When summer rolls around, no one is in the mood to bake. Heat in the kitchen can take just about anybody’s appetite away, and that’s why no-bake desserts are key. Fudge is an easy, utensil-free, no-bake dessert that everyone can get their hands on, and similar to ice cream, its flavors are completely customizable. Instead of pre-heating your oven (and house) this summer, consider whipping up one of these six fudge recipes.
1. Old-Fashioned Chocolate Fudge
Starting out with the classic, we come to this recipe for old-fashioned chocolate fudge from All Recipes. Requiring just five ingredients, this recipe will make 60 squares.
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1/2 cup cocoa
- 1 cup milk
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions: Grease an 8-by-8-inch square baking pan. Set aside. Combine sugar, cocoa, and milk in a medium saucepan. Stir to blend, then bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer. Do not stir again.
Place candy thermometer in pan and cook until temperature reaches 238 degrees Fahrenheit (114 degrees Celsius). If you are not using a thermometer, then cook until a drop of this mixture in a cup of cold water forms a soft ball. Feel the ball with your fingers to make sure it is the right consistency. It should flatten when pressed between your fingers. Remove from heat.
Add butter or margarine and vanilla extract. Beat with a wooden spoon until the fudge loses its sheen. Do not under beat. Pour into prepared pan and let cool. Cut into about 60 squares.
2. Vanilla Fudge
Try this recipe from CDKitchen and you won’t be displeased. Sugar sans the oven tastes sweetest in the summer, but then again, fudge is one dessert that’s always in season.
- 1-pound box powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 stick butter, softened
Directions: Put everything except the vanilla and nuts in a large bowl and top with the butter. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and nuts and stir well for about 3 minutes. Pour into a greased loaf pan. Chill a couple of hours before slicing. Cut into 10 slices, then cut each slice in half to serve.
3. Cookies and Cream Fudge
Next up is this recipe from Very Best Baking. The makers of this dessert promise that cookies and cream fudge can come together in just six minutes or less, and as long as you can wait the 60 minutes for it to cool, you’re good to go.
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine
- 2/3 cup (5 fluid-ounce can) evaporated milk
- 2 cups (12-ounce package) white chocolate morsels
- 1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow crème
- 1/2 cup finely crushed cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- 1 cup crumbled cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies
Directions: Line 9-inch square baking pan with foil. Combine sugar, butter, and evaporated milk in medium, heavy-duty saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Stir in morsels, marshmallow crème, finely crushed cookies, and vanilla extract. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle crumbled cookies on top. Gently swirl cookies into fudge using a knife without touching bottom of pan. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Lift from pan; remove foil. Cut into 48 pieces. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.
4. Cashew Caramel Fudge
Another flavor combination you can try is this cashew-caramel combo from Taste of Home. The buttery cashews paired with sweet caramel sends this fudge over the top.
- 2 teaspoons plus 1/2 cup butter, softened, divided
- 1 can (5 ounces) evaporated milk
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme
- 24 caramels, quartered
- 3/4 cup salted cashew halves
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions: Line a 9-inch square pan with foil; butter the foil with 2 teaspoons butter. Set aside.
In a large heavy saucepan, combine the milk, sugar, and remaining butter. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a rapid boil; boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat; stir in chocolate chips and marshmallow creme until melted. Fold in the caramels, cashews, and vanilla. Pour into prepared pan. Cool. Using foil, lift fudge out of pan. Discard foil; cut fudge into 1-inch squares. Store in an airtight container. Yield: about 3 pounds.
5. Chocolate Pistachio Fudge
Cashews aren’t the only nuts that work well in fudge desserts — pistachios taste great, too, especially in the case of this recipe from the Food Network.
- 12 ounces 70 percent dark chocolate, chopped; or 12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 (14-ounce) can condensed milk
- Pinch salt
- 1 cup shelled pistachios
Directions: Melt the chopped chocolate, condensed milk, and salt in a heavy-base pan on a low heat. Put the nuts into a freezer bag and bash them with a rolling pin until broken up into both big and little pieces. Add the nuts to the melted chocolate and condensed milk and stir well to mix. Pour this mixture into a 9-inch square foil tray, smoothing the top.
Let the fudge cool and then refrigerate until set. You can cut it into pieces of your preferred size. Once cut, you can keep the dessert in the freezer — no need to thaw, just eat straight away.
6. Peanut Butter Fudge
We’re ending on a high note with this peanut butter fudge from Sally’s Baking Addiction. This buttery fudge recipe that only requires six ingredients.
- 1 cup (250 grams) creamy peanut butter
- 1 cup (2 sticks or 230 grams) unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
- 4 cups (460 grams) sifted confectioners’ sugar
- 3/4 cup add-ins, such as chocolate chips, peanuts, or peanut butter cups (optional)
Directions: Line an 8-inch or 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on the sides to lift the finished fudge out.
Melt the peanut butter and butter together in a large bowl. Stop the microwave and stir the mixture every minute until completely melted and smooth. Remove from the microwave and stir in the vanilla using a large rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Add the salt if you prefer a salty-sweet fudge. Add the sifted confectioners’ sugar and stir until completely combined. The mixture will be very thick and resemble cookie dough. If using any add-ins, fold them into the fudge while it is still warm.
Press the fudge into prepared baking pan, smoothing the top with the back of a spatula or spoon. The top will be somewhat oily. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and chill for at least 4 hours or until firm. Cut into pieces. Store fudge in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Fudge may be frozen for up to 2 months. To thaw, simply transfer to the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours.