Penuche Fudge- The Southern Lady Cooks

This Penuche Fudge is a classic that your family will love. Great holiday treat! It makes a wonderful gift and keeps well too. We love to make this fudge each Christmas and it never last long. We have been making this old fashioned classic for many many years!

Penuche Fudge Ingredients Needed

Brown sugar

Evaporated milk (could use regular milk)

Light corn syrup


Vanilla extract

Nuts of your choice (we like it with walnuts)

You can use light or dark brown sugar in this recipe. I have not had an issue getting this fudge to set up but even the most advanced fudge makers sometimes have problems.

Question we received about this fudge: “The recipe says, “Remove from heat, add butter and vanilla. Do not stir. ” Maybe I’m being too literal, but does this really mean that you add the butter and vanilla to the mixture and just let it sit on top of the surface while it cools 10 to 15 minutes? (Sorry, but I’m a novice when it comes to candy making.)”

Answer: Yes, that is correct. Add the butter and vanilla immediately so the butter will melt. Let sit for 15 minutes. Then, if you think it needs stirring, do so.

Penuche Fudge- The Southern Lady Cooks

Penuche Fudge- The Southern Lady Cooks

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Penuche Fudge

The Southern Lady Cooks
This fudge is a family favorite and one you'll want to make over and over again. 
5 from 3 votes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Cooling Time 15 minutes
Course candy
Cuisine American


  • 2 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk could use regular milk
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup nuts of your choice we like it with walnuts


  • Bring brown sugar, milk and corn syrup to boil on top of the stove, stirring constantly. Cook to soft ball stage or about 238 degrees. Remove from heat, add butter and vanilla. Do not stir. Let cool in pan 10 to 15 minutes. Add nuts and beat with spoon until thickens and loses its gloss. Spray an 8 x 8 dish and pour fudge into it. Once firm cut into squares.
Keyword Penuche Fudge
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Recipe Rating


  1. Crystal G says:

    Made this yesterday and it was delicious! Everyone loved it. It reminds me of the candy “leche quemada” that I ate as a kid(maybe it is the same?).
    My fudge did turn out a bit crumbly, especially when I cut it. Did I overcook it or overstir it?5 stars

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      My guess would be that you overcooked it. If you cook it too long, the fudge won’t contain enough moisture, making it hard with a dry, crumbly texture.

  2. I made this, without nuts. It was great! I was wondering if I wanted to add some maple flavor how I would go about it? Could I do 1 tsp. of vanilla and one tsp. of maple extract? Thoughts? Thank you!5 stars

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      I think you could easily do that, like you said 1 of teaspoon of each would be good.

  3. This fudge is incredible! My grandmother used to make it every Christmas and we didn’t get her recipe. I made it yesterday as a test run and it turned out perfect!! Making it again for Christmas. Thank you so much. I love your website and your magazine. You ladies are the best!5 stars

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      YAY! So glad it turned out! So glad you enjoy the recipes and the magazine. Thank you so much for the kind words.

  4. It did not set . after 24 hours in the fridge it is just a glob of brown sugar nuts . The colour is not like the picture .

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      Did you get your mixture hot enough? Fudge can be difficult for some people to make.

  5. Char Harris says:

    I put the fudge in the freezer. It did not harden. It did make a great sauce for ice cream. I tried making the recipe again today. This time I did have evaporated milk. I totally followed the recipe. It did thicken, but not enough to cut. I put it in the freezer. Maybe this time it will harden enough to cut in squares. I will post an update in a few hours.

  6. Char Harris says:

    It is not thickening. I think I will put it in the freezer.

  7. Char Harris says:

    I am making the fudge now. It is in the cooling stage. I did not have evaporated milk. I did have sweetened condensed milk. But I decided to use regular milk. I hope it hardens!

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      I’ve never made it that way, so lets cross our fingers.

  8. The recipe says, “Remove from heat, add butter and vanilla. Do not stir. ” Maybe I’m being too literal, but does this really mean that you add the butter and vanilla to the mixture and just let it sit on top of the surface while it cools 10 to 15 minutes? (Sorry, but I’m a novice when it comes to candy making.)

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      Yes, that is correct Patti. Add the butter and vanilla immediately so the butter will melt. Let sit for 15 minutes. Then, if you think it needs stirring, do so.

  9. Barbara Judy says:

    I love this Fudge, I’m from West Virginia, we always had this & chocolate fudge for Christmas, lost my recipes, so thank you for posting these. Barbara

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      You’re welcome. Enjoy!

  10. Beth Herod White says:

    Could you give an easy recipe for good ole’ New Orleans Pralines? If there is one with a lighter sugar, add it too. I am a controlled diabetic, but I have to have sweets once in a while Thanks

  11. mine was runny once from not adding vannillal last.

  12. Terry Watts says:

    Hi is this the same as Pralines ??

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      No, it is not the same thing, Terry.

  13. GRANNY NELDA says:


    1. G-Nelda, That is the way were leaned how to make my first fudge was with the cast iron pan–boy that was heavy and you also got muscles from the beating but what a great tasting fudge it was.

  14. Robert Hicks says:

    Going to try this one. Does it matter if Brown Sugar is Light or Dark??

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      No, it doesn’t but I use the light, Robert.

  15. please help…I made this recipe this morning ad it won’t get firm. Used a candy therm. so I know it was cooked long enough and beat it till my arm was hurting,but it is gooy. Can I do anything to salvage it?

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      Sometimes, even the best fudge makers will have fudge that does not get firm, Carolyn. Sorry, it could have been the weather if it is rainy or humid, your thermometer could even be off.

    2. I have also had this to happen. I have put it back in the cooking kettle and cooked it a few additional minutes. (Remember, you always need to do what we call water logged meaning that when you drop a few drops into a 1/2 cup of cold water it cools and becomes a soft flexible ball which means that when it is totally cool it will firm up especially if you are adding peanut butter, nuts or marsh mellows/or marsh mellow creme.. I have made this candy for over 60 years and it is one of the best and most simple and truly wonderful.

  16. Marty Flanakin says:

    Where have I been? I’m 78 years young and I’ve never heard of this and, by the way, how is it pronounced?

  17. Is it similar to a praline?

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      It is a caramel candy like fudge.

    2. Similar in taste, but consistency of fudge.

  18. My family has always made this candy, frosting, etc. It is the most favorite of all alone or with peanut butter, nuts, or chocolate chips (which makes, of course, chocolate fudge). Remember while cooking & stirring, always use a wooden spoon. That will keep the sugar from crystallizing on the sides of the pan. Yum! Yum!

    1. Thanks Betty for the tip about using a wooden spoon. I’m definitely gonna try it when I make this fudge.

  19. This is a treat that Mom made every Christmas. Loved it then, and love it now!!!

  20. Thank you for allowing us to copy this recipe. My mom will enjoy this fudge!

  21. mona frank says:

    This is my daughter’s favorite and much requested fudge…yours is slightly different than mine, but I will try it

  22. ernestine says:

    Oh my
    sounds so good…

  23. Redcandies says:

    My Gram from Maine made this and we called it brown sugar fudge!! So good!!

    1. I grew up with Brown Sugar Candy, Brown sugar and canned milk is all except you can add peanut Butter, Nuts etc. My grandmother ( family from West Virginia) handed it down and I am 64, both her and my mother are gone now. i just always thought it was from the depression era, This stuff is so good and so highly addictive, my mom also made a brown sugar frosting, my brothers favorite, he wanted sliced bananas on top. Anyway I never run into anyone who even has a clue about this candy so I thought I would just say hi.

      1. Evaporated canned milk; not the condensed sweet like Eagle Brand! I still make this candy several times a year but always for Christmas.

  24. I am going to try this; my husband LOVES fudge, but I haven’t ever made him any! 🙂

  25. Gonna have to use this recipe at Christmas for some gifts! Looks really good!!

  26. My mom had an elderly aunt who gave us a box of penuche each and every Christmas. We loved it! I’m so glad you posted this recipe ’cause my sons have never had the pleasure of eating penuche – and now they will !

  27. Bill Cloud says:

    still enjoying all your resipes

  28. this is like the fudge I grew up on. I have to give it a try. I do remember that it did not have the corn syrup. Just looking at the picture makes me want to eat it ALL!.