Easy 3 ingredient, no-bake, old fashioned potato candy is such a surprisingly delicious and addictive treat that’s perfect for peanut butter lovers and gift-giving alike!
For more candy recipes that are sure to be a hit, check out my much-loved posts for Spring Confetti Crock Pot Candy, Soft Caramels, and Best Ever Caramel Corn.
Holidays are the perfect time to enjoy candies, cookies, and treats, but why wait all year to make sweet treats? I say any time is a great time for something sweet. My mom is a fantastic candy maker and one of the things I look forward to is when she makes her peanut brittle, English toffee, and potato candy.
Potato candy at its core is simply an old-fashioned candy you just can’t mess up. With only 3 ingredients (4 if you’re feelin’ craaaaazy) and no baking time, it’s so easy to make…and no it doesn’t taste like potato at the end, it tastes so sweet and kind of soft and cloudy. Just trust me on this!
Why This Recipe Works
Potatoes — I mean, not only can you not call this “potato candy” without the potatoes, but you need the starches in the potato to turn the powdered sugar into something creamy that tastes more like fudge or divinity.
Peanut butter — I say give me the peanut butter everything! It just works with this potato candy recipe. However, see below for more fillings you could use in this candy.
Incorporating powdered sugar slowly — I suggest you add the last 4 cups of powdered sugar one at a time to get each cup incorporated into the mashed potato or you will end up with lumpy candy. Each cup will mix in easily, though it will get thicker as you add.
Chill time — It’s waaaaay easier to cut this potato candy into pieces if you chill it for about 30 minutes first. Otherwise, your knife will just kind of mush everything together. So do allow for the candy to have some time alone in the fridge before cutting.
Here’s How You Make It
So now that you know what makes this recipe work, you probably want to know how to make potato candy right? Read on!
- Place the small (peeled) potato in a small pot, cover it with water, and then boil it until it’s very tender. Then, drain the water and transfer the potato to a large bowl. Mash the potato with a potato masher (or use a hand mixer) until it’s smooth and lump-free.
- Next, add 4 cups of powdered sugar to the bowl with the potato and mix until blended (will be a sticky mess and this point). If opting to use vanilla, mix in now. Mix in the remaining powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until mixture is very thick (slightly thicker than cookie dough).
- Now, lay down a large sheet of wax paper and sprinkle it generously with powdered sugar. Transfer the candy mixture to the wax paper and sprinkle the top of it with more powdered sugar so you can easily roll it out to a ¼-inch-thick rectangle.
- You’ll then spread the peanut butter evenly over the flattened potato candy. Roll it up tightly (long side toward long side) into a long log. Wrap it up in the wax paper, cut the whole thing in half crosswise and put the two halves inside a large resealable bag. Seal the bag and chill the candy for at least 30 minutes or until it’s firm. Or, cut it just 30 minutes before you’re ready to serve it.
- To slice, unwrap the candy and use a knife to cut it into 1-inch thick slices.
- Serve or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- The traditional way to make this potato candy is to spread peanut butter in the center, but it’s 2021 and we live on the edge now, so other fillings are perfectly acceptable. Some of my favorite ways to mix it up include cookie butter, almond (or another nut) butter, Nutella, crunchy peanut butter, chocolate chips, sprinkles — go crazy!
- I suggest between 6-8 cups of powdered sugar. It’s hard to predict what you’ll actually need. So start with the 4 cups, then do one at a time from there until your dough is kind of playdoh like. You want to be able to roll it so it can’t get too stiff, nor should it be too sticky. I guess if you have to make a few batches to get it just right, then you can have a taste-test with your family after!
- If you are going to give some of this as a gift, I recommend putting small pieces of wax paper between each piece or layer in the container that you choose. Also remember to tell the receiver to keep the candy in the fridge.
3 Ingredient Old Fashioned Potato Candy (no bake)
- 1 small potato - (should fit in a 1 cup measuring cup, you can also use half of a medium potato) peeled and cut into 1-2 inch pieces, (alternate option: ½ cup plain mashed potatoes)
- 6-8 cups powdered sugar
- ⅔ cup peanut butter - (or cookie butter)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla (optional)
- Place potato in a smal pot, cover with water, and boil until very tender. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Mash (or use a hand mixer) until smooth and lump-free.
- Add 4 cups powdered sugar and mix until blended (will be a sticky mess and this point). If opting to use vanilla, mix in now. Mix in more powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until mixture is very thick (slightly thicker than cookie dough).
- Lay down a large sheet of wax paper and sprinkle generously with powdered sugar. Transfer candy mixture to the wax paper and sprinkle the top with more powdered sugar. Roll out to 1/4 inch thick rectangle.
- Spread peanut butter evenly over candy. Roll tightly (long side toward long side), then wrap in the wax paper. Cut in half crosswise and put the two halves inside a large resealable bag. Seal the bag and chill for at least 30 minutes until firm, or until about 30 minutes before ready to serve.
- Unwrap candy and slice into 1-inch thick slices and serve or store in airtight container, chilled, up to 2 weeks.
Microwave cooks the potato faster and jif peanut butter is the best to use for potato candy
I recently discovered WHIPPED peanut butter. AWESOME !! I will use that .
Whipped peanut butter is an absolute staple in my house!!!
I am made this for my grandchildren with food allergies. I modified the recipe to make “potato candy buckeyes” which will be gluten free/dairy free. I mixed flaked coconut into the batter and let chill for a couple of hours. After the batter set up I rolled it into balls and dipped into ‘Enjoy Life’ GF/DF melted chocolate. I placed each dipped ball on a wax paper covered cookie sheet and put in the fridge until good and firm. Once I was confident they would remain intact – I packaged in cute candy bags.
Thank you for this post. This was a huge part of my childhood. My mom, who’s been gone for 3 years ,made it for special occasions and every hesitant taste tester swore they wouldn’t like it, devoured it with enthusiasm, and then asked for some to take home. And you’re so right, an annual tin of gifted potato candy makes for great neighbors!
Your blogging style is simply perfect; a beautiful trip down memory lane without having to read too long, due credit to your lovely mom and a “you can’t mess this up” recipe. Thank you for sharing your talents!
I was introduced to Potato Candy in School. It was served all through the school year. Loved it!
I my goodness! I haven’t made this in years. Thanks for reminding me how good it is.