Easy Fudge


You say “fudge” and I immediately smell the salty air that wafts up from the shores of the Atlantic. Although fudge is a traditional gift toted around in tins at Christmas-time, it always reminds me of the beach. A quaint little beach town (or crowded boardwalk, for that matter) wouldn’t be complete without a homemade fudge shop nestled in between the salt water taffy store and the “I forgot sunblock, aloe, and a souvenir” store. You can’t walk within 100 yards of it without being completely immersed in the smell of rich chocolate goodness. Seems as though it might be a tad unethical to sell that stuff to people who are already on the verge of passing out from sucking in their stomachs all day at the beach, no?

At any rate, fudge is such a popular confection that I’m amazed I have never made it myself. Perhaps it has been the increasing temperatures and warm breezes that have me daydreaming about feeling sand between my toes, and led me to stirring chocolate and chopping walnuts.


(It also didn’t hurt that I saw “Fudge” listed in my Top 100 and thought that it would probably be an easy one to knock off. Shh… don’t tell anyone!)

Honest-to-goodness-from-scratch fudge is made by heating together sugar, butter, and milk to a precise temperature, adding chocolate, and then mixing, mixing, mixing until the right consistency is reached. I have made it my goal to make the real deal come holiday season, but there are so many quick recipes that substitute sweetened condensed milk for the heating and stirring of the sugar, butter, and milk that I thought for my first time out I would give a quick recipe a shot. There is also a variation on the quick recipe that uses miniature marshmallows, which is known as San Francisco fudge.


This is an incredibly quick recipe – it takes longer to chop the nuts than it does to put together the rest of the recipe. Melt together the chocolate and sweetened condensed milk, stir in vanilla and nuts, and you’re done! Fudge is easy to adapt to suit your taste – use different flavors of chocolate, peanut butter, even maple syrup! The possibilities are endless and I look forward to exploring a lot of them once the holidays roll around.

Want more chocolate candy recipes? Try some of these:
Cheesecake Truffles
Peppermint Bark

Classic Fudge

Yield: 25 pieces

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes


2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup sweetened condensed milk
2½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts (or whatever type of nut you prefer, if any at all)


1. Line an 8-inch baking pan with wax paper.

2. Place bittersweet chocolate, semisweet chocolate, and sweetened condensed milk in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, making sure that the water is not boiling and that the bowl is not touching the water.

3. Stir the mixture occasionally until the chocolate has melted. Stir in the vanilla extract and nuts.

4. Spread fudge evenly in prepared baking pan. Refrigerate for 2 hours, or until firm. Cut when cool and firm.

Storing: Fudge generally should not be stored in the refrigerator because it can dry out. It can be stored for up to a week in an airtight container at room temperature. If you wish to store it for longer than a week, fudge can be frozen for up to six months. Wrap in wax paper and place in a freezer bag.

(Adapted from Ghiradelli)


21 Responses to “Easy Fudge”

  1. Eliana on May 13, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    Fudge is one of those no fuss treats that is a definite crowd pleaser. I’ve never made it but this recipe seems so easy. thanks so much for posting.


  2. Cookin' Canuck on May 13, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    My friend’s family always made the most delicious fudge at Christmastime, but were rather secretive about their recipe. Your photo looks just like their fudge, so I’m going to give this a try. Thank you!



  3. Joelen on May 13, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    Looks great Chelle!


  4. Audrey on May 13, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    The “honest-to-goodness-from-scratch” fudge is so good and not as hard as many people think, once you know how to do it. That’s how I’ve been doing it since I learned when I was a kid, I’ve never used sweetened condensed milk, chocolate bars, marshmallows or marshmallow fluff in my fudge, it’s just not the same as from scratch! Can’t wait to see when you try it from scratch, hope it goes well.


  5. Katie on May 14, 2009 at 8:03 am

    OH YUM!! That looks fantastic!!


  6. stephchows on May 14, 2009 at 10:02 am

    I always make fudge for people at christmas time, but I totally have the same memories as you down the jersey shore 🙂


  7. kitchenbelle on May 15, 2009 at 10:17 am

    Wow, this looks delicious. Great photos!


  8. Elyse on May 17, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    Sorry that I’ve been an absent commenter; I just finished up my law school exams and am finally getting around to my google reader. This treat looks fabulous! Can I admit to you that I like fudge made with sweetened condensed milk better than fudge made the “slow” way??


  9. Lisa on June 17, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Oohh I am making this for my bro-in-law for father’s day. He loves fudge! I laugh because he is so disciplined about it. He can make a nice sized piece last for a week!


  10. Lisa on November 2, 2009 at 11:40 am

    Seriously? That is all there is to it? Why havent’ I seen this recipe before!


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  12. Melissa on December 14, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Sorry, but this is a no-go for me. I made it twice and both times it got so chunky that I couldn’t do anything with it! Definitely won’t waste money on this again.


    • ana on December 17th, 2011 at 7:16 pm

      I did not have much luck with this recipe either. The instructions were not clear as far as the thickness of the chocolate mixture when “melted” – mine was like playdough, not liquid “hot fudge”. I heated it in a double boiler over simmering (not boiling) water for over 45 minutes and it was still very thick, like play-doh. At that point the fat had started to separate out too. After chilling it had little puddles of grease at the bottom. I’m disappointed I wasted the ingredients (Callebaut chocolate and Penzey’s vanilla). I don’t know if something went wrong or if it is not supposed to be like the fudge you get at a fudge shop (melt in your mouth creamy). Can you think of what went wrong?


      • Steph in Lex on December 10th, 2012 at 10:22 am

        I made this Saturday and had the same problem. I was extremely frustrated but ended up making it turn out okay, although I was disappointed with the taste compared to “real” fudge that I’ve had (the stuff my mom makes). I think maybe what I did wrong was that I put the bowl over the water right away, before it was simmering. Either way, whatever the problem was, I was able to save it by just taking the bowl off the heat, putting the chocolate directly into the saucepan, and then stirring in the vanilla. As soon as I put the vanilla in, it reached a more expected consistency, kind of like when you’re making the Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip cookie recipe and you add the eggs to the butter and sugar. As I said, I was still disappointed in the taste–kind of reminds me of if you melted down a semisweet chocolate morsel and then let it harden back up again, not the melt-in-your-mouth quality of good fudge–but at least I was able to make it into something I didn’t have to throw out.

        Bottom line: I also made Michelle’s eggnog fudge and maple-walnut fudge yesterday, which both involve the longer, more time-consuming process, and it was one thousand percent worth it to put in the extra time. Next time I attempt chocolate fudge, it will be the non-“easy” version and not this one.


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  15. Dena on January 6, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Mine didn’t turn out either. It seized up and got rock hard. Very disappointed.


  16. The Fudge Lady on January 25, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    I am sorry to see that your fudge is made with sweetened condensed milk- It reminds me of the recipe I see often that has fudge made in the microwave. In order for fudge to be ” fudgey”, the sugar, butter and milk need to be boiled together for at least 12 minutes, then the “chocolate” or “cocoa’ are added once this mixture is taken off the stove. Believe me, this is what fudge should taste like!


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