Benne Candy

Benne Candy

Carolinians adopted the West African ingredient benne (pronounced "benny")--or sesame seed--for this rich, brittle candy.

  • Yield: About 18 ounces (serving size: about 1 ounce)


  • none Cooking spray
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom


Line a jelly-roll pan with foil. Coat foil with cooking spray.

Place sugar and 1/2 cup water in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil (do not stir). Cook 10 minutes or just until sugar is golden. Remove from heat; add butter and vanilla, carefully stirring until butter melts (mixture will bubble vigorously). Stir in sesame seeds and remaining ingredients, stirring constantly, and return mixture to heat. Cook 30 seconds or until well combined. Rapidly spread mixture onto prepared pan. Cool completely, and break into small pieces.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 125none
  • Calories from fat: 24%
  • Fat: 3.4g
  • Saturated fat: 0.7g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 1.2g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.3g
  • Protein: 1.1g
  • Carbohydrate: 23.7g
  • Fiber: 0.7g
  • Cholesterol: 1mg
  • Iron: 0.9mg
  • Sodium: 90mg
  • Calcium: 59mg

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Benne Candy Recipe