My partner’s mom makes peanut butter fudge on what seems like a weekly basis. I’m not sure how she can consume so much of it. She has a dedicated baking pan just for this peanut butter fudge and there’s always a tub of it in the fridge.
But when I emailed her asking for the recipe, she didn’t know how to give it to me. Like most recipes of hers, she free-forms it, adding peanut butter until the batter “looks and feels” right.
It looked like I'd need to head into the kitchen and do some experimenting!
The Secret to Easy Peanut Butter Fudge
The one thing she did casually mention was that she uses marshmallows in her peanut butter fudge, something I'd never thought about. When I make fudge, I often use the old-fashioned method, which requires cooking the sugar to a soft-ball stage of 238°F. It’s fussy and always put me off of making fudge.
But since the sugar in marshmallows has already been cooked and turned into a candy, using them to make the peanut butter fudge seemed like an easy and totally acceptable cheat.
And easy it was! This easy peanut butter fudge recipe is a snap to make and super smooth. So easy that I’m fearful I’ll end up like her, making this easy peanut butter fudge on a weekly basis. I can feel my waistline expanding already.
The Best Peanut Butter for Fudge
I use smooth peanut butter in this fudge, but if you prefer a little texture, feel free to use the same amount of chunky peanut butter in its place.
You'll get the best results if you stick with commercial brands of peanut butter (Jif, Skippy, Peter Pan). Natural peanut butter has a tendency to separate, and it can sometimes interfere with how the fudge sets up. (If you do want to try using natural peanut butter, just make sure it's very well-stirred and the oil is well incorporated.)
Subs and Additions to Peanut Butter Fudge
- Substitute coconut milk for a non-dairy version of this fudge
- Make chocolate peanut butter fudge by drizzling melted chocolate over the top, or sprinkling chocolate chips on top right after smoothing out the fudge in the pan and gently pressing them in.
How to Store Peanut Butter Fudge
Store this fudge in an airtight container. The fudge keeps for about a week at room temperature or 2 to 3 weeks refrigerated.
To freeze, wrap the chilled fudge in plastic wrap and then transfer to a freezer storage bag. Freeze for up to a month and thaw in the fridge.
Mini vs. Regular Marshmallows
You need marshmallows for this recipe, but there's wiggle room with the size of the marshmallows.
- 10 miniature marshmallows is the equivalent of 1 regular marshmallow. Substitute 60 miniature marshmallows for the 6 regular-sized ones in this recipe.
- 4 regular marshmallows are the equivalent of 1 jumbo marshmallow. Substitute 1 1/2 jumbo marshmallows for the 6 regular-sized ones in this recipe.
- You cannot substitute marshmallow creme for the marshmallows. Marshmallow creme doesn't have any gelatin, and this recipe requires the gelatin for the fudge to set.
How to Package Peanut Butter Fudge for Gifts
Homemade fudge makes a thoughtful gift. These tips will help you package it for gift giving.
- Wrap cooled and then refrigerated fudge tightly in plastic wrap so it does not dry out.
- Add a layer of parchment paper around the plastic wrap. It will look nicer when the recipient opens the box.
- Put the fudge in an appropriately sized box. You can buy candy boxes at a craft store that will work well as gift boxes.
To send the fudge, you'll need two boxes—one for boxing up the fudge and one to place that box, or boxes, of fudge in.
- Use packing material so the box that the fudge is in does shift in the shipping box.
- If you're shipping during warmer months, you'll need frozen gel packs or dry ice and an insulated shipping container or the fudge may melt.
- If you're shipping during colder months, you can mail the fudge without the assistance of a cold pack or dry ice.
Freezing Peanut Butter Fudge
This fudge freezes well, so it's a convenient, crowd-pleasing treat to make ahead of a party. Make it in batches as written; we don't recommend doubling the recipe.
To freeze, cool the fudge completely and wrap in one large piece in plastic wrap. Place the wrapped fudge in a freezer safe zipper bag. Defrost in the refrigerator.
More Peanut Butter Treats!
- Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies
- Peanut Butter Pie
- Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies
- Peanut Butter Balls (Buckeyes)
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Easy Peanut Butter Fudge
You'll get the best results if you stick with commercial brands of peanut butter (Jif, Skippy, Peter Pan). Natural peanut butter has a tendency to separate, and it can sometimes interfere with how the fudge sets up.
Have your lined baking pan ready to go before you start and work fast once you remove the saucepan from the heat. As the fudge starts to cool, it can become difficult to work with.
1/2 cup whole milk
6 regular-sized marshmallows, certified gluten free if needed
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
3/4 cup (165g) light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups (420g) smooth peanut butter (not natural peanut butter, see Recipe Note)
Prepare the baking pan:
Lightly spray an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with cooking oil. Line with parchment paper.
Warm the milk and marshmallows:
Place the milk and the marshmallows in medium pan. Turn the heat to medium low and gently heat the milk. Stir constantly until the marshmallows have melted. If the milk starts to foam up too much, reduce the heat.
Stir in the sugars, followed by the remaining ingredients:
Once the marshmallows have melted, add both sugars and continue to cook on medium low heat while stirring until the sugars have dissolved and the liquid is smooth. Add the vanilla, salt, and peanut butter. Stir until smooth and incorporated into the batter.
Pour the hot fudge into the prepared pan:
Once the fudge batter is smooth and uniform, immediately pour it into the prepared pan and smooth out with spatula or butter knife.
Let the fudge cool to room temperature in the pan, then chill in the fridge overnight.
Cut the fudge:
The next day, lift the fudge from the pan using the parchment paper and cut into 1-inch squares.
Store in an airtight container. The fudge keeps for about a week at room temperature or 2 to 3 weeks refrigerated.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 3g||4%|
|Saturated Fat 1g||3%|
|Total Carbohydrate 7g||3%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||1%|
|Total Sugars 6g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|