Southern Buttermilk Pecan Pralines

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Super simple and extra delicious Southern Buttermilk Pecan Pralines! Made with granulated sugar, a little bit of butter, and buttermilk, these candies are creamy and have just the right the amount of crunch from the pecans! They’re so simple, but every bite of one of these candies is truly roll your eyes back delicious. Each candy is dropped on a piece of parchment and, if you really want to make things special, add just a sprinkle of flaked salt on top for a combination of sweet and salty. Soo much to love here! Oh, and they’re perfect for holiday or even summer entertaining. Serve at Thanksgiving, Christmas, or just on weekends for a special treat!

pecan pralines on parchment paper with two spoons and flowers behind

About The Recipe

Happy Friday, everyone! Can you believe it’s the last Friday in February? Before we know it, it’s going to be March! Time seems to be flying…but what better way to slow things down than sharing a super simple, but oh so delicious candy recipe?

But, not just any candy recipe. No, no…Buttermilk Pecan Pralines!

This is a recipe from my great grandmother. It was something she made all the time, but especially during the holiday’s! Though, her recipe was a bit…more complicated. The only instruction was pretty much to cook the sugar until thickened and golden brown. So, to say this recipe took a few attempts would be an understatement!

The amount of failed (but still delicious) pralines we have sitting in bags on our counters…insane. Thankfully, we DO think we can turn the failed attempts into a different recipe, but when it came to achieving the perfect praline, it was always just a few degrees off.

We finally achieved it on our fourth or fifth attempt!

close up of pecan pralines on parchment paper

What we finally figured out was low and slow was the way to go with this recipe. Oh, and DO NOT stir often! These candies just need to sit and do their own thing while they come to temperature, only stirring very very occasionally.

Then, adding the pecans and beating it until thickened. That was something we kept messing up! Though, with this recipe, you do need to move quickly. We personally found using a small cookie scoop helped speed up the process of scooping! Though, towards the end of the batch, it does still start to harden a bit. It’s just kind of how candy is and, even though the last couple of candies might not be as pretty as the first batch, they will still taste delicious.

Every bite of these pralines have an incredible depth of flavor thanks to the use of buttermilk in the recipe!

It really rounds out the flavor and makes these candies creamy, buttery, and just SO. DARN. GOOD.

Reasons You Need To Make These Pecan Pralines ASAP!

  • They’re super simple and require minimal ingredients.
  • The perfect candy to make during the holiday’s or just to have as a special treat.
  • Taste INCREDIBLE!
  • Ready in under an hour.
front shot of pecan pralines on parchment paper with flowers and stack of plates behind

Equipment Needed

Ingredients

(Full ingredient amounts and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the post)

  • Granulated Sugar
  • Baking Soda
  • Salted Butter
  • Buttermilk
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Pecan Halves
pecan halves, buttermilk, sugar, baking soda, butter, and vanilla on marble surface

How To Make Pecan Pralines

Step 1: Make the candy

In a 4 quart saucepan, combine sugar, baking soda, buttermilk, and butter. Heat, while stirring, over medium heat until sugar dissolves and butter melts. Stop stirring and cook to 236 degrees, occasionally brushing down sides with a pastry brush dipped in warm water. Remove from the heat

Step 2: Add rest of ingredients and mix

Stir in vanilla and pecans.

Keep stirring until mixture starts to thicken.

Step 3: Scoop

While working quickly, drop by spoonfuls onto parchment paper. Let cool completely before eating.

overhead photo of pecan pralines on parchment paper

Pecan Pralines vs Candied Pecans

Pralines are a cluster candy as you see above, whereas candied pecans are individually coated nuts that have a sweet candy coating. Each recipe differs a little bit, but if you’d like to try making candied pecans, check out our Cinnamon Sugar Candied Pecans Recipe!

How Long Until Pralines Are Cooled/Hardened?

This all depends on the temperature in your home! We set our candies on a cold marble counter and it took only about 20ish minutes to completely cool. It can sometimes take anywhere from 1 – 2 hours to completely harden and cool. So, just keep this in mind! We always recommend setting your candies on a cold countertop to help speed the cooling process down.

stacked pralines on parchment with more behind and white flowers

How To Store

The wonderful thing about these candies is you can store them a couple of different ways! You can leave them out on the counter in a zip top bag or airtight container for 1-2 weeks. You can also store them in a freezer safe zip top bag or container and keep in the freezer for up to 2 months! Just remember, if you freeze these candies, you will need to line each layer with parchment paper to keep the candies from sticking together.

Substitutions

  • You can really use any nut in place of pecans. Just make sure it’s raw, unflavored, and not salted.
pulled back shot of pecan pralines on parchment with pralines crumbles around, two spoons, flowers, and stack of plates behind

Expert Tips

  • Use a candy thermometer for this recipe!
  • After the sugar has melted, do NOT stir! You may need to brush down the sides with water occasionally, but do not stir it.
  • Work quickly! Once the pecans have been added and the mixture has thickened, it begins to cool rapidly.
  • We found using a cookie scoop helps move the scooping process along faster.
  • Make sure your pecans are room temperature before adding them to the candy. If they’re cold, it will cause the candy to harden before you can scoop them.
  • This recipe keeps/stores really well!

When you make these Southern Buttermilk Pecan Pralines, leave a comment down below! We love hearing from you and answering any questions you might have! Also, be sure to tag us on social media and hashtag it #BakersTable.

pecan pralines on parchment paper with two spoons and flowers behind

Southern Buttermilk Pecan Pralines

Traci
Simple, but so delicious! These Southern Buttermilk Pecan Pralines are the perfect candy to make all year long. Every bite is creamy, nutty, and perfectly sweet!
4.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Servings 18
Calories 179 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • teaspoon baking soda
  • cup buttermilk
  • 2 Tablespoons salted butter
  • teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups pecan halves

Instructions

  • In a 4 quart saucepan, combine sugar, baking soda, buttermilk, and butter.
  • Heat, while stirring, over medium heat until sugar dissolves and butter melts.
  • Stop stirring.
  • Cook to 236 degrees, occasionally brushing down sides with a pastry brush dipped in warm water.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Stir in vanilla and pecans.
  • Keep stirring until mixture starts to thicken.
  • Drop by spoonfuls onto parchment paper.

Nutrition

Serving: 1pieceCalories: 179kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 1gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 61mgPotassium: 58mgFiber: 1gSugar: 23gVitamin A: 60IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 19mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

When you make this recipe, remember to tag @bakerstble or hashtag it #BakersTable!

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