Easy Peanut Butter Fudge

ChristmasCandyGluten-FreePeanut Butter

This peanut butter fudge is so QUICK and EASY to make. Melt marshmallows with sugar and peanut butter, and you're done! This tastes like the inside of a peanut butter cup, and makes a great gift.

Photography Credit: Irvin Lin

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!

Best Peanut Butter Fudge stacked on a serving tray

The Trick 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.)

Peanut Butter Fudge squares on cutting board

Easy Substitutions and Additions to PB 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.

More Peanut Butter Treats!

Updated December 15, 2019 : We spiffed up this post to make it sparkle! No changes to the original recipe.

Easy Peanut Butter Fudge Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Cooling Time time: Cooling Time
  • Yield: 64 squares

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.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 6 regular-sized marshmallows (NOT mini or jumbo marshmallows, certified gluten-free if needed)
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) white granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (165 g) packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (420 g) smooth peanut butter (not natural peanut butter, see Recipe Note)

Special equipment:

Method

1 Prepare the baking pan: Lightly spray an 8x8-inch baking pan with cooking oil. Line with parchment paper.

Peanut Butter Fudge

2 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.

Peanut Butter Fudge

3 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.

Peanut Butter Fudge Peanut Butter Fudge

4 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.

Peanut Butter Fudge

5 Cool overnight: Let the fudge cool to room temperature in the pan, then chill in the fridge overnight.

6 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.

Peanut Butter Fudge

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Perfect square pieces of peanut butter fudge

Irvin Lin

Irvin Lin is an IACP award-winning photographer, food writer and recipe developer, blue-ribbon baker, public speaker, and occasional social media consultant. His blog is Eat the Love and his first cookbook is Marbled, Swirled and Layered.

More from Irvin

41 Comments / Reviews

No ImageEasy Peanut Butter Fudge

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Jacqueline

    So we made this and it is not setting up. Maybe a note should be added on the ingredients list to *not* buy natural peanut butter. This is, literally, a first for me on Simply Recipes – I’ve been a reader since the very early days of Elise posting her mom’s recipes and have sent so many to the site. Also a long time cook/baker but was looking for something easy and fun for kids.

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
  2. Lauren

    This sounds great! Do you think nutella would be an OK substitute in this recipe? It’s thinner than peanut butter, but I think the flavor would be great. I appreciate your thoughts.

    Show Replies (1)
  3. June Stanley

    Wonderfully easy, now for it to set-up & refrigerate overnite. I have always made fudge, boiling until it formed a soft ball, I am in my seventies & this is not differcult to make. Thank you

  4. randolph

    I changed a few things, I went 8 marshmallows 1/8 more peanut butter, I was short a 1/4 cup of brown sugar replaced it with white sugar, and I did it with the microwave instead of the stove,it works out a lot better, I don’t have to clean a pot out, but I did use a large glass bowl instead..

  5. L. Cooper

    Oh one other thing I did was use a double boiler so my pan wasn’t flat on the stove….saved my hands while getting the other stuff ready and the milk didn’t froth up as much

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Peanut Butter Fudge squares on cutting boardEasy Peanut Butter Fudge