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Hershey’s Chocolate Fudge

Hershey’s Chocolate Fudge is a wonderful treat that only requires a few ingredients and tastes pretty amazing.

Hershey’s Old Fashioned Fudge Recipe

Hershey's chocolate fudge cut up into pieces and sitting on a plate

The easy fudge recipe has been around for generations and used to be on the side of the Hershey’s cocoa container. It’s your grandma’s old fashioned fudge recipe that you know and love.

There’s nothing better than bringing back those old memories with some fun recipes that we all know and love.

Hershey’s chocolate fudge is one of the best fudge recipes and I am sure it brings back a lot of great memories. 

Fudge is one of my all-time favorite desserts and I make a ton of it around the holidays. It’s a great treat to make and give away as gifts, and it won’t break the bank. 

The recipe uses cocoa powder as one of the ingredients. It’s made without sweetened condensed milk and without marshmallow creme and it turns out soft, creamy, and chocolatey. 

I made this several times and goofed up on a couple of things, so I will share that with you in this post so you don’t make the same mistakes. Keep on reading and you’ll see what I did wrong. 

What Do I Need To Make The Old Fashioned Fudge?

(Full recipe measurements and directions listed at the bottom of the blog).

  • Hershey’s cocoa
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Vanilla extract
  • Saucepan
  • Whisk
  • Spatula
  • Thermometer
  • Stovetop
  • 9″ x 9″ casserole dish

Full recipe and printable instructions listed below

The Best Fudge Recipe

Hershey's old fashioned fudge cut up and stacked on a plate

How Do I Make The Hershey’s Chocolate Fudge?

  1. Add the sugar, cocoa powder, and salt to a large saucepan and mix the ingredients until they are combined. 
  2. Add the milk to the saucepan and stir. Turn the heat on medium-high and continue stirring until the mixture begins to boil. 
  3. Once the mixture begins to boil, stop stirring and add your thermometer to the side of the saucepan. 
  4. Cook until the mixture reaches 234-degrees or forms a soft ball in cold water. 
  5. Remove from heat and add the butter and vanilla. DON’T STIR!
  6. Cool to about 130-degrees and stir until some of the sheen from the fudge dulls. 
  7. Pour into a buttered dish.
  8. Run a knife gently through the fudge to get rid of some of the air bubbles and allow to set up for several hours. 
  9. Refrigerate and enjoy it!

If you love fudge try this Velveeta Fudge recipe or this chocolate fudge that everyone loves. 

Hershey's fudge cut up and stacked on the counter

Tips For Making Hershey’s Chocolate Fudge

Use a large saucepan. The first time I made the fudge I started out with a three-quart saucepan and it wasn’t even close to being big enough.

The mixture will boil and overflow and you’ve got a big mess on your hands. I made the mistake of using the small one and it kept wanting to boil over and I had to remove it from the stovetop and never finished it. 

Use a thermometer. Unless you are comfortable with dropping the fudge into cold water, use a thermometer. I tend to get it wrong when I drop it into cold water to test it. That’s one thing my grandmother never showed me how to do (probably because I was so busy begging for pie). 

Make sure your thermometer works. Thermometers do go bad after a while, so it can give you a false reading. On one trial, I made the mistake of cooking the fudge too long and thought I was going to have to throw out my pan because the fudge ended up rock hard at the bottom – oops! 

Make sure the thermometer isn’t touching the bottom of the pan, or you’ll get an inaccurate reading. See the picture below. 

If you mess up, start again. I’ve messed up plenty of recipes, but if you really want it, make it again. We learn from our mistakes and they make us (and our food) better the next time. 

A thermometer on the side of a saucepan.

Keep the thermometer a little bit off of the bottom of the pan. If it touches, you will get an inaccurate reading and it will not reach the desired temperature.

I have to say that I wasn’t crazy about the thermometer in the picture because I only used it once and got condensation inside so that one is useless now. 

I usually use this thermometer and it works great. They can go bad after a while, but they do last a few years. 

Sugar, cocoa, and salt in a saucepan.

First, add the sugar, Hershey’s cocoa, and salt to a large saucepan. 

I would go with a five or six-quart saucepan, which seems like overkill, but when it starts to boil, it will rise up quite a bit. 

Fudge ingredients in saucepan

Secondly, stir the dry ingredients together because it will help mix the cocoa. 

Have you ever made something with cocoa and it seems like it just doesn’t want to cooperate and mix well with other ingredients? Mixing the cocoa while it’s dry will help with that. 

Pouring milk into a saucepan.

Thirdly, pour the milk into the dry ingredients and stir until well combined. Keep stirring until the mixture starts to boil.

Boiling chocolate fudge in a saucepan

Once the mixture starts to boil, stop stirring. Not stirring was hard for me, because I worry the ingredients will stick to the pan, but it will all be ok. 

Do You Stir Fudge While Boiling?

Fine Cooking.com states, Don’t stir the fudge. Shaking or stirring the fudge mixture while it’s boiling or cooling causes premature crystal growth. If the crystals form too early, they continue to grow and become too large.”

Pouring vanilla extract into the fudge.

When the temperature reaches 234-degrees, remove it from the heat and add the vanilla extract and butter. DO NOT STIR! Allow the temperature to cool to about 130-degrees. 

I filled the sink with a few inches of cold water and placed the pan into the water, being careful not to get water in the fudge, to bring it down to 130-degrees faster. 

TIP: Be careful pouring the vanilla extract into the pan. It wanted to splatter back up on me a little bit. 

Butter melting in a pan of hot fudge.

The butter will melt and look glossy. Just let it sit. 

Stirring melted Hershey's chocolate fudge

After the chocolate fudge recipe cools to the 130-degree temperature, stir for a while until the brown loses most of its sheen. 

Hershey's chocolate fudge in a casserole dish

Pour into a 9″ x 9″ container and gently run a knife through to get rid of some of the bubbles.

Allow the Hershey’s chocolate fudge to set up for a few hours. I placed mine in the refrigerator and thought it tasted great cold. 

How Do You Set Up Fudge?

By adding sugar, cocoa, and milk, and then cooking the ingredients to 234-degrees. The fudge will set up as it cools. While cooling, it will thicken to the point of being able to cut it. 

Why Did My Fudge Not Set?

You most likely didn’t bring the temperature up to 234-degrees. A lot of people are able to test the fudge by dropping it into cold water to test doneness, but I have never had a lot of luck doing that.

I always use a thermometer to be sure and get it to the right temperature before removing it from the heat. 

Hershey’s Chocolate Fudge

Chocolate fudge on a countertop and on a plate
Hershey's chocolate fudge cut on and stacked on a plate

Check out the Hershey’s chocolate fudge recipe card below, grab those ingredients, and start cooking! This is a great dessert any time of the year and I know you’ll  love it.

Then, share your comments below and click here to share a picture of your fudge on the Pinterest Pin!  If you made any changes or added something different, be sure to share it with us so we can try it, too!

Grab the recipe for divinity candy here and make it for the holidays. 

Hershey's chocolate fudge cut up and stacked

Hershey's Chocolate Fudge

Yield: 36 pieces
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes

Hershey's Chocolate Fudge is a wonderful treat that only requires a few ingredients and tastes pretty amazing. The easy fudge recipe has been around for generations and used to be on the side of the Hershey's coca container. It's the fudge recipe that you probably grew up with and love. 

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup Hershey's cocoa
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions

    1. Add the sugar, cocoa powder, and salt to a large saucepan and mix the ingredients until they are combined. 
    2. Add the milk to the saucepan and stir. Turn the heat on medium-high and continue stirring until the mixture begins to boil. 
    3. Once the mixture begins to boil, stop stirring and add your thermometer to the side of the saucepan. 
    4. Cook until the mixture reaches 234-degrees or forms a soft ball in cold water. 
    5. Remove from heat and add the butter and vanilla. DON'T STIR!
    6. Cool to about 130-degrees and stir until some of the sheen from the fudge dulls. This may take a few minutes.
    7. Pour into a buttered dish.
    8. Run a knife gently through the fudge to get rid of some of the air bubbles and allow to set up for several hours. 
    9. Refrigerate and enjoy!

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 36 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 89Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 25mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 0gSugar: 17gProtein: 1g

Nutrition is approximate.

Did you make this recipe?

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Find more delicious recipes at Julia’s Simply Southern, and South Your Mouth.

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Catherine Collins

Monday 18th of October 2021

I have not tried this recipe yet...3 cups of sugar seems like the fudge would be too sweet.

Julie Pollitt

Tuesday 19th of October 2021

Hi Catherine,

It is pretty sweet. I've never tried it with less sugar, but you could give it a try. You could sprinkle some pecans on top, and that might help counter some of the sweet. Hope that helps a little!

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Nancy Godby

Monday 27th of September 2021

I am old school on this one, never have-EVER-used a thermometer. Making this since I was a teen and you just know the “look” of the sheen in the pot when it is good to go. But, that said, you can NEVER make bad fudge. If it is too loose-GIMME A SPOON!

I also add a big glob of JIF peanut butter at the end angling with an extra dash of vanilla, (note-it must be Jif creamy and no other brand). I always use Carnation cream, no milk. You have to watch it closer as it gets ready quicker with all cream. Never use margarine, BUTTER is best.

My favorite is to add BLACK WALNUTS, no one in my family likes this so I haven’t added them in years.

Julie Pollitt

Monday 27th of September 2021

I totally agree - you can never make bad fudge! I am so impressed that you never use a thermometer!

And, such great tips on the additions. Thanks so much for sharing!

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