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HERSHEY'S Rich Cocoa Fudge

HERSHEY'S Rich Cocoa Fudge Recipe

Overall Rating
66 ratings | View ratings

64 reviews | Review this recipe

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa or HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Cocoa
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1. Line 8-or 9-inch square pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan. Butter foil.
  • 2. Mix sugar, cocoa and salt in heavy 4-quart saucepan; stir in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to full rolling boil. Boil, without stirring, until mixture reaches 234°F on candy thermometer or until small amount of mixture dropped into very cold water, forms a soft ball which flattens when removed from water. (Bulb of candy thermometer should not rest on bottom of saucepan.)
  • 3. Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla. DO NOT STIR. Cool at room temperature to 110°F (lukewarm). Beat with wooden spoon until fudge thickens and just begins to lose some of its gloss. Quickly spread in prepared pan; cool completely. Cut into squares. Store in tightly covered container at room temperature. About 36 pieces or 1-3/4 pounds.
  • NOTE: For best results, do not double this recipe. This is one of our most requested recipes, but also one of our most difficult. The directions must be followed exactly. Beat too little and the fudge is too soft. Beat too long and it becomes hard and sugary.
  • VARIATIONS: NUTTY RICH COCOA FUDGE: Beat cooked fudge as directed. Immediately stir in 1 cup chopped almonds, pecans or walnuts and spread quickly in prepared pan.
  • MARSHMALLOW-NUT COCOA FUDGE: Increase cocoa to 3/4 cup. Cook fudge as directed. Add 1 cup marshmallow creme with butter and vanilla. DO NOT STIR. Cool to 110°F (lukewarm). Beat 8 minutes; stir in 1 cup chopped nuts. Pour into prepared pan. (Fudge does not set until poured into pan.)
  • HIGH ALTITUDE DIRECTIONS: -- Increase milk to 1-2/3 cups -- Use soft ball cold water test for doneness OR Test and read thermometer in boiling water, subtract difference from 212°F. Then subtract that number from 234°F. This is the soft ball temperature for your altitude and thermometer.

HERSHEY'S Rich Cocoa Fudge

HERSHEY'S Rich Cocoa Fudge

Overall Rating (66 ratings)
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  1. Review 6/20/2013 10:37:11 AM by :
    I use evaporated milk for a more distinctive southern taste. Everyone loves it. Reminds my of my Grandmother. We used to try to sneak off with the whole plate.

  2. Review 4/9/2013 3:54:10 PM by :
    The best ever.

  3. Review 3/26/2013 8:31:41 PM by :

  4. Review 3/13/2013 12:11:24 PM by :
    My dad used this recipy, it used to be printed on the can of hersys powder. It was great !!! Now I am making it too!!!

  5. Review 1/25/2013 3:55:56 PM by :
    I made this recipe for Christmas for my family, and have made it five times more at my family's request! This is the best fudge ever!

  6. Review 1/3/2013 10:58:04 PM by :
    I love this fudge, easiest, and well worth the 55 min to 60 minutes worth of prep time,

  7. Review 12/27/2012 9:44:50 PM by :

  8. Review 12/27/2012 7:39:05 PM by :
    This is the BEST fudge ever. Imagine my surprise that this recipe is rated as for an advanced cook....I started making it when I was 15. That was in the 60s, and although I have eaten the marshmallow creme variety, this is still superior. My mom even made a version of this and used it as a frosting for my birthday cake!!

  9. Review 12/21/2012 3:54:25 PM by :
    My mother gave this recipe to me when I first got married. I've been making it for my wife for Chirstmas for the last 40 years. She says if I don't make the fudge Santa won't come.

  10. Review 12/6/2012 6:28:39 PM by :
    This is the fudge I grew up eating as a child. You can dress it up or down if you want to, but just the simple recipe my grandmother made, is good enough to bring back the aroma of her kitchen and the simple pleasures of childhood.

  11. Review 12/6/2012 4:49:44 PM by :
    Makes the best fudge ever! I have been making this fudge for many years as my mother did, and there is no other that tastes even close. It is a wonderful recipes that brings back many fond memories. Make sure you don't try to make it when its rainy, it won't turn out! The cooling time can be cut back a lot by setting the pan in 2 or 3 inches of water to cool, don't stir until it has cooled down enough. If it turns sugary, you can add a few tablespoons of butter and recook it. I have with great success. Best recipe ever, thank-you Hershey!

  12. Review 11/24/2012 3:21:51 PM by :
    My mom made this every Christmas. She would add 3 tablespoons of peanut butter

  13. Review 11/20/2012 6:30:55 PM by :
    The best fudge ever! Well worth the effort. My family has been making this at Christmas as long as I can remember, and I've continued the tradition on to my own family. I've found that if I use a digital thermometer and cook until it's exactly 234 degrees, I have the best results. Also, don't disturb the candy while cooling, or it can turn grainy

  14. Review 11/16/2012 7:59:13 PM by :
    The Best Ever fudge recipe. Melts in your mouth.

  15. Review 11/16/2012 12:49:22 PM by :
    Can't beat this...the only way my family will eat fudge.A must for all holidays for over 40 years.

  16. Review 11/15/2012 12:41:59 PM by :
    This is the best fudge in the entire universe! My mom used to make this fudge recipe and use it as cake frosting! My siblings and I (ok, mostly me) would chip off chunks until no "frosting" remained.

  17. Review 11/7/2012 8:10:49 PM by :
    My Aunt Mae is famous for this fudge .. it takes patience and a good eye for when the color has changed right after the perfect temperature is reached. She made it everytime The Wizard of Oz was on TV ... we convinced her it was the only thing that would keep us from being afraid of the flying monkeys. :-)

  18. Review 11/2/2012 6:58:34 PM by pschnare:
    This fudge is the best!!! You must be very patient and have no, I mean zero distractions while making this fudge. I have made it many times and when I give it my undivided attention it is perfect! My brother asks for this all the time for Christmas...people love it and cannot believe the is nothing like you have ever tasted...Mackinac Island has nothing on this recipe :-)

  19. Review 9/29/2012 7:26:33 PM by :
    Hands down the best fudge ever, especially with walnuts.

  20. Review 1/17/2012 1:13:23 PM by TrevaGail:
    I added 1 Cup of peanut butter to the recipe and it was really good!

  21. Review 11/28/2011 7:00:00 PM by lindasuew:
    this is the worst fudge recipe i've ever made, never turns out!

  22. Review 12/18/2010 7:00:00 PM by NICELADY:
    I made this many times when first married a little over 40 years ago. Then, for some reason, I switched to the recipe that uses chocolate chips, evaporated milk, and marshmallow cream, which is far more expensive to make than this fudge. The two compete well in taste and appearance but this one brings back the fondest memories...maybe that's why I love it so!

  23. Review 12/17/2010 12:00:00 AM by ladybug641:
    Have been enjoying this since my Mother and Grandmother made it when I was a little girl and now I'm 60 years young. My family likes it just as good. It's the best.

  24. Review 11/26/2010 3:18:41 PM by Amyluby:
    This is my favorite thing to make by far. The best tasting fudge you will ever have!!!!

  25. Review 10/13/2010 12:26:48 AM by corinabrendle:
    I LOVE this fudge!!! My mom has been making this fudge my entire life, 44 years!!! I grew up eating it. Now it's my turn for my children. :)

  26. Review 9/27/2010 12:28:30 PM by mmarullo:
    I started making this recipe when I was a teen. I found it on the side of the cocoa box, and thought I would like to make it. Got it right the first time. My brother loves getting this fudge for his birthday.

  27. Review 9/6/2010 2:38:07 AM by Donnabeverin:
    Also my mother used to make this fudge from the Cocoa Can. Hers was always sugary and crystally and I grew to love that quality. I really do not like or eat the creamy fudge. I stirred long so it would be grainy and it is just the way I remember and enjoy it so much! Thanks Hershey!

  28. Review 9/3/2010 11:59:38 AM by GLEWIS007:
    this is the best fudge recipe there is!

  29. Review 7/10/2010 8:04:34 AM by mnasky:
    I haven't made it yet

  30. Review 6/1/2010 1:28:25 PM by lindasagler:
    the best fudge ever, this is what my children want for Christmas.

  31. Review 5/29/2010 2:47:14 PM by nanajones7:
    My granny used to make this for us every Saturday night to eat as we watched Larence Welk. She always added peanut butter. I have tweeked it a bit through the years. I use double the vanilla and 1 cup of creamy peanut butter. I do double the recipe(not suggested for newbeeies). I use a stock pot so it won't boil over. Pour it in a foil lined sprayed with pam 13x9 pan. People that I give it to that have never had it are blown away.

  32. Review 4/3/2010 11:33:29 AM by jilliebeans:
    My Mom has been making this fudge for as long as I can remember and I'm 56 yrs old. She is having an Easter egg coloring party and was going to make this fudge for us while we all colored eggs, but the recipe is no longer on the box. She said never wrote it down because it was always there on the box for her. I was crushed and then found it here. Yahoo! This is the BEST recipe ever and conjures up all good and happy childhood memories for me. :)

  33. Review 3/7/2010 2:09:45 AM by BunnyNC:
    Like many others, I grew up with my mom making this fudge, and it's the only kind I like. I've been making it myself for 20+ years now. A little tip that might help others -- when I developed problems with my hands that make it very difficult to stir, I couldn't get the butter stirred in before the fudge would begin to set and it would be too set by the time I got it out of the pot. So I tried adding the butter and vanilla right along with the other ingredients. It works just difference at all! Another tip -- rather than stirring constantly before you pour it up, try stirring a little, letting it sit a couple mins, then stirring again. If you give it just a little rest it thickens a little during the rest so that you don't end up having to stir quite so much before pouring up. Just be sure not to let it rest once it begins to lose the gloss. At that point, you have to work very quickly! Thank you Hershey for giving my mom this recipe all those years ago -- it's the best fudge in the world!

  34. Review 2/26/2010 3:13:41 PM by suann47:
    Great recipe

  35. Review 2/12/2010 2:47:45 PM by nannikat:
    My aunt made this when I was growing up and no other fudge even came close to this recipe! Once you've had it no other fudge will do! My aunt taught me to never attempt this recipe on a rainy day because it would not set! I would beg and beg til she gave in and she was always right - it didn't set! We still had fun eating it with a spoon because it was more like thick syrup. I make this for my family and they love it! Thanks Hersheys!

  36. Review 1/31/2010 10:25:12 PM by mkavanaugh:
    My mother was making this fudge way before I was born. She taught me and I helped her as a child. I'm still making it and I am 63 years old. GREAT RECIPE. Brings back many memories.

  37. Review 1/30/2010 3:30:43 PM by victorianartist:
    My favorite fudge recipe of all time. I almost have it memorized by heart. When I see it I know it is it. It used to be on the Cocoa box.

  38. Review 1/19/2010 10:37:07 AM by ladychef1960:
    This is my Grandma Smith's recipe. She did not use standard measuring cups-she was a TRUE expert! This is THE BEST homemade fudge EVER! Dad used to go to Topeka and park cars in her yard during the State Fair and she would send fudge home to Saint Louis for us grandkids. To die for!! =)

  39. Review 1/18/2010 6:41:35 PM by Teff:
    My grandmother and my mother used to make this. Recently I found out my mother-in-law made it also. Now I make it for my family and father-in-law. Love it. Teff

  40. Review 1/13/2010 3:28:58 PM by Ricky56:
    nummy, my grand critters really love it!!

  41. Review 12/24/2009 6:21:19 PM by Montessa:
    I have been making this fudge since I was 7 years old. The best part of making this when you are a kid is testing it in cold water because you get to eat the first few tries. There is a cookie recipe we used to make with oatmeal and this was the base of it. It is a no bake drop cookie and was wonderful.

  42. Review 12/24/2009 2:08:33 PM by kimmybgood:
    My mother made this all the time when I was growing up and now, no other fudge tastes right! I hate those kinds with evaporated milk or marshmallow creme. This is the perfect fudge! And now I make it for my own family. They love it too.

  43. Review 12/23/2009 1:17:23 PM by
    I love this kind of fudge, but it is hard to get the texture just right. However, when it turns out right, it is wonderful.

  44. Review 12/20/2009 6:21:00 PM by janschwandt:
    Have made this recipe for years! Learned how to make it with my Grandmother and am now 60 later teaching MY Granddaughter how to make it......this is what the kids and grandkids all want at Christmas time.

  45. Review 12/20/2009 9:25:58 AM by GretelMonster:
    Been using this recipe over 60 years. At one time, this was the only recipe on the Hershey Cocoa Box. This has been, is and will always be the best Fudge. Only use "Real" ingredients...only whole milk and real butter.

  46. Review 12/19/2009 1:27:08 PM by scarletbegonia:
    the ONLY recipe for real fudge! to die for!

  47. Review 12/18/2009 12:33:18 PM by Cocoa Kitty:
    This is the BEST fudge recipe. Everbody loves it. You need to use at least whole milk. I use half and half. It takes practice. Usually the first batch of the season isn't the best. It is so worth it though. Terrific.

  48. Review 12/13/2009 8:11:21 PM by splur:
    My mother made this fudge for years when I was growing up. It was always a family favorite. I just found the recipe on your website and I am so excited to be able to make it again. I love it with pecans. Much better than the marshmallow creme type.

  49. Review 12/12/2009 8:42:17 PM by kayhh:
    My mother, grandmother, great grandmother all made this fudge. No pans used...pour out the fudge onto wax paper. It rolls out exactly the right distance and stops if you have made it correctly. (not a good idea for a beginner, though!)

  50. Review 12/10/2009 6:59:42 PM by alanap61:
    My grandmother and mother made this when I was growing up.It's an old family favorite :-) I made it for my kids and grandkids. Love it, the best fudge recipe ever thought of.

  51. Review 12/7/2009 11:44:59 PM by JohnBacas:
    love it

  52. Review 12/6/2009 2:30:19 PM by jacksmeow:

  53. Review 12/6/2009 12:41:10 PM by 4thompson:
    My mom made this when I was a kid, and this is the only fudge I like. It is creamy when done correctly, and no other fudge tingles your taste buds like this one does!

  54. Review 12/2/2009 10:28:14 AM by jfddrsn:
    My mother always made this fudge and it has always been my favorite. I watched her make it for years but I'm still working on mine to turn out as perfect as hers did. Love it Love it Love it. She also had a similar frosting recipe that was to die for on chocolate cake.

  55. Review 11/22/2009 12:03:13 PM by jadearcher:
    Another way to cool the fudge mixture faster is to put the pot in about 2 to 3 inches of cold water while allowing the butter and vanilla to sit. When the fudge mixture is lukewarm, begin beating with a wooden spoon until the gloss starts to dull. Quickly add the chopped nuts and spread the mixture into the lightly buttered pan. Our family has made this recipe with slightly different variations for at least 45 years. This receipe and a coffee cake receipe were the first we were allowed to cook on our own as children. Delicious!

  56. Review 10/11/2009 5:15:50 PM by Towim:
    Just for a note: For those without a candy thermometer, the cooling stage takes about 50-60 minutes once you've removed it from the heat. Wonderful recipe! I learned how to cook on this one, believe it or not, from my beloved mentor. <3

  57. Review 9/14/2009 11:15:43 AM by tlphete:
    I have been using this recipe for 30 years, starting as a child. The trick is to go by the recipe exactly. I love it with pecans.

  58. Review 5/18/2009 10:11:59 PM by beckert:
    Especially good when a heaping tablespoon of smooth peanut butter is added with the butter and vanilla.

  59. Review 3/6/2009 1:11:41 PM by sdeb346:
    I also add peanut butter This is the best fudge ever

  60. Review 2/25/2009 3:49:34 PM by robmyaeg:
    my family has been making this "back of the box" recipe for over 40 years, it is fantastic.

  61. Review 2/16/2009 3:20:50 PM by jmdunl43:
    My mom has made this for the last 40years..i have started making it my self....when the directions say follow exactly do so...if you do you have the best tasting real fudge in the world.

  62. Review 1/7/2009 2:43:48 PM by Catmoma:
    My mom and aunt have been making this for 50 years. Its great, especially with black walnuts. I don't use as much cocoa and it is just as good!!

  63. Review 12/22/2008 11:53:07 AM by reydar:
    Recipe was not difficult to follow. I added walnuts and it turned out very nicely. Was a little time consuming so definately not for the rush rush rush person. but good recipe.

  64. Review 11/29/2008 10:22:01 PM by darlene5:
    Great recipe I have used for over 30 years try adding pecans it is absolutely wonderful.

  65. Review 11/19/2008 11:34:20 PM by 3elizzy3:
    My mother made this fudge when I was growing up. I made it for my children and now my grandchildren. Sometimes I also add 1 cup of cruncy peanut butter as soon as it's done cooking. Cocunut is another ingredient I have add.

  66. Review 7/29/2008 3:58:29 PM by BobbiBoop:
    My mom has been making this fudge as long as I can remember! It's not so overly sweet like that evaporated milk fudge. It has a dryer texture.

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