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The Best Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Fudge Recipe

Jill is an avid writer, gardener, photographer, DIYer, and cook.

Homemade peanut butter fudge

Homemade peanut butter fudge

I've made (and eaten) a good bit of peanut butter fudge in my time. And I've tried lots of peanut butter fudge recipes.

Too Bland

On several occasions, I've made Paula Dean's peanut butter cheese fudge recipe. It has only a few ingredients, and one of them is a big chunk of Velveeta!

Odd? Definitely! But it's not bad. And although it's a bit bland, it has a firm texture. It's also super fast and easy to make. In fact, those are probably the two best things about it.

Too Sweet

I've also tried various peanut butter fudge recipes that call for marshmallow fluff. These are a little trickier to make than Dean's peanut butter cheese fudge, but they have a better flavor, albeit a very sweet one. (One of the best recipes for this sort of fudge follows the "old-fashioned" one below.)

Just Right

Of all the recipes for peanut butter fudge I've tried, my grandmother Bess's remains the best. It has a creamier texture than cheese fudge and a stronger, more peanut-buttery flavor than fudge made with marshmallow creme.

Old-fashioned peanut butter fudge can be a little tricky to make, especially if you don't have a candy thermometer, but it's well worth the effort.

Hope you like it as much as I do.

This fudge is just right--creamy, peanut buttery and not too, too sweet.

This fudge is just right--creamy, peanut buttery and not too, too sweet.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

25 min

40 min

1 small pan

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 C. whole milk
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch, mixed with a little water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 C. creamy peanut butter

Don't have a candy thermometer?

You can still make old-fashioned peanut butter fudge. Instead of taking the mixture's temperature, begin performing the soft ball test after about 15 minutes of cooking. Drop small bits of the cooking fudge into cold water and pinch it with your fingers. When it will form a soft ball, it's ready to remove from the heat.

Instructions

  1. Butter a 8 X 8-inch pan. Set aside.
  2. Combine cornstarch in a little cold water and set aside.
  3. Combine sugars, butter and milk in a saucepan.
  4. If using a candy thermometer, clip it to the side of the pan with the bottom immersed in the sugar mixture.
  5. Cook sugar mixture over medium-low heat until sugars are dissolved and the mixture registers between 234 and 240 degrees F on the thermometer (the soft ball stage). This will take about 20 minutes. Beat the fudge mixture well with a wooden spoon. Then stir the vanilla and peanut butter in by hand. This will take about 5 minutes or less.
  6. When the fudge mixture reaches the soft ball stage, stir up the cornstarch and water, add it to pan and immediately remove the pan from the heat.
  7. Beat the fudge mixture by hand for a minute or less until it starts to take shape. Then stir in the vanilla and peanut butter.
  8. Scrape the fudge into the buttered pan and smooth it out with your stirring spoon.
  9. Allow it to cool before cutting. It's good warm or cold.

Peanut Butter Fudge With Marshmallow

One of my grandmother's best friends, Gin, was an excellent candy maker, too. Below is her recipe for peanut butter fudge with marshmallow creme.

Allow it's fairly sweet, Gin's peanut butter fudge is very good and has a wonderfully creamy texture.

Recipe for Gin's Sweet Peanut Butter Fudge

Ingredients

1 C. granulated sugar

1 C. brown sugar

2 Tbsp. butter

½ C. evaporated milk

Pinch of salt

1 scant C. marshmallow creme

½ C. creamy peanut butter

peanuts, chopped (optional)

Instructions

  1. Butter an 8 x 8 pan and set aside.
  2. Cook first 5 ingredients in saucepan over medium-low heat to the soft ball stage.
  3. Off heat, stir in marshmallow, peanut butter, vanilla and (if desired) nuts.
  4. Pour into buttered pan and allow to cool before cutting.

Questions & Answers

Question: Before I make yet another fudge, will this one set at room temperature or will it have to be kept in the refrigerator?

Answer: It doesn’t require refrigeration to set, but I do put it in a tub with a lid so it doesn’t dry out.

Comments

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on November 18, 2013:

Beat it in at Step 5. Once the mixture reaches the soft ball stage, remove it from the heat and then beat the fudge by hand for about a minute more to get it to a good, smooth, thicker consistency. Thanks for commenting! Hope your fudge turns out great! --Jill

Sam on November 17, 2013:

This looks great! Just wondering about when to stir in the peanut butter and vanilla in the first recipe. The recipe says to do so in both step 5 and step 7. Which is the right time? Thank you!

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on August 19, 2013:

Hi Angelie--I can't imagine how rich this would be w/a frosting added! Thanks for the idea! --Jill

Angelie on August 19, 2013:

Degrees Centigrade. Allow to cool slightly in pan brefoe turning out. Dust with icing sugar or use carrot cake icing (creme fraiche and icing sugar). WONDERFUL!!!!

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on April 16, 2013:

Hi gaplumber! Someone gave me a fudge recipe with just two ingredients, peanut butter & a tub of ready-made cake frosting. Isn't that gross?! This recipe is way better. Just remember to stir & you shouldn't have a problem. Thanks for stopping by! Take care, Jill

gaplumber on April 11, 2013:

My mother-in-law up in WV makes this, I will try, thanks.

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on January 25, 2013:

Now that it's cold, it really is a good time to make a pan of fudge and relax with an old movie and a good friend. Bliss! Have fun, Jill (:

lifeflow on January 25, 2013:

it has been haunting me...I will soon have to give into the craving for fudge...made it last year and it was awesome

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on September 06, 2012:

Hi Farmer Rachel! Winter has to be the best time to make fudge. You can scarf it down and then bundle up to hide all those holiday pounds! Thanks for the vote! --Jill

Rachel Koski Nielsen from Pennsylvania, now farming in Minnesota on September 05, 2012:

Looks delicious, and peanut butter is one of my favorite things. My dad makes his fudge with marshmallow, but I think I'll give this recipe a try this winter. Voted up!

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on August 29, 2012:

Hi Sharkye11! Might as well borrow the sugar while you're at it! (; Hope it turns out good! Take it easy, Jill

Jayme Kinsey from Oklahoma on August 29, 2012:

That sounds so delicious! I can't wait to try it, even if I have to beg a candy thermometer from someone! Thanks for sharing!

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on August 29, 2012:

Hi Old Roses. Yep, a candy thermometer makes it all so much easier. If I don't use a thermometer, half the fudge ends up in a cup of water--I'm that impatient! Later, Jill

Caren White on August 28, 2012:

Definitely time for me to buy a candy thermometer and start making fudge. Thanks for sharing another yummy recipe.

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on August 28, 2012:

Hi Faith Reaper. Such a shame you didn't get your mom's recipes, but then so many good cooks never write their recipes down. I hope this one works for you.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on August 27, 2012:

Woooooooooo, you brought me back to when my mother would make the best peanut butter fudge ever. She has dementia now, and I always wanted her recipe, but I never got it, so now I will use your recipe, as I am sure it is perfect. Thanks for sharing the recipe! In His Love, Faith Reaper

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on August 27, 2012:

You're welcome, greeneryday! Hope you give the fudge a try.

greeneryday from Some tropical country on August 27, 2012:

I love peanut butter, thank you for sharing this recipe