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!
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Easy Fudge Recipe
- 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.