This really is the easiest fudge recipe ever! Chocolate chips, butter, and sweetened condensed milk create the fudge base, and from there you can add as many mix-ins as you’d like. No candy thermometer required! 

*Post and pictures updated November 2022*

A stack of chocolate fudge slices. The top slice has a bite missing.

Homemade fudge is the easiest no-bake treat to prepare around the holidays. You need just three simple ingredients to make it — butter, sweetened condensed milk, and chocolate chips — and the recipe variations are endless! 

Whether you prefer your chocolate fudge plain or with chopped nuts, dried fruit, shredded coconut, or another mix-in, you can customize this base recipe as you see fit. 

This fudge recipe makes the perfect hostess gift and is also great for cookie exchanges as it travels well and tastes just as good on day one as it does on day seven!

An overhead view of the ingredients needed to make simple chocolate fudge with sweetened condensed milk.

Recipe Ingredients 

The ingredients for this fudge are simple and straightforward. Exact measurements are provided in the recipe card below, but here’s an overview of the ingredients list. 

  • Chocolate Chips: You’ll be using three cups of chocolate chips for this fudge. I used semi-sweet chocolate chips, but feel free to swap them for white chocolate chips or even dark chocolate.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk: You’ll need one 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk. I suggest sticking with the regular version and skipping the fat-free kind. Make sure that you grab a can of sweetened condensed milk and NOT evaporated milk. Sweetened condensed milk is thick and sweet and will give you the proper consistency for this fudge. Evaporated milk is much thinner, and if you use it by accident you will end up with hot fudge sauce, which is not what we’re going for here!
  • Butter: You can technically make this fudge with just the first two ingredients, but I’ve found that adding just a couple tablespoons of butter helps create a smoother consistency. Trust me here!
  • Chopped Walnuts: This ingredient is completely optional! If you don’t love nuts, feel free to leave them out. You can even swap the chopped walnuts with chopped pecans too.

How to Make Fudge 

Don’t bother taking out your candy thermometer, you won’t need it to make this simple recipe. The toughest part about making chocolate fudge is waiting for it to set up in the fridge, otherwise it’s an almost foolproof recipe! 

  1. Prep the baking pan: Line an 8-inch square baking dish with foil or parchment paper. Leave a bit of an overhang to make removing the fudge easier later on. 
  2. Melt the fudge mixture: Add the sweetened condensed milk, butter, and chocolate chips to a saucepan. Stir often over medium heat until the mixture is fully melted and smooth. 
  3. Add mix-ins, if using: Remove the fudge mixture from the stove and stir in any chopped nuts or dried fruit you wish to use. 
  4. Chill the fudge until set: Spread the melted fudge into an even layer in your prepared baking dish. Refrigerate it until fully set; this will take about 3 hours. 

Melted chocolate fudge in a baking pan lined with parchment paper.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Fudge Need to Be Refrigerated? 

Yes, this chocolate fudge must be refrigerated. It will soften at room temperature, so keep it in an airtight container in the fridge.

Can the Sweetened Condensed Milk Be Substituted? 

Not for this particular recipe. You must use full-fat sweetened condensed milk. Do NOT use evaporated milk, as it’s much thinner and the fudge won’t set properly if you use it. 

Can This Recipe Be Doubled? 

Yes, simply double the ingredients list and use a 9×13-inch pan instead of an 8-inch pan.  

Can Fudge Be Frozen? 

Yes, this fudge freezes well for up to three months. Store slices in a freezer bag or freezer container and thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

A small dish overflowing with slices of easy homemade fudge.

Recipe Variations

There are several different ways that you can make this fudge, here are a few of my favorite variations: 

  • Cookies & Cream: Swap the semi-sweet chocolate chips for white chocolate chips and add 1 cup of chopped Oreos.
  • Cranberry Pistachio: Use either semi-sweet or white chocolate chips and add 1/2 cup of sweetened dried cranberries and 1/2 cup of chopped pistachios.
  • Mint Chocolate: Use either semi-sweet or white chocolate chips and add 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract. Taste and add more extract as needed.
  • Rocky Road: Add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts to the melted fudge mixture, then very gently stir in 1/2 cup miniature marshmallows. 
  • Peppermint Chocolate: Swap the nuts with crushed peppermint candies or candy canes. 

A slice of fudge with a bite missing, resting atop another slice of fudge.

Baking Tips 

  • You do not need to bring the chocolate mixture to a boil, you simply need to warm it until melted. If you’re worried about your chocolate chips seizing up, you can melt the chocolate mixture in a double boiler. 
  • Make sure to stir the chocolate mixture often, otherwise it may stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. 
  • When lining the pan with foil or parchment paper, leave some overhang so you can easily remove the hardened fudge and slice it. 

More Easy Fudge Recipes You’ll Love! 

Recipe Video

Three pieces of fudge stacked on top of each other. The top piece has a bite taken out of it.

Easy Fudge Recipe

4.89 from 42 ratings
Prep Time: 15 mins
Chilling time: 3 hrs
Total Time: 3 hrs 15 mins
This simple Fudge Recipe is made with just three ingredients and takes only a few minutes to make too. Super easy and there's no candy thermometer required!

Ingredients

Servings: 36 pieces
  • 3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (525 grams)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (30 grams)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans optional (125 grams)

Instructions
 

  • Line an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper or aluminum foil, leaving some overhang for easy removal. Set aside.
  • Add the chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and butter to a large saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir often until the chocolate chips are fully melted and the mixture is smooth.
  • Remove from the heat and scoop the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Spread around into one even layer.
  • Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or until fully chilled and the fudge is firm. Remove from the pan using the overhang from the parchment paper or foil, slice the fudge into pieces, and enjoy.

Notes

Store leftover fudge in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. 
Freezing Instructions: Fudge will freeze well for up to 3 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
Chocolate chips: I used semi-sweet chocolate chips, but white chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips will work fine too.
Chopped Nuts: Feel free to mix in your favorite nuts or leave them out if you prefer. 
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert
Author: Danielle
Did you make this recipe?Mention @livewellbakeoften on Instagram or tag #livewellbakeoften.