Aunt Barbara’s Old-Fashioned Fudge recipe is so easy to make in under 20 minutes! Made from scratch with rich chocolate and marshmallows, you’ll love this easy chocolate Christmas fudge recipe.
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The fudge rules are firmly set in her house. You start making homemade fudge on December first, end by January 1st, and give away 50-75% of what you make.
The sugar content is high, and with most recipes, I would adjust it and put something in there that was nutritionally redeeming. But in this instance, the family history of this fudge leads me to make it as Anne and Barbara would have made it together.
How to Prevent Grainy Fudge
Heating the ingredients too quickly over high heat will produce a grainy fudge that is dry and will be crumbly. To prevent this from happening, heat consistently over medium heat and pay attention to the instructions when it directs you to stir the ingredients (and for how long).
Allow the sugar to fully dissolve before it comes to a rolling boil to prevent grainy, gritty, and crunchy fudge.
Updated for fall 2022: I have used Costco’s organic sugar for years to make this fudge. But in fall of 2022, they changed the formula or something and the sugar will no longer dissolve completely in this recipe.
After four ruined batches, I can no longer recommend Costco’s organic sugar for this recipe.
Additionally, using lower-quality chocolate which contains a lot of filler can produce a grainy fudge. When I used vegan marshmallows to make this chocolate fudge recipe for a vegetarian friend, I did notice the texture was drier than normal.
How Long Does it Take For Christmas Fudge To Set?
This easy fudge recipe will be completely set within 45 minutes under normal kitchen conditions. Warmer kitchens or climates may impact the cooling time. That being said, many people I know prefer eating the fudge warm before it has fully cooled. To each their own!
Pro Tips/Recipe Notes for Old-Fashioned Fudge
- Use a lightweight but large(ish) saucepan. The first time I made this I used an enameled cast iron dutch oven and it was bonkers awkward and heavy to pour the fudge one-handed. I now use this saucepan.
- I have tried using vegan marshmallows and while it turned out ok, the texture was not as creamy as traditional marshmallows.
- Top it with Dehydrated Marshmallows for a fun and crispy surprise topping.
- Need to use up some of the leftover evaporated milk? Try Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate or Cinnamon Pancakes. Or, just do like we do…and make another batch of fudge. 🙂
Old Fashioned Fudge Recipe
- Butter a 9×13 glass baking dish. Set aside.
- Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat.3/4 cup unsalted butter
- Add evaporated milk and sugar and stir frequently, allowing the sugar to fully dissolve (~5 minutes).6 oz evaporated milk, 3 cups sugar
- Once the sugar has fully dissolved, increase the temperature to medium and allow the fudge to reach a rolling boil. Stir constantly for 4 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add chocolate chips and marshmallows (or marshmallow cream/fluff). Stir until completely combined and smooth (~2 minutes).1 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, 10 oz mini marshmallows
- Add vanilla extract. Stir until completely smooth (~1 minute).1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Pour into the buttered dish and smooth to distribute evenly around the pan.
- Allow it to set (~45 minutes) before cutting. Store in an air-tight container at room temperature