If you like peanut butter, you’re going to LOVE this fudge. It’s smooth and creamy, dairy-free, and naturally sweetened with pure maple syrup, but I think it will fool any of your sugar-loving friends and family.
I think the first time I ever tasted a peanut butter-based fudge was shortly after I graduated college. I was dating my now-husband and was inspired to try following a vegan diet for the first time. My sister-in-law brought us a 3-ingredient vegan fudge made with peanut butter, vegan margarine, and powdered sugar, and it was to die for. It melted almost instantly in your mouth and tasted totally decadent. It almost put traditional fudge to shame.
Now, you can have the same melt-in-your mouth vegan peanut butter fudge using just 4 all-natural ingredients. I even took it a step further by adding a quick and easy dark chocolate swirl on top, which makes this fudge taste like a chocolate peanut butter cup. (Bonus: this recipe is easier than making your own peanut butter cups!)
This chocolate peanut butter fudge is:
- Gluten-free and grain-free
- Paleo-friendly, if you swap the peanut butter for another nut or seed butter
- Super-fast to prepare
- Totally addictive!
I served this chocolate peanut butter fudge at a gathering this past weekend, and it was completely devoured in minutes. Which is a good thing, because I don’t think it would actually last very long sitting out at room temperature– it will get soft to the touch when not chilled.
Unlike my Almond Butter Freezer Fudge, which I tend to serve straight from the freezer, I recommend storing this vegan peanut butter fudge in the fridge for best texture, and serving it chilled. (It definitely wouldn’t be great for serving at a warm outdoor event.) Serving it from the fridge gives it the same texture as traditional fudge, along with the best flavor, since flavors can be muted when frozen.
As always, feel free to customize this recipe to your taste, or to use up whatever ingredients you have on hand. Because this is a vegan, no-bake recipe you can simply taste the batter as you go so that it tastes exactly how to you want it to! I hope you’ll enjoy it.
Healthy Vegan Peanut Butter Fudge
Vegan Peanut Butter Fudge
- 1.5 cups natural peanut butter (unsalted)
- 5 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
- 5 tablespoons maple syrup (at room temperature)
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
Dark Chocolate Swirl Topping
- 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (warmed)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
- Make sure all of the ingredients are at room temperature for best results. (The batter might be difficult to stir if the nut butter or maple syrup has been in the fridge.) Line a 9-inch square baking dish with parchment paper and set it aside.
- To prepare the peanut butter fudge, stir together the peanut butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, and salt. The batter should be thick. Use a spatula to transfer the batter to the lined dish, and smooth the top. Set it aside while you prepare the topping.
- To prepare the dark chocolate swirl topping, whisk together the cacao powder, maple syrup, and melted coconut oil in a small bowl. All ingredients should be warm so that the chocolate is pourable. (If the ingredients are chilled, it will clump and become solid too quickly.)
- You can simply pour the chocolate topping over the top, but for a swirled effect, use a spoon to pour the chocolate into vertical lines over the top of the peanut butter fudge. Drag a clean knife through the lines horizontally, alternating which directly you drag the knife. (So, drag it from left to right, then drag it from right to left the next time.) This should create a swirled, marbled effect. Place the fudge in the freezer for at least one hour to set, or place it in the fridge to chill overnight.
- Slice the fudge into 1-inch squares and serve chilled. The leftover fudge should keep well for up to one month when stored in an airtight container in the fridge, or you can freeze it for up to 6 months. (But keep in mind it will have the best flavor and texture when served from the fridge.)
Per Serving: Calories: 97, Fat: 8g, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 2g
- If you don’t care for peanut butter, feel free to use another nut or seed butter, such as almond butter, sunflower seed butter, or tahini.
- If you don’t have maple syrup, I think you could use honey as an alternative. (Just use a little less, as honey is sweeter than maple syrup.) Honey isn’t vegan, so keep that in mind if serving this to vegan friends. Stevia would probably work in this recipe as well, but you’ll just have to taste as you go to figure out the amount you’ll need to use. (You might also need to add more coconut oil for texture in that case.)
- The best substitute for coconut oil is real butter, but that will also make this recipe no longer dairy-free or vegan.
As always, if you make a substitution with this recipe, please leave a comment below letting us know what worked for you so that we can all benefit from your experience.
Reader Feedback: Do you love peanut butter desserts? What’s your favorite no-bake dessert?
Questions and Reviews
Do you think it would be OK to use salted peanut butter and eliminate the salt?
Yes, probably! I would just taste the batter to make sure there’s a nice balance of sweetness and saltiness before you put it in the fridge.
I have both of your cookbooks and I am really enjoying trying your recipes. My sister, looking through your books, commented on the fact that you use a lot of coconut in your recipes. She is allergic to coconut…would there be a substitute?
Yes, always check out the substitution notes at the bottom of my recipe posts because I usually suggest possibilities there! I mentioned above that real butter can work if you don’t want to use coconut oil, but then this will no longer be a vegan recipe. (Vegan margarine would probably work, too, but those are usually more processed than I care for.)
Do you have a response to the recent news items saying how unhealthy coconut oil is based on its’ high concentration of saturated fat?
I’m trying to do more research before I have a more solid opinion, but we’ve ALWAYS known that coconut oil is high in saturated fat… so the real question is whether or not that type of medium-chain fatty acids are “unhealthy” or not. Coconut oil is also thought to have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, so I think it’s important to look at it as a whole, rather than just the saturated fat component. If you go to pubmed.com to look at peer reviewed research, there are some studies that do show the potential protective properties of coconut oil. (And there are other studies that question it.)
If you’ve been reading my recent What I Ate posts, I have been inspired to use less oil in my daily diet overall (both olive oil and coconut oil), but I’m doing that gradually and testing the waters, if you will, because I think that cutting out anything cold-turkey from your diet can lead to issues down the road. To be on the safe side, it’s probably a good idea to use coconut oil in moderation and not consume spoonfuls of it each day. But, I’m not scared to continue using it in moderation, particularly in desserts like this one since it keeps me feeling satisfied, without the urge to reach for less-healthy sweets.
I noticed my heart was hurting when I started eating coconut oil, so I gave it up.
Hey, this is Preethi. I told u about my child’s allergy, hope u remember…. he is 4 yrs old now and he is allergic to peanut , and also cocoa powder. Can I use cashew butter and Carob powder instead , Megan?
Sure, I don’t see why not!
I made these last night, and they are so good, I keep wanting to snack on them. I do taste the coconut oil in the fudge, so I think next time I will try grass-fed butter, but keep the coconut oil in the chocolate topping.
I made these last night! YUM!! Thanks!
You did it again! Amazing! LOVE this… & all your other delicious & nutritious creations! Thank you for being the healthy part of my family of 5!
I’m so glad you and your family enjoyed it!! 🙂
I read food blogs all the time but never comment. This time i had to. I used grassfed butter instead of coconut oil after readinG about the Negatives Of cocOnut oIl. This is amaziNg! I love reeses cups and this is as good if not better. And so easy! Thank You.
I’m so glad you enjoyed them! Thanks for your comment. 🙂
Delicious! Definitely help satisfy a craving for sweets without leaving me feeling crummy. Thanks!
The Vegan Peanut Butter Fudge is just the best. I have made about 4 batches of it since it first appeared on your website. It is just about the easiest thing to make and it is sooooooo…. amazingly rich and delicious. One little square of this dessert is all I ever need to satisfy my sweet tooth. Thanks for your support. I love all your salads, too!
Amazing! Want it every day. I made thick small pieces using a bread pan.
Megan we LOVED this fudge!!! Though I did find we liked it best stored in the freezer. It turned a little too liquidy in the fridge for our tastes. But seriously this was AMAZING!!!
Where have you been all my life!!! Is there a subscription I can sign up for??
I came here to say MMMMMMM!!!!!! This is so good! I was skeptical it was going to set, but it did and it’s delicious! Thank you for this recipe!