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Betty Crocker's Smooth, Old-Fashioned Chocolate Christmas Fudge

I've been perfecting my mom's delicious holiday fudge recipe for as long as I can remember.

A big plate of my fudge

A big plate of my fudge

My Mom's Homemade Holiday Fudge Recipe

Here are my hints for making smooth, creamy, old-fashioned chocolate fudge—with some suggestions below for fancying it up a bit! This tasty dessert makes a special gift or dessert for Christmas, Valentine's Day, birthdays, or any other special occasion.

This recipe is based on the one from my Mom's old Betty Crocker cookbook, which she used for many years. It's my Dad's favorite, and I make it every month or so for him (okay, so it's a good excuse for me to have some, too!). Fudge is often thought to be a difficult recipe, but really all it takes is some practice.

Tips for Beginners

  • Keep vanilla ice cream on hand; you can use any failed batches as ice-cream toppings!
  • Use a candy thermometer to insure accuracy, but after a couple of tries, you'll know how each stage is supposed to look. Then you'll be able to whip up a plate any time you want!
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  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • Big glug of vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


  1. Spray a large cookie sheet with butter spray and set it aside.
  2. Heat sugar, milk, cocoa and salt in a tall stockpot over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is melted. (You want a tall pot, because sometimes the boiling syrup will spatter).
  3. I use a spatula to stir, so as to scrape the bottom. If you're scraping up much, turn the heat down a bit so it doesn't burn. (If it does start to burn, stop stirring immediately and pour it off quickly into another pot, and start again at lower heat. This leaves the burned part in the first pot.)
  4. Cook, stirring occasionally. Stop stirring when the syrup begins to boil. (The syrup will boil up, then start to boil lower. That's the sign it's getting close.)
  5. Cook to 234 F on the candy thermometer or until a small amount, dropped into cold water, forms a soft ball. Actually, I never see it form a ball, so I taste it. It should be slightly al dente, with a bit of give, but not chewy.
  6. Remove from heat, and drop the butter in. Let it cool, without stirring, to about 150 F. (My recipe says 120 F, but I find if I wait that long, it will harden in the pot.)
  7. Glug in the vanilla and beat with a wooden spoon until it looks like it's just thinking of losing its gloss. Stir in the nuts and pour quickly onto buttered cookie sheet. Leave it alone until it's firm, if you can.

Video: How to Make Real Fudge

© 2012 Valerie Proctor Davis

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