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Smooth, rich, and creamy homemade vegan fudge you can make without a candy thermometer!
Want to make the most delicious vegan fudge…but don’t have a candy thermometer? I’ve got your back with the perfect recipe for this decadent treat.
We are making this dessert with vegan sweetened condensed milk. If you cannot find a storebought version, don’t worry, the recipe card includes instructions for making homemade sweetened condensed coconut milk.
Because this recipe is made differently than traditional fudge, it becomes very soft at room temperature and should be kept in the freezer. When frozen, it is still creamy and easy to bite.
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To make this easy vegan fudge recipe, you just need 5 ingredients.
- Coconut milk: Full-fat canned coconut milk is necessary for this recipe. Low-fat and carton versions will not work.
- Sugar: You’ll simmer the sugar and coconut milk together to make sweetened condensed coconut milk. Make sure it’s vegan or use organic sugar.
- Vegan butter: My favorite vegan butter is Earth Balance.
- Vanilla extract: 100% pure vanilla extract is best! I find that vanilla helps round out the flavor in chocolate recipes.
- Vegan chocolate chips: Make sure to read the label and look out for dairy. Enjoy Life is a vegan chocolate chip brand, and Simple Truth also has an allergy-friendly line that is dairy-free.
How to Make Vegan Fudge
To make the sweetened condensed coconut milk, simmer it with sugar until it has reduced by half. I simply make a visual note of how much is in the pan to start with. When reduced, the consistency will be thick and the color will be darker. See the step-by-step collage below for reference.
Then, remove from the heat and mix in the remaining ingredients until smooth (vegan butter, chocolate chips, and vanilla.)
Pour the fudge mixture into a parchment-lined 8×8 pan and pop in the fridge for at least 3 hours, or until hardened. Remove, cut, and store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Substitutions and Variations
- Add-ins: Love walnuts in your fudge? Me too! You can add 1 cup of chopped nuts after melting in the chocolate chips. Another great option, especially for the holidays, is adding in crushed candy canes.
- Extracts: Easily flavor your fudge by using extracts like peppermint, orange, coconut, coffee, etc. I recommend adding a 1/8 teaspoon at a time until the flavor reaches your preference. A little can go a long way.
- Vegan butter substitute: Use an equal amount of coconut oil.
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Foolproof Vegan Fudge
- Prepare an 8×8 square pan by greasing it or lining with parchment paper.
- First, we need to make the sweetened condensed coconut milk. In a pot on medium heat, bring the coconut milk and the sugar to a boil. Keep a close eye on it so it doesn't boil over.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 40-45 minutes (until liquid is reduced by about half.) Whisk every 5 minutes or so.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the vegan butter and vanilla extract. Then, stir in the chocolate chips until melted.
- Pour into the pan. Let set in the freezer for at least 3 hours, or until hardened.
- Cut into squares. Store in an airtight container in the freezer.
- Optional: Add 1 cup of chopped nuts
- The coconut milk will be used to make about 14-16 ounces of vegan sweetened condensed milk. There are storebought versions available, like Nature’s Charm, that I have found on Amazon and at Whole Foods. If you get storebought, heat it until it just begins to simmer, remove from the heat, and proceed with stirring in the remaining ingredients.
- This fudge will get really soft at room temperature. Storing it in the freezer will allow the fudge to stay solid enough to hold onto but soft enough to bite into.
- I recommend storing in the freezer for up to 1 month – it will still be good after this time period, but I have found it gets “freezer burnt” easily.