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Copycat Payday Candy Bars

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If you’re a fan of Payday candy bars then you’ll go NUTS for this fast and easy Copycat Payday Candy Bars recipe. After all, who doesn’t love payday?!!

Homemade Copycat Payday Candy Bars on a blue plate.

*Disclaimer: this post may contain affiliate links where I can earn commissions from qualifying purchases made through links in this post.

This easy-to-make candy recipe is one you’ll turn to time again when you’re looking for a copycat candy that tastes just like the original!

You’re going to love these peanut and homemade nougat-filled candy bars!

**Please Note – The printable recipe card with detailed instructions, complete ingredient measurements, and nutritional information for making Copycat Payday Candy Bars is available near the end of this post. OR click on the “jump to recipe” button (found above) to be taken directly to the recipe.

For delicious nuts, candy, chocolate, dried fruits, baking supplies, and gifts, Oh! Nuts is a store not to be missed!!


Stack of homemade copycat payday candy bars on a blue plate.

The ingredient list:

**Note – The following lists of ingredients plus kitchen tools and equipment contain affiliate links (highlighted in blue) for your consideration and shopping convenience. #CommissionsEarned

Kitchen tools and equipment needed:

Long title image of Copycat Payday Candy Bars

In all honesty:

I’ve had several readers write me saying that their candy didn’t set properly.

While I’ve never had this problem with the recipe, I have gone in and altered the amount of butter from 1 stick to 4 tablespoons after doing a bit of research on this. I hope this helps going forward.

I want you, my readers, to be successful with the recipes you’ll find here, and I appreciate the honest feedback and will work hard to bring you recipes you’ll be proud to make and share.

How this recipe and video came to be:

This recipe for Copycat Payday Candy Bars is a redo from the original post I shared back in 2011. It’s hard to believe it’s been so long since I first shared this recipe. Where does the time go?

While a lot has changed in the past 7 years, this recipe has too.

Back in 2011 if you would have told me I’d be producing my own food videos, and that I’d have my own channel on YouTube, I would have literally laughed out loud.

Fast forward 7 years, and I’m doing just that, and having a whole lot of fun in the process!

Overhead picture of a plate of copycat payday candy bars on a blue plate and wood board. -

How long does take to make a copycat Payday candy bar?

From start to finish, it’s roughly 10-12 minutes. 

However, the candy will need to be refrigerated for up to 4 hours before slicing, so please plan accordingly.

What if I’m allergic to peanuts, can I substitute another nut?

  • Sure, but then it wouldn’t be a copycat Payday candy bar, would it? 😉
Vertical collage images of copycat payday candy bars on a blue scalloped plate.

The easy instructions:

  • Spray a 9″ x 13″ baking dish liberally with baking spray.
  • Layer one jar of the peanuts evenly in the bottom of the dish. Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, melt 4 T. butter over medium/low heat and stir in the peanut butter chips, and sweetened condensed milk. Stir to melt, and combine.
  • Continue cooking the mixture over medium/low heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
How to make Copycat Payday Candy Bars Photo Tutorial -
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the mini marshmallows, salt, and vanilla. 
  • Stir well to completely combine so there are no streaks of marshmallow.
How to make Copycat Payday Candy Bars Photo Tutorial -
  • Slowly pour the marshmallow mixture in an even layer over the peanuts in the baking dish.
  • Top the marshmallow mix evenly with the second jar of dry roasted peanuts.
  • Refrigerate for 4 hours and then carefully slice the candy into bars before serving.
How to make Copycat Payday Candy Bars Photo Tutorial -

For additional homemade candy recipes, please click on the following titles for:

Double Chocolate Graham Cracker Toffee -
Mega Sized Peanut Butter Cup -
Tropical White Chocolate Candy Bites -
Vertical Title Text image of homemade payday candy bars on a blue plate.

Below is the printable recipe card along with the nutritional information for today’s Copycat Payday Candy Bars


If you’ve made this recipe, or are excited to make this recipe, I’d appreciate it if you’d take a moment to leave it a star rating in the recipe card, along with a comment if you’re so inclined. Thank you. 🙂

These Fast & Easy Copycat Payday Candy Bars taste just like the original. You're going to love them! -

Copycat Payday Candy Bars Recipe

Renee – Kudos Kitchen
These fast and easy Copycat Payday Candy Bars taste just like the original. You're going to love them!
4.48 from 19 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Candy Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 24 servings
Calories 101 kcal


  • 2 large jars 16 ounces, each jar dry roasted peanuts
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 bag peanut butter chips
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch salt


  • Spray a 13″ x 9″ baking dish with baking spray.
  • Add one jar of the dry roasted peanuts in an even layer in the bottom of the sprayed dish. Set aside.
  • In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium/low heat.
  • Add the marshmallows, sweetened condensed milk, and peanut butter chips to the saucepan and stir well.
  • Continue cooking over medium/low heat (for approximately 5 minutes), stirring frequently.
  • Remove from the heat and add the salt and vanilla extract. Stir well.
  • Gently pour the marshmallow mix evenly over the peanut layer in the prepared pan, using a spatula to even out the marshmallow mixture if needed.
  • Sprinkle the remaining dry roasted peanuts over the marshmallow mixture, pressing them lightly into the filling.
  • Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours.
  • Cut into bars, serve and enjoy!



tools and equipment:
medium saucepan, spatula or wooden spoon, measuring spoons, measuring cups, 9″ x 13″ baking dish, baking spray


Serving: 1pieceCalories: 101kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 1gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 58mgSugar: 11g
Keyword copycat Payday Candy Bars, homemade peanut candy
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

So there you have it!  No more waiting for payday. Now you can have yours whenever you want it! Priceless. 😉

Thank you so much for visiting me here today in my Kudos Kitchen! 

I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed today’s homemade candy recipe as much as I’ve enjoyed bringing it to you!

Homemade Payday Candy bars on a blue oval plate.

Kudos Kitchen by Renee – Bringing you easy, economical, and delicious dishes to feed the people you love!

Until we eat again, I hope you have a delicious day!!


Should you have any questions or comments regarding this recipe or anything else you’ve seen on my site, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. It is always my distinct pleasure to get back with a reply just as soon as I possibly can!

Kudos Kitchen by Renee – Bringing you easy, economical, and delicious dishes to feed the people you love!

Until we eat again, I hope you have a delicious day!!

Small custom signature from Kudos Kitchen by Renee

**Note – The post above includes affiliate links. As always, I truly thank you for your support!

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Recipe Rating


Tuesday 14th of December 2021

I made these today but when I removed them from the pan they are runny. Not sure where I went wrong.


Wednesday 15th of December 2021

@Renée, did you hear back about the cornstarch or flour? I used less butter as you suggested but they are still sticky. Do you have any suggestions what to harden them with?


Wednesday 15th of December 2021

Hi, Mary! Thank you for writing. While I've never had this problem, unfortunately, others have. Since I want everyone to be successful with my recipes I've gone in and changed the amount of butter called for. I've cut it pretty drastically in the hopes that this will alleviate the problem of the candy not setting properly. I'm truly sorry that this happened and I hope you can accept my sincere apologies. I've gone in and also added a few lines about how and why I changed the recipe as a full transparency disclosure as I only want to be completely honest with you, my readers. Thanks so much for your honest comment, and again, I appreciate you and hope you will come back again. Take good care, Renee


Tuesday 19th of January 2021

those candy bars were magnificent. i use to eat them all the time but home made are so much better. my husband said i don't like pay day candy bars i said you have to try one and he did he ate 4 of them said these are really good thank you for the great recipes.


Tuesday 19th of January 2021

Awww, Peggy, thank you so much for the lovely comment. I really appreciate it!! Take good care, and thanks for being a follower of my blog! Renee

Claudia Lamascolo

Monday 7th of September 2020

I love these candy bars! I am so glad to find this and and printing it off right now my husband and son will go nuts over them thank Renee you're the best!


Monday 7th of September 2020

I know you're going to enjoy them, Claudia. Take good care, Renee

Kathy Goulden

Sunday 30th of June 2019

The pure vanilla extract makes the difference


Sunday 30th of June 2019

You are a girl after my own heart, Kathy! :)


Saturday 1st of June 2019

Great taste but horrible consistency - they never set up all the way, even with a day's refrigeration. I think I should have checked the internet for a good temperature to reach for candy bar consistency (I usually do this but trusted the just heat, blend and add directions). I tried leaving them in the pan and cutting as needed but that was a pain so I cut them apart and placed them on waxed paper on a plate after leaving them in the 'fridge but when I did that they just kind of melted into each other (yes, I did keep them refrigerated).


Thursday 16th of December 2021

@Rosie, mine did the same. Totally stuck to the pan and just globbed together; couldn’t put in cookie tins as too sticky. Flavor was good but disappointed as that was my cookie contribution for our cookie trays.


Sunday 28th of November 2021

@Uncommonsensesc, I had the same results, great taste but very sticky.


Sunday 2nd of June 2019

I'm sorry you didn't have success with this recipe. Wonder what could have gone wrong? As you can see from my photos, I didn't have this problem. I'm confused. Anyway, glad you enjoyed the taste. I'll bet it would taste good as an ice cream topping. ;) Renee