Mom’s Easy Fudge Recipe

squares of mom's fudge on a knife

Mom’s easy fudge is a simple old fashioned recipe for chocolate fudge that’s made in a saucepan without corn syrup, marshmallows, or sweetened condensed milk. This homemade candy takes just minutes to make.

Mom's easy fudge, stacked

mom’s fudge recipe is easy and foolproof

You don’t need to mess with thermometers, corn syrup, marshmallow goop, or canned milk to make fabulous fudge!

This is the fudge I grew up eating every holiday, straight from my mom’s recipe box. it makes the rounds every season in my family. It’s a nice beginner recipe if you’ve never tackled fudge before, because it all comes together in one pan. Just heat and stir until completely incorporated, that’s it! For such a simple fudge this one has a wonderfully chocolatey payoff. The firm texture is perfect ~ it melts in your mouth without feeling greasy or unctuous. That’s because it doesn’t contain any of the offending ingredients mentioned above 😉

stack of fudge squares

most ‘easy’ fudge recipes are not easy at all!

But this one is the real deal. You whip it up with a spoon and a saucepan in minutes. In fact, it’s done in the time it takes the chocolate to melt. Now that’s fast!

Do you love mega squares of fudge, or respectably thin, bite sized pieces? You can customize this fudge to your dessert style just by changing out the pan. For thin slices I use a 9×9 baking pan, but for large chunky cuts, use a loaf pan.

squares of mom's fudge on a knife

what you’ll need

This is a simple list of pantry friendly ingredients, which I appreciate.

  • unsweetened cocoa powder, I used Ghirardelli.
  • powdered sugar
  • butter
  • half and half or milk
  • vanilla extract
  • salt
squares of Mom's fudge

how to make easy fudge

It all comes together with a silicone spatula and a saucepan. I like to use a heavy bottomed pan to prevent any scorching.

  1. Put the butter and half and half in a saucepan and heat on medium until the butter has melted.
  2. Add in the sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and vanilla extract.
  3. Stir with a silicon spoon or spatula to combine and continue cooking over medium heat for just a minute or two, until everything is smooth and silky.
  4. Turn the fudge into a plastic lined pan (either an 8 or 9 inch square, or a 9×5 loaf pan, or equivalent) The wider the pan the thinner your pieces of fudge will be. Load it into a smaller pan for big fat squares 🙂
  5. Let set up before removing from the pan and slicing into small squares. You can put the pan in the refrigerator to speed up the process.
sliced fudge, with knife

best way to store homemade fudge

You can actually store this fudge on the counter, or in the refrigerator, depending on how you like it, either is fine. There’s definitely something to be said for chilled fudge hitting your warm tongue…just saying.

Yes, you can freeze fudge, I like to double wrap it, first in Saran wrap, then in foil, and then put it in a heavy duty zip lock bag.

This particular fudge has a dry surface, not sticky at all, so it can be easily packed for gifting.

a piece of homemade fudge

why this fudge recipe works







a tumble of homemade fudge squares

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squares of mom's fudge on a knife
4.82 from 11 votes

Mom’s Easy Fudge Recipe

Mom's easy fudge is a simple old fashioned recipe for chocolate fudge that's made in a saucepan without corn syrup, marshmallows, or sweetened condensed milk. This homemade candy takes just minutes to make.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Total Time 15 minutes
Yield 36 servings
Calories 71kcal
Author Sue Moran


  • an 8×8 square, 9×5 loaf, or equivilant pan
  • plastic wrap or foil


  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 4 Tbsp milk or half and half
  • 1 lb confectioner's sugar. This is about 4 cups.
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder Note: use any cocoa powder you like, as long as it is unsweetened.
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract


  • Line with plastic wrap or foil. This will make it easier to remove the fudge for slicing later.
  • Melt the butter and milk or half and half in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and vanilla and stir constantly until everything is incorporated. Continue stirring and cooking over medium heat for just a minute or so more to ensure that the fudge is smooth and silky. Note: Don't over cook this fudge. Once it's smooth, it's done. If your fudge is not coming together, add a splash more milk.
  • Transfer to your prepared pan and smooth out evenly with an offset spatula. Do this quickly as the fudge will start to set up almost immediately. Note: at this point you may or may not want to sneak a taste from the pan, but be careful, it's hot!
  • Let the fudge fully set up before removing from the pan and slicing into squares. You can pop it into the fridge to speed up the process.


Calories: 71kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 34mg | Potassium: 22mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 61IU | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    December 21, 2021 at 12:00 pm

    5 stars
    This fudge is truly delicious! This will be my go to recipe from now on!

  • Reply
    December 20, 2021 at 3:23 pm

    5 stars
    Wow! This is easy. My mom used to make fudge every Christmas, too, but she used to have a small bowl of water near the cooktop and drop in a bit of the mixture to see if it was at a soft ball stage (or maybe it was hardball). Anyway, I used dark chocolate cocoa and it is so good!

  • Reply
    Ron & Suzanne Cappello
    December 20, 2021 at 2:41 pm

    HELP !!! What did I do wrong? Nothing would incorporate or get smooth. I thought maybe I had the wrong measurement for the butter and the half-and-half as there was way more dry ingredients that I could not get absorb/incorporated into the mixture. I’m so disappointed and not just because I wasted ingredients. If someone could respond I would really appreciate it. Thank you

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      December 20, 2021 at 4:33 pm

      Hey guys! I’ve made this fudge countless times, so it definitely will come together. What I suggest is, one, make sure you take the time to mix the powdered sugar in. I leave the pan on a very low heat while I do this, which helps it come together. And always feel free to add a touch more liquid if necessary.

  • Reply
    December 19, 2021 at 8:38 pm

    Think adding pecans would change this recipe?

  • Reply
    December 19, 2021 at 8:53 am

    I remember my mother making fudge like this. Thank you

  • Reply
    Sandra D in Joliet
    December 18, 2021 at 7:58 pm

    Well I’ll have to try this for sure. I grew up with Mom making fudge every Christmas but mine always came out grainy or it didn’t get firm. I love the MM fudge too but there’s something about the old fashion (if you can master it) fudge. Hard, melt in your mouth, chocolatey goodness that can’t be beat. This is different from our old recipe.

  • Reply
    December 18, 2021 at 2:22 pm

    This recipe looks great Sue! I think a never-made-candy before person (me) can confidently make & gift it this year. Must admit I went into momentary panic mode about what TYPE of cocoa to use when I was reading the ingredient overview. Immediately stopped & Googled difference between natural & Dutch process as I can never seem to remember; fortunately I have both on hand – I just don’t want to screw it up.
    Thankful that you said any kind will work in the recipe itself. Going to try a batch later because it’s too cold for me to be out & about if I don’t have to be (-30°F + wind).
    So glad I subscribed! Stay safe – and the best of the season to you and yours.

  • Reply
    Chris S
    December 18, 2021 at 1:47 pm

    5 stars
    This looks great! I love all your recipes. What I can’t find is the old fashion peanut butter fudge. It is dryer and not too sweet. Ir is almost crumbly. Any ideas? Thanks for giving us such terrific recipes

  • Reply
    Deb L.
    December 18, 2021 at 12:00 pm

    5 stars
    This is like our family recipe, and it makes THE. BEST. FUDGE! It melts in your mouth, and has a pure, rich chocolate flavor. I’ve gifted this, along with our recipe, many times over the years, and always received compliments. It’s definitely a keeper!!

  • Reply
    December 18, 2021 at 10:40 am

    Would this fudge still taste good if vegan with butter and milk non-dairy substitutes? My guests don’t eat dairy.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      December 18, 2021 at 4:58 pm

      Yes, you should be able to use non dairy substitutes for butter and milk.

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