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Divinity candy is a delicious homemade confection with a billowy cloud like appearance. This southern heirloom Divinity candy recipe is a family holiday tradition and always a special favorite!
Grandmother’s Divinity candy was always a part of our Christmas celebrations. Her billowy, white Divinity tasted a lot like marshmallows, and was always one of my favorite homemade candies. Some years, she’d add a tint of pink or green to it, but she would usually leave this special Divinity pure white.
She’d watch the weather carefully during the week before Christmas. Then she would pick the day with the lowest possible humidity and begin making this delicious confection.
Grandmother’s Divinity Candy Recipe
I always wanted to help my Grandmother as she made her Divinity recipe each Christmas.
Watching her as she worked magic before my eyes, I would get as close as possible for a better look. I was certain to keep my spot beside her while she turned the molten sugar into fluffy, light clouds of confection. I was always so excited to help her drop teaspoons full of Divinity onto the waxed paper.
Since Grandmother had chosen the best day with low to no humidity, her Divinity would dry well. Then she packaged it into waxed paper lined containers used to hold her Christmas candies until she later shared with all of us at Christmas.
When I married, Grandmother gave me a book of her recipes that she’d collected throughout the years. Many of them were taught to her by her own mother and grandmother, some were given to her from friends, but most she’d created herself.
Each year just before Christmas, I carry on the tradition and make Grandmother’s Divinity. I remember her advice and research the weather predictions to pick just the right day – the day with the lowest possible humidity. Then, I carefully pull out my treasured book of Grandmother’s handwritten recipes and turn to the pages of Christmas candies, including her date nut roll recipe and this Divinity recipe, and make them for my own family.
How to Make Divinity Candy
As I mentioned, Divinity is best made on a day with low to no humidity.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this delicious heirloom candy:
- sugar – granulated
- white corn syrup
- cold water
- egg whites – at room temperature
- pinch of salt
- vanilla – if don’t make this, make sure to use good quality pure vanilla
- pecans – chopped (optional)
Step by Step Instructions
Prep. First, lay sheets of waxed paper onto two cooling racks and set aside.
Cook. Heat the sugar, corn syrup and water over medium heat in a heavy bottomed saucepan until mixture reaches hard ball stage, 250 degrees Fahrenheit, checked on a candy thermometer.
Whip. As the syrup is cooking, whip the egg whites, along with a pinch of salt, until stiff peaks have formed.
Remove from heat. When the sugar syrup has reached hard ball stage (250 degrees F), remove it from the heat.
Combine and whip. Slowly pour the sugar syrup into the beaten egg whites, whipping together at a high speed.
Add vanilla. Then add the vanilla and continue whipping the mixture on high speed until it holds its shape and does not fall back onto itself, about 5-6 minutes.
Add pecans (optional). Then very gently stir in the chopped pecans, if using. Barely stir the mixture, only just enough to add in the pecans.
Scoop. Using two teaspoons and working quickly, drop scoops of Divinity onto sheets of waxed paper that has been placed on top of cooling racks. If the Divinity begins to harden while you are scooping it, add a few drops of warm water to help loosen it while working.
Let it set. Allow the Divinity to sit on racks til it’s completely set. This usually takes about 2 hours to overnight.
How to Store Divinity Candy
Store the set Divinity in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
It can be frozen in an airtight container for up to two months.
More Holiday Treat Favorites
Here’s Grandmother’s Divinity Recipe in detail. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does!
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup white corn syrup
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 2 egg whites room temperature
- pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
- 1 cup chopped pecans optional
- Lay sheets of waxed paper onto two cooling racks and set aside.
- Heat the sugar, corn syrup and water over medium heat in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Using a candy thermometer, heat the mixture until it reaches 250º F, a hard ball stage.
- As the syrup is cooking, whip egg whites, along with a pinch of salt, until stiff peaks have formed.
- When the sugar syrup has reached hard ball stage (250º F), remove it from the heat and begin to slowly pour it into the beaten egg whites, whipping together at a high speed.
- Add the vanilla and continue whipping the mixture on high until it holds its shape and does not fall back onto itself, about 5-6 minutes. Stir in chopped pecans, if using.
- Using two teaspoons and working quickly, drop scoops of divinity onto sheets of waxed paper that has been placed on top of cooling racks. If the divinity begins to harden, add a few drops of warm water to help loosen it while working.
- Allow the divinity to dry and harden. This usually takes a couple of hours to overnight. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
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Looks perfect! Wish I had some right now!!!!!!! Merry Christmas!
Hi I scooped it out but I don’t think I whips it long enough cause it flattened out a lot. Do you think I can put it back in the mixer or will I have to scrap it?
You can try whipping it more, Amber.
Merry Christmas – thank you for all the recipes.
I just had some lovely divinity last night! So soft and sweet. Merry Christmas Robyn!
My mother always made divinity and made sure family, friends, teachers, coworkers and neighbors all had divinity. I was 9 when I started to help dip divinity. My mom has been gone 6 yrs and I still make divinity. At least one batch Nd hope to carry on the tradition for many years and pass it on to my daughter.
My recipe is the same except it uses 3 cups sauger instead of two.
What a precious gift to be given those recipes from your grandmother. 🙂
So glad to find your recipe for divinity. Not only did my mom wait for a good weather day, she also wanted my daddy to be at home to do the heavy stirring! I guess that’s why I’ve never tried it myself! Do you think a stand mixer would work?
Don’t you love these recipes that our mothers and grandmothers made, Susan? I use a stand mixer to make my divinity.
I made mine & yesterday around 2 pm sat over night & still kinda firm but soft , di i throw back in to mixer & in a pot make more surup & do it again ??????? please help
Cheryl, this is not a really hard candy. It will be firm but still soft.
My Mother used to make this and also a similar candy that she called “Seafoam” It was made with brown sugar. Sure wish I could get that receipt. Have you ever heard of it.
Kay, I have that recipe. I am not home right now but I will post it later on. My great grandmother used to make seafoam and sale it door to door during the depression. My grandmother taught me how to make it. At first I thought this divinity recipe was it, but it doesn’t have the brown sugar in it.
Look up “fairy food” or “sponge candy” on Pinterest if you still need this recipe. This candy has several names, including “seafoam”, and is what you describe.
Yes. My mom also used seafoam as cake icing. Same recipe ingredients except used brown sugar.
My mother also made seafoam divinity. I had not thought of it in ages until you put it here. I’m sure you can google a recipe. I have hers at home in a cook book from her house. If I find it I will come back here and post it for you.
Just love this recipe , it’s the same as my Mother used to make! And the date nut roll recipe brought back wonderful childhood memories. Pam
We make this same recipe only without the pecans. My great grandmother used to make it and sale it during the depression by going door to door. My grandmother is the one who taught me how to make it and I have passed it on to my daughter.
I also had a grandmother that made divinity. It’s such a special candy to me. What would you say is a low humidity? We live in Utah where it’s always relatively low, but it seems the month of December is always in the 50% range. Is that low enough to attempt this?
Thanks so much! And thanks for the recipe as I do not have my own from my grandmother. I hope it will work out for me 🙂
you dont have to have low humidity although it does help if your candy doesnt set up put it in microwave on high until you see it swell up in the bowl about to the top take it out put about a half cup of powder sugar in it and stir well this will fix any divinity problems and also might want to put maple flavor in it makes it way better
Thanks for the recipe. I miss read the instruction, and added my nuts and vanilla before whipped 5 or 6 mins. I went ahead and it turn out fine, I toasted my pecans before using in my candy.
Ladies; the only difference in Divinity & Seafoam is the sugar. Divinity with white & Seafoam with Brown. The cooking process is identical. Enjoy. Robyn, thanks for sharing your recipe.
Thank you Sherryl for posting this, I was confused why everyone was calling it “divinity” Mom & Granny always called it seafoam.
I have made divinity for years with my dad, but I was thinking this year about changing it up. Possibly doing a cinnamon caramel or cranberry pecan? Have you tried adding other ingredients does it upset the process? Last years batch didn’t set up for some reason so I don’t want to waste this years batch! Thanks for the advice.
You should be able to stir in dry ingredients as one of the last steps before you make your candies and allow them to set and dry. For adding wet ingredients, you’ll want to make sure that you change the ratios of the base divinity recipe based on the amount of the new liquid you add. I hope that helps!
I remember my grandmother making this and some she added the pecans and some she would add cherry’s. Can you tell me would it be the candied cherries or the Maraschino cherries and when would you add them? Thanks
I love divinity…I haven’t had it in years. Started following you on FB and pinterest.
we made ours with ckopped black walnuts. So good.
I made divinity and it did not turn out. Does anyone know why mine has small waxy pieces in it?
Perhaps you poured the syrup in too quickly. Having made divinity off and on for several years, I never had waxy pieces in it. The syrup needs to be poured in at a slow and steady pace especially in the beginning. Pouring it in too fast might not allow it to disperse evenly. I would try again just to make sure.
I added Raspberry’s, just a cpl of them a and it turned runny. How d9 I fix that. Please help
I’m sorry, Stephanie. I have not tried adding fruit to the divinity and I’m not sure how to fix it. Maybe someone else on here has and can tell you what they did.
I know humidity plays a part. I’ve forgotten the degree it has to be
Hi Robyn, I was wondering if you have come across or maybe made with your grandmother a boiled frosting. My mom made it was light and fuffy and super sweet. I’ve wanted to try it but can’t find it in mom’s recipe box or online for that matter. Thanks in advance. Janet
Hi Janet – Another frosting I make is a boiled frosting or one I call Marshmallow Frosting. I hope this is what you are looking for. This is a light, fluffy frosting that is delicious! Thanks so much! xo
Swiss meringue can be used for frosting and I have made left over to make meringues with them. They are sooo good.
About how much does this make? It says it serves 8 but how many pieces is that per person?
Why did mine turn out like taffy!
If you heated the syrup to hard ball stage ((between 250-260 degrees), it is likely that yours turned out like taffy because it wasn’t beaten enough. 1. Be sure to beat the egg whites/vanilla until STIFF peaks form. 2. It is pretty essential to pour the syrup in very slowly with beaters on med-low setting so that it mixes well. 3. After mixing thoroughly, it needs to be beaten at high speed for anywhere between 6-10 minutes (higher humidity requires more beating time) until the mixture cools, loses its sheen, and loses its stickiness. In this case, patience is a virtue.
Once you think its ready, spoon onto waxed paper. If it does not hold its shape, you will need to beat even more. If at some point it becomes too difficult to drop from spoon(s), add small amounts of hot water as needed so that it’s workable.
I hope these tips help. Now, I have to go make a batch or I might not be able to sleep tonight!
Thanks so much for adding your tips, Gregg! I hope you had fun making a batch of Divinity like you mention – and that you slept well! 🙂
This recipe sounds very similar to my grandmother’s recipe. My grandmother would put hers in a baking pan and cut it into squares later. I never knew what size pan she used. Any suggestions??
This recipe 8×8 pan
This is the same recipe we have used since we were kids. We also made different flavors and colors: green/peppermint, red/anise and yellow/butter pecan. Green and red was always gone first ?
Such a great treat, right Kim?! Thanks so much for sharing! xo
I’m a candy virgin, so I have a couple questions that, I imagine, are no-brainers. When you talk about whipping the mixture, am I to use a stand or hand mixer (assuming stand, but, ya know…). Also, does it require a wire whip attachment, or is a beater OK? Lastly, when you mention allowing to set for several hours or overnight, am I to leave the candies out, or go ahead and place them in the aforementioned airtight container? I know these things usually don’t need to be addressed in recipes because most people know what they’re doing.Thank you for humoring me!
You can use either type of mixer – if you have a stand mixer with a wire whip, it will make it easier. But if not, a hand mixer is just fine. That’s what my Grandmother used for years.
When you leave it to set, leave it out until it dries and hardens. Then, you’ll place in an airtight container.
As you make Divinity, I’d suggest to avoid making on a rainy, wet day as it may not do as well. (I talk about all of this in my post).
Have fun making this! It’s such a special and delicious candy! Thanks! xo
Thank goodness my grandmother taught me to beat it by hand because I have burned up a Sunbeam mixer and two Kitchenaid mixers over the past 40 years by making divinity. It takes longer and you have to have strong muscles. ☺
When you say this serves 8, does that mean 8 candies? Or what does that mean?
Just tried this divinity reciepe. Lovin it!!!
Isn’t it amazing, Kathy?! It’s a family treasure we all love to! Thanks! xo
I’m so glad you love it! xo
Could you place this is the silicone candy molds? Or do you think it would stick to bad?
I’ve never tried putting into the molds, Eva, so I can’t say. Hope you enjoy it! Thanks!
AWESOME CANDY!!! LOVE YOUR RECIPE!!! MY Grandkids call it “WHITE CLOUD CANDY”. NO PRECIPITATION, (no rain or snowy weather) on the day you make it keeps it from GOING flat. MY MOM TAUGHT ME THAT EASY TRICK MANY YEARS AGO!!! THANK YIU FOR SHARING 🙂 Kaye
Definitely have to watch out for those rainy or snowy days, don’t you Kaye! Thanks so much! xo
This was my first time attempting to make this wonderful treat. Such a great recipe to folllow! It turned out perfect 🙂
That’s so wonderful that you loved it! It’s a very special recipe in my family so I’m happy you enjoyed it too! Thanks Joy! xo
This was my first time attempting to make this wonderful treat. Such a great recipe to folllow! It turned out perfect 🙂
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Joy! It is one of my favorites of my Grandmother’s recipes! xo
Can you make this without a candy thermometer??
If you don’t have a candy thermometer, just follow recipe as stated to the hardball stage. Enjoy! Thanks!
I have tried this recipe 5x now and can’t seem to get it right! Can you please help me identify what I am doing wrong.
In a heavy saucepan I put sugar, water and corn syrup. Bring to a boil, at 250°F Inch of salt. Add the sugar mixture to the egg whites, add vanilla and beat for up to 10 mins. It will not get to where it doesn’t fall on itself. I get little pancakes! Please help. I’ve added a half cup of powdered sugar which makes it much better but I’d really like to just follow the actual recipe and have it work for me!
Isabelle, I’m not sure why your divinity is not turning out as it should. There are a few things that could cause this. Make sure you make it on a dry, clear day. It wont turn out well in a humid environment. The egg whites should be at room temperature before beating them. Beat them until they form really stiff peaks. Make sure the sugar mixture reaches the hard ball stage, not just a boil, so it forms a syrup. Pour the syrup into the beaten egg whites slowly as you whip the mixture. I hope this helps the next time you make this.
My Mom made this recipe from the time I was little until I was in my 20’s. She used to say she killed more mixers making it but the taste was heaven. Made my first batch tonight and can’t wait to eat 1.
That’s so funny that your mom said that about the mixers! Divinity is certainly a labor of love – but you are right, the taste is heaven and the candy is so worth it! Thanks so much for sharing your memory with me! xo
This is identical to my Great-Grandmother’s recipe. When my mother was a teen she wore braces and nuts were completely out if the equation. She minced maraschino cherries and let them dry overnight and used that instead of nuts. I’ve never seen anyone else do that so I am assuming it was a Great-Grandmother Nella thing. This is a brilliant recipe and worth the effort.
Divinity is such a delicious treat – I loved when my Grandmother made it and enjoy making it now myself!
I’ve never tried with dried cherries – that sounds delicious!!! Thanks so much for sharing this with me! Have a wonderful holiday! xo
Have struggled with .three batches! Followed the instructions carefully! Yet the peaks collapsed into a flat cookie shape. Am I rushing the process? Richard
I’ve found that if it is humid when you make it, it will fall. I always try to make it when it is a sunny, clear day. Also, make sure the syrup reaches the hardball stage of 250 degrees before you pour into the egg whites. It will take at least 6 minutes of whipping it after pouring into the egg whites.
And you are correct – this is one recipe you can not rush.
I hope this helps! Thanks so much! 🙂
My mom used to make this when I was a boy and now I’m the only one left. I was wanting some divinity to remember her by so I used your recipe and it was just like hers. Thank you for helping me rekindle old memories
Hi Tom, this comment is one of the many reasons I love what I do. I am so glad you found and enjoyed the recipe and it made you think of your mom.
This is my Grandmother’s recipe and I think of her every time I make it too, so it holds a special place for me as well.
Thank you so much for sharing this with me, Tom!
I love this fudge! It brings back old memories of my mom! She made it when I was a little girl and it’s tasted so wonderful! I make it now for my family! It is my favorite! This is a good recipe! Thank you for sharing! I’m going to make a batch right now!
Enjoy the Divinity, Becky! This recipe has been a family favorite for many, many years for us. Thanks so much! xo
Hi.. I have made divinity since I was a teen and now am in my 60s… sh! One thing I will often do if the batch does not want to stiffen, is to let it sit awhile. Watch it. I have waited 30 min. To 2 hours and found that eventually it’s ready to stir and drop with peaks. 🙂
Thanks Cathy! xo
I have never had good luck with divinity but this recipe sounds like one I could have good luck with so I’m going to try it. I’ll let you know how I do.
I hope you have fun making it and enjoy it! I do give some tips in my blog post that you may find helpful. Thanks!
My husband asks for this every Christmas………it’s not my favorite! But must please him. It’s easy. The trick is making sure you cook the syrup to the right temperature ❤️
Just a question before I try this. What would happen if I added mini chocolate chips at the end? Would they stay while or melt?
I’ve not ever added chocolate chips to this recipe, Jodean. Thanks!
Good, standard divinity recipe. But I do recommend getting your syrup up to 260 instead of 250. That really is a magic bullet for making this “no fail”.
Thank you Robyn, This is the first time I have made Divinity. I did it and it turned out great. I had to mix a little longer but it finely turned. I also made your praline recipe and they were amazing. Thank you and Have a very Merry Christmas as we celebrate Jesus Birthday.
Thank you so much, Connie! Merry Christmas to you too! xo
Can I divide a recipe and make 2 different flavors. My Aunt always made cinnamon(pink) and wintergreen (green). This was at least 60 years ago, but such a favorite of my holidays.
You can divide the recipe, Aldean, to add the different flavors. Enjoy!
This worked beautifully for me. It’s 48 degrees and 30% humidity and it still set great. Delicious.
I used my stand mixer and added the hot candy 1/4 cup at a time to temper the eggs.
Definitely would use this method again.
Thanks, Charissa. I’m so glad this worked so well for you.
Love this recipe going to make it for a friend will make sure that I comment after it’s made and he tries it he loves pecan divinity fingers crossed! Love that it’s made homemade in 45 minutes compared to other recipes that take hours
Hope your friend loves the divinity, Brooke!
I exchanged the nut for pistachio. A top-notch recipe my daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed.
Thanks, Matt. I haven’t tried the divinity with pistachios. I may have to try that.
My grandmother & Aunt made divinity! They used a hand mixer or probably just a whip way back! The only way I can make it is with a kitchenaid stand mixer. Kitchenaid has this exact recipe in the recipe booklet that came with my mixer. Its called Kitchenaid Divinity.
Looks so good! But, what is 8 servings? 8 divinities total?
I really want to make these for my brother and uncle this Christmas! But I also want to make sure that I make enough.
It makes about 24 candies, Amanda.
I grew up with my mom making the fluffy divinity. LOVED IT!!! Been doing a lot of cookie baking lately and thought I would give this a try. Didn’t work out so well. Outside in my city at 7 in the morning the humidity was in the high 70’s, but, inside the house the temp was in the high 60’s. Did everything according to directions. But, did the last mixing all the way up to eight minutes and it kept folding over. I stopped mixing anymore, thinking I would make things worse. Well, dropped it on the wax paper and after awhile, they flattened out. Very disappointed. Another point, read the earlier comments, the one about leaving it out for a period of time. That sounded good, but then it will have cooled off and be harder to spoon out if it can be done at all.
Is the cooking temperature for sea level? I am at a high altitude and I know the cooking temperature needs to be adjusted for this if the 250 degree is for making this at sea level.
Kathy, I live at 1000 feet so you would need to make adjustments for high altitude. The best site I have found is the Colorado State University Extension for high altitude cooking.
Thank you for bringing back wonderful childhood memories
Stephen, every time I make this I think of Christmas at my grandmother’s house. She always made this for us at Christmas. I’m so glad it brought back great memories for you, too.
Managed to make this work this morning with 85 percent humidity. Of course, I was certainly glad I used a stand mixer, ended up beating it for around 30 minutes before stirring in the pecans. Had almost given up and poured it in a pan and called it “divinity soup”, it would have been good anyway.
Kelyn, I’m glad you found a way to make this recipe work in that high humidity. I haven’t had divinity soup but I’m sure the flavor is the same. Thanks for your tip and and a new “type” of divinity.
I have been making this recipe for many, many years with both failure and success-humidity is a huge factor in failure. BUT I heard in 2020 that the white corn syrup has changed from high fructose to 0% high fructose causing the divinity not to harden. Is this true that the 0% fructose syrup will not work in this recipe? My Mom made this recipe every Christmas and I have followed in her footsteps. This is an excellent recipe with details that are important to a beginner. Thanks.
Humidity is a big factor for a success with this recipe, Leslie. I use white Karo corn syrup to make my divinity and have not had a problem with it not hardening. I don’t even try to make this on days with high humidity because I know it will be an issue. Karo company has stated their corn syrup has never been made with high fructose corn syrup.
Robyn, I can’t thank you enough. My granddaughter threw out my mother’s recipe book and I have been going crazy trying to find one that was enough like mom’s to work. The proportions of your are perfect and I can tweak it with the temperatures and differences that I remember from making this for 60 years. I am 75 now and intend to make this for Easter. Thanks so much. Now, if you just happen to have one for vanilla fudge? LOL
You have a great week and again a million thanks.
I’m so happy this recipe is close enough to your mother’s that you can make this candy again, Susan. I am so fortunate that I have my mother’s and grandmother’s recipes. I’m sorry but I don’t have a recipe for vanilla fudge.
can you add peppermint instead of vanilla?
Kathy, you could use peppermint extract if you prefer.