Skip to main content

This 4-step peanut butter fudge recipe is a perfect last-minute Christmas gift

Remember this easy peanut butter fudge recipe for those last-minute Christmas gifts

Most consider making fudge a laborious process, and that’s true for traditional chocolate fudge. Peanut butter fudge isn’t quite as difficult, though, and there are several ways to get great results. Instead of stress-buying last-minute Christmas gifts that special someone doesn’t want, go home and make some peanut butter fudge!




2 hours

What You Need

  • Microwave-safe bowl

  • Plastic wrap

  • Silicon spatula

  • Glass or metal pan for fudge to set (see notes)

  • Parchment paper (optional; see notes)

  • Offset spatula (optional)

  • 2 sticks (224 grams) unsalted butter

  • 1 cup (260 grams) creamy peanut butter

  • 3-3/4 cups powdered sugar (455 grams)

  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract

At its core, peanut butter fudge is a nutty dessert that is essentially sweetened peanut butter with added fat, typically butter. Recipes often call for brand-name peanut butter like Jif or Skippy because they’re laden with emulsifiers and stabilizers that help the fudge retain its form factor and resist melting if left out. (We prefer natural peanut butter, but there’s a good reason to use "traditional" peanut butter too — read on to find out why.)

The recipe below is about as basic as you can get, though we’ve found an even simpler method we’ll include in our FAQs.

Peanut butter fudge as a gift
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Alton Brown's Easy Peanut Butter Fudge

Alton Brown’s recipe uses peanut butter, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla. He tosses his fudge in the microwave, too. All told, this is about the simplest recipe we could find which still gives you a fudge you’d be proud to gift.

Notes for making peanut butter fudge

  • Pro tip: grease pan with butter wrappers.
  • Parchment paper is optional but preferred. If you don’t have parchment paper, wax paper works. Plastic wrap can also be used but makes unmolding fudge from the pan difficult and doesn’t yield the smoothest results. If you want beautiful fudge, parchment is best.
  • You can use just about any square or rectangular pan to ‘set’ fudge; just be mindful that larger pans will give you small fudge cubes. Larger pans also make it more difficult to remove fudge. We prefer an 8×8 or 9×13 pan; if you need smaller fudge cubes, just keep cutting them down.
Alton Brown's Easy Peanut Butter Fudge
Festively dressed mother and children baking Christmas desserts together
Image used with permission by copyright holder

How to make peanut butter fudge for Christmas

Step 1: Place butter and peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl.

Step 2: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and poke a few holes in the plastic to allow steam to escape.

Step 3: Microwave on high for 4 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Step 4: While butter and peanut butter are heating, butter and line an 8 x 8 or 9 x 13 pan.

Step 5: Carefully and quickly mix powdered sugar into the heated butter and peanut butter mixture.

Step 6: About halfway through mixing, add vanilla extract.

Step 7: When ingredients are fully incorporated, dump the fudge into the prepared pan.

Step 8: Smooth to the edges and cover loosely with parchment paper.

Step 9: Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Step 10: When the fudge is set, simply remove it from the pan and cut as desired.

Step 11: When you’re ready, put the fudge in any gift-wrapping receptacle you like and gift it!

Holiday dessert gift boxes
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Peanut Butter Fudge FAQs

I don’t like big-brand peanut butter. Can I use natural peanut butter?

Absolutely, just know results may vary. Food Wishes has a great video on making fudge with natural peanut butter, but the results are a bit crumbly. If you’re not worried about aesthetics, we say go for it.

Is there an easier way to make peanut butter fudge?

Wow, really? Easier? Yeah, we’ve got you. Take two cans of sweetened condensed milk, and five cups of peanut butter chips, and microwave on high for 90 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds. When peanut butter chips are melted, dump the mix into a prepared pan and let set for 2 or more hours. Cut as desired.

I’m vegan, now what?

Joshua Weissman has a great vegan peanut butter fudge using coconut oil and maple syrup. Check it out.

The holiday season is stressful enough when you're rushing to buy and make gifts for everyone you love. Make this year's holiday to-do list a bit simpler by giving easy-to-make, delicious peanut butter fudge as last-minute Christmas gifts.

Editors' Recommendations

Nate Swanner
Nate is General Manager for all not-Digital-Trends properties at DTMG, including The Manual, Digital Trends en Espanol…
The best flan pans to ensure sweet custard perfection every time
Create creamy desserts, tarts, and quiches at home with these pans
Custard creme caramel flan dessert

If you want to enjoy a rich and creamy flan dessert in the comforts of your home kitchen, you need the right recipe, a bit of technique, and the right pan. The best flan pans feature nonstick coating to help ensure cleanup and perfect edges. A great flan pan can elevate the consistency level in your home dessert making and is a great addition to any kitchen.

Choosing the best pans for making this popular dessert can be tough since there are many options to choose from -- from metal, loose-bottom pie dishes to solid-glass dishes. We’ve done the research for the best flan pans available so you can get to cooking your favorite mouthwatering dessert.
Zenker Non-Stick Carbon Steel Flan Pan
Best flan pan overall

Read more
You can make these healthy, delicious pork chop recipes in just 30 minutes
healthy pork chop recipes chops cooking on outdoor patio grill with smoke and flames photo series

It's time to look beyond beef, chicken, and fish during your next trip to the grocery store. There’s a protein option you may be overlooking that packs a healthy dose of nutrition and should be a big part of your regular eating routine: pork. 

Pork is an excellent choice for tasty, low-calorie appetizers, lunches, and dinners. As pork needs to be thoroughly cooked, some roast pork recipes may take a bit more time than you can handle on a busy weeknight. The more manageable size pork chops you buy, the faster they will cook, making them a practical choice for any day of the week. Here are some of our favorite healthy pork chop recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less that will have you and your family feeling satisfied.

Read more
4 fantastic items Costco shoppers swear by for healthier eating
Person grocery shopping with a Costco membership

We all love a good bargain buy (especially with food costs on the rise these days). But we also love healthy eating — and luckily, you don’t have to sacrifice good choices for the sake of saving a few bucks. The next time you put together your Costco grocery list, you’ll want to add these healthy foods and snacks. Not only are they excellent for your diet, but they’re delicious, too. How do we know? Because these are the Costco healthy foods regular shoppers say are their go-to favorites.

Pre-washed spinach
Anyone who grew up with Popeye knows how good spinach is for you. Chock full of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, iron, folate, and potassium, this healthy food is also versatile: You can use it to prepare a salad, an omelet, a smoothie, dip, and so much more.

Read more