Pecan Praline Recipe

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Pecan Pralines are a traditional Southern with crunchy pecans and a soft, buttery-sweet base. And they’re only 5 ingredients!

A stack of pecan pralines on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.


 

Pecan Pralines have a similar texture to fudge but are studded with crunchy pecans. The result is a cluster of pecan praline candy that is sweet treat and delicious, a classic New Orlean’s confection that is most popular at the holidays.

If you love the flavor of brown sugar and butter together, these are for you! These sweets are pretty enough for a homemade food gift, too, stored in a pretty box or Christmas tin tied with a bow.

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for pecan pralines.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Half and half: Or substitute heavy whipping cream.
  • Pecans: Or substitute walnuts for Walnut Pralines, almonds for Almond Pralines, or peanuts for Peanut Pralines.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper or parchment paper. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat, combine sugar, brown sugar, butter, half-and-half, and nuts. Cook until sugar dissolves, about 2-3 minutes, stirring gently. Increase to medium heat and cover.
Pecan praline mixture in a silver pan with a wooden spoon resting in it.
  1. Cook until sugar dissolves from the side of the pan, about 2-3 minutes longer. Uncover and cook until praline reaches soft ball stage, 235 degrees on a candy thermometer, while stirring constantly (do not boil).
Pecan praline mixture being temped in a silver pan with a wooden spoon resting in it.
  1. Remove from heat. Using a wooden spoon, beat the mixture until it begins to thicken. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheet, and allow to stand at room temperature until firm.
Pecan pralines on a parchment paper lined baking sheeet.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes about 24 Pecan Pralines.
  • Storage: Store pralines in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
  • Freezer: Arrange cooled pralines on a plate or tray and freeze until solid, then transfer to a freezer-safe plastic bag or container and freeze up to 2 months.
A stack of pecan pralines on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between candied pecans and pralines?

Candied pecans are pecans coated in egg whites, sugar, and spices, then baked until crispy. Pralines are a drop-candy with a caramel-like base and crunchy pecans mixed in.

How do you determine soft ball stage?

Drop a small amount of candy mixture in a bowl of cold water. If it can easily be molded into a ball, and then falls flat out of water, you have reached the soft ball stage.

What are the best Pecan Pralines to buy?

The last time I was in the French Quarter of Louisiana, I did some pretty extensive praline testing. My favorite (and it wasn’t even close) was La Belle Creole Creamy Pralines from the Royal Praline Company. They say their praline recipe has been passed down for four generations and cooked in a copper pot with pecans, cane sugar, butter, and vanilla extract. I absolutely believe them! These pralines are the best money can buy.

Pecan pralines in a small silver tin.
Pecan Pralines make a perfect homemade food gift.

More nutty confections

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A stack of pecan pralines on a baking sheet.

Pecan Praline Recipe

Pecan Pralines are a traditional Southern with crunchy pecans and a soft, buttery-sweet base. And they're only 5 ingredients!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Resting time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 24 pralines
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 150
5 from 9 votes

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat, combine sugar, brown sugar, butter, half-and-half, and pecans.
  • Cook until sugar dissolves, about 2-3 minutes, stirring gently. Increase heat to medium and cover. Cook until sugar dissolves from the side of the pan, about 2-3 minutes longer.
  • Uncover and cook until praline reaches soft ball stage, 235 degrees on a digital thermometer, while stirring constantly (see note 3).
  • Remove from heat. Using a wooden spoon, beat the mixture until it begins to thicken. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheet, and allow to stand at room temperature until firm.

Notes

  1. Half and half: Or substitute heavy whipping cream.
  2. Pecans: Or substitute walnuts for Walnut Pralines, almonds for Almond Pralines, or peanuts for Peanut Pralines.
  3. Stuck: If the praline mixture becomes hard in the pan, hot water a teaspoon at a time and stir until loose enough to scoop.
  4. Yield: This recipe makes about 24 Pecan Pralines.
  5. Storage: Store pralines in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 pieceCalories: 150kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 1gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 3mgPotassium: 54mgFiber: 1gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 30IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 15mgIron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @culinaryhill on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! #culinaryhill
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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Comments

    1. Hi Gary, that was written a little confusing, I’m sorry about that. It should be a total of 6 tablespoons of butter. I have changed it in the recipe card. -Meggan