A soft chewy pumpkin fudge made with real pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and crunchy pecans. This fall candy literally melts in your mouth!
Are you a fudge lover? Most of us are, it’s coded into our DNA. We can’t help but love anything that’s so sweet and silky textured. Fat and carbs helped our ancestors stay alive in harsh conditions, now they just help us get through our week 😉 This pumpkin fudge melts in your mouth, just like my Perfect Peanut Butter Fudge and my Mom’s Easy Fudge. It’s not at all difficult to make, so why not whip up a batch for your next book club meeting, or for the guys at work ~ they deserve a fall treat! This would also go over big at the bake sale, or your Halloween shindig. You can also freeze some to jazz up your holiday cookie assortment.
pumpkin fudge ingredients
This recipe is tweaked from one that has been in circulation for years. What we leave out (sweetened condensed milk) is just as important as what we put in (real pumpkin.) Pumpkin puree is a tricky ingredient when you’re talking about fudge because it introduces extra moisture to a classic candy where the ratios have to be just so. This recipe is a classic because it works.
- canned pumpkin
- canned pumpkin is better than homemade pumpkin puree in this case. I like Libby’s.
- brown sugar
- granulated sugar
- half and half, cream, or evaporated milk
- pumpkin pie spice
- white chocolate
- you have two choices here: you can use pure white chocolate, which is expensive, or you can use white confectionary, which comes in bar, wafer, or chip form. Both will work, it’s just a matter of taste, and budget.
- vanilla extract
- marshmallow fluff
- That’s right. Don’t turn up your nose, this stuff helps gives your fudge that divine texture.
- if you have a few minutes to toast them in a 350F oven beforehand you will be rewarded with extra flavor and crunch. You can also use walnuts, or go nut free.
you will need a candy thermometer
It’s difficult to make this type of fudge without a thermometer. The mixture needs to be cooked to the soft ball stage, which in the candy making world means about 235F. An inexpensive candy thermometer will save you the guesswork, it clips right to the side of your pan so you can watch the temp as you stir.
how to make pumpkin fudge
This process happens fairly fast, and you’ll want to have all your ingredients measured and handy.
- Line a 9×13 pan with foil. Spray the foil with nonstick spray. This is an important step because fudge will stick to the foil otherwise, and be very difficult to remove.
- Grab a medium sized heavy sauce pan and add butter, sugars, pumpkin puree, cream, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Heat, stirring almost constantly to dissolve everything, until the mixture comes to a boil.
- Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and let the mixture cook, stirring often, until it reaches 235F.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the white chocolate, the marshmallow fluff, and the vanilla.
- Spread your pumpkin fudge into your prepared pan and let set up before slicing.
fudge making tips
Have everything measured and ready before you start, and read through the recipe first. This is especially important with cooked candy like this because it comes together fast.
Do not forget to line your pan with foil AND spray with cooking spray. The fudge will stick otherwise.
When boiling your fudge you’ll see the temperature rises rapidly, and then sort of gets stuck for a while. This is normal, it takes time for the mixture to reach 235F, so don’t lose hope.
I like to use a silicone spoon or curved spatula for this because it makes it so easy to scrape the sides and bottom of the pan as the fudge cooks.
For the final stage of the fudge, when you’re stirring in the marshmallow fluff and white chocolate, all other recipes will tell you to take the pan off the heat. I like to keep the pan over a low heat. This helps keep everything soft and pourable so I can easily transfer to my prepared pan.
more easy homemade candy
- Perfect Peanut Butter Fudge in 10 Minutes!
- Mom’s Easy Fudge Recipe
- Grandma Kathy’s Homemade Turtle Candy Recipe
- Jewel Box Truffles
- Fresh Lemon Truffles
- Peppermint Bark Pretzels
- Easy Butter Brickle Bark
- Peppermint Mocha Bark
- 9×13 pan
- candy thermometer You can buy one here.
- nonstick spray
- 12 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
- 2/3 cup half and half, cream, or evaporated milk
- 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tsp coarse salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 7 ounce jar marshmallow fluff
- 12 ounces white chocolate, chopped (or use white confectionary in bar form, chips or wafers. This is about 2 cups.)
- 1 cup chopped toasted pecans (substitute walnuts, or leave them out.)
- Line your 9×13 pan with foil. Spray the entire surface with nonstick cooking spray.
- Put the butter, sugars, half and half, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and salt into a medium heavy bottomed pan. Bring this all to a boil, while stirring constantly to combine and dissolve everything. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the pan to get everything incorporated.
- When your mixture is at a boil, clip on the candy thermometer and continue to boil until the temperature reaches 235, or the soft ball stage in candy making. This takes a short while to reach that temp, so be patient, but don't leave the stove!
- Once you've got your mixture to the correct temperature, remove the thermometer, and turn off the heat.
- Immediately stir in the extract, fluff, white chocolate, and nuts, stirring to get everything mixed. The fudge may start to set up as you mix, and in that case you can turn the heat back on low to help soften everything while you mix. You want the chocolate to be completely melted and everything a uniform color and consistency.
- Turn the fudge into your prepared pan and spread out evenly. Take a few minutes to do this well, I use a large offset spatula.
- Let the fudge set up completely at room temperature (or you can pop it in the fridge) before slicing. Remove the fudge from the pan and peel off the foil. Slice it into 60 pieces.
- Serve the fudge at room temperature, and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. The fudge can also be frozen.
- Measure everything accurately. Too much dry ingredients will make your fudge crumbly. Too much wet ingredients and the fudge won’t set.
- Temperature is critical so be sure to use your thermometer and be patient while your mixture comes to 235F.
- If your thermometer is old or you or unsure of it, you can test it by bringing a small saucepan of water to a boil and taking the temperature. It should read 212F. If not, you’ll need to adjust your readings up or down, and definitely replace that thermometer!
- I recommend using real white chocolate for best flavor. After that I recommend white chocolate confectionary in bar or wafer form. Lastly you can use a bag of white baking chips, but sometimes these do not melt completely, and it can be frustrating to have tiny little bits of while left in your fudge.
- Some recipe variations involve using different flavored baking chips in place of the white ones. You can use butterscotch, cinnamon, or other flavors, but I find that they impart somewhat of an artificial flavor to the fudge. It’s your call there.