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Thank you for stopping by to see these delicious New Orleans Pralines.

If you have ever wanted to learn how to make New Orleans Pralines, I am glad you landed on this post.  I am going to teach you how.

Everyone knows New Orleans is famous for its Pralines, which they pronounce “praw-leens”.  How about trying this amazing New Orleans Pralines-Recipe?


I have been making Pralines for decades, but I learned something new that makes them taste even better.   The Pralines I made with buttermilk this week was fantastic.  They were also more creamy and had a delicious tangy taste.  Because my Praline post is the most popular post on my blog during the holidays, I could not wait to let you know about my buttermilk experience.  You can see my Buttermilk Pecan Pralines here.

Secret Is Buttermilk

Buttermilk is the secret used in most Southern baked goods.  It helps to make the moistest and best flavor sweets.   It is difficult to describe the flavor.  When buttermilk mixes with sugar, it is sweet with a tiny tang.  You are going to have to trust me about how delicious it makes everything taste.  I know it is the secret to many of my favorite recipes.  You can find the links to my favorites below.



If you say “pray-leens”, everyone will know that you are not from the New Orleans area.  Pralines are a candy made with milk and sugar and cooked to a softball stage at 235 to 240 degrees F.  Pralines are a sweet, creamy, confectionary treat.

We Lived On The Northshore of New Orleans

The six years that we lived on the north shore of New Orleans inspired me to learn everything I could about cooking the wonderful foods that New Orleans is famous for.  This includes Pralines, Beignets, White Chocolate Bread Pudding, White Chocolate Creme Brulee, King Cake, BBQ Shrimp, Chicken and Sausage Gumbo, Crab Bisque, and much more.  I still have a long way improving on some of these things, but I love to practice.  My family does not mind me practicing either.

Using Cupcake Tin to Make Pralines

I make this New Orleans Pralines Recipe every year at Christmas time.  I typically drop them by large tablespoons full onto parchment paper to harden.  This time, I dropped my Pralines into cupcake tins using my ice cream scoop.  They turned out perfectly round.  The ice cream scoop was much easier to use, but the pralines turned out a little thick.

Next time, I will still use the ice cream scoop and the cupcake tins, but I will only fill the scoop half full.  Use 1 to 2 tablespoons in each cupcake tin.


STEP 1: Before You Start Cooking Buttermilk Pecan Pralines

Before starting to cook, lay out a piece of parchment, aluminum foil, or a silicone mat to drop the pralines.  Set a second spoon nearby in case you need to scrape the candy off the first spoon.

My favorite way to drop pralines is into muffin tins sprayed with a cooking spray.  They come out perfectly round.  Be careful not to drop more than about a tablespoon of praline syrup.  Your pralines will be too thick.

STEP 2: Use A Large Dutch Oven

Combine all the ingredients in a large dutch oven.   Candy makers will tell you that Cast Iron Dutch Oven cannot be beaten and I love using my Cast Iron Dutch Oven.   With that being said, I used my new Gotham Steel pot to make these pralines and loved it.  It is genuinely non-stick with helps a lot, especially with clean up.

Do not use a smaller pan as the syrup will bubble up during cooking.  It’s also harder to stir in a smaller pan.

STEP 3: Cook the Buttermilk, Sugar and Brown Sugar

Cook the syrup over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally but watching constantly.  I do not leave the stove when cooking pralines.  When it comes to a boil, start stirring constantly.  Let it boil for about 3 minutes until the syrup registers 235°f – 240°F on a candy thermometer.


TIP: Candy Thermometer

I like my Pralines to reach 236 to 237 degrees F on a candy thermometer.  Make sure your candy thermometer is not touching the bottom nor the sides of your pot.  Hold it for a second to test the center of the candy.  If you go all the way up to 240 degrees F, you will have to work extremely fast before the candy get too hard, and it will not be as creamy.

Remove Buttermilk Pecan Pralines From The Heat

Remove the pan from heat immediately and keep stirring and stir in the pecans and butter.  Stir, stir, stir!  Typically it will take about 100 stirs before the pralines become creamy, cloudy, and start to thicken.  When you feel it starting to get grainy, work fast your time is running out to get a creamy praline.

You can also hear it if you listen closely; the crystals will make a scraping noise against the side of the pan.

Add Vanilla

Quickly add pure vanilla to your praline syrup and stir fast.

Drop Your Pralines

Drop spoonfuls of the praline syrup onto your waiting parchment or cupcake tins.  WORK QUICKLY, yes, I am shouting at you!  The syrup starts to set as it cools.  Let the pralines cool and harden for at least ten minutes before eating.

Store Pralines

They will keep in an airtight container for several days.  I like to freeze them to use on almost all of my desserts. Layer in an airtight container layered with wax or parchment paper to freeze.  They will freeze well for 2 to 3 months.

Pralines have become one of our family’s favorite Christmas candies.  Use Pralines to dress up your desserts.

I love to break them up and layer them in my banana pudding.  I also like to add Pralines to top off cheesecake or most any other dessert for a lovely presentation. The other way we like to eat them is to crumble some in a bowl of ice cream. They kick up any dessert.

Cast-Iron Pot

The secret to making great Pralines is using a cast-iron pot.  You know I love my cast-iron cookware.  It is not just for your grandma to use or for the rugged outdoors.  I use my cast-iron cookware almost daily, especially during the winter months when I make Christmas candies and soups.

New Orleans Pralines #pralines #candy #New Orleans Pralines Recipe
Pralines in muffin tins #New Orleans Pralines Recipe

*Please be extremely careful when cooking candy. It can be dangerous if it gets on your skin.  It is a very good idea to keep children and animals out of the kitchen while cooking candy.

Praline Recipe – Adapted from New Orleans Classic Desserts by Kit Wohl.

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New Orleans Pralines-Recipe

Course: Dessert – snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: candy, Christmas, Christmas candy, New Orleans Dessert, New Orleans Pralines, pralines
Calories: 2470kcal


  • 2-1/2 cups buttermilk OR whole milk if you do not have buttermilk
  • 2-1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 2-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2-1/2 cups pecans lightly chopped
  • 1/2 stick butter use real butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract OR 2 teaspoons maple extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • Warm milk in a cast-iron dutch oven or a large pot.
  • Add sugar, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt.

  • Cook until it reaches 235 to 240 degrees "soft-ball stage". A good way to text “soft-ball” stage without a thermometer is to drop a small amount, a couple of drops of the candy, into cold water it will form a softball.
  • Stir almost constantly to prevent sticking and burning. If the candy burns, you have to start over. If you are using a thermometer attached to the side of the pot, make sure that it does not sit on the bottom of the pot. You will not get a correct reading.
  • Once the candy reaches 235 to 240 degrees, remove from the heat.
  • Next, add the butter, and pecans.
  • Add Vanilla
  • Next, stir the candy about 100 strokes to incorporate the pecans.
  • Spoon the candy about 1 to 2 TB size onto a sheet of wax paper, parchment paper, or into a greased cupcake pan.
  • Spoon quickly before the candy starts to harden.

  • Allow them to cool and dry.
  • Then, carefully turn them over to dry the other side.
  • Store them in an airtight container or wrap each one in plastic wrap. You can layer them in a plastic container with parchment paper or wax paper between them and freeze them.
  • They will last for months in the freezer.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 2470kcal | Carbohydrates: 442g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 80g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 901mg | Potassium: 1023mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 430g | Vitamin A: 451IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 528mg | Iron: 4mg


Click the picture to see this Delicious Sweet & Salty White Chocolate Treat with Pringles.

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10 thoughts on “NEW ORLEANS PRALINES”

  1. You state in the recipe to stir the candy a 100 strokes, is this a typo? After about 35 the candy is so hard you can’t get it out of the pot.

  2. I just finished making these and I’m not sure what I did wrong. I followed your instructions to a “t” and have a candy thermometer, however, they came out grainy instead of smooth and are not spreading. Help?

  3. I love all desserts with nuts and am so sad about this time of year. I developed a pecan nut allergy. 🙂 Do you think walnuts will work as well? I know that they are used in many recipes and cashews are not my favorite nut for desserts, they are too soft.

  4. My mother in law used to make homemade pralines every year for Christmas for decades. They are so rich but we loved them. One bite was about all I could eat because of the high sugar content! Yours look so lovely, Diane.

  5. These look awesome. It reminds me of standing at the window outside a shop that makes those pralines. The aroma in their shop was too enticing not to buy a box to take home and share . But all of New Orleans has wonderful flavors and these are the best. Good memories of good food and good times.

    Wishes for tasty dishes,


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