This Buckeye Fudge is a fun twist on traditional buckeyes. With smooth, creamy peanut butter fudge topped with a layer of rich chocolate fudge, this homemade fudge recipe is a guaranteed hit. Perfect for gift-giving too!
Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge
If you’re a fan of buckeye candy, then you’re going to LOVE this Buckeye Fudge. It has all the same great taste, with less work!
This recipe begins with an easy peanut butter fudge that is then topped with a simple yet decadent, 3-ingredient chocolate fudge. Together, they make the most addictive chocolate peanut butter fudge.
This treat is great for the holidays…or absolutely any time the chocolate + peanut butter craving strikes. It’s a great addition to Christmas cookie platters, plus it makes a fun homemade gift – just package some up and tie on a pretty ribbon, everyone loves it!
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What Are Buckeyes?
This buckeye fudge is a riff on traditional buckeyes, which are no-bake peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate.
Buckeyes first became popular in Ohio, “The Buckeye State”, and are named after the buckeye nut which has a dark brown shell with a smaller, tan center showing. No surprise, the chocolate-peanut butter combo is so popular that buckeye candy is now a hit everywhere.
The flavors in this fudge copy the original buckeye recipe, but this time with soft, creamy peanut butter fudge topped with chocolate fudge. The same great flavor combo, just a little different texture.
This buckeye fudge consists of two layers – the creamy peanut butter fudge at the base, plus a thinner layer of chocolate fudge on top. Below are the ingredients you’ll need for both. Scroll down to the recipe box for the measurements.
For the Peanut Butter Layer:
- Unsalted butter
- Creamy peanut butter – We use Skippy or Jif. Just do not use a “natural” peanut butter, which does not have the right texture or consistency for making fudge.
- Reese’s peanut butter chips – Adding peanut butter chips gives these even more of a rich peanut butter flavor, plus a great texture.
- Pure vanilla extract
- Powdered sugar – Be sure to measure and then sift well. Sifting the powdered sugar is essential for creating a smooth texture.
- Kosher salt
- Marshmallow creme – Helps achieve the perfect texture in the fudge, not too hard, not too soft. Plus it adds some sweetness. I use the Kraft brand.
For the Chocolate Layer:
- Sweetened condensed milk – Gives the melted chocolate a soft, smooth, and creamy texture, plus sweetness.
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips- Be sure to use a high-quality brand. I use and recommend Guittard brand.
- Unsalted butter
How to Make Buckeye Fudge
This homemade chocolate peanut butter fudge is quick and easy to make. Just know that it needs to cool for a few hours before enjoying it.
- Make the peanut butter mixture. Stir the butter, peanut butter, and peanut butter chips over medium heat until melted and completely smooth. Reduce the heat and add the vanilla.
- Add powdered sugar & marshmallow creme Fold in the sifted powdered sugar and salt until the mixture is completely smooth. Stir in the marshmallow creme until fully incorporated.
- Transfer peanut butter mixture to pan. Spread peanut butter mixture evenly in a pan lined with parchment paper or foil.
- Add the marshmallow creme. Stir in the marshmallow creme until fully incorporated. Spread evenly in a pan lined with parchment paper or foil.
- Make the chocolate mixture. In a separate saucepan, stir the sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, and butter until completely melted and smooth. Spread evenly over the peanut butter mixture.
- Cool and slice. Cool on the counter for 3-4 hours or in the fridge for 2 hours. Remove the fudge from the pan and slice it into 64 pieces.
The Best Way to Cut Fudge
Here’s the easiest way I’ve found to cut this buckeye fudge (and all other homemade fudge).
- Cool first. The fudge needs to set before cutting. 2 hours in the fridge is the sweet spot for this fudge, where it still has a touch of softness to it and is very easy to make clean cuts.
- Remove from the pan. Use the parchment paper edges to lift the fudge from the pan, then transfer it to a cutting board.
- Slice into 64 pieces. Use a sharp, non-serrated (smooth) knife to slice 8 cuts in each direction for a total of 64 pieces. I find that most people don’t want any larger piece than that – and if they do, they can just take more pieces!
Tips for Homemade Fudge
Here are a few things I’ve found helpful in making the best homemade fudge.
- Stir the peanut butter mixture constantly. To prevent burning and help the ingredients incorporate easily, stir the mixture constantly or at least nearly constantly.
- SIFT THE POWDERED SUGAR. This is the most essential part of making the smoothest, lump-free peanut butter fudge. Measure the powdered sugar first, then sift it before adding it to the peanut butter mixture. This removes any large lumps.
- Whisk out any remaining lumps. If the mixture appears to have small lumps or just looks “grainy”, then vigorously whisk the mixture while the pan is still over low heat. Another tip is to use a rubber spatula to “smoosh” the peanut butter mixture against the bottom and sides of the pan to break down any remaining lumps.
- Add a topping. If desired, finish off the fudge with a sprinkle of sea salt flakes for a sweet and salty twist. Or add some sprinkles for some festive flare!
Storage & Gift Giving
This buckeye fudge will keep well for up to a week when stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Separate any layers with parchment paper.
If you want to give fudge as a gift, you can use festive airtight containers or cellophane bags. Just be sure to seal them tightly. A pretty ribbon is always fun!
Can I Freeze Buckeye Fudge?
Homemade fudge is great for freezing. Slice as desired, then place in a freezer-safe container or plastic baggie. Use parchment paper between layers to prevent them from sticking. Freeze for up to 3 months, then thaw in the fridge before enjoying.
More Peanut Butter Desserts:
- Peanut Butter Fudge
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie
- Peanut Butter Truffles with Marshmallows and and Krispies
- Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
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for the peanut butter layer:
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter – I use Skippy do not use a “natural” peanut butter
- ½ cup Reese’s peanut butter chips
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 3½ cups powdered sugar measured and then sifted well – for the smoothest texture and appearance, DO sift the sugar!
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup marshmallow creme – I use Kraft
for the chocolate layer:
- ⅔ cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips – I recommend Guittard brand
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- For the peanut butter layer: Line an 8"x8" pan with parchment paper or foil and set aside.
- Set a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat and add the butter, peanut butter, and peanut butter chips. Stir constantly until melted and completely smooth.
- Reduce heat to low and stir in vanilla.
- With a spatula, fold in the SIFTED powdered sugar and salt (still over low heat), incorporating it until the mixture is completely smooth. If you have any lumps or it looks especially grainy, work out the lumps by vigorously whisking. Or "smoosh" the mixture against the bottom and sides of the pan with a rubber spatula.
- Stir in marshmallow creme until incorporated, then spread mixture evenly into prepared pan.
- For the chocolate layer: Set a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat and add the sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, and butter. Stir constantly until melted together and completely smooth.
- Spread chocolate mixture evenly over peanut butter mixture in the pan.
- Let buckeye fudge cool completely on the counter for 3-4 hours, or place in refrigerator to chill for 2 hours, before cutting it into individual pieces. I cut the 8×8 pan into 64 pieces, 8 cuts in each direction. For easiest (neat & clean) cutting, gently lift the fudge out of the pan by the parchment paper edges and place it on a cutting board – then proceed with cutting it into pieces.