Chocolate-covered cherries in the center of every bite make this recipe for Cherry Fudge the ultimate holiday treat.
The combination of creamy cherry fudge with rich dark chocolate is like a little bite of heaven. Your friends and family will love this indulgent twist on a classic favorite! So go ahead and treat yourself – cherry fudge is the perfect way to do just that!
Chocolate-covered cherries are my grandma’s favorite and the inspiration for this recipe. Every Christmas, the kids and I take her a box. She always says, “These are your grandpa’s favorites.” We all know they’re really for her, but she likes to pretend they’re for grandpa.
I always wanted a bit more chocolate to balance out the cherry and amaretto filling. So after having that thought, fudge came to mind. I was going to go completely dark chocolate for this fudge, but to balance out the amaretto I went semi-sweet with just a dash of dark. It was the perfect balance.
Fudge is oh-so-good, and I want to stay on Santa’s nice list this year. So instead of eating it all myself, I’m giving away the leftovers to my kids’ teachers.
Ingredients for Cherry Fudge
This cherry fudge recipe starts with the most important ingredient – chocolate-covered cherries! You’ll also need dark chocolate chips, semi-sweet chocolate chips, butter, sugar, marshmallow cream, and vanilla extract in this chocolate cherry fudge recipe.
The butter is used to give the fudge a smooth and creamy texture and helps prevent it from becoming too dry. Sugar gives the fudge its sweetness as well as adds structure to the mixture. Marshmallow cream provides a rich flavor while adding moisture that helps keep the cherry fudge soft when stored in an airtight container.
- Half & half
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 60% cocoa chocolate chips
- Marshmallow creme
- Chocolate covered cherries
How to make Chocolate Cherry Fudge?
Before you begin, line an 8 or 9-inch square pan with two layers of foil, making sure to evenly coat it with cooking spray or parchment paper. I prefer the parchment paper myself, but either way works just fine. This will make removing the mixture from the pan much easier once it’s done cooking.
Place 16 of the chocolate-covered candies in 4 rows of 4 at the bottom of the prepared pan. (Like pictured above.)
In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter completely by heating it for 1 1/2 minutes.
Next, add sugar and half & half; stir until combined. Place in microwave and heat for 3 minutes. Then vigorously stir to combine, then cook another 2 minutes. Stir well while scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula until the mixture is fully blended.
Microwave for an additional 3 minutes, stirring once. Then heat for 2 1/2 more minutes.
Remove from microwave immediately, then add marshmallow creme and stir.
Gently fold in the chocolate chips and vanilla until uniform throughout. Be sure to cut any larger clumps of chocolate Cherry so that they are an appropriate size for topping the fudge. Once mixed, pour evenly into the pan over the cherries. For decoration, place the remaining whole cherries atop the fudge with their centers up.
After you tap the pan on the counter to work out any air bubbles, cool the mixture until it sets. Then, use foil handles to lift the fudge from the pan before cutting it into squares. I usually let mine set for 2-3 hours; however, once you cut it into squares, don’t worry if they don’t all perfectly roll up with a chocolate-covered cherry in the center—it will still taste just as amazing and look fantastic regardless!
Tips to making this fudge recipe
Best tip for making this recipe.
If you’re using a large bowl, it’s helpful to set it on a plate in case of the contents boil over. I know from experience that this happens frequently, and it’s much easier to clean up if there’s a plate there to catch the mess.
How to store fudge.
If you put this fudge in an airtight container, it will last two weeks at room temperature. If you store it in the fridge, it will last 3-4 weeks.
You can prepare for the holidays by freezing the fudge up to three months in advance.
So a batch of fudge a day, a piece a day and give the rest away seems to be the key to everything. ‘Tis the season for fudge my friend. Bake on and be merry!
Other insanely delicious fudge recipes.
Don’t forget to pin this to your favorite Pinterest board to make later.
- 3 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup butter
- 2/3 cup half & half
- 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup 60% cocoa chocolate chips
- 7 ounces marshmallow creme
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 20 chocolate covered cherries
- Prepare an 8 or 9 inch square pan by lining it with two layers or foil and then gently spraying the foil with cooking spray or parchment paper, my favorite. You can just lightly grease the pan with cooking spray, but trust me the foil or parchment paper trick is so nice when lifting it from the pan.
- Place 16 of the chocolate covered in the bottom of the prepared pan in 4×4 rows, see picture above for help.
- In a large microwave safe bowl add butter and heat for 1 ½ minutes or until butter is completely melted.
- Next, add sugar and half & half; stir until combined. Place in microwave and heat for 3 minutes. Then vigorously stir to combine, then cook another 2 minutes. Stir well while scraping down sides of bowl.
- Return to microwave and cook for another 3 minutes. Stir once more and then heat another 2 ½ minutes.
- TIP you may want to set the large bowl on a plate in case it boils over while heating. This happens every time and the plate makes less of a mess for me to pick up.
- Immediately remove from microwave, then add marshmallow creme and stir.
- Stir in chocolate chips and vanilla. Stir until smooth and well combined, no chunks. Immediately pour in prepared pan over chocolate covered cherries. Cut the remaining chocolate covered cherries in half and place on top of the fudge with center side up.
- Tap the pan on the counter to work out the air bubbles. Cool completely until set. Use foil handles to lift fudge from pan before cutting into squares. I let mine set for 2-3 hours. Once cut into squares, trying to get the same 4×4 rolls that you laid out the chocolate covered cherries in, so that they are in the center of the fudge. Don’t stress if it doesn’t happen that way, it will still taste amazing and look fantastic too.
- Store in an airtight container and set in fridge until ready to eat, serve or package up for friends and family.