Old Fashioned Black Walnut Fudge!

There are so many various fudge recipes now it seems.  I have several different ones on my site, some so easy a child could make them and then some of the ones that are little more involved.   This is the old fashioned fudge that is the type my mother says they made back in the day.  Actually, it's the kind I remember Mama making when I was a little girl. 

This uses black walnuts, which is what folks used back then, because they grew abundantly on their farms or in their neighborhoods.   If you can't find black walnuts or don't care for them, you can use English walnuts or even pecans.   Here is what you will need for this:

3 cups white sugar
3 Tbs. cocoa powder
3  Tbs. butter
1 1/2 cups milk (whole milk, not 2%)
dash of salt
1 Tbs. vanilla
1 cup black walnuts

In a heavy saucepan combine the sugar, cocoa, butter, milk and salt and cook until it reaches soft ball stage.  That is 240 degrees Fahrenheit or 116 degrees Celsius.   You can also drop some in cold water and if it forms a ball, it's to that stage. 

Take my advice, if you are making candy much, invest in a candy thermometer, because guessing does not work when it has to reach a certain temperature to work.  

Remove from heat and add the vanilla.  Beat until creamy.  Stir in the nuts.  Pour into a buttered 8"x8" dish and allow to cool.  Cut into squares. 

Two Candy Making Tips

1. Use pure cane sugar when making candy.  It will take the high temperatures needed to make candy better and won't burn.  Some cheaper sugar is actually made from beets.  Pure cane sugar says it's pure cane on the bag.
2.  You need to stir this and most candy while it cooks and gets to the soft ball stage or whatever stage it calls for, but do not scrape the side of the pan when you stir.  It causes the fudge to crystallize and it won't be good. Stir carefully. When you pour it up into the pan, don't scrape down the sides of the pan either. That's where crystals form and you don't want them in your finished product. 


  1. Be making this as soon as the store opens and I can get black walnuts. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I grew up going to the back field foraging for black walnuts and they're all over the metro Baltimore area, yet people consider them a nuisance. Yet the walnut flavor is so native to the eastern U.S. and people should try to keep this alive. Terrific write up and I will stop at a store to get the ingredients for the holidays!

    1. Oh yes. My mom was the one who got me into black walnuts. She just loves black walnut fudge. I remember her making it when I was a kid. She's originally from Virginia but moved to Ohio got married had a family. I'm now 61 and about 5-6 years ago we went around town picking up black walnuts which I fed most of to the squirrels that winter. Since then I moved to TN and found a black walnut tree at the rnd of my dirt road. This year I'll be making some black walnut fudge for her.



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