Brown Sugar Fudge

Nanny’s Brown Sugar Fudge is an old-fashioned boiled candy recipe that is also referred to as penuche fudge. This fudge recipe is made with light brown sugar, milk, corn syrup, salt, butter, and a touch of vanilla extract. No powdered sugar required!

This delicious Brown Sugar Fudge is easy to make and a great treat to include on your homemade holiday treat trays! It’s an easy fudge recipe to pack and ship also!

Brown Sugar Fudge - a boiled fudge recipe

Making Nanny’s Brown Sugar Fudge

Nanny used to make a penuche frosting that was to die for. It was always the frosting I requested when I felt like eating something fudgy, but not chocolate! When I came across her recipe card for Brown Sugar Fudge, I knew I had to make it.

I was nervous about it because as I have said many times before, I am not the best fudge maker. I have failed at making it many times and I don’t understand why because I grew up with a mom who also made incredible fudge!

Brown Sugar Fudge

Fudge making is a family tradition

Mom would make chocolate fudge (her favorite) or peanut butter fudge almost every Saturday night to go with our popcorn. I don’t remember her making Brown Sugar Fudge, but I think peanut butter and chocolate was her favorite!

ingredients for fudge recipe

For some reason, I don’t remember my mom making this brown sugar fudge recipe. But I do remember trying to learn how to make it myself over the years and am glad I finally got it down pat!

stirring the fudge

What I learned about fudge making

Let me share with you things I have learned about making a fudge recipe and how you too can become successful at doing so! It isn’t too tricky, but you do have to be watchful when making a boiled fudge recipe.

Brown Sugar Fudge cut into 24 pieces

How to make a successful Brown Sugar Fudge recipe

  1. Always use a candy thermometer. If you don’t have one, I highly recommend buying one.
  2. If you really want to make this fudge and don’t have a thermometer, then do the cold water test. Drop a little bit of syrup from the spoon into a cup of cold water. The candy should roll easily into a softball with your finger.
  3. Have all your ingredients and pans ready to go before you start. Fudge can turn fast and you want to be sure to be on the game when making it.
  4. I don’t recommend stirring constantly while the fudge is rising to temperature. Resist the urge to stir too much. Believe me, you will have your fill of stirring once the fudge cools down some!
  5. I always remove my fudge from the cooktop just before it hits the softball stage (see the candy thermometer pic!)
  6. As soon as your fudge starts to lose the glossy look is when you need to pour into your prepared dish. Don’t hold out on pouring into your pan. If you do, the fudge will harden in your cooking pan.
Nanny's Brown Sugar Fudge - pinnable image

Other treats for your holiday tray

There are so many goodies out there that people love to share over the holidays. Below are a few of my favorite recipes to include!

While I love fudge, I also love cookies! I think you will see what I mean when you check out my list of 25 best Christmas cookies on Grumpy’s Honeybunch! These are my highest recommendations for the holidays.

If you really want to impress, this Chocolate Zucchini Cake Roll is absolutely delicious and impressive. Or, if you’re in the mood for pumpkin, try this Pumpkin Cake Roll with Maple Bourbon Cream!

More fudge recipes you may like

There are plenty of fudge recipes here for you to try, check them out and see if they are one you would like to make!

Love chocolate? Try this Dark and Creamy Fudge Recipe from my friend Renee!

*If you made this recipe, please give it a star rating*

I am very proud of this fudge and think I did pretty darn good this time! I can just hear my Nanny say “Shelby Mae, let’ s have “just a taste” of that fudge.”

Brown Sugar Fudge

Nanny’s Brown Sugar Fudge

Only the best tasting and perfect textured fudge out there! Recipe from Mae Iris Whitton – my precious Nanny
4.32 from 25 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Boiled candy, Brown Sugar Fudge, candy, Fudge, Penuche
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 24
Calories: 120kcal


  • 2-1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons corn syrup
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts


  • Combine evaporated milk, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Bring mixture to a boil and cook until just reaches the soft ball stage. This is 230 degrees on a candy thermometer.
  • Remove from heat, add butter and cool until about 200 degrees.
  • Add walnuts and stir.
  • Beat fudge until it has just lost its shiny gloss.
  • Immediately pour into a prepared pan lined with wax paper. Use a loaf pan if you want thicker fudge. Cool completely.
  • Cut into 24 pieces.
  • Store in an airtight container.



Watch your fudge carefully at all times. To be successful you must pay attention to it while it is cooking and while you are beating it. If you do overbeat it, add a little bit of milk to the mixture to try and loosen it up some.


Serving: 1piece | Calories: 120kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 37mg | Sugar: 21g

About the Author: Shelby Law Ruttan

Shelby is the author/owner of Grumpy's Honeybunch. Established in 2007, she shares and preserves family recipes as well as recipes for cooking light and keto. She is an experienced, self-taught home cook who loves to share recipes with others. You can see her work on websites such as Veal Made Easy, Parade, Community Table, SoFab Food, Yummly, and FoodGawker.


  1. Ivy June 21, 2009 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    You hid that fudge in the bedroom closet? That is really hilarious!!! You did a great job though with your grandmother's fudge recipe and if I had a candy thermometre I would love to try this recipe.

  2. Anonymous June 21, 2009 at 1:19 pm - Reply


    My Gramma used to make this for me. I remember asking her for the recipe 20 years ago, I got the ingredients and "cook it then beat the jeapers out of it". I have attempted to relive my memories of my time with Gram, by making fudge several times..sometimes we would have to eat it with a spoon, next time cut it with a chisel and hammer. Tasted like love though. Now I will have to try again, with more specific instructions. Thanks for the recipe and walk down memory lane. Robin

  3. Flourchild June 21, 2009 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    What a funny store, thanks for sharing. I love your fudge, it looks like a great recipe.
    Im glad your doing better and feeling better. It's so easy to put on weight and taking it off is harder. Im glad your working out and getting back to feeling better!
    I have to be so careful in what I eat..I will be 44 June 22(tomorrow)!
    Take care!

  4. Bellini Valli June 21, 2009 at 3:14 pm - Reply

    My mom used to make fudge. I always have maple fudge in my stocking at Christmas and always buy it at the fair..

  5. haleysuzanne June 21, 2009 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    Looks great! I love penuche frosting, so I'm sure I would love this recipe. I just picked up a candy thermometer recently, so I'll have to give this a go. It looks delicious.

  6. Katy ~ June 21, 2009 at 3:50 pm - Reply

    Aaah, the last time I had penuche was when my grandmother made it for me as well. Good to see the recipe being revitalized and enjoyed by perhaps another generation! Your fudge looks delicious, Shelby.

    I am most excited to hear about your good news. I can full with anticipatory glee at what it could be.

  7. Belle June 21, 2009 at 4:51 pm - Reply

    We haven't tried making fudge yet. I remember my mom making it when I was little, though. And every time we go on holidays, we end up at the little homemade fudge store and come out fully loaded with luscious little squares. We really should give this one a try!

  8. Jamie June 22, 2009 at 2:23 am - Reply

    That fudge looks like it came from a candy shop. It looks great! Thanks for sharing the family recipe.

  9. Delectable Dining June 22, 2009 at 3:23 am - Reply

    I love the story here… thank you so much for sharing! The fudge sounds great!

  10. Hugging the Coast June 22, 2009 at 4:49 am - Reply

    Just ate some fudge today! Thanks for this post!

    P.S. My wife and I grew up with Lawrence Welk on the TV too.

  11. JMom June 22, 2009 at 4:53 am - Reply

    Great job on the template and also on the fudge 🙂

  12. Laura June 22, 2009 at 4:58 am - Reply

    Great post! And don't worry, I still have nothing. Bad me! Actually I finally picked something to make with my mom this week but my dad is in the hospital, so we shall see. If it doesn't happen I may need to extend the deadline by a few days (I am headed up to see them tomorrow AM).

    The fudge looks gorgeous!

  13. Laura June 22, 2009 at 4:58 am - Reply

    PS I am jealous you figured out the code for the table at the top–I have no idea how to do that!

  14. Coleen's Recipes June 22, 2009 at 5:23 am - Reply

    Nice instructions!! The fudge photo is awesome.

  15. noble pig June 22, 2009 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    Sounds delicious. I love me some fudge!

  16. Hillary June 22, 2009 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    I just had fudge for the first time in years this past weekend. I would love to try brown sugar fudge!

  17. Ingrid June 22, 2009 at 3:07 pm - Reply

    Oh, boy that looks great! Love brown sugar. And kudos to your for your fudge success!

  18. Creative One June 22, 2009 at 3:17 pm - Reply

    The fudge looks delicious. I will have to share the fudge recipe that I have.

  19. Cooking With Dia June 22, 2009 at 4:25 pm - Reply

    Oh my goodness, this looks sooo good. I love fudge, and haven't tried to make it since I was a kid. Great recipe!

  20. Cakelaw June 22, 2009 at 10:17 pm - Reply

    I want some now! It looks scrumptious. LOL about the hiding thing – when I cook at my mother's place, I frequently have to hide stuff – but she's like a bloodhound and usually finds it.

  21. The Hungry Mouse June 22, 2009 at 11:08 pm - Reply

    Oh, oh! How I love fudge! This looks just wonderful. 😀


  22. Reeni♥ June 23, 2009 at 12:05 am - Reply

    Your nanny's fudge looks so delicious1 And full of sweet memories.

  23. Cristine June 23, 2009 at 7:59 am - Reply

    Looks so yummy!!!

  24. Tangled Noodle June 24, 2009 at 3:58 pm - Reply

    Your failed fudge story is too funny! But if it had been me, no such problem – I don't mind eating my 'failures' as long as the problem wasn't taste-related! 😎

    Thanks for sharing your Nanny's recipe – I'm bookmarking it right away to make. I have a caramel recipe that I'm clinging to for now that came from my foster grandmother, who also gave me her candy thermometer. I hope it proves to be a magic wand!

    Different topic: love your new blog layout! Is this the Minima layout? If so, I can send you a link for instructions on how to turn it into a 3-column format. In exchange, would you share with me the code on how to create those great navigation links at the top of your page?

    Feel free to e-mail me at!

  25. averagebetty June 25, 2009 at 4:02 pm - Reply

    I've never even heard of brown sugar fudge!?! My life feels so incomplete now. Thanks, Honey B!!

  26. Kim Bee April 10, 2012 at 12:46 am - Reply

    Thank you so much for being so gracious. I am so thrilled I got assigned your blog this month. This post just drew me in and I am honoured to share your Nanny's fudge with more people. It's a spectacular recipe. So happy I can finally comment and follow you.

  27. Anonymous January 10, 2013 at 9:54 pm - Reply

    This recipe looks very much like my mothers fudge recipe, I believe it actually came off of the Pacific Canned Milk label. I tried to make it many times while growing up and failed every time but being a kid, I just ate it anyway (YUM). Fortunately as an adult I have had success!!!!! so everyone gets to enjoy it. I am not a fan of nuts in my fudge so I don't put the walnuts in when I make it and this recipe works well with or without. Sadly my mother passed at the young age of 64 which was 17 yrs. ago, so thank you for the memories and I think I will go make some fudge now!

  28. Renee P December 16, 2013 at 1:49 pm - Reply

    this look wonderful. i've been thinking about making fudge this week, and this would be perfect!

  29. Lynn Curry May 7, 2014 at 3:49 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this. Our family is vegan and I was able to veganize this recipe and it turned out perfectly!!!!

  30. Donna D January 2, 2015 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    Looking forward to making this! Thanks for the recipe.

  31. Sandra Mull November 21, 2015 at 4:25 pm - Reply

    This is a great, authentic recipe.I’m so glad you used half and half instead of evaporated milk – it’s so much richer and smoother than the canned stuff, and it doesn’t have that artificial aroma that always reminds me of baby formula. Yes, way back before mothers could buy expensive chemical milk nourishment for babies, we made our own with evaporated milk, water, a touch of corn syrup. And we sterilized glass bottles every day by boiling them in a big canner-like pot. I have not used evaporated milk in my kitchen since then – 54 years ago. I know there are many who swear by it for creamy cake frostings, but I can’t get past the smell.

  32. Gingerbread Fudge May 13, 2016 at 11:13 pm - Reply

    […] Recipe adapted from The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch's Brown Sugar Fudge I made Shelby's Fudge when I used to participate in the secret recipe club. You can read more about […]

  33. Lori December 3, 2016 at 3:08 pm - Reply

    Well, I used a candy thermometer and followed directions to a “T”, but barely had enough fudge to cover the bottom of an 8×8 pan. Maybe a loaf size pan would’ve worked better for thicker fudge. ?

    • Shelby December 11, 2016 at 7:37 am - Reply

      Hi Lori, I would use a smaller pan if you wanted a thicker fudge. Glad you tried the recipe!

  34. Jen March 19, 2018 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    I found this recipe 9 years after it was first posted – thank goodness for the internet! I’m sending my love to Nanny (wherever she is in the universe) because this is the recipe I’ve been searching for! It’s also very forgiving: I didn’t have enough brown sugar, so I supplemented with white sugar and used heavy cream because I didn’t have evaporated milk. I used both a thermometer and the soft ball test because depending on the humidity, it can take longer to reach the right stage. The key is the proper ratio of liquid to sugar and this recipe nails it. The fudge came out perfect – melt in your mouth creamy but firm, not mushy or soft. I will make this again & again! Thank you Nanny & Shelby!

    • Shelby March 19, 2018 at 6:19 pm - Reply

      Hi Jen, my nanny would be as happy as I am that you found this recipe and was able to make a success of it! Thanks for letting me know. 🙂

  35. Patricia S Stuart December 11, 2018 at 2:27 pm - Reply

    I made this fudge for the first time today. It turned out great! Memories of my Granny immediately came to mind as soon as i tasted it. I will be making another batch before Christmas to share with my siblings. Thank you!

    • Shelby December 12, 2018 at 5:58 am - Reply

      Hi Patricia! I’m so happy you were successful and it brought back memories for you. This recipe is super special to me for that very reason. Thanks for stopping by to let me know. 🙂

      • Patricia Stuart December 17, 2018 at 12:40 pm - Reply

        Gave some to one of my sisters. She loved it! This recipe will be a constant now. I am making another batch for a Christmas get together on the 23rd. I did use English walnuts. You get two thumbs up!

        • Shelby December 17, 2018 at 12:56 pm - Reply

          Hi Patricia! I am so happy the recipe turned out well for you and that it’s a keeper for you! Thank you for stopping by with your review!

  36. Anonymous October 27, 2019 at 1:31 pm - Reply


  37. […] was the only flavor she made, of course, I would eat it!. But, I loved her peanut butter fudge, brown sugar fudge, or maple sugar candy […]

  38. ellen fugate December 7, 2020 at 12:00 pm - Reply

    can you use diet sugar making the fudge

    • Shelby Law Ruttan December 7, 2020 at 12:42 pm - Reply

      Hi Ellen, I have not tried making this fudge with diet sugar so I cannot guarantee it would work if you did.

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Shelby Welcome! I'm Shelby, author of Grumpy's Honeybunch. I have been sharing family favorite recipes since 2007. I started the Keto Diet in October 2017 and since then I have been creating Keto ... read more

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