Luscious no-cook fudge with coconut oil and peanut butter that sets up in the refrigerator. Gluten-free!

No-Bake Healthy Fudge : The Wimpy Vegetarian

As I write this, I’m sitting in the departure lounge of the International terminal in San Francisco, bound for a month in the Italian sun.  You might be thinking, “Wow, she’s that organized that she can do a blog posting at the terminal gate?” I am not. I should have done this no later than yesterday in the comfort of my home where my computer has already made friends with the wireless thingy that gets me magically online.

But no. I kept taking photos of this fudge. Days of photos. Days of rewarming the fudge to remold and recut it. And after all that, a photo from the FIRST day is still my favorite. Turns out chocolate fudge is a little tricky (for me) to photograph. Who knew?

Anyway, back to the recipe. This is a no-bake fudge that uses coconut oil as the fat and coconut nectar as the sweetener (although honey is another great sweetener to use). My husband’s stepdaughter, Robin, made this for us during her recent visit with her family, and we all fell in love with it. You might remember her Salted Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Nuggets, or her Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips I’ve posted here (I’m seeing a trend, by the way).  It takes about 10 minutes to make, except for a crucial couple of hours in the refrigerator to harden it up, making it perfect for entertaining, or just a quick dessert when you’re on the go. In the interest of full disclosure, it should be eaten very shortly after removing from the refrigerator as it softens up over a 30 minute period, and will eventually become liquid again. But we usually eat chocolate soon after it shows up in front of us, so this hasn’t been a problem at our house.

There are a lot of conversations going on right now about coconut oil. It’s one of those saturated fats that the health profession in general has warned us against, scrupulously listing out all the dire consequences of doing so. But there are numerous studies surfacing now suggesting we shouldn’t lop all saturated fats in the same basket, explaining that coconut oil is different due possibly to it’s molecular design. I skipped medical school, and nutrition classes too, so I’m not the person to make sense of it all. But I like the idea of having a healthy fudge recipe to go to, so I’m hopping on the “it’s good for you” bandwagon.  I’d love to hear what you all have been reading about this newly popular oil.

And I should note that although I’ll be traveling for the next month, and therefore won’t be posting quite as regularly, you will be getting some periodic notes from Italy from me. Have a wonderful September. Ciao for now :-)


(Healthy) No-Cook Fudge with Peanut Butter


  • 1 cup peanut butter (or your favorite nut butter)
  • 1 cup coconut oil (must be solid at room temperature!)
  • ½ cup unsweetened chocolate powder
  • 3 tablespoons coconut nectar (agave or honey also work great)
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Sea salt to sprinkle on top
  1. Mix together all of the ingredients EXCEPT the sea salt in a medium bowl until completely smooth. A couple of times I’ve needed to warm the mixture up just a bit to get the coconut oil to smoothly mix in. If you find you need to do this, create a bain marie by heating a pot of water to a simmer. Reduce the heat. Place the mixture into a metal mixing bowl and place the bowl over the hot water. Gently stir occasionally until it's completely melted.
  2. Line a baking pan with parchment paper, folding it into the corners. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth with a spatula.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours or until completely hardened. Cut into squares, and sprinkle with sea salt before serving.


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52 Responses to “Healthy No-Cook Fudge with Peanut Butter” Subscribe

  1. Rita Held Cartalano August 28, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    We (Rita & Rosie) love your photo! Rosie is here and I’m taking a shot for a client. Ain’t easy! No matter how many years I style, or take photos, it’s a challenge. Rosie agrees! Love the fudge — yummm.
    Buon giorno!

  2. Choc Chip Uru August 28, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

    Have a wonderful holiday my friend! Italy is so exciting!
    Thanks for leaving us with this fudge! It looks awesome :)

    Choc Chip Uru
    Choc Chip Uru recently posted..Guest Post #2: Chocolate Pineapple Upside Down CakeMy Profile

  3. TasteFood August 28, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

    Healthy fudge?! I’m in.
    Have a great trip!
    TasteFood recently posted..Sunday PancakesMy Profile

  4. lizthechef August 28, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

    Brown stuff is hard to shoot – have a delicious adventure in Italy! Come home safely with lots of stories and recipes. X0
    lizthechef recently posted..Meyer Lemon MojitoMy Profile

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian August 30, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

      Working on it! Saw lots of churches today :-) Unfortunately all our guides only speak Italian with us, so not sure I’m really understanding much of what we’re seeing. But I signed up for an immersion experience :-) and that’s what I’m getting so far.
      The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..No-Bake (Healthy) Peanut Butter Fudge My Profile

  5. Laurie Dupree August 29, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

    Yummy! Think the boys will like this one ~ I just won’t tell them it’s the
    H – – – – – -Y word! Have a WONDERFUL trip Susan! Know you will get in some spectacular adventures to share with us all when you return!
    Miss you! :))

  6. Camilla @Fabfood4all August 29, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

    This looks delicious and sounds far healthier than traditional fudge. Will have to try this!

  7. Viviane Bauquet Farre August 30, 2012 at 11:51 am #

    I’m quite impressed how authentically fudgey this looks without having been baked. Peanut butter and fudge go together so delightfully – both flavors and textures combine to create one of my favorite sweets! Wonderful work!
    Viviane Bauquet Farre recently posted..Boston lettuce with corn, fresh tomato vinaigrette and grilled zucchini skewersMy Profile

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian August 30, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

      Thanks so much Viviane. I like peanut butter and fudge together for almost anything – it’s one of my favorite food combinations. And the texture and mouthfeel are amazing. It really melts in your mouth in the most wonderful way.
      The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..No-Bake (Healthy) Peanut Butter Fudge My Profile

  8. Stephanie, The Recipe Renovator August 30, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

    This looks delicious! I have two similar recipes, Cocoa Yummies and Choco-Nut Bars, and both of them are completely perfect, addicting, and wonderful. I keep them in the freezer and then just pull one (or two) out when I need a hit, er, taste of chocolate. Have a wonderful trip!

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian August 30, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

      What a great idea Stephanie! I could slice this into little bars and freeze them. I love it. I’ll have to check you blog for your versions!
      The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..No-Bake (Healthy) Peanut Butter Fudge My Profile

      • Wendy Read August 31, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

        Have a safe and fabulous trip!!! I really like the look of this fudge and I know how difficult it is to shoot “brown” things :) Course I would want to use sugar and mess it all up! I want to try this, have not work with coconut nectar before.

        • The Wimpy Vegetarian August 31, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

          Hi Wendy! Robin, my husband’s step-daughter, made it with honey and it was fabulous with that too. So don’t feel like you have to use coconut nectar if you don’t have easy access to it.
          The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..No-Bake (Healthy) Peanut Butter Fudge My Profile

  9. Marissa August 31, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

    I found this on Pinterest, and it looks great! I was curious, does the coconut ingredients leavea coconut taste on the fudge? I’m not a big fan of a lot of coconut, but I can take just a little hint. Thanks, and I can’t wait to try this recipe!!

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian August 31, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

      The coconut nectar doesn’t contribute any coconut flavor, but the coconut oil does. However, I find that the chocolate and peanut butter flavors mute it quite a bit. I too am not a huge fan of too strong a coconut flavor. And the better the chocolate, the more that will be true. Valrhona chocolate is worth springing for in this recipe, but I also like Guittard. Hope you give it a try and like it as much as we do!!!
      The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..No-Bake (Healthy) Peanut Butter Fudge My Profile

  10. Jessie September 2, 2012 at 3:42 am #

    Looks awesome! Can’t wait to try. Thanks!

  11. Katie September 2, 2012 at 10:38 pm #

    I love love love anything with chocolate and peanut butter. Mmmmm. Great idea using coconut oil, I love cooking with it. I haven’t tried coconut nectar yet, so I’ll have to seek some out. Thanks for the recipe.

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian September 2, 2012 at 10:46 pm #

      Thanks so much! Chocolate and peanut butter is just such a perfect combo for me too. And I have Robin to thank for turning me onto coconut oil! I highly recommend it.
      The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..Rainy Day ComfortMy Profile

  12. The Wimpy Vegetarian September 2, 2012 at 10:45 pm #

    Thanks soooo much! I’m so excited to be featured by you guys!!!
    The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..Rainy Day ComfortMy Profile

  13. Hannah September 4, 2012 at 11:50 am #

    This fudge looks amazing (your photo is very enticing!) and I love that you included peanut butter – delicious! I am a fan of coconut oil and have been incorporating it more in my cooking/baking. Have a fabulous month in Italy!!! I can’t wait to hear about your eating adventure.
    Hannah recently posted..Beet, Greens and Zucchini Tart: Oxbow Box Project Part 2My Profile

  14. Terra September 15, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

    Have a blast in Italy, that is the big trip hubby and want to do in a few years:-) I love your recipe, it is wonderful to find such an easy, fun fudge recipe! Beautiful, Hugs, Terra

  15. Grace October 23, 2012 at 11:23 pm #

    I made these today before work and was pleasantly surprised to see how much like hard fudge these were out of the freezer. I just sliced them up and can’t wait to eat these on the go to school tomorrow! Thank you for this simple and healthy recipe :)

    -from a grateful college student!

  16. mary flynn November 30, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

    What is unsweetened chocolate powder? I have never seen that before. Do you have to go to a special “chocolatiers only” store? I will probably try this, and just substitute Cocoa for the chocolate powder.

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian November 30, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

      Hi Mary, thanks for your question! Chocolate powder is the same as cocoa powder, and you bring up a great point. It’s more commonly known as cocoa powder – I’ll make that change to the recipe. Thanks! Some cocoa powders are sweetened to make, for example, hot chocolate, and you don’t want to use that in this recipe. The can or box will typically say either natural or dutch processed unsweetened cocoa powder (either will work in this recipe). If you have a favorite brand of cocoa powder, use it. I’ve used Ghirardelli and Rademaker cocoa powder in this recipe with great success. Good luck with it – I hope you like it!

  17. janelle March 4, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

    This recipe is soooo easy and soooo delicious. I have only one question. I find that the finished product melts pretty quickly after removing from the fridge, so I’ve been keeping it there until serving. Any tips on how to keep it from melting?

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian March 4, 2013 at 10:36 pm #

      Thanks Janelle! I want to try to find a solution for this too. I have the exact same problem. I keep it there until serving too. But it’s so good, I keep making it. I’m going to do some thinking and researching and see if I can come up with a solution, and will let you know if I land on something.
      The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..Adzuki Beans with Miso and Chopped KaleMy Profile

  18. laurasmess June 12, 2013 at 11:18 pm #

    I think I’m in love with your gorgeous blog! This recipe is both healthy and indulgent in the best of ways :) I’ll definitely be trying this very soon. Thanks for your recipe – love your blog. Happy to follow you!
    laurasmess recently posted..Curing Olives (and an Introduction to Hippy Vic)My Profile

  19. Kai July 20, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

    I made a half batch of this last night using agave and I’ve already eaten most of it. The sea salt on top is perfect for giving just a bit of that grainy texture I want and is a great contrast to the richness of the fudge. Delish!

  20. Ellen December 18, 2014 at 11:18 am #

    Wow. I noticed I used liquid coconut oil. The fudge will still work? I just put in the freezer to see if it can get hard.

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian December 18, 2014 at 11:22 am #

      Thanks for the question, Ellen! The coconut oil I use is solid at room temperature, but quickly liquifies with heat. Is your’s liquid even at room temp??
      The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..Lemon Roasted Fennel with Olives and BreadcrumbsMy Profile

      • Ellen December 18, 2014 at 11:31 am #

        Thank you for answering me so fast. Yeap, it’s liquid at room temperature. :/ I don’t know if it will get hard. Do you think this still has a salvation?

        • The Wimpy Vegetarian December 18, 2014 at 12:05 pm #

          I just responded to the email, but just in case it doesn’t go through to you: I don’t think it has a chance of setting up at room temp. If the coconut oil solidifies in the fridge, that will work – but you’ll need to keep them there until you eat them. Freezing for a short time should work too. Really, really sorry!!!
          The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..Lemon Roasted Fennel with Olives and BreadcrumbsMy Profile

        • The Wimpy Vegetarian December 18, 2014 at 12:07 pm #

          Oh, and I’m going to go in a change the ingredients, so this is clear from the get go. I didn’t realize it could be liquid at room temp – none of it is in my stores, but it might be limited selection that we’re seeing here. Thanks again for your question!
          The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..Lemon Roasted Fennel with Olives and BreadcrumbsMy Profile

          • Ellen December 18, 2014 at 12:45 pm #

            Yes, on my coconut oil label, it says: “Liquid coconut oil. Stays liquid when refrigerated.” And wow, I just took it out of the freezer and it’s DELICIOUS!!! It worked!! I’m so happy! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe and answering me so fast! The good thing about the liquid coconut oil is that I didn’t have any problem mixing the ingredients (I thought I would have to melt a little bit). Well, I must say that it melts super fast once you cut and eat with your fingers, but the experience is even better. Thanks so much! :)

            • The Wimpy Vegetarian December 18, 2014 at 1:02 pm #

              Yay!!!!!!!!! I’m so happy it worked!!!! And so, so glad you like it :-) Woo-hoo!!
              The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..Lemon Roasted Fennel with Olives and BreadcrumbsMy Profile

              • Ellen December 18, 2014 at 1:12 pm #

                Me too!!! You are such a sweetheart! Thanks!! Oh, it has to be left in the freezer. I tried to put in the fridge and started to melt. A couple of hours in the freezer to get hard and keep it there too until it’s time to eat. It was what I noticed. :))))


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