As with my mother and grandmothers before me, I spend some portion of every December preparing an array of sweet treats to share with (and send to) folks I care about. And sure, creating a dozen varieties of sugar-laden cookies and candies over the course of a weekend requires an iron stomach and a superhuman ability to generate insulin, but some of the best and most delicious candies are actually very simple to throw together. Take this soft and luscious peanut butter fudge, for instance. All told, making a batch of this fudge takes no more than 15 minutes, most of which is spent stirring.

I almost never eat candy the rest of the year, but this has long been one of my favorite holiday desserts. If you’re a fan of penuche, my guess is that you’ll be a fan of this fudge. It’s a dense, smooth, and sweet candy with a mild but satisfying flavor.

You will need a candy thermometer to make this recipe. For those of you who are new to this, you’ll be cooking your sugar to soft ball stage. The basic idea is that sugar changes in texture the hotter it gets. If you’re at soft ball stage and you put a drop of your hot sugar mixture into a glass of ice water, it will form a soft ball that you can squeeze between your fingers. If it dissolves, or just turns into a thin thread, it hasn’t cooked long enough, and will not set as firmly as desired for fudge. Once sugar reaches soft ball stage, its temperature will continue to rise rapidly, and if you aren’t careful to turn off the heat as soon as it’s reached the right temperature, your fudge will set, but it will be hard, dry, and grainy. You can test your thermometer for accuracy before attempting candy by placing it in a pot of boiling water and checking to see that the temperature reads 212°F. Adjust your desired cooking temperature accordingly.

Don’t let that scare you off, though! As long as you’re patient, most candy-making is really easy once you get the hang of it. And this is really a wonderful recipe to have up your sleeve. Of the dozens of candies and cookies I’ve made during the holiday season over the years, this one is by far the most requested.


4.5 from 2 reviews
Easy Vegan Peanut Butter Fudge
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1.5 lbs
  • 2 c granulated sugar
  • ⅔ c plain, unsweetened plant milk (I use soy or almond)
  • 1 c vegan marshmallow cream*
  • 1 c peanut butter (creamy, sweetened)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Grease an 8×8″ pan, or line with wax paper.
  2. Measure out all ingredients and set aside for easy access.
  3. In a medium saucepan, stir together sugar and plant milk.
  4. Over medium heat, bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently.
  5. Stirring constantly (to ensure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan), continue to cook until mixture reaches soft ball stage (235-240°F). It will foam up, but as long as you keep stirring, it won't overflow!
  6. Remove from heat and rapidly beat in peanut butter and marshmallow cream until smooth.
  7. Quickly beat in vanilla.
  8. Pour into prepared pan and tilt the pan to distribute evenly (once it starts hardening, using a spatula to spread it will mar the finish).
  9. Refrigerate to set, at least 1 hour.
  10. When fully hardened, peel away wax paper (if using) and slice into small squares.
If your oven happens to be on while you’re making this recipe, stick the pan in the oven to heat up while you’re mixing the ingredients together; it’ll help the fudge spread evenly.
If you want very tall fudge (like that pictured), use a 9" loaf pan instead.
For easy slicing, line your pan with waxed paper and grease that instead. Once fudge has set, lift out of pan, peel off paper, and slice on a cutting board.

*While it’s possible to make your own marshmallow cream, I like to use Suzanne’s Ricemellow Creme.