Easy Turtle Fudge

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This Turtle Fudge is totally delicious and super easy. We combine rich chocolate fudge, pecans, and creamy caramel to make the best fudge recipe you’ve ever had! Perfect for holiday gifts or any time of year.

The Very Best Turtle Fudge Recipe

I have always loved the classic turtle flavors of chocolate, caramel, and nuts. So when it came time to make the perfect Christmas sweets recipe, I knew it had to revolve around them.

This Turtle Fudge layers rich chocolate, pecans, and creamy caramel to create a rich, decadent bite. It’s just about perfect!

This fudge is delicious and best served at room temperature. The caramel layer can get a touch soft after a while, so I recommend you store it in the fridge. But when it comes time to eat, room temperature allows the caramel flavor to come through WAY better. When the fudge is cold, you don’t taste it as much.

A platter with stacked pieces of turtle fudge

Turtle Fudge Makes a Great Holiday Gift!

While cookies are fun at Christmas, fudge is an excellent gift idea too. It’s easily transportable, easy to make and lasts really well. Plus, it has an indulgent, special feel and is a little more unique to the holidays.

I love giving fudge as gifts to friends and family (they also make great teacher gifts). This time of year, you can often find me making a few different kinds to customize boxes of Christmas sweets for the people I love the most. You can even give them a box with different kinds of fudge, like this classic fudge recipe or this cranberry white chocolate fudge.

Turtle fudge ingredients

What You’ll Need

A great dessert doesn’t need a lot of ingredients to deliver a big flavor. The classic combination of chocolate, nuts, and caramel makes this one of the best fudge recipes I’ve ever made. Scroll down to the recipe card for the amounts of each ingredient.

  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate – I don’t recommend another type, like milk chocolate. Milk chocolate has fewer milk solids in it and won’t firm up as much.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk – NOT evaporated milk
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Salt
  • Chopped Pecans – If you have a little extra time, toasting these would add great flavor!
  • Kraft Caramels – These are what I use, and I’ll be the first to say that I haven’t tried other brands because they’re so perfect. Other brands may be more or less firm and therefore change the texture of the caramel layer.
  • Heavy Cream – Adjusting this will change the caramel layer. I like using just one tablespoon so that the caramel is firm enough to stay in place but not ooze out like crazy. That said, if the fudge is stored at room temperature, it will start to seep out just a touch. 

How to Make Classic Turtle Fudge

Ready in just 20 minutes, this no-bake dessert will become your new holiday favorite. Classic ingredients and big flavors in a small, bite-sized package.

  • Prepare the Pan. Line a 9×9 square pan with parchment paper that comes up the sides of the pan.
  • Melt the Chocolate and Sweetened Condensed Milk. Place the semi-sweet chocolate and sweetened condensed milk into a large bowl. Microwave it for one minute and stir the mixture to fully melt the chocolate. If the chocolate isn’t completely melted yet, go ahead and put it back into the microwave for another 30 seconds. Stir again until the chocolate is completely smooth.
A bowl of melted chocolate
  • Add the Vanilla, Salt, and Pecans. Stir the vanilla extract, salt, and pecans into the chocolate mixture. Then, quickly pour half the mixture into the lined pan and spread evenly.
Adding the nuts to the melted chocolate
  • Melt the Caramels. Place the caramels and heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30-second intervals. Pause in between each to give the mixture a stir. You’re done once the caramels are completely melted and the mixture is smooth.
  • Pour the Rest of the Fudge Layers. Pour the caramel mixture over the chocolate layer and spread it evenly. Then, pour the remaining fudge mixture over the caramel layer in spoonfuls. Use an offset spatula to spread it smoothly, taking care to not combine the layers. Press some additional chopped pecans into the top of the fudge.
  • Chill. Refrigerate the fudge until it’s firm. This will take between 2 and 3 hours.
Adding chopped pecans to the top layer of turtle fudge
  • Cut. Cut the fudge while it’s still cold, and store it in an air-tight container. Fudge can be stored at room temperature or in the fridge. Keep in mind the longer this fudge sits at room temperature, the more likely the caramel will seep out just a touch.
A stack of 4 pieces of turle fudge

Can I Use Different Kinds of Nuts?

If you’re not a fan of pecans you can also use an equal amount of chopped walnuts or almonds. I recommend gently toasting the walnuts on the stovetop by placing them in a small skillet over medium-low heat for about 4 minutes, stirring constantly. This really brings out their flavor in a lovely way. Let them cool, then use them the same way you would the pecans in this recipe.

How to Store Fudge

I recommend storing Turtle Fudge in the fridge to prevent the caramel layer from getting too soft. The fudge will stay fresh for 2-3 weeks if stored in an air-tight container, but I can almost guarantee it won’t last that long! To serve, set out a few pieces to come to room temperature – then enjoy!

Platter full of turtle fudge

Watch How to Make Turtle Fudge

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Read Transcript

More of Our Best Fudge Recipes

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A piece of turtle fudge with a big bite missing
Recipe

Turtle Fudge

  • Author: Lindsday
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Chill Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 16 pieces
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: chill
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Turtle Fudge is super delicious, super sweet, and super easy. We combine rich chocolate fudge, pecans, and creamy caramel to make the best fudge recipe you’ve ever had! Perfect for holiday gifts or any time of year.


Ingredients

  • 2 cups (12oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips (do not use milk chocolate)
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup (160g) chopped pecans, plus more for on top
  • 11 oz (about 35 candies) Kraft caramels, wrappers removed
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Line a 9×9 square pan with parchment paper that comes up the sides of the pan.
  2. Place the chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk in a large bowl and microwave for one minute. Stir well to combine and allow the heat to melt the chocolate chips. If needed, microwave for another 30 seconds or so, until the chocolate is completely smooth.
  3. Stir in the vanilla extract, salt and pecans, then quickly pour half the mixture into the lined pan and spread evenly.
  4. Combine caramels and heavy cream in a medium sized microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until completely melted and smooth.
  5. Pour the caramel mixture into the pan and spread evenly.
  6. Drop the remaining fudge mixture over the caramel layer in spoonfuls, then spread evenly. Press some additional chopped pecans into the top of the fudge.
  7. Refrigerate the fudge until firm, 2-3 hours.
  8. Cut the fudge while it’s still cold and firm and store in an air-tight container. Fudge can be stored at room temperature or the fridge. Keep in mind that the longer it sits at room temperature, the more likely the caramel is to seep out just a touch. The fudge does taste better at room temperature, as the caramel flavor comes through better. I recommend storing it in the fridge and serving it at room temperature.

Keywords: turtle fudge, best fudge recipe, fudge, chocolate fudge, Christmas sweets

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Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and a mom to twin boys and a baby girl! And I've got a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the treats!

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