Classic Vanilla Fudge Recipe

With this simple recipe, anyone can make their very own stovetop vanilla fudge from scratch. It’s easy and fun.

I bet you have all the ingredients you need already.

cut squares of vanilla fudge on parchment.

Classic Vanilla Fudge

Homemade vanilla fudge on the stovetop made with simple ingredients: in just an hour you can have candy-shop quality rich fudge.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
cooling 30 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes
Serving Size 16 squares


  • 2 quart saucepan
  • Candy thermometer


  • cups granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • cup half and half
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  • Combine all ingredients except butter and vanilla. Combine all ingredients except butter and vanilla. In a 2 quart saucepan, combine the sugar, half and half, salt, and corn syrup. Mix well with a whisk and bring to a boil over medium-low heat.
    saucepan with ingredients and candy thermometer.
  • Heat until the mixture reaches 240 degrees. Let the fudge cook until it reaches 240 degrees, checked with a candy thermometer or instant-read thermometer. Don't stir during the cooking process. Once the temperature is reached, immediately remove the pan from the heat.
    boiling vanilla fudge.
  • Place butter and vanilla on top and allow to cool. Give the sugar mixture a minute to stop bubbling, then place the butter and vanilla on top and allow to cool at room temperature.  Do not mix now or otherwise disturb the pan. Let it cool for about 20 minutes until the side of the pan is warm, but not hot to the touch. While the fudge is cooling, butter a plate or baking dish for pouring the mixture into later.
  • Mix with a hand mixer until fudge begins to firm up. Using a hand mixer on medium-low, beat the fudge for 1-3 minutes until it just begins to firm up and lose its shine. Do not overbeat, or the fudge will be too hard to pour.
    beating fudge with hand mixer.
  • Quickly pour into a buttered dish, cool, and cut. Quickly pour into a buttered dish, cool, and cut. Once the fudge changes texture, immediately pour it into a dish to set. Work quickly. It if is not pourable, just scoop it out and flatten in the best you can. Allow it to cool for 20 minutes and cut into one-inch squares.
    pouring white fudge into baking dish.


Use good quality vanilla for this recipe.
Don’t make fudge on a rainy or humid day. 

You’ll need the following

  • sugar
  • salt
  • half and half
  • corn syrup
  • butter
  • vanilla extract
half and half, sugar, vanilla, corn syrup, and salt on marble counter
  • 2-quart saucepan
  • candy thermometer or instant-read digital thermometer
  • square baking pan or plate for pouring fudge

🥫 Storage instructions

First, always store your fudge in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. This will help keep it from becoming soft or sticky. If you need to, you can wrap each individual piece of fudge in wax paper before placing it in the container for an extra layer of protection.

🔍 FAQs

My does not set and firm up, no matter how long I beat it!

You probably never cooked it to 240. But you can just pop it back on the stove and cook it a bit longer. This probably happened because your candy thermometer isn’t calibrated quite right.

My fudge is brittle and crumbly, what happened?

You might have overcooked it, but you more likely overbeat it. It will still probably have great flavor but will be a little hard. Some people prefer their fudge that way, so it’s no big deal.

Everything in the pan looks brownish, will my fudge still be white?

The sugar mixture will seem to darken as it cooks, but will still harden to an off-white color.

👩🏻‍🍳 Expert tips

squares of vanilla fudge on brown parchment
  • Use a heavy pan that distributes heat well or else your mixture may stick during cooking.
  • To avoid problems with crystallization brush down any sides of saucepans using warm water before starting
  • Never stir while boiling
  • Always use a candy thermometer. Check to make sure it is reading temperatures probably by checking it with boiling water.

📘 Related Recipes

stovetop vanilla fudge cut into squares
Classic Vanilla Fudge Recipe

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This is the best. Creamy, smooth and a firm but soft hardness. I like to add chopped pecans at the end.

    1. Susan I know this sounds weird but every time I’ve tried it does NOT turn out. I don’t know why! If you do try, and it works, please tell me the secret!