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4.5 from 6 votes


I have been making Pralines for decades, but I learned something new that makes them 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.
Prep Time5 hrs 39 mins
Cook Time5 hrs 39 mins
Author: Diane Roark


  • 2-1/2 cups whole buttermilk
  • 2-1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • Plus Two -1/2 cups sugar
  • 2-1/2 cups pecans lightly chopped
  • 1/2 stick real butter
  • Two teaspoons vanilla extract OR 2 teaspoons maple extract maple extract is excellent
  • pinch 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.
  • Next, stir the candy about 100 strokes to incorporate the pecans.
  • Add Vanilla
  • Spoon the candy about 1 to 2 TB size onto a sheet of wax paper or parchment paper.
  • 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.



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.