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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
How to make a successful Brown Sugar Fudge recipe
- Always use a candy thermometer. If you don’t have one, I highly recommend buying one.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- I always remove my fudge from the cooktop just before it hits the softball stage (see the candy thermometer pic!)
- 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.
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.”
Nanny's Brown Sugar Fudge
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- 2-½ cups light brown sugar
- ¾ cup evaporated milk
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 3 Tablespoons corn syrup
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ 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.
Can I use dark brown sugar in place of the lighter one ? Thank you
Shelby Law Ruttan
Yes, you can sub dark brown sugar, just keep in mind it will be a deeper flavor (closer to molasses) and darker color fudge.
can you use diet sugar making the fudge
Shelby Law Ruttan
Hi Ellen, I have not tried making this fudge with diet sugar so I cannot guarantee it would work if you did.
Patricia S Stuart
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!
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. 🙂
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!
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!
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!
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. 🙂
Well, I used a candy thermometer and followed directions to a "T", but barely had enough fudge to cover the bottom of an 8x8 pan. Maybe a loaf size pan would've worked better for thicker fudge. ?
Hi Lori, I would use a smaller pan if you wanted a thicker fudge. Glad you tried the recipe!
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.
Looking forward to making this! Thanks for the recipe.
Thanks for this. Our family is vegan and I was able to veganize this recipe and it turned out perfectly!!!!
this look wonderful. i've been thinking about making fudge this week, and this would be perfect!
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!
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.
I've never even heard of brown sugar fudge!?! My life feels so incomplete now. Thanks, Honey B!!
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 email@example.com!
Looks so yummy!!!
Your nanny's fudge looks so delicious1 And full of sweet memories.
The Hungry Mouse
Oh, oh! How I love fudge! This looks just wonderful. 😀