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Easy Peppermint Fudge

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The Southern Sweet Tooth is a powerful force. Sugar is more than an ingredient in the South. It falls somewhere between a condiment and a food group. During the holiday season its status is even more prominent with tins of homemade mints, brittle, and fudge on every sideboard. It’s nearly obligatory serve a sweet treat to guests or to take as a gift for a party host. But, yikes! Time seems to accelerate this time of year and the to-do lists grow longer and longer. Who’s got time to make homemade candy? You do! My recipe for Quick and Easy Peppermint Fudge fits the bill.

Peppermint Fudge on

Fudge Recipe

This Peppermint Fudge has become my go-to recipe. It’s universal. Who doesn’t like Peppermint Fudge at Christmas? And, better yet, what busy cook doesn’t like an easy candy made from essential pantry ingredients? You can also add a drop of peppermint extract if you really want to pump up the peppermint flavor.

Lastly, if you’re behind on your Christmas shopping — like I am — many of my cookbooks on sale! I’ll be happy to send you a signed bookplate. Simply shoot a note with “bookplate” in the subject heading to and we’ll get one in the mail right away!

Bon Appétit Y’all!

Peppermint Fudge on

Peppermint Fudge

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Freezer Chilling Time30 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 16
Author: Virginia Willis


  • 6 candy canes broken into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1 stick, more for the baking dish
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 16-ounce box confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • ¼ cup low-fat or whole milk
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts peanuts, or pecans
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract


  • Place the candy canes in a sealable freezer bag. (A freezer bag is best because it's thicker.) Wrap a kitchen towel around the bag of candy canes and place on a clean work surface. Use the bottom of a heavy pot or skillet to crush the candy canes into fine crumbs. Set aside.
  • Brush an 8-inch square baking dish with butter. Melt 1/2 cup of butter with the salt in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Whisk in the confectioners’ sugar and milk until very smooth. Add the cocoa; stir until combined and remove from the heat. Add the walnuts and vanilla; stir until combined. The fudge will have a very smooth, shiny texture.
  • Spoon the fudge into the prepared dish. Transfer to the refrigerator until set, at least 2 hours. Or, if you just can’t wait, slip it in the freezer. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and slice into cubes. Heat the knife in hot water and pat dry before each cut for the smoothest slices. Press one side of each piece in the reserved crushed peppermint. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Please note that this post may contain affiliate links. (That means I make a commission if you use my affiliate link to buy the product.)

Virginia Willis

Georgia-born French-trained Chef Virginia Willis has made chocolate chip cookies with Dwanye “The Rock” Johnson, foraged for berries in the Alaskan wilderness, harvested capers in the shadow of a smoldering volcano in Sicily, and beguiled celebrities such as Jane Fonda, Bill Clinton, and Julie Chrisley with her cooking -- but it all started in her grandmother’s country kitchen. Virginia is a chef instructor for the digital streaming platform Food Network Kitchen and author of Secrets of the Southern Table: A Food Lover’s Tour of the Global South, Lighten Up, Y’all, Bon Appétit, Y’all, Basic to Brilliant, Y’all, Okra, and Grits. Lighten Up, Y’all: Classic Southern Recipes Made Healthy and Wholesome received a 2016 James Beard Foundation Award of Excellence. She is the former TV kitchen director for Martha Stewart Living, Bobby Flay, and Nathalie Dupree; has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants; and traveled the world producing food stories – from making cheese in California to escargot farming in France. She has appeared on Food Network's Chopped, CBS This Morning, Fox Family and Friends, Martha Stewart Living, and as a judge on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. She’s been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Eater, and Food52 and has contributed to Eating Well, Garden & Gun, and Bon Appétit, and more. The Chicago Tribune praised her as one of "Seven Food Writers You Need to Know." Her legion of fans loves her down-to-earth attitude and approachable spirit. Learn more about Virginia and follow her traveling exploits at

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