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Brown Sugar Fudge Topped with Spiced Walnuts

Learn how to make brown sugar fudge, an old fashioned family favorite! This penuche fudge is a buttery, creamy, and delicious dessert recipe. Don’t forget the spiced nuts on top.

Homemade Brown Sugar Penuche Fudge Recipe

Lots of us have dessert recipes that are passed down in our families for generations. One of ours is a fudge recipe: brown sugar fudge, also known as penuche fudge.

Old Fashioned Penuche Fudge

Brown sugar fudge is just tasty as it sounds, with minimal ingredients that allow you to achieve the delicious dessert you desire.

This fudge is special though – we’ve included pumpkin spice walnuts to make it seasonal and perfect for Thanksgiving and beyond. This is going to be a favorite fall dessert recipe . . . I promise!

What is the difference between penuche and fudge?

Nothing. Both have milk or condensed milk, sugar, butter, and similar ingredients. Some people say penuche is basically fudge base without flavoring (such as chocolate).

Whatever it is, it has fudge consistency and tastes delicious on its own!

How long does penuche last?

Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week. You can also wrap in wax paper and store in the freezer for up to three months.

penuche fudge

This easy and creamy penuche fudge recipe is an old fashioned favorite, and you’re going to love it. Keeping reading to learn how to make it.


For the fudge:

  • 1 can Eagle Brand evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 10 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

For the walnuts:

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • pinch of pumpkin pie spice


I want to give you a few tips so that this turns out more like grandma’s old fashioned fudge recipe than glue-y dessert.

First of all, I thought I was ruining the fudge mixture. It took forever to get the temperature and when it did, it seemed a little lumpy, but I kept going anyway.

Once I added powdered sugar and vanilla and mixed for 2 – 3 minutes, it completely smoothed out. So don’t give up if you think it’s a little lumpy!

brown sugar fudge

Here are some additional tips that I think will be helpful to make your fudge successful:

  1. Pick a Large Pan. Your ingredients will boil and expand, possibly two to three times their size. You should make sure to have a pan that will hold everything, and has tall sides preferably.
  2. Check Consistency. If you are new to fudge making, you should use a thermometer. You can also test it by filling a glass with cold water and dropping some of the fudge mixture into it. If the pieces are soft and moldable it’s good. If they dissolve, go longer. If the sugar forms crystals, you’ve gone too long.
  3. Remove from Heat. You don’t want the mixture just sitting there on the burner while you do other things once it has reached temperature. It will start to burn, so remove from heat immediately.
  4. Don’t Scrape the Sides. When you are pouring the mixture into the final pan, don’t scrape the sides of your saucepan. You can use a spatula, but don’t go crazy. You don’t want any of the hard crystals or anything that got burned going into the final penuche.
  5. Line the Pan. Use either wax paper or foil so that you can easily remove the fudge from the pan.
Yield: 24 pieces

Brown Sugar Penuche Fudge

penuche fudge

Brown sugar fudge made from grandma's old recipe is a delicious and easy favorite! Just a few ingredients, with some pumpkin nut flair on top.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


For the Fudge

  • 12 oz evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cups light-brown sugar, packed
  • 10 T butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 T vanilla extract

For the Walnut Topping

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 pinch pumpkin pie spice


  1. In a saucepan, bring to a boil the butter, salt, milk, and sugar, stirring continuously.Brown sugar, butter, and condensed milk in a saucepan
  2. Once the sugar has dissolved, reduce heat to medium and let simmer until mixture reaches 235 degrees, or the “soft ball” stage. Stir occasionally, but don’t scrape down the sides of the pan.
  3. While your fudge mixture is coming to temperature, roughly chop walnuts. Mix the olive oil, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice together and toss to coat walnuts.. Bake at 350º for 6 - 8 minutes.
  4. Once the fudge mixture has reached temperature, remove from heat and pour into a stand mixer. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Stir on medium low until completely smooth (2 - 3 minutes).
  5. Line an 8 x 8 baking dish with parchment paper and pour fudge into the pan. Sprinkle walnuts evenly over the top and press down slightly.Walnuts pressed into the top of poured fudge
  6. Let cool on the counter for 15 - 20 minutes, then chill until firm.grandma old fashioned fudge recipe

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 piece

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 154Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 80mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 0gSugar: 16gProtein: 2g

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