Vanilla fudge in a gift box

Vanilla fudge

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(43 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 40 mins Plus overnight cooling

A challenge

Cuts into 36 pieces

Homemade fudge makes a fabulous gift wrapped up for Christmas or any special occasion. Our recipe for these buttery sweets is well worth the effort

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 a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 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, questions and tips

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Rosie Pick's picture
Rosie Pick
24th Jun, 2020
I made these for my grandma’s birthday and she thought they were absolutely delicious!
Cassie Wigoder
19th Apr, 2019
Also I didn’t use glucose syrup (I added a bit extra sugar) and it was fine, it’s probably smoother with it but I think you can not use it if you don’t have it
Cassie Wigoder
19th Apr, 2019
This worked so good! Had lots of spare cream in my fridge and deciding to use it for this was definitely worth it. Recommend doing it in a big pan because it boiled quite a lot for me. It takes a while to get up to temperature too. Also if you have a stand mixer with a paddle attachment to beat you should do that because as other people said your hands get really really sore
23rd Dec, 2018
The most smooth fudge I've ever tasted. Every member of my family are getting some made for Christmas!!! Well done - excellent recipe
17th Dec, 2018
I made this to the recipe last year and it was perfect. But this year I thought I'd experiment and add some chocolate and it has turned out terribly. The mixture split despite plenty of stirring and I've ended up with crystallised crumbly fudge with a side of refined butter.
17th Nov, 2017
This is the best fudge recipe. I now, after making a lot of times, I add a bit more salt and once set I dip in dark and milk chocolate to make it even more special.
30th Mar, 2017
The best fudge recipe. Everyone will love you if you give them this. Be warned the beating process can cause blisters if you're making lots...!
ceaster13's picture
20th Dec, 2016
This is the best vanilla fudge recipe and very easy to make.
7th Dec, 2016
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
Gemma Forgan's picture
Gemma Forgan
28th Jun, 2018
I was thinking of adding freeze dried strawberry to it. Do you think that will work?


Claire Shields's picture
Claire Shields
12th Jun, 2020
I can’t get vanilla bean paste so have brought vanilla extract instead- how much should I use?
lulu_grimes's picture
19th Jun, 2020
Hi, Use half the amount, extract tends to be stronger than the paste. Lulu
12th Jun, 2017
Was wondering if anyone could advise. I made the recipe exactly as written- no substitutions. Heated the mix to 116C (measured using my sugar thermometer, this was the first time I'd used it), let it cool to 110C and then stirred until it read 60C and then continued to stir for another 10-15 mins. It was quite thick so i then poured it in the tin and allowed to cool overnight. This morning the consistency seemed the same as it was when I put it in the tin last night :( I've left it somewhere slightly cooler to see if it might get firmer throughout the day but not really sure how to proceed. Would it help to reheat it? Is there anything i can add to make it firmer?
goodfoodteam's picture
14th Jun, 2017
Thanks for your question. Sorry to hear your fudge didn't work out. Sugar is notoriously temperamental but if the correct temperatures are achieved then it should work like a dream. It sounds like the mixture did not reach 116C - is it possible the thermometer was touching a metal surface and didn't give an accurate reading? You can try reheating it with a bit more cream if you have it, to 116C again and going through the same procedure. If this doesn't work, you'll need to start again.
20th Dec, 2016
Can someone help? I've made this recipe 6 times now and have successfully made gorgeous, creamy fudge.. but only after boiling the mixture twice! I cannot get it thick enough first time round no matter what I do. I have a sugar thermometer so I'm following the instructions exactly, and I even tried letting the temp get a touch higher than 116C in case my thermometer is a bit off.. still no joy. I beat the heck out of it afterwards from 110C until it's cooled, pour it into a tin and the next morning it's still not firm. After I repeat the whole process it's finally firm enough to cut, but still very soft. Where am I going wrong?! I'm making it as Christmas presents and it's so time consuming at the moment!
goodfoodteam's picture
20th Dec, 2016
Hi there, sorry to hear your fudge hasn't been setting first time around. It seems most likely that your fudge has not been heated to the correct temperature (116C). We would suggest getting a new sugar thermometer I'm afraid.
GemJan's picture
13th Dec, 2016
Is there an alternative to glucose syrup?
goodfoodteam's picture
17th Dec, 2016
The glucose syrup helps to more readily achieve the melt-in-the mouth consistency, helping to prevent overly large crystals from forming. You can use corn syrup instead although this can be hard to come by. We'd suggest getting glucose syrup online if you don't have access to a cake decorating shop or larger supermarket. Hope that helps.
10th Jun, 2016
Do you have to use a Sugar Thermometer because I don't have one?
11th Mar, 2016
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?


22nd Nov, 2019
This is an amazing recipe but you need to take it slowly if you want a good texture. Once it's all melted I leave mine on a medium heat. I will take its time but if you don't too fast it may burn. Also, don't add chocolate until the very end otherwise it makes it grainy. You can flavour this in so many ways but just be patient for the best melt in the mouth fudge you will ever try. I also do it in a mixer not by hand.
GemJan's picture
19th Nov, 2017
I've made this recipe for the last 3 years with success but only when I heat the ingredients slowly on a low heat, mixing once to combine and then once the butter and sugar are dissolved, turn up the heat slowly until you have a boil. Then leave it alone until it reaches 116C. Do not let it go over this as I have and the butter separates when you try to beat it and it's very difficult to get back. Delicious fudge recipe
17th Dec, 2016
Just made for 3rd time. Hope this helps: 1. After reaching simmering stage it took me 28 mins to get to soft ball stage (but I took it little higher as it did not set well for me on previous attempt). 2. Leave for 5 minutes. 3. Add vanilla paste and salt. 4. Transfer fudge mix to food mixer (mine has stainless steel bowl) and stir on low for 10 minutes. This has worked for me a treat.
24th Dec, 2013
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!
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