Fantasy-ish Fudge Recipe

My take on the classic fantasy fudge recipe - made with Scharffen Berger chocolate, butter (not margarine) , and organic cane sugar.

Fantasy-ish Fudge

Classic fantasy fudge - so good, but oh-sooo bad. It's an icon of holiday indulgence, and the rich, smooth chocolate squares are hard to resist. I love the way each bite feathers against the enamel of my teeth. I love the jolt of tooth-ache inspiring sweetness that dissipates before I know what hit me. That being said, I'm never the supplier - I never make it. I know what goes into a batch of fantasy fudge, and rarely have anything other than the chocolate on hand in my own kitchen - no Kraft marshmallow creme, no margarine, no huge quantities of white sugar, no evaporated milk. But we are neck-deep in the holiday season, and when I came across a container of Ricemellow Crème the other day while grocery shopping, it occurred to me to try to make my own version using less processed and better quality base ingredients. It's still fudge, it's still the sweetest thing I've put in my mouth all year, but it's a few degrees in my direction on the ingredient spectrum.

Fantasy Fudge Recipe

Here's how I approached this. I wanted to maintain the spirit, texture, and general flavor of the original recipe. I didn't even attempt to cut back on sugar, fat, or anything like that. When it comes to fudge, I think I'd rather enjoy half as much amazing fudge, and have it be great. A small piece of this goes a long, long, way. I used butter as the fat and organic, fine-grain cane sugar, and the Ricemellow Crème - which is made from brown rice syrup. I used coconut milk, and its mild flavor worked beautifully in place of the evaporated milk. And I used a bar of Scharffen Berger 62% semi-sweet chocolate. I like my fudge smooth, so no nuts in my version - but if you like your fudge chunky, the original calls for 1 cup chopped walnuts.

Fantasy Fudge Recipe

I haven't tested it yet, but I'm nearly positive you can do a delicious vegan version of this recipe by using coconut oil in place of the butter. Also, for reference, Kraft Marshmallow Creme doesn't have gelatin in it, but it does have corn syrup, artificial color and flavor, and egg whites (for those of you avoiding animal-related products). The original, classic fantasy fudge recipe was printed on the side of Kraft Marshmallow Creme jars.

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Fantasy-ish Fudge Recipe

I used Ricemellow Creme here. If you can't find Ricemellow Crème in your natural food store, you can still use regular marshmallow creme with good results. Vegans, I almost did this with coconut oil - I think it would be a reasonable (and tasty) substitute for the butter here.

1 9.7-ounce bar of good-quality semi-sweet chocolate (62% Scharffen Berger)
3 cups organic cane sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup lite coconut milk (regular is fine too)
7 ounces Ricemellow Crème (or the marshmallow creme of your choice)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Butter a 13x9 baking dish. Alternately, you can line it with parchment paper. Finely chop the chocolate bar and set aside.

Combine the sugar, butter, and coconut milk in a thick-bottomed medium-large saucepan. Slowly bring the mixture to an active boil, stirring constantly. Continue boiling for five minutes over medium heat - if you are using a candy thermometer it should reach about 235F degrees. Remove from heat, stir in the chopped chocolate. Continue stirring until the chocolate is melted, add then add the Ricemellow Creme, vanilla, and nuts (if you are using them).

Pour the fudge into the prepared baking dish, and let cool. After 5 minutes or so, I use a spatula to make a swirl texture on the top of the fudge (optional). You can let it set at room temperature, but I like to let it cool in the refrigerator overnight, where it sets up nicely, making it simple to slice into 1/2-inch cubes. Tip: A thin knife is best for cutting, or (even better) a large pizza cutting wheel.

Makes a couple hundred tiny fudge bites.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
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I’ve read/enjoyed/used Heidi’s blog for years, and have never seen nasty comments before. Apparently fudge is controversial. I do think that Ricemellow Creme is odd, but I would just use fluff instead. No need to be so critical of it. The Common Sense poster is being far too much of a grinch.
For people who want less sweet fudge, I think you have to make it the old fashioned way (with just milk, butter, sugar, chocolate) and could maybe cut down the sugar, though it might throw off the texture. As long as you use fluff, it’s going to be sweet.
I really like making “fudge” with coconut oil, cocoa, butter, and sugar. Doesn’t have the good fudge texture that you get using fluff, but I can vary the sweetness and the coconut and chocolate are delicious together.
Someone asked about making your own fluff — it’s quite easy as long as you have a stand mixer. If you make homemade marshmallows (just google for a recipe) what you make is fluff before it dries out to become marshmallows.
HS: Yeah, I’m a surprised at the intensity of the comments as well. The ricemellow creme as a product was interesting to me – it actually tastes good and is made from brown rice syrup (which I like)…I like coconut/chocolate together so that seemed like a natural direction to take this to make it more of “my own”….I was pretty sure that no one needed a basic fudge recipe (with no interpretation) from me – that’s easy enough to find with a simple Google search – and quite frankly, not something I’m interested in.


After looking at this recipe, I’d tend to agree with “Common Sense” on this one. Boy oh boy, Heidi. You haven’t lost me, but you’re coming close!


Wow- the post from “Common Sense” was unnecessarily mean!
Heidi, I recently began reading your blog and love it. I’ve made about a dozen recipes from your site and they’ve all been successes. I love that you make accessible recipes with more natural ingredients.
One question: do you think this recipe would work with half the sugar?
HS: You know, I think it might – though, if I were testing I might scale it back in thirds.


So I made this fudge. I the texture, I give you, was fantastic. The fudge itself was way, way, wayyyy too sweet for me and the three other people who tried it.
Any suggestions how to tone down the sweet? Darker chocolate maybe?


That looks disgusting. It’s crystallized, not smooth as if it weren’t cooked slowly enough for the sugar to dissolve into the butter.
Coconut milk is also not something I want to combine with an expensive bar of chocolate. Why not dump in some rice ‘milk’ while you’re at it, with your Ricemellow Creme.
It’s generally hilarious when people try to use “higher quality” ingredients, then use off-the-wall ingredients with unknown or questionable origin in their place.
Have fun with your chunky, gritty mess
I thought I was done, but I’m not… Coconut milk in place of evaporated milk is just inexcusable. The flavor profile is completely different, and not one that lends itself appropriately to fudge. If you were really going high quality, you’d have made your own marshmallow creme out of farm-fresh eggs, a simple-syrup reduction, and confectioner’s sugar. You’d also have reduced raw milk by half, and used it in place of the condensed milk. This recipe is a complete failure.
HS: It’s really not chunky or gritty. You can see that in the third photo. And the coconut milk was great. I don’t normally respond to negative comments like this one, but I think it is important for me to communicate – more than anything else – this site is about trying new things and exploring new ideas. I’m not going to apologize for that.

Common Sense

I made this for a party last night, and everyone loved it! One person even said it was better than his mom’s! Thanks, Heidi!


Fudge is a serious weakness of mine at the holidays, but I never make it, since I would eat it all!

Deborah Dowd

Wow fantastic ideas for my next lunch with my friends. Bye from Italy

Oh this sounds yummy! I have a jar of marshmallow fluff in the pantry so I think I might have to whip this up 🙂


How cool that you used ricemellow creme! It is the best! Seriously, way tastier than regular marshmallow fluff, and it is sugar free! I love it, and just eat in with a spoon straight out of the jar!

Veggie Wedgie

Goodness, well I always make fudge with marshmallows. I’m used to the fluffy stuff in it too, Heidi, but I love your innovative substitutions! Swapping the coconut oil for the butter sounds delish! 🙂 Do you think there’s a way to make your own sort of ricemellow fluff?
HS: Hi Annie, I’m really not sure how one would go about making your own fluff. I think one of the main tricks is figuring out how to get all that air incorporated in to it.


Who knew that fudge was so controversial? I well understand the evils of Fluff, yet I prefer the kind of fudge it yields. I know how and have made “real” fudge, yet I’ve never found a recipe that comes close to the taste and texture of my mom’s recipe about which I spoke and posted the other day. Be that as it may, I say to each – her own and agree with Tisiphone – Peas on Earth … just leave them out of the fudge! 😉

The Diva on a Diet

As far as fluff goes, I prefere the marshmellow Fluff in the US that is made of Corn syrup, sugar syrup, vanilla flavor, and egg white. No artificial flavors or colors, and it’s also kosher.
As for fudge, I prefere the chocolate/sweetened condensed milk/butter variety, less grainy than the typical fantasy fluffs.


Yes I agree. When I posted earlier with the ‘traditional’ ingredients of fudge, it was in response to the poster who lives in China and can’t get hold of any kind of marshmallow-y stuff and was NOT intended to criticise an alternative take on a traditional recipe.
I’m not keen on using processed stuff myself – but then again however you make fudge it’s never going to be a healthy option, and if you can’t have a little of what you fancy at Christmas, then when can you?
Peas on Earth?


Hi, Heidi – I can’t wait to make this for my holiday sweet boxes, but want to echo Helen’s question – how long will this fudge keep? Thanks!
HS: I’d say a week – and I keep it refrigerated.


Ok people, I’m sure Heidi knows how to make “real” fudge. She was recreating a holiday recipe from childhood that brought her warm memories and if that comes with ricemallow cream then so be it. All of us with similar memories can enjoy and the rest of you can all go make your “real” fudge if that’s what suits you. Happy Holidays everyone!


I just want to stick my face in that picture. I love fudge.

Culinary Cory

WOW!!! That looks so yummy!


oh my gosh heidi, we must be kindred spirits – today i was trying to think of what to bring to an Open House tomorrow night at my antiques booth Maggie’s (in Savannah) and I thought of fudge! I never think of fudge – and there was the recipe in my inbox – thanks!!!


Fluff in old-fashioned fudge…I agree with some of the commenters about there being and oxymoronic idea at work there. However. Chances are good that I won’t be making it anytime soon, for several other factors (one being that among the gazillion delicious treats to make at Christmas, fudge doesn’t move me quite so much). To be fair, though, it doesn’t really matter terribly to me whether you advocate marshmallow cream in fudge (and that it reminds me of cream-of-soup recipes, haha). What I like best about your blog, Heidi, and what inspires me most, is your use of non-traditional ingredients. Your recipes are not so different from the way I already eat, but some of the items you use *definitely* are–whether that be Rancho Gordo’s exotic, heirloom beans, or tempeh, which I’ve wanted to try but not known what to do with. I find myself examining the “natural” foods aisle at the grocery store simply to figure out what would be done with all these interesting ingredients. You showcase ingredients here that I have never been exposed to, so for that, I’m thankful. (And will continue to return!)

Erin @ Sprouted in the Kitchen

I am not wanting to get into an argument of fluff versus non*fluff fudge. The thing is, marshmallow creme or whatever is a much smoother or creamier fudge. It is pretty much fail proof! Heidi, thank you for sharing.


Sounds delicious. I think I may try to do the dairy-free version as a holiday treat for my vegan friends. Thanks for sharing such a great recipe!

lisa (dandysugar)

OMG I’m so not on my diet any more after seeing that oh so sweet fudge. Keep it up Heidi.


I just adore you and all that you stand for Heidi!


One word: YUM!
And I want some!
Thanks for the recipe Heidi!


Katie and Tisiphone and Lois are right. Processed ingredients like “fluff” and “ricemallow” are not part of traditional fudge. Heidi: if you find that fluff substantially improves the texture, it may be because the traditional-fudge maker has not been careful about the process. Any misstep in traditional fudge making can change (and quite possibly ruin) the texture–it takes practice to get what you want. What’s unavoidable is the flavor difference when you use fluff. It tastes PROCESSED. No way around it.


I didn’t grow up with Fluff— my mom turned her nose up at it too. I only buy it when using it for things like fudge— but I LOVE the idea of a healthier alternative. Thanks, Heidi!

The Secret Ingredient/Season to Taste

sounds good..I bet one could use vegan margerine in place of the butter and instead of coconut oil..the pictures look so yummy I want to lick the screen!!


Hey, “Organic Goodness” – if you can, will you please share that fudge recipe that used brown rice syrup, cacao powder, and earth balance?
I react poorly to simple sugar, and would love to see the proportion of brown rice syrup to use in place of dry sugar in a fudge recipe. Not having that information stands between me and any hope of successfully executing anyone’s fudge recipe 🙁
…when I was a kid, we called marshmellow creme and peanut butter sandwiches “fluffanutter.” They were best when made on Wonderbread 🙂


Thanks. I was just thinking that I wanted to make dairy-free fudge for my son with allergies, but I couldn’t find the recipe I used last year. I do know that last year I made mine with Scharffenberger and people went nuts for it.


Funny. I was just at a friend’s house in the suburbs of LA. She also has two young kids. She had absolutely nothing healthy to eat in her house and ended up making my son a peanut butter and Marshmallow Kreme sandwich. I thought of all my food snob friends and parenting snob friends and laughed. Apparently she doesn’t read you, Heidi.

RookieMom Whitney

yes, marshmallow creme is good, GREAT in fudge, and simplifies it a lot. but sorry, it’s not old-fashioned fudge unless it’s made without it. marshmallow creme fudge has been around a lot of years. i’m surprised this is coming up like a new invention or something. Here’s REAL fudge…
Cocoa Fudge
3 cups sugar
2/3 cup cocoa
1/8 tsp. salt
1½ cups milk
¼ cup (½ stick) butter (or margarine, but why mess with it?)
1 tsp vanilla
Line an eight- or nine-inch pan with buttered foil. Stir sugar, cocoa and salt and milk, stirring until mixture comes to a full boil. Boil without stirring to 234º. Remove from heat, add butter and vanilla. DO NOT STIR! Cool to 110º, beat until fudge thickens and loses some of its gloss. Quickly spread in the pan. Yield: 1¾ pounds.


I love reading your blog….but i must admit that at times I am not as organic in ingrediants as you. I wish at times you would write in substitutes for some of the items like the ricemellow creme or marshmallow creme of your choice….do you mean marshmallows? Never have I heard of anything referred to as a creme.
Thanks….other than that I love your posts.


Great recipe! Do you know how long fudge can keep?


Thanks, I am just about to go into a diabetic coma from just looking at the incredible photo. Yum. Maybe I can get away with making it for my son and then tasting a tiny piece?


Whoa…this looks simply decadent and incredible. Heidi, you are a girl after my own heart with these holiday recipes!

Lisa Marie



You also may be interested in trying out a black bean fudge. Still super delicious, but it makes me feel like it’s healthier–although, I’ve never made it, so I can’t guarantee that it is.


How does using something called “ricemellow creme” make your fudge “less processed”? All you need to make great fudge is cocoa, sugar, butter, and milk. No fluff of any kind needed! People made fudge before marshmallow fluff was invented. Using sugar alone is more challenging but also more rewarding and it tastes better. If you want to make a less processed fudge, practice your candy making skills and avoid the fluff and fluff-substitutes altogether!
HS: Fair enough, but the fluff seems to change the texture of the fudge substantially. I actually don’t like “straight” fudge as much. And it was the fluff version I had as a kid.


if you can get normal marshmallows (and I know, in the main, these aren’t a vegetarian item, but work with me)
grease a pan or pans that will add up to about half of a 13×9, set aside
Then, place in a heat-resistant bowl:
10 oz of semisweet or dark chocolate chips (not milk chocolate)
1 stick butter (1/4 lb)
dash salt
nuts (if desired)
Finally, put in a saucepan with sufficient headroom to allow it to double in volume:
1 small (6ish oz) can condensed milk
10 marshmallows
2 cups sugar
Place it over medium to medium high heat, and bring to a rolling boil for six minutes, stirring constantly once it warms. Use a long-handled spoon (mine is wooden), because as it heats it turns to a foam, and when it gets to a boil it can spit out. When it starts to have carmel streaks and turns from a milky nougat color to a slightly darker shade of taupe you know you’re good to take it off the heat (if you move too early, it will just be a little soft, and you can keep it in the fridge. If you’re late, it will be a little dry, which is less easily remedied)
Pour this over the chocolate chip mixture, and working fast, stir it all together. It make take a little bit to get all the chips smooth, and if you’re struggling I’d suggest placing the bowl back on the burner (turned off, this is the one reason for electric stoves, in my mind). When it looks smooth and delicious, pour the fudge into the prepared pan(s) shake and slam on the counter once or twice to settle, then place somewhere cool to harden. Cover after the fudge comes to room temperature to protect the flavor.
This recipe gets a family of 5 through the holiday season, even with a little bit of sharing with neighbors. But then, we have cookies and peppermint ice cream to tempt our fancy at the same time 🙂


Wow, what a great idea to use the Rice Mellow Creme! I’m going to be on the look-out for it and will give it a try next time. I adore fudge and only make it once or twice a year … using the horribly processed marshmallow fluff. So glad Dana’s comment tipped me off to your wonderful blog!
(Thanks, Dana!)

The Diva on a Diet

Yeah,it would not be the holidays without fudge! My sister-in-law makes a mean three ingredient vegan fudge…brownrice syrup, cacao powder, and earth balance I believe… She fools everyone at the get togethers….Raw fudge is also delicious but it misses that over the top sweet factor. This one seems even more fool proof, with the rice mellow creme..Thanks!

Organic Goodness

I’m going to keep this a secret as long as possible! If my other half sees it…I’ll have to make it!
lovely blog!


Lovely photos as usual Heidi. Any ideas to sub for the Ricemallow creme? The soy protein is an issue for me, but I wouldn’t want to use the kraft stuff either…


Congratulations on making the Washington Post’s FOOD SECTION special on holiday cookies today (December 10th)!!!!!

Brenda Yuen

This looks awesome. I can’t wait to try it.


This looks lovely. I’m just wondering — could you cut some of that tooth-ache by introducing some espresso powder?


I’m drooling over the top picture…. I need some chocolate in my system now!
Thanks for sharing!


Your fudge is to die for… my cravings have started already 🙂


I’m not the chocolate fanatic in the family, but I know my wife will love me for trying out that recipe. Gotta go shop for the ingredients.


Yum. I’m totally hooked on 101… have nominated it for a Butterfly Award. Thanks for all the inspiration.


“I think I’d rather enjoy half as much amazing fudge, and have it be great.”
hear hear! all hail the heidi swanson diet! 😀


Robin, all you need to make fudge are 3 ingredients (4 if you want to make chocolate fudge or add a flavour), butter (NEVER maragarine), sugar and milk or cream. Obviously the better the quality of your ingredients, the better the fudge. I like to use the kind of French butter that has salt crystals in it – but I think that might not be readily available in China!
Loving the delicious pictures of this (as usual) but for me any product that lists soy protein as one of its ingredients comes under the ‘processed’ heading for me so I don’t think I’ll be trying this one out.


The fudge looks amazing!
However, I live in China and can’t buy ricemallow or marshmallow cream. Any ideas on what to use as a substitute? Or am I completely out of luck?
I haven’t even seen fudge in years but am dying for a piece now!


Thanks for the great fudge recipe! Looks absolutely delicious. I am going to have to place this recipe inside my favorite recipe book, “Cooking with All Things Trader Joe’s,” by Deana Gunn and Wona Miniati- this recipe book never leaves my kitchen, so I will be sure to not lose your fudge recipe.


Wow, I *just now* finished making a batch of “fantasy fudge” (never heard that name before, but my recipe is basically what you mention above) and was lamenting how I had to buy junky marshmallow creme for it. I did substitute raw sugar for the plain white, and I’ll know tomorrow when I test it how that turned out, but I love the idea of coconut milk and rice-mallow as well. If I make another batch of fudge this holiday season, it will definitely be this one.


That fudge looks absolutely gorgeous. I love fudge at the holidays and could probably eat a pound on my own. . . which is why I couldn’t bring myself to make “real” fudge this year! I found a recipe for agave- and nut butter-based fudge that I think is pretty great and also a healthy alternative (maybe the next step down from yours?). The coconut oil would definitely work here–I’ve used it for caramel, toffee, and a host of other butter-based recipes with great results.


I love how you substitute “good” ingredients to make recipes just a bit healthier and this one looks fantastic!!

Tabitha (From Single to Married)

Wow…I have been dreaming about fudge lately. (No, I really have. No worries–I know exactly how weird that is.) Unfortunately, fudge is usually so sweet it makes my teeth curl. You have inspired me to try some different recipes and see if I can find something that works. Last year, I made my own truffles…maybe this year, it’ll be fudge! Thanks!

Laurel from Simple Spoonful

Are you kidding me?! I’m dying over here. I appreciate that you would approach this completely indulgent and ‘pure’. I love trading out quality, unrefined ingredients in old standbys and seeing how much more they can be.
thanks a million for this one. My nostalgic school-girl sweet tooth will be pleased I’m sure.


I absolutely adore fudge. It was always my favorite holiday treat from my Grandma.

ashley (sweet & natural)

I absolutely adore fudge. It was always my favorite holiday treat from my Grandma.

ashley (sweet & natural)

Lucky for me I am making some fudge this holiday as a gift for my dad and best friend…looks like I found my recipe! I think I might try a batch with cashew butter added in or as a base…it’s my weakness.


How much coconut oil do you think you would use in place of the butter? Would it still be 3/4 cup? I’m not vegan but am attempting to make holiday treats for vegans! I’m not used to the conversions though …


Um, can you send me some? Like, now? Because I read your blog all the time but never have I ever wanted to lick the screen as much as I do right now! Thanks for all of the great recipes!!!


I love making fudge for the holidays… do it every year. Thank you for this new recipe! 🙂


Oh, this looks utterly wonderful, and I don’t even have a sweet tooth. 🙂 I think I’ll pass this one on to my fudge-loving brother…


The image of that marshmallow fluffy goodness and the smooth, sunny butter coming to a soft ball..well, I am six again. Waiting eagerly to tackle that spoon when my mom is finished stirring. Thanks for the sensible homage to a timeless recipe.

Jess @ lavidaveggie

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