Praline Sauce
Most recipes for New Orleans-Style Pralines require a candy thermometer. Don’t have one? No worries. Try this method instead. Photography by Jenny Huang/Food Styling by Erika Joyce

This variation on a classic praline recipe doesn’t require a candy thermometer, and can be used to top everything from cheesecake to pancakes.

Featured in: Pralines: How They Cook ’Em in New Orleans


Praline Sauce Praline Sauce
This variation on the praline recipe above (no candy thermometer required) can be used to top everything from cheesecake to pancakes.
Yield: makes 3 cups
Time: 20 minutes


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1½ cups toasted pecan pieces
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt


  1. In a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-​high heat, add 2 cups sugar and 1 cup water. Stir to dissolve the sugar, then bring to a boil and cook without stirring until the liquid turns amber, swirling the pan gently to cook evenly, 10–12 minutes. Remove from heat, then immediately stir in 1½ cups heavy cream, 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, 1½ cups toasted pecan pieces, ½ tsp. vanilla extract, and ¼ tsp. kosher salt. The sauce will thicken as it cools. Use immediately or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.