This chocolate fudge recipe is old-fashioned, easy to make and 100% homemade. This is the best fudge and is NOT made with marshmallow creme or sweetened condensed milk. All you need are a few pantry essentials!
I’m so excited to FINALLY be sharing my Nonna’s Fudge recipe! Just in time for Christmas and the holidays!
This fudge is my grandmother’s recipe and I get rave reviews from everyone. I’ve tried a lot of other recipes in my day but none compare to Nonna’s. It’s always been the best!
The perfect fudge recipe
The most common type of fudge recipe I’ve seen on Pinterest either has marshmallow creme or sweetened condensed milk as an ingredient. It may come as a relief to some of you as this recipe has neither.
Over the last few years, I have tried so many recipes for fudge that claim to be so wonderful and amazing. But there’s one common trait that I’m just not a fan of- marshmallow creme as an ingredient.
My family just never had a liking for it. I don’t want marshmallow in my fudge. I just want it to be rich, chocolatey and well…fudgy!
Additionally, this is a great candy to make when you go to your pantry and find you’re out of any specialty ingredients. All you need for this recipe is powdered sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, butter, vegetable oil, milk, vanilla and walnuts (optional). If you have all that, you can make this beautiful candy!
An easy dessert
This fudge is very easy to make. Basically, all you need to do is melt the ingredients in a double boiler. It’s a very simple but delicious dessert. It is creamy, indulgent and makes the most beautiful treat for Christmas and the holidays.
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The texture is how I’ve always known good fudge to be. To me, it shouldn’t be sticky or messy. It’s a bit hard to explain, but the texture is almost dried to the touch but also is totally melt in your mouth-creamy.
The flavor is deeply chocolatey, sweet and rich. There’s a sophistication to this fudge. Just a couple of pieces will satisfy any chocolate craving.
The addition of walnuts is a must in my family. The nuttiness offsets the sweetness very nicely. However, I usually opt out for the nuts. I love the taste of pure, smooth chocolate.
Do I need a candy thermometer to make this fudge?
Not for this recipe! The beauty of this recipe is that it is simply made over a double boiler and all you need are your eyes to know when it’s ready. When all of the ingredients have combined and the consistency is shiny and smooth, your fudge is ready to take off the heat.
As the butter, sugar and other ingredients melt together, the mixture will get smooth and thick. I find it’s best to continue pressing the mixture into the sides of the bowl to ensure that every last bit is melted through. You don’t want any pockets of unmixed sugar or cocoa.
Can you freeze fudge?
This fudge freezes wonderfully!! It’s one of the reasons I make it ahead of time for the holidays. After you cut the candy into squares, gently place them into a freezer zip lock bag to freeze. When you’re ready to enjoy, simple allow the fudge to defrost on a plate, uncovered for at least 1 hour.
A special thanks to my grandmother for her famous fudge recipe!
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter (plus a little extra for greasing the pan)
- 4 c powdered sugar
- 6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp fine salt
- 2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
- 4 tbsp whole milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 c chopped walnuts (and some additional for topping, optional)
- Butter the bottom of a 9x9 pan. Add a square a parchment to ensure the fudge has no chance of sticking.
- Place a large heat proof glass bowl over a pot of simmering water (make a double boiler). Be sure that the water does not touch the bowl and keep on low-medium heat.
- Add the butter and begin to melt down.
- Next, add the sugar, cocoa powder, salt, oil and milk into the bowl. Stir gently until the ingredients start to combine.
- Use the back of a spoon to press the fudge into the sides of the bowl to ensure there are no clumps or leftover pockets of sugar.
- Once the fudge is fully incorporated, shiny and thick remove it from the heat.
- Mix in the nuts and vanilla and stir to incorporate.
- Pour the fudge into the prepared pan, spreading it into the corners.
- Top with additional chopped nuts for a pretty presentation!
- Allow to cool in the pan at room temp.
- Once fully cooled and hardened, release the fudge from the pan onto a cutting board. Cut into small squares.
- I like to store this fudge in the fridge and bring it to room temp before serving, but it can be left out at room temp for a couple of days. You can also freeze this fudge for up to 3 months.