Martha Washington Candy

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Martha Washington Candy is a classic candy made with chocolate, coconut, and pecans. I simplify the recipe without losing any of that classic taste!

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Martha Washington Candy is a classic candy made with chocolate, coconut and pecans.

Martha Washington Candy

When I reflect on my favorite childhood Christmas memories, what I remember the most is not the toys or gifts that I received. Although, I was quite fond of the toys. By the way, boys have way cooler toys; the remote-controlled cars, the race track, the BB guns, and the train set. The funny thing is, I always wanted and asked for a doll. And, I did play with them for about 3 minutes before I threw them to the side and started playing with the cool boy toys that my brother received.
Christmas truffles

 My Childhood Christmas Memories

While the gifts and toys were nice, looking back, however, my fondest memories are of the family being together; cooking, laughing, reminiscing, and eating. We were always in the kitchen. Maybe, I should have realized then my passion for cooking. Additionally, the clinking and clanking of utensils, pots, and pans, and the talking and laughing, I love the sound of being in the kitchen.

It’s no surprise either that one of my favorite holiday treats is a candy that my mother made every Christmas, but only at Christmas. For that reason, the making of Martha Washington Candy recipe signifies Christmas is near. It is a tradition. As well, it wouldn’t be Christmas without it. As you know, this candy has been around for years. Most notably, it’s simple yet elegant, quick yet gourmet, and outrageously rich!

This candy recipe is a favorite and cherished family tradition!

Christmas truffles

Why is it called Martha Washington Candy?

It’s unclear how this particular confection got its name. However, most foodies conclude that it originated in the chain of candy stores named Martha Washington Candies. These stores started opening in the 1890s and were quite popular until the depression hit in the 1920s.

It’s likely that Martha Washington, the person, had little if anything to do with the stores or the candy.

Martha Washington Candy

Original Martha Washington Candy Recipe

This is the original recipe that my Mother passed along to me. Be sure to scroll past it to the new, revised, and easier recipe!!

2 boxes powdered sugar
1 cup butter, melted
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 pound chopped pecans
14 ounces coconut
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 lb paraffin
Combine sugar, butter, milk, pecans, and coconut.
Roll into small balls and chill.
Melt chocolate and paraffin in a double boiler.
Dip ball in chocolate and lay on parchment paper to dry.
Below is the recipe that I altered. I use Ghirardelli Melting chocolate to dip the truffles in. Simply melt it and dip the candy balls in it then allow them to dry. The recipe below makes half of the original recipe.


Martha Washington Candy

More truffle recipes are here and below

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I updated this post from an earlier version dated December 3, 2012. I made new photos and simplified the recipe instructions.

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Martha Washington Candy is a classic candy made with chocolate, coconut and pecans.

Martha Washington Candy

Martha Washington Candy recipe is the perfect old fashioned classic candy. A decadent treat made filled with coconut and pecans and wrapped in chocolate makes a nice homemade gift.
Author: Paula
4.75 from 35 votes
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 36 servings



  • Cream sugar and butter together. (This mixture will be thick.)
  • Add milk, pecans, and coconut.
  • Roll into small balls and chill at least 1 hour.
  • Melt chocolate. Dip candy in chocolate and allow to dry on parchment paper.
  • Share and Enjoy!
  • *If your mixture isn't thick add more sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time until thick (think cookie dough consistency)
  • **I use coconut that is found on the baking isle, usually close to chocolate chips and nuts (not frozen).


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Calories: 169kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 36mg | Potassium: 38mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 115IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg
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  1. Can these be frozen after being completely made? If so how long can they be frozen for? Do they look just as good as fresh after being frozen?

    1. They can be frozen, but I found the chocolate does weird things when it’s frozen. I’ve had it get white spots on it and I’ve had it gets ‘sweaty’ when it thaws. For these reasons, I don’t recommend freezing it.

  2. 5 stars
    Could the coconut be toasted? Do you think the other ingredients would need to be changed? I’ve never been a fan of coconut but years ago had toasted coconut with chocolate and loved it. I’ve not found them again and this recipe sounds like an amazing way to recreate them.

    1. Yes, you can. Toasted coconut will be drier so you may want to add slightly less powdered sugar in the beginning OR 1 or 2 more tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk.

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