Skip to main content

Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Fudge Recipe

I enjoy writing on topics centered around family life, including recipes, holiday and party ideas, DIY crafts, frugal living, and parenting.

Learn how to make a batch of delicious, homemade peanut butter fudge.

Learn how to make a batch of delicious, homemade peanut butter fudge.

Oftentimes, when people think of old-fashioned ways of cooking, they think of the older generations slaving away for hours upon hours over a hot stove. With this delicious peanut butter fudge recipe, that is just not the case. Passed through my family for four generations, this easy-to-make fudge recipe only requires 6 basic ingredients that can be found in any kitchen and is ready to serve within 20 minutes.

As my mother was teaching me how to make this fudge, I learned that my great-great-grandmother used this exact recipe during the Depression. It was very hard to get their hands on enough peanut butter and sugar to make this fudge, but when they managed to do so, this was indeed a treasured treat that the whole family enjoyed.

To learn how to make this old-fashioned peanut butter fudge recipe for your family, continue scrolling for a list of ingredients and step-by-step instructions.

Rate This Fudge Recipe

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

5 min

15 min

20 min

Serves 8 people 2 pieces of fudge

The six ingredients needed to make peanut butter fudge.

The six ingredients needed to make peanut butter fudge.

Ingredients for Peanut Butter Fudge

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 stick (or 1/4 cup) butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cooking spray or extra butter for serving dish

Peanut Butter Fudge Instructions

  1. Grease an 8x8 serving dish with either cooking spray or butter.
  2. Mix together the sugar, milk, and salt in a large pot. Heat these ingredients to boiling over medium heat while stirring continuously.
  3. After 5–7 minutes, the white mixture will start to thicken and take on a slight yellow tint.
  4. To test the readiness of the mixture, add a small amount to a cup of cold water. If you are able to form a soft ball with your hand, the mixture is ready.
  5. Add the peanut butter, butter, and vanilla to the mixture. Keep stirring until all ingredients are well mixed.
  6. Quickly pour the fudge mixture into the greased 8x8 serving dish. Let cool for 5–10 minutes. Once cooled, slice the fudge into pieces and enjoy!
Our finished peanut butter fudge sliced into pieces.

Our finished peanut butter fudge sliced into pieces.

Helpful Tips and Tricks for Making Delicious Fudge

After many years of making this recipe, my mother has perfected her fudge making technique. She has never used any kind of candy thermometer and doesn't even use the cold water test anymore. She simply uses her eyes and can tell exactly when the mixture is at the right consistency to make creamy and mouthwatering fudge.

Here are a few helpful tips and tricks that my mom shared for making the perfect batch:

  • Stir Continuously. When the instructions state stir continuously, do not walk away from the stove even for a second. A continuous stir prevents the mixture from burning and sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  • Watch the Consistency. As soon as you notice the mixture thickening and starting to take on a slight yellowish tint, your mixture is ready. You can use the cold water test to assure it's readiness. Of course, if the whole pot has turned yellow in color, the mixture has cooked for too long and will most likely be hard as a rock once it sets.
  • Fudge Sets Quickly. Before you start boiling the mixture, be sure to set out and grease your serving dish with either cooking spray or butter. Once you add the final ingredients into the mixture, pour out the mixture as quickly as possible into your dish. This dessert sets up so fast that you will not have time to prepare your dish once the mixture is done.

I hope the above step-by-step directions and helpful tips and tricks are helpful in creating a delicious batch of this old-fashioned peanut butter fudge. I guarantee that when these steps are closely followed, you will have created a creamy and yummy batch of homemade fudge for your family to enjoy.

If you have any questions or comments about the recipe, feel free to leave these in the comment section below.

Fudge History Quiz

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. It is believed the name "fudge" originated from an error or a "fudged" batch of _______.
    • chocolate candies
    • caramels
    • marshmallows
  2. The first known sale of fudge sold for _____ a pound in 1886.
    • 20 cents
    • 30 cents
    • 40 cents
    • 50 cents
  3. The first known makers of fudge in the U.S. were _____________.
    • female students in their college dorm rooms
    • homemakers in their kitchens
    • famous candy makers of the late 1800s
  4. The first fudge shop was opened on Mackinac Island, Michigan in _____.
    • 1886
    • 1889
    • 1892
    • 1895
  5. Hot fudge, often used as an ice cream topping, was discovered by _______ the fudge mixture.
    • undercooking
    • overcooking

Answer Key

  1. caramels
  2. 40 cents
  3. female students in their college dorm rooms
  4. 1889
  5. undercooking

© 2012 Alissa Roberts

Related Articles