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Fantasy Fudge is a deliciously easy recipe loaded with toasted pecans. A special anytime treat but especially terrific during the holidays!
Never fail Fantasy Fudge recipe
This Fantasy Fudge recipe is one of the first recipes I learned how to make as a young girl. I was a short little sous chef who had to stand on a stool to reach the stove while my mom taught me to make this memorable candy.
Now I use a candy thermometer (and no stool!) to tell if the mixture is ready instead of the soft ball method, which is still near and dear to my heart.
Whether you’re a seasoned home-trained family chef or professional cook, this recipe is sure to become a favorite.
- toasted pecans, almonds or chopped walnuts
- unsalted butter
- granulated sugar
- canned evaporated milk (not sweetened condensed milk)
- semisweet chocolate chips or bittersweet chocolate will do too
- Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme or large Jet-Puffed Marshmallows
- vanilla extract
Helpful Equipment for Making Fudge
- 3-quart heavy bottomed saucepan
- candy or instant read thermometer
- parchment paper
- wooden spoon
Can you use Marshmallow Fluff in place of Marshmallow Cream?
I recommend using a jar of the Jet-Puffed brand Marshmallow Creme but if you can find it marshmallow fluff will do. You can also use regular size marshmallows too. I’d reduce the amount of fluff by one ounce as it’s softer than the Jet-Puffed brand.
The Original Fantasy Marshmallow Fudge Recipe called for margarine. If you want to use it in place of butter please feel free. I always liked the Parkay brand of margarine for this fudge.
How to make easy Fantasy Fudge
1. Prep the pan and pre-measure all ingredients
Line an 8 or 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. Leave extra parchment overhanging on the sides to use as a sling for easy removal. If you don’t have parchment paper, simply grease the pan with butter and set aside.
Place the prepared pan on a cooling rack and set aside.
2. Next make the butter sugar mixture
Combine the butter, salt, sugar and evaporated milk in a heavy bottom 3-quart saucepan set over medium heat. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue cooking and stirring for about 5 minutes or until a candy thermometer reaches 234 degrees F.
3. Add all remaining ingredients
Immediately remove the mixture from the heat and add all the chocolate chips. Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Add the marshmallow creme and vanilla and vigorously stir until completely blended. Fold in the nuts, if using.
Pour the hot fudge into the prepared pan. Cool completely at room temperature.
4. Storing the fudge
Once cooled cut into squares and layer in an airtight container between sheets of parchment or wax paper.
Store the fudge at room temperature or in a cool location for up to 2 weeks. Cooled fudge can be tightly wrapped and frozen for up to 3 months.
Fantasy Fudge TIPS for success
- Have all ingredients pre-measured and ready to go. Once you start cooking don’t answer the phone or leave the stove. It comes together quickly so make sure distractions are limited.
- Unless I’m serving the fudge right away I don’t cut the fudge until right before it’s needed. This helps keep the fudge from drying out.
- Whenever I ship fudge to loved ones I usually cut one batch into 4 pieces and cover each piece in plastic wrap then seal in a zipper freezer bag. This also helps keep the fudge fresh.
- Don’t guess if the fudge has cooked long enough. Use the soft-ball method (described below) or a reliable candy thermometer for best results.
- If the fudge is over-cooked it will be brittle and crack with a grainy texture. Undercooked fudge won’t hold its shape once cut. Perfectly cooked fudge has a melt-in-your-mouth creamy texture that is unforgettable.
How to use the “soft-ball method” for Fantasy Fudge
If you don’t have a candy thermometer feel free to use the soft-ball testing method. Have a small bowl partially filled with cool water standing by.
Once the butter and sugar mixture has cooked for a few minutes it will start to darken slightly. Drizzle a teaspoon of the hot sugar into a bowl of cool water.
Using your fingers try to squish the mixture together into a soft ball. If it holds together it’s done. If it won’t stay together, it needs another minute or two.
Discard the soft ball and the water and start with fresh cool water next time you test. You may need to do this several times until you get a feel for it, but it’s super easy to do.
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Easy Fantasy Fudge
- 1 cup chopped pecans (4oz) almonds or walnuts
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (6oz or ¾ cup)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 cups granulated sugar (665g)
- ⅔ cup evaporated milk (5oz)
- 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 7 ounces Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme or 23 large (not jumbo) Jet-Puffed Marshmallows
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Lightly toast the chopped pecans in a dry nonstick skillet over medium heat or in a 350°F oven for about 10 minutes. Set aside.
- Line an 8 or 9-inch square pan with parchment paper leaving extra hanging over the sides to use as a sling for easy removal. Set the pan on a cooling rack and set aside.
- Mix the butter, salt, sugar and milk in a heavy bottom 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue stirring and boiling for about 5 minutes or until a candy thermometer reaches 234°F. You can also test for doneness using the soft ball method. See post for more information if you don't have a candy or instant read thermometer.
- Once the mixture reaches 234°F remove from heat. Immediately stir in the chocolate chips until completely melted and smooth. Add the marshmallow creme and vanilla. Stir vigorously until the marshmallow creme is completely blended. Fold in the nuts.
- Pour the hot fudge into the prepared pan. Cool completely at room temperature. Once cooled cut into squares and layer with wax or parchment paper in an airtight container. Store at room temperature or in a cool location for up to 2 weeks. Fudge can be tightly wrapped, sealed and frozen for up to 3 months.
- Do not substitute sweetened condensed milk for the evaporated milk.
- Recipe adapted from Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme package
Easy Fantasy Fudge
This fudge is great for parties, gifting to neighbors or for selling at a school bake sale. It’s easily made ahead and keeps beautifully for up to two weeks. Everybody loves it almost as much as they love my signature Peanut Butter Fudge 😁😉
Another fun treat is this Penuche Fudge Recipe made with brown sugar for a rich butterscotch flavor.
Finally, check out our Buckeye candies which are also great for gifting and easily made ahead for your next event.
Originally posted December 2010, updated December 2022