I can’t imagine celebrating the Christmas holidays without one of my all-time favorite recipes: My mom’s homemade fudge that is basically the best fudge I’ve ever sunk my teeth into.
My mom makes this fudge every single Christmas—and only at Christmas—and while every year she makes it to give as neighbor gifts, she always keeps a stash for herself, usually eating it for breakfast with her coffee.
Yes, it’s THAT good and yes, she is THAT smart to eat chocolate for breakfast. Hey, you only live once.
This recipe is a family legend, and originally comes from my grandma. But to me it’s all my mom’s. It’s rich, fudgy, and delivers a solid bite your teeth will easily sink into.
I first shared this recipe way back in 2011, the first year I started blogging. But when my mom stopped by when I was making the fudge, I asked her to step in and really worked her for the details of her secret fudge-making ways, because she IS the master.
Let’s make fudge!
Ingredients for this Easy Chocolate Fudge
My mom has some definite rules when it comes to the ingredients that make the best fudge, and they are:
- Marshmallows: Make sure your marshmallows are fresh when making this fudge recipe. My mom’s recipe calls for 12-15 jet-puffed marshmallows, not the extra large, just the regular size. She says the more marshmallows you use, the more the fudge will taste of marshmallow. We both usually use fifteen.
- Evaporated milk: Use the full-fat evaporated milk. This isn’t the time to worry about calorie skimping.
- Sugar: Not much to say here than what was said above. Just enjoy it.
- Chocolate chips: Semi-sweet is the way to go for the best chocolate flavor. My mom says Ghirardelli are her favorite so that’s what I use too.
- Butter: Your butter should be at room temperature so it will melt quicker when the hot ingredients are added to it and the chocolate chips.
- Vanilla: Use a high quality vanilla extract, not the cheap stuff. The few dollars make a big difference.
- Nuts: Nuts are optional, but we love the smooth and crunchy of the combo. We always use pecans but you could use walnuts too. Mom says don’t chop the nuts too fine or they’ll disappear in the fudge.
Mom’s Rules: How to Make the Best Homemade Fudge
Use an electric fry pan. The sugar, evaporated milk and marshmallows are cooked at 250°F and a non-stick electric fry pan is the easiest way to keep the temperature accurate and consistent. This is the fry pan I use. I’ve never made this fudge on the stove top so I don’t know how it would turn out if you do.
Prep your fudge dish. Use a 7″ X 11″ baking dish and save the butter wrapper to wipe and grease the baking dish. My mom leaves it at that, but I also line the pan with parchment paper so I can easily pull the chilled chocolate fudge out like a brick.
How to make sure your fudge doesn’t crystallize. Mom says to mix the sugar and the evaporated milk, then add the marshmallows before turning on the heat. Keep your heat at 250°F and stir constantly until the marshmallows melt.
The key to avoid crystallization is to continue to cook the marshmallow mixture until it turns a light, tawny brown, scraping down the sides of the fry pan as it cooks. Plan on at least 5 minutes or more.
Stir until the butter melts. Add the hot marshmallow mixture to a large bowl with the chocolate chips, sliced, softened butter and the vanilla and use a strong wooden spoon to stir the mixture until the butter melts. This is why you need to be sure your butter is at room temperature so it melts easily.
Use your muscles for a glossy finish. Add the nuts then beat the chocolate mixture with the wooden spoon for 2 minutes or as long as you can, scraping down the sides as you go. Work quickly so the fudge doesn’t set.
Add it to the pan, man. Transfer the fudge mixture to the prepared baking dish. My mom suggests shaking the pan so the fudge evenly distributes.
I use a cake spatula to make swirls and swoops, like frosting, or you could give it a smoother finish if you’d like.
Fridge it, baby. Refrigerate the fudge for at least 3 hours up to over night, then slice and serve. Store in the refrigerator where it will keep for at least one week.
And that’s my mom’s famous fudge. It’s one of our favorite family traditions, and I hope it will become one of yours too. If you make this recipe even once, my bet is it will.
More Sweet Holiday Treats You’ll Want to Make Too
- 4-Ingredient Pretzel Turtles Treats
- White Chocolate and Peppermint Christmas Wreath Cookies
- Peppermint Truffles Recipe
- Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons
- Chocolate Dipped Almond Cookies
- Coconut Snowball Cookies
- White Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn and Cashews
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Bookmark this recipe and leave a comment below, or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats
Mom's Easy Homemade Fudge Recipe
My mom makes this fudge every Christmas, with marshmallows, evaporated milk, and chocolate chips for a rich decadent taste in every bite.
- 8 tablespoons butter at room temperature and sliced
- 12 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips Mom recs Ghirardelli
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups sugar
- 2/3 cup evaporated milk
- 15 marshmallows make sure they're fresh
- 3/4 cup pecans roughly chopped
In a large mixing bowl, add the room temperature butter, chocolate chips, and vanilla. Save the butter wrapper to thinly butter a 7 X 11 baking dish then snugly fit with a piece of parchment paper, allowing enough parchment to fall over the long sides of the pan, like a sling, and set aside.
In a non-stick electric fry pan, stir together the sugar and the evaporated milk until smooth. Add the marshmallows and set the fry pan to 250°F.
Cook and stir constantly with a rubber spatula, cleaning the sides of the pan as the marshmallows begin to melt. Once the marshmallows have melted, continue to cook and stir until the sugar has melted and the mixture turns a tawny tan, about 5 minutes.
Turn off the heat and pour the hot mixture over the butter and chocolate chips in the bowl. Working quickly, use a wooden spoon to stir the butter and chocolate until they melt and combine. Add the nuts, then vigorously stir the mixture until glossy, about 2 minutes.
Transfer the chocolate mixture to the baking dish and smooth the top with an angled offset spatula. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.
To serve, let the fudge sit for 1-2 minutes after removing from the fridge and use the parchment paper to lift the fudge from the pan to a cutting board. Cut, and serve. The fudge can be refrigerated for 1 week.
Tools You’ll Need to Make This Fudge Recipe
And there you have it! My mom’s recipe will make you proud. If you make it, please leave a star rating on the recipe card and a comment below. Would love to hear if it’s worthy of your family traditions too.
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