Homemade Pay Day Candy Bars

Delicious Homemade Pay Day Candy Bars are both salty and sweet, taste just like the real thing, & are SO easy to make!

If you love candy bars as much as I do you will LOVE these homemade pay day candy bars. They are chewy and delish. For more homemade candy try Oreo chocolate mint candy cups, and Homemade caramels.

Homemade Pay Days on a white plate

PayDay Candy Bar

Hi, it’s me, Lily again! I love to share simple recipes for some of my favorite treats. Today, I’m sharing a recipe for Homemade Pay Day Candy Bars. These candy bars are quick and easy. They taste so good, and are sure to be a hit!

This candy bar happens to be my mom’s favorite. She loves peanuts, and the contrast of salty and sweet is just so good!

I hope you can come back again soon for more yummy treats from me. I love to make people smile through food!

Layer of peanuts in a glass dish

marshmallows in a caramel mixture.

Creamy layer in a glass baking dish

Homemade Pay Days in a glass baking dish

cut homemade pay day bars on a white plate

Quick + Easy candy bars

PEANUTS. Pour half your peanuts into a greased 11×7 pan and spread so they cover the bottom.

FILLING. In a small pan melt butter and chips until well combined. Add condensed milk and marshmallows and stir until all mixed. Pour over peanut mixture.

TOPPING. Top with remaining peanuts and let cool (refrigerate if desired).

cut homemade pay day bars stacked on a white plate

recipe tips

You can use a microwave safe bowl to warm the butter and peanut butter chips in 30 second intervals. Just take the bowl out every 30 seconds and stir it to make sure nothing is sticking and/or burning. After it is successfully melted mix in the sweetened condensed milk and marshmallows.

Using roasted peanuts gives the pay day candy bar more crunch and a little bit more flavor.

If you only have a 9×13 pan your candy bars will just be a bit thinner and may need less time to cool and solidify.

To make these healthier you can make the candy bar base out of ground up dates. Place the dried and pitted dates into the food processor along with some coconut oil and peanut butter for some moisture. Grind until a paste forms. Then sandwich this paste between peanuts to make the actual bars.

Delivering homemade candies to others can be a little tricky. Just make sure that whatever you wrap it in doesn’t stick to the candy. Wrapping it in parchment paper and then other wrappings allow for the candy to not stick, but also look nice.

close up of homemade pay day bars stacked on a white plate

Storing info

STORE homemade pay days in an air-tight and sealed container in a cool and dry place. You can store them in the fridge, or if it is cool outside keeping them on the kitchen counter should be fine too. You can keep them for up to a week before the bars get hard and inedible.

Typically you shouldn’t FREEZE caramel based candy bars because they become rock solid and don’t defrost very well. We also recommend not freezing these homemade candy bars

Homemade Pay Days process

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Homemade Pay Day Candy Bar Recipe

4.73 from 18 votes
Delicious Homemade Pay Day Candy Bars are both salty and sweet, taste just like the real thing, & are SO easy to make!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes
Servings 16
Calories 391 kcal
Author Lil' Luna


  • 3 cups salted peanuts
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups peanut butter chips
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk


  • Pour half your peanuts into a greased 11x7 pan and spread so they cover the bottom.
  • In a small pan melt butter and chips until well combined. Add condensed milk and marshmallows and stir until all mixed.
  • Pour over peanut mixture.
  • Top with remaining peanuts and let cool (refrigerate if desired).

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About the Author

Kristyn Merkley

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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  1. 5 stars
    Made your payday candy and my family loved it! Gone! My 20 something daughter will be making it to take to the shore with her friends. Thanks for sharing the recipe, it’s a keeper.

  2. Tried making your Pay Day bars, but came out soft instead of firm. They have been the refrigerator for over a day, may see what happens if I freeze them.

  3. I made this and it was good, but too sweet for a payday bar. I sliced it after some time in the fridge and rolled it and pressed more peanuts in it and it was perfect

  4. 5 stars
    I’m making these payday candy bars to take in the car on our trip from Florida to Illinois. I hope they travel well. I’m cutting them smaller and layering them in parchment paper and putting in zip lock bags. Not sure if they need to be in the cooler. I’m sure it will be the best part of our trip.

    1. That’s interesting..I am not sure why it didn’t?! Did you try sticking them in the fridge?

  5. I had the same problem that a lot of the others had, mine did not set up, I put them in the freezer for about 2 or more hours, then I took them out of the freezer and put them on the counter, I was going to cut them but when I came out about a half hours later, they had melted all over my counter, I had to scrape them off of the counter into a dish, they are very tasty, so we have just been eating them out of the dish, with a spoon, but I have to leave them in the frige

  6. 5 stars
    OMGOSH, Delicious! And so easy and fast to make!
    SOme posts read tHat theirs didn’t set-Up, so i was sure to follow directions to a t. I used real butter, and slowly added the sweetened condensed milk while constantly stirring. Took no time at all. Bars started to set-up while on the counter, but put them in fridge and about a half an hour later they were COmplete and ready to cut into pieces.
    P.s. i used a lot more peanuts than required!! 🙂
    Thanks for the recipe! I’m glad I found iT!!

    1. I am glad you found it, too!! Happy you shared that & that you liked them!! Thank you so much!!

    1. The marshmallows help it all stick together. I haven’t left them out, so not sure how they would turn out, without them.

  7. 5 stars
    First time making these, and I tasted a little bit of the mixture, omg it’s so good. If I would of known how simple this was I could just of been making these instead of buying store bought ones. For this time, they are being put in holiday baked goods gifts for friends and family. Thank you so much for posting this awesome and very simple recipe!

  8. Made these this week for the first time. Didn’t set up. Have been in the fridge over 24 hours and still not set up. Taste good but very sticky and messy.

  9. 5 stars
    OMG! I can’t believe how spot on this tastes like the actual candy bar! We have a wonderful nun that used to be at our church and she is recovering from covid 19. Payday is her favorite candy bar and I’m going to make a batch for her as soon as she’s feeling 100%! Thanks for sharing!

  10. 5 stars
    This might be one of the best things I’ve ever made. Soooooo good! Made a small batch, thanks for the serving adjuster provided. Absolutely divine!

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