Chocolate caramel fudge made with just a handful of ingredients and perfect for any sweet treat or dessert. This easy homemade fudge recipe only takes minutes to put together and satisfy any sweet tooth!
This recipe brings together the best of both worlds by combining chocolate and caramel fudge to create a sweet treat or chocolate dessert that will delight any crowd.
By using store-bought caramel sauce and your kitchen microwave, we cut down baking time significantly, making this an easy dessert for home bakers of all skill levels. Best of all, because this recipe requires only five everyday ingredients, it’s a great last-minute dish if you need to make something for a party.
Ready to bake? From creating the fudge base to the caramel topping, here’s how to make the best chocolate caramel fudge today. Let’s get into it.
Here’s what you need to make this easy chocolate treat.
Store-bought chocolate chips are best for this recipe because they melt quickly and combine easily with the rest of the ingredients to create our fudge base. While almost any type of chocolate is fine, the small size of choc chips helps them combine quickly.
Condensed milk is regular milk with all the water removed from it through heat. It is often used in fudge recipes to stiffen the final product and to impart a sweeter taste.
Luckily, you can substitute condensed milk in fudge by consistently stirring 4 tablespoons of butter and the chocolate together until well-combined on a stovetop. You can also melt them together in the microwave.
Similar to condensed milk, you can also substitute heavy cream in a fudge recipe. You will not necessarily end up with as creamy or rich a final product, but the recipe will still work the same.
Coconut milk is an excellent heavy cream substitute, as well as half-and-half or evaporated milk. This is because they have the same creamy thickness as heavy cream but without dairy.
Using store-bought caramel sauce helps reduce baking time for this recipe, but if you would like to make your own caramel, try this homemade salted caramel recipe.
Pay attention to these baking tips to help you get the best results.
- Melt the chocolate chips slowly in the microwave, with regular intervals for stirring. Milk chocolate has high sugar content, which makes it vulnerable to burning quicker in the microwave.
- Act quickly when transferring the melted chocolate between the microwave and baking pan. It stiffens quickly and, if too thick, will be difficult to pour into the pan and combine with the vanilla extract.
- Don’t forget parchment paper. Chocolate is especially prone to sticking to pans once it has set, so ensure you line the baking tray with parchment paper before pouring in the chocolate fudge mix.
- If your caramel sauce is too thin, try adding more heavy cream or leaving it to simmer over low heat to reduce it. See our guide on how to thicken caramel sauce to find out more.
Chocolate caramel fudge is a decadent enough treat on its own, but let us see what we can pair it with to make something even more amazing.
Fresh Fruit & Red Wine
Sweet fresh fruit such as strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries go wonderfully with chocolate caramel fudge’s rich flavors.
On the other hand, you can pair your fudge with a nice glass of red wine. Any kind will do since the sweet fudge flavor enhances the dryness of red wine.
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Vanilla and chocolate together are always a winner. You can place a few small squares of chocolate caramel fudge with a few scoops of vanilla bean ice cream, along with some chocolate or caramel syrup.
Consider warming up a square of fudge and then placing a scoop of ice cream over top, same as you would a warm piece of pie. Add chocolate or caramel syrup for extra sweet flavor.
Create a Syrup
Although you might initially make your chocolate caramel fudge into squares, you can melt them and use them as a syrup over ice cream or cake.
As with most baked goods, you can store your chocolate caramel fudge at room temperature in an airtight container. You can use a regular plastic container with a snap-on lid or a glass container with a silicone-lined lid. Keep in mind that plastic bags will not store them as well.
Chocolate caramel fudge should stay fresh for at least 4 to 5 weeks. If you prefer, you can also freeze your fudge to help extend its shelf life.
How to Make Chocolate Caramel Fudge
Now that we know a few pro tips about making this yummy dessert, let’s talk about how to put it all together.
- Line up your baking pan, preferably one with a snap-on lid, with parchment paper. Doing so will prevent the fudge from sticking to your pan and will help it come out cleaner.
- Combine your choice of chocolate chips with the sweetened condensed milk in a microwave-safe bowl or a pot on your stovetop. If you microwave, heat the mixture for 15 seconds, then take it out and stir for 30 seconds. Microwave again for 15 seconds and then stir for 30. Repeat until the ingredients are well combined. (If using your stovetop, melt the ingredients on low heat and constantly stir until combined).
- Pour the mixture into a pan and then smooth out with a spatula. (Pro tip: run a little butter over your spatula, or use a little cooking spray to keep the fudge from sticking to the spatula).
- Combine your unwrapped caramels and heavy cream in one bowl and follow the same heating process as the chocolate-condensed milk mixture.
- Pour the caramel evenly over the chocolate.
- Cover with a lid and put in the fridge to set, preferably overnight. (Pro tip: when cutting up your solid fudge, use a hot wet knife to cut cleanly through the fudge).
How to Make Homemade Salted Caramel
Many people are intimidated by the thought of making caramel, but if you follow these instructions, you should have a smooth sauce.
First, start by heating granulated sugar in a saucepan until it melts and forms a dark brown sauce. Be sure to use a pan that isn’t non-stick as those materials affect the texture of caramel.
Then, add in butter chunk by chunk and stir it into the caramel until it melts. Be careful because the hot sugar and cold butter will splatter!
Once the butter and sugar are combined, let the mixture sit untouched for one minute, then pour in the heavy cream. Let the mixture boil.
Finally, remove the mixture from the pan and stir in salt. Let the caramel cool and thicken before using.
Chocolate Caramel Fudge Topping Ideas
Instead of just serving up plain fudge, here are some ideas for funky toppings.
For an indulgent topping, add shavings of chocolate. You can use regular dark baking chocolate or add shavings of white chocolate (or white chocolate chips) for color contrast.
If you want to add some texture, chopped pecans or walnuts pair wonderfully with this fudge.
While nothing can make this indulgent fudge truly healthy, some berries sprinkled on top help cut through the sweetness.
Chocolate Caramel Fudge
- 8×8" cake baking pan
- 3 cups chocolate chips
- 1 cup caramel sauce
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups sweetened condensed milk
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper
- In a small microwavable bowl, combine the chocolate chips and condensed milk. Microwave in intervals of 10 seconds, stirring in between. Repeat until melted and combined.
- Add vanilla extract and stir to combine. Before it hardens, quickly pour the chocolate mixture into the parchment-lined baking pan. Smooth with spatula.
- In another microwaveable bowl, combine the caramel sauce and heavy cream. Similar to the chocolate mixture, heat in 10-second intervals and stir in between until smooth and combined.
- Pour the caramel mixture over the smoothed chocolate. Use a spatula to cover evenly.
- Refrigerate chocolate caramel fudge for at least 3 hours, or overnight. The fudge will firm up.
- Once the fudge has firmed up, remove it from the refrigerator and cut into small squares or rectangles
Why Is My Caramel Fudge Grainy?
One of the most common problems when making caramel fudge from scratch is its grainy texture.
The grainy texture occurs when sugar cools in to crystals instead of a smooth caramel sauce. Crystals form thanks to a few factors, including too much agitation and heating and cooling to the wrong temperatures. You can avoid grainy caramel fudge by not stirring the caramel as it cools.
Another common cause of grainy caramel is an imbalance of ingredients. Next time, try adding more liquid or butter to get that smooth texture.
Why Is My Fudge So Gooey?
While you want gooey caramel when you’re making a caramel sauce, your fudge should be a bit more solid.
If you notice that your fudge is too soft, it may not have had enough time to set during the cooling process. Be sure that you are cooling your fudge to 110 degrees before stirring it, otherwise, it will not have enough time to harden. A candy thermometer can help.
If your fudge still isn’t set properly, a few hours in the freezer can harden it.