Loaded with marshmallows and chopped walnuts, this chocolaty, easy homemade Rocky Road Fudge takes less than 10 minutes and always gets rave reviews!
If you enjoy sharing homemade edible gifts for the holidays, don't miss these other Christmas candy recipes! We love making Classic Southern Pecan Pralines and Easy Homemade Peppermint Bark as part of our Christmas baking tradition as well! Or to try my other fudge recipes, be sure to check out my Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge, Easy Chocolate Fudge, and Chocolate Walnut Fudge!
Last week I posted my husband's grandma's recipe for her best butter almond english toffee and this week I have another candy recipe to share, except this one is from my Grandpa Johnson and it is for his wonderful and easy homemade fudge. Unlike the toffee recipe I posted, this fudge doesn't need a candy thermometer (affiliate link) to turn out perfectly.
It's just a matter of combining a few simple ingredients in a heavy saucepan on the stove, then bringing them to a boil for 8-10 minutes, then stirring in a few additional things off the heat before pouring the warm fudge into a foil-lined & buttered dish so it can firm up in the fridge for a few hours.
When I was a girl, we often did Christmases at my mom's parents' house in Pocatello, Idaho. I love the memories of those Christmases, even including the sometimes harrowing winter driving across frozen roads in Nebraska and Wyoming that it took to get there. My aunt Judy always made sure we watched "White Christmas" (our favorite Christmas movie), and we always enjoyed the fun musical Christmas decorations that decorated Grandpa & Grandma's living room.
And there were always plenty of treats to eat.
My grandpa has a major sweet tooth (I must have inherited it from him along with our love of strawberry ice cream) and had a small cupboard in the hallway that was always stocked with assorted mixed nuts and hard candies (the old-fashioned ribbon variety).
And there was a special tupperware container in the kitchen on a bottom shelf that the grandkids could access that was always stocked with sugar wafers. But the best thing was when he would make a batch of his homemade fudge.
I took a couple of years off school during college to serve an 18-month mission for my church and was pretty homesick. Each year that I was away for Christmas, a package would always arrive from my aunts and grandparents and both times there was a batch of my grandpa's fudge, carefully wrapped in tinfoil and tucked into a spare shoebox for transportation.
My love language is service and the thought of my grandpa stirring that fudge, then packaging it up to send to me still makes my heart swell and tears threaten to spill because it showed me how much he loved me.
Grandpa turned 95 this year and there is a good chance that this will be his last Christmas. So this year, I'll be making a batch of fudge and shipping it to him.
When I saw him in November, he wasn't really able to communicate. But I know he can still appreciate some good, old fashioned fudge loaded with walnuts just the way he likes it. We can understand each other that way.
The only difference between a batch of chocolate walnut fudge and rocky road fudge are a couple extra cups of frozen miniature marshmallows that get stirred in right at the end. Freezing the marshmallows helps them keep their shape and not melt too much when they get stirred into the hot fudge.
Grandpa always left them out and just did chocolate walnut, which is the version I'm making for him. I just did a batch of rocky road when I was taking these pictures because that is what I typically give to friends along with toffee as neighbor gifts.
Or just leave out the nuts and marshmallows altogether if you like plain, bare bones chocolate fudge.
It's a really adaptable base and you could come up with other variations just by sprinkling things on top of the fudge right after pouring it in the pan, like mini pretzels or M&M's, or if you are making it at other times of the year you could do candy corn or heart shaped sprinkles, depending on the season.
Because fudge definitely should not be just a Christmas thing.
This easy homemade rocky road fudge is so rich and sweet and chocolaty that I always cut it into really small 1" squares. That makes me feel better about eating 6 of them in one go. Just sayin'.
Oh, and while the recipe makes a huge batch (a full 9x13" pan), it can easily be halved.
Or you can make two different types of fudge by using two square pans instead of one large one and just changing up your mix-ins by dividing your cooked fudge in half before stirring in nuts or candy or marshmallows or whatever.
Let's do this!
More Candy Recipes That Make Great Neighbor Gifts
- Grandma Nash's Best Butter Almond English Toffee
- Old-Fashioned Homemade Peanut Brittle
- Puppy Chow (aka Chex Mix Muddy Buddies)
- Old Fashioned Divinity Candy Recipe
- Southern Pecan Pralines
- Easy Homemade Cream Caramels
- Easy Homemade Peppermint Bark
- Peppermint Bark Caramel Corn
Did you make this recipe?
Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.
Easy Homemade Rocky Road Fudge
- 6 cups miniature marshmallows divided
- 4 cups granulated sugar
- 12 ounces evaporated milk 1 ½ cups
- 2 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup cold butter cubed
- 2 cups walnuts chopped
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Line a 9x13-inch pan with aluminum foil. Coat the foil with buter. Put 4 cups of the marshmallows on a baking sheet in a single layer and stick it into the freezer so they can get cold.
- In a large pot, combine the remaining two cups of marshmallows (or 20 large marshmallows), sugar and evaporated milk over medium heat. Stir together as the marshmallows melt and the mixture comes to a boil. Boil over medium heat for 8-10 minutes until a light golden brown, stirring constantly and scraping the sides of the pan. If using a candy thermometer, it should reach 235-240 degrees F.
- Remove the fudge from the heat and immediately add the cold cubed butter and chocolate chips, stirring until completely combined.
- Stir in the walnuts and vanilla, then let the fudge sit for just a few minutes to thicken and cool slightly before stirring in the frozen miniature marshmallows. You don't want to stir the marshmallows too much or they will melt from the residual heat of the fudge. Pour into the prepared pan lined with butter-coated aluminum foil and transfer to the fridge to set for 3 to 4 hours.
- Carefully lift the fudge out of the pan and peel off the foil. Cut the fudge into small squares to serve.
- I like to use all semisweet chocolate chips in this adaptation of my easy fudge recipe because it gives a slightly less sweet, base then a combination of milk and semisweet chocolate, which is what I use in my easy homemade fudge recipe. You could even use all dark chocolate chips if you prefer.
Reader questions and reviews
Oh my gosh, Amy, you brought back so many memories and had tears running down my cheeks. I love this post so, so very much and I'll think I'll whip up a batch of fudge for old-times-sake (sans the nuts, of course) this afternoon. I loved that tupperware of wafers and always snuck them, even though I knew they were there for us. Right now I wish we we all little kids again spending Christmas in Grandma and Grandpa's house. Love you.
Grandpa Johnson sounds like a pretty special guy. All those memories and good times just make this fudge extra special! Beautifully done!
Oh wow, this looks so wonderful! Your grandfather is lucky to have such a thoughtful granddaughter!
Oh man- can you just send this to me right now?!! It's my favorite ice cream flavor, so I'm sure I'd love this!!!
Yum! Nothing better than Rocky Road! Love it!
I love rocky road and I love fudge but to combine both in one? That sounds AMAZING!
What a great pos,t I loved reading about your family.
I made this without any changes to the recipe. It's very tasty but doesn't harden up very much even after being in the fridge all day.
It's a softer fudge, especially since the whole marshmallows added in after the fudge is cooked make it even softer. But it should still definitely set up.
What is the candy thermometer temp for this? I don’t like to rely on timing.
Sorry, Sue, but I don't have a temperature on this one. Normally I use a candy thermometer as well because I don't like relying on timing when making candy, but I really don't use one when making this fudge and have no idea here.
I just came across you're blog and I'm looking forward to making some of these recipes 😊 Can you believe the office manager where I work had never had Divinity candy!?! And she's from Texas! I'm setting out to remedy that ASAP!!! Merry Christmas and thank you for sharing your recipes and ideas 😊
Merry Christmas to you too! And yes, she needs some divinity, STAT!
Does this have to be stored in the fridge or can it be stored in a container on counter?
As long as it is cool in your house, you could probably store it on the counter. I have always stored it in the fridge though.
Worst recipe! Does not get hard at all. Very mushy even after being in the fridge over night and all day!
Sorry this didn't work for you. It sounds like maybe your batch didn't get cooked long enough because I've never had a problem with this fudge and we've been making it for probably 30 years in my family.
tried this recipe and followed instructions to a T - even froze the marshmallows for over 5 hours - and waited a bit before I added the frozen ones at the end - they all melted completely into the fudge - leaving this looking like regular fudge. I had dusted the bottom with a few frozen marshmallows - those didn't melt completely but also did not adhere well to the fudge. A lovely story about the fudge recipe - I enjoyed that a great deal 🙂