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Chocolate Fudge Recipe: Gourmet Fudge at its Best

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If you are looking for a fudge recipe that’s perfect for giving, look no further. This creamy, soft old-fashioned fudge outdoes the other recipes you’ve tried — even the famous state fair version! I’m sure of it; I’ve been convincing people for years that this is the best fudge recipe out there, one batch at a time.

Can’t get enough chocolate? Check out my homemade hot fudge sauce recipe, too!

stack of fudge with nuts

A long-ago friend of mine was well-known for her fabulous desserts. Notably, she had the best melt-in-your-mouth old-fashioned fudge recipe ever. Seriously. She was kind enough to share it with me years ago, and I’ve been using this recipe ever since.

How to make fudge the old-fashioned way

It’s not hard to make, but this recipe requires a bit of effort. You’ll heat the milk and sugar on the stove top, then pour the hot liquid over the chocolate chips, marshmallow fluff, and butter. The heat of the cooked milk and sugar mixture will melt the ingredients in the bowl as you mix.

You can use a stand mixer or a hand mixer for this recipe. In either case, you’ll want to mix it until the fudge begins to hold its shape.

Nuts or no nuts? That’s your call! You could also divide the recipe and add nuts to just half.

Spread the fudge into pans and cool in the refrigerator before cutting into squares.

fudge in a pan

The BEST fudge recipe

You know those gourmet fudge booths at the county fair where they charge one million dollars for a half pound? Hubby insists on breaking our bank every time he has the opportunity, then proceeds to say, “yours is better.” My kids concur that this is the best fudge recipe they’ve tried.

Another friend, after listening me wax poetic about my favorite holiday indulgence scoffed, saying this was no different than the recipe on the back of the marshmallow fluff jar. (Hi Chris!)

Oh, but it is, I told him. Try it, I told him. He did, and for the past half-dozen or so years, he whips up a batch  and considers it the kickoff of his holiday season.

You need to make this. I have no qualms whatsoever saying that this is the best fudge recipe you’ll make, hands down. All credit to Andrea for that!

bite out of chocolate fuddge

Nuts or no nuts?

This fudge is melt-in-your-mouth creamy and lovely to savor without nuts. But if you’re a yes on nuts, stir in some walnuts. Amp up the flavor by toasting the walnuts!

This recipe makes about five pounds of fudge, so you’ll have plenty to share and still have some left for yourself. Store fudge in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you’re giving this fudge as a gift, I like to package it up into pretty tins and keep them in the fridge until I’m ready to give them away.

fudge squares on a cutting board

★ Did you make this fudge recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below! ★

stack of fudge with nuts

The BEST Decadent Gourmet Fudge Recipe

Yield: 48 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

This recipe makes about five pounds of fudge, so you'll have plenty to share and still have some left for yourself. The melt in your mouth fudge goodness will knock their socks off.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Butter a 13" x 9" pan and line it with parchment paper. (See notes about pan sizes.)
  2. Put chocolate chips, butter, and marshmallow cream in a large bowl. Set aside. chocolate chips, butter, and marshmallow fluff in a glass bowl
  3. In large (7-8 quart) stock pot, bring milk and sugar to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a full rolling boil. Continue stirring frequently for exactly eight minutes. Pour hot mixture over ingredients in bowl. combining sugar and milk in a pot
  4. Stir until well mixed, then beat with an electric mixer until fudge begins to hold its shape. Beat in vanilla. Stir in nuts if you like them. electric mixer with fudge recipe
  5. Pour fudge into a buttered 13″ x 9″ pan and refrigerate until solid. fudge in a pan
  6. When the fudge is ready to cut, use the parchment paper to help lift the slab out of the pan and turn it out onto a cutting board for easy cutting.

Notes

I use a 13″ x 9″ plus an 8″ x 8″ pan – using only the one makes a really deep fudge; too deep for me.

The fudge "holds its shape" when ridges and bumps remain on the surface of the chocolate when you lift the mixer away. 

Using coarse sugar may result in undissolved sugar bits in the fudge.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 48 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 213Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 5gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 42mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 1gSugar: 26gProtein: 1g

Did you make this recipe?

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Originally published in 2011; this post has been updated.

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Meet the Author

Kris Bordessa

Kris Bordessa founded Attainable Sustainable as a resource for revitalizing vintage skills. Her book, Attainable Sustainable: The Lost Art of Self-Reliant Living (National Geographic) offers a collection of projects and recipes to help readers who are working their way to a more fulfilling DIY lifestyle.

95 comments… add one
  • MyKidsEatSquid Dec 7, 2011, 11:49 am

    I’m going to try this Saturday. Looks tasty!

  • Rebecca Dec 8, 2011, 7:02 am

    Thanks for this! I made fudge for Thanksgiving and it didn’t turn out well. I needed a new recipe and there it was in my inbox.

  • Sheryl Dec 16, 2011, 9:07 am

    I’m not usually a fudge eater, but I must admit, this sounds too good to pass on!

  • NoPotCooking Dec 16, 2011, 9:31 am

    My FIL makes a very similar recipe, except he makes his in the microwave!

  • Living Large Dec 16, 2011, 2:25 pm

    Oh, I love fudge. I might have to give this one a try!

  • MyKidsEatSquid Dec 17, 2011, 4:14 am

    I’m checking back in to report. I made this fudge last week and it was sooo popular I’m making it again today. To quote my hubby, “I don’t usually like fudge, but this is really good.”

    We already tried mixing in mini marshmallows and walnuts for rocky road and I did cranberries and almonds in another. Today I’m planning on dividing the batter into three and doing another rocky road, a chile-ancho batch and then giving my kids free reign on deciding on the other.

    • Kris Bordessa Dec 17, 2011, 8:31 am

      Love that it converted your hubby! And the chile-ancho version? You might have to share the details with ME. Thanks for reporting back.

    • Anita Dec 23, 2016, 5:57 pm

      How did you do the chili fudge? I would love to try that.

  • Jane Boursaw Dec 19, 2011, 7:38 am

    I’ve made fudge with marshmallow cream and agree it’s absolutely the best. Hmmm… haven’t made any yet this Christmas, though…

  • merr Dec 21, 2011, 6:04 am

    Yummy! I’m bookmarking your recipe for later use 🙂

  • Amanda Richards Jun 16, 2012, 7:11 am

    Like I need another excuse to make fudge! YUMMY!

  • Brenda Foster Jun 16, 2012, 7:12 am

    Yay! I knew today was a good day!

  • Brenda Foster Jun 16, 2012, 7:12 am

    Yay! I knew today was a good day!

  • Jeannette Jun 16, 2012, 7:21 am

    I can vouch for this recipe. My kids (and me too) LOVE it. It’s chocolatey, creamy, and oh-so-addicting. Thanks for sharing!

  • Jeannette Moninger Jun 16, 2012, 7:22 am

    Completely agree. Your fudge recipe rocks!

  • Chopping Boards Jul 5, 2012, 5:34 pm

    My kids love fudge! Thanks for providing the recipe. Goin to try this!

  • Brette Dec 3, 2012, 9:06 am

    My FIL has a similar recipe, which he makes in the microwave. Fudge is fun but I can only ever really eat a tiny piece of it!

  • tonya Dec 22, 2013, 8:47 pm

    I Had Never Made Fudge. Always Thought It Would Be Too Hard.  Tried This Today, It Was Easy To Do And Tasted Great!  Thank You!

  • Barb S Dec 24, 2013, 11:14 am

    I make a similar recipe, but use 1 cup whole milk, 4 cup chocolate chips, and 2 sticks of butter. The rest of the ingredients and proportions are the same, but only boil 3 minutes. I am eager to try the homemade marshmallow fluff.

  • Nichole Nov 23, 2016, 12:50 pm

    I’m not real sure what I did wrong. I followed the directions to a ‘t’ but my fudge didn’t set up completely. It’s a bit too soft (almost like refrigerated frosting). When it finally started to boil it grew quick and almost boiled out of the pan. So I turned down the heat a little so it didn’t get out of control. I’m guessing that’s where I messed up. I did boil for the full 8minutes. Anyone else have that problem?

    • Kris Bordessa Dec 5, 2016, 6:40 pm

      I haven’t. That 8 minutes of boiling is usually sufficient, but boiling it a bit longer should result in a firmer fudge. Did it not come together in the mixing stage? Sometimes it takes awhile!

      • Lucy Sep 9, 2017, 12:52 pm

        I had that problem!

    • Suzzette Oct 27, 2018, 10:00 am

      I used a lot less butter than instructed, maybe 1/3 of a cup or even less. It set up great. Turned out perfect.

  • Kathy Newberry Dec 5, 2016, 2:44 pm

    When it says “heavy stock pot”, take it seriously! My pot was too small, and now we have every window and door open to clear the smoke. My cell phone screen cleaned up well, but the ceramic cooktop will take some elbow grease. The good news is, the fudge is the best, smoothest ever! I will make again, but I will follow the directions!

    • Kris Bordessa Dec 5, 2016, 6:37 pm

      Oh no! After all that, I’m glad you like it! (I just edited the instructions to make them even clearer.)

  • Ebony Dec 7, 2016, 6:57 am

    How much did this recipe make? I need to make a bunch for teachers at my daughters daycare.
    Thanks

    • Kris Bordessa Dec 8, 2016, 12:04 pm

      The original name of the recipe is “Five Pounds of Fudge.” I don’t think it makes 5 pounds, but it makes a fair amount. I get a 11″ x 17″ pan plus an 8″ x 8″.

  • Ellen Dec 7, 2016, 11:33 am

    I just bought all of the ingredients and can’t wait to make this fudge. I do have one question – when stirring the milk and sugar for 8 mins, is the heat still on medium-high?
    Thanks so much!

  • Liz Dec 10, 2016, 2:43 am

    I like to use peanut butter it is so creamy, also try white chocolate. I’ve done a lot of fudge it’s a big hit in family

  • Ebony Dec 11, 2016, 7:50 am

    Is that 4 cups of sugar or 4 1/2 or 4- 1/2 cups which would really be 2 cups…it’s just a little confusing for me right there
    Thanks

    • Kyakher Dec 11, 2016, 4:04 pm

      4 and 1/2 cups

    • Kris Bordessa Dec 11, 2016, 4:46 pm

      4.5

  • Lara Dec 11, 2016, 4:05 pm

    Help! I made this fudge and while the flavor was so good there was a gritty texture that ended up making the fudge crunchy!

    • Kris Bordessa Dec 11, 2016, 4:47 pm

      It sounds almost like something crystallized. Was there a lot of crunchy? Or just a bit? Possibly the sugar at the edge of the pan that got hot (and not stirred) crystallized?

      • Lara Dec 15, 2016, 3:51 pm

        There was crunch throughout the fudge, and you could hear the crunch as you chewed

  • Ana Dec 12, 2016, 8:44 am

    Is the cup of butter, melted?

    • Kris Bordessa Dec 12, 2016, 8:56 am

      Nope. The hot ingredients will melt it!

  • Dana Dec 13, 2016, 7:22 pm

    Got a question. My mom has always made fudge and she tells me you can only make it on a beautiful sunny day or it will not firm up like it needs to. Does the same go for this fudge?

    • Kris Bordessa Dec 13, 2016, 7:24 pm

      Hunh. I’ve never heard this one. I’ve never paid much attention, but I made this for years in northern California in December, when beautiful sunny days are sporadic.

      • Loretta Dec 15, 2016, 11:20 am

        Do you have to store in the refrigerator?

        • Kris Bordessa Dec 15, 2016, 3:18 pm

          I do.

  • Stacey Dec 16, 2016, 11:23 am

    How long does mixing with electric mixer usually take?

    • Kris Bordessa Dec 18, 2016, 2:14 pm

      It can take 15 minutes or so, but it depends on your household temp.

  • Darlene Hamblen Dec 18, 2016, 2:12 pm

    OMG THIS IS THE BEST FUDGE EVER!!! MAKE IT NOW! DO NOT HESITATE!!! NOW!!!

    • Kris Bordessa Dec 18, 2016, 2:17 pm

      LOL. Right?? I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  • Barbara Dec 19, 2016, 7:36 pm

    Whoa! I just made this and I have one word “Heavenly” At first I thought you were nuts using a mixer but I can see why now. Thank you for sharing! I will be definitely be doing more for gifts.

  • Sharon Dec 21, 2016, 10:07 am

    I’m making this tomorrow but I’m using granulated Dominos sugar it says natural on it but it’s not the brownish cane sugar. Will it still work correctly?

    • Kris Bordessa Dec 21, 2016, 10:14 am

      Absolutely. My personal preference is to use cane sugar. Sugar that’s not identified as cane sugar is most likely made from sugar beets that are likely genetically modified. But any granulated sugar will work.

    • Robin Oct 16, 2020, 8:47 am

      Love the recipe and it was quick and easy, but I did the recipe to the “t” but mine as well came out with a crunch, I stirred and allowed to boil for a while but the cane sugar still did not dissolve. Did I need to cook a bit longer? I love the taste but not a fan of the crunch. I am going to try regular sugar next time. What do you think I did wrong?

      • Kris Bordessa Oct 26, 2020, 12:27 pm

        It sounds as though the sugar was maybe the bigger, chunkier sugar and didn’t have a chance to dissolve. Thanks for alerting me; I’ll make a note on the recipe so someone else isn’t surprised by this!

  • Anita Dec 23, 2016, 6:04 pm

    OMGOODNESS!!! This is wonderful!! I made it today..sleeting and snowing outside and it was great. It reminds me of the fudge I made as a kid. We had to beat it by hand until the candy lost its gloss. This is sooooo much easier. It did take about 15+min with a mixer. Next time I’m using my kitchen aid. Thanks!

  • Nancy Dec 31, 2016, 2:58 am

    Oh my god! Absolutely the BEST fudge I have ever made. Can’t stop eating it. lol thank you!

  • Donna Sep 2, 2017, 7:15 pm

    Would love to make this but in the re cope it says it makes a 13×9 and an 8×8 pan, and in the comments you say an 11×7 and an 8×8….which is it?

    • Kris Bordessa Sep 5, 2017, 7:05 am

      My error in that comment; shouldn’t be answering from memory. As I said in the post, the original recipe calls for JUST a 13″ x 9″ pan. I found that to be way too thick, so I use that plus an 8″ x 8″. That’s personal preference. If you have an 11″ x 9″ pan, use that; it won’t make or break the recipe. The thickness of the fudge will just be a bit different.

  • Lucy Sep 9, 2017, 12:48 pm

    I made this fudge yesterday , And i didn’t have evaporated milk like the recipe said , so i made my own evaporated milk using the recipe. Once i put my fudge in the fridge to set it was not setting at all , so I put it in the freezer overnight + half a day. It has still not Set!!

    • Kris Bordessa Sep 9, 2017, 4:30 pm

      Without being in your kitchen, it’s so hard to say what went wrong. This is not a firm fudge, but should be sliceable. If it’s really not setting up, I’d use spoons to scoop it and roll balls to make truffles. Roll them in some cocoa powder.

  • Brandie Dec 8, 2017, 8:15 am

    What type of butter did you use? Salted or unsalted? Or would margarine sticks work?

    • Kris Bordessa Dec 15, 2017, 9:11 am

      Salted. If you prefer margarine, yes, that will work.

  • Lisa Dec 11, 2017, 6:39 am

    Thank you! This is my mom’s Christmas fudge. We just moved and I haven’t been able to put my hands on her recipe. My children and grandchildren have tried not to pout but they will love knowing that the Christmas fudge is back on the goodie menu. (Maybe I won’t tell them for another week!) This really is fabulous fudge and so easy to make. Thanks again for posting this.

    • Kris Bordessa Dec 15, 2017, 9:08 am

      You’re welcome!

  • Amber Dec 12, 2017, 11:09 am

    How much chocolate and what kind is best for this recipe? Mine is cut off and doesn’t say in the recipe

    • Kris Bordessa Dec 15, 2017, 9:07 am

      That’s odd. 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips.

    • Sarah Knasel Dec 22, 2017, 12:49 pm

      Can’t see how many chocolate chips the picture covers the measurements

      • Kris Bordessa Dec 28, 2017, 11:50 am

        It’s three cups. Are you reading on mobile or desktop. Definitely not okay that you can’t read the measurements!

  • Jean Dec 22, 2017, 6:04 am

    Since this fudge recipe cools in the fridge is it necessary to keep it refrigerated after it hardens and is cut into pieces? I would like to place some in tins for Christmas and take to friends.

    • Kris Bordessa Dec 22, 2017, 7:00 am

      I keep it refrigerated. It won’t hurt to have it UNrefrigerated for a good while, but it gets a bit gooey at room temp, and messier to eat.

  • Patty b Dec 22, 2017, 3:28 pm

    Recipe said use 2 cups homemade mashmello cream or 1 jar 7 oz marshmallow fluff
    My store only had large tub type container so I used 2 cups
    I think this is why it’s more frosting like than fudge
    My mistake but this could be why it doesn’t firm up

  • Kathy Quiroz Dec 22, 2017, 4:24 pm

    Not sure how to tell if it’s “holding it’s shspe” so I just beat it for 15 m. Was that necessary? Thx

    • Kris Bordessa Dec 28, 2017, 11:48 am

      It’s usually about 15 minutes or so. (I’ve never tried NOT doing it.)

  • Michelle B Dec 24, 2017, 2:36 pm

    I LITERALLY JUST finished making this! I’ve never made it this way before, I’ve always made it the “easy” way or “lazy” way lol, but I wanted to make it the “right” way, I researched MANY recipes, I wanted one that would make A LOT as well!! Anyways, I chose yours!! (Thank God I did! I am not disappointed) anyways, everything went GREAT, then got to the mixing with my hand mixer, and I was mixing, and I knew you said “mix till it starts to set” or something to that effect, but I remembered on MANY recipes them saying to mix till it looses its shine almost, but I kept thinking OMG, HOW Am I gonna know WHEN to stop mixing, it seemed like a LIFETIME, I didn’t know if I was over mixing or what, but I kept going till it felt kinda THICK but not too thick, and then I started pouring into my pans (I also did like you and 8″ x 8″ and 11″ x 13″ ) and I think I stopped mixing at the exact PERFECT timing!! It started setting up rather quickly as I was adding to the pan, and I tasted from the bowl as did my son and it’s out of this WORLD!! So THANK YOU!! I’ve found my recipe from HERE OUT!! Sorry for the long post, but I am so excited and happy!!

    Also, how do you do your peanut butter fudge?? )”(measurements) Thanks so much!!

    • Kris Bordessa Dec 28, 2017, 11:46 am

      Love it — glad it worked so well for you. (I don’t have a peanut butter fudge recipe.)

  • Michelle Mar 24, 2018, 9:55 pm

    So delicious!
    I will definitely make it again.

  • betty Sep 23, 2018, 4:32 am

    you know, I bake a lot of things. But I have always struggled with fudge. I LOVE fudge. I made this yesterday and wow, it is really the best ever. Im really picky about my fudge and this has to be a favorite now. I gotta quit eating it though!!!!!!

    • Kris Bordessa Oct 17, 2018, 9:40 am

      Isn’t it GOOD????

  • Suzzette Oct 26, 2018, 3:52 pm

    I just made this and it is delicious. I tweaked it a little (not on purpose lol) I used condensed milk, instead of evaporate milk. I used half milk chocolate chips and half semi sweet chocolate chips. It does make quite a bit. I made 3 kinds…. Plain, with walnuts, and Rocky road. It set it very well, but because I realized I used the wrong milk, I let it boil a couple of minutes longer and I also used a copper pot as I’ve heard copper is good for candy making. Also I used a little less butter because I wanted it to dry out a little more than it usually does (I like mine dried out).
    This recipe is so much better than the easy ones. This tastes like I knew what I was doing. Thank you for it.

  • CINDY Oct 27, 2018, 4:12 pm

    Perfect! I’ve been trying fudge recipes for the past 3 months or so. They all call for pretty much the same ingrediants (in varying amounts). This is definately the best I’ve made!! I wish I had had nuts to put in, but someone ate the last of them for a snack. I used my kitchen aid and probably only mixed 5-8 minutes. Set up perfectly and was able to take to a party within a couple hours. A keeper recipe for sure.

  • Marianne Laney Nov 17, 2018, 9:36 am

    Has anyone tried white chocolate? butter scotch? peanut butter?

    I know I can mix those all in at the very end – just wondering how they would hold up in the main recipe…

    Disney sells a 2 inch by 1 inch chunk for 6$ and we usually buy a 30 $ box to share. For that amount of groceries, I can make 3 recipes, and if I split the batch to make different combos, then I that is a couple different choices to split up for teacher gifts!!!

    • Kris Bordessa Nov 23, 2018, 1:30 pm

      I haven’t, but you kind of make me want to!

  • Cindy Nov 29, 2018, 1:03 pm

    I see the recipe calls for 2 cups of your homemade marshmallow fluff which would be 16 oz. or 1 – 7 oz jar of the store brand. That seems like a big difference. Is this right?

    • Kris Bordessa Nov 29, 2018, 4:28 pm

      That’s correct. The jar is measured by *weight not volume.

  • Lindsay r Dec 5, 2018, 4:33 am

    Hi can you use this fudge recipe and turn it into peanut butter chocolate layered fudge? If so how would’ve you go about doing this? Thank you.

    • Kris Bordessa Dec 5, 2018, 9:14 am

      I haven’t tried that; if you do, let us know!

  • Lisa Nicholls Dec 5, 2018, 8:43 am

    Absolutely perfect fudge. Thank you s much for sharing!!!

  • Teresa HOLMES Dec 18, 2018, 8:50 am

    You mentioned that it gets kinda gooey at room temperature. I am looking for something to put in tins and give as gifts. Will this fudge hold up to that?

    • Kris Bordessa Dec 19, 2018, 7:48 am

      I give it as gifts and people love it. I just keep it in the fridge in tins until I’m ready to pass it off to the recipient.

  • Jane Jan 5, 2019, 10:29 am

    Miss Kris, this is the most forgiving recipe ever. WOW. I cut it in half, used a different chocolate (got mine from the folks at Brown and Hailey- yes almond roca).scorched the milk sugar mix and it is still the best fudge I’ve ever made!! The fudge set well and it is so tasty I cut it in really small pieces. As per others comments I need to hide this or give most away, I can’t leave it alone. THANKS SO MUCH.

    • Kris Bordessa Jan 5, 2019, 4:36 pm

      You are so welcome! I’m glad you like it.

  • Sarah Mar 7, 2019, 7:30 pm

    Hi – I really want to try this, it sounds and looks delicious! How do you store it (fridge, freezer etc)? And how far in advance can you make it?

    • Kris Bordessa Mar 8, 2019, 5:14 pm

      I keep it in the fridge until I serve/eat it, because it is a somewhat soft fudge. You can make it a week or so ahead of time.

  • Pam Oct 21, 2019, 11:30 am

    This recipe has been around for years. My Mom made it when I was a little girl.

    • Kris Bordessa Oct 31, 2019, 8:11 pm

      Yep, that’s what my friend Chris said. This is different than the recipe on the jar.

  • Sheryl Oct 12, 2020, 4:54 pm

    When cooking the 8 min. What temp are we aiming for? I like to use a candy thermometer.

    • Kris Bordessa Oct 26, 2020, 12:34 pm

      I’ll check that next time I make it.

  • Becky Nov 15, 2020, 10:13 am

    Using parchment in the pan should be enough to allow easy removal of the fudge. Why do we butter the pan prior to putting the paper in? Looking forward to making this fudge soon! Thanks!

    • Kris Bordessa Nov 23, 2020, 5:21 pm

      I don’t do the whole pan with parchment — it’s too hard to fit it into the corners. Thus, butter.

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