Famous Carnation Fudge

Chocolate fudge
Joy Skipper/Stockbyte/Getty Images
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Chill: 3 hrs
Total: 3 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 36 servings
Yield: 1 8-inch pan
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
79 Calories
3g Fat
14g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 36
Amount per serving
Calories 79
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 3mg 1%
Sodium 21mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 13g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 15mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 41mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

World famous American fudge has been around since the late 19th century. Then, a much more complex recipe existed, consisting of cooking sugar, butter, and cream at the perfect temperature for the exact amount of time—with lots of stirring—producing a thick and sweet confection that was cooled and sliced in a similar manner to what we see today. This original fudge was then tweaked to make it more accessible to the inexperienced home cook, transitioning to its simplest version thanks to the inventions of evaporated and condensed milk. Our recipe brings to you just that, a chewy chocolate fudge with very little hands-on time, but lots of decadent flavor. The foolproof method presented here takes just 20 minutes but requires at least 3 hours cooling in the fridge to achieve the perfect texture. An 8-inch-square pan is what we used to make 36 individual servings, but it's up to you if you want to use a smaller pan for thicker and taller squares, or a larger one for thinner and flatter ones.

Many variations on the "easy" way of making fudge have appeared since evaporated and condensed milk appeared in the grocery aisles, with a variety of flavors and toppings, but all stemming from the classic Carnation recipe in which butter, marshmallows, and chocolate chips created the perfect balance of sweet and chewy. Though the original, more time-consuming recipe and the easy evaporated milk one are both really delicious, their textures are different, the first being creamier and the latter more stiff. Be mindful that evaporated milk and condensed milk aren't the same product, and although both are used in making fudge, evaporated milk has no sugar, whereas condensed milk is sweetened. The difference is just sugar, because both are the product of removing at least 60 percent of the water content of whole milk. Sugar is added to make condensed milk, leaving the unsweetened evaporated milk as is.

Our recipe has optional walnuts or pecans that add texture and flavor, but you can leave them aside if there are any tree nut allergies, or replace them with sunflower seeds or pepitas. Other options to tweak the fudge include adding sea salt crystals on top right when you spread the mixture in the pan, or drizzling it with melted white chocolate to create a pretty design. You can also spruce up the fudge with one of these ideas: Use colorful sprinkles, white chocolate chips, pretzels, crushed sandwich cookies, peanuts, almonds, pistachios, mini marshmallows and crushed graham crackers or anything crunchy you can think of. However you choose to decorate it, don't miss out on this classic and simple chocolate fudge.


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk

  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 2 cups (4 ounces) miniature marshmallows

  • 1 1/2 cups (9 ouncessemisweet chocolate chips

  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, or walnuts, optional

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Combine butter, evaporated milk, sugar, and salt in a medium, heavy-duty saucepan.

  3. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.

  4. Boil stirring constantly for 4 to 5 minutes.

  5. Remove from heat.

  6. Stir in marshmallows, chips, vanilla, and nuts (optional).

  7. Stir vigorously for 1 minute or until marshmallows are melted.

  8. Pour into a foiled-lined 8-inch-square baking pan.

  9. Chill until firm.

Recipe Variations

  • Margarine is a good substitute for the recipe's butter.
  • Milk chocolate fudge: Substitute 2 cups milk chocolate chips for semisweet chocolate chips.
  • Butterscotch fudge: Substitute 1-2/3 cups butterscotch-flavored chips for semisweet chips.
  • Mint chocolate fudge: Substitute 1-1/2 cups mint-chocolate chips for semisweet chips.

Recipe Source: Carnation Evaporated Milk. Reprinted with permission.