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Chocolate Cherry Fudge

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Prep Time: 20 mins    Cook Time: 2 mins

5 from 7 votes

Chocolate cherry fudge tastes every bit as sweet and delicious as it sounds. It tastes like chocolate-covered cherries but much richer. Have you ever made fudge before? It’s quite fun actually!

A slice of chocolate cherry fudge up close.
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With only four ingredients (and one of them is even optional) this chocolate cherry fudge couldn’t be simpler to make. You don’t need anything complicated like candy thermometers. You only need the ingredients, a saucepan, and a round pan.

Homemade fudge makes a wonderful gift and it’s also a nice snack. It’s very rich so one square might be enough, but it’s also incredibly tasty so maybe you won’t be able to resist a second!

When I'm looking for an easy dessert recipe to bring to a dinner party or if I'm expecting company, oftentimes I will also make Snickers fudge or banana fudge.

Main Ingredients

The ingredients to make chocolate cherry fudge laid out on a table.

Each of the ingredients in this recipe is a "main ingredient" since there are so few, which is part of what makes this chocolate cherry fudge recipe so simple!

  • Sweetened condensed milk: A wonderful shortcut for making fudge, this ingredient saves you from having to mix sugar, butter, and milk. In fact, if you wanted it plain without chocolate or cherries, this is the only ingredient you would need!
  • Canned cherries: Canned, maraschino, or glace cherries (call them whichever you prefer) add a sweet and fruity flavor. Would another berry work? Yes, definitely! Try dried cranberries or blueberries instead.
  • Semisweet chocolate chips: These add just the right amount of chocolate flavor. For a less sweet taste, you could use unsweetened or bittersweet dark chocolate chips instead. I bet white chocolate chips would also be good.
  • Almond extract: This is totally optional so don’t worry if you don’t have any. I do love a hint of almond with cherry desserts though; they pair so well. If you prefer a splash of vanilla instead of almond that would definitely work too.

Instructions Overview

Is it your first time making fudge? Don’t be nervous because this chocolate cherry fudge really is easy, and with this particular recipe there isn’t much that can go wrong. It’s mostly a question of heating the milk and mixing the ingredients together.

First, you need to line a pan with parchment paper and then you can heat the sweetened condensed milk on the stove. Pour this hot milk over the chocolate and let it sit for a bit while you halve the cherries and toss them with the almond extract (if using).

Next, pour half the fudge mixture into the prepared pan and top it with some cherries. Press them down and spread more sweetened condensed milk on top so you don’t have any pockets of air between the layers. Add the rest of the milk mixture and the rest of the cherries and then refrigerate the fudge for at least half an hour. Serve just as it is or drizzled with more milk if you like.

An overhead shot of four fudge wedges.

Common Questions

What chocolate goes best with cherries?

Dark chocolate goes well with sweet fruit since the contrast is quite bold. Think of dark chocolate covered strawberries for example. White chocolate is better for tart fruit since its sweetness contrasts with the tart fruit flavor.

However, milk chocolate falls in the middle and suits pretty much any fruit. I tend to make my chocolate cherry fudge using semisweet chocolate chips but go ahead and experiment with your favorite or even use more than one kind!

Can I use a square pan instead of round?

You absolutely can. Instead of using a 6-inch round pan for this fudge recipe you can use a 5-inch square one.

How many different types of cherries are there?

There are more than 1,000 types of cherries ranging from very sour to super-sweet! Canned cherries tend to be sweet, making them a delicious ingredient to add to homemade fudge.

How long do canned cherries last after opening?

If you don't use the whole can in this fudge recipe, transfer any leftovers into a covered plastic or glass container and refrigerate. Use them up within 6 days. An unopened can will keep somewhere dark and cool for years.

How far ahead can I make fudge?

It keeps for a month as long as it’s stored correctly, so make it ahead if you like. Be warned, it’s too delicious to last a whole month. It wouldn’t last a week in my house!

How should I store homemade fudge?

Keep it in an airtight container at room temperate. Choose a container with a tight lid, not a Ziploc baggie. Never store fudge in the refrigerator after you let it set, which can dry it out.

Can I freeze it?

You shouldn’t need to, since it keeps for so many weeks at room temperature. If you want to though, that’s fine. It will keep for up to three months in the freezer in an airtight container.

How do I thaw frozen fudge?

Leave it out on a plate and it will thaw in a few hours. The longer you leave it the less sticky the outside of the fudge will be. I did discover recently it tastes pretty good straight from the freezer as well!

What should I serve with chocolate cherry fudge?

This is such a sweet, rich recipe that you’ll want to enjoy it with something lighter tasting such as a glass of iced tea or a cup of coffee. Another idea is to cut it into small pieces and use it as a topping for an ice cream sundae or sprinkle it over whipped cream on hot chocolate.

The entire dish of fudge cut into 8 wedges.

Chopnotch Tips

  • Don’t swap the sweetened condensed milk for anything else. Evaporated milk is not the same and nor is heavy cream or another dairy product. You can find it at any grocery store. Keep some in the pantry and you can make this recipe anytime you want.
  • Use a heavy pot. Anything too thin or which doesn’t distribute heat well can cause some of the milk to stick.
  • In a rush? You can heat the sweetened condensed milk in the microwave for a minute, then stir it and leave it for a minute, then proceed with the recipe. It might need another 30 seconds to become hot enough (just before reaching a boil) depending on your microwave.
An overhead shot of several pieces of fudge with a bowl of chocolate chips next to it.

Few desserts are as rich and gooey as homemade chocolate cherry fudge. With this recipe, you only need a few ingredients for the perfect fudge. I hope you love it!

Let us know what you think! Give this recipe a rating in the comments section below.

Recipe

How to Make

Chocolate Cherry Fudge

With a fudge recipe this easy to make, everyone with a sweet tooth should make it at least once! It’s rich, gooey and perfect.
SCALE THIS RECIPE
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 2 mins
Chilling Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 52 mins
Servings: 8 slices

Ingredients

  • 7 ounces sweetened condensed milk, plus some extra for the drizzle
  • cup canned cherries, chopped
  • 9 ounces chocolate chips, semi-sweet
  • teaspoon almond extract, optional
💡TIP: Save it on Pinterest so you can always come back when you need to! 👇

Instructions

  • Take a 6-inch round pan and line with parchment paper.
  • Heat the condensed milk in the small saucepan over low heat. Keep stirring until small bubbles appear on the edges of the pan without boiling the milk.
  • Pour the chocolate chips into a small bowl and then pour the condensed milk over them. Let them sit for 1 minute and then stir gently and let them sit again for additional 1 -2 minutes.
  • At the same time, cut the cherries in half. Toss the sliced cherries with the almond extract and place them in a small bowl.
  • The fudge mixture should be completely melted and combined at this point.
  • Take the parchment-lined pan and pour half of the fudge mixture into it and press ⅓ of cherries on the top of the fudge. Then spread 2 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk on the top of the cherries.
  • Pour the remaining fudge on the top of the cherries and smooth the top with the help of a spatula. Put the layer of the remaining cherries on the top.
  • Now let the fudge set in the fridge for 30 minutes or longer.
  • Drizzle a couple of tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk on top of the set fudge before serving.
  • Slice the fudge into 8 wedges and serve!
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Notes

  • Don’t swap the sweetened condensed milk for anything else. Evaporated milk is not the same and nor is heavy cream or another dairy product. You can find it at any grocery store. Keep some in the pantry and you can make this recipe anytime you want.
  • Use a heavy pot. Anything too thin or which doesn’t distribute heat well can cause some of the milk to stick.
  • In a rush? You can heat the sweetened condensed milk in the microwave for a minute, then stir it and leave it for a minute, then proceed with the recipe. It might need another 30 seconds to become hot enough (just before reaching a boil) depending on your microwave.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 83kcal (4%), Carbohydrates: 14g (5%), Protein: 2g (4%), Fat: 2g (3%), Saturated Fat: 1g (6%), Cholesterol: 8mg (3%), Sodium: 32mg (1%), Potassium: 105mg (3%), Fiber: 1g (4%), Sugar: 14g (16%), Vitamin A: 70IU (1%), Vitamin C: 1mg (1%), Calcium: 71mg (7%), Iron: 1mg (6%)
Print Recipe
course:
Dessert
cuisine:
American

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Comments & Ratings

  1. Do I add warm condensed milk or room temperature condensed milk to drizzle in between and on top?

    Reply
    • Hi Jess, room temperature is fine for both in-between and on top! I hope you love it!

      Reply
  2. Is the cherries for this recipe the kind you use for cherry pie or maraschino ?

    Reply
    • Hello Robyn, I used maraschino but you can use whichever you prefer!

      Reply
      • Thank you it looks so tasty

  3. You say never put fudge in the refrigerator and then you say let it set in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes make up your mind

    Reply
    • Hello GeorgiaAnn, it needs to go in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to set when you initially make it. What I meant was that you shouldn't store it in the refrigerator thereafter. I'm sorry it sounded like conflicting information, and I have updated that reference to make it more clear. Thank you for the feedback!

      Reply