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Christmas Divinity Candy

Divinity can be tricky. You really really need a candy thermometer to get it right, and you need a dry day – a humid day will ruin your divinity.

You will need:

2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light Karo corn syrup (they have this at the Sultan Center, but it is EXPENSIVE!)
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla (or peppermint, if you can get it)
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

In a heavy pan, stir together sugar, corn syrup, water and salt. Using a candy thermometer, cook and stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves, carefully, so that you don’t splash this on the sides of the pan.

Once sugar has dissolved, don’t stir it any more, just keep cooking until the candy thermometer shows 260 F. Take off heat immediately.

In a large bowl, beat egg whites until they are stiff – you will need a mixer or hand mixer to do this right.

Pour the hot syrup in a thin stream over egg whites, using your mixer at a high speed. Adding the syrup slowly is the key to this recipe working.

Add vanilla, beat at high speed 4 or 5 minutes or until candy starts to hold it’s shape when you lift the beaters out. Mixture will be ribbony, and sort of hold it’s shape.

Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper. If it flattens out, beat the mixture another minute, then try again. Try not to overbeat; the mixture will get hard and stiff! If this happens, stir in a couple drops of hot water until it softens just enough. Yeh, it sounds tricky, but it’s just getting the right texture. You really can do this.

When the texture seems stiff enough but not too stiff, add the nuts in quickly, then drop by teaspoon on waxed paper, allow to cool and dry. (Some people add other inclusions – candied fruit pieces, chocolate chips, peppermint candies, crushed into small pieces, etc. I’m a purist – divinity is just white with nuts!) Store tightly covered – divinity absorbs humidity! Best if served the day it is made, or very soon. It is so good it doesn’t last very long, people just gobble it up.


This photo is from

November 30, 2006 - Posted by | Christmas, Cooking, Holiday, Kuwait, Recipes


  1. I too am a purist and remember Mom making this candy over 60 years ago. She NEVER put nuts IN the divinity – a half a walnut was placed on TOP of each piece. Searching for 2 years for the recipe, yours is the closest I have found and will use it this year…Thanks!

    Comment by Ammel | December 18, 2006 | Reply

  2. Ooooh, I like that! One walnut on top!

    This post has been getting over 100 hits a day by people like you, looking for the purist recipe!

    Comment by intlxpatr | December 18, 2006 | Reply

  3. I had so much trouble making divinity the way my grandmother and mom did it – they used the recipe where you cook the syrup partway then beat it into the egg white, then cook the rest of the syrup and beat that in. I’d end up with a bowlful of marshmallow fluff every time.

    I found a recipe very similar to yours in a candy cookbook and tried it – perfect the first time, though too soft (to my taste). I increased the sugar to 3 cups and it turned out just like my mom’s – a bit dry and crumbly, with a cool, very slightly grainy texture. They’d also use pecans rather than walnuts. I’ve seen cherries used – I might try that next year.

    Do not skimp on the corn syrup! The cheap stuff does NOT work the same.

    Comment by Wendy Harlow | December 21, 2006 | Reply

  4. Wendy – is there anything other than Karo corn syrup??? I am glad you found a recipe you love. I don’t really like graininess in divinity, or inclusions . . . just the pure sugar rush!

    Comment by intlxpatr | December 21, 2006 | Reply

  5. Ohhh…you’re bringing back some memories with this recipe! mmm…love it, and wish I had some at the moment. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
    PS. indeed, the purist way is the best, though, when made correctly, it can be good no matter how much adds…well, within reason, of course. 😀

    Comment by thepearlady | December 22, 2006 | Reply

  6. My divinity was not fluffy enough nor dry enough. Not grainy though. What went wrong

    Comment by Beth Pintchuck | December 23, 2006 | Reply


    Comment by SWEETNESS | December 24, 2006 | Reply

  8. Dear Wendy,
    I made my divinity today. It came out perfect. I use the twice cooked recipe in the Betty Crocker book. It is something we’ve had for Christmas for well over 50 years. I was checking your site hoping to learn more about the origin. Do you know where the recipe comes from???

    Comment by Phoeba Irey | December 24, 2006 | Reply

  9. Dear Beth and Sweetness – divinity is tricky. It could be several things. Humidity. Not beating enough. too much salt. I panicked when I saw your entries and quickly got my recipes, but the recipe is accurate – it should work. Having said that, I didn’t make divinity this year.

    Comment by intlxpatr | December 24, 2006 | Reply

  10. Phoebe – I found the following:
    “Although recipes for various nougat and sweet meringue-type confections (with and without nuts and fruit) can be traced to ancient Turkish and 17th century European and roots, food historians generally agree that Divinity (aka Divinity fudge, Divinity candy) is an early 20th century American invention. Why? One of the primary ingedients in early Divinity recipes is corn syrup, a product actively marketed to (& embraced by) American consumers as a sugar substitute at that time. Corn syrup was affordable (economical), practical (shelf-stable), and adapted well to most traditional recipes. Karo brand corn syrup, introduced by the Corn Products Refining Company in 1902, was/is perhaps the most famous. It is no coincidence that early Karo cooking brochures contain recipes for Divinity.

    Food historians have yet to determine the first person to call this delicious confection “Divinity. ” The general concensus about the name? The finished product tasted “divine.” A survey of American cookbooks confirms recipes for Divinity (candy, fudge, rolls) were “standard items” from the 1930s to present. Some people connect Divinity with southern roots”

    Comment by intlxpatr | December 24, 2006 | Reply

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  13. This turned out perfectly! And was really fast! Tastes just like mom’s! I dotted some with candied cherries, some with walnuts and some left plain. So beautiful.

    I think I’ll use pecans next time if I have some on hand.

    Comment by Carrie | January 20, 2008 | Reply

  14. Thank you for your feedback, Carrie! I am delighted it worked for you. Ummmmmm, candied cherries! Pecans! Yummmyyyy.

    Comment by intlxpatr | January 20, 2008 | Reply

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