Quick and Simple Easy Fudge Recipe (2024)

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Caramel Cashew Fudge is an easy fudge recipe that’s rich, decadent and delicious! Made with butter, milk chocolate, marshmallow creme and evaporated milk, this homemade fudge recipe is one you’ll make year after year!

Quick and Simple Easy Fudge Recipe (1)

Yesterday, my friend Jenny invited me over for her huge annual fudge making day! Jenny has been doing this tradition with friends for the past 9 years and I was honored to take part in it. She had fudge making day planned out to perfection.

I’ve made a few simple fudge recipes before but not since I was a kid, so my part in all of this was to do whatever was asked of me and to take pictures! That’s definitely something I could easily do.

Homemade Fudge as a Holiday Tradition

My mom and dad love fudge so making fudge was always part of our holiday traditions growing up. In fact, I remember when I was six years old and we bought our first-ever microwave. My mom made an easy fudge recipe to christen the microwave for the first time.

I don’t remember anything about how the fudge tasted, but I recall my mom being so excited about how convenient the new microwave made fudge making. It’s so funny the things that stick out in our minds, isn’t it?

Quick and Simple Easy Fudge Recipe (3)One of the main reasons homemade fudge is especially popular around the holidays is because it really is so simple to make. A day full of fudge making isn’t completely overwhelming, and often times you can make an easy fudge recipe base and change it up just by adding mix-ins, like marshmallows, nuts, chocolate chips, etc.

The other great thing about fudge is it stores longer than a lot of holiday treats. Cookies and cakes often go stale, but you can make a batch of chocolate fudge, place it in a covered baking dish in your refrigerator and it’s good to dole out today or a few weeks down the road. Having that “make ahead” convenience is definitely a plus when the busy holidays arrive.

You can also freeze fudge, which means you can make it even earlier to be ahead of your holiday baking. Just wrap it up tight in plastic wrap then cover with foil. Freeze until you are ready to use it.

Quick and Simple Easy Fudge Recipe (4)

11 Varieties of Fudge in One Day

On the docket for the day of fudge making with Jenny was 11 different fudge recipes. Some of these fudge recipes Jenny had perfected over time. Other fudge recipes were new experiments added on for this specific year. All of the recipes turned out to be fantastic and so different. Not a single fudge got kicked out of the rotation for next year…they were all that good!

Here is a list of what we made:

  • Chocolate Snowswirl Fudge
  • Cookies and Cream Easy Fudge
  • Butterscotch Fudge
  • Layered Mint Fudge
  • White Christmas Fudge
  • Cashew Caramel Fudge
  • Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
  • Cherry Almond Fudge
  • Chocolate Peppermint Fudge
  • Lemon Fudge
  • Pecan Pie Cheesecake Fudge

As you can tell, it was an ambitious list for a single day. Because there were so many easy fudge recipes to go off of, it wasn’t as difficult as it seemed. Making fudge is simple, and the variety of options are more than plenty. Because of this, fudge is such a great option for holiday food gifts!

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Items to have on hand for a homemade fudge making day:

Another great thing about making easy homemade fudge is you really don’t need a lot of special equipment. Here are a few of the items I recommend to have when you are making fudge:

That’s about all you need to make most fudge recipes. Some recipes may require a few more things, but for the most part the equipment and ingredients needed to make homemade fudge is very simple.

If you are thinking of having a fudge making day this holiday season, I highly recommend it. I have a traditional Christmas cookie baking day with a friend of mine, but I think fudge might be the way to go! It seemed a lot easier and there are so many chocolate fudge recipes out there which means you can have a huge variety at the end of a cooking day.

Imagine all the great holiday gifts Jenny will be able to make up for friends and neighbors with so much fudge to give. I love this fudge making day tradition and feel honored to have been included in on it this year!

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I made a quick video (so not my forte) of the day with some of the highlights. Give it a watch below to see how much fun we had! Also, below I’ve shared the recipe for my favorite easy fudge recipe out of the eleven we made yesterday. Caramel Cashew Fudge tastes just like a Mr. Goodbar candy bar. It was definitely one of my favorites! I hope you enjoy!

Quick and Simple Easy Fudge Recipe (9)

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Caramel Cashew Fudge Recipe

Caramel Cashew Fudge is made with semisweet baking chips, fluffy marshmallow cream and salty cashews, for a wonderful treat from my friend Jenny's recipe collection.

Prep Time 25 minutes minutes

Total Time 25 minutes minutes

Servings 80 servings


  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1 5 ounce can evaporated milk
  • 2-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups BAKER’S Chocolate Chunks
  • 1 jar 7 ounces JET-PUFFED Marshmallow Creme
  • 24 caramels quartered
  • 3/4 cup salted cashew halves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Spray a 9 inch baking pan with cooking spray or line with parchment paper. Set aside.

  • In a large heavy saucepan, combine the milk, sugar and butter. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a rapid boil; boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat; stir in chocolate chunks and marshmallow creme until melted. Fold in the caramels, cashews and vanilla.

  • Pour into prepared pan. Cool. Once set, cut fudge into 1-in. squares. Store in an airtight container.

Quick and Simple Easy Fudge Recipe (10)This blog post for Caramel Cashew Fudge was originally published on December 5th, 2013 and refreshed and re-published on December 4th, 2019.

Disclosure: I’m proud to be a compensated brand ambassador for Kraft Foods. All opinions expressed are my own. For additional Christmas Recipes, make sure to visit the Kraft Foods holiday and baking page.

Quick and Simple Easy Fudge Recipe (2024)


Is evaporated milk or condensed milk better for fudge? ›

Evaporated milk doesn't have sugar added. The sweetened condended milk is needed as no extra sugar is added to the fudge. If evaporated milk were used then the fudge would not be sweet enough and also would still be too soft unless the fudge is frozen.

Why is my 3 ingredient fudge not setting? ›

The main reason is that your Fudge has not reached the optimum temperature. If your mixture only reaches 110 or 112 degrees Celsius it will always be soft. That's why we recommend investing in a sugar thermometer. Another reason your Fudge is not setting is that the ratio of liquid to sugar is too high.

Why is my 2 ingredient fudge not setting? ›

Why won't my 2 ingredient fudge set? One possibility is that the ratio of ingredients may be off, resulting in a fudge that is too soft or runny. So make sure you measure your ingredients correctly.

What should you not do when making fudge? ›

7 Common Mistakes to Avoid for Candy Shop-Worthy Fudge and Caramels
  1. Using the Wrong Pan. All candy and confections start by melting sugar. ...
  2. Stirring the Sugar. ...
  3. Not Using a Candy Thermometer. ...
  4. Leaving Out the Parchment Paper Lining. ...
  5. Skipping the Cooking Spray. ...
  6. Scraping the Pot. ...
  7. Using a Cold Knife to Slice.
Dec 16, 2015

Why won't my condensed milk fudge set? ›

The most common culprit behind unset fudge is inaccurate temperature control. If the sugar mixture hasn't reached the correct temperature, your fudge won't set. Ensure you use a reliable candy thermometer and follow temperature guidelines meticulously to achieve the desired consistency.

What is a substitute for evaporated milk in fudge? ›

Thus, heavy cream can easily be substituted for recipes that call for evaporated milk. How to Substitute: For 12 ounces of evaporated milk, combine 3 ounces of whole milk and 9 ounces of heavy cream.

What happens when you use evaporated milk instead of condensed? ›

For the most part, if you find yourself without condensed milk on hand, you can substitute an equal amount of evaporated milk. The consistency will be the same, but since evaporated milk is unsweetened, you'll need to add sweetener to match the recipe's intended flavor profile or to suit your personal preference.

Do you stir fudge while boiling? ›

Stir the ingredients to dissolve the sugar until the mixture comes to a boil. If your recipe uses milk, stirring will keep the mixture from curdling. But once it reaches about 236–238 degrees F/113–114 degrees C (the "soft-ball" stage), do not stir it or even shake the pan.

What is the secret to smooth fudge that is not gritty? ›

Once a seed crystal forms, it grows bigger and bigger as the fudge cools. A lot of big crystals in fudge makes it grainy. By letting the fudge cool without stirring, you avoid creating seed crystals.

Can I fix fudge that didn't set? ›

OPTION 3) Sieve together some powdered sugar and cocoa powder, and gradually work this into your unset fudge until it reaches the consistency of dough, then roll out and cut into squares, or shape into balls and then roll in powdered sugar (roll the balls in icing sugar, not yourself).

Why is my old fashioned fudge not hardening? ›

Fudge Didn't Set

If your fudge turned out super sticky, or it didn't set as it cooled, it probably never got hot enough. This mistake is super easy to avoid if you use a candy thermometer and cook the fudge to the temperature specified in the recipe (usually between 234 and 239°F).

Why is fudge so hard to make? ›

Conversely, if the cooking time is too brief and there is not enough evaporation, too much water will remain and the fudge will be too soft. A temperature of 112°C to 114°C (234°F to 237°F) must be maintained. This will ensure the fudge has the ideal concentration of water and sugar. Fudge is difficult to make.

How long do you boil fudge to get to soft-ball stage? ›

How long does it take to make fudge:
  1. about 18 min to reach boiling.
  2. about 40 minutes to reach soft ball stage.
  3. 60 minutes to cool.
  4. 28 minutes to beat in a KitchenAid (your time for this may vary)
  5. 4 hours to set.

Do you stir fudge while it is boiling? ›

Brush the sides of the pan with a wet brush at the beginning of cooking to dissolve sugar crystals stuck to the sides. Never stir the mixture during cooking or sugar could crystallize again. The mixture may seize and become grainy. Use a candy thermometer or conduct a cold water test to check if the fudge is done.

Why is fudge difficult to make? ›

The amount of time you cook fudge directly affects its firmness. Too little time and the water won't evaporate, causing the fudge to be soft. Conversely, cook it too long and fudge won't contain enough water, making it hard with a dry, crumbly texture.


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