This Easy Peanut Butter Fudge is a simple recipe to make and is the perfect balance of sweet and salty. It’s soft and creamy and great for the holidays and special occasions or just because!
One of my greatest indulgences when I was growing up was Peanut Butter Fudge. This homemade peanut butter fudge recipe is creamy, peanut buttery perfection. It’s soft and flavorful and just melts in your mouth!
Why I love this Easy Peanut Butter Fudge Recipe
This 5 Minute Peanut Butter Fudge is just what it sounds like – it takes just 5 minutes to cook, and it’s incredibly easy to make, too!
Unlike many fudge recipes, this recipe uses half and half instead of regular milk. This helps add to that rich flavor and creamy texture that I’ve come to love so much about peanut butter fudge!
I also make this Peanut Butter Fudge with Powdered Sugar instead of granulated sugar because you get a smoother fudge.
You don’t need any fancy equipment (other than a hand mixer) to make this delicious fudge recipe. It’s a really easy recipe, and there’s no candy thermometer required!
All of the ingredients in this recipe are likely already in your refrigerator or pantry!
Creamy Peanut Butter Fudge Recipe ingredients & tools
Creamy Peanut Butter – You’ll want to use creamy for best results; I prefer Jif Creamy.
Vanilla Extract – I’m a firm believer that you shouldn’t use imitation vanilla; pure vanilla extract (affiliate link) can add so much to a recipe!
8×8-inch Baking Pan – I recommend using one with straight sides to keep everything cohesive, but any 8×8-inch pan will do.
Medium Saucepan – I personally like and recommend using a heavy non-stick pan for this recipe because it gets the job done and is a lot easier to clean.
Hand Mixer – I love my KitchenAid hand mixer (affiliate link) for quick recipes; my stand mixer is great but not always necessary, and this keeps things easy.
Substitutions for this Easy Homemade Peanut Butter Fudge
Since fudge is a candy, it’s actually very dependent upon the ingredients and process to turn out properly.
I do not recommend substituting peanut butter for another nut butter in this recipe because they can have very different consistencies (almond butter is much thicker and Nutella is much stickier for example). I also don’t recommend using all natural peanut butter. I personally use Jif Creamy for this recipe.
However, you can use salted butter instead of unsalted and you can also use granulated sugar instead of light brown sugar, if desired, just note that you will lose some of that caramelly flavor.
Prepare your pan and the powdered sugar before you start cooking so you can move quickly through the recipe for the best results.
How To Make Peanut Butter Fudge
Melt the butter and brown sugar in a saucepan until it begins to boil. Boil for 1 minute and 45 seconds, then remove from heat.
Stir in the peanut butter and vanilla immediately until mostly smooth.
Pour the peanut butter mixture into a large bowl with the powdered sugar. Then, immediately whip them together with a hand mixer until smooth. Work fast because the fudge will want to start crusting.
Quickly transfer the creamy peanut butter fudge mixture to a parchment-lined baking pan and allow it to set fully before slicing.
Tips for making Peanut Butter Fudge with Powdered Sugar
1. Do NOT use all-natural peanut butter, as it has a higher amount of oil in it and can cause the fudge to separate. However, you can use crunchy peanut butter if you’d like.
2. Grease your baking pan with cooking spray, not butter. Or line it with parchment paper so you can easily remove the whole pan of fudge.
3. Using powdered sugar over granulated sugar yields a smoother, creamier fudge.
4. If your powdered sugar is lumpy, make sure to sift it or whisk the lumps out of it before adding it to the peanut butter mixture.
5. Make sure that once the mixture comes to a boil, you boil for 1 MINUTE 45 SECONDS ONLY, no more, no less. Like no-bake cookies, this timing is important to the final texture of the fudge, as we want to be able to control the water content of the mixture.
6. In follow up to the last tip, it’s possible that if you’re making this on a day when it’s raining or very humid, the water in the air can impact the final results of the fudge. Generally, it will have a harder time setting and may have a grainier texture.
7. You can mix the fudge mixture by hand when called for, but a hand mixer will help keep things quick and have a smoother end result.
8. Wait until the fudge has cooled to room temperature and fully set before slicing.
How long will Homemade Peanut Butter Fudge last?
Not long because you’ll likely eat it all 😉 but if you want to make it ahead or do have some leftovers, store them in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks in a cool area.
Homemade Peanut Butter Fudge FAQs
My secret is the half & half! Most recipes use just milk and some don’t use liquid dairy at all. But truly, if you want the most incredible, soft, creamy peanut butter fudge, use half and half!
If you don’t let the mixture boil for the indicated amount of time, it may not set up. It can also have a hard time setting if there is too much moisture in the air like on a humid or rainy day.
You should be able to tell if it’s going to harden or not during the mixing process since once your mix in the powdered sugar the top will almost start crusting, this is a good sign that your fudge will set. You can see this in the mixing bowl photo above, the ripples of fudge look extra wrinkly.
Because you made this recipe! Kidding, I love soft but firm fudge and that was the goal with the development of this recipe. Something you can bite into a savor that rich fudgy texture that doesn’t crumble.
It’s possible you didn’t cook the mixture well enough and the sugar did not dissolve.
If your fudge hasn’t set after a couple of hours, you can add it back to the pot and reheat, adding some additional powdered sugar which should help it setup.
More Delicious Peanut Butter Recipes:
- Peanut Butter Frosting
- Best Peanut Butter Blossoms
- Peanut Butter Buckeye Balls
- Butterscotch Peanut Butter Cornflake Cookies
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This post was originally published in December 2017 and has been updated with clearer instructions and new photos.
Easy Peanut Butter Fudge with Powdered Sugar
- Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside. Tip: Use the greasy side of the butter wrapper from the butter to grease the pan before putting the parchment in to help it stick and stay in place.
- Add the powdered sugar to a large mixing bowl and set aside.3 cups powdered sugar
- In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Then stir in the brown sugar and milk and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, allow to sit untouched for 1 minute and 45 seconds.½ cup unsalted butter, 2 cups light brown sugar, 5 ounces half & half
- Remove from heat, then stir in the peanut butter and vanilla extract until smooth and creamy.1 cup creamy peanut butter, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Pour the hot peanut butter mixture into the bowl with the powdered sugar, then beat with an electric mixture until completely smooth.
- Pour into the prepared pan and spread it out quickly with a rubber spatula. Let sit until completely cooled and set.
- Some readers have had issues with the fudge thickening too much after adding to the powdered sugar. You can add an additional 1 to 2 ounces of half and half to smooth it out to transfer it to the pan.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks in a cool area.
- It’s possible that if you’re making this on a day when it’s raining or very humid, the water in the air can impact the final results of the fudge. Generally, it will have a harder time setting and may have a grainier texture.
- If your powdered sugar is lumpy, make sure to sift it or whisk the lumps out of it before adding to the peanut butter mixture.
- Using confectioner’s sugar over granulated sugar yields a smoother, creamier fudge.
- Do NOT use all-natural peanut butter, this has a higher amount of oil in it and can cause the fudge to separate. However, you can use crunchy peanut butter if you’d like.