Old-Fashioned Hershey's Cocoa Fudge

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With my mother's help, this was the first candy that I ever made and it brings back more memories than I can count. We always made fudge for Christmas for the family as well as for neighbors and as gifts for many people. We could never make it on a rainy day though as it wouldn't set up properly, so on rainy days, we made cookies.


There was a time when ladies took their well-behaved children and visited other mothers. They'd spend all afternoon making candies. Fudge, Divinity, and Sea Foam Candy. Much of it went into CARE packages for our men and women overseas, but we children could always look forward to having a few pieces in our Christmas stockings. Today, with such a bountiful array of every imaginable kind of candy so readily available at every drug and grocery store, we don't make homemade candy that much anymore. It's still the best candy in the world though, and every child should know the difference IMHO.


  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa (Hershey's)
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup butter (half stick)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp. Karo white corn syrup (or other white syrup)

Pookarina's Note:The syrup was not added when I was a child, but I learned in later years that it helped with over-crystallization of the sugar. It still remains an optional ingredient and is not absolutely necessary. The original recipe on the backside of Hershey's Cocoa cans did not mention anything about Karo syrup.


Line an 8 or 9 inch square pan with aluminum foil, butter the foil.

Mix sugar, cocoa, and salt in a 4 quart saucepan, add milk and corn syrup (if using). Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a full boil. Boil without stirring until mixture reaches 234 degrees F on a candy thermometer (soft ball stage).

Remove from heat, add butter and vanilla; do not stir. Cool at room temperature to 110 degrees F.

Beat with a wooden spoon until fudge begins to thicken and loses its gloss. Spread quickly into pan, let cool to room temperature, then cut into squares.

Pookarina's Note: We used a buttered heavy platter for fudge. If I were making it today, I'd still use a buttered platter. The butter aided in being able to cut and remove the pieces from the platter. Today, you only have to lift the foil along with the candy, place it on the counter top and allow it to cool thoroughly.


Once in a while, we slipped up on the weather conditions, and our fudge wouldn't set up, so we ate it with spoons while watching one another like hawks to make sure no one got more than they were supposed to be getting. The boys were terrible little piggies.

Servings: 16
Time:20 Minutes Preparation Time
35-40 Minutes Cooking Time

Source: Hershey's Cocoa (back of the can in 1940)

By Pookarina from Boca Raton, FL

June 15, 20100 found this helpful

Pookarini, we also used a buttered platter to pour our fudge out on. I used to be able to make it in a cast iron frying pan without a thermometer and it would start setting up before you could get it out of the pan, quick, somebody get the spoons! : ) Now I cannot even make it using a candy thermometer; it is either syrup or taffy! Remember me the next time you make some, smile.

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June 15, 20100 found this helpful

You make it sound like fun Pookarina. I want to make candy now, and probably will end up making a big mess. I love to cook, but there's a few things I've always felt was beyond me. Maybe it's age, but as I grow older, I want to learn more and wish I'd been more experimental when I was younger.

Thank you for this great-sounding recipe. I'll let you know what happens. LOL


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June 17, 20100 found this helpful

Oh dear, you have hit on my weakest link. I love fudge and am very apt to buy it when I see it, but has anyone else noticed that the fudge we buy these days taste more like Tootsie Rolls maybe?

I don't know what or how its being made, but there was a time when we could go to the boardwalk in Alantic City for instance, and buy really good fudge that tasted like this recipe sounds. No more.

In order to get real fudge now, we're just going to have to make it ourselves and I for one am happy to see an old-fashioned Hershey's recipe. Thank you for remembeing.


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April 26, 20130 found this helpful

I, too, made this fudge with my mother. We also used a platter. I was an only child, so more for me! Thanks for the recipe and the hint about corn syrup; we didn't use it, but I'm going to try it. Cay from FL

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