Is it possible to make vegan chocolate fudge?

22 Feb 2023

Chocolate Knowledge Food + Drink

Get smart with your substitutions, and no one needs to miss out on decadent chocolate fudge

Both sweet and buttery with its melt-in-the-mouth texture, there’s just something about fudge. And in the continuous battle for the most popular flavour, the devilishly moreish chocolate fudge just keeps rising to the top. We adore chocolate fudge — as a nibble and as a topping for cakes, bakes, and more. But what about vegan chocolate fudge? Is it possible to make this rich and creamy treat without milk?

With such a dairy-heavy recipe, it may seem an impossible feat. But if the exponential rise in vegan baking has taught us anything, it’s that there’s no such thing as impossible. Listen carefully, and we’ll share our secrets.

Sweet shop counter including vanilla fudge

What makes chocolate fudge unsuitable for vegans?

Chocolate fudge is typically suitable for lacto-ovo vegetarians. However, it usually includes several prominent dairy ingredients: sweetened condensed milk, butter, and, in most cases, milk chocolate. That’s enough to sound many an alarm bell for anyone avoiding dairy, with most of the primary ingredients instantly ruled out. Some substitutions will certainly be in order.

Ingredient swaps: how to make chocolate fudge vegan

If you already have a traditional fudge recipe you want to adapt, there are a couple of simple substitutions you can stick to.


Coconut oil is a fantastic substitution for butter in all kinds of vegan recipes — and chocolate fudge is no exception. The natural saturated fats help bakes stay moist and you can enjoy a subtle coconut flavour. It’s very straightforward to make the switch — it’s a 1:1 swap, so you don’t need to carry out any complicated calculations and measurements.

Condensed milk

There are a couple of options when substituting condensed milk. You can try soy milk. However, a can of full-fat coconut milk usually yields the best results. Bear in mind that you’ll want to add a small amount of powdered sugar to get a similar sweetness to condensed milk.


Another swap to be aware of is your chocolate. You might like to experiment with a few different types of vegan chocolate to see which creates the most satisfying flavour for your tastes. From mellow 45% Nutmilk Batons to the nuanced depths of our 90% Dark Chocolate Slab, our vegan* chocolate range is sure to hit the spot.

Our favourite vegan chocolate fudge recipes

Want a foolproof vegan recipe with all the quantities, substitutions and methods laid out? Here are a few that are Hotel Chocolat-approved:

This Wholefully recipe focuses on creating a fully-rounded chocolate flavour, with the help of a little vanilla extract and salt.

We find that recipes using real vegan chocolate — as opposed to cacao powder — have the edge for us. For example, this one from Minimalist Baker. It only requires three ingredients, so you could probably whip it up with whatever you have in the cupboard right now.

Pick Up Limes also has a wonderful recipe using vegan chocolate. It’ll also teach you how to make your own vegan condensed milk with just coconut milk and granulated sugar.

Top tips for smooth, irresistible vegan fudge

Whichever recipe you choose, we have four key steps to success:

Low and slow

As with any chocolate recipe, it’s important to melt your chocolate gently and gradually. Too high, and the chocolate can become scorched, resulting in an unpleasant flavour. You may also find that it seizes. Don’t worry though; we have some advice on rectifying seized chocolate.

Stir, stir, stir

It’s all in the texture. You want the ingredients to be perfectly combined without any clumps at all. Don’t cut corners — keep stirring until it’s silky smooth.

A helping hand mixer

Stirring without a mixer is certainly doable, but if you’re struggling or short of time, feel free to recruit a little help. You may find it quicker and easier to use a hand mixer.

Use a thermometer

Thermometers are an invaluable piece of equipment when it comes to confectionery and chocolate. When making your vegan chocolate fudge, keeping an eye on the temperature will help you get the best texture possible — it’s all about the sugar crystallisation.

Melting chocolate on the hob

How to present your vegan chocolate fudge as a gift

The best way to make fudge is to create a big batch. Once it’s cooled and set, you can slice it as you wish — this might be in cubes, bars, or slabs (depending on your appetite).

Keeping it fresh

To keep your vegan chocolate fudge soft and fresh for a couple of weeks, you’ll want to store it in an airtight container. This doesn’t sound the most glamorous but trust us, you can still make it look pretty.

A cake box

Our favourite way to gift wrap fudge is in a cardboard cake box. There are lots of different colours and varieties available online, but the simplicity of plain cardboard can be a nice look with a little added pizzazz.

Layer the bottom of the box with some waxed paper to cushion the fudge and stop it from sticking. Then carefully place the chunks of fudge on top. If you need to add a second layer, add another sheet of waxed paper beforehand.

Then seal the box with a ribbon of your choice. Tie it neatly in a bow as you would with other gifts. You could even add a gift tag or customise your box further should inspiration strike!

A mason jar

Another option is to display your fudge in air-tight mason jars. This can be a great option if you’re gifting small volumes of vegan chocolate fudge — for example, as wedding favours. Place a few cubes in a mini glass jar and top with a ribbon for a simple yet effective rustic treat.

Start with high-cacao chocolate from Hotel Chocolat

If you’re half as serious about chocolate as we are, you’ll want a mouthwatering depth of flavour rather than a mere hint of chocolate.

In most recipes, you’ll be adding some kind of sugar or sweetener, so you won’t want to use overly-sweet chocolate as well.

That’s where Hotel Chocolat’s More Cacao, Less Sugar mantra comes into play. With our chocolate, you know that cacao is always king. Our products are a celebration of the cacao bean’s natural properties, which only lose their impact when overly supplemented with sugar. It tastes better, and it’s better for baking, too.

As for the right products to use? We’d recommend our 45% Nutmilk Chocolate Batons for an incredibly creamy vegan substitute. Alternatively, to venture deeper into the dark side, try our 70% Dark Chocolate Batons. They melt beautifully.

Please note the following:

*We believe our dark and Nutmilk chocolate is suitable for vegans. However, as it is made in the same environment as our milk chocolate, we cannot guarantee it is free from milk.