The Best Vegan Fudge Recipe to Satisfy That Chocolate Craving
Somehow, a lot of people got the idea that being a vegan means that you never want to enjoy food. Bananas and apples are pushed as desserts. Superfood muffins are treated like they’re some kind of luxurious delicacy. It’s all too sad.
Vegans want amazing fudge just as much as everyone else. We love our indulgences from time to time. A rich dessert can make a tough day or a hard workout feel worth it and makes for a great gift and while it isn't always vegan, vegan chocolate exists.
You probably won’t see a lot of vegan fudge at your local bakery. You’re going to have to go this one on your own. The good news is that it’s relatively simple and easy to store. Make a bunch, serve a little, and come back to it. Give it as gifts to your friends and family and prove to them that vegan desserts are just as delicious as most of the desserts they regularly enjoy.
Gather Your Ingredients
You’re only going to need a few things to make your vegan fudge. None of them require gluten or nuts. You can make this recipe just about allergy free if you choose to. We’ll recommend our favorite versions of the ingredients, but they can easily be swapped out for alternatives that you prefer.
- 32 oz bag of powdered sugar
- 1 cup cocoa or cacao powder
- 1 cup coconut oil or vegan butter substitute
- ½ cup soy milk, oat milk, or coconut milk
The base of the fudge is powdered sugar. A standard sized bag of powdered sugar contains 32 ounces, and you’ll be using the whole bag. The sugar will obviously add sweetness, but it also provides the soft texture and structure that the fudge needs to set. It’s important to go for unsweetened varieties of every other ingredient. You’ve got all the sweetness you need with the powdered sugar base. Just trust us.
The second most important ingredient in your fudge will be the cocoa powder. That’s where your chocolate flavor is going to come from. One cup of any natural unsweetened cocoa powder will work. Pure cacao powder will give your fudge a deeper, more decadent dark chocolate flavor. If you want a piece of fudge that pairs beautifully with an espresso latte, opt for cacao.
The creaminess of your vegan fudge will come from half a cup of an unsweetened non dairy milk and one cup of a vegan butter alternative such as vegan peanut butter. The best milk alternatives for super creamy fudge are coconut milk and soy milk. They both have a thick, rich texture that will contribute to the denseness of your fudge. Oat milk will provide a similar effect. Nut milks will still work, but they may not produce the ideal hunk of fudge.
If you don’t have a vegan butter alternative on hand, you can use an equal amount of coconut oil. It might very slightly alter the texture of the fudge. The coconut oil will perform better at room temperature. When the fudge is still hot, the oil hasn’t set yet. Just wait until it fully cools to cut it and eat it.
The last ingredient is any kind of extract. Most fudges use vanilla extract, but feel free to get creative. You can try almond, hazelnut, or amaretto extract to jazz up your fudge without rocking the boat. Adding cherry extract will turn your fudge into black forest fudge, which is a little more decadent and exciting than plain chocolate.
Do not underestimate the power of peppermint extract in fudge. Although peppermint fudge has a reputation for being Christmasy, you have every right to enjoy it whenever your heart sees fit. Do you want a pumpkin spice latte in April? You can make it happen. You can also have your Christmas desserts on Valentine’s day. It’s your life. You better live it up.
You can top the fudge with nuts if you’d like. There’s something about the combination of chocolate and nuts that makes for the perfect decadent dessert. If you’re open to the idea of trying something different, toasted coconut flakes are a fun idea. You can also dust them with crushed pretzels if you’re a fan of the sweet and salty combo.
Making the Fudge
The key to perfect, smooth fudge is to sift your powdered sugar and your cocoa powder. You need them to mix seamlessly without any lumps or hard little rocks. You want them to create a cohesive light brown dust. That’s how you’ll know they’re sifted and incorporated well enough to make the fudge.
Then, add your butter in small chunks or drizzle in your coconut oil. Follow it up with the ½ cup of plant-based milk. Toss the mixture into a pot on the stove to warm it up, mixing it thoroughly as it cooks. Remove it from the heat and add in your extract if you choose to use one. Use a hand mixer to finish it off.
Then, pour it directly onto an 8x8 inch baking pan or glass dish. If you want an easier cleanup, you can line the dish with parchment paper. Leave a little bit of parchment paper hanging over either side. When it’s time to take the fudge out of the pan, all you need to do is grab the edges of the paper and lift.
You need to make sure that you don’t take too much time to pour the fudge into the pan. As soon as all the ingredients are incorporated, the fudge will start to thicken. If it thickens in the pot, you won’t have a lot of fun. Pour it into the pan as soon as it becomes difficult to stir or mix.
Set the pan aside and allow it to cool for a few hours.
Serving the Fudge
Once the fudge has cooled, take it out of the 8x8 dish and put it onto something flat. If you used the parchment paper, it should be easy to pop it right out. Then, cut it into squares. Or rectangles. Or in half.
We’re not judging you. We promise. As long as everyone gets some, we’re all good.
Nutrition facts will vary by ingredient, but an average estimate would be that the fudge comes in at 5,400 calories for the whole 8x8 pan. This means that cutting it into a dozen squares would make them about 450 calories per serving. Two dozen modest pieces would come in at a reasonable 225 calories per serving. Use your best judgement.
If you’re trying to behave, you can serve the fudge all by itself. There’s a time and a place to go crazy. The average weekend dessert or party offering is perfectly kept at delicious vegan fudge. For super special occasions, serve your vegan fudge warm with a non-dairy ice cream.
If you cut your fudge squares small and use a single serving of a protein rich vegan ice cream, one could argue that this is a healthier dessert than something loaded with dairy and flour. Well, we’ll let you make that argument. We’re just here to help you find ways to justify occasionally treating yourself. You deserve it!
What About Peanut Butter Fudge?
Peanut butter fudge is even easier. Combine 1 cup of natural peanut butter with ¼ cup of unrefined coconut oil and 2 tablespoons of agave nectar. Pour it in a pan and stick in the freezer for a few hours. There’s no cooking. There’s no hoops to jump through. The peanut butter will set itself.
You can substitute peanut butter for any natural nut butter. Almond butter will work beautifully. You can add vanilla extract or salt to enhance the flavor of your peanut butter fudge. If you’re sorely missing the chocolate flavor, you can dust some unsweetened cocoa powder over the top of the fudge before it fully sets.
Peanut butter fudge is the perfect homemade dessert for people who aren’t extremely comfortable in the kitchen. It’s convenient for people who don’t have enough time to cook, but would still like to have a delicious vegan dessert to offer their family and friends.
I’m Just a Little Too Busy to Do All That!
You have a lot of stuff to do! You’re working. You’re studying. You’re hitting the gym. Maybe you’re taking care of your child, or your spouse, or your very special dog. Life pulls you in a million different directions, and it doesn’t always lead you to the kitchen for a peaceful afternoon of making fudge.
When it doesn’t, we have you chocolate cravings covered. Mid-Day Squares are grab and go superfood squares packed with chocolatey decadence, fiber, calcium, and iron. They’re a fair bit healthier than homemade fudge, but they’ll cure the cravings without any of the guilt. If you’re looking to make some smarter swaps, you’re going to love our vegan chocolate bar, Fudge Yah!