Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Fudge

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This old fashioned peanut butter fudge recipe is easy to make and tastes amazing. The recipe for this peanut butter fudge is really good. It is easy to make and the finished fudge tastes great. Just follow the recipe, which I have written below along with some other details like what you need and tips on making your fudge turn out perfect.

Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Fudge

Prep Time: 20 mins•Cook Time: 10 mins

Smooth and creamy, old fashioned peanut butter fudge is really, really good! You won’t believe how easy it is to make either. If you can combine ingredients in a pan, you can make this old fashioned treat.

A pile of old fashioned peanut butter fudge squares on a plate.

There are only 6 ingredients in the recipe, most of which you are sure to already have in the pantry. If you love the taste of peanut butter as much as I do, you just have to make this super-easy fudge recipe!

This old fashioned peanut butter fudge is sweet and nutty. And one square is never enough! Perhaps your grandmother used to make this classic recipe for you.

You might like to double the recipe since it keeps for a couple of weeks. Well, maybe not in this house – it always disappears fast! We also love to snack on this Snickers fudge or my popular key lime fudge whenever we’re in the mood for sweet candy.

Main Ingredients

There are only 6 ingredients you need to make this classic fudge and 2 of those ingredients are just different types of sugar. With an ingredients list this short and a recipe this easy, you are going to want to get started right away!

Here are the ingredients you will need:

  • Sugar: For perfect sweetness. I like to use half white sugar and half brown sugar. I love the way brown sugar adds a rich molasses-type flavor. You could use all white or all brown if you prefer.
  • Milk: A lot of fudge recipes call for sweetened condensed milk, but this recipe uses regular milk as well as sugar for a very similar result. I like to use whole milk for the richest flavor.
  • Creamy peanut butter: To add the nutty flavor. I spread chunky peanut butter on my toast in the morning, but for this recipe, smooth is the winner. Fudge is typically creamy without chunks of nuts in it, so choose smooth and creamy peanut butter to get the same result.
  • Margarine: For richness. You only need a tablespoon of margarine in this recipe. The last time I made it, I used unsalted butter instead. The flavor was the same, so use whichever you have.
  • Vanilla extract: To add another flavor element. Vanilla pairs beautifully with the peanut butter flavor. You can use vanilla extract, vanilla paste, or even a whole vanilla bean.

Instructions Overview

I told you this was easy. But do you want to see just how easy? Alright then, let’s take a look! First of all, you need to dissolve the sugar in the milk in a pan. After that, add the peanut butter.

Bring the mixture to a boil again then take the pan off the heat. Stir in the vanilla and margarine until it sets noticeably. This might take up to 15 minutes so it’s a good arm workout!

Spread the mixture onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and allow it to cool. That’s all!

Common Questions

What causes peanut butter fudge not to harden?

Fudge not setting is often caused by the fudge mixture not getting hot enough or not being cooked for long enough. If it’s really soft, you can try to reheat it, adding a little more milk. Bring it slowly back to a boil then try again – it should set firmer.

Why is my peanut butter fudge dry and crumbly?

This might be caused by not allowing all the sugar to dissolve properly, not adding enough fluid or fat, or not stirring the fudge mixture enough.

Should you refrigerate fudge after making it?

There is no need to refrigerate fudge. Actually, it can pick up odors and flavors from other items in the refrigerator. It’s fine in an airtight container at room temperature.

Why did my fudge turn into caramel?

In this recipe, the fudge mixture reaches 235°F and then cools and sets. If you don’t reach at least 232°F or you go over 235°F, the fudge will come out with a completely different consistency and might not set.

Can you melt fudge?

This cooked candy doesn’t melt until it gets to around 125°F. Although it can soften in the sun it won’t melt as chocolate candy would. If you want to use fudge as an ice cream topping, chop it into tiny pieces and sprinkle it on top of the ice cream since you won’t be able to melt it.

How should I store this fudge?

To keep the texture intact, store it in an airtight container at room temperature.

Can I make this ahead?

Fudge keeps for a week or two, so the answer is yes! As long as you have the willpower not to devour it all in the meantime.

What should I serve with old fashioned peanut butter fudge?

A square of fudge is perfect whenever you are in the mood for a sweet snack. It’s also really good chopped into small pieces and sprinkled over a scoop of ice cream.

Will this recipe freeze well?

Fudge not only freezes well (for up to a year if wrapped tightly) but you can also enjoy it straight from the freezer as a frozen treat.

Can I make it without a candy thermometer?

A candy thermometer makes fudge-making easy. But if you don’t have one, you can still make it using the cold water method:

Drop a spoonful of the fudge mixture into the cold water then shape it into a ball with your hand. You need it to reach the ‘soft ball stage’ which means it will form into a soft ball in the water and not a stringy mess. It flattens when removed from the water. This means the mixture has reached 235°F.

Chopnotch Tips

  • I like to add a pinch of salt. It complements the nutty flavor and contrasts nicely with the sweetness from the sugar.
  • Let the fudge cool to room temperature before putting it in an airtight container.
  • You can add crushed candy bars, chopped nuts, or chocolate on top of the fudge if you like.
  • Wrapped in cellophane and decorated with a ribbon, it makes a lovely gift for friends, family, or colleagues.

This old fashioned peanut butter fudge recipe is a game-changer. It’s just so good! Whether you remember this treat from your childhood or you are new to it, the whole family is going to love the rich flavor.

Peanut Butter Fudge

A creamy homemade peanut butter fudge recipe! Today’s candy recipe is made on the stovetop with just a handful of ingredients. I’ve packed today’s post with plenty of tips and have included another how-to video at the bottom of the recipe.

Peanut Butter fudge on marble slab

This peanut butter fudge might actually be my favorite of them all. Sweet with salty, peanut-y undertones, creamy and soft, but still sturdy… what’s not to love? It’s also perfectly giftable, making this holiday season a great time to try your hand at making your own fudge at home!

Feeling more comfortable with that candy thermometer yet? You’re going to need it again for today’s recipe. Don’t be intimidated (like I was for the longest time), a good candy thermometer can actually be your best friend in the kitchen. I linked to the one that I use down in the recipe.

If you’re still not feeing too candy-thermometer-friendly, you might be relieved to hear that my next two candy recipes actually don’t require one. Until then, let’s jump in to some peanut butter fudge tips!

How to Keep Peanut Butter Fudge from Becoming Grainy

I’ve found that this peanut butter fudge is much more resistant to becoming grainy than my favorite chocolate fudge is. For this reason it’s a great fudge recipe for a candy beginner, but I still recommend following a few grain-preventing best practices.

Keep a moist pastry brush nearby and (only before the mixture begins boiling) use it to gently wipe/wash down the sides of the pot to prevent any sugar crystals from forming. You’ll notice some of the sugar mixture settles on the sides of the pot, and wiping this off early will go a long way in preventing sugar crystals.

Once you’re finished cooking your peanut butter fudge and are stirring it, don’t scrape the sides of the pot. Sugar crystals may have developed there, so avoid knocking those into your fudge while you’re stirring. You should also avoid scraping the sides of the pot when pouring your fudge into your pan. I’ll usually pour out as much fudge as I can, then scrape the sides of the pot into a separate small container. It still tastes good, so you can enjoy it separately without compromising your fudge.

Square of fudge from creamy peanut butter fudge recipe

How to Store Peanut Butter Fudge

Peanut butter fudge should be stored in an airtight container. It will keep at room temperature for up to two weeks (keep out of direct sunlight).

Unlike many other candy recipes, peanut butter fudge actually can also be stored in the refrigerator, just beware that the fridge has the potential to dry out your fudge, detracting from that wonderful creaminess. If you choose to refrigerate it, be sure to store in a tightly sealed container. Peanut butter fudge should keep for several weeks in the fridge.

Can I Freeze Peanut Butter Fudge?

Yes, you can freeze peanut butter fudge! For best results, allow your fudge to completely cool and set after cooking it. Then, cut it into pieces and wrap each piece individually in cling wrap (make sure to wrap well). Place the pieces in an airtight container and freeze for up to several months. To thaw, simply allow the wrapped pieces to sit at room temperature for several hours.

Enjoy!

How to Make Peanut Butter Fudge

Peanut Butter Fudge

How to make an easy, old-fashioned Peanut Butter Fudge! For best results, read through the whole recipe before beginning, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea to watch the VIDEO at the bottom of the post, too!

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: American

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Cooling Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Servings: 16 1″ pieces

Calories: 208kcal

Ingredients

  • ▢2 cups granulated sugar (400g)
  • ▢⅔ cup evaporated milk shake well before pouring (160ml)
  • ▢¾ cup creamy peanut butter (210g)
  • ▢4 Tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 4 pieces and softened to room temperature
  • ▢1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ▢½ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • It’s important to have all of your ingredients ready before beginning! Read through the whole recipe before you start and measure out all your ingredients beforehand (the peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt should be prepped and ready to go nearby).
  • Prepare an 8×8 baking dish or 9×5 bread pan by lightly greasing with butter or lining with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Combine sugar and evaporated milk in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.
  • Stir ingredients occasionally over medium heat. During this time (only before boiling), use a wet pastry brush to brush down the sides where any sugar may have begun to settle on the side of the pot to prevent sugar crystals. 
  • Continue to stir occasionally until sugar is dissolved and mixture comes to a boil (don’t turn up the heat, keep on medium or you run the risk of burning your fudge). Once mixture comes to a boil, attach your candy thermometer. Be sure that the point of the candy thermometer is in the middle of the mixture and not touching the bottom of the pan.
  • Cook, stirring continuously, until fudge reaches 234-236°F (112-113°C). 
  • Once fudge reaches temperature, immediately remove from heat and add your peanut butter, butter, vanilla extract, and salt. Stir (avoid scraping the sides of the pot) until butter and peanut butter are melted and mixture is smooth and has started to thicken (1-3 minutes).
  • Pour into prepared pan (don’t scrape the sides of the pot while pouring) and allow to set completely (several hours at room temperature or you can expedite the process by refrigerating).
  • Once fudge has set, slice into small pieces and serve.

Why You Will Love This Peanut Butter Fudge

  • Takes about 10 minutes to mix up
  • Made on the stovetop
  • Perfect for gifting to family and friends
  • No candy thermometer required!

Ingredients Needed

Ingredient Notes

  • Peanut Butter – I used smooth peanut butter, not a natural kind of peanut butter (the kind you need to stir). I haven’t tested it with this kind of peanut butter and can’t say if it would work.
  • Milk – I used full-fat milk, but I think any type of milk would work.

How To Make This Peanut Butter Fudge Recipe

  1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. 
  2. Stir in brown sugar, milk and salt. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove the saucepan from heat. 
  3. Add in peanut butter and vanilla.
  4. Stir until smooth.
  1. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add in the confectioners sugar.
  3. Stir until smooth.
  4. Pour into the prepared pan. Chill in the refrigerator until firm (about 2 hours). You can remove from the fudge from the pan and cut into squares.

Recipe Tips

  • Stir frequently. While the mixture is on the stovetop make sure to stir frequently so it doesn’t burn on the bottom of the stovetop.
  • Line your pan with parchment or wax paper. I like to line my pan and then leave some overhang in order to easily lift out the fudge and cut it into squares.
  • Do not scrape the saucepan when adding it to the mixing bowl. If there is any undissolved sugar on the sides, you don’t want that in your fudge as it will make it grainy.
  • Sift the powdered sugar. I found that if I didn’t sift it, then my peanut butter fudge has little clumps of powdered sugar that wouldn’t mix in. So after measuring your 3 cups, sift the sugar so it’s more easily mixed in and lump free.

Recipe FAQ’s

Why is my peanut butter fudge dry and crumbly?

This could be from not cooking it long enough on the stove and allowing the sugar to dissolve. Or it’s from not stirring it enough, or adding enough milk.

How long does peanut butter fudge last?

This peanut butter fudge should last for about 2 weeks in an airtight container at room temperature. Or you can keep it in the fridge, well covered, and it should last for several weeks.

Can you freeze peanut butter fudge?

Yes you can freeze peanut butter fudge for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature. I like to wrap each piece individually in plastic wrap and then pop them into a plastic bag.

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