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The Best Holiday Fudge Ever, and It Just Happens to be Vegan

Posted on by Alisa Fleming in Nutrition Headlines with 77 Comments

My Sweet Vegan: Five-Minute Fudge RecipeWhat if I told you my absolute favorite homemade fudge of all time contains no dairy whatsoever? What if I told you it even uses everyday pantry ingredients, and takes just minutes to prepare? Now what if I said the version I make is even soy-free, gluten-free, and vegan? Would you believe me? Well, it really is true.

Thanks to creative bakers like Hannah Kaminsky, splurging at the holidays is fast becoming a reality for almost every special diet. From Crustless Sweet Potato Pie to Peppermint Crush Ice Cream, Hannah has a sweet recipe for all occasions in her repertoire.

And of course there is her classic dessert cookbook, My Sweet Vegan; full-color, gorgeous and enticing. From reading other blogger reviews, I can see that MSV recipes like the Golden Glazed Donuts and Triple-Threat Chocolate Cheesecake are foolproof. But I am all about the “gifts from the kitchen.” Bite-sized, sugar-packed treats are the only way to go during the holiday season (or any time of year) in my opinion, and My Sweet Vegan delivers with recipes for Cherry Chocolate Truffles, Flaming Hot Peanut Brittle, Matzah Toffee, Coffee Break Shortbread, and my favorite, the following recipe for Five-Minute Coconut Fudge. Not a fan of coconut? Have no fear; you can simply omit the coconut topping (the coconut milk leaves no flavor trace), and if you wish, trial the ginger, pecan-pumpkin spice, or peppermint fudge variations …

Five-Minute Coconut Fudge

Recipe from My Sweet Vegan by Hannah Kaminsky

“Rich, thick, and creamy, this fudge is the real stuff. Even the smallest squares will satisfy the most dedicated chocoholics. Plus, it takes mere minutes to whip up, for an instantly gratifying, and heavenly, chocolate treat.”

  • 1 Cup Dairy-Free, Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (such as Enjoy Life brand)
  • 3-1/2 Cups Confectioner’s Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Dutch Process Cocoa Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Dairy-Free Margarine (see below for soy-free option)
  • 1/2 Cup Regular Canned Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Unsweetened Flaked Coconut, Toasted

Lightly grease an 8 x 8 inch square baking pan.

In a large bowl, combine the chocolate chips, sugar, and cocoa. Separately, place the margarine and coconut milk in a small saucepan, and stir together over medium heat. Cook the mixture until the margarine has melted, and bubbles just begin to break at the surface. Remove it from the stove, and immediately pour over the chocolate mixture. Let everything sit for a couple of minutes, and then stir vigorously to melt the chocolate and incorporate the dry ingredients. Continue stirring until a completely smooth mixture forms. Mix in the vanilla, and quickly pour everything into your prepared pan. Smooth out the top and sprinkle the flaked coconut evenly over the entire exposed surface. Press the coconut gently into the fudge with the palm of your hand. Let cool completely before cutting into squares.

Makes 32 Small Squares

My Sweet Vegan: Five-Minute Fudge Recipe

Variations:

Soy-Free Fudge: Use Earth Balance Soy-Free Margarine or substitute 2 tablespoons of Coconut Oil for the margarine. Many brands of chocolate chips contain soy lecithin. If this is a problem for you, choose a “safe” brand like Enjoy Life Foods.

Ginger Fudge: Omit the flaked coconut, and stir 3/4 cup of minced / finely diced crystalized ginger into the fudge just after the vanilla. The ginger chunks infuse the surrounding fudge with a pleasantly sweet ginger flavor.

My Sweet Vegan: Five-Minute Fudge Recipe

Pecan-Pumpkin Spice Fudge: From Nicole at Another One Bites the Crust, add 2 to 3 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice (depending on how spicy you like it!) with the vanilla extract. Omit the flaked coconut topping, and instead press glazed pecans (easy recipe for the pecans) into the top of the fudge before placing it in the fridge. 

My Sweet Vegan: Five-Minute Fudge Recipe

Peppermint Fudge: Add 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract with the vanilla extract and stir in 4 smashed candy canes. Omit the flaked coconut and top the fudge with the crumbs of 5 additional crushed candy canes instead.

My Sweet Vegan: Five-Minute Fudge Recipe

This is a third pary review by Alisa Fleming (author of Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook). My Sweet Vegan is available to purchase on Amazon.

About Alisa Fleming

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

View all posts by Alisa Fleming →

Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living

77 Comments

  1. PaulaSeptember 24, 2012 at 1:26 amReply

    The coconut fudge is wonderful! I got an amazing response from my non vegan friends, who couldn’t believe it was vegan. I also replaced half the margarine with coconut oil, which worked well, and added a little more coconut flavor. So thank you for this recipe!

    • Alisa FlemingSeptember 25, 2012 at 8:54 pmReplyAuthor

      That is wonderful Paula, and thanks for the feedback on coconut oil!

      • ShoshannahNovember 3, 2012 at 5:34 pmReply

        Could you use coconut cream instead of coconut milk?

        Thanks!

        • Alisa FlemingNovember 4, 2012 at 8:29 amReplyAuthor

          Yes, but not creme of coconut (which is sweetened).

  2. LauraSeptember 25, 2012 at 5:32 pmReply

    I made this fudge today and it is soooo good! Creamy, smooth, and VERY rich and chocolatey. I would never guess it’s made without milk or cream. I’m not vegan so I used butter instead of margarine. I will never mess around with candy thermometers and failed batches of fudge again!

  3. SarahOctober 10, 2012 at 8:46 pmReply

    Great recipe! I made this tonight for a friend of mine. I’m not Vegan myself but this Fudge is amazing. I forgot the vanilla with this first batch but it still taste yummy. Guess I’ll have to remember it the next time :)

    • Alisa FlemingOctober 11, 2012 at 7:26 amReplyAuthor

      So glad you enjoyed it Sarah! Yes, vanilla is just that extra touch!

  4. DonnaOctober 29, 2012 at 6:53 pmReply

    Hi

    Just to let you know. I have now tried this fudge twice, and cannot get it to set as it should. how long does it take to set?. I have even placed it in the fridge overnight and it remains like a soft paste. Don’t think I did anything wrong, as I followed the recipe exactly. Any suggestions.

    • Alisa FlemingOctober 29, 2012 at 7:46 pmReplyAuthor

      This is very odd. Your using full fat canned coconut milk right? Not light or the coconut “beverage” in the carton.

      • DonnaOctober 30, 2012 at 7:02 pmReply

        Thank you for the reply. Yes, I used full fat canned coconut milk.

        • Alisa FlemingOctober 30, 2012 at 7:26 pmReplyAuthor

          Donna, I wish I could tell you what is going on, but I’ve made this recipe many times myself, and have received dozens of emails from viewers who’ve enjoyed this recipe. Not a one has mentioned trouble with it setting up, and looking at the proportions again, I’m not sure how it wouldn’t set up. Perhaps try reducing the coconut milk in half. That is the only true liquid in the recipe, so the only thing that you could adjust. You can also use coconut oil in place of the margarine, which will make for a firmer fudge. Sorry it didn’t work as is for you!

          • KCNovember 29, 2012 at 5:10 am

            Donna, do you by chance live at high altitude? When I moved to New Mexico I couldn’t get any fudge recipe to set well, ever again. The temps needed to “melt” in the mountains were just different enough that when added to firm ingrdients I ended up with bricks, or mush, depending on how hard I tried to get it right. After a couple of years I just went for cookies and brownies instead of fudge! Wish I had a better answer for you.

  5. CrisOctober 30, 2012 at 8:26 pmReply

    After watching her scrape the bowl clean, I think my wife approves. Thanks for a great recipe. I used pumpkin seeds instead of coconut flakes for Halloween. :-)

    • Alisa FlemingOctober 30, 2012 at 9:30 pmReplyAuthor

      Pumpkin seeds … brilliant idea! Glad you and your wife enjoyed the recipe :)

  6. sallyNovember 21, 2012 at 1:57 pmReply

    Do I need to incorporate the solid part of the coconut milk or just use the milk itself?

    • Alisa FlemingNovember 21, 2012 at 2:07 pmReplyAuthor

      Sally, I think your coconut milk has just settled. Give it a stir or shake before using.

  7. JericaDecember 9, 2012 at 6:27 amReply

    Can the fudge be frozen?

  8. Ashley RossellDecember 9, 2012 at 8:11 pmReply

    This was so delicious! I was worried that I’d have to forego my usual Christmas fudge since I was diagnosed with a dairy allergy earlier this year. Thanks to this recipe, I won’t miss it at all! I added crushed pecans to my first batch but I can’t wait to try out the peppermint version.

  9. DonnaDecember 10, 2012 at 2:17 pmReply

    Thank you for the post of the 29 Novemver. No, I don’t live in a high altitude area, but thanks for taking the tme to reply. . Perhaps I should be asking what brand of coconut milk I should buy or does it matter?

    • Alisa FlemingDecember 10, 2012 at 2:26 pmReplyAuthor

      Donna, you need to use a full fat canned coconut milk (not coconut milk beverage and not light coconut milk). Most should work, but some brands aren’t as thick as others. For example, Whole Food’s brand (365 organic) has decreased in quality and is now very liquid. When you open the can, it should have a very thick cream on top. You can see my recommendations of brands here – http://www.godairyfree.org/news/how-to-use-coconut-milk.

  10. SherryDecember 11, 2012 at 4:11 amReply

    I made 2 batches of this fudge and it is completely soft. What can I do to make it set harder?I don’t want to waste all the ingredients.

    • Alisa FlemingDecember 11, 2012 at 7:15 amReplyAuthor

      Sherry, melt a little coconut oil or food grade cocoa butter and stir it in. Either will go nicely and will help to make a firmer fudge. I would use start with about 2 tablespoons (For the double batch) and add more if needed. Make sure you are using full fat canned coconut milk, which is very thick.

  11. MelanieDecember 12, 2012 at 2:13 pmReply

    This fudge looks deliciously amazing and I have decided that this is the homemade gift I am giving all my relatives this year! I’m at a high altitude, so I’m crossing my fingers that I don’ t have any problems making it set. I am envisioning little boxes filled with a fudge variety. How long does the fudge keep after it is made?

    • Alisa FlemingDecember 13, 2012 at 7:06 amReplyAuthor

      Melanie, I’ve made this fudge a few times myself and have never had trouble with it setting up, but I usually use coconut oil or food-grade cocoa butter in place of the margarine (personal preference, but those fats are also more solid). For great fudge storage / shelf-life advice, see this post – http://www.ehow.com/way_5712561_way-store-fudge.html.

  12. RachelDecember 17, 2012 at 5:21 amReply

    I couldn’t get my chocolate chips to melt! I used enjoy life minis. Is that normal?

    • Alisa FlemingDecember 17, 2012 at 6:53 amReplyAuthor

      Rachel, how long did you try to melt them for? Since they are minis, they should melt very quickly and could quickly scorch (turn from melted to clumpy). If using a double broiler, stir continuously. If using the microwave method, cook only in 15 second intervals, stirring vigorously in between.

      for allergen-free melting, the EL chunks or Dream chips are larger and may be easier for melting.

    • Jonathan PeeleSeptember 14, 2014 at 11:33 amReply

      To make the chocolate melt, I mix heated coconut milk or cream twice and use more of it. If I pour all in at once, there will be chunks of chocolate in the finished fudge.

  13. HervetteDecember 17, 2012 at 2:17 pmReply

    I have a 9 year old granddaughter, Alyssa, who has never had fudge. She has a severe milk protein allergy. Until this holiday season we have avoided having fudge in the house or eating it around her. A new neighbor made a wonderful batch of fudge and presented it as a Christmas gift…poor Alyssa isn’t able to eat any of it! I am trying this recipe asap! Thank you a thousand times! Merry Christmas!!

  14. AshleyDecember 18, 2012 at 4:46 pmReply

    I used almond milk because I don’t like the flavor of coconut. Is this going to ruin the fudge?

    • Alisa FlemingDecember 18, 2012 at 5:14 pmReplyAuthor

      Hi Ashley, it probably won’t set up very well. The recipe calls for canned, full-fat coconut milk, which has a consistency of heavy dairy cream. Milk alternatives from a carton are very thin compared to this. You can add more chocolate to help firm it up, but it will be a different recipe at that point, so I can’t totally advise. Sorry!

  15. TashaDecember 18, 2012 at 8:25 pmReply

    Super easy, yummy, fits my daughters needs perfectly- I made the peppermint version. Used full fat from the can of coconut milk & it’s pretty thick- will try mixing the coconut milk up instead of using the naturally separated fat & see if its a little smoother… Still, good stuff : )

  16. NoelleDecember 20, 2012 at 8:49 amReply

    Just curious if I can use natural cocoa powder versus Dutch processed? We are having a terrible blizzard and I can’t get to the store!

  17. TashaDecember 20, 2012 at 10:05 pmReply

    Update- made the ginger… Wow!! My kids devoured it!!

  18. SkippyDecember 21, 2012 at 10:12 amReply

    Hello–does this have a noticeable coconut flavor? I’m wondering if I can slip it by people who usually turn down coconut desserts. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Alisa FlemingDecember 22, 2012 at 7:14 amReplyAuthor

      I haven’t had anyone comment on a coconut flavor – it’s just good fudge!

    • Jonathan PeeleSeptember 14, 2014 at 11:29 amReply

      The coconut flavor is subtle if even noticeable. My family does not notice.

  19. ShaunaDecember 22, 2012 at 12:46 pmReply

    Was wondering if it would mess up the recipe if I substituted the vegan margarine with butter? We are not vegan but we are vegetarian. :) I really wanted to make a fudge my daughter could eat since my Grandmother’s recipe calls for marshmallow in the jar. Not only is it filled with chemicals but it has food coloring that my daughter is allergic too. Thanks for posting this recipe! I am excited to try it!

    • Alisa FlemingDecember 22, 2012 at 12:52 pmReplyAuthor

      Well, I probably shouldn’t be saying so on a dairy-free site, but yes, butter could be used :) Enjoy!

    • Jonathan PeeleSeptember 14, 2014 at 11:28 amReply

      I used butter once with great results. Be careful if you are allergic to casein and/or lactose though, as you may actually be reacting badly to the butter, even if you can’t tell at the time, as I unfortunately learned.

  20. ShaunaDecember 22, 2012 at 12:56 pmReply

    Thank you! :)

  21. ElizavetaDecember 22, 2012 at 7:07 pmReply

    Thanks so much for that print-or-PDF function on your website! Great to find recipes on line, but it’s often a hassle to save or print the recipe (and I’m just too messy to have a laptop or a pad in the kitchen!).

    Great recipe, by the way. We’re all done with baking for awhile, but are going to try this for a New Year treat

    • Alisa FlemingDecember 22, 2012 at 7:34 pmReplyAuthor

      So glad it’s helpful for you Elizaveta. Happy Holidays!

  22. JenDecember 23, 2012 at 12:55 pmReply

    Like Rachel, my chocolate (EL minis) didn’t melt either when I poured over the hot coconut milk mixture. It seemed like it cooled too fast; I kept stirring, but the chips stayed intact. I ended up putting my mixing bowl over pot of simmering water until the chocolate melted. I’m still waiting for it to cool, but it looks great!

  23. LizDecember 24, 2012 at 12:32 pmReply

    I love this recipe! Thank you so much for sharing it! I can finally make vegan fudge for my friends as holiday gifts =]

  24. WendyJanuary 6, 2013 at 6:39 amReply

    This recipe is fabulous. I measured out the confectioners sugar and the cocoa, then sifted them together. Everything melted perfectly. I made the peppermint version for Christmas. It was a huge hit. Someone said, “You made this? You should sell it, seriously!” :)

    • Alisa FlemingJanuary 6, 2013 at 7:13 amReplyAuthor

      That’s great! So glad everyone enjoyed it Wendy!

  25. JenniferFebruary 7, 2013 at 4:47 pmReply

    Just a little suggestion for anyone having anyone having trouble with the fudge setting. Could it be you used spread instead of margerine? They have a higher moisture content. This has been a problem for me in the past. I am a mom with a teenage daughter who is allergic all nuts, egg, and dairy.

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  27. LauraDecember 17, 2013 at 12:01 pmReply

    Yum! Thank you for the recipe. Coconut milk makes such creamy fudge. I did find that for me it was sweeter than necessary, so I made it a second time and only used 2 cups of powdered sugar instead of 3 1/2 and it actually turned out a little creamier this way (but still set) and still plenty sweet for my taste. I may try using bittersweet chocolate next time. I made the peppermint variety minus the candy canes because I found that it will keep longer this way (the candy canes start to get gooey after awhile).

    • Alisa FlemingDecember 18, 2013 at 4:33 pmReplyAuthor

      Thanks for sharing your version Laura. Great to know that it still sets up well with less sugar!

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  29. HeatherDecember 21, 2013 at 7:56 amReply

    For anyone at the mercy of their pantry, using trader joes reduced fat coconut milk plus a tablespoon of coconut oil worked for me.

  30. KimDecember 22, 2013 at 1:33 pmReply

    Ooohhh…my this is so good! I had tried another vegan fudge recipe at the beginning of the month – and it didn’t turn out. With hesitation – I decided to try this recipe. It is so long since I have had fudge. This rocks – and I can only hope there is still some left for Christmas. I can’t believe how fast and easy it was – I practically had tears! Thanks again Alisa – and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family!

    • Alisa FlemingDecember 22, 2013 at 4:44 pmReplyAuthor

      So glad you like it Kim! Luckily, it is easy, so you can make another batch for the holiday :) Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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  32. bridJanuary 29, 2014 at 11:39 pmReply

    Are you suppose to put it in the fridge and for how long?

    • Alisa FlemingFebruary 1, 2014 at 7:40 amReplyAuthor

      I prefer to keep it in the fridge. It never lasts past a few days in our house, so it’s hard to say! You can freeze leftovers for longer, if concerned.

    • Jonathan PeeleSeptember 14, 2014 at 11:24 amReply

      I left mine in the fridge for a week, and it tasted no different.

  33. GailMay 2, 2014 at 3:18 pmReply

    Do you think I could use peanut butter in place of the margarine in preparing the “Five Minute Coconut Fudge”?

    • Alisa FlemingMay 6, 2014 at 11:47 amReplyAuthor

      Hi Gail, it would leave it softer and would change the flavor. If you want a PB flavor, but also want the same firmness, I would use part peanut butter and part coconut oil.

    • kitOctober 4, 2014 at 11:33 pmReply

      You might want to try using PB2 in the dry mixture instead

  34. AshleyMay 21, 2014 at 10:30 pmReply

    I tried this, and I like it!! It just seems a little too sweet for me, and I had to use more coconut milk then required in the directions. It also seemed a little grainy, but that is probably because I made my own “powdered sugar” with a blender and cane sugar and cornstarch. Next time I might try melting the sugar into the milk! I really liked it though :D Where would you recommend buying dairy free chocolate chips from that aren’t ridiculously expensive? Or is there a way to make your own chocolate bars using cocoa?

    • Alisa FlemingMay 22, 2014 at 8:32 amReplyAuthor

      Ashley, you can make your own chocolate. But for store-bought do you need allergy-safe chocolate chips (are you dealing with a life-threatening milk allergy or extreme sensitivity) or are you okay with the possibility of trace amounts of dairy in the chocolate?

    • Jonathan PeeleSeptember 14, 2014 at 11:21 amReply

      In my experience, you are correct about the powdered sugar; I use confectioner sugar from Shoppers or Trader Joe’s powdered sugar, and the result is a very smooth fudge.

  35. Nana BJuly 27, 2014 at 2:22 pmReply

    I used what we had in the pantry – coconut manna (butter) and coco nibs instead of chips. Because the nips didn’t melt I added another 1/2 C regular (love that creme on top) coconut milk. Delicious!! Thank you, I have my contribution to the next bake sale.

    • Alisa FlemingJuly 27, 2014 at 2:39 pmReplyAuthor

      What a fun adaptation Nana – thanks for sharing!

  36. Jonathan PeeleSeptember 14, 2014 at 11:17 amReply

    I have made this fudge a few times now, though I need to use more milk or cream then required in the recipe; typically, I use 2/3 cup to 1 cup instead of 1/2 cup. I have also used less sugar, no extract, unsweeted chocolate instead of semi-sweet chocolate, natural cocoa powder instead of dutch cocoa powder, and coconut cream instead of coconut milk all with good results. I can’t tell the difference between this fudge and regular chocolate fudge. I am allergic to dairy, eggs, wheat, and soy, so this fudge is a gift from Heaven.

    Do you have a recipe for plain fudge? I tried using a basic recipe of condensed milk, butter, and sugar, but with coconut cream and coconut oil instead of condensed milk and butter. The end results were both decisively not fudgey, but I am admittedly a complete newbie to this type of activity.

    • Alisa FlemingSeptember 14, 2014 at 4:32 pmReplyAuthor

      Hi Jonathan, what are you seeking in terms of a “plain” fudge? Is there a particular recipe that you are trying to convert?

      • Jonathan PeeleSeptember 15, 2014 at 1:40 pmReply

        I mean a fudge not made with chocolate, like vanilla fudge. I tried some recipes which basically just called for sugar, milk, butter, salt, and vanilla extract which I omitted.

  37. Andree Robinson-NealNovember 23, 2014 at 7:39 pmReply

    Would love a vanilla version!

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