I know we’re all in Thanksgiving mode right now, but can we pause to chat about GINGERBREAD swirl fudge for a sec?? Will you just look at this stuff? It’s screaming for attention as it shows off its swirly layers of creamy white chocolate and caramel-y gingerbread spice. Sticking to your fingers and melting on your tongue. Festive as your ugly Christmas sweater with oodles of cinnamon and ginger and molasses.
Alright, FUDGE, we get it. You’re pretty freakin’ irresistible. No need to brag or anything.
While it looks super fancy-pantsy, this fudge is as easy and quick as an unwrapping a candy bar. Okkkkk so there’s a few extra steps, but nothing you can’t handle in the hustle of the holiday season. Because if there’s anything we need in the next few weeks, it’s a super fast + equally impressive treat to make at the last minute. (And a truckload of coffee and wine to help us get through– but that’s a whole other story.)
There are a million types of fudge, but it all comes down to 2: (1) the old-fashioned classic variety requiring a candy thermometer + plenty of stirring and (2) the shortcut version. Both have their pros and cons.
I looooove a square of traditional fudge. You can truly taste the effort put into it. (A few of my favorite traditional fudge recipes live in Sally’s Candy Addiction if you have a copy!) But sometimes we don’t have the time or, most likely, the patience!! Delicious: omg yes. Convenient: not always.
And then there’s the shortcut version of fudge, relying on chocolate chips and a can of sweetened condensed or evaporated milk. It’s cheating, yes. But that’s ok right now. Our lives could use a little crutch! Not quite as luxurious as from-scratch fudge, but there’s no special equipment required. Delicious: oh yes. Convenient: always.
The white layer is made from 3 ingredients:
- white chocolate morsels
- sweetened condensed milk
- vanilla extract
The gingerbread layer is made from the white layer, plus:
- a few more white chocolate morsels
You’ll stir the white layer’s ingredients together on the stove, then divide it in half.
Leave half plain (white) and stir the gingerbread ingredients into the other half.
We have our two layers: the white fudge and the gingerbread fudge. Now let’s swirl them together in a pan. The swirled pattern is very simple, but there’s one VERY important note.
The gingerbread layer is soft. Well, it’s all incredibly soft– but the gingerbread layer is suuuuuper soft because we added liquid (molasses) to it. It’s almost like a chewy and gooey caramel. (White vanilla fudge and gingerbread caramel. Omg this stuff is UNREAL.) You’ll add a few more white chips to help it firm up, but it’s still going to be soft. Since it’s so soft and chewy, it doesn’t make for the ideal base of the fudge. You don’t want the bottom of the fudge to stick to everything, especially the lined pan. So make sure you have a layer of white fudge at the bottom.
**The white fudge MUST be the base.**
Then pour some gingerbread fudge on top, followed by more white fudge, more gingerbread fudge, etc etc until everything’s in the pan. Then take a toothpick and swirl it all together. Doesn’t have to be perfect. The beauty is in the randomness.
Aaaaand you’re done. Just wait for the fudge to set up in the fridge (ughhhhh. but it’s so worth it!) then cut into squares to reveal the gorgeous swirl-y layers. The sweetened condensed milk gives the fudge a smooth texture, which eliminates the need for the long period of beating required by more traditional fudge recipes. It’s foolproof. And just look at this stuff. So soft! So creamy!
FUDGE, you’re showing off again.
Gingerbread Swirl Fudge
- 14 ounce (396g) can full-fat sweetened condensed milk*
- 3 and 1/4 cups (585g) white chocolate chips, divided
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 Tablespoons unsulphured or dark molasses
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- Line an 8-inch square baking pan* with aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving enough overhang on the sides to easily remove the fudge once it has set. Set aside. Have 2 pans/pots ready: a medium saucepan and a small saucepan.
- Combine condensed milk and 3 cups (540g) of white chocolate chips in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until the chocolate chips are melted. Once the mixture is smooth, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Transfer half of the mixture to a smaller saucepan over medium heat. (Leave the other half aside.) Stir in the 1/4 cup (45g) of white chocolate chips and the remaining ingredients over medium heat until smooth.
- Now you have half plain white fudge and half gingerbread fudge. Spread a thin layer of white fudge into the bottom of the lined baking pan. (If the white fudge has thickened too much, gently re-heat it over the stove for a few seconds. It's important that white fudge is the base of the fudge!) Pour some gingerbread fudge on top, followed by more white fudge, more gingerbread fudge, etc until everything is used up. Using a toothpick, gently swirl the two fudges together.
- Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for 5 hours or overnight until completely set. Once set, remove the fudge from the baking pan by lifting out the aluminum foil or parchment paper. Peel away foil and cut into 1-inch squares.
- Fudge stays fresh covered at room temperature for 1 week or in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks. I always stack it in a Tupperware between layers of parchment paper.
Make-ahead tip: Fudge is a wonderful recipe to make ahead of time! It's great in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks or you can freeze it. To freeze, double wrap the entire batch of fudge (the whole block) in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
*NOT evaporated milk. You'll need 1 standard can of sweetened condensed milk.
*A 9-inch baking pan is too large, make sure it's an 8-inch pan.
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More easy fudge recipes you’ll love:
- Candy cane swirl fudge
- Andes mint chocolate chip fudge
- Peanut butter fudge
- Funfetti Golden Oreo fudge
- Chocolate chip cookie dough fudge
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