Vintage vanilla fudge

Vintage vanilla fudge

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(22 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 40 mins Plus overnight cooling

A challenge

Cuts into 36 pieces
Box up these melt-in-the-mouth sweet, buttery cubes - they make a fabulous gift for any occasion

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per piece

  • kcal118
  • fat7g
  • saturates4g
  • carbs13g
  • sugars13g
  • fibre0g
  • protein0g
  • salt0g
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  • 450g golden caster sugar
  • 400g double cream
  • 50g butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 1 tbsp glucose syrup
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste



    The sun-dried seed pod of a type of climbing orchid, vanilla has an inimitable soft, sweet…


  1. Line a 20 x 20cm cake tin with baking parchment. Tip the sugar, cream, butter and glucose syrup into a medium to large saucepan. Heat to dissolve the sugar and melt the butter, stirring now and again.

  2. Once dissolved, put a sugar thermometer in the pan, making sure the end is completely covered by the syrup – if not, transfer the mixture to a smaller pan (with enough space for the syrup to bubble up). Increase the heat and bring the syrup to a steady boil. Keep bubbling, stirring occasionally to stop the sugar from catching, until the mixture reaches 116C – this is known as the soft ball stage.

  3. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to sit, undisturbed, for 5 mins, until the temperature drops to 110C. Stir in the vanilla and a good pinch of salt.

  4. Keep the sugar thermometer in the pan and begin beating the mixture with a wooden spoon, quite vigorously, until the temperature cools to about 60C. By this time the fudge will be really thick and will have lost it glossy shine. Remove the thermometer and continue beating for a few mins more. This process is very important when making fudge, as it creates small sugar crystals, which give the fudge its lovely smooth and creamy texture (see 'fudge know-how', below).

  5. Before it sets completely, quickly pour the fudge into your prepared tin and smooth over the surface. Leave to cool at room temperature overnight – don’t put the fudge in the fridge as it will become sticky and won’t set properly. Cut into bite-sized pieces and pop in a box to give as a present. Will keep, in a sealed container, for up to 2 months.

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Comments (21)

freyajane9's picture

I have added variety of liqueurs and dry fruit to this and it is delicious. Also melted orange flavoured chocolate in and that was lovely. Favourite fudge recipe

emma191's picture

I have just made this and it has worked perfectly!

Can anyone reassure me that it will keep for 2 months in an airtight container? That seems like a long time but i am hoping to give this as little Christmas gifts ...


kimmycat's picture

Just made this fudge. At the beating stage, I am wondering could it be transferred to my food mixer and stirred very slowly ?? Anybody tried this ??

tiger2409's picture

Absolutely fantastic, I made this last night so it was ready to eat today (Christmas eve). I was worried I didn't heat it up for long enough - and that I over beat it but it is absolutely fantastic. My family have all said it's the best fudge they've ever tasted - even hubby can't stop eating it. Can't recommend enough.

Jo Tattersall's picture

This recipe was my first attempt at fudge and it worked perfectly. I had never used my sugar thermometer before so I was a little terrified but it was really simple. The frantic beating to reduce the temperature was exhausting but it was well worth it tastes fantastic, it really takes me back to my childhood. Great recipe!!

joanne-b's picture

I decided I wanted to make some fudge to give to as gifts this christmas. I couldn't find any glucose syrup in the supermarket where I live so used golden syrup instead. I was a bit confused by what temperature to start mixing the fudge and in the end I used the temperatures in the recipe (start beating at 110 degrees) and it worked brilliantly, I was slightly worried it wasn't going to set enough but after leaving it overnight it is perfect. I have made 3 batches of it so far and they are all great. I added 2 tbsp of baileys to one batch and that is incredible!

MelB1969's picture

I wanted to make some gorgeous fudge to give to visitors this Christmas. After reading previous posts and looking at other fudge recipes I changed the method slightly. After the soft ball stage I took the pan off the hob. I left the mixture to cool until it was just below 60C. After adding the vanilla and salt I started beating with a wooden spoon. The mixture separated so I changed to an electric hand held mixer. Eventually the mixture came back together and turned from glossy to dull. It was then ready to put in the tin. The following day the fudge was soft and melts in the mouth. It tastes fantastic and I'm not even keen on fudge!

jjoyj09's picture

Great tasting recipe, nut I'm not sure on the correct temperature to start beating it at. I followed the instructions in the comments and the butter separated from the sugar, a quick reheat and a lot of elbow grease and it all came together well.

allielovetocook's picture

Wow ... this fudge is beyond good! Followed the recipe as closely as possible as was first time I've attempted it and it turned into the most delicious fudge I've ever eaten. I now have very happy parents, husband, and teenage daughter as they all think it's delicious. I've just had a cube and followed it with a mouthful of Peppermint Tea .. yuummmm .. now I need to rework the recipe to experiment with Peppermint Fudge!!

jule955's picture

Just made it and it is divine. I followed the recipe as far as temperatures go, but I think I beat it a bit longer (had to take the thermometer out to do it, so hard to tell). Don't get scared off by the fact that it's labelled "for the keen cook". It's fiddly but not hard. I would recommend using a narrow but tall saucepan as the mixture more than doubled in volume when it started frothing. The fudge is really creamy and melts in the mouth. It's definitely a recipe I'll be using again and again!

belgium2970's picture

Can you use single cream instead if double cream.?

buzza_2004's picture

I made this recipe last night. I followed the comment below about bout stirring it at 110F not C, when I started to beat it all the butter came out and I had to tip it out 3 or 4 times! It was also like a taffy consistency. I put it in a brownie tin and by the time it had fully cooled in the morning it was really good as I had hoped.

Does anyone know why the butter came out of the mixture?

brewandbake's picture

If you're wondering how to get totally smooth fudge, google "fudge science super saturated" and you'll find that the fudge should cool to 110F (43C) NOT 110C!

When left to cool to 43C before stirring, a wooden spoon will cut through the fudge giving a mirror-like surface. Keep stirring until the colour lightens, then pour out to set.

I like both the totally sooth fudge (not stirring until 43C) and the slightly crystalline fudge you get from stirring when very hot (e.g. this "good food" recipe and the carnation recipe) - your choice.

alijanescott's picture

Fantastic recipe! Think it'll be a big hit in my Christmas hampers. Will make it in double batches from now on.

yannich's picture

I am french and love vanilla fudge overall . I tried two different recipes and throw away the results . This recipe is just perfect and the fudge tastes like the one I found at Harrods's . Thank you .

sannainge's picture

The first time I made fudge it was a complete disaster. But have totally nailed it with this reciepe. Already planning to do another batch for my Christmas hampers. Yummy!

freyajane9's picture

Wow! This is a great recipe, the tip about beating at correct temperature explains why my fudge has never been this good before.

freyajane9's picture

Have made various times using dried strawberries and raspberries. Tastes divine. Might try new flavours this year but these are divine. Added when putting into tin.

lizziemini's picture

Made fudge from a similar recipe from a cook book I own, but the end of the recipe was vague "beat until a grainy texture is reached"!! How long? Was my cry. So popped on here and although I don't have a thermometer it gave me the info I needed that it needed to be thick and lost the glossy shine (as instructed from my recipe, I cooked it for 35 mins for it to reach the softball stage - testing in a bowl of cold water). I could probably have beaten it a bit more but my kids were starting to throttle each other.
It is now sat looking at me, only been cooling for a couple of hours, had 2 pieces already - oh dear ;)

masterfox_86's picture

I've struggled to make fudge in the past without it burning horribly on the bottom of the pan. I had no problems at all with this recipe, it seemed to come together nice and easily. The end result was great, absolutely smooth, silky and delicious fudge! I will definitely be making this regularly to give as presents for people.


Questions (13)

bakerbobs's picture

Do you have to use a Sugar Thermometer because I don't have one?

emilou4's picture

Hello, I'll soon be making several batches of this for my wedding in 4 weeks time. Whats the best way to store the fudge? Does it freeze well? How long would you leave it to set before going into the freezer?

goodfoodteam's picture

Thanks for your question. We haven't tested freezing this recipe so cannot guarantee perfect results, however, we can see no reason why it wouldn't be fine to do so. We think it would be best to freeze it as the block, well wrapped, then cut it up when you need it. However this also keeps well for a couple of months in an airtight container.

tamzyn's picture

Does the stirring have to be done by hand with a wooden spoon or can it be done by handheld mixer?

CM26's picture

We are making the Vanilla Fudge as Xmas presents for our daughters Teachers / Friends, could someone please confirm the conversion of 400g of double cream to ml? Is it 300? Thank you.

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi CM26 thanks for your question - 400ml of double cream should be fine.

climbup's picture

Will this recipe work without the glucose syrup, or could I use a substitute? Thanks! x

goodfoodteam's picture
You need the glucose syrup to stop the sugar crystals from rehardening. You can find glucose syrup in most supermarkets now.
charlotte55's picture

I am making this delicious fudge for my wedding favours but some of the batches are more soft than others. I need the fudge to be harder so i can put it in little bags without the fudge all getting squashed, does anyone know how to do this? Any tips much appreciated.

goodfoodteam's picture

When making the fudge you need to make sure that it reaches the correct temperature, a sugar thermometer is best for this, also for best results, beat the mixture until it has almost set, before pouring into the tin and smoothing over.

sarah-b8's picture

I made this recipe to great success with many cries for more and for different flavour. So I was wondering can this be used as a base recipe to which you can add other flavours in stead of vanilla? For instance I have so far had requests for chocolate orange and chocolate and mint?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi Sarah, 

You can vary the flavour, try adding 1tbsp of orange blossom water instead of vanilla and 50g chopped chocolate for chocolate orange. Use mint essence instead for mint, or add 1tbsp of Baileys for a boozy treat. 

Have a merry Christmas. 

freyajane9's picture

I added freeze dried raspberries and strawberries. Delicious.

Tips (1)

cheath80's picture

This was my first time ever making fudge (or any kind of candy) requiring a candy thermometer. It was only my second time making fudge of any kind. The instructions are excellent, easy to follow, and fool-proof. The final product is incredibly delicious, smooth, and creamy. For other US readers, Caster sugar and vanilla bean paste can be found at Wegman's definitely and most likely Whole Foods or Trader Joe's. I used light corn syrup for the glucose syrup and heavy whipping cream for the double cream and unsalted butter. The final result was more than I could have asked for and my boyfriend said that it's just as good as his great-aunt's was which is the highest praise he has for fudge!