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For other uses, see Fudge (disambiguation).
"Hot fudge" redirects here. For the television series, see Hot Fudge.
Handmade fruit fudge squares.jpg
Fruit fudge
Type Confectionery
Place of origin Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America
Serving temperature Room temperature
Main ingredients Sugar, butter, milk
Variations Multiple
Food energy
(per serving)
a 100 gram serving may have over 450 calories kcal
Cookbook: Fudge  Media: Fudge

Fudge is a type of confectionery which is made by mixing sugar, butter and milk, heating it to the soft-ball stage at 240 °F (116 °C), and then beating the mixture while it cools so that it acquires a smooth, creamy consistency. Fruits, nuts, caramel, candies, and other flavors are sometimes added either inside or on top.


In 1887, Mackinac Island's first candy shop opened as Murdick’s Candy Kitchen. Henry Murdick crafted fudge using his mother’s (Sara) recipe. Using a renowned marble table gave the fudge a unique texture and also provided a veritable “stage” on which to show visitors how fudge is made. Fudge is still produced in some of the original shops on Mackinac Island and the surrounding area. Mackinac Island Fudge ice cream, a vanilla ice cream with chunks of fudge blended in, is also very common in this region and across the United States.[1]

Another American-style fudge (containing chocolate) was found in a letter written by Emelyn Battersby Hartridge, a student at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. She wrote that her schoolmate's cousin made fudge in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1889 and sold it for 40 cents a pound. Hartridge obtained the fudge recipe and, in 1890, made 30 lb (14 kg) of fudge for the Vassar College Senior Auction. This Vassar fudge recipe became quite popular at the school for years to come.[2]

Word of this popular confectionery spread to other women's colleges. For example, Wellesley College and Smith College have their own versions of a fudge recipe dating from the late 19th or early 20th century.[3]


Fudge-making evolved a variety of flavors and additives as it grew beyond its popularity at colleges.


Fudge being cooled and shaped on a marble slab

In forming a fondant, it is not easy to keep all vibrations and seed crystals from causing rapid crystallization into large crystals. Consequently, milkfat and corn syrup are often added. Corn syrup contains glucose, fructose (monosaccharides), and maltose (disaccharide). These sugars interact with sucrose molecules. They help prevent premature crystallization by inhibiting sucrose crystal contact. The fat also helps inhibit rapid crystallization. Controlling the crystallization of the supersaturated sugar solution is the key to making smooth fudge. Initiation of crystals before the desired time will result in fudge with fewer, larger sugar grains. The final texture would then have a grainy mouthfeel rather than the smooth texture of high quality fudge.

One of the most important attributes of fudge is its texture. The end-point temperature separates hard caramel from fudge. The higher the peak temperature, the more sugar is dissolved and the more water is evaporated, resulting in a higher sugar-to-water ratio. Before the availability of cheap and accurate thermometers, cooks would use the ice water test, also known as the cold water test, to determine the saturation of the confection. Fudge is made at the "soft ball" stage, which varies by altitude and ambient humidity from 235 °F (113 °C) to 240 °F (116 °C). The heated fudge is sometimes poured onto a marble slab to be cooled and shaped.[4]

Some recipes call for making fudge with prepared marshmallows as the sweetener. This allows the finished confection to use the structure of the marshmallow for support instead of relying on the crystallization of the sucrose.

Hot fudge[edit]

Hot fudge in the United States and Canada is usually considered to be a chocolate product often used as a topping for ice cream in a heated form, particularly sundaes and parfaits. It may also occasionally be used as a topping for s'mores. It is a thick, chocolate-flavored syrup (flavored with natural or artificial flavorings) similar in flavor and texture to chocolate fudge, except less viscous.

See also[edit]

  • Toffee
  • Condensed milk
  • Fudge cookie
  • Praline – a confection using similar flavors as original fudge
  • Scots tablet – Scottish confection with similar recipe
  • Krówki – Polish confection similar to fudge
  • Penuche – a type of fudge typically found in New England and the Southern United States
  • Knäck – a Swedish toffee confection
  • Sharbat – a Central Asian dessert similar to fudge
  • Barfi – an Indian type of fudge made from cooking milk and sugar into fudge consistency, additions include coconut, carrot, or made from nuts


  1. ^ "History Of Mackinac Island's Original Fudge Maker – Original Murdick's Fudge". 
  2. ^ Benning, Lee Edwards (1990). Oh Fudge!: A Celebration of America's Favorite Candy (1993 ed.). New York: Owl Books. pp. 3–18. ISBN 0-8050-2546-4. 
  3. ^ Werner, Edgar S. (1915). Werner's Readings and Recitations. 54. Edgar S. Werner and Co. p. 159. ISBN 1-145-32274-3. 
  4. ^ Reed, Anne (13 April 2016). "Tradition lives at Gulf Coast Fudge Co., North Fort Myers". news-press.com. Retrieved 18 August 2016. 


  • Jones, Charlotte Foltz (1991). Mistakes That Worked. Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-26246-9. 

External links[edit]