Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Fudge has a tangy, almost caramelized taste and a creamy, melting texture. The buttermilk keeps it from being too sweet, and the long cooking time caramelizes the sugar and milk solids so that the fudge has a deep, rich flavor. Some old-fashioned fudges are crumbly, but this particular recipe is the exact opposite—it almost melts in your mouth, like a soft praline.
Old-fashioned fudge can be difficult to get right, but when you do, it's so good! Learn how to make old-fashioned fudge with this photo tutorial.
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 oz. (4 Tbsp) butter
- 1 Tbsp corn syrup
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped, toasted nuts (walnuts or pecans recommended)
1. Prepare an 8x8 pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Place the buttermilk, butter, corn syrup, sugar, salt, and baking soda in a large pan over medium-high heat. This candy bubbles up a lot, so be sure to use a pan that will hold at least quadruple the volume of candy. Stir until the sugar and butter dissolve, then insert a candy thermometer.
3. Continue to cook the candy, stirring occasionally, until the thermometer reads 240 degrees F (115 C)—also known as soft-ball stage.
4. Once at 240 F, remove the pan from the heat and pour the vanilla extract on top, but do not stir. Allow the candy to cool for 10-15 minutes, until it reaches approximately 150 F on the candy thermometer.
5. Remove the thermometer from the candy and add the chopped, toasted nuts. Use a wooden spoon to stir the candy until it thickens. This is called "beating" the fudge and it gives the fudge the right texture and body. As you stir it, the fudge will go from a thin, shiny, translucent mixture to a candy that is opaque, thicker, and matte in color. It will become more difficult to stir, and your spoon will start leaving tracks that are not covered up.
6. Once the fudge is thick and opaque, scrape it into the prepared pan and quickly smooth it into an even layer. If you wait too long during these steps, it may start to stiffen and become hard to work with. If this happens, quickly stir in a spoonful of very hot water, and stir until the fudge loosens up, then scrape it into the pan.
7. Allow the fudge to set at room temperature for about 2 hours. Once set, remove it from the pan using the foil as handles, and cut it into small squares to serve. Store Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Fudge in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.