This Old Fashioned Fudge recipe is an absolute revelation – a timeless treat that redefines homemade fudge. With just 15 minutes of active preparation, you’ll be well on your way to crafting a confection that surpasses your expectations.

It costs about $11.62 to make this fudge. The recipe makes thirty-six servings and costs about $0.32 per serving. 

The finished old fashioned fudge recipe with condensed milk cut into slices.

Old Fashioned Fudge Recipe With Condensed Milk

This fudge is so easy to make you will not spend hours in the kitchen preparing it. That leaves plenty of time to check your other holiday to-do’s off your list.

Whether this is your first time making fudge or you are an expert candy maker, this is a great fudge recipe to save. 

This Old Fashioned Fudge recipe calls for an unusual ingredient for fudge: baking soda! 

The baking soda reacts with the acids in the chocolate and alters the pH of the fudge to yield a firmer, lighter product. It makes it the best old-fashioned fudge you’ve ever tasted!

This recipe is easy to make, and no candy thermometer is needed!

I like having a batch of this fudge recipe in my freezer for last-minute friends/neighbor gifts throughout the holiday season. It is a great recipe to help you say Merry Christmas to your friends and family. 

Close up picture of fudge on a marble platter.

What You’ll Love About Old Fashioned Fudge:

  • Simple Recipe: This easy fudge recipe is a no-fail recipe with no special equipment needed. No more standing over a pot trying to get the fudge to the correct temperature to set. The total time to make this fudge is only fifteen minutes! 
  • Creamy Texture: You’ll love this creamy fudge’s rich flavor and smooth texture. It is a delicious dessert perfect for any occasion. 
  • Family Favorite: Fudge is also great for bringing to parties and will quickly become a family favorite. It will remind you of one of your grandma’s recipes.
Hot fudge batter in a stainless steel bowl.

Ingredients and Estimated Cost:

Per Serving Cost: $0.32

Recipe Cost: $11.62

  • 16 ounces semisweet chocolate – $4.66
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate – $1.45
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda – $0.01
  • ⅛ teaspoon table salt – $0.01
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk – $2.58
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract – $0.68
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts – $2.23

NOTE: The recipe prices are calculated by using grocery store websites. The recipe cost is calculated by the amounts needed for the recipe. The actual cost of the recipe will vary depending on what ingredients you already have. I updated the pricing for this recipe in November 2023.

All of the ingredients needed to make this recipe.

How To Make Old Fashioned Chocolate Fudge

***For complete recipe instructions, see the recipe card below.

  1. First, line the bottom of the pan with aluminum foil. Spray with foil and set aside. 
  2. Next, add the unsweetened chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl and toss until combined. Then, pour in sweetened condensed milk and vanilla and stir with a wooden spoon. 
  3. Place the bowl over a 4-quart saucepan with 2 cups of simmering water. Place bowl over the saucepan with 2 cups of simmering water. Stir constantly until the chocolate is completely melted. 
  4.  Remove bowl from heat and then stir until smooth. Next, fold in walnuts. 
  5. Then, pour the fudge into the prepared pan and spread out evenly, then chill until set. 
  6. The last thing to do is to use the foil overhang to lift the foil from the sides of the pan and cut it into squares.

A picture collage showing how to make this recipe.

Old Fashioned Fudge Recipe Variations:

  • You can use toasted pecans, almonds, or macadamia nuts instead of walnuts.
  • Add extracts such as orange, peppermint, or almond to the fudge. Use two teaspoons of vanilla and one teaspoon of the extract of your choice.

Storage Tips:

STORE: Fudge can be stored in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, and in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

FREEZE: Fudge can be stored in the freezer in the same manner as above for up to 3 months.

THAW: Let the frozen fudge reach room temperature before slicing.

Old Fashioned Fudge Recipe FAQs:

Why is fudge called fudge?

It is a funny story! Fudge is called fudge because of fudge! A man was in a class learning how to make toffee. During the process, the mixture’s temperature was not as high as it needed. The final result was called fudge. This is why a mistake is now referred to as the term “fudge.

How is fudge different from chocolate?

There are a few key differences between fudge and chocolate. Fudge is soft, while chocolate is harder and almost shell-like. Chocolate comes in chocolate or white chocolate flavors, while fudge can include chocolate and just about any other flavor. Lastly, they differ in how they are made. Chocolate is made with milk, sugar, cocoa butter, and cocoa. Fudge is made with milk, sugar, butter, and flavorings. 

How long does fudge last?

Fudge stored in an air-tight container can be left at room temperature for 1-2 weeks. It will stay fresh for 2-3 weeks if stored in the fridge. 

What is the secret to great fudge?

The secret to this fudge recipe is the baking soda. The reaction of the baking soda with the other ingredients helps create a firmer, lighter texture.

Why is my old-fashioned fudge not hardening?

If the fudge is not set correctly, it could result from incorrect ingredient measurements. Always measure twice before combining the ingredients to ensure the correct measurements are being made. 

A stack of old fashioned fudge recipe with condensed milk stacked three high.

Old Fashioned Fudge Recipe Tips:

  • Use the best quality chocolate you can afford; it makes a difference! It affects not only the flavor but the texture as well!
  • I used Ghirardelli unsweetened and semisweet chocolate in this old-fashioned fudge recipe. You can easily find it in your local grocery store or big box stores.
  • DO NOT omit the walnuts in this recipe; they are needed for creating the perfect fudge density and texture!
  • When melting chocolate over the double broiler, ensure the water is just simmering! Anything more and it will produce too much steam that might get into your chocolate. Steam/water + chocolate = inferior fudge!
  • Remove the fudge from the double broiler before the chocolate is completely melted. You may have greasy fudge if the fudge stays on the double broiler too long. Yuck!

More Christmas Recipes:

A pile of cut old fashion fudge on a platter.
4.34 from 12 votes

Old Fashioned Fudge

Author From Cook’s Illustrated
Recipe Cost $ $11.62
Serving Cost $ $0.32
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
36 people
This Old Fashioned Fudge recipe is an absolute revelation – a timeless treat that redefines homemade fudge.


  • 16 ounces semisweet chocolate chopped fine
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate chopped fine
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • teaspoon table salt
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts coarsely chopped



  • Line an 8-inch square baking dish with heavy-duty foil, allowing excess to overhang.
  • Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.


  • Add chocolates, baking soda, and salt in a medium heat-proof bowl.
  • Toss until baking soda is evenly distributed.
  • Pour in sweetened condensed milk and vanilla and stir.
  • Place the heat-proof bowl over a 4-quart saucepan with 2 cups of simmering water.
  • Stir constantly until the chocolate is almost completely melted and a few small pieces remain, about 2-4 minutes.
  • Take the bowl off the heat and stir until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth, about 2 minutes.
  • Fold in walnuts.


  • Pour the fudge into the prepared pan and spread to make an even layer.
  • Chill until set, about 2 hours.


  • Use the foil overhang to lift the foil from the pan and cut it into squares.



This recipe makes 2.5 pounds of fudge. 


  • Line a 13 by 9-inch pan with two sheets of foil placed next to each other, overlapping slightly. This will allow the foil to overlap on all sides making handles.
  • Double all of the ingredients. In step 2, use a large heatproof bowl and Dutch oven containing 4 cups of simmering water.
  • A double batch of this fudge will need about 3 hours in the refrigerator to set.


Serving: 1piece | Calories: 139kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 39mg | Potassium: 140mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 36IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 1mg

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Recipe Rating


  1. The Food Hunter says:

    A delicious classic! I love it.

  2. says:

    I could probably enjoy way too much of this, looks so good.

  3. Manila Spoon says:

    This looks totally scrumptious and love that it’s quite simple and quick to make! Holiday-perfect for sure!

    1. Yes, very simple and a family-favorite!

  4. Linda (Meal Planning Maven) says:

    I rarely indulge in sweets, but I have to say your fudge looks so inviting that I just might “cave!”

  5. I absolutely LOVE fudge! I make it all the time, whenever I have an excuse 🙂 Your recipe is a must try, it sounds delightful and fail proof!

    1. I love it too, enjoy! 🙂

  6. Fudge is a holiday staple. we love this rich chocolate treat!

  7. Michelle @ The Complete Savorist says:

    This fudge looks heavenly.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    Mmm nothing beats a pan of traditional fudge, does it! These look so awesome!

  9. Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy says:

    This looks amazing. I am definitely going to make my own fudge this Christmas.

  10. Divya @ Divya's Culinary Journey says:

    This fudge looks so good. I am definitely going to try this at home. My kids will love this.

  11. This fudge has my name written all over it!

  12. Debi @ Life Currents says:

    I adore fudge, especially on a cookie tray at this time of year. Yours looks fabulous!

  13. justine @ Full Belly SIsters says:

    What a stunning addition to a holiday dessert platter!

  14. Del's cooking twist says:

    They look so good, Jillian!! Congrats on the good job 🙂

  15. Ledora Meadows says:

    My grandchildren and I enjoy your resources very much. Keep up the good work Thank you for making my family happy!

    1. Lenora, your comment totally made my day! 🙂 I’m so glad you are enjoying the recipes. Thanks for stopping by!

  16. Made this today, just as the recipe says! It is awesome. My first time to ever make fudge. Now I want to make a white chocolate batch.

    1. Yay, fudge success! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  17. Meagen Brosius says:

    My husband loves fudge so I’m always looking for recipes this time of year. We made this one and it was a big hit, will definitely be making it again for Christmas