I’ve been skeptical about making fudge. Once upon a time I had a terrible experience (I’ll explain later below), so I swore off making it for about 8 years. But then I started hearing about fudge made from peanut butter. I was still skeptical about trying to make fudge again, but a need for chocolate won me over. Now I’ve converted to making this dairy free fudge almost on a weekly basis.
(You can skip straight down to the recipe at the bottom if you’d like.)
Having a corn intolerance meant I couldn’t find chocolate bars that were safe for me in the stores (wondering why? Read about a corn free diet here). All I could do was make chocolate items from cocoa powder. I figured with fudge, if I could find a recipe that only required milk, not heavy cream or butter, I might be able to make it using a non-dairy substitute. This is the recipe I came across in my quest.
This is not my recipe, so I don’t want to take credit for it. What I want to do is discuss how I’ve modified this recipe for various dietary restrictions, and other possible modifications.
This chocolate fudge is already gluten free and by changing to almond milk, makes this recipe dairy free and vegan. It can also be made corn free, depending on the ingredients you choose to use.
Before I dig into the dairy free fudge recipe and how I adjust it, here’s my story for why I swore off fudge making.
I was around 16 at the time, and decided to make fudge. What I remember of the recipe is that it called to cook on the stove for a long time. I was home alone, cooking my fudge, and all of a sudden I started hearing a scratching noise coming from right above me. An animal had fallen into the vent and was stuck in the hood. He was scrambling to try and get out without having any luck.
To say the least, I freaked out. I don’t do well with animals being in the house. Instead of facing the animal, I turned off the burner, got in my car and drove to the library. From there I called my dad, and he had an animal control guy come to the house.
It turns out it was a squirrel, who was covered in grease. He was cleaned and then released to a different part of town. Apparently, squirrels love the smell of chocolate. And the outside vent leading to the hood wasn’t covered with mesh or anything. So one fell in.
I came home after this was all over, and my dad suggested I finish making the fudge. He went upstairs and saw a bunch of squirrels getting close to the vent, so his job was to fend them off.
After all that work, the fudge didn’t turn out. I decided after this chaos, I would never make fudge again.
That decision lasted 8 years.
So with this recipe that caused me to make fudge again,
The Ingredients For Dairy Free Fudge
- Cocoa powder
- Dairy free milk (I use almond)
- Peanut butter
- Vanilla extract
- Optional nuts
It’s a relatively basic chocolate fudge recipe compared to a lot of recipes I’ve seen or heard of – one of my friends even uses marshmallow fluff, which would not work for me.
Alternatives to these ingredients
Before going into how to make these, I want to go over the ingredients and how to modify if you need.
Sugar – I tend to use cane sugar, in the USA usually C&H because that’s one of the more tolerated brands. I have tried using honey in place of this recipe, but I wasn’t a huge fan – it had a bitter aftertaste, which might have been just the type of honey. It also didn’t ever completely solidify like fudge is supposed to.
If you want to try honey, you will want to lower the amount of honey and milk, because honey is liquid. The honey is lowered by about half and milk lowered by about one quarter. (How to swap honey for sugar)
Dairy Free Milk – I tend to use almond milk as my alternative milk of choice. I have not actually tried it with other milks, but I imagine they might work as well. If you want my recommendations for almond and oat milk/how I make them, check them out in my hot chocolate recipe.
Peanut Butter – I use store bought peanut butter for this recipe, and try to always use smooth when I have access to it. But if you only have access to safe peanuts, it’s really easy to make peanut butter by putting them in a food processor until creamy. I would imagine this would work with things like almond butter too, but I haven’t tried it.
Vanilla Extract – If you don’t have a safe vanilla extract, there’s sort of 3 options: 1. Make your own 2. Skip entirely – I’ve done this before and haven’t noticed a major difference, but I’d prefer not to. 3. Use vanilla seeds/beans. Right now I don’t have access to safe vanilla extract, so I’ve been just using the seeds out of vanilla beans.
Along with simple ingredients, it also is a fairly straightforward method to make this chocolate fudge. And I follow the instructions on the original recipe almost completely.
Make This Dairy Free Fudge:
To start, line a long cake pan or baking sheet with parchment paper. Then prepare the ingredients. In bowl, add the peanut butter and vanilla (and nuts if you’d like crunchy). Make sure you have these two items prepared, because things go fast once it starts cooking. Into a small saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa, and almond milk.
Over high heat, bring the sugar, cocoa powder and almond milk to ab oil, stirring often. Try to break up the clumps of cocoa powder if you have any. Prepare a stopwatch or timer, and get ready to time. Once it comes to a boil, cut off heat/hover over heat while stirring for one minute. I say to cut off heat/hover to ensure it doesn’t boil over, because otherwise you’ll have a sticky mess.
After the minute is up, pour the hot liquid into the bowl with the peanut butter. Mix constantly for a few minutes. During this time, it will start out difficult to mix because the peanut butter is still cool, then it’ll thin and be easy to mix. Finally, it will start thickening again as it begins to cool. You want it to start thickening a bit, and then pour it onto the prepared parchment.
Place this into your choice of the fridge or freezer to chill. Allow it to rest until thickened and cool. Personally, I prefer my fudge in the freezer as a nice, cool snack. It also gives it more of a crunch. Originally, I tried putting my chocolate fudge in the freezer hoping it would keep me from snacking on it as much, but it didn’t help.
Store in an airtight, or eat least covered container in the fridge or freezer.
This recipe also works halved.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!
Let me know what you think below by rating or commenting 🙂