An old-fashioned fudge recipe with the flavor of caramel and a little crunch of toasted walnuts.

Brown Sugar Fudge Recipe //

Who doesn’t like fudge? I’m willing to bet that no one out there is raising their hand in answer to that question. Chocolate is the clear frontrunner when it comes to fudge, no doubt about that, but the runner-up flavor is hands down this brown sugar fudge. 

It’s smooth, it’s tooth-achingly sweet, and it’s got a smoky caramel flavor that you’re sure to love.

Brown Sugar Fudge Recipe //

The walnuts are optional, but I highly recommend them. And you’re going to need a candy thermometer for this old-fashioned recipe, but don’t let that scare you away. Candy thermometers are actually super awesome, because they tell you exactly when to move on to the next step. No ambiguity! So face your fears, fudge is worth it.

Brown Sugar Fudge Recipe // Brown Sugar Fudge Recipe //

One last thing, one little piece of fudge goes a long way, but it’s hard to stop munching once you start so be sure you have a plan in place when you pull this recipe out of the fridge. I’ve already consumed about two-thirds of this batch all by myself. Send help. And call my dentist.

Brown Sugar Fudge Recipe //

Using Evaporated Milk in Fudge

Evaporated milk is milk that has been cooked to reduce its water content. It is more stable than regular milk and it can be cooked at high temperatures without curdling, a real benefit to fudge. Unfortunately, there is no substitute for it in a fudge recipe. While you can use evaporated milk in place of regular milk in many circumstances, the same is not true in reverse. Also, be sure you do not confuse evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk, as they are two entirely different products.

Brown Sugar Fudge Recipe //

Brown Sugar Fudge
An old-fashioned fudge recipe with the flavor of caramel and a little crunch of toasted walnuts.
Yield: 36 pieces
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons (150 ml) evaporated milk
  • 2 cups (425 grams) brown sugar
  • ¾ cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1¾ cup (198 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
  • ¾ cup (85 grams) toasted walnuts, chopped (optional)
  1. Combine the evaporated milk, brown sugar, butter, and salt in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring until smooth. Continue to simmer, stirring frequently, until a candy thermometer reaches 238°F.
  2. Remove from heat and pour into a heat-proof bowl. Add the vanilla and combine with a hand-held mixer. Add the powdered sugar in small additions while continuing to beat with the mixer. Mix until smooth. Add the walnuts and mix until just combined.
  3. Spread the fudge into an ungreased 8-inch square pan. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes or until firm. Slice with a sharp knife. Store fudge in an air-tight container for several days.

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29 Responses to Brown Sugar Fudge

  1. This looks so easy, I have never made fudge before but now I think I have a bit more confidence to try it.

  2. Oh my goodness! This looks absolutely perfect 🙂

  3. Deborah says:

    Haha – have a plan in place – I definitely need a plan when it comes to fudge, because I’d eat the whole thing, too!

  4. I’m always making plain old chocolate fudge… these are going on my Chrsitmas bake list

  5. Saving and pinning, I need to try this fudge.

  6. Pam says:

    This looks delish!! One question thou… am I reading this right… you measure the powdered sugar BEFORE sifting it?

    • Annalise says:

      Nope, you sift it after. If a direction is mentioned after a comma, you should do it after measuring. “Sifted powdered sugar” vs. “Powdered sugar, sifted”. Hope that makes sense! 🙂

  7. Christy says:

    Finally… I make Carmel icing and we always fight over the bowl. Now we can share a pan of fudge. Just like the Carmel icing I make but in fudge form. Thank you

  8. cathy says:

    Used my candy thermometer to the correct temp., but i think i beat it too long. There was a point, before 5 minutes, that it changed consistency from smooth to clumpy/falling apart!
    My Dad used to make this, and his recipe had only brown sugar, no powdered so… perhaps this had too much powdered sugar, or didn’t need it at all!
    The flavor was tasty, but it was dry and fell apart easily when cut.
    Notes to myself for improvement?
    Use regular salted butter, but omit the extra salt.
    I used pecans instead of walnuts.
    Next time I will try heavy cream instead of evap milk.
    Lessen the amount of powdered sugar, or omit and add more brown!
    Beat for less time… maybe 3 minutes, 4 max.
    Possibly increase vanilla to about 1 tsp.

    • Annalise says:

      I’m sorry you had trouble with this recipe, and it sounds like you beat the fudge for too long. Perhaps I need to amend the instructions. I think if you use heavy cream and no powdered sugar, you’d end up with something more like caramels than fudge. If you do try it with some modifications, let me know how it turns out!

  9. Kate says:

    You were right about the thermometer because I didn’t use it the first time I made this fudge, it came out too soft. But second time making this fudge with the thermometer make a perfect fudge! Thank you! It’s so tempting… I’m giving it out… 🙂

  10. Hazel says:

    Love this receipe- have been making this fudge for about 10 yrs now- is there a chocolate version???

  11. Erika says:

    We made this last night. My husband was looking for the candy that his grandmother used to make. Naturally, he couldn’t remember if it was caramel or toffee, and never mentioned fudge, but he had some of the ingredients in mind. After a few misses with caramel and toffee recipes, this was it! It came out perfect. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe.

  12. Barb Pawlik says:

    Hoping you will see this question. Is the brown sugar “packed” or simply spooned into measuring cup to full? I’m guessing if you meant packed, you’d have said packed, but thought I’d ask before attempting this recipe. I’m definitely a pecan kind of girl. I rarely use walnuts, just have never liked the flavor. Thank you!

  13. John says:

    Is there a way to make a chocolate version of this recipe? I was thinking of adding cocoa, but don’t know what quantity, any thoughts?

    • Annalise says:

      Hi, John! I’m sure there is a chocolate version out there somewhere, but I’m not sure what changes you would need to make to the recipe. Just adding cocoa without adjusting anything else is probably not a good idea. Sorry I’m not more help! Maybe try searching google?

  14. amanda says:

    Mine isnt wanting to get hard ive had it in the fridge for over a hr even tried to put it in the freezer and still nothing there’s a harder type covering over the top but the bottom still seems really soft 🙁 spelt amazin when I was cooking it tho

  15. Julie says:

    Mom used 2 tablespoons of cocoa without adjusting anything else and it was delish….as for the fudge she called it the 5 minute fudge recepie …same ingredients …but didnt use themometer …it was once the first boil bubble appears u time 4 minutes exactly stiring twice then take off heat add icing sugar and extract and with mixer… mix exactly one minute. never missed a batch! Christmas favorite which i continue the tradition every year…

  16. T gagne says:

    This turned out perfect by following the easy directions. My mom used to make this and it tastes exactly the same. The good news is that there is no corn syrup in this recipe which means no GMOs!! Thank you for sharing it!!

  17. iberean says:

    what is the purpose of the confectioners sugar in this recipe?

  18. Carl says:

    In the brown sugar fudge, what sugar to use light or dark brown sugar.

  19. Dave says:

    Wow! Cooked for a living for the better part of 30 years, never tried making any candy.Super easy recipe, changed things around a little, e.g. used salted butter, left out the salt, and cut the confectioners sugar to 1c (’cause 1 3/4 seemed like overkill). That said, it came out perfect, and it’s frighteningly good!

    I’ve already consumed about two-thirds of this batch all by myself

    ….yup :^)

  20. Michele says:

    My dad’s nanny made a version of this with brown sugar, butter, vanilla, sweetened condensed milk and black walnuts. She called it 5 Pound Loaf. Her batches were large, and as it cooked, she had a hard time mixing it, so, my grandpa invented a heavy duty mixing paddle that fit his electric drill. She’s been gone many years and we have missed her 5 Pound Loaf. Glad to find this recipe for a much smaller serving.

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