If you’re a peanut butter lover, you simply have to try this Old-Fashioned No-Bake Peanut Butter Fudge! It’s simple to make with just 5 ingredients and no baking required and out of this world delicious!
This simple, no-bake peanut butter dessert comes together with just about 10 minutes of active cooking time and 1 hour of cooling time. It has without a doubt the best fudgy texture and is bursting with peanut butter flavor.
Sweet enough to be classified as candy, but not so sweet that your mouth will pucker.
As an environmental scientist, I love embracing new ways of cooking that have less impact on our changing planet.
No-bake recipes are a great way to make a small difference by conserving energy!
Green tip: Speaking of conserving energy, getting to know your oven is a great way to do so! Knowing how long it takes for your oven to pre-heat allows you to get your timing just right, so your oven isn’t wasting energy by heating up earlier than it has to.
No-Bake Peanut Butter Fudge Ingredients
Here’s everything you need:
- Unsalted butter. You can easily use vegan butter as a substitute to make it non-dairy.
- Milk. Cow’s milk or an unsweetened non-dairy alternative.
- Brown sugar. You can use either light or dark brown sugar. I prefer light to let the peanut butter shine with just subtle notes of caramel and vanilla, but both are delicious. Make sure it’s tightly packed when you measure.
- Peanut Butter. This recipe works best with smooth, salted peanut butter. Tip: peanut butter is generally salted unless it specifically indicates otherwise.
- Powdered sugar. Also known as confectioner’s sugar. This helps simultaneously sweeten and thicken the fudge.
- Sea salt (optional). I love adding additional sea salt on top to balance out the sweetness and to ramp us the nuttiness, but it’s delicious with and without, so it’s up to you!
Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Fudge Tips and Tricks
Start by Melting the Butter
Grab a large pot and put it over medium heat. Add your butter to the pot and stir occasionally until its melted.
I like to use a whisk or spatula, as we will be using them later. No need to dirty up a wooden spoon, as well. Less dishes make me happy!
Green tip: Look for organic and palm oil-free butter if you can. Buying organic means you are supporting farms that do not use damaging pesticides and fertilizers, and palm oil production is a huge driver behind deforestation.
Add the Milk and Brown Sugar
Once the butter is melted, keep your pot over medium heat and stir in the milk. Then, add the brown sugar and use your whisk to stir to combine.
Continue to whisk until the butter, milk, and brown sugar mixture is smooth. Then, set your whisk aside and watch as the mixture comes to a boil.
Once it reaches a rolling bowl, time it for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, remove the pot from the heat.
Add Peanut Butter
Once you’ve removed the pot from the heat, it’s time to add your peanut butter!
Use your whisk again to integrate the peanut butter into your caramel-y butter, milk, and sugar mixture.
It may take up to 1 minutes of whisking for the consistency to become nice and smooth.
Add the Powdered Sugar to a Separate Bowl
To a separate large mixing bowl, add the powdered sugar.
For this last step, we want to get the peanut butter fudge mixture out of the hot pan. This will help to avoid the powdered sugar from getting too hot, allowing it to work as a delicious thickening agent for your fudge.
Whip Until Smooth
Pour the hot peanut butter fudge mixture into the bowl with the powdered sugar. Use a hand mixer on high to whisk.
Continue to mix, using a spatula to scrape powdered sugar off the inside of the bowl as needed, until all of the sugar is integrated. You should be left with a sticky, smooth, thick mixture.
It should almost look like plain peanut butter, but a little lighter in color and a little bit thicker.
Transfer to Baking Pan to Cool
Use a spatula to transfer the mixture to an 8×8 baking pan. There is enough butter in this recipe to make it naturally nonstick, but you can choose to line your pan for easier removal.
Use the spatula or a butter knife to smooth out the mixture, so it’s sitting evenly in the pan.
Then, transfer it to the refrigerator, uncovered, for at least an hour to cool.
Once your Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Fudge has had a chance to cool, remove it from your pan and slice it into squares.
I like to cut it in 4 even slices lengthwise, then rotate my cutting board 180° and repeat, to leave me with 16 squares that are roughly equal in size.
For the cleanest cuts, wipe off your knife in between each slice you make.
Consider Salting it
I love adding a generous amount of sea salt on top to taper the sweetness and amplify the nutty flavor.
However, the addition of extra salt is totally optional, as peanut butter already has salt in it.
Storing Your No-Bake Peanut Butter Fudge
The texture of this No-Bake Peanut Butter Fudge is best when it’s stored in the refrigerator. Place it in a sealed, airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator for up to ten days.
Green tip: Of the billions of tons of food wasted annually, it is estimated that 50% of food waste happens at home. Minimize your contribution to food waste by properly storing your food.
You can also freeze fudge for up to 6 months! To keep the integrity of the fudge while freezing it, it’s imperative that you keep out extra moisture. Wrap it with wax paper, parchment paper or aluminum foil and then store it in a freezer-safe, airtight container.
No-Bake Peanut Butter Fudge Frequently Asked Questions
What is the secret to good fudge?
The secret to good fudge is the addition of brown sugar. It adds a caramel and vanilla undertone, adding so much depth to the flavor.
That being said, it’s important to completely melt down your brown sugar to make sure no gritty sugar crystals are left behind. Following the simple instructions in this No-Bake Peanut Butter Fudge recipe will ensure you get a smooth consistency with no grit.
What causes peanut butter fudge to not harden?
Getting the perfect consistency in your peanut butter fudge is all about the cooking time. If the butter/milk/brown sugar mixture is over or undercooked, you risk the fudge not hardening.
Make sure your fudge comes to a rolling boil before setting your timer for exactly two minutes. After those two minutes, it’s important to remove the pot from the heat, rather than just turning your stovetop off.
Why You Should Make this Old-Fashioned No-Bake Peanut Butter Fudge
- The texture. The texture on this fudge is the definition of fudgy. Perfect to sink your teeth into.
- It’s easy! No bake, 5 pantry ingredients, and only 10 minutes of active cooking time.
- The flavor. The perfect balance of nutty, salty, and sweet.
No-Bake Peanut Butter Fudge (5 Ingredients!)PRINT PIN RATE
- ½ cup unsalted butter (½ cup = 1 stick)
- 1 cup milk (cows or unsweetened nondairy)
- 2 cups light or dark brown sugar (tightly packed)
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 ¼ cup powdered sugar (aka confectioners' sugar)
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt (optional)
- Add butter to a large pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally until it's completely melted.
- Add milk and brown sugar to the melted butter and whisk until smooth. Then, set your whisk down and watch as your mixture comes to a boil.
- Once it's reached a rolling boil, set your timer for two minutes. After two minutes of boiling, remove the pot from the heat and whisk in peanut butter.
- To a large mixing bowl, add the powdered sugar and the peanut butter fudge mixture. Use a hand mixer on high to mix until smooth.
- Transfer peanut butter fudge mixture to an 8×8-inch baking pan. Use a spatula to smooth out the mixture so that it's spread evenly in the pan. *
- Place the pan in the refrigerator to cool for at least an hour.
- Remove the fudge from the pan and use a sharp knife to slice into 16 roughly even squares. Option to add sea salt. Store in the fridge and enjoy within 10 days.
- *You have the option to line the baking pan with parchment paper for easier removal, but the fudge has enough butter in it to make it naturally nonstick, so it’s up to you!
- This fudge is best when stored in the refrigerator. It can also be frozen for up to 6 months.
- If you’re a peanut butter lover like me, check out this peanut butter centric recipes!