This easy butter pecan fudge recipe is melt-in-your-mouth creamy, buttery, and loaded with nutty toasted pecans! Goes perfectly with the other treats in holiday gift boxes like Grinch Crinkle Cookies.
Can we talk about fudge for a second? Growing up, I thought the only kind of fudge was chocolate fudge – and while I was completely okay with that, it wasn't until I got older that I realized there are so many different flavors of fudge.
I still lean toward the chocolate flavors, but my favorite in recent years has been butter pecan fudge. Don't tell Young Leslie, because she didn't like nuts and would be totally against everything I do these days.
Side note: I've heard people refer to “southern pecan fudge”, which I don't believe is the same thing as butter pecan fudge and actually has a chocolate base.
You know who else likes fudge? This fluffy idiot who smells the butter and comes running into the kitchen like a bat out of hell.
And then proceeds to stare at me with an uncomfortable amount of eye contact the entire time I'm cooking in between grooming himself in the most awkward ways with reckless abandon.
Tips for making the perfect butter pecan fudge
- Make sure you're using unsalted butter, and unsalted pecans. You want to able to control the amount of salt to your liking, and if it's already added you can't go back!
- Don't worry about chopping all your pecans evenly. Roughly chop them, and don't stress over the uniformity. Variation is more unique!
- Don't skip the step of toasting the pecans! This is what gives this fudge such full flavor in every bite. Taking a bite into a raw, unsalted, dry pecan would be terrible.
- Use a thermometer to make sure you boil the mixture to the right temperature. I don't own a candy thermometer – I just use my ThermoWorks ChefAlarm (aff link) and hook it to the side of the pan with the probe clip, with the tip of the probe positioned so that it's above the bottom of the pan. See the step-by-step photo #3 below to see what I mean:
- Use a sturdy spoon or spatula to mix in your powdered sugar. You don't have to use something flexible, because the mixture is going to get thick and you'll need to put a little muscle behind it near the end.
- Save a handful of pecans to press into the top. Set aside 2-4 tablespoons of your chopped pecans, and once you're done pressing the fudge into your prepared pan, press those pecans into the top. It just makes for a nice presentation!
What is the best way to store fudge?
The nice thing about fudge is that it's got a decently long shelf life, so you don't have to worry about it going bad quickly during all your holiday baking and gifting!
You just need to make sure you store it correctly to prevent moisture loss, which is how you end up with dry, crumbly fudge.
If you plan on gifting it to others, slice it and wrap each piece (or portion) in plastic wrap, then place in an airtight container – this way it's all ready to go and you can just grab what you need for each person's gift!
This is perfect for when you have guests that drop by unexpectedly, or you want something for your mailman or other delivery folk quickly.
If you're keeping it for yourself, just slice it and place it in an airtight container in between layers of wax paper or parchment paper.
- Room temperature: Up to 2 weeks.
- In the fridge: Up to a month.
- In the freezer: Up to a year!
The result of your efforts is soft, creamy, buttery fudge with a lovely crunch of pecan in each bite. I feel like the smell alone is worth the effort, to be honest. It's intoxicating.
You can make the pieces as big or as small as you want, but either way you're probably going to need to make another batch soon because these babies are going to disappear faster than you can say National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.
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Easy Butter Pecan Fudge
- Line an 8×8″ pan with parchment paper, making sure it hangs over the sides. You can also line with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray.
- In a large skillet or frying pan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add chopped pecans and cook (add a pinch of salt, if desired), stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.1/2 cup (113 ½ g) + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter1 cup (99 g) whole pecansPinch salt
- In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine remaining 1/2 cup butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and heavy cream.1/2 cup (113 ½ g) + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter3/4 cup (165 g) light brown sugar1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar1/2 cup (119 g) heavy cream
- Once the butter has melted, give it a quick stir and then bring to a boil. Let boil for 5 minutes – no stirring! If using a thermometer, you want it at 235°F.
- Remove from heat and let cool for at least 5 minutes, preferably 10.
- Add vanilla and salt, stir to combine.1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract1/2 teaspoon (½ teaspoon) salt
- Slowly add in powdered sugar, stirring to combine. It will start to get thick – you may need to put a little muscle in it near the end! Set aside 2-4 tablespoons of pecans, add the rest to the pot, and stir again to combine.2 cups (240 g) confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)
- Press batter into prepared pan, top with your reserved pecans and press them into the top, and let set in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Slice in 24 pieces (or more id you'd like smaller pieces). Enjoy!
The provided nutrition information is generated by an automatic API and does not take variations across specific brands into account. This information is provided as a general guideline and should not be treated as official calculations. Learn more here.