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Southern Pecan Pralines

These Southern Pecan Pralines are so delicious and will be some of the best you’ve ever had! They’re such a tasty combination of candy and cookie.

an overhead shot of pecan pralines on a black plate next to a white napkin

Southern Pecan Pralines

Making this Southern Pecan Pralines recipe may seem intimidating, but the result is oh, so divine. The combination of nuts and candy coating with a luxurious texture.

Other Southern staples like Easy Peach Cobbler are all you really need for summer desserts! Who can be mad at a peach or pecan dessert.

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a close up of a pecan praline

What are southern pecan pralines?

Pecan pralines are candies made from sugar, butter, pecans and a few other ingredients for a perfectly sweet and crunchy texture. They melt in your mouth and will be your new favorite.

River Street Sweets or Savannah’s Candy Kitchen in Savannah, Georgia or Laura’s Candies or Loretta’s Authentic Pralines in New Orleans are some of the best that you can get! New Orleans pralines are a staple as they are in Savannah.

What ingredients do I need to make southern pecan pralines?

You’ll need a few ingredients to make southern pecan pralines:

  • Sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Evaporated milk
  • Unsalted butter
  • Salt
  • Vanilla extract
  • Pecan halves
a hand holding a pecan praline over the plate

Should I use pecans halves or chopped pecans?

Either should work! I like using pecan halves since we usually have an abundance of them, and that’s how they are traditionally made.

Chopped pecans offer a different texture and allow for more of the pecans to be covered in the candy mixture which is also great!

Have extra pecans? Try out this Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie!

Why are my pecan pralines grainy?

When pralines are grainy, it’s likely a result of the mixture of the sugar. Sugar crystallization is the one thing you’ll want to look out for when making pralines.

Having patience and paying attention to the mixture will be key to ensuring a good consistency.

The pralines can be grainy if it’s not mixed enough, mixed too much, heated through all the way, or if the sugar doesn’t reach the correct temperature.

I’ll be honest in saying this recipe isn’t the easiest, so having grainy pralines on your first try is definitely not a failure!

Why are there spots on the top of the pralines?

Pralines will often have white dots or patches on top of them due to the sugar crystallization.

It’s not a sign of having done it wrong as places known for their pralines will often have the same thing happen for them.

Can I cover pralines in chocolate?

Definitely! They add a nice texture and flavor to the pralines you know and love.

Another option if you’re looking for a pecan chocolate candy are these Pecan Turtles. They’re admittedly easier to make, chewy, and delicious!

a black plate full of pecan pralines with pecans spread next to it

How to Make Southern Pecan Pralines

Here’s how to make souther pecan pralines:

  1. Use parchment paper to line a baking sheet.
  2. Mix brown sugar, evaporated milk, butter, and salt together in a dutch oven or heavy sauce pot over medium heat. Use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to stir and bring to a boil so that the sugar dissolves. It’ll get foamy and that’s a sign it’s getting close.
  3. Use a digital thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature. Once it reaches 235°F, or the soft ball stage, remove the pot from the heat and add in the vanilla extract and pecan halves.
  4. This is important – stir constantly and quickly for 2-3 minutes. The mixture needs to cool, but not enough so it sets while stirring. It should lose its shine a bit and thicken.
  5. Scoop a tablespoon of the mixture onto the parchment paper. Move quickly to finish the remaining of the mixture. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes at room temperature to set and cool completely!

Tips for Making Pecan Pralines

  • Use a candy thermometer or digital instant read thermometer. This will help ensure that you reach the correct temperature while not over heating the mixture.
  • Stir vigorously to incorporate all the ingredients right before spooning out the mixture to set.
  • A rubber spatula or wooden spoon will be the easiest way to mix the ingredients together.
  • Use parchment paper to set the pralines. It’ll help make sure it doesn’t stick.
  • Use a thicker pot so that the mixture heats up more evenly.

Looking for other desserts? Try one of these:

an overhead shot of pecan pralines on a black plate next to a white napkin

Southern Pecan Pralines

Yield: 15 pralines
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Setting Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

These Southern Pecan Pralines are so delicious and will be some of the best you've ever had! They're such a tasty combination of candy and cookie.


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups pecan halves


  1. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix sugar, brown sugar, evaporated milk, butter, and salt together in a dutch oven or heavy sauce pot over medium heat. Use a rubber spatula to stir constantly and bring to a boil. The mixture will start to get foamy and that's a sign it's getting close.
  3. Use a candy or digital thermometer to watch the temperature. Once it reaches 235°F, remove from heat and add in the vanilla extra and pecan halves.
  4. Stir constantly and quickly for 2-3 minutes. You want the mixture to cool a bit so it'll set, but not get too cool that it starts to crumble. The mixture should lose it's shine just a bit and thicken.
  5. Scoop a tablespoon of the mixture and put on parchment lined paper. Continue with the remaining mixture. Let sit for 10-15 minutes to set then enjoy!

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 244Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 61mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 1gSugar: 27gProtein: 2g

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Sam Ellis

Hey there! I'm Sam and if there are two things I love most in this world, it's food and travel... and my dog, Tucker. I'm using my little corner of the internet to explore everything I love and I'd love for you to join me!


Saturday 10th of December 2022

Growing up in New Orleans, we had a pecan tree in the backyard. Mama made pralines on a fairly regular basis, and I've made them dozens of times since. I have never--and I stress NEVER--stirred them for 2-3min or let them sit, once cooked, for ANY length of time.... NEVER. My pralines are PERFECT every time (Mama even asked me what I did differently and switched to MY way) Once at SOFT BALL stage, I add the vanilla extract and pecans, stir just enough to blend 'em in, and start spooning. I don't know how people don't get just a pan of hardened praline mixture with all that stirring and waiting. You should post a video--showing what 2-3min of stirring actually does (to me, that's just crazy talk) and more importantly, a video that includes you actually spooning them out. As for parchment paper (where did you grow up, btw? I don't think you grew up eating pralines), BUTTER some ALUMINUM FOIL. Leave a bit of room btwn but not too TOO much. The foil lets the pralines spread nice and thin and the butter tones down the sugary sweetness beautifully.


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