With only 3 ingredients, you can make the best chocolate fudge. This easy, foolproof 5-minute fudge with sweetened condensed milk never fails and makes perfect holiday gifts, party snacks, or just for you.
With the holidays approaching, in my heart, it is fudge season. While we think of fudge as a Christmas candy, it is excellent all year round.
This chocolate fudge has been a Christmas tradition at our house. It's been made for presents and cookie exchanges and extra for the family.We usually create Christmas Wreaths or small "loaves" as gifts.
No candy thermometer is required to make this version of 5-minute fudge with sweetened condensed milk. Chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk with some vanilla extract are the main ingredients but add some chopped nuts to make it extra special.
While this easy chocolate fudge recipe seems to be all over the internet, we first saw it when Rachael Ray was on Oprah and Rachael Ray Throw a Holiday Party many years ago. So we frequently call it Rachael Ray's 5 Minute Fudge, but I hear it was also on the back of Eagle Brand Condensed Milk can.
👨🍳How to make this recipe
- Use a medium size non-stick saucepan over low heat.
- Add chocolate and sweetened condensed milk.
- Stir continuously until it is all melted and combined—about 5 minutes.
- Mix in vanilla and chopped nuts.
- Pour into a prepared dish to cool before cutting.
You need two 12 ounce bags of chocolate chips. Usually semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips, but dark chocolate chips will work well also.
Since chocolate is the main feature of fudge, buy the good stuff.
Sweetened Condensed Milk
Sweetened condensed milk is what the name says. It is condensed or evaporated milk with added sugar. Use a brand you trust.
Do not try to save a few calories by using a lower fat version.
If you don't have sweetened condensed milk, you can make your own with 12 ozs of evaporated milk and ¾ cups of sugar. Bring to a light boil and mix well. Then reduce the heat to simmer for 30 minutes.
Use real vanilla, please.
Nuts are almost required, but some people don't like the nuts. I suggest chopped walnuts, but others prefer pecans—your choice.
🎄How to make a fudge wreath
You can make a fudge wreath by using a 9 inch round pan.
- Butter a 9-inch round pan then place the can from the condensed milk in the center covered with plastic wrap.
- Pour the fudge mixture around the can.
- Decorate as you want. Some candied red and green cherries are nice. I put some walnuts on top along with some red and green sprinkles. Currants also adds a great taste to fudge.
- Let cool then remove from pan. You may need to set the pan in warm water to loosen the fudge.
Yes. I love the taste the butterscotch chips add, and I like to use half butterscotch with half semi-sweet chocolate chips. I have included this as an option in the recipe.
Butterscotch chips seem not to melt as well as they did years ago. So if you go with butterscotch chips, in the end, you will need to spend a few minutes smashing them to get the last few to combine.
If you use butterscotch chips, get a good brand that melts better than generic.
Yes, it needs constant attention, pauses of 10-15 seconds are okay, but you can not be walking away.
You can also set up a double boiler, but it seems to be more fuss than it is worth for about 5 minutes of stirring.
A 9-inch square baking dish is perfect for this. You can also use a 9-inch round or similar baking dish.
I like to line the pan with parchment paper. Use two pieces and cross them with the edges overhanging the sides. A few dots of butter will help hold the parchment in place.
We also use small "loaf" pans about 1 ½ by 2 ½ inches to make gift-size loaves.
If you used the parchment paper, lift it out after cooled.
But if you didn't use parchment, add an inch of hot water to the kitchen sink and set the fudge in the water for a short time to loosen the fudge.
❄️How to store
Chocolate fudge should be stored in an airtight container and cooler room temperature for about 2 weeks.
Some people suggest storing fudge in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 weeks, but this can pull moisture out of fudge and cause a dry texture. I don't recommend refrigeration.
In preference to the fridge, I prefer the freezer. Freeze fudge in an airtight container for up to 3 months
This recipe is part of Christmas Candy Recipes. Check out other easy candy recipes.
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Step-by-Step Photo Instructions
Start with a medium non-stick saucepan over low or medium-low heat. Two bags of semi-sweet chocolate chips, but I suggest one chocolate and one butterscotch.
Add two bags of chips and one 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk to a non-stick pan. Stir continuously until all is melted and mixed.
While the mix is melting, prepare a pan for the fudge. You may use a 9X9 square pan with some parchment paper. Use dots of butter to hold the parchment paper in place.
When the ingredients are completely melted (about 5 minutes), remove from heat. If you used butterscotch chips, you might need to smash a few that did not melt completely. Add one teaspoon vanilla and mix. Add 1 cup of chopped walnuts. Other things can be substituted or added here.
Pour an even layer of the fudge mixture into your prepared pan and smooth the top.
Allow to cool, then cut into 1-inch squares to serve.
Easy 5-Minute Chocolate Fudge
- 24 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips - milk or dark chocolate if preferred
- 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup chopped walnuts - or pecans
- 12 oz butterscotch chips - Substitute for equal amount of chocolate chips.
- Start with a medium non-stick saucepan over low or medium-low heat. Two bags of semi-sweet chocolate chips, but I suggest one chocolate and one butterscotch.
- Add two bags of chips and one 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk to a non-stick pan. Stir continuously until all is melted and mixed.
- While the mix is melting, prepare a pan for the fudge. You may use a 9X9 square pan with some parchment paper. Use dots of butter to hold the parchment paper in place.
- When the ingredients are completely melted (about 5 minutes), remove from heat. If you used butterscotch chips, you might need to smash a few that did not melt completely. Add one teaspoon vanilla and mix. Add 1 cup of chopped walnuts. Other things can be substituted or added here.
- Pour an even layer of the fudge mixture into your prepared pan and smooth the top.
- Allow to cool, then cut into 1-inch squares to serve.
Your Own Private Notes
- Quality matters, use good ingredients.
- I suggest using 1 bag of chocolate chips and 1 bag of butterscotch-preferred. But many will use two bags of chocolate chips. Your choice.
- If using butterscotch chips, they don't melt as well as chocolate and will need to be smashed some at the end.
- A nine-inch square pan lined with parchment paper or a well-buttered.
- If using parchment paper, a few dots of butter help hold it in place.
- If using a buttered dish, setting it in warm water for a few minutes will loosen the fudge for removal.
- Decorate if desired immediately after placing in pan.
- Cool before removing from pan. You may need to set the pan in hot water to loosen the fudge.
- For fudge wreath instructions, see the text of the post.
- Store in a cooler room temperature environment for up to 2 weeks. Refrigeration can dry out the fudge.
- Will freeze well for up to 3 months.
To adjust the recipe size:
You may adjust the number of servings in this recipe card under servings. This does the math for the ingredients for you. BUT it does NOT adjust the text of the instructions. So you need to do that yourself.
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Originally Published December 21, 2011. Updated with expanded options, refreshed photos, and a table of contents to help navigation.