Pecan Pralines

Sweet, creamy, rich and loaded with pecans, these Pecan Pralines are Southern favorite.

A large plate of five Pecan Pralines

A recipe for Southern Pecan Pralines is one that I have been dying to share.  It's one of those recipes that surprises you because they're so easy to make, and once you learn how you'll be making pralines for every occasion.

Why This Recipe Works

  • This pecan praline recipe is easy to follow and the pralines cook in minutes. I bet you'll be tempted to make pralines for every occasion.
  • You only need 6 ingredients, many you might already have in your kitchen.
  • This quick recipe is perfect to use for holiday gifts or get-togethers.
Pecan Pralines on parchment paper on a baking sheet

What You'll Need

If you've never had a praline before, you are certainly in for a treat!  These delightful candies are a simple mixture of brown sugar, granulated sugar, milk, butter, vanilla and pecans cooked in a large pot.  They can be made in minutes and are simply heavenly.

Ingredients- a half carton of milk, a bag of pecans, a bag of sugar, a container of vanilla extract, a bag of brown sugar, and a stick of butter

Expert Tips

• Have all of your ingredients handy before you start making the pralines - Once you start the process of making pralines, it goes quickly and there's no time to search for an ingredient.  Have everything pre-measured and at your fingertips.

• Use a large, heavy pot.

• Keep a kettle of hot water nearby - I'll explain later...

• You'll need a candy thermometer and the suggested temperature for the syrup should be around 238-240 degrees.  But I have to tell you that my candy thermometer never gets above 230 degrees when I make pralines.  I have to go by sight.  I let the syrup go up as high as it will go (230 degrees) and let the syrup boil for about 3 minutes.  It becomes thicker and at that point, I remove the pot from the stove, stir until it thickens and very quickly spoon and drop the pralines onto parchment paper.

• Work quickly, as soon as the syrup thickens it will become hard.

• The mixture is extremely hot and candy burns are especially painful.  Take care when stirring and make sure you place the parchment paper on a cutting board to protect your counters.

• If you'd like to make Chocolate Pralines, add 1/2 cup of chocolate chips to the pot when you're adding the other ingredients - simple as that...

Okay, remember I mentioned to keep a kettle of hot water nearby?  Here's why...

Making pralines can be tricky.  It's all about timing and sometimes you might leave the syrup cooking a little longer than you should and the mixture hardens too quickly and looks like a cake-y mess.  Don't worry and certainly don't throw it away.  This is where the hot water comes in handy.  Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of hot water at a time to the praline mixture and stir vigorously.  The hot water will "thin"out the praline mixture and enable you to get the consistency you should have.  It's like giving the hardened pralines a second chance.

See the difference?  Before adding the water...

closeup of Pecan Pralines batter

After adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of hot water...

Five Pecan Pralines on a large plate

Pralines will keep in an airtight container for several days although they're best within the first 24 hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Do Homemade Pralines Last?

Pralines will keep in an airtight container for a week although they’re best within the first 24 hours.

How Do I Make Chocolate Pralines?

Chocolate pralines are absolutely delicious! To make chocolate pralines, add 1/2 cup of chocolate chips to the sugars, milk, and butter to melt and continue with the recipe as written.

Can I Make Pralines Without Pecans?

Yes! You can leave out the nuts and make nut-free pralines.

Pecan Pralines

Sweet, creamy, rich and loaded with pecans, these Pecan Pralines are Southern favorite...
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Dessert
Servings: 15 pralines
Author: Joanie Zisk


  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Combine the sugars, milk and butter in a large pot and cook over a medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
  • When the mixture comes to a boil, start stirring constantly. Add the pecans. Let it boil for 3 minutes, until the syrup registers 238-240 degrees F on a candy thermometer.
  • Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the vanilla and keep stirring. The syrup will become creamy and cloudy and will start to thicken.
  • Drop by spoonfuls onto parchment paper. Let cool.


To make chocolate pralines - Add 1/2 cup chocolate chips with all the ingredients in the pot.

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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