Oreo Truffles - rich and indulgent Oreo truffles use just a few ingredients for a gooey Oreo filling dipped in chocolate.
- Rolo Pretzel Turtles - the simplest of all candies. These turtles need only 3 ingredients are quick and easy to whip up (the kids can help!)
Divinity Candy Video
- 2 large egg whites
- 3 cups sugar
- ⅔ cup water
- ½ cup corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- Whole pecans for garnish (optional)
- Place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, line two 15x10x1-in. pans with waxed paper.
- 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°F (hard-ball stage).
- Just before the temperature is reached, beat egg whites on medium speed until stiff peaks form.
- 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.
- Quickly drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto prepared pans. Alternately, transfer mixture into a piping bag without a tip. Cut the tip off and pipe into small blobs onto the wax paper for more smooth and even candies.
- Let stand at room temperature until dry to the touch.
- Pecans are recommended for flavor and to help cut sweetness. But you can leave them out if you want or add other sprinkles, candies, or nuts.
- Test for Doneness: If you're unsure if the candy is done, scoop some out onto the wax paper. If it spreads out, it's not done. If it holds its shape in a little ball/scoop, it's ready!
- Humidity: Humidity can mess with the texture and setting of the candy. I have never experienced this issue (in the Chicago area), but if it's your first time trying this recipe, it's best not to try it on a hot or humid day.
- Storage: Store divinity candy in airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. I use parchment paper between layers.
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