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Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Fudge

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Prep Time: 20 mins    Cook Time: 10 mins

5 from 29 votes

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.
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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

The ingredients used to make old fashioned peanut butter fudge laid out on a table.

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!

Finished peanut butter fudge on parchment paper cut into perfect squares.

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.

Square pieces of fudge on a stand ready to serve.

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.
Three fudge pieces stacked on top of each other.

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.

Let us know what you think! Give this recipe a rating in the comments section below.

Recipe

How to Make

Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Fudge

This simple 6-ingredient recipe makes the best ever peanut butter fudge. It’s the perfect blend of smooth, creamy, and sweet.
SCALE THIS RECIPE
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Servings: 36 pieces

Ingredients

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 ½ cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon margarine
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
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Instructions

  • Line a small baking sheet with wax paper. Lightly spray the wax paper with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Mix the milk with the brown and white sugar in a large pot until well combined. Bring the mixture to a boil while constantly stirring it. Once boiling, add the peanut butter and then reduce the heat to medium.
  • Continue to stir the mixture over medium heat until it stops boiling, and then turn the heat back up to bring it to a boil again while still stirring. Wait for it to reach a temperature of 235°F using a candy thermometer and then remove it from the heat.
  • Now add the margarine and vanilla to the mixture and stir it in one direction vigorously until it hardens, or you can use an electric mixer on low speed instead. It may take up to 10 – 15 minutes for it to harden.
  • Spread the hardened fudge onto the prepared baking sheet and let it cool to room temperature. Once completely cooled, lift it from the wax paper and then cut it into 1-inch pieces. Serve and enjoy!
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Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 160kcal (8%), Carbohydrates: 26g (9%), Protein: 3g (6%), Fat: 6g (9%), Saturated Fat: 1g (6%), Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 59mg (3%), Potassium: 96mg (3%), Fiber: 1g (4%), Sugar: 24g (27%), Vitamin A: 25IU (1%), Vitamin C: 1mg (1%), Calcium: 23mg (2%), Iron: 1mg (6%)
Print Recipe
course:
Dessert
cuisine:
American

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Comments & Ratings

  1. Can you substitute butter for the margarine?

    Reply
    • Yes! Butter works great in this recipe too if you prefer that over margarine.

      Reply
  2. 5 stars
    l will be making this!!!!

    Reply
    • Let me know how it turned out!

      Reply
  3. 5 stars
    I knew that the “easy” fudge recipes wouldn’t be as good. This recipe wasn’t terribly difficult. I think the worst part was stirring for 20 minutes at the end. I will definitely use a mixer next time. But the result was worth it. So yummy!!!

    Reply
    • Hi Elizabeth, thanks for your feedback. Yes! The stirring can definitely be a good workout, haha. A mixer makes it so much easier for sure. I'm happy to hear how yummy it was!

      Reply