Praline Won't Get Hard

by Bob C

What to do when your praline won't get hard?

What to do when your praline won't get hard?

I've attempted to make praline pecans and the praline won't get hard.

I toasted the pecans as suggested. I boiled the praline ingredients and mixed them together.

Then, I quickly poured the mixture onto wax paper and smoothed into a single layer.

The praline is still sticky and won't get hard. What can I do?


Hi Bob,

A lot of people make pecan pralines without using a thermometer, which is fine once you get the hang of it and learn how the mixture changes in color and texture as it gets hotter.

However, most people will have better luck if they use a candy thermometer, at least for the first few times, so that they get the temperature right.

The temperature is usually "key" when getting the desired consistency or "hardness" in candy making.

Of course, you also ought to check your candy thermometer to be sure it is accurate. If the candy doesn't reach the right temperature, it won't set properly.

Humidity and altitude also affect the final results. Is that an issue where you live? You'll need to adjust the temperature accordingly.

It's hard to give you an exact answer on why your particular batch of praline won't get hard without knowing more details, but those are the most common reasons for the problem you are experiencing.

I've never tried re-heating a batch of praline candy before to see if I could get them to harden, but some of our other visitors have said that they have done so with a bit of success (on other pages of the site).

It's worth a try, I suppose, but just be careful not to burn the praline mixture in the process.

I suppose if worse comes to worse, you could always just chop up the mixture and use it as a topping for cakes or ice cream. The taste is usually still delish, even if the candy pralines aren't as firm as you would like.

Hope you can rescue your candy!
~Angie from Chocolate Candy Mall

Comments for Praline Won't Get Hard

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Dec 25, 2023
Pralines won't get hard NEW
by: Lou

What I found is that if I don't let boil and stir long enough, they are gooy so you have to stir and boil until it is thickening or hard to stir. Put a little drop in a cup of cool water and if it turns into a ball it is done. If it does not make a soft ball , continue to boil and stir. Take off stove and let cool a little then spoon out immediately onto wax paper! It works.
Also make sure its a sunny day outside. If its raining or cloudy day, it won't set. 😊

Oct 11, 2022
Hardened NEW
by: gene

Cook a little longer and constant stirring

Feb 13, 2022
Fixed mine, too! NEW
by: Sherry

I scooped it all back up and decided to try everyone’s suggestions, figuring I had nothing to lose at this point. I added 2 T more white corn syrup, cooked five minutes longer, and then put the pan in a skillet of cold water and beat til the mixture started getting hard to stir. I couldn’t tell if it was " starting to lose its gloss or not..still seemed glossy) and dropped by spoonfuls onto waxed paper. Next time I will use buttered foil as someone suggested. They seem to be setting up nicely now. This was a seriously messy project.

Dec 19, 2021
Fixed my pralines!! NEW
by: Lois

I brought candy back to bubbling, checked a few drops in cold water...cooled slightly, beat candy with a wooden spoon a minute till thickened. Bam!! Ready to drop on parchment paper and set up really fast!!

Nov 25, 2021
Reheating works! NEW
by: Annie

Mine were all runny after 8 hours, so scraped up, reboiled and stirred, and they came out perfectly. Thank you!

Apr 07, 2019
by: Denise Evans

Hi Bob, I know sometimes I have made my pralines and they don't set for whatever reason but after reading your comment I was wondering if after the mixture came to the correct temp and you added the pecans did you stir everything together long enough for the mixture to start cooling down...usually about 10 minutes...before you spooned them out? Just curious because if not that could be one problem.

Feb 11, 2019
Pralines won’t set NEW
by: Gabriella

My pralines wouldn’t set, I reheated as someone suggested and turned greasy 😞

Dec 29, 2018
One way to cause and avoid this problem ... NEW
by: Rick

My pralines usually turn out great (using Pralines I recipe in "Talk about Good!") but this year I made two batches that did not set up. Even though I have a digital candy thermometer that detects soft ball and clips on to the pot so you can set the depth of the tip in the mix, I made the mistake of putting the tip so that it was touching the pot bottom. This will cause the thermometer to register 235 before the mix is really at soft ball. They were still gooey after several hours and were grainy. I ended up making two more batches. With proper thermometer positioning (I.e. with the tip about midway between bottom and top of the mix, they came out great as usual. Usually about half the batch (the ones poured last) set up quickly in 15 minutes. The early ones can take longer - maybe 30 minutes. These take even longer (hours) to reach a final state where they a cloudy dull tan color - but you can eat them as soon as they are set.

I’ll also will say that wax paper works fine for me - once the pralines set up you can gently roll the paper down (off) without breaking the praline. If they don’t set up, you have bigger problems than the paper!

Still not sure what I’ll do with the gooey ones, but they probably will go well on vanilla ice cream.

Oct 30, 2018
Runny pralines NEW
by: Patsy

Had microwave pralines that would not setup. Put 2 tbs of corn syrup cooked 21/2 minutes and there were perfect.

Dec 22, 2017
Reheating NEW
by: Olivia

I googled "pralines won’t harden" and came across this thread! I scraped them off the foil and put them back in the pan-got it back to 246 degrees, let it cook for a couple of minutes and then let it sit and cook with no heat for a few minutes. They came out perfectly!!!

Nov 12, 2017
Recooked praline NEW
by: Linda

Well has to reheat my pecan candy because it wasnt stiff it was sticky and after i recooked it for about 7-10 mins.It came out perfect.

So i can say if they dont do right the 1st time reheat it and then lay them out let them cool then afterward it should be READY TO EAT!!!

Oct 30, 2016
re-boil works! NEW
by: honey

Thanks everyone for the suggestions to re-boil the candy was not getting hard at all even after 5 hours.i scooped the soft candy up back into the pot and boiled a bit more and my candy got hard in no time (30 min)diffenantly works!

Dec 23, 2013
Help! My pralines will not set! NEW
by: Terrie

Hi. I checked your website after 'googling' "Help! My pralines will not set!" After reading comments to try to re-cook them, I was reluctant, but decided what do I have to lose? So I scooped up the gooey pralines and put them back in the pot, brought them up to soft shell (approx 240 degrees) using a candy thermometer. My husband was using a meat thermometer earlier and I think that may have been the problem). I removed the mixture from the heat and let it cool somewhat (an hour or so) until they were not so runny and then I was able to make my pralines! They didn't all run together!! Yay!!! May not taste EXACTLY like the original, but they were saved! Merry Christmas to all!

Sep 11, 2013
Getting Praline Candy To Set NEW
by: Angie from

Hi Rosa,

If the pralines still haven't set, you could try to reheat them and let the mixture boil a little longer to bring it to a higher temperature. I don't guarantee this will work, but some people have reported having success with this salvage attempt.

Do let us know if it works (or NOT) for you.


Sep 10, 2013
Praline candy
by: Rosa

can i make the batch i have already made get hard ,i did everything i was surpose to

Nov 21, 2011
Pralines Won't Harden - REMEDY
by: bCollins_Candy

Make sure it is nice and cool in the kitchen. Cook your candy mixture until it gets hard to stir. You have to work quickly because you don't want it to burn.

By the way, wax paper takes all the moisture out of the candy.....Louisiana folk use foil with butter rubbed on it. The foil will conduct heat to help the candy along. Leave them for about 10 minutes. This should help.

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