This creamy homemade Peanut Butter Fudge recipe uses just six basic ingredients (and no marshmallow or condensed milk!). It takes minutes to prepare on the stove and sets up beautifully every single time. Recipe includes a how-to video!
Perfect Homemade Fudge
This peanut butter fudge recipe is one of my favorite old-fashioned candy recipes. It’s easy to make, offers the perfect juxtaposition of sweet and salty, and is so, so creamy and soft that, despite its decadence, you’ll find yourself popping piece after piece until you’ve accidentally cleaned out an entire pan that you’d planned on gifting and oh-no, now you have to make more…
Making candy at home can be intimidating, but this recipe is a great one for beginners! Before you begin, make sure to read over my easy tips (detailed below) and grab your candy thermometer, and it’s not a bad idea to watch the video in the recipe card before starting.
First, though, I want to remind you that the biggest “trick” to making just about any candy is really just having lots of patience. Those of you who’ve spent a literal hour steadfastly stirring homemade caramels know this is true, and that you’ll be well rewarded for your efforts.
Don’t crank up the heat to try and speed things along, or you may end up burning your sugar and ruining your fudge! Also, make sure to use a candy thermometer; it’s the most accurate way to know when your candy has reached the exact temperature and consistency we’re looking for. Now, let’s get started!
What You Need
As with most of my candy recipes, you want to have all of your ingredients pre-measured and readily available before you get started (“Mise en place”, as the French say). Here’s what you need:
- Peanut butter. Use creamy, “regular” peanut butter. I don’t recommend using the “natural” kind that separates.
- Evaporated Milk. This is NOT the same thing as condensed milk! Pardon my caps and exclamation points, but this is a common mistake as the two look very similar and are often sold right beside each other, so make sure you grab evaporated milk and shake it really well before adding it.
- Sugar. We’ll be using regular granulated sugar for this recipe.
- Butter. Use unsalted butter since we’re adding salt ourselves. Make sure to let your butter soften to room temperature and cut it into tablespoon-sized pieces before getting started.
- Vanilla. I love the combination of vanilla and peanut butter here. Homemade vanilla extract is a great option in this recipe!
- A good candy thermometer. I recommend a digital one (much easier to read than the alternative). I’ve linked to the one I use and love in the “equipment” section of the recipe below.
SAM’S TIP: Keep a moist pastry brush nearby and (only before the mixture begins boiling) use it to gently wipe down the sides of the pot to prevent any sugar crystals from forming. Wiping this off early will go a long way in preventing sugar crystals from forming later.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Peanut Butter Fudge
Before you begin: Prepare your work station – Measure out all ingredients and grease or line your pan with parchment.
- Bring to a boil – Stir together the milk and sugar over medium heat until the mixture boils. Use a wet pastry brush to brush away any sugar crystals during this time only.
- Stir continuously – Once boiling, attach your candy thermometer and begin stirring continuously until the mixture reaches 234-236F.
- Remove from heat – Once the fudge reaches proper temperature, remove it from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients until smooth.
- Let it set – Pour the fudge into your prepared pan and let it set completely before slicing.
SAM’S TIP: Avoid scraping the sides of the pot when pouring your fudge into your pan, or you may end up with grainy fudge. I’ll usually pour out as much fudge as I can, then scrape the candy on the sides into a separate small container. It still tastes good, so you can enjoy it separately without compromising your fudge.
Frequently Asked Questions
My preferred method for storing this fudge is in an airtight container at room temperature. It will keep this way for up to two weeks (just be sure to keep it out of direct sunlight).
Unlike many other candy recipes, peanut butter fudge can also be stored in the refrigerator. The fridge does tend to dry out the fudge though, so it will lose its creaminess if stored this way. If this doesn’t bother you, you can store your it in a sealed container in the fridge and it will keep for several weeks.
This peanut butter fudge recipe is much more resistant to becoming grainy than my favorite chocolate fudge recipe, making it a great option for a candy beginner!
Despite this, I still recommend following a few grain-preventing best practices, like brushing the sugar crystals back into the pot with a damp pastry brush before the candy boils and not scraping the sides of the pot when pouring your fudge out of the pan.
Yes! 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) before placing in a sealed bag or container to freeze for several months. To thaw, simply allow the wrapped pieces to sit at room temperature for several hours.
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
Peanut Butter Fudge
- 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 (this will yield thinner pieces) or 9×5 bread pan (for thicker pieces) 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.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.