Peanut Butter Candy

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Made with sugar, milk, peanut butter, vanilla, and honey, this old-fashioned peanut butter candy is like an irresistible cross between taffy and fudge and will have you coming back for more.

Peanut Butter Candy

Old-fashioned peanut butter candy is a quick candy recipe that was a standard back in the golden days of school cafeterias. This recipe is from a time when the lunch ladies were usually the mama of someone you knew. And the hallways were slowly filled with the smell of soup stewing and bread rising as we watched the clock longingly and our stomachs got steadily louder the closer we got to lunchtime.

To make my peanut butter candy, you’ll need peanut butter, honey, powdered milk, vanilla, and confectioner’s sugar. This is a classic peanut butter slice recipe with very basic (and few) ingredients that relies heavily on what was once considered “commodity” foods.

Fortunately, it’s super easy to make. Just mix all of the ingredients together until a dough forms. Then we roll the dough into two logs, leave them in the fridge for an hour or so to chill, and then cut them into slices. Add a dusting of confectioner’s sugar and your peanut butter slice candy will be ready to eat. 

It’s peanut buttery good with the texture of taffy but without the stickiness. Kind of a peanut butter chew flavored heavily by peanut butter, milk, and honey: all favorite flavors in my house! If you like creamy fudge and peanut butter, you’re just going to adore this recipe. Plus, this homemade peanut butter candy makes a great holiday gift or teacher gift, if you need another reason to try it out. Let’s get to it!

Peanut butter candy ingredients

Recipe Ingredients

  • Honey
  • Powdered milk
  • Peanut butter
  • Vanilla
  • Confectioner’s sugar

How to Make Peanut Butter Candy

Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Take all ingredients and put them in a big old mixing bowl.

Mix until a stiff dough forms.

 Mix the peanut butter mixture right up

You want to mix this, scraping down the sides if needed, until it is well blended and a stiff dough is formed. 

Knead dough a few times.

 Put that dough on a large plate and knead it a few times with your hands just to help it all stick together. 

If you have a pinch of it to taste, I won’t tell. It’s awfully good!

Roll peanut butter candy dough into two logs.

Separate that into two halves and roll them out into two logs. 

Wrap logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or so.

 Wrap those in plastic wrap or place them in a large plastic bag and seal them.

Place this in the fridge until it is well chilled. This is going to depend on your refrigerator. An hour-ish or so will probably do it.

Slice into 1/4-inch slices.

 Once cold, slice into 1/4-inch slices.

dip peanut butter candy in confectioner's sugar.

Dip those into a little confectioner’s sugar so that they won’t stick together when you put them on a plate.  

plate of peanut butter slice candy

Enjoy this old-fashioned creamy, chewy peanut butter slice candy!  


  • Store homemade peanut butter candy leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 10 days. If you’re stacking them, add parchment paper between the layers to avoid them sticking together. 
  • You can also freeze the candy for up to 3 months. Just thaw them in the fridge before serving.

 Recipe Notes

  • You can substitute corn syrup, maple syrup, or even pancake syrup for the honey if you would like or need to. I know honey can be on the expensive side these days so do what you need to do.
  • Besides coating them in powdered sugar, you can add sprinkles, chocolate chips, crushed nuts, or a melted chocolate coating if you like. The chocolate-covered peanut butter candy will give it a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup flavor.

Recipe FAQs

Do I need to refrigerate the candy dough?

You don’t HAVE to, but I strongly recommend you do, even for just an hour. The refrigerated dough holds its shape so much better than soft dough.

Can I use a different kind of nut butter?

You can use any kind of creamy nut butter, like natural peanut butter (just give it a good stir to distribute the oil), almond butter, nut-free sun butter, and cashew butter. If you use chunky peanut butter, just know it will change the texture of the peanut butter candy.

You may also like these peanut butter recipes:

No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Brownies with Peanut Butter Fudge Icing

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cookie Bars

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls (No Baking Necessary)

peanut butter slice candy

Peanut Butter Candy

Made with sugar, milk, peanut butter, vanilla, and honey, this old-fashioned peanut butter candy is like an irresistible cross between taffy and fudge.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Chilling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: candy, peanutbutter
Servings: 4
Calories: 305kcal



  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1.75 cups powdered milk
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • extra powdered sugar for dipping


  • Place all candy ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until well incorporated and a dough is formed.
    1 cup powdered sugar, 1.75 cups powdered milk, 1 cup honey, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • Remove from the bowl and knead a time or two with your hands. Separate into two halves. Roll each half into a ball and then into a log. Cover each log with cling wrap or place them in a large zipper seal bag. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
  • Slice into 1/4 slices and dip each slice in confectioner’s sugar before serving. Store remainders in the refrigerator.
    extra powdered sugar for dipping


Calories: 305kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!


Do all the good you can and make as little fuss about it as possible Charles Kickens

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      1. To more closely duplicate the flavor of Mary Jane candies, substitute a mixture of 3/4 cup corn syrup + 1/4 cup molasses for the honey. Everything else remains the same…one of the few candies my grandmother would make because it was a “no cook” recipe.

  1. Christy!
    I have thought about these for years and could never find anyone of the generation of lunchroom or restaurant cooks who had any idea what I was talking about. Thank you!!!

  2. HI,
    Boy these just sound yummy….. my g’kids have nut allergies…. I wonder if I could use sunbutter ?
    this is what we use for them… maybe someone knows the answer ??

    1. Peanut, pecan and walnut allergies in our family, too, Adeline. Because I was already planning a day of candy-making, I decided to try this recipe. Since this was a trial run, I made half the recipe with Sunbutter, and half with No Nut Butter, a peanut-and-tree-nut-free substitute made from peas. It is made by “The Sneaky Chef” and is sold in the Publix grocery chain here. Anyhoo, both substitutions worked splendidly, making delicious candy with just the right texture. My personal preference, taste-wise was the one made with Sunbutter, but that may be just me. Although I went to a score of schools (in the lunchroom era), and a great-aunt was actually a “lunch lady”, I never encountered this candy, so perhaps not the best to judge how close the substitutions are to the real thing. But it’s good, and you certainly won’t go wrong substituting Sunbutter for the peanut butter.
      Also want to say a HUGE thank-you to Christy for the faux pecan pie recipe. Not only can the allergics in the family enjoy “pecan” pie now, but the rest of the family actually asks for it rather than the real thing!

      1. Dianne,
        I just read your answer and WOW …. I want to thank you so much ! I too have never heard of or eaten this candy so very eager to make it. I agree with you on the Faux Pecan Pie…. yummy.
        Thanks again for all your help

  3. We had this at our grade school in the fifties. I loved it as we did not get much candy at home except at Christmas. Lunch was always home cooked in the cafeteria kitchen and the smell wafted enticingly through the halls. Lunch was 25 cents. If you brought your lunch from home you could purchase the half pint of white milk for a penny and chocolate milk was 2 cents. Lunches in this area are now frozen purchased product and are generally pizza, chicken nuggets, burritos, etc. . Nothing like our creamed chicken over biscuits, sloppy joes, and chili.

    1. I too had these peanut butter candies during the fifties. Have tried several different recipes that claimed to be the same but were not up to lunch room standards. I think this one is ‘it’!!!

    1. My school omitted the powdered sugar, reduced the amount of honey, and added Rice Crispies or rolled oats, then pressed them-in pans, and sliced them in squares! Thanks for the reminder! I have not made these in a while!

  4. Gotta try this…Looks so good. Now, my mom was a cafeteria manager for 25 years but this was never made. However, she did make all of her rolls, hamburger and hot dog buns and cinnamon rolls. She was an outstanding cook and known for her cooking here in Vicksburg, Ms.

    1. Shirley, in MS they were peanut butter balls rolled in granulated sugar or crushed corn flakes. This was in the 60’s.

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