This old fashioned peanut butter fudge recipe is truly decadent. This is the best recipe if you're short for time in the kitchen and still want a delicious dessert with a rich and creamy peanut butter flavor. We only use four ingredients and everything comes together in 10 minutes!
It seems as though life has been so busy lately... you can relate, right? When things are busy, I always default to my quick and easy desserts. I love making oatmeal applesauce muffins for a quick breakfast, or soft pumpkin cookies for an indulgent treat. When I need an easy homemade gift for the holidays this microwave fudge recipe is my go-to!
Why you'll love this recipe
Level of Difficulty: Traditional fudge needs skill, precision, and a candy thermometer. If you're looking for a simple, fail-safe recipe, try this old fashioned peanut butter fudge recipe. I almost feel guilty sharing this recipe with you, it's just that simple! The hardest thing you do will be waiting 2 hours for it to harden in the refrigerator.
Taste & Texture: These little squares of fudge literally melt in your mouth! They have a distinctly creamy peanut butter flavor to them, which tempers some of the sweetness. They're a delicious treat that reminds me of the homemade candy of my childhood.
Key ingredients and why we use them
- Peanut Butter: Since this recipe is so simple, make sure you are using quality ingredients. Peanut butter is the star of this recipe, so make sure you chose a brand that you really like. I'm a fan of making my own peanut butter and then using it in this recipe.
- Butter: A quality brand of butter gives this recipe it's indulgent and smooth texture. My favorite brands of butter are Grassland, Fall Creek, Lurpak, and Plugra.
- Confectioner's Sugar: These treats are loaded with sweetness and it all comes from the confectioner's sugar. Make sure you sift your sugar in advance to remove any lumps!
- Vanilla Extract: Just a dash of vanilla extract pulls everything together in this recipe. I had originally published this without the vanilla extract, but I think it adds a nice touch.
Frequently asked questions
How do I measure peanut butter?
Measuring peanut butter can quickly turn into a gooey mess as you try to scrape everything out of the measuring cup without leaving anything behind. To make this process easier, spray your measuring cup with cooking spray before adding the peanut butter. Then when you’re finished, it should slide out of the cup with no mess at all!
What bowl should I use in the microwave?
Glass and ceramic are usually your best bet for microwave use. Some plastics can be used in the microwave but be sure you look for the "heat proof" or "microwave safe" label on the bottom. Regardless of what you use, remember that your dish will always be HOT! Be sure you use potholders when removing your dish from the microwave.
HEATHER'S HELPFUL HINT
Before slicing your fudge, run your knife under hot water for 15 seconds. This will warm up the blade and allow you to cut through the bars with ease! Repeat as necessary while slicing your bars.
Step by step: How to make peanut butter fudge
1. Mix together the butter and peanut butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl.
2. Cover with plastic wrap and poke a few holes for the steam to vent. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Remove bowl from microwave and stir. Return and microwave for 2 more minutes.
3. Using a wooden spoon or large rubber spatula, mix in the vanilla and then add the sifted confectioners’ sugar. The mixture will become crumbly and hard and lose its sheen.
4. Press the fudge into your prepared 8-inch pan. Smooth the top with a spatula or the back of a spoon. The top will have an oily sheen. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and refrigerate until cool—about 2 hours.
5. Once cooled, use a warm, sharp knife to cut the fudge into squares. Wipe down the knife if the fudge accumulates while you are cutting.
Make-ahead and storage tips
- You can make your fudge 1-2 days in advance and then leave it tightly covered in the refrigerator. When you're ready to serve, simply take it out and cut it into squares.
- Store your fudge in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- You can also freeze your fudge. Just make sure to wrap it in plastic and store it in a freezer bag. I sometimes make a batch of this for holiday gifts a month in advance and then store it in the freezer. It's a great way to save some time around the holidays!
There are a number of different ways to switch up this recipe according to your taste!
- You could shape the fudge mixture into balls and then dip them in melted chocolate for a bite-sized chocolate treat!
- Any type of chocolate add-in would be a delicious addition to this recipe. I'm thinking of miniature Reese's peanut butter cups or roughly chopped Snickers bars... YUM!
- If you're looking for a different flavor combination, I really like this white chocolate fudge recipe that uses white chocolate chips and condensed milk!
Enjoy some more candy recipes
Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Fudge
- 8-inch square pan
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup smooth peanut butter
- 3¾ cup confectioners' sugar sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Line an 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the edges for easy removal later. Spray the pan with baking spray and set it aside.
- Mix together the butter and peanut butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and poke a few holes for the steam to vent. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Remove bowl from microwave and stir. Return and microwave for 2 more minutes.
- Using a wooden spoon or large rubber spatula, mix in the vanilla and then add the sifted confectioners’ sugar. The mixture will become crumbly and hard and lose its sheen.
- Press the fudge into your prepared 8-inch pan. Smooth the top with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and refrigerate until cool—about 2 hours.
- Once cooled, use a warm, sharp knife to cut the fudge into squares. Wipe down the knife if the fudge accumulates while you are cutting.
Notes and Tips
- Use caution when handling the hot bowl of peanut butter and butter. Steam will escape when you remove the plastic wrap and the bowl will be incredibly hot.
- Since this recipe is so simple, make sure you are using quality ingredients. Peanut butter is the star of this recipe, so make sure you chose a brand that you really like. You might even want to opt for the "make it yourself" peanut butter you can get at stores like Whole Foods.
This recipe was originally posted in April 2013. It was updated in February 2021 with new pictures and a few updates to the recipe