How to Make Fudge

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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.

Two bowls of fudge pieces, one chocolate, one vanilla.

Fudge for any Occasion

If you haven’t noticed, fudge is one of my favorite things to make. Of course it’s perfect for making around the holidays, but I actually love to make it year-round!

It’s great to take to any party, from graduation parties to bridal and baby showers, or to package up and give as a holiday or hostess gift.

Knowing how to make fudge is a trick you’ll use time and time again, so I thought I’d share my favorite basic fudge-making tips and tricks with you.

Basic Ingredients for Fudge

Ingredients needed to make basic vanilla fudge.

Making fudge really only takes a handful of basic ingredients that are easy to keep on hand for any time a fudge craving hits.

  • Sugar, Butter, and Cream. All of the best candy recipes start with those basics!
  • Chocolate chips or candy morsels. (More on this in a bit!)
  • Marshmallow Cream– One of the most important fudge ingredients in my house is marshmallow cream, sometimes called marshmallow fluff. No need to cook sugar for what feels like hours on end!

That’s it. 5 simple fudge ingredients (or 6 if you count a pinch of salt) are all you need to make a most basic fudge recipe.

How to Make Fudge Recipe

Some “old school” fudge recipes require you to cook a mixture of sugar, butter and cream to a certain temperature, then wait for it to cool down, then beat it until it’s creamy.

While it makes delicious fudge, it’s not something you want to do regularly. Luckily, I’ve figured out how to make fudge with an easier method that makes candy that is just as delicious.

In fact, once you learn how to make fudge with my method, I bet you’ll make fudge all the time as gifts, for parties, or just to celebrate making it through the week.

Marshmallow and white chocolate chips in bowl for fudge.

Step 1.

Place chocolate chips (or white chocolate chips) and the marshmallow cream into a large mixing bowl. Set this aside. You want to do this first because once the butter and sugar is ready, you’ll need to pour it over this mixture right away!

Step 2.

In a saucepan, bring the sugar, cream, butter and a pinch of kosher salt to a boil and cook for 5 minutes, keeping it at a steady boil.

Then remove the pan from the heat and very carefully pour the hot sugar mixture over the waiting chocolate and marshmallow cream.

Fudge mixture in saucepan with rolling boil.

Step 3.

Use an electric mixer to blend everything together for about a minute, just until everything is melted and smooth. Once this is ready, you can fold in any extra mix-ins you might want or simply pour it into a prepped 8-inch pan.

9 inch square pan of white vanilla fudge

After a 2-hour rest, the fudge is ready to cut and enjoy!

You can also make fudge ahead of time, even up to a couple of days in advance, making it the perfect candy to make for parties or gift around the holidays.

Fun Fudge Mix-Ins

Basic Fudge recipe with mix-in ideas

Once you know how to make fudge, you can tweak my basic fudge recipe to make almost any flavor you can imagine!

Simply use any flavor of chocolate chips or candy morsels that you like, add in some flavor extract if you want, and mix in anything from chopped candy to nuts to crushed cookies or sprinkles.

See?? Knowing how to make one basic fudge recipe can mean you know how to make chocolate fudge and how to make vanilla fudge and everything in-between!

Recipe FAQs

How do you store fudge?

For best results, store fudge in an airtight container at room temperature. I prefer to leave the fudge UNCUT until ready to serve, this helps keep it from drying out. Cut what you need, a little at a time.

Can you freeze fudge?

Yes you can freeze fudge! First, wrap the uncut fudge in plastic wrap then slide into a large ziploc freezer bag, pressing out all the air. Freeze for up to two months. To thaw, place bag on counter to come to room temperature (usually best overnight). Slice and enjoy!

Do I need a candy thermometer to make fudge?

With my easy boil method you do NOT need a candy thermometer.

What flavor of fudge will you make first? Pick the perfect fudge for the right occasion.

Christmas Fudge recipes

Using the basic vanilla fudge base, this Candy Cane Fudge comes together quickly with some crushed peppermint candy canes! Perfect for the holidays.

Let’s get festive and create this Grinch Peppermint Fudge! This one also starts with the vanilla fudge base, green food coloring and peppermint extract! Add a red candy heart to be cute!

Gingerbread Fudge has all the flavor of your favorite cookies, with none of the hard work doing cookie cut outs.

Cranberry Orange Fudge: this is a delicious sweet treat for any time of year! Craisins and orange zest give this soft, sweet fudge a kick of flavor!

Spring and Easter Fudge recipes

Looking for a beautiful spring dessert idea? This Jelly Bean Fudge is packed with flavor and fun!

This sweet Strawberry Shortcake Fudge recipe is a knockout! Perfect for your next dessert.

Gumdrop Fudge: Creamy Vanilla Fudge filled with colorful holiday Gumdrop candy pieces! So pretty for gift giving!

Fudge for summer parties

What’s more summer than Banana Split Fudge? Packed with all the flavors of a traditional banana split, in a NO MELT treat!

Orange Creamsicle Fudge is like your favorite ice cream treat from the truck – but it doesn’t melt! Just the right amount of sweet for an afternoon jolt of happiness.

Root beer floats and summer go hand in hand, which is why this Root Beer Float Fudge is the perfect addition to all your summer parties!

Halloween and Fall Fudge recipes

Try making this fun, delicious Monster Cookie Dough Fudge for the Halloween this year! For an extra spooky look, add the candy eyeballs.

If you love pumpkin spice lattes, this Pumpkin Spice Fudge is sure to please!

All the warmth and aroma of fall baking is wrapped up in one bite of this delicious Apple Pie Fudge.

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How to Make Fudge Recipe

4.86 from 21 votes
By: Aimee
This basic fudge recipe is the perfect base for any of your favorite fudge flavors and mix-ins!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 64 pieces

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • 11 oz chocolate chips or candy morsels of your choice
  • 1 jar marshmallow cream 7oz
  • 1 teaspoon flavor extract of your choice optional

Mix-ins of your choice, such as:

  • Chopped candy
  • Crushed cookies
  • Chopped nuts
  • Miniature marshmallows
  • Sprinkles
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Instructions 

  • Prepare an 8-inch square baking dish by lining it with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Add chocolate chips or candy morsels, marshmallow cream, and any desired flavor extract to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  • In a large, heavy saucepan, add butter, cream, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring frequently. Once boiling, continue to boil for a full 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Remove from heat and pour over chocolate and marshmallow cream. Using an electric mixer, blend for about one minute, until chips or morsels are melted and mixture is smooth.
  • Add any desired mix-ins and fold them in with a spoon, gently. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and refrigerate for two hours (or overnight), covered with a piece of plastic wrap.
  • Once set, cut into bite sized pieces and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Notes

  • For best results, store fudge in an airtight container at room temperature. I prefer to leave the fudge UNCUT until ready to serve, this helps keep it from drying out. Cut what you need, a little at a time.
  • To freeze, wrap the uncut fudge in plastic wrap then slide into a large ziploc freezer bag, pressing out all the air. Freeze for up to two months. To thaw, place bag on counter to come to room temperature (usually best overnight). Slice and enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 1piece, Calories: 83kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 9mg, Sodium: 7mg, Sugar: 9g
Course: Candy
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!
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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

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Posted on September 3, 2021

Comments & Reviews

  1. Made this fudge using white chocolate chips and adding chopped maraschino cherries and about a tablespoon of cherry syrup—-was fabulous!! Will certainly make it again
    This one is a keeper!

  2. I tryed this recipe and it mostly turned out great. Not sure why but my butter separated and left a greasy residue on the top. Any idea why that happened?

  3. Hi! I have made this fudge multiple times but every time it is so soft at room temperature and melts. Do you have any suggestions on how to make a firmer fudge? The fudge was really creamy and yummy, just very soft. I decreased the sugar amt. Could that have affected things?

    1. Make sure when you get to the “BOILING” stage that you have bubbles on the top of the surface, so a true rolling boil. If your fudge is turning out soft it sounds like you are not boiling long enough.

  4. 5 stars
    I have made this fudge a couple times now and it turns out great every time. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with us ❤️

  5. Hi I just finished making the basic recipe and it is chilling as I am writing to You this Thank You note. Thank You Aimee. I realized as I was pouring into the pan that I had over looked a pinch of salt. I used Ghirardelli semi sweet chips which I noticed when licking the bowl preparing to clean up that it gives it a real candy bar flavor which is ok but I am wondering if Iwas to use the other kind of chips like toll house non semi sweet chips if it would give it more of a fudge taste ? It was a lot of fun and an easy clean up. This is the 1st time making fudge by Myself. I used to love helping Mom make it because I always got to lick the bowl that was over 50 yrs ago ! Some things don’t ever change even though Moms gone to be with the Lord now (RIP) I still love licking the bowl.

  6. I noticed in one of your other posts you mentioned how you like your fudge chilled, which I do too! But in the instructions it mentions its best kept at room temperature, or frozen.. when do you pop it in the fridge for best results?

    1. If you want to “prolong the life” of your fudge and not serve within in a few days, then I would recommend chilling the fudge. OR, if you just prefer the taste of cold fudge (which I usually do).

  7. Even easier fudge is a can of frosting + jar of peanut butter, or can of frosting + morsels/chips, etc. Have you tried that kind?

  8. Hi, i am very interested in this recipe, but I want to make mint fudge. What would I have to add to the recipe to make mint fudge???

    1. I would add about 1 tsp of mint extract (or peppermint extract if you prefer). You could also swap out the white chocolate chips for Andes Mint Candy morsels.

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