This vegan peanut butter fudge calls for just four ingredients and only takes a few minutes to make. It’s naturally gluten-free, grain-free, and dairy-free and has a paleo option. It can also be made with butter. It’s sweetened with maple syrup, which gives it a slightly caramel-like texture!
I originally posted this recipe a few years ago but know that some people were hesitant to make it, a little unsure about the “boil for 2 minutes step.”
So I made a video to show you just how easy it is! No candy thermometer is needed – you really just bring it to a boil and stir for 2 minutes. So easy!
If you’re still unsure about making it, check out the reviews below!
I’m calling this vegan peanut butter fudge but it’s almost like a cross between caramel and fudge. You’ve either got to have some self-control or have a buddy around when making this fudge. Safety in numbers!
Easy recipe with basic ingredients
All you do to make this peanut butter fudge is mix everything together, boil for 2 minutes, and then freeze. The boiling step is what sets this fudge recipe apart from other vegan peanut butter fudge recipes. It makes for an amazing texture!
All that’s needed is natural peanut butter – the kind with just peanuts and salt – maple syrup, coconut oil (or butter if you can eat dairy) and vanilla.
If you’re vegan, definitely check out my post on Is Maple Syrup Vegan? Some manufacturers use an animal product during production (that’s not required to be listed on the bottle) that you may or not be okay with.
And as far as fudge goes, I think this is pretty darned healthy. Like the chocolate almond butter recipe I just posted, it has quite a bit of maple syrup.
But I’ll take that over a typical peanut butter fudge recipe with the regular, junky (but delicious!) peanut butter and powdered sugar.
Using honey instead of maple syrup?
If you’re wondering if honey will work, I don’t recommend it. One commenter used honey with success but made some other changes to the recipe. You can read her comment here.
I don’t recommend honey because the texture is totally different and the fudge tastes way too much of honey. It also took a lot longer to boil to get to the right consistency.
I had the same issue with honey in my no-bake oatmeal cookies and no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies.
It seems as if when you need to boil the maple syrup, then honey is not a direct sub. And the result is usually less balanced than the maple syrup version.
What kind of fat to use
I’ve tried this fudge recipe with unrefined coconut oil, and while it doesn’t taste coconut-y, the coconut flavor detracts just a bit from the maple peanut butter taste just a bit.
When you use refined coconut oil, which doesn’t have any coconut flavor, the maple and peanut butter flavors just stand out even more. Both versions are great, though!
If you don’t need this peanut butter fudge to be vegan and you can eat dairy, you can use regular butter. If vegan butter works, I have no idea as I’ve never used it.
What kind of pan to use
After you boil the fudge, you pour it into a parchment-lined container and freeze it. You can also use a mini muffin pan.
To line the muffin pan, you have to use waxed or silicone liners. If you use regular paper ones, they’ll likely be difficult to remove. If you use the waxed or silicone kind, you’ll get some perfect looking pieces of fudge.
My fudge isn’t setting in the freezer!
Did you make any changes at all to the recipe? Sometimes people say they followed a recipe to a tee but then it turns out that they used sugar-free “maple syrup.”
This is a gigantic change. You really need to follow the recipe for it to turn out properly.
Did you let it boil for the full 2 minutes until it had thickened a bit? It won’t set if you don’t boil it long enough.
Or did you boil it too long? If you do that, then it might separate. I’ve had this happen a few times.
At first, it seems hopeless but after vigorously mixing, I could get the oil reincorporated. But it’s much easier to just not let it boil too long. Set a timer and don’t leave it!
Did you stir your peanut butter before using it? If your peanut butter had a layer of oil at the top of the jar and then you poured all of that oil into the measuring cup, then that would be your issue.
You just added a bunch of oil to the recipe that shouldn’t have been there. You need to stir your peanut butter every time you use it. And don’t pour out the oil before stirring the peanut butter in the jar!
Conversely, if you opened a new jar of peanut butter and poured out the layer of oil at the top, then your peanut butter doesn’t have the right amount of fat in it. And neither will the recipe.
That could result in your fudge being a bit difficult to chew.
This vegan peanut butter fudge isn’t totally firm when refrigerated, which is why I keep mine in the freezer. I also froze it as a self-preservation tactic.
It didn’t work. If you find this fudge as addictive as I do, it’s hopeless. It’s easy to halve the recipe and if you use grams instead of measuring cups, it’s easy to make a fourth or an eighth.
An eighth will give you three pieces and you can just go to town on them and then not feel bad. ;) If you do that or make just half, you need to reduce the cooking time. You’ll know it’s ready once it thickens a little and looks glossy.
I’ve also tested a paleo option. Just use cashew butter. The result is super delicious and maple + cashews really go so well together.
I’ve made this with sunflower seed butter multiple times but it’s kind of weird. The taste is great but sunflower seed butter is so much thinner than peanut butter.
It takes longer to boil and half the time, it doesn’t set properly. So only use that if you’re willing to experiment. What’s better is to use a mix of sunflower seed butter + cashew butter.
When you do a 50 / 50 mix of the two, it has the same consistency as peanut butter AND it tastes closer to peanut butter than just plain sunflower seed butter.
Store-bought versus homemade peanut butter
Both work just fine in this recipe! I like using homemade peanut butter because I know it’ll always taste good and it’s cheaper.
I don’t think this is a problem in the US, but in Germany (and I’m guessing some other countries around the world), there is some really nasty natural peanut butter out there.
The peanuts are supposedly roasted and the only other ingredient is salt but it tastes terrible. I don’t know how they manage to screw up peanut butter.
So if you want to make your own you don’t have natural peanut butter on hand, here’s how to make peanut butter. You just need roasted peanuts and a food processor or high-speed blender!
Prefer a chocolate version?
I’ve got lots of options for you! They’re all vegan and paleo or have a paleo option.
- This chocolate peanut butter fudge is even easier than this peanut butter fudge recipe! All you do is melt everything.
- If you want something super rich and chocolaty, try my vegan fudge.
- This paleo fudge is also quite rich, maple-sweetened and has a more complex (and I think delicious) taste than regular fudge.
For more peanut buttery Christmas treats, try my healthy peanut butter balls or vegan peanut butter cookies! I also have these keto peanut butter cups, which can be made non-keto by using maple syrup.
Please let me know if you try this fudge out! I’d love to hear how you liked it.
Questions about this peanut butter fudge?
- What can I use instead of maple syrup? I’ve tried honey but it doesn’t really work. You don’t get the right caramel-like texture and the end result tastes strongly of honey.
Another thinner liquid sweetener might possibly work but I haven’t tried it so I really can’t say for sure if it’d work.
- Can I reduce the amount of maple syrup? Nope. If you did, the fudge wouldn’t have the right texture. I think it could maybe be too chewy and difficult to eat.
- What can I use instead of coconut oil? Butter works for a non-vegan and non-dairy-free version. I’m not sure about ghee or any other fat.
Also, here are some resources if you’re new to the vegan or gluten-free diet:
- Is Peanut Butter Gluten-free?
- Is Peanut Butter Vegan?
- Is Maple Syrup Gluten-free?
- Is Maple Vegan?
- Is Vanilla Extract Gluten-free?
- Is Vanilla Extract Vegan?
I hope you’ll enjoy the fudge! :)
Vegan Peanut Butter Fudge (4 ingredients, paleo option)
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- Ready in:
- Yield: 24 pieces of fudge
- 1 cup (240 milliliters) pure maple syrup
- 2/3 cup (170 grams) natural peanut butter (the kind with just salt and peanuts) or cashew butter for a paleo version
- 1/2 cup (113 grams) refined coconut oil1 (or normal butter for non-vegan)
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup (110 grams) roasted salted peanuts or cashews, coarsely chopped, optional – divided
- Line a 9"x5" loaf pan with parchment paper. Line a mini muffin pan with 12 waxed or silicone muffin liners.
- In a small saucepan, mix together the maple syrup, peanut butter and coconut oil over medium heat.
- If your peanut butter is unsalted, add a pinch of salt.
- At first it might not appear to come together well. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil and while continuing to stir constantly, boil for about 2 minutes. It should have thickened a bit and become glossy. If you use a heavy bottom pan, you may need to boil it a little longer.
- Stir in the vanilla until well combined.
- Stir in 2/3 cup chopped nuts, if using.
- Pour into the prepared pan, top with chopped peanuts and place the pan in the freezer.
- If you don't have room in your freezer, refrigerate for a few hours until firm and then transfer the fudge pieces to a small container that does fit in your freezer.
- Freeze for about 2-3 hours. If you made individual pieces, the liners will be easy to remove once the fudge has thoroughly frozen. They'll stick if you try to remove them too early.
- This fudge does not travel well (unless you have a cooler!). It should be kept frozen and can be kept frozen for several months. But there's 0% chance it'll last that long.
176 comments on “Vegan Peanut Butter Fudge (4 ingredients, caramel-like!)” — Add one!
2 comments are awaiting moderation!
I’m going to try the sugar free syrup and a little bit of xanthum gum. I’ll let you know if it thickens properly!
I hope it worked out well! :)
This is so amazing! My daughter said it was best fudge that almost tasted like taffy that she’s ever had. It is perfectly sweet and the texture is just right. Yummmm
I’m so happy that your daughter liked it so much! I think this fudge has the same texture as regular fudge. Did you maybe make the recipe titled “Paleo Fudge (vegan and super creamy!)” and it’s almond butter and maple-based? Because that one is kind of taffy-like! If not, never mind me. 😄 Thanks for your feedback!
No, we made this one but she likes it when it’s been out of the freezer for a little while so it’s taffy-like. I like it right out of the freezer so it’s just like fudge. We need to make more! 😉
Ah, okay, gotcha! That makes sense. Did you make it keto? :)
If I decided to half this recipe would I still boil for the full 2 minutes or boil less time?
I’m so very sorry for just now seeing your question! It was in spam for some odd reason. I often make half or even fourth batches of this but for some dumb reason, have never added the boiling time to the recipe. I’ve made it so many times now that I just eyeball it, which I know doesn’t help you at all. I’m going to guess it’s more like 1 to 1/2 minutes for a half batch. Please watch the video so you can see what the texture is like! I hope you’ll enjoy it. :)
just wanted to say i’ve been making this recipe for years and it’s a huge hit among my friends, vegan and non-vegan alike! i love everything about it, especially the unconventional smooth oily texture. also, this always makes 16 for me not just 12!
Hi Felix! I’m so terribly sorry for just now seeing your comment. It got stuck in spam somehow. :/ I’m so glad that you’ve been enjoying the recipe the last years! And awesome that everyone enjoys it. :) Thanks a bunch for your nice feedback (and sorry again!)
Did you use natural peanut butter without any added ingredients? If you didn’t change anything at all I’m not sure what the issue could be. I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful!
I saw people having problems with SF maple syrup. I was able to get it to work and it was great. I make something similar with coconut oil, pecan butter, coco power and liquid stevia, so I made it similar and it worked. I microwaved the coconut oil and peanut butter 1 minute, I didn’t measure the maple syrup but just poured some in and stirred it. I also spread it on parchment paper on a baking sheet. More like bark, then froze it. It’s so good, I was getting tired of my Chocolate version. Thanks for the idea!
Thanks for your tip! What brand of sugar-free maple syrup did you use? I’d like to try it, too! Thanks again. :)
I used Walden Farms brand.
Can you use butter instead of coconut oil?
Yes, that works!
Erin, these are delicious! They turned out perfectly, and now I have something to fill my sweet tooth without processed sugar:)
I’m so glad you liked them and that they came out well! Thanks for your feedback. :)
I’ve made it twice with the Bega peanut butter turned out perfectly but today I used sugar free maple syrup and it only separated I tried to remove most of the oil I hope it works out
I don’t think sugar-free maple syrup works the same way real maple syrup does. I don’t think it be used to make anything candy-like that you boil (like this recipe). Did it work out?
I hope you’ll get to try it out! :)
Just made these! I may have overboiled the mixture as it seprated slightly but I just removed the excess oil at that point. Worried they would turn out hard as a result but they didn’t. They were perfectly fudgy! I actually topped each liner with a teaspoon of your other recipe (chocolate peanut butter fudge) and the combination was wonderful! Had to stop my husband from eating the whole batch! Thank you!
And thank you for leaving feedback on this recipe, too! I appreciate it all. :) Definitely boil a little less next time. As soon as it has thickened a bit, you can remove it from the heat. Thanks again for your comments!
I’m sorry for just now seeing your question! If you let it boil too long, it might cause it to separate. But you should be able to remix it! Or did you make any subs?
Aha that was probably it it did look perfect then i was washing dishes and must ha e let it go on too long! Thanks so much!
You’re welcome! I’m glad we found the issue. :) Hope you can try it again!
This recipe looks lovely! Has anyone tried it with xylitol syrup so it’s lower in carbs?
Thanks! I’m not so hopeful that that’d work. I don’t believe xylitol syrup caramelizes. Or does it? I think that’s key for this recipe to work. Sorry I don’t have a better answer for you!
I’ve never used Cana-coconut oil and don’t know anything about it. If it’s supposed to work exactly like regular coconut oil, then I’m not sure what the problem is if you used silicone or waxed liners (I’m hoping you saw the note in the recipe post and recipe). If you boiled it until it thickened a little, then it should definitely firm up enough once frozen to remove the liners.
Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! I made it and it’s delicious!!! I’ll bet it would also be and amazing frosting!!
You’re welcome! I’m happy that it came out well. It really is yummy as a frosting! Thanks for your comment (and sorry for my slow reply!).
Yes, it’s a fudge recipe that uses maple syrup. I don’t really do low-carb recipes. Sorry about that!
I have made this 4 times now. My whole family loves it. Each time I have done it differently, and each time it has been very good. We used peanut butter, then sunflower butter, then a combination. And then I added a pecan at the bottom of the muffin cup to hold down the parchment paper. We really liked that batch. I just bought the silicone mini muffin cups to make it easier.
It’s great that you’ve been trying out different versions of these! I can recommend cashew butter if you haven’t tried already. :) And yes – the silicone cups make it so much easier! Definitely worth the investment. ;) Thanks for your comment!
hey! i was wondering how many calories this has???
I don’t have that info but you could use this recipe analyzer for the nutritional profile.
A MILLION DELIOUS HEAVENLY ONES! LOL
Haha. Yeah. That’s my attitude. It’s fudge. ;)
This recipe was great! We are doing paleo, and some days you just need a treat. This fit the bill perfectly. My husband said, this can’t be on the plan. This is too good. That says it all.
Haha. Well I’m happy he didn’t think it was on the plan! That’s always a good sign. ;) Thanks so much for your comment!
Sub for coconut oil?
Butter is also listed in the recipe.
I tried it; family kids and grands LOVED it, so now I’m making it again, and again… thanks so much for posting. It’s crazy easy to make and SOOO delicious.
I give this recipe a 10/10!
Haha. It’s a good recipe to make again and again! Good thing it’s so easy, right? :) Thanks a bunch for your comment! I’m so happy you and your family enjoyed it.
Do you have the nutritional information for the fudge?
I don’t have that info but could use this recipe analyzer if you’d like for the nutritional profile. :)
This 4 ingredient maple peanut butter fudge recipe so extravagant:) I’m afraid I will not find the ingredients for this recipe! Thanks Erin for sharing
I’m so very sorry for just now seeing your comment (that landed up in spam for whatever reason). Which ingredients can’t you find? :(
How long does this stay good for? I really want to make it for my mom for her birthday and was just wondering how far in advance I can make it!
Hi there! Sorry for the slow reply. You can keep it frozen for at least a month. :) Hope she’ll enjoy it and have a happy birthday!
made these last n8ght with crunchy peanut butter so delicious added a little more salt and grinder almonds into the mix so delicious! tnx for the recipe will def use it again :D
You’re welcome! So happy that you’ll be making it again. :) Almonds sounds like a yummy addition! Thanks for your comment.
I am obsessed with desserts! Definitely this 4 ingredient maple peanut butter fudge will be yummy! I’m seriously so inspired right now. I need to add cinnamon to recipe and it would be perfect. Thx for sharing Erin!
You’re welcome! Hope you’ll enjoy it. :) I bet it’d be great with cinnamon!
Try this variation. Make your own pecan butter (toasted or not), use kerry gold grass fed butter. After boiling freeze as one solid piece in parchment overnight. Put about 1/4 cup toasted macademia nuts in foid processor and chop till small pieces. Once fuge frozen spoon a small ball size about – half or whole tablespoon onto another parchment (try not to touch it alot as body temp makes it melt quick and it’s quite sticky). Then put in freezer till it sets enough that you can roll it into crushed macadamia nuts. OMG!! Erin you are a blessing! Your recipes are soil delicious and now that I have to be careful of unhealthy ingredients your recipes are a Godsend! My family loves your apple muffins and I do too along with the chocolate ones!
Hi Deana! I’m so sorry for just now replying. Things have been chaotic around here lately. Your variation sounds delicious! I’ll definitely have to try it. I’ve tried it with pecan butter and some fall spices for a pecan pie version and it was amazing. :) I’m so very happy that you’ve been enjoying the recipes! Thanks a ton for your nice comment and sorry again for my slow reply.
Hi, could almond butter and ghee be used in place of PB and coconut oil? I’m Paleo but no access to cashew butter, and on a real ghee kick lately.
I haven’t tried ghee so I’m not sure but I know that almond butter works. I’d love to hear how it comes out if you try. :)
Ghee works and is delicious!
Thanks for the tip! :)
Hi I cannot eat Maple Syrup (or honey which can’t be used)… can I use raw sugar and add water? Or make some sort of sugar syrup?
Hi! I’ve never used sugar syrup so I’m really not sure but I’m not too optimistic about that or sugar + water. It’s so much thinner and not as sticky as maple syrup. Sorry I don’t have a better answer for you!
I hope you’ll see my reply! The email address you left doesn’t seem to be valid.