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Martha Washington Candies

Martha Washington Candies are a classic Christmas treat that has been around for years. Mrs. Martha know how to make a delicious candy full of coconut, pecans, and cherries. Today I’m sharing the keys to success with you. 

Martha Washington Candy

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Ingredients for Martha Washington Candies

The filling for Martha Washington Candy is a creamy mixture of melted butter, sweetened condensed milk, and powdered sugar.

Then the classic recipe calls for the addition of shredded coconut, chopped pecans, and maraschino cherries. 

This flavor combination works so well with the sweetness and creaminess of the filling.

You can customize the add-ins if you’d like.

If you want more of an Almond Joy flavor, you can skip the cherries and substitute almonds for the pecans. 

Martha Washington Candy Ingredients

Key to Success #1 – Dry the Cherries Well

In order for your Martha Washington Candy to hold together, you want to make sure the filling doesn’t have a lot of extra moisture in it.

Use a mesh strainer to drain the jar of maraschino cherries.

After the cherries are well-drained, put them on a cutting board and chop them finely.

Then use a paper towel to blot the cherries to dry them well. 

Martha Washington Candy Filling

Key to Success #2 – Make it Chilly

One important key to the success of your Martha Washington Candies is refrigerating the filling before you portion it into balls.

It’s important for the filling to be firm when you roll them up so that they can be dipped in chocolate. 

After you mix up the filling, refrigerate it for at least two hours.

After that time, scoop out a little bit of filling and see if it can easily be rolled into a tight ball.

You can add another 1/2 cup of powdered sugar if needed. (I normally don’t add extra powdered sugar.)

Martha Washington Candy Balls

Key to Success #3 – Make ’em Small

Martha Washington Candies can be a bit rich so I suggest making small balls.

Use a small cookie scoop to portion out the filling.

The cookie scoop that I have will hold about 2 teaspoons of filling.

I think it’s a good size but you could go even smaller if you’d like. 

Scoop out the proper portion of filling using the small cookie scoop then go back and roll the filling into tight balls using your hands.

This step helps make tight and evenly-sized Martha Washington Candy balls. 

Martha Washington Candy

Key to Success #4 – Chill Again

Before you tip the Martha Washington Candy into chocolate, you’ll want to make sure they are cold.

This will allow to the chocolate to set quickly so that the candies will hold together.

After the Martha Washington filling has been rolled into balls, chill them in the refrigerator again for at least 20 minutes.

Work in batches so that you only have a few candies out of the refrigerator at a time. 

Martha Washington Candy

Key to Success #5 – Chocolate Full On

Working with a few candies at a time, dip each Martha Washington candy into chocolate then set on waxed paper to cool and set. 

I have a Ateco chocolate dipping tool set that I really like for making chocolates.

If you don’t have any special tools, you can use a fork and a knife to do your dipping.

It’s important that you get the filling completely covered with chocolate coating so that the filling doesn’t start to leak.

I had a few candies that started to leak but I was able to re-dip them into the chocolate to cover the spots that were leaking. 

Martha Washington Candy

Martha Washington Candies make a pretty presentation on a Christmas dessert table.

Just pile them on a pretty platter and watch them get gobbled up.

They also make a great homemade gift for Christmas! 

Save this Martha Washington Candy recipe to your favorite Homemade Christmas Candy board or your Chocolate Truffles board.

Martha Washington Candy
Martha Washington Candy

Martha Washington Candy

Martha Washington Candies are a classic Christmas treat that has been around for years. Mrs. Martha know how to make a delicious candy full of coconut, pecans, and cherries. Today I'm sharing the keys to success with you. 
4.66 from 23 votes
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 36 servings
Author: Jennifer


  • 1 cup butter melted
  • 1 lb powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 package 14 oz sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 can 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 jar 10 oz maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
  • 3 cups pecans finely chopped
  • 16 oz chocolate coating melted


  • Combine butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, coconut, sweetened condensed milk, and pecans in a large bowl. Gently stir in chopped cherries. 
  • Refrigerate at least two hours. 
  • Use small cookie scoop to portion out filling then roll into balls and place on wax paper-covered cookie sheets.
  • Refrigerate on cookie sheets for at least 20 minutes until firm.
  • Melt chocolate coating in microwave. Dip balls into chocolate coating then tap off the excess. Place chocolate-covered balls on waxed paper until firm. 


Serving: 1grams
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