My all time favorite FUDGE! It’s easy to make, no thermometer required and has a great old fashioned, amazing fudge flavor and texture!
These days you can hardly visit a tourist town without running across three or four shops advertising their “homemade fudge.” Even normal towns seem to have one or two shops like that in their downtown stretches or main streets. I have a problem with those shops. Their “homemade fudge” just doesn’t taste all that homemade. It tastes the same as any tub of fudge you can get at any grocery store—and my choice adjective for the taste of store-bought fudge is “meh.” If you’ve never had real homemade fudge, you are missing out on one of the most succulent, rich candies/desserts you’ve ever enjoyed. This easy fudge recipe is a great place to get started into that world of homemade fudge wonders.
If you’re checking out other fudge recipes online you’re likely to come across quicker, maybe even simpler recipes for fudge. Don’t fall into the trap! Those recipes will not have the good old fashioned velvety fudge flavor and texture of this simple fudge recipe. Some recipes are little more than melted chocolate chips and some type of canned-milk product. (Heck, I’ve even seen some microwave fudge recipes.) Absolutely no judgment at all if that’s what you’re looking for—just be aware that this recipe is the best fudge recipe I’ve ever found in terms of balancing time spent vs. final product. It requires a minimal investment of maybe 15 minutes (not bad at all!), and produces a luscious fudge that is virtually foolproof. It is decadent enough to be something your grandma would have made.
With some easy fudge recipes, condensed milk is at the core of the whole thing. I generally find that the fudge ends up with a sickly-sweet flavor, and is waaay to thick. This is because condensed milk is very thick and very sweet—it provides virtually all of the flavor and texture to those fudge recipes.
This is an easy fudge recipe without condensed milk. Instead, I use evaporated milk. It’s only slightly thicker and sweeter than regular milk, making it perfect for this fudge. My fudge recipe gets its sweetness from other ingredients—it’s a perfectly blended formula for creamy decade.
This recipe doesn’t not require a candy thermometer.
Wait… what? Can I say that again? This recipe does NOT require a candy thermometer! That is a huge perk of this recipe. I love making candies, but those darn candy thermometers can be a pain. Want to make awesome fudge without all the hassle? Give this recipe a try.
Pots and Pans: It’s very important to remember to lightly butter the sides of your saucepan. As you work with that ooey, gooey fudge goodness, having a little grease on the sides of the pan can give you some extra confidence that the mixture won’t stick to your pan. Plus, using butter gives it a great little buttery flavor!
I use a Dutch oven to boil the sugar and evaporated milk, but that’s not absolutely required. I do it because it’s the largest high-sided pan I own. It’s the largeness that is key. As the mixture heats up and boils it expands. If you don’t have a large enough high-sided pan… well, no one wants a hot, sticky mess all over the stove and kitchen. Plus, having on overflow like that could seriously burn you. Make sure to use the largest high-sided pan you own!
The recipe makes a large batch of fudge… like a 5 pound batch. Yeah. When you’re working with that amount of fudge, getting it to come out of the baking dish easily is incredibly important. I suggest you grease the baking dish lightly with butter—this isn’t a job for plain ol’ nonstick cooking spray.
Another alternative would be to make a sling out of aluminum foil. This possibility is attractive for a few reasons:
You can remove the entire 5-pound slab in one piece for easier cutting.
You can make sturdy handles of foil.
You can use nonstick cooking spray—for some reason the fudge doesn’t seem to stick to the foil as badly as it does to the baking dish.
To make the sling, line the baking dish with a double layer of aluminum foil. Overlap the narrow edges be a few inches. (This overlapped part will become your handles.) The double layer is important because it gives the strength needed to lift a hefty 5-pound slab out of the pan.
Chocolate: When you finally combine the milk/sugar mixture with the melted chocolate mixture try to work as quickly as you can. The fudge starts setting sooner than you think it will, and you want it to remain as soft and malleable as possible to get it in the pan.
This also applies to the rest of the added ingredients. Have your nuts chopped and all the rest of the ingredients ready and measured before you actually start making the fudge. If you take too much time measuring and such as your working, the fudge may start to set before you’ve got everything in place!
Some people use fudges recipes with cocoa powder instead of chocolate chips. I find that the fudge doesn’t end up as creamy in powder is used, partially because the melted chips do so much to help achieve that awesome final texture.
Weather: It might seem odd to see a note about weather in a recipe, but actually the overall humidity can really affect your final product with this easy chocolate fudge recipe. Try to make your fudge on a dry day. If there’s too much humidity, your fudge can have a more sugary texture rather than that creamy, smooth texture we’re going for. If you kitchen happens to be too warm and humid it can cause the butter to separate from the candy.
Cutting: In order to get clean, smooth cuts from your finished fudge, don’t try to cut it right out of the refrigerator. Instead, let it sit until it’s gotten all the way to room temperature before cutting.
Variations: Chocolate fudge is my absolute favorite, and I definitely think you should give this recipe a chance before trying anything else. Once you’ve tried it, you can experiment with different additions and ingredients. This could be the basis for an easy peanut butter fudge recipe, or an easy cookies and cream fudge recipe. Let me know what you discover!
Trouble Shooting Separating: Sometimes when you make fudge, using ANY recipe, it can separate. I have made this recipe dozens of times and never had it separate. But to make sure it doesn’t happen to you, here are a few tips:
There are a few reasons the butter can separate from the fudge—
- The first is mentioned in above, making the fudge when its too humid.
- The second reason it can happen is if the directions for stirring aren’t followed exactly. It the recipe calls for constant stirring and you forget or get distracted and only stir occassionally, the butter can separate.
- A third reason there could be separating is if you use a thin bottom pan to make the fudge. Thin bottom (cheaper) pans don’t conduct heat as well and can create “hot spots” which can cause the butter to separate.
- A fourth, and most common reason fudge can separate happens when the candy has undergone an abrupt temperature shift, either becoming too cold or too hot in a very short period of time.
Now for the giveaway! I’m so excited to share this with you! For those of you who are regular readers, you know I’m a contributor over at Spend With Pennies. Holly, the creator of that amazing site, has generously put together a $200 giveaway. You can enter below for a chance to win one of 2 $100 Amazon gift cards. Good luck!
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- Yield: 5 Pounds
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 7 minutes
Easy Fudge Recipe
- Chocolate Chips - 3-12 Ounce Packages
- Butter - 1 Cup (2 Sticks)
- Marshmallow Cream - 1-7 Ounce Jar
- Granulated Sugar - 4 1/2 Cups
- Evaporated Milk - 1-12 Ounce Can
- Vanilla - 2 Teaspoons
- Nuts Chopped (Optional) - 2 Cups
- Grease a 9 X13 inch baking dish. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl combine chocolate chips, melted butter and marshmallow cream. Set aside.
- Heat sugar and evaporated milk an extra large, heavy bottom saucepan, over medium heat and bring to a rolling boil. Continue to boil 7 minutes, stirring continuously.
- Pour the sugar/milk mixture over chocolate mixture and stir vigorously until smooth. Stir in vanilla and nuts. Pour into prepared pan and refridgerate until set (overnight is best).