Tips, Tricks and Recipes for the Best Fudge Ever

Publish Date October 9, 2023 5 Minute Read

Our Favorite Fudge Recipes

A winning recipe can transform a few simple ingredients into a cherished holiday tradition. Step into the fudge hall of fame for a taste of our favorites.

How to Make Our Favorite Fudge Recipes Like a Pro

Fudge is a seasonal staple, capturing both the rich decadence and joyful simplicity of the holidays in a single bite. Whether you’re a total beginner or fudge-making pro, we’ve got you covered with tips and tricks on how to make the perfect fudge, plus we’re sharing a few of our favorite recipes.

The Key Elements of Fantastic Fudge

While most of us hear fudge and immediately think of chocolate, this delightful dessert comes in a wide variety of flavors. Espresso, pistachio, maple and mint are just a few of the varieties out there, with textures ranging from creamy and gooey to velvety and slightly crumbly. No matter the flavor, fudge recipes usually start with some variation of 4 core components:


In addition to sweetening the flavor of fudge, sugar plays an important role in the structure and texture of this unique dessert. Sugar dissolves into the other ingredients early on and crystalizes as it cools to create the distinctly smooth, yet crumbly texture of classic fudge.


Butter adds richness, while smoothing out the overall consistency of fudge.

Milk or Cream

Dairy gives fudge its creamy texture and helps to bind other ingredients together. Milk, heavy cream and sweetened condensed milk are commonly used.


While chocolate is a popular choice, vanilla, fruit extracts, coffee, spices, nuts, maple and other flavors are also common choices for fudge. Whatever flavor you choose, be sure to pick high-quality flavorings. If you’re making a classic chocolate fudge, for example, choose semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate with at least 60% cocoa content for the richest flavor. For maple fudge, choose 100% maple syrup. Remember that your flavoring is the heart and soul of your recipe, and the better the ingredients, the better the outcome.

How to Make Fudge

Becoming an expert in the art of fudge-making requires precision, practice and patience, but a great recipe and the right technique can help you achieve rich, silky fudge on the first try. Your recipe will detail specific steps to success, but fudge-making generally follows these steps:

Mixing and Heating

In this stage, you’ll combine sugar, dairy and butter, and add heat. Stirring consistently during this part of the process is important to keep the sugar from crystalizing prematurely.

Boiling and the Soft Ball Stage

After you’ve combined the main ingredients, you’ll bring the mixture to a boil. Keep on stirring to prevent scorching the ingredients. Heat your recipe until you’ve reached the temperature specified. This part’s often called the soft ball stage, because your mixture will form a soft ball when dropped into cool water.

Cooling and Beating

Once your mixture reaches the soft ball stage, you’ll begin the cooling process. As the mixture cools, it’ll thicken and crystallize. When the mixture’s warm, it’s beaten to encourage small sugar crystals to form.


While it’s thickening, you’ll add the flavorings. If you're adding toppings like dried fruit, nuts or candy, now’s the time to do it.

Pouring and Setting

Next, you’ll pour the mixture into a pan and allow it to cool and set. It might not look like much is happening, but small crystals are forming, turning your almost-fudge into the real thing.

Happy Dance

You did it. Once the fudge has fully set and cooled, you’ll lift it, plate it and celebrate it. Now you can bring your fudge to holiday parties or even host a cookie exchange of your own.

More Fudge Ideas

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Find More Holiday Inspiration

Whether you’re hosting your own holiday party or sending out your RSVPs, our holiday shop has everything you need to celebrate this season. Visit our blog for even more holiday inspiration, like decorating ideas, meal planning, recipes and more.