No Cook Fudge

no cook fudge

I inherited my sweet tooth for chocolate, among many other features, from my sweet grandmother Mimi. Mimi made the best old-fashioned fudge around. She didn’t use marshmallow fluff or any other questionable substances—just sugar, cocoa, milk and butter, carefully combined according to the technique she’d learned in her high school home economics class (circa 1933).

Mimi and I made her famous fudge together a couple of times. She would start by pulling out her recipe, which was written in her young handwriting on an old, yellowed piece of paper. I’d stand on a step-stool in her sunny kitchen in Woodward, Oklahoma, and lean with my little hands, which looked like miniature versions of her hands, over her yellow laminate countertops. Her elegant, pale gold watch and wedding ring glimmered as she measured and stirred, and her brown eyes, the same color as mine, twinkled as she taught me her secrets to fudge making. I remember balling up little bits of fudge between my fingers and dropping the bitty balls of fudge into a bowl of water to test the temperature. We stirred some more and, finally, we dropped spoonfuls of heavenly scented, melted fudge goodness onto waxed paper. The process seemed like magic.

raw vegan fudge ingredients

I’m sad to say that I have lost her fudge recipe, but all is not lost. I like to imagine that I’ll find it someday, tucked in between her other recipes or in one of her old cookbooks, and feel elated for days. I’ve recently inherited her wedding ring and watch, which fit my finger and wrist like they were made from me (because they kind of were). If Mimi were around today, I’d like to think that she’d love this fudge. It satisfies my sweet tooth, so I think it would satisfy hers.

how to make vegan fudge

Sometimes I try intriguing recipes out of sheer curiosity, and this is one of such recipes. It’s vegan and made with real, natural ingredients. It’s both vegan and raw if you use peanut butter made from raw peanuts (I didn’t). It requires a food processor and a small container (like the kind you might use for leftovers), but the method is as easy as it gets, no candy thermometer required. And it’s crazy delicious. Oh my, this fudge is good.

I’ve made it twice, once with regular cocoa powder and then again with organic cacao powder, which results in a richer fudge with a more intense dark chocolate flavor. If you can find it, I recommend using cacao powder because of its more healthful properties and because its richness does a better job of masking the flavor of the bananas.

vegan fudge recipe

4.3 from 3 reviews

No Cook Fudge
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
The easiest, healthiest fudge you’ll ever make! No thermometer, marshmallow fluff or corn syrup required. It’s vegan and raw, too.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup coconut butter*
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter**
  • 2 small ripe bananas, cut into one-inch chunks
  • ¼ cup raw cacao powder*** or regular cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch sea salt
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor until smooth, roughly five minutes or so.
  2. Use a spatula to pour the mixture into a flat, sealable container.
  3. Place the container in the freezer. The fudge needs to be super cold in order to retain its shape, so I find that it’s best to store the fudge in the freezer. If you store it in the fridge, it will have a semi-solid mousse-like texture.
Notes
  • Adapted from Munchin with Munchkin’s Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge.
  • For more vegan fudge variations, check out this vegan fudge post on Chocolate Covered Katie.
  • This fudge keeps well in the freezer for a surprisingly long time, upwards of a week. Try not to slice it until you’re ready to eat a piece.
  • *To make your own coconut butter, pulse 8 ounces of shredded, unsweetened coconut in a food processor until smooth, which will take 8 to 12 minutes. Please note that 8 ounces of coconut will yield 1 cup of coconut butter, which is twice what you need for the recipe. I recommend 8 ounces because I have not had any luck making smaller batches in my food processor; too many flakes stick to the side. Perhaps a very smaller food processor could do the job. If you make 8 ounces’ worth, you can save ½ cup of coconut butter for later (it’s great on quick breads, muffins and more), or you can double the batch and toss twice the remaining ingredients into the food processor after making the coconut butter. Just pour the mixture into a bigger container and refrigerate/freeze as directed.
  • **Use raw peanut butter (here’s how to make your own) if you want truly raw fudge.
  • ***Cacao powder is ground from raw cacao beans. It is not as processed as regular cocoa powder, which means that it is higher in antioxidants and nutrients and also tastes more intense than cocoa powder. You should be able to find a bag of it at your local health store or in bulk online. It’s great in smoothies, too.
Want more recipes? Receive new posts by email or by RSS, and keep up with Cookie and Kate on facebook, twitter, pinterest and instagram.

Comments

  1. says

    Immediately bookmarked for preparation next weekend! Nothing starts the year off better than quasi-healthy fudge, right?

    On another note, I thought of you this weekend when my mom told me she was contacted by the bone marrow registry for possible donation. She’s submitted her info and waiting to hear if she truly is a match. Did you ever learn more about your donee’s recovery?

    Have a great New Year’s Eve,

    *Heather*

    • says

      Heather, thans for asking! I have not heard any news on my recipient but the one-year donation mark is coming up in a couple of weeks. Once a year passes, we can contact each other. I’m so eager to know how he’s doing! I’m so glad your mother is on the registry and hope for the best for her potential match!

  2. says

    That’s such a sweet story about your grandma. With your description, I almost felt like I was in the kitchen with you both. I know you’ll find her recipe again one day, but until then, this will certainly satisfy any sweet tooth.

  3. says

    What a sweet tribute to your grandmother! Your story reminds me of when I was young and would watch my grandmother cook. I don’t have access to many of her recipes, either, but I think it’s the memories that we put into our cooking that actually make those recipes live on. To a magical 2012!

  4. says

    Lovely story about your grandmother! I have very fond memories of cooking with my grandma. I wish I could find some of her recipes, especially her maple pie one. Hope you had a great Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

  5. Sara says

    Looks so good! My grandfather used to make fudge every Christmas :) Do you think I could use honey instead of agave?? Thanks!

  6. says

    …so I *just* realized that I used coconut oil while the recipe called for coconut butter… My fudge has been in the fridge for 2 hours now and I’m supposed to bring it to tonight’s potluck dinner… oh dear.

  7. Robin C. says

    I made this tonight. I am allergic to banana and so my dear husband suggested pumpkin puree as a substitute. It is in my freezer right now. We both licked the spoon and declare it yummy.

  8. SSR says

    Hi,
    Wondering about the cacao power: is it a 1/4 cup PLUS a teaspoon? Wasn’t exactly sure what “1/4 cup teaspoon” is.
    Also, did you top your fudge with an additional chocolate layer (looks a separate layer in the pictures) or maybe that is just how it sets up.
    Thanks!

    • says

      Great questions, and I’m sorry for the confusion! It’s 1/4 cup cacao powder. That additional layer is a light sprinkling of cacao nibs to show that the fudge contains cacao, which is entirely optional.

  9. says

    WOW!! Just made the fudge and it is SO GOOD!!!! I’ve made failed fudge recipes in the past but now finally, thanks to you, I have found the one I will use from now on – thank you!! You’re a genius :) .
    Jade C.

  10. Kim says

    im allergic to coconuts so what should i use instead..regular butter? Im alergic to all nuts except soynuts so im using soynut butter instead of the peanut. Just not sure about the coconut butter part.

  11. says

    WOW! Nicely done, Kate! I made this and… am eating some again right now- haha! This is SO brilliant.

    I 1.5ed the recipe, used some pecan, almond, cacao, coconut crust on the bottom, and some very ripe bananas. I put it in the freezer, covered, for a few days, and took it out last night to bring to a friend’s place. I tried some this morning, after it was in the fridge overnight (it is back here- banana isn’t their thing, apparently…), and it has a cheese-cakey texture. I think I will just add a bit of lemon juice next time I make it and want a cheesecake recipe. So much lighter than just a nut based cheesecake!

    Thank you!!!

  12. Lace says

    I can’t wait to try this recipe!! But, I’m not a huge fan of coconut.. do you think the recipe will taste good without it? Will it set up properly?

    • says

      Good question, Lace. I really think you could replace the coconut butter with an equal amount of peanut butter or other nut butter, but I haven’t tried it personally. If you try, please let us know how it turns out!

  13. says

    Yum, this looks delicious! I would love to try it with peanut butter, but my partner is allergic (and not fond of the nutty taste with other nuts), so I think I might try it just with extra coconut butter. If I get around to doing it, I’ll let you know how it goes.

    (Just found you via Pinterest, by the way)

  14. says

    Gosh – I don’t know how you cut yours so perfectly! Your photos are so so crisp. And I too wonder how it appears there is a top thin layer of chocolate(?) on yours. Perhaps it is just appearance! My husband and I really enjoyed this slice – thank you very much for the recipe Kate.

    • says

      I sprinkled a few cacao nibs on top, but that thin layer of chocolate might be what happens after you leave the fudge in the freezer for a few days! I think it was in there for a while before I finally photographed it. Glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  15. says

    Is the peanut butter really necessary? I am allergic to peanuts and also to sunflower seeds (so no sun butter) and I really detest soy nut butter so I’m not willing to buy an entire tub just to let it go to waste. Other than that, this recipe sounds great!

    • says

      Sorry, Kailey, I haven’t tried it with substitutes. I think almond butter would be a good replacement for peanut butter, if you like it/aren’t allergic to it. Or you might be able to replace it with more coconut butter. Please let me know how it turns out if you try it!

  16. Melissa says

    Your grandmother sounds wonderful! Did her recipe look like this, minus the microwave?

    4 c confectioners’ sugar
    1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/4 c milk
    1/2 c butter
    2 t vanilla extract

    Grease a 9 x 9 inch dish. In a microwave safe bowl, stir together
    confectioners’ sugar and cocoa. Pour milk over mixture and place
    butter in bowl. Do not mix. Microwave until butter is melted, 2
    minutes. Stir in vanilla and stir vigorously until smooth. Pour
    into prepared dish. Chill in freezer 10 minutes before cutting into
    squares. Makes 12 servings.

    • says

      You know, I don’t think we used powdered sugar but everything else looks about right. I am really eager to try your recipe! Thank you so much for sharing, Melissa. It brightened my day!

    • says

      Honestly, I forgot about my fudge in the freezer for a couple of months and it was still good when I found it! I think you could count on it lasting at least a month in there.

  17. stephanie says

    hey can you sub anything for agave nectar? i think i have brown rice syrup, honey and maple syrup.. would any of those work to save a trip to the store?
    thanks!

  18. says

    I am going to have to try this sometime when I can eat agave again. As for your grandmas fudge, I would bet that it is the same or really similar to the one that used to be on the side of the hershey’s cocoa tin. If you google hershey’s cocoa fudge, you will find it. I have made it all my life and my mom had as well ( and she was born in 1931).

    • says

      Laura, thank you so much for pointing me in the right direction. The Hershey’s recipe does seem like it could be the one my grandmother used! I am so excited to try it. Thank you, thank you.

  19. Havi says

    I made this last night. SO HAPPY. Standard variety fudge was always too heavy for me, but this was perfect. Exactly what I need to satisfy my desire for chocolate, happily, because vegan chocolate options are somewhat hard to come by. Very quick to make! DELICIOUS DELICIOUS DELICIOUS. I must be honest, I just ate the last of it, with only a little help from my carnivorous boyfriend.

    Thank you for a wonderful recipe!

  20. says

    I love how easy this fudge recipe is and it looks perfect for Halloween. Just wanted to let you know that I linked to it on my blog today. :)

  21. Marisa says

    Can I use regular honey instead of agave nectar? I don’t live in the US and it’s hard to find agave nectar here.

    • says

      Yes, I think so! You’ll probably taste honey a bit in the final result. Real maple syrup would also work, but I bet you also have trouble finding maple syrup outside of the U.S.

  22. GutterTheQuantifier says

    OK. You learn something new every day. I’ve now read about ‘agave nectar’ on Wikipedia, and it seems to be some sort of plant syrup that’s a vegan alternative to honey.
    (It never occurred to me that honey was non-vegan. Do you refuse to eat it out of concern for the welfare of the bees? Or what?)
    In any case I’m pretty sure it’s unobtainable in the UK. Maybe Lyles Golden Syrup would work as a substitute? I will try that and report back.

  23. GutterTheQuantifier says

    OK. You learn something new every day. I’ve now read about ‘agave nectar’ on Wikipedia, and it seems to be some sort of plant syrup that’s a vegan alternative to honey.
    (It never occurred to me that honey was non-vegan. Do you refuse to eat it out of concern for the welfare of the bees? Or what?)
    In any case I’m pretty sure it’s unobtainable in the UK. Maybe Lyles Golden Syrup would work as a substitute? I will try it and report back.

  24. GutterTheQuantifier says

    Sorry for the duplicate post. It didn’t work the first time, so I tried again. Then after a few minutes they both appeared at once. (Why?)

Leave a comment below:

Your comments make my day. Thank you!

Note: Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: