Sweet vanilla peppermint fudge packed with crushed candy canes! This Candy Cane Fudge NEEDS to be included on your holiday dessert plate this year!
Love adding candy canes to desserts? Try our candy cane oreo cookie bars. Chocolate cookies topped with crushed peppermint candy. Or give our easy candy cane cake recipe a try soon.
Why this Recipe is Best
Fudge can be enjoyed any time of year. But it’s finally time to share some holiday candies.
If you’ve been waiting for the Christmas season to create a new candy recipe for your family and friends, I’ve got you covered.
This Candy Cane Fudge recipe is not only minty and delicious, it’s gorgeous too! Create a unique gift for family and friends this year by making some fudge platters.
- No candy thermometer needed.
- Perfect as a holiday gift.
- Make any time of year and use crushed starlight mints.
How to Make Peppermint Fudge
The nice thing about fudge is you can create it well ahead of time. Most of my recipes can be made about 2 weeks in advance and kept in the refrigerator (or room temperature) until ready to serve and enjoy.
Today’s recipe however, is best served sooner. The only reason I say that is because the candy on top will become sticky, not crunchy. BUT, if you need to make it in advance, don’t sprinkle extra candy on the top, mix it all into the fudge completely.
Then, if you REALLY want to garnish it, melt some vanilla candiquik (almond bark, or Ghirardelli vanilla wafers) right before plating your candy. Drizzle it over the individual pieces of fudge and sprinkle some extra crushed candy canes on top. It will take about 10 minutes to set up, and looks gorgeous!
Knowing How to Make Fudge is a simple trick that will make you the hit of every party! Making fudge is easier than you think and it is so easy to personalize with your favorite ingredients and flavor combinations.
- White Chocolate Chips – Choose a good brand like Ghirardelli since this flavor and quality is key to a delicious tasting fudge.
- Marshmallow Creme – Also called marshmallow fluff, this helps give the fudge its soft texture.
- Heavy Whipping Cream – Also called just heavy cream, depending on the brand. It’s important to use full fat heavy cream. Do NOT substitute with evaporated milk or half and half.
- Candy Canes – The peppermint candy canes get folded into the fudge mixture, all except about a tablespoon to save to sprinkle on top. You can use mini candy canes or regular sized.
Boil the cream mixture. Heat the butter, heavy cream, sugar and salt over medium heat and bring to a boil. Let it boil for 5 minutes, while stirring, then remove from the heat.
Make the fudge. Add the white chocolate chips, marshmallow creme and vanilla to a large mixing bowl. Add the hot cream mixture on top. Beat on low speed for about 1-2 minutes, until the white chocolate chips are melted and the mixture is smooth.
Fold in candy and pour into pan. Fold in all but 1 Tablespoon of the chopped candy then transfer the fudge mixture to a parchment paper lined baking dish. Top with the remaining tablespoon of chopped candy then allow to set up for at least 4 hours at room temperature.
There are so many delicious peppermint fudge recipes, some of which you’ll find that use vanilla chips, sweetened condensed milk, food coloring, and peppermint extract.
While it’s an easy recipe, this creates an extremely soft fudge. Personally, I prefer the taste and texture of today’s recipe. It may take a little extra time, but I promise it will be worth it!
Tips and Tricks
- Line your baking dish with parchment paper before adding the fudge mixture. Once the fudge is set, you can grab the corners of the paper to remove it from the pan and cut squares for serving.
- You can chop the candy canes with a knife or place them in a bag and beat lightly with a rolling pin to break the candy canes into pieces. Use red or green peppermint candy canes – or both!
- Slice the fudge as you serve it. Only cut your fudge as you plan to use it, leaving the remaining block uncut. This helps keep the fudge as fresh as possible.
For best results, store this fudge in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. I prefer to leave the fudge UNCUT until ready to serve, as this helps keep it from drying out. You do not need to refrigerate the fudge.
Yes, you can make this fudge several days in advance. However, the longer it sits, the candy on top will become sticky, not crunchy. If you need to make it in advance, mix all of the candy into the fudge, don’t sprinkle extra candy on the top.
Yes, you can freeze fudge. For this candy cane fudge, it helps to mix all of the candy pieces into the fudge batter rather than sprinkling some on top. Place the fudge in an airtight freezer safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw in the refrigerator overnight before enjoying.
More Holiday Treats
Divinity Candy recipe is a Southern classic. Just one bite and you’ll be hooked on this chewy, soft vanilla treat packed with crunchy pecans!
Eggnog Fudge is a better choice for your family cookie exchange. You’ll stand out because it’s awesome, and it’s NOT a cookie!
Creamy, melt in your mouth Butterscotch Fudge is an easy recipe to make any time of year! This fudge requires NO candy thermometer!
Now that you have some ideas, I think today’s peppermint fudge would make a great gift for teachers too!
You can put some pieces of fudge in a LARGE Mason Jar. Add a lid and some ribbon. Don’t forget a cute tag and voila…gift complete! I’m all about edible gifts in mason jars!!
This Peppermint Pretzel candy is the perfect addition to those candy platters and mason jars. Easy enough for the kids to help make too!
More Christmas recipes
- English Toffee
- Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti
- Peppermint Bark
- Peanut Butter Fudge
- Grinch Brownies
- Christmas Crack
- Sugar Cookies – perfect no-spread cut out cookies
- Grinch Drink
Should I use the candy thermometer during the first step (boiling)? Or would you say that the 5 minutes of stirring while boiling works just fine?
As long as the 5 minutes starts when the mixture is boiling (bubbles on the surface), you will be just fine!
Can I substitute 18% cream for 35%?
No you definitely need a higher fat for the fudge to set.
I am in Vail Colorado. Would the high altitude affect the cooking time?
Now this is holiday fudge, delicious and festive!!
I love fudge. I love peppermint. And I REALLY love your recipes! Need a fudge of some kind? (I often use your fudge recipes for fillings of cookies or to fill a cake.) Shugarysweets. I can’t imagine going anywhere else. Your recipes work 100% of the time, and you’re right – condensed milk fudge recipes are too soft. Thanks for all the sweetness, and the festive holiday posts.
By the way: Your butterscotch fudge as the filling in a vanilla cake with chocolate frosting is divine.
This fudge is a favorite around here! So easy and delicious!
We love making this fudge for Christmas gifts and to bring along to our gatherings. Everyone eats it up!
Now this is a holiday fudge! So pretty and festive!
This fudge is a favorite around here! So easy and delicious!
This is hands down my favorite fudge to make for the holidays! It’s absolutely delicious!