Easy Fudge Recipe
Easy homemade fudge recipe! Made with just 4 simple ingredients, in about 10 minutes. Rich, chocolate-y, and so silky-smooth. Perfect for the holidays!
I absolutely love recipes like this for the holidays.
Things just get way too crazy at this time of year! Right? Running around, shopping, decorating, volunteering at the kids’ schools, wrapping, and keeping all those lists straight… it’s so much that it can really make it hard to enjoy the season.
This is meant to be the most wonderful time of the year. But as a mom, it can easily become the most stressful time of the year.
So a quick and easy recipe like this one can be a life-saver. Some sweet treat that you can whip up in just a few minutes, with pantry staples, and have plenty to give to all those special people on your list. I’m talking the FedEx guy, the kids’ bus drivers, your hairdresser… all those people that help make your life easier in so many ways.
I make these kinds of treats every year, and I’ve got lots of recipes to prove it. If this one isn’t your thing, check out the “Gift-able” category of this site, where you’ll find cinnamon pecans, homemade marshmallows, muddy buddies, vanilla sugar, and so much more.
This year, I’m adding this easy fudge recipe to the list. I’ve wanted to make this kind of recipe for so long. I’ve been seeing it around for pretty much all my life, but never had the chance to make it until now.
It’s so easy and so quick, and the result is divine. Silky and just the slightest bit chewy, with BIG chocolate flavor and a smooth-as-satin consistency that just melts on the tongue.
It’s practically fool-proof, but I did discover a few tricks along the way that will really guarantee the best result. So read on to learn all about how to make the most delicious old-fashioned fudge!
INGREDIENTS FOR HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE FUDGE
This recipe has just 4 ingredients, so it’s simple as can be. But just like with a lot of other simple recipes, the quality of the ingredients becomes even more important when there are fewer of them.
To make this fudge, you will need chocolate, sweetened condensed milk, salt, and vanilla extract.
The chocolate is definitely the most important ingredient. What you choose to use will be important for 2 reasons: taste and texture.
Let’s talk about taste first. The first time I made this, I used semisweet chocolate. It was good, but I found the flavor to be a little on the sweeter side of what I typically prefer. If you like your treats extra sweet, then semisweet chocolate will be the way to go for you.
But if you prefer a stronger chocolate taste (like me!), then I would recommend using bittersweet chocolate, or a combination of both semisweet and bittersweet. My favorite in the end, turned out to be an equal mix of semisweet and bittersweet chocolate.
Now on to texture. The first time I made this fudge, I used chocolate chips. Now I’m not saying you can’t use chips, but I am saying that I think bars are better.
You see, chips contain stabilizers that help them to keep their shape during the baking process. They really aren’t the best for melting.
I liked that first batch a lot, but for the creamiest, dreamiest homemade fudge ever, bars are the way to go. They melt so smoothly, and smooth fudge is the best fudge! Am I right?
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE FUDGE
As you can see in the video below, it’s really easy to make fudge.
All you have to do is melt chocolate and condensed milk together with a pinch of salt. Turn off the heat and whisk in your vanilla extract, pour it into a pan, and boom. You’re in fudge heaven.
Sounds pretty simple, but there is one important step that can really make all the difference: stirring!
If you really want the silkiest, creamiest, melt-on-your-tongue fudge ever, DON’T STOP STIRRING!
I know you want to toss everything into a pot and walk away. That’s what I wanted! But resist that temptation, because if you dedicate just 5 minutes to stirring those ingredients together as they warm and melt, you will be rewarded in the best possible way.
As you stir, you’ll notice that the fudge starts to become stiff and shiny. As soon as all the chocolate has melted, turn off the heat, stir in the vanilla, and pour the mixture into the pan.
In just about an hour it will set up and you can cut it into blocks.
Edited on 12/17/19 to add: If your fudge doesn’t set up, it’s most likely because you didn’t cook it quite long enough. I’d highly recommend watching the video below, so you can see what the consistency of the fudge should be before it’s removed from the heat! You should see a definite change in the texture of the fudge. It will go from a runny liquid to very stiff and very shiny. It’s not easy to say exactly how long it should cook because different stoves produce different amounts of heat, but on my stove this only took about 5 minutes.
Yes, you can make homemade fudge in the microwave!
Just follow the instructions above, but instead of cooking it in a pot on the stove, put it in a big glass bowl. Microwave it in 30 second increments, stirring after each. As soon as all the chocolate is melted and the mixture looks glossy and thick, transfer it to the pan and let it set up. Easy as can be!
CAN YOU ADD OTHER FLAVORS TO THIS FUDGE RECIPE?
You can totally jazz this chocolate fudge up in all sorts of unique ways, and really make it your own.
Here are a few ideas for you:
- Add walnuts for chocolate walnut fudge
- Stir in a few tablespoons of peanut butter for chocolate peanut butter fudge
- Replace the vanilla with peppermint extract, for a wintry, minty peppermint chocolate fudge
- Stir in some mini-marshmallows and a handful of nuts, for rocky road
- Add an ounce or two of your favorite liqueur! Bailey’s, Kahluah, Frangelico, or Chambord would be amazing!
HOW LONG DOES HOMEMADE FUDGE LAST?
Fudge is perfect for holiday gift-giving, because it makes a big batch that you can divvy up and tie with a bow. It also lasts a LONG time, so you don’t have to make it in a hurry and worry about it spoiling before the recipient has a chance to enjoy it.
Fudge is a kind of candy. Candies are are high in sugar and low in moisture, both of which help to prevent microbial growth. So when you make a batch of homemade chocolate fudge, it’s likely to stay good for several weeks at least!
HOW TO STORE FUDGE
Keep your fudge in an airtight container, so it doesn’t dry out.
At room temperature, it will stay fresh for at least 2 weeks. In the fridge, it will keep for at least a month. You can also freeze it- just wrap it really tightly so it doesn’t absorb any funky freezer odors. It will last in the freezer for at least 3 months.
So if you’re on the lookout for a quick and easy recipe that’s perfect for holiday gifting (like me, always!), give this easy fudge recipe a try!
This post contains affiliate sales links.
Easy Fudge Recipe
- 24 ouces chocolate, (2 bags of chips or 6 4-ounce bars, roughly chopped)
- 28 ounces (793.79 ml) sweetened condensed milk, (2 cans)
- 1/2 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Lightly mist a 9x9-inch pan with non-stick spray, and line it with parchment.
- Place the chocolate, condensed milk, and salt in a large bowl over very low heat.
- Stir the mixture continuously, until all the chocolate has melted and the mixture is very thick and shiny (about 5 minutes; please view the video to see what the mixture should look like.)
- Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Transfer the fudge to the prepared pan, smoothing it into an even layer.
- Allow it to cool and set (about 1 hour), before cutting into 25 squares.
I just want to say thank you! I use this fudge recipe every year the last three years and it never fails!
Hi! I know a few other people have mentioned this, but mine is not setting into bars I can slice. I know you’ve said maybe not cooking long enough, but I watched the video and my chocolate definitely was even stiffer than the stuff in the video when I put it in the pan. I used semi sweet bars and cooked over the stove. I used really low heat for about 10 minutes stirring constantly. Any ideas?
It sounds like it may have actually cooked it a little too long? The hotter sugar gets the stiffer it becomes as it cools… was it overly stiff?
So easy and delicious I was so happy to find this recipe, it tastes amazing and can’t wait to make more for holidays and just because
Easiest fudge to make! Just make sure you stir constantly for 5 minutes as the recipes says. This fudge was a big hit and very delicious! I will now make this every year!
Thankyou so much!
So happy you liked it! Thanks for the great feedback!
When you say a ‘very large bowl’ I am confused as to whether you mean a pot or a double-boiler?
Depends if you’re making it on the stove or in the microwave. Microwave fudge= glass bowl, stovetop= heavy-bottomed pot. Check out the video I have embedded in the recipe card so you can see exactly how I did it.
This fudge is the best and easiest my friends and family love it
I did mine on stove
I hope this doesn’t sound dumb, but, when you refer to using bars, is that candy bars?
Not dumb at all! I’m referring to the baking bars that are sold right alongside the chocolate chips, in the baking aisle. I believe there are a few Amazon links within the post. Hope this is helpful!
Thank you so much! This recipe was super easy, and the fudge came out perfectly. I am a pretty good home cook and baker, but I hadn’t ever tried to make fudge, so I was a little nervous. I read the recipe (including the tips) and watched the video before making. I wasn’t able to use ghirardelli bars since my store was out, but I used a different brand of baking bars and it was still awesome. I separated the batch in half and added peppermint extract to one half, and almond extract with chopped walnuts to the other half. So good!
I read some of the negative comments regarding this recipe and was truly surprised. This recipe is very detailed and the instructions are extremely thorough and easy to follow. It was very clear to me once the fudge had cooked enough to be transferred to the pan.
I will definitely make this every year from now on. Thank you again!
I am here on National Fudge Day to say this recipe works just great! I used a Trader Joe’s pound plus bar (18oz) plus a few squares of Ghirardelli dark chocolate. Added some planed almonds after the mixture looked like pudding. (Yep right around 5 minutes). I have a new fudge recipe- thanks!
You’re welcome! So glad it worked well for you. Love that you added almonds- I bet that was delicious!
First of all I want to apologize for all the cattiness and some of the reviews I’ve read. They must all be expert bakers! I love your notes and they have the choice to read or go right to recipe. Personally as a cook and baker since knee high I ALWAYS read a recipe at least twice.
Thank you for your hints. My question is simple, when you say bars are you just buying regular candy bars?
Thank you Jodi! I usually just buy the baking bars that are found on the same store shelves as the chips. I hope that’s helpful!
Do we put it in the fridge while it says “cool”
No that’s not necessary. Just allow it to cool at room temperature.
Amazingly tasty and easy just as recipe.
I know this is an old post but you mention a video multiple times, and theres no video. Not even a dead link anywhere. Still looking for fudge recipes in 2020.
The video loads at first towards the top of the post, then as you scroll down it moves to the lower right of the screen. Then it is also embedded in the recipe card, just below the directions. When you hit the play button, it starts right after a short ad. I’m looking at it on Chrome right now and I’ve also checked it on my iPhone on Safari. It’s definitely there!
My apologies for being a dumbass. I must have closed it when I first arrived to the site. I have seen it now. Thank you 😔
No worries it happens to the best of us!
Brandon, kudos for your follow-up response to Allie’s nice response… you made me laugh. We’ve all had those moments and I just love that you followed up in such a self-deprecating way. You’re awesome :-).
The best fudge I’ve ever had/made! My son in law even said it was better than his mom’s! 😱 I’m making it again tonight and adding a few pink and white sprinkles for Valentine’s Day! By the way…I will never understand people’s desire to be so incredibly negative…some were never taught “if you can’t say anything nice….”. Sheesh…if you don’t like the recipe, move along and carry on with your life.
Thank you! You know it happens. I hate it but it comes with the territory! You’ve gotta take the good with the bad I guess, but thank you so much for being positive and encouraging! People like you are what keep me from getting bogged down by it. So happy you enjoyed; thank you so much for the nice feedback!
Can’t wait to try this!
Hope you enjoy!
Wow, there are a lot of nasty people here! Allie, I’m very sorry you had to put up with it. This recipe is excellent! Your instructions are vey helpful and I appreciate it.
Thank you so much Rita! I’m glad you do and thanks for the encouragement. I think sometimes the holidays can really bring out the worst in people. It’s sad!
This is the gabbiest “recipe” I have ever seen. She talks about how busy everyone is during the holidays and then proceeds to talk our damn EAR off, repeating every tiny thing endlessly, instead of just saying “This is so easy! Here’s the recipe.” OMG. Just stop.
Wow, aren’t you nice? Well I guess if you aren’t interested in helpful tips about how to make the recipe (like most people) then you can just hit the damn jump to recipe button at the top. Huh?
🤣some people just aren’t happy
Sad but true Jenn. Smh.
Happy Holidays! Question!
Am I crazy but didn’t you wrIte specifically NOT to use
chocolate chips but to use bars instead?
That’s not what I saw in the video.
I’m anxious to try your recipe….
Hope to hear back.
Under the heading “Ingredients for Homemade Chocolate Fudge” it says “…The first time I made this fudge, I used chocolate chips. Now I’m not saying you can’t use chips, but I am saying that I think bars are better. You see, chips contain stabilizers that help them to keep their shape during the baking process. They really aren’t the best for melting. I liked that first batch a lot, but for the creamiest, dreamiest homemade fudge ever, bars are the way to go. They melt so smoothly, and smooth fudge is the best fudge!” I did not write specifically NOT to use chocolate chips, I only said that I liked it better with bars. Hopefully this clears things up for you.
Seriously? I just read the note at the bottom after putting the fudge in the parchment lined pan. Now I’m scraping it back into the cooking pan. Why don’t you revise the recipe to include a cook time and or temperature? This is irresponsible click bate!
How is it click bait? I’ve included so much information here, even an explanation of how the cook time can vary. If you don’t bother to read it, I don’t see how I am at fault?
Great recipe and instructions for newbies! Thank you!
So happy you enjoyed Jan! You’re very welcome!
Thank you for sharing this recipe.
It’s perfect!.. and delicious!
I kept the heat very low until chocolate melted.
Then gradually turned up the heat over several minutes. Then let come to low boil about 5 minutes. STIRRING the whole time. Used non stick pot.
It did not burned and turned out great.
Used nestle milk chocolate chips
Great to know! Thanks so much for sharing your tips!