Several homemade pecan pralines on a white plate.
Desserts

Pecan Pralines

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Learn how to make classic southern pecan pralines. If you are a fan of pralines this pecan praline recipe is for you. They are pretty easy to make at home and taste amazing. They remind me of a mix between a no-bake cookie, fudge, and soft caramel with the taste of crunchy pecans.

The original praline is a sweet treat created in France. The French settlers brought the praline tradition with them to the Southern United States, particularly Louisiana, and later pecans were introduced to them by African American cooks. Almonds were used previously in the original pralines. And thus the iconic pecan praline was born.

Pronounced “PRAW-leen” in much of the South, especially New Orleans, and “PRAY-leen” in pretty much the rest of the United States. However you want to say them, it doesn’t affect how they taste or how they are made. Learn more about the history of pralines in this great article. Let’s get started!

Ingredients for Pralines

Pecans, sugar, and other ingredients in bowls on a sheet pan.

To make pecan pralines at home you need just a handful of basic ingredients:

  • Brown Sugar – You can use light or dark brown sugar
  • White Sugar – Or you can elect to use all brown sugar or all white sugar. I like using a combination of the two.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream – You can use half and half or the classic candy-making milk, evaporated milk.
  • Butter – Use salted or unsalted butter. Don’t use margarine. Real butter is so much better.
  • Corn Syrup – If you can’t find corn syrup use Golden syrup, brown rice syrup, or maple syrup.
  • Vanilla Extract – This adds lots of flavor.
  • Salt – The pinch of salt will balance the sweetness and enhance the flavor.
  • Pecans – Use halved pecans or chopped pecans. You can use other nuts too like whole almonds or cashews.
Pecan pralines on a white plate.

Tools/Equipment

  • Candy thermometer or Meat Thermometer
  • Bowls
  • Heavy Bottom Pot
  • Spatula
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Sheet pan or baking sheet
  • Parchment Paper, Wax Paper, or a Silicone Baking Mat
  • Muffin pan with paper cups

How to make classic Southern Pecan Pralines at home

Hand scooping corn syrup into a bowl with sugar and butter.

Preheat the oven to 350F/176C. The oven will be used to roast the pecans. Skip this step if you don’t want to roast the pecans or if the pecans you bought are already roasted.

Add the brown sugar, white sugar, heavy cream, butter, and corn syrup to a medium pot to a large heavy bottom pot.

NOTE: Heavy bottom pots are very common to use during candy making because they distribute the heat better and help prevent scorching of the candy on the bottom.

Melted sugar and butter being heated to 238F

Use medium heat and stir and melt everything together until the temp of the mixture reaches between 235F and 240F (112 and 115C) which is the soft ball stage. Learn more about candy making and the various sugar stages in this Wikipedia article. It will take 15 to 20 minutes to get to that temperature.

Turn off the heat and allow it to cool down to around 160F to 150F it doesn’t have to be precise around 10 minutes is fine. Just enough time to roast the pecans.

Roasting those pecans

Several pecan halves on a sheet pan.

While the praline mixture is cooling down roast the pecans on a sheet pan for 5 minutes on each side in the oven for a total of 10 minutes. Again this step is optional. You do not have to roast the pecans.

Roasting the pecans does make them taste better and brings out a more pronounced pecan flavor. So I don’t skip this step. Plus it is super easy to do while the praline mixture is cooling, so why not do it?

Finishing the old fashioned pecan pralines recipe

Pecans being mixed in a pot of melted sugar and butter.

Once the praline mixture has cooled a bit add the vanilla extract and the salt then stir and mix a few seconds. Next, add the toasted pecans and then stir for a few minutes until the mixture is no longer so glossy.

It is ready! Pretty easy right?

Unset pecan pralines on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

Use two spoons and scoop some onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, wax paper, or a silicone baking mat. If it spreads too much the mixture is too warm.

Place them about an inch and a half apart so about 12 per sheet pan.

Finished southern pecan pralines in paper cups in a muffin pan.

You may also scoop them into paper cups in a muffin tin instead if desired. Which is great if you plan on giving them away to friends or neighbors.

Allow them to cool for about 30 minutes until set. This classic Southern dessert is ready to eat! Enjoy those creamy pecan pralines!

Troubleshooting Tips – Why are my homemade pecan pralines grainy?

Praline mixture being melted in a pot.

Several factors might cause your pralines to have a grainy texture. This is very common with homemade candy like this and fudge especially the first time making them. So don’t be alarmed if you don’t have perfect pecan pralines at first. Most likely sugar crystals developed on the side of the pot while heating the mixture.

You can use a pastry brush dipped in water to paint down the sugar crystals on the sides of the pot to prevent this during the melting and heating stage.

Or the mixture wasn’t heated to the right temperature, the soft-ball stage. A candy thermometer is crucial. Or you didn’t stir it well enough or you stirred it too much.

If you don’t like the grainy texture, some people don’t mind it or actually like it, you can throw all the pralines back into your pot with about 1 to 2 TBSP of milk. Again heat on medium heat, smash those pralines down to break them up, melt them, and bring them back up to the proper temp (235F to 240F.)

Remove them from the heat and then let them cool for 5 minutes and stir until no longer glossy and the mixture is thick, etc.

How long will pecan pralines last?

Store them at room temperature in an airtight container for 2 to 3 weeks. They won’t be bad after that, but the texture and taste will start to change.

Can I freeze the pralines?

Yes, you certainly can freeze your homemade pecan pralines. Place them in an airtight freezer bag in the freezer for a few months.

Can I cover these in chocolate?

Yes! If you want to make a chocolate pecan praline you can dip them in chocolate or completely cover them in chocolate.

Easy homemade pecan pralines pin for Pinterest.

Here are other candy recipes you may like:

Homemade Twix Bars

Homemade Snickers Bars

Squid Game Dalgona Candy

Several homemade pecan pralines on a white plate.
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5 from 3 votes

Pecan Pralines

Learn how to make delicious homemade pecan pralines.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Cooling Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Candy, Dessert
Cuisine: American, French
Keyword: creamy, easy, sweet
Servings: 24 people
Calories: 161kcal
Author: Matt Taylor

Equipment

  • Candy or Meat Thermometer
  • Bowls
  • Heavy Bottom Pot
  • Spatula
  • Wooden spoon
  • sheet pan
  • Parchment Paper, Wax Paper, or a Silicone Baking Mat
  • Muffin pan with paper cups

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of brown sugar 210g
  • 1 cup of white sugar 200g
  • 1 cup of whipping cream half and half, or evaporated milk (240g)
  • 1/4 cup of butter salted or unsalted (56g)
  • 3 Tbsp of corn syrup 60g
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract 5g
  • 1/8 tsp of salt 0.5g

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350F/176C. If you are not roasting your pecans skip this step.
  • Add the brown sugar, white sugar, heavy cream, butter, and corn syrup to a medium to large heavy bottom pot.
  • Use medium heat and stir and melt everything together until the temp reaches between 235F and 240F (112 and 115C) which is the soft ball stage. It will take 15 to 20 minutes to get to that temp.
  • Turn off the heat and allow it to cool down to around 160F to 150F it doesn't have to be precise around 10 minutes is fine.
  • While the praline mixture is cooling down roast the pecans on a sheet pan for 5 minutes on each side for a total of 10 minutes.
  • Once the praline mixture has cooled a bit add the vanilla extract and the salt then stir and mix a few seconds.
    Next, add the pecans and then stir for a few minutes until the mixture is no longer so glossy.
  • Use two spoons and scoop some onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, wax paper, or a silicone baking mat about 2 inches apart. If it spreads too much the mixture is too warm.
  • You may also scoop them into paper cups in a muffin tin instead if desired. Which is great if you plan on giving them away to friends or neighbors.
  • Allow them to cool for about 30 minutes until set. They are ready to eat! Enjoy!

Notes

NOTE: If your pecan pralines turn out grainy see the post above the paragraph with the Troubleshooting info. 
list of nutritional facts for pecan pralines
Tried this recipe?Mention @WPRecipeMaker or tag #wprecipemaker!

Nutrition

Serving: 42g | Calories: 161kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Fat: 5.6g | Saturated Fat: 3.5g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 24mg | Sugar: 29g

Do you like this pecan praline candy recipe? Please give it a rating and comment down below, I really appreciate it.  If you make it tag me on Instagram @inthekitchenwithmatt. Also, sign up for the newsletter so you won’t miss out on any of my new posts and recipes.

6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These pecan pralines made such a fun treat to snack on.

  2. 5 stars
    This was such a quick and easy treat that does not disappoint! Exactly what I needed to cure my sweet tooth; delicious!

  3. 5 stars
    These were amazing!! And so simple!

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