How to Make the Perfect Divinity Candy! Two Key Factors

To make perfect divinity candy, focus on two key factors: cooking the candy syrup to the correct temperature (260 degrees Fahrenheit) and beating the mixture to the right consistency without overbeating. These steps ensure the candy sets properly and achieves the desired texture.

How to make the perfect divinity candy can be tricky. Making any candy can be complex and most times frustrating. 

My nemesis for years was divinity and getting it just right. Easy right?

No! I honestly don’t know how my mom did it.

She made divinity every year at Christmas time, using a hand mixer and a cup of cold water. And it turned out perfect every time.

The funny thing is that she usually “burned up” her mixer. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? 

Well, let me tell you it is not! For years I tried making divinity.

I would look for a hand mixer that was strong enough to last for the beating of the divinity. I would buy a new hand mixer every year, thinking “This is the one”. 

I had some success but my divinity-making took off to another plateau when I received a stand mixer one year for Christmas.

The Right Temperature

Different types of candy need to be cooked to a certain temperature for it to turn into the confection you are making. Divinity needs to cook to 260 degrees.  

My mom didn’t own a candy thermometer so she tested her syrup temperature by dropping some of it into a cup of cold water. Don’t own a candy thermometer?

No problem. You can still make that candy confection.

Just follow the chart below.

Candy Temperature Testing

Just place a drop of the candy syrup into the cold water. 

Thread: 225 to 235 degrees – Forms thin threads when dropped into the cold water

Softball: 235 to 245 degrees – Forms a ball but flattens when removed from the water

Firmball: 245 to 250 degrees – Forms a stable ball but loses its round shape when pressed with your fingers

Hardball: 250 to 266 degrees – Holds its ball shape when pressed with fingers yet remains sticky

Soft crack: 270 to 290 degrees – Forms firm but flexible threads

Hard crack: 300 to 310 degrees – Forms brittle threads that easily crack and snap

For your candy-making adventure remember you must cook your candy syrup to the right temperature. If you miss the mark you will end up with something different than what you were aiming for.

Your candy will not be “set up” correctly. I remember when I was about 12 years old I helped my great aunt Emmy make peanut brittle. 

The candy would not “set up”. She tried putting it on a table in an enclosed, unheated porch to try and achieve this. 

It didn’t work. The conclusion: she didn’t cook the candy syrup long enough. 

We ended up with soft, chewy peanut brittle. 

Beating the Candy to the Correct Consistency

This step in my opinion is the hardest. Most recipes will state how long to beat the candy syrup. 

Sometimes it is on the mark and sometimes it is not. The recipe I follow says to beat for 4 to 5 minutes or until the candy starts to lose its shine or gloss. 

Sometimes it will take longer to achieve this. The key is when it begins to lose its shine or gloss.

Not when it has lost it completely. If it has, you have overbeaten it and your divinity will just crumble.

This step just comes down to practice. This is the step I have always had difficulty with.

One minute it is not ready but then the next I have beaten it too long. Lift your beaters up and if the candy drops back into the bowl, it is not ready.

how to make the perfect divinity candy

When you lift your beaters and the candy holds its shape and still has some shine to it, it is ready. 

how to make the perfect divinity candy

Perfect Divinity Candy

Want To Make Perfect Divinity Candy? Give This Recipe A Try!
Course candy
Cuisine American


  • 2 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg whites at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)


  • In a 2 quart saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt
  • Cook to the hardball stage (260 degrees) stirring only until sugar is dissolved
  • As the temperature of syrup reaches 250 degrees, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form
  • When the syrup reaches 260 degrees, very slowly add the syrup to the egg whites beating at high speed.
  • Add vanilla and beat until candy holds its shape and starts to lose its shine/gloss, 4-5 minutes.  Note here: it may take longer
  • Stir in the chopped nuts, if using.
  • Quickly drop candy from a teaspoon onto waxed paper, swirling the top of each piece. 
  • Let cool
Keyword divinty candy

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Should my egg whites be at room temperature: Yes. This will help the eggs whip up. Also, use a glass or metal bowl. Never a plastic bowl.

2. Can you make divinity when it is raining: Yes unless your kitchen is outside.

3. Can you store divinity in the refrigerator: You can but is not necessary but it can create the possibility of condensation, making the candy slimy. The best way to store the candy is in an airtight storage container lined with wax paper. 

My Final Thoughts

  • The success of divinity candy heavily relies on weather conditions; it’s best made on dry days as humidity can prevent it from setting properly, akin to how meringue or fudge can be finicky under humid conditions.
  • Sugar temperature is crucial when making divinity candy, requiring a precise 260°F (hard-ball stage) for the right consistency, similar to the precision needed in candy-making processes like caramel or toffee.
  • Beating the mixture to the proper texture is essential; it should be glossy and hold its shape, reminiscent of whipping egg whites to stiff peaks for a meringue.
  • Flavor additions like vanilla or nuts should be mixed in after the candy has reached the correct texture, much like folding inclusions into the batter gently to avoid deflating the mixture.
  • Patience and timing are key in the process, as rushing or skipping steps can lead to a failed batch, similar to the careful timing required for perfecting a soufflé.

Making perfect divinity can be challenging but if you master the 2 key factors, candy temperature and correct beating time you should achieve this goal and have that perfect divinity. There is nothing more satisfying than biting into that little piece of heaven and the taste and texture are spot on.

Oh my! I am ready to make some divinity.

How about you? If you do not have a candy thermometer don’t despair. 

Just follow the directions above for candy temperature testing. Like I stated before, my mom never owned a candy thermometer and her divinity turned out perfect every time (shaking my head).

I sure didn’t take after her! Please leave me a comment below with your thoughts and as always, have a wonderful day!

FAQ: How to Make the Perfect Divinity Candy

1. What are the two key factors for making perfect divinity candy?

  • Correct Temperature: Achieving the perfect divinity candy requires cooking the sugar mixture to the hardball stage, precisely 260°F. This precise temperature ensures the candy sets correctly and has the desired texture.
  • Proper Beating: Beating the mixture to the correct consistency is crucial. It should be beaten until it begins to lose its shine and holds its shape when dropped from a spoon, but not until it is completely matte, as over-beating can cause the candy to crumble.

2. Can divinity candy be made on a humid day?

  • Impact of Humidity: Humidity can significantly affect the setting of divinity candy, much like it does with meringue or fudge. It’s recommended to make divinity on dry days to prevent the candy from becoming sticky or failing to set.
  • Storage Tips: If you end up making divinity on a less than ideal day, storing it in an airtight container with wax paper can help manage moisture and keep the candy from becoming slimy.

3. Are there any special tips for ensuring divinity candy turns out well?

  • Egg Whites: Use room-temperature egg whites as they whip better and help achieve the fluffy texture necessary for good divinity.
  • Testing Candy Temperature Without a Thermometer: If you don’t have a candy thermometer, you can test the syrup by dropping it into cold water and observing the hardness of the formed candy, which provides a good indication of whether the syrup has reached the hardball stage.

4 thoughts on “How to Make the Perfect Divinity Candy! Two Key Factors”

  1. ‘ve been using this recipe for about 60 years now. My mom used to make the two step version which I tried maybe a couple of times but it never worked for me. I found the same recipe as this in one of my recipe books and have been making it ever since. My dad told Mom when I was about 30 years of age; “Mama, I think your baby daughter has got you beat on your divinity”. That was quite a compliment from my dad, but I think of that now about how sad it makes me now because I sort of imagine she may have felt like she had lost her touch. But never the less, as far as I’m concerned, Mama was the best cooking I’ve ever tasted. Things such as Fig preserves, peach pickles, and such, I’ve never eaten someone else’s because it has to be my Mama’s. Even I have made Fig preserves but have never tasted them because Mama did not make them. She graduated to her Heavenly home some years ago as has my dad, and my oldest brother-a lt in the US Navy. I’m excited that in the near future I will once again be with them along with my Grandmother (Mama’s Mother).

    • Hi Liz, Thank you for stopping by. This is the only recipe I have ever used. The same with my mom. She was the better divinity maker. I tried for years until I finally mastered it. On Occasion I still have mishaps but for the most part, it comes out perfect.


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