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Penuche (VRP 002)

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Penuche is a delightful, fudge-like confection known for its rich, caramel-like flavor derived from brown sugar. This classic treat, often enhanced with nuts or marshmallows for added texture, is a favorite in many households, especially during the holiday season. Its creamy texture and deep flavor profile make it a comforting sweet treat that’s hard to resist.

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A Short History

Penuche, with its roots in New England, is a variant of fudge that differentiates itself through the use of brown sugar, giving it a distinctive molasses flavor. The name “penuche” comes from “panocha,” a Mexican raw sugar, reflecting the confection’s caramelized sugar base. This dessert has been embraced for generations, often appearing at family gatherings and festive celebrations.

Tips for Making Penuche

  • Monitoring Temperature: Achieving the correct temperature is crucial when making penuche. Use a candy thermometer to ensure the mixture reaches the soft ball stage at 238 degrees Fahrenheit. This ensures the perfect texture.
  • Stirring: Constant stirring is necessary to prevent the sugar mixture from sticking and burning. A wooden spoon is traditionally used for this task.
  • Cooling: Allow the mixture to cool sufficiently before adding marshmallows or nuts and beating it. Cooling to about 110 degrees Fahrenheit ensures the penuche will set properly without becoming grainy.
  • Beating: The key to penuche’s creamy texture is vigorous beating after it has cooled. This process introduces air into the mixture, making it lighter and creamier.
  • Setting: Pour the beaten mixture into a well-buttered dish and allow it to cool completely. This rest period is essential for the penuche to set and achieve the desired consistency.
  • Cutting: Once cooled and set, cut the penuche into squares. A sharp knife lightly greased with butter can make this task easier, producing clean cuts.

Penuche Recipe Card


Front of the Penuche recipe card.

Penuche Recipe

Penuche offers a uniquely rich and comforting taste experience, combining the caramelized depth of brown sugar with the creamy consistency of traditional fudge. Whether you prefer the added crunch of nuts or the soft chewiness of marshmallows, this confection is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. Enjoy the process of making penuche, and relish in the joy it brings to your friends and family as they savor each creamy, flavorful bite.


Penuche (VRP 002)


  • 4 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup Karo syrup
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup chopped marshmallows or 1 cup chopped nuts


  1. Boil sugar, milk, syrup, butter, salt, and soda until a soft ball can be formed (238 degrees)
  2. Keep stirring to prevent sticking
  3. Remove from heat
  4. Cool
  5. Add the marshmallows or nuts and beat until creamy
  6. Pour into buttered dish and cool
  7. Cut into squares

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