This Easy Kahlua Fudge is a life-saving game-changer during the busy holidays! Only a few easy ingredients and simple steps create a buttery, soft, decadent fudge flavored with rich Kahlua and creamy white chocolate. Toasted pecans send it over the top!
Welcome to the start of Homemade Candy Week! (Although in my life, every week is homemade candy week).
I decided to dedicate this week to homemade candies because this is the time of year when people go gaga over homemade candies. Or at least I do! Cookies are good and all – and very traditional for Christmas – but I happen to love seasonal faves like rich fudge, snappy peanut brittle, and lots of unique twists on classic favorites.
For the holidays, I love making homemade candy because it’s something not everyone does since cookies are pretty standard. A lot of people have the misconception that making candy from scratch is difficult or only for experienced bakers, but that is not the case at all! I’ve made sure this entire week’s worth of candy recipes are simple, easy to understand, and perfect for novice or more advanced home cooks.
And we’re kicking it off with probably the easiest candy there is to make: FUDGE!
Fudge kinda only has a limited time to shine throughout the year, and these last couple months are its glory days. You just don’t see a lot of people making fudge in the summertime – or at least, I don’t since I live in hell on Earth (also known as Sacramento, California). Fudge just doesn’t have the same appeal or practicality as it does in the fall and winter months.
This recipe is very straightforward and simple to follow, I promise! And the flavor pay-off is outstanding. Who doesn’t love booze in their desserts?
I chose Kahlua for this recipe because Kahlua is a very seasonal flavor in my eyes. I think it works best with wintry flavors like peppermint, eggnog, and gingerbread, and especially in desserts since it is already so rich, intoxicating and decadent. Of course, if Kahlua ain’t your thing, this would be excellent with Bailey’s! Or if you wanted to try something a little more festive, try using one of the seasonal Kahlua flavors, like the mint mocha one (yum!). However, if you don’t imbibe, I would skip this recipe altogether because the Kahlua is the shining moment for this particular fudge recipe.
I have a few tips to ensure this recipe works perfectly for you!
- Yes, you read it correctly: this calls for 24 OUNCES of chopped white chocolate. That’s 6 (six) 4-ounce bars. I HIGHLY suggest you use white chocolate baking bars, such as Baker’s brand or Ghirardelli for the most successful outcome. Chocolate chips, particularly white chocolate chips, are so finicky and are extremely prone to scorching. Once you scorch chocolate, it seizes and becomes unusable. (Talk about a waste!). Baking chocolate melts at a higher temperature and is creamier and more consistent, so stick with that.
- I love the complex, nutty flavor toasted pecans give this fudge. It pairs beautifully with that rich Kahlua. To toast the pecans, simply add them to a dry skillet over medium heat and stir around once in awhile for about 5-8 minutes or until fragrant. This simple trick really elevates their buttery flavor and lends the fudge such a lovely taste!
- If you’ve tried some fudge recipes before, you know it can be tricky once it is setting up. Putting it straight into the fridge can make it brittle and crumbly, which is a no bueno for creamy, chewy fudge. My tip is to let the fudge sit out uncovered at room temperature for at least 12, up to 24 hours. This allows it to set and firm up perfectly. About an hour before you plan to serve it, pop it in the fridge briefly to finish setting up. This will make it easier to cut and will give it the perfect creamy texture we’re looking for. Patience is key here!
Creamy white chocolate, decadent Kahlua, and crunchy toasted pecans. This fudge has it all!
*adapted from Taste of Home
Easy Kahlua Fudge
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 24 ounces (six 4-ounce packages) white baking chocolate bars, roughly chopped
- 14 ounces (One 14-ounce can) sweetened condensed milk
- 1/3 cup Kahlua liquor
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans toasted
- Line a 9" square pan with foil, extending the sides of the foil over the edges of the pan. Grease the foil with cooking spray; set aside.
- In a large heavy-bottom saucepan, melt the butter and chopped white chocolate bars over low heat, stirring constantly to prevent scorching, until melted and smooth. Stir in the condensed milk until combined. Remove from heat and stir in the Kahlua, vanilla extract, and pecans until well blended.
- Pour into the prepared pan and spread out the top. Let sit for 12-24 hours at room temperature, then briefly refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until firm. This ensures the fudge maintains the perfect texture! After it is done refrigerating to chill and set, it is fine to be left out at room temperature.
I know everyone on your holiday gifting list will flip for this creamy, soft, and divine fudge recipe!
Have a super sweet day!
This is great, thank you!! It is actually warm enough to run down to the ABC to pick up some Kahlua and other baking essentials so on my way to do that now! I am with you on candy…everyone does cookies, so candy is going to be a fun twist for me this year. Love that you are doing an entire week of it! 🙂
I made this yesterday and it is soooo good! All of my pecans wound up in the top fourth of the fudge instead of throughout. It might be because I used chopped pecans instead of bigger pieces. Flavor and consistency were spot on.
Elizabeth, I’m so glad you enjoyed the fudge!
Joy Shields says
I just made this today. Easy peasy to make. The hard part is going to be waiting until tomorrow to try it out. So glad I found this!!!!
Marina Hatton says
I’d like to try this..Can you use white chocolate chips instead?
Hi Marina! You certainly could, but here’s why I suggest baking chocolate bars: white chocolate chips are highly prone to seizing when heated and once they have seized there are unusable. Baking chocolate has a slightly higher melting point so they’re less likely to seize. However, you CAN use white chocolate chips – just melt them slower until smooth. I do not know a conversion for how many white chocolate chips, but since you need 6 (4-ounce) bars of white chocolate, maybe use a scale to measure out 24 ounces of white chocolate chips. Hope this helps!
What temperature do you allow this to get to? 238 degrees?
I’m used to the old soft ball method of dripping some if the distress into a glass of ice cold water and gathering it up.
I now use infra red thermometers
Hi Charles, this recipe actually doesn’t require a thermometer but instead boils for the specified time. Therefore, I am not sure what temperature it reaches to.