Oh, fudge!
1111636 Chef John's Christmas Miracle Fudge 235900 Lorem Ipsum
Photo by Lorem Ipsum

Fudge is always one of our most popular homemade treats during the holidays when cookie parties and gift-giving abound. Having a go-to fudge recipe comes in handy, as it's endlessly customizable: You can stick to the basics or experiment with more creative variations. We'll share 10 favorite holiday fudge recipes, plus quick tips for how to make fudge.

Quick Tips: How to Make Fudge

Smooth and creamy fudge can feel intimidating to make at home, and for most people, that intimidation lies somewhere between double-boilers and candy thermometers. But making fudge doesn't have to be complicated! Here's a little secret: Delicious fudge can be made using your microwave and just a handful of ingredients. Whether you make classic stovetop fudge or quick microwave fudge, here are some smart tips for working with fudge:

  • Line your pan with parchment paper or non-stick foil. This makes lifting the fudge out of the pan easy, and keeps the edges intact — which is important if you'll be gifting the fudge and want it to look as beautiful as possible.
  • Store uneaten fudge (if you have any!) in a resealable container. At room temperature, an airtight package of fudge will last from 1 to 2 weeks. If you refrigerate it, it will last from 2 to 3 weeks. Properly wrapped fudge can be frozen for several months.
  • For a gift that's even more fun, cut your fudge into shapes with cookie cutters. Sprinkle snowflake-shaped fudge with powdered sugar to complete the effect.
  • The simplest way to package fudge for gifting is to place bite-size pieces on a plate, enclose in translucent gift wrap, and a bow, and you're good to go. Here are more ideas for packaging fudge.

10 Favorite Holiday Fudge Recipes

I'll start you out with a simple recipe and build from there, with different ingredients and methods of cooking. Very few people can tell the difference between fudge that's made in the microwave, and fudge you've sweated over with candy thermometer in hand — so don't assume that you have to make things hard on yourself to achieve great fudge!

If you're looking for a simple starting place — or a blank slate on which to experiment with additions (think nuts and dried fruits) — look no further. This easy fudge recipe has gotten the stamp of approval from over 1,000 reviewers (possibly because it's four ingredients and cooks entirely in the microwave!)

Becca21402 assures first-timers: "This was the first time I have ever made fudge. I made it for the holidays and everyone RAVED about it! They wanted the recipe. It's so simple and so good! Even if you have no cooking talent you can make GREAT fudge!"

Although it's not exactly a classic fudge, it's so simple to make, and with its red and white stripes, it looks like it's all dressed up for the holidays. Featuring chunks of crunchy peppermint, this would be a lovely dessert to bring to a holiday party or give as a gift. Some reviewers used white chocolate chips instead of vanilla baking chips.

Recipe creator Chef John calls this his "miracle fudge" because it's a vegan, dairy-free, no-cook recipe. The secret is to follow his instructions for using a silicon mold, and to freeze the fudge after you mix it up, as coconut oil becomes liquid when it gets too warm. Watch the video to see it all come together.

This top-rated chocolate fudge uses marshmallow creme in the mix and is easily made on your stovetop. You should watch the video to get essential tips to pull it together so it comes out just right.

Top tips: Do use butter and full-fat evaporated milk. Stir the milk and sugar together on low heat until the sugar is dissolved, then stir in the marshmallow cream, butter, and salt until it's all incorporated. Then bring to a boil. Don't start your 5-minute timer until the mixture is at a full boil.

This microwave fudge recipe shakes things up a bit with white chocolate, nuts, and fruit. SunnyDaysNora says she will be making this again and has some suggestions for further alternations: "I think next time, I might even double the mix-in amounts. I did sub pecans for walnuts because of personal preference. I love the idea of using dried apples and cinnamon; that would be great! I can also see this being great with orange zest added." Sounds good to us!

White Cranberry Walnut Nutmeg Fudge
Photo by SunnyDaysNora

Two kinds of chocolate, creamy or chunky peanut butter, and crispy rice cereal go into making this tiger-striped peanut butter fudge you can make with your microwave. Imagine how fun this will look on dessert platters!

Crispy Tiger Fudge
Photo by Culinary Envy

Ready to take it up a notch? Indulge in three layers of sweet and salty, smooth and textured goodness. Beth Packer even "worked this recipe into my Christmas baking day and it was so worth it! Out of all the goodies I shared, this was everyone's favorite."

Tip: Top with flakes of sea salt to create a just-from-the-bakery-case feel.

Caramel Peanut Fudge
Photo by Ryan

An all-time favorite of many, smooth and creamy chocolate meets tart cherries in this updated take on a classic. Add walnuts to the fudge and top with candied cherries to take it to the next level.

Cherries and Chocolate Fudge
Photo by CC<3's2bake

This stovetop fudge has two layers of fudgy goodness, with the top layer spiked with Irish cream liqueur. Many reviewers suggest using a larger pan than the 8x8 called for in the recipe to make the fudge easier to slice.

Irish Cream Truffle Fudge
Photo by Deb C
| Credit: Deb C

Attention eggnog-lovers: This stovetop fudge is for you! HungryMommy says, "I used white chocolate chips instead of vanilla candy, mix the nutmeg into the fudge and add chopped pecans. It's a holiday favorite. I have to make it every year."

Festive Eggnog Fudge
Photo by SunnyDaysNora