Hazel’s Easy Chocolate Fudge
Last year, a week or so before Christmas, my aunt sent me an email saying that she had found a recipe card in her mom’s old recipe box for fudge. The problem, however, was that there was just a list of ingredients (and some of them were vague, like “can of milk”) and the direction, “4 ½ minutes”. My aunt said that her mom had made this fudge every single Christmas since she was a little girl, and she really wanted to try to make it, but wanted to know if I could make heads or tails of the recipe. I pieced together some other fudge recipes with similar ingredients and sent her a guess at the ambiguous ingredients and procedure steps. She made it last year and said it turned out great; I decided to give it a shot of my own last week, and it was by far the best chocolate fudge I’ve made to date.
I’ve always found fudge to be really finicky, so I wasn’t terribly optimistic about tackling a fudge recipe that didn’t require a thermometer, and one in which I had to guesstimate the procedure to begin with. HOWEVER, this turned out to be the best-tasting chocolate fudge that I have ever made, plus it was easy as could be. Sometimes fudge can end up being a little too soft or, on the other side of the spectrum, way too dry and crumbly. This fudge is absolute perfection – it’s firm but unbelievably creamy and melts in your mouth.
I asked my aunt earlier this week if it would be okay with her if I shared her mom’s recipe on the site, and she said that she would be honored, as the last time her mom was able to make it was back in 1989. I was curious if the fudge had a special name and she said the recipe card simply said “FUDGE”, but my aunt thinks that maybe the recipe was on the back of the huge Hershey’s chocolate bars back in the late 50’s or early 60’s.
It’s no secret that I love family recipes, especially ones that can evoke strong holiday memories. Perhaps this fudge will do the same for your family; if nothing else, it is an absolutely fantastic fudge recipe that is easy to make and doesn’t require any special equipment. Enjoy!
NOTE: There was a typo in the original recipe I posted, which called for 1 (5-ounce) can of evaporated milk. This should have been 1 (12-ounce) can of evaporated milk. The change has been made below and my apologies to all who experienced issues with this recipe!
One year ago: Soft and Chewy Gingersnap Cookies
Two years ago: Almond Lace Cookies
Five years ago: Chewy Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies
Hazel's Chocolate Fudge
- 16 ounce (453.59 g) Hershey's chocolate bar, broken into small pieces
- 24 ounce (680.39 g) semisweet chocolate chips
- 7 ounce (198.45 g) jar marshmallow creme
- 4½ cups (900 g) granulated sugar
- 12 ounce (340.2 ml) can evaporated milk
- 11 tablespoons salted butter
- Line a 9x13-inch pan with foil or parchment paper and lightly grease.
- Place the broken Hershey's bar, chocolate chips and marshmallow creme in a large bowl.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, evaporated milk and butter, and stir until the sugar and butter are melted. Bring to a rolling boil and boil for 4½ minutes. Immediately remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate, chocolate chips and marshmallow creme. Quickly stir until all of the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Cool at room temperature until set, about 2 hours. The fudge can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
This sounds like a recipe I used to make as a teen…which was a very long time ago…LOL. My hand-written recipe card says: 1 cup butter, 4 1/2 cups sugar, 7 ounce jar marshmallow creme, 14.5 ounce can of evaporated milk (1 2/3 cups), 8 milk chocolate bars, 12 ounce bag semi-sweet chocolate chips, 2 cups walnuts. The directions are similar to yours. Great fudge, easy and not fussy.
This made delicious fudge that was very easy. After two hours at room temp, it was still quite soft – too soft – although it was sufficiently firm to cut. I figured it was a loss and started thinking about other ways it could be used. It certainly was soft enough to spread. Maybe fudge frosting? But by several hours later, it had finally firmed up to the right temperature. So if your fudge seems too soft at 2 hours, don’t give up. Give it an hour or more longer.
I saw a couple of people asked about whether you stir or not during the 4.5 minutes, but I didn’t see an answer. Stir continuously or not during that 4.5 minutes?
Also, it appears that the 5 oz can of evaporated milk was the problem with dry/crumbly fudge. But back in the 50s/60s , the larger can of evaporated milk contained one ounce more than they do today. So even with an 11 oz can, if it seems a little dry, maybe an additional 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk might be helpful.
Hi Elaine, You do not need to stir while it boils, doing so can actually make the fudge grainy. Enjoy and thank you for the insight on the difference in sizes!
This is nearly the same recipe as our family’s Million Dollar Fudge recipe, except it uses sweetened condensed milk instead of evaporated milk. We make it every year at Christmas time!
You are so right about fudge being finicky. Mine (not this recipe – but one where I have to boil the ingredients) comes out dry and not creamy. Would this happen if it were boiled too much?
Hi Maureen, Yes boiling too much could definitely leave fudge dry or crumbly.
This recipe lists the marshmallow cream twice: once directed to boil in milk and butter, and again when stirring in the chocolate. Which way is correct?
Hi Faye, If you read closely, the marshmallow creme gets placed into a bowl with the Hersey’s bars and chocolate chips. The boiled milk and butter is POURED OVER the marshmallow creme/Hershey’s/chocolate chips mixture.
I don’t see vanilla listed as an ingedient / is there no vanilla?
Hi Cheryl, No vanilla!
I wanted to try this recipe today but can’t figure out from the recipe and note if it uses evaporated or sweetened condensed milk?
Hi Andrea, My apologies, it should be evaporated milk.
The recipe call for 1 (16 ounce) Hershey choc bar. The biggest bar I can find is 4.4 ounce. Help.
I would buy four of the 4.4-ounce bars.
Unfortunately, I had a similar experience to many commenters – my batch turned out dry, crumbly, and gritty – not very festive! I think this recipe may need to be revisited – I’ve been making candy for years, and I’ve never had a recipe go quite this badly before.
unfortunately my batch turned out dry and crumbly also. I was quite disappointed. ended up not wanting to serve it as it didn’t look great so ended up tossing most of it after new years and felt super wasteful.
This fudge did not turn out well at all :( I followed the recipe exactly and it came out dry and crumbly…any tips???
I was craving some Christmas fudge and remembered this recipe! I am right in the middle of making it, but I’m balking a little at the 4.5 cups of sugar. Can that be right? Seems like a lot of sugar for one pan of fudge with so many other sugar-laden ingredients already in it. And now I’m seeing that other people didn’t get good results. I’m a little worried, but I guess I’ll try it and see what happens!
Okay, it didn’t turn out dry, but it is a little gritty. I think 4.5 cups of sugar was way too much. Maybe it should have been 3?
Unfortunately, I had the same results here. It never came to a smooth consistency, more like wet sand. I had to press it into the pan and after it cooled, I tried to cut it and the whole thing fell apart. Dry, crumbly, and grainy. Not sure what went wrong. I’ve always had great luck with your recipes! It seemed like maybe there wasn’t enough liquid?
I had the exact same issue. I was originally going to use the entire can of evaporated milk but realized the recipe says 5oz so I measured 5oz and mine came out dry and crumbly. I feel like there should be more liquid in relation to the 4.5 cups of sugar… Any insight?
Does everyone who likes this recipe use the full can?
I just had the same thing happen as well, and it also had the layer of butter at the top when I put it in the pan. It’s the first Brown-Eyed Baker recipe that hasn’t worked for me. I’m wishing I had used the whole can of evaporated milk. I also did not stir it while it was boiling, because I have a toffee recipe that cooks without stirring, but this was definitely somewhat burned at the bottom. Oh well, this is my only fail of the holiday season! :-)
I just tried this recipe and didn’t have the best success — it certainly wasn’t pourable after I got everything mixed together and I was literally wiping a layer of butter off the top with a paper towel after I got it in the pan. My question is the 5 oz. can of evaporated milk — don’t they normally come in 11 oz? Could a full can have made it the correct consistency?
Hi Lara, I did not alter the evaporated milk and mine came out fine. I’m not sure why you would have a layer of butter on top??
It didn’t go to waste. I took it to work and it disappeared!
I was disappointed in my result – as others have stated, I was unsure whether to stir once the mixture began to boil (I didn’t) and it was very difficult to incorporate the hot syrup into the chocolate mix. I kept stirring and ended up pushing it into the pan with my hands. There is NO WAY that it would have poured as per Pam’s post above!! Waiting my 2 hours, but right now it is dry, crumbly and, yes, grainy. Expensive fail… a little more detail in the post or pictures would certainly help.
I am a big fan of this site; have made many successful recipes from it, but not this time.
Kind of funny, my dear old friend Hazel shared this recipe with me, we called it the Candy bar fudge. I’ll pour mine into a large cookie sheet – then you have tons to give away and not so thick.
So cool! This is my mom’s “never fail fudge” recipe. I had been looking for it since she passed! Xmas just got better :)
You can also add nuts if you want!
this recipe did come from Hershey, for years an old chocolate chip bag was in an old cookbook, until my Dad wrote it on the back page of the cookbook and tossed the bag. This recipe went with us when we moved from the States, to Korea, Japan, Philippines, Hong Kong and back stateside, as we were a Navy family.
I did use Hershey chocolate and mine turned dry and crumbly too.
Hi Michelle, I made this yesterday, followed the instructions, and it turned out sort of dry & crumbly. Would you have any idea why? I have made fudge before & never had this happen. The only substitution I made was using Trader Joe’s chocolate instead of Hershey’s. Help! I’m so bummed :(
Mine turned out dry and crumbly, too. It was also gritty.
Hi Natalie, I would imagine that the different chocolate could play a part, as it may have a different amount of sugar, milk fat, etc.
I just made some. Not sure if I was supposed to stir during the 4 1/2 minutes of boiling. Looks yummy. Thanks for sharing, and have a good holiday.
I wondered this, too, and stirred the whole time. My result was tasty but also dry and crumbly.
So delicious, a must-try for the holidays!
Thanks for all the great recipes! Enjoy being pregnant this Christmas season.
Is 1-16oz bar of Hershey’s correct or should it be 1 -6oz bar?
Thanks. Reminds me of a favorite aunt’s recipe that she made when I was a little girl.
Hi Molly, It’s a 16-ounce bar, or the equivalent.
About the Hershey bar is that a misprint? I can’t find a 16oz bar.
Just buy the equivalent of a sixteen ounce bar. They probably made 16 oz bars years ago when the recipe was developed. I bought the 14 oz and then 2 regular sized candy bars.
Hi Teresa, Not a misprint, I’ve seen them before, but just be sure to use 16 ounces, even if that means buying a few smaller bars.
I absolutely love that you figured out your aunt’s mom’s recipe and that it turned out so wonderful! And, can I say how much I love that her name is Hazel?? :)
Yum – I love chocolate fudge! Delicious – a great Christmas gift. Thanks for sharing!
I Googled a 16oz bar and they do make one but it’s a special item. Walmart only carries up to a 7oz.
I just got back from the grocery store and I am confused on the Hershey bar. The recipe says 1-16oz bar but the biggest one that Hershey makes is the giant 7oz bar. So, should I just use a few of the giant bars or was there a misprint when the recipe calls for 1-16oz bar?
Hi Mandy, I have seen 16-ounce Hershey bars, but maybe they don’t sell them everywhere? Just make sure to use 16 ounces, it can be from multiple bars :)
This sounds so good. I have a similar recipe for peanut butter fudge that is creamy and delicious. It would be great to have a chocolate one that is too. Usually chocolate fudge runs the risk of being gritty and too sweet. I can’t wait to try this. Thanks.
I remember using this recipe in the 60’s. I was a young mother and my mother was really impressed and requested it every year
this seriously looks like the best fudge ever!!
What a fun story! My fudge recipe has a similar story…but I’ll have to give this one a try…you can never have enough fudge! :)
This story is exactly why I love food so much…the stories behind old recipes are so sweet and touching. I love that you were able to give this recipe new life!
I will definitely try this (too easy not to)! I am wondering if it can be easily flavored with peppermint or other types of extracts?
Hi Juli, Yes, but add them at the end, after you take the boiling mixture off the heat (otherwise the extracts will get cooked off).
How much peppermint extract would you use? I would love to add this too but not sure how much to do to half of this recipe?
Is there a way to substitute regular butter and add some salt? I never use salted butter and id love to make this today. It looks delicious.
Hi Aisha, Yes, you could do that.
These items are going on my grocery list this week. I’m absolutely making this!
What a neat story! I love that you brought this back to life. Cherished recipes like this are just the best, especially at the holidays.
Oh my…..I’ve been making this recipe for over forty years! My favorite fudge recipe, very creamy. I do add nuts…
Sounds like a great easy recipe to add to the list for making this season.
I always love your family recipes, it is important to keep those old recipes alive. I am currently trying to convince some of the folks where I live to share recipes from their families, so they won’t be lost on a generation that seems not to care about keeping family traditions alive. I love to “can” and preserve. I recently asked a lady from out of town to share her grandmother’s Watermelon Rind Pickle recipe with me. I had made some and she tasted it, said it was good but not like what her grandmother made. She sent me the recipe and I asked for her to include her grandmothers name so the recipe could be preserved in her honor.
This is very similar to the recipe for Fantasy Fudge, which is my go to recipe for fudge.
Can nuts be added to this recipe? And if so, at what step and how much? Thanks!
You can add nuts at the end of step 3. Add a cup or just a little more.
I love your family recipes. Would you ever consider adding a section to your recipe index and include family favorites. Thanks
Hi Barbara, Thank you! I’ve had multiple requests for that, I will work on that in the coming weeks!
Thanks Michelle, Now we have 2 new things to look forward to- updates on your new baby and family favorites. You are the best!
My grandmother’s recipes are impossible to interpret, too. I always have to work backwards and try so many things! It’s fantastic that you made this work, and it’s not even hard to do! No thermometer! I can’t wait to try.
I love your family recipe and story posts. Seriously love the nostalgia and thank you for sharing this fudge. And how amazing that you made heads and tails of such a random list of stuff…but that’s how little old ladies ‘wrote recipes’. My grandma’s were the same way, if she even wrote them down. Pinned!
Hi from Australia,
This looks like a fudge recipe I’ll try. I’ve been looking at some today in preparation for Christmas.
I can usually translate US recipe and find equivalents, but I’m interested in your butter measurements.
Why do you measure in tablespoon rather than weight or sticks? An Australian table spoon is 30ml, what is a US one? If I was making this recipe it would be 330 grams of butter, or about 11 1/2 oz.
What did you use in weight and do you actually measure out 11 tablespoons?
Love your blog.
US measurements for butter are 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) per 4 oz of butter. If you don’t have a digital kitchen scale with both oz and grams then let Google do the math for you. Unless you’re, you know…..better at math than I am.
A US tablespoon is 15 ml.
There are 4 tbsp (North American) in 1/4 cup so 11 tbsp = half a cup plus 2 Aussie tbsp +1tsp. I’m Canadan and have been converting recipes for the nearly 28 years I’ve lived in Oz.
Hi I’m also from Australia and wondering what the equivalent to Marshmallow creme is? Can we buy it in Sydney or substiute plain marshmallows?
I’m not sure if you can buy it in Sydney (never been!), but you cannot substitute plain marshmallows. You could, however, make your own marshmallow creme: https://www.browneyedbaker.com/homemade-marshmallow-creme-recipe/
Hi Claire, 11 tablespoons would be 156 grams.