The Easiest Chocolate Fudge

updated Dec 20, 2023

We promise it's easiest (and best!) you'll ever make.

Makes10 (1-inch) squares

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I grew up making this chocolate fudge with my father, who spent a fair amount of time in the kitchen (which was rare for a man of his generation). He was always welcoming, pulling up a chair to the stove and hovering close as I stirred the molten chocolate bubbling away. This chocolate fudge recipe is a family-favorite and easy to make for the holidays (or any time of the year).

Ingredients You’ll Need for Chocolate Fudge

This recipe for fudge is a classic one from my childhood. I like it because it requires no special ingredients — just sugar, cocoa powder, milk, salt, butter, and vanilla. I like this recipe for its practicality and deliciousness, but I love it because it’s my father’s recipe and every time I make it, it’s like I’m spending time with him again.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: Jason Schreiber

What’s the Texture of This Chocolate Fudge?

This fudge is not the creamy, smooth kind. It has a dense, textured chewiness as you bite into it and it kind of shatters and then melts in your mouth. I tend to prefer this to the super smooth versions often made with heavy cream or condensed milk. And again, I really appreciate that I can whip up a batch with essential items that I always have in my pantry and refrigerator.

Chocolate Fudge Variations

Just before you pour the fudge into its cooling pan, you can stir in any number of extras. A chopped nut such as walnut, almond, or macadamia is wonderful. Chopped candy canes are good for the holidays, too.

Classic Chocolate Fudge

We promise it's easiest (and best!) you'll ever make.

Makes 10 (1-inch) squares

Nutritional Info


  • 2 cups

    granulated sugar

  • 1/4 cup

    unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon


  • 1 cup

    whole milk

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dish

  • 2 teaspoons

    vanilla extract


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  1. Add 2 cups granulated sugar, 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add 1 cup whole milk and whisk until blended. Don't worry about a few lumps, they'll go away when you heat the mixture.

  2. Bring the mixture to a boil over a medium-low flame. Stir occasionally with a heat-proof spatula but not too often or your fudge will be grainy. Keep the heat as low as possible to avoid scorching.

  3. While the fudge is cooking, butter the pan that will hold the fudge (see note). Fill a glass or jar with ice and water and set next to the stove. Fill your sink with several inches of cold water.

  4. Start checking the fudge for doneness after 10 minutes of boiling. If you are using a thermometer, your fudge is ready when it reaches 235°F. Or go old-school and use the soft ball test. Using a metal spoon, drizzle a little fudge in a cup of ice water. If it forms a soft, pliable ball, then it's done.

    Another hint that your fudge is almost ready is that it will go from a mix of larger and smaller bubbles to just the smaller, tighter bubbles. Begin testing as soon as you notice this change.

  5. When the fudge is done, turn off the heat and gently stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons unsalted butter. Remove from the stove and place the pan of fudge in the sink of cold water being very careful not to splash into the pot. The water may sputter for a few seconds when the hot pan hits it. Holding the pot steady with one hand, beat the fudge using a heat-proof spatula or wooden spoon until it is fairly cool but still liquid.

  6. Pour the fudge into your prepared pan. It should be liquid enough to spread out evenly on its own.

  7. Allow the fudge to cool before you cut it. I find that about 1/2 hour at room temperature is good. Use a thin-bladed sharp knife to cut the fudge. You can dip the knife in hot water, wiping the blade dry with a dish cloth, if needed.

Recipe Notes

I find that a pyrex pie plate, my dad's preferred fudge pan, makes the squares too thin, so I use a smaller individual gratin dish as pictured. You can also just double the recipe, using the pie plate (or even an 8-inch square pan).