Find out if fudge is gluten-free and which flavors are safe for a gluten-free diet. Plus find out if this candy is dairy-free and vegan.
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Do you love fudge? This sweet treat comes in a variety of flavors, but chocolate is the most popular. I don’t know about you but when I think of fudge, I think of Christmas and going to candy shops while on vacation with my family.
My husband is a big fan of fudge, and while he only eats it maybe once a year, I always know that when we find some while out on vacation, he’s bound to get a slice.
Fudge is like any other treat or food, though, so if you’re gluten-free like I am, you know it’s important to review ingredients lists before buying. And it’s super important to know how and where your food is made.
In this post, we’re going to talk about how fudge fits into a gluten-free diet by answering a few common questions, like:
- What is fudge?
- What ingredients are in fudge?
- Is fudge gluten-free?
- Are different flavors of fudge gluten-free?
We’ll also go over how fudge fits into a dairy-free and vegan diet, in case you also avoid other foods for health reasons.
No matter what your reasoning, I hope this post helps give you the information you’re looking for in order to enjoy fudge on a gluten-free diet.
What is fudge?
Fudge is a type of candy that comes in a variety of different flavors, the most popular being chocolate. Fudge is made by heating sugar, butter, and milk together on the stove, then beating the mixture as its cools to create a smooth texture.
The consistency of fudge once it cools is similar to a hard icing and caramel.
What ingredients are in fudge?
The main ingredients in fudge are milk, sugar, and butter. These are the most basic ingredients in any fudge recipe, however different flavors of fudge will have different ingredients.
For example, chocolate fudge will also contain cocoa powder. Caramel fudge might be made with golden syrup or marshmallow fluff. Vanilla fudge will have vanilla extract added. Maple fudge will contain maple syrup. Peanut butter fudge will have some peanut butter in the recipe.
Is chocolate gluten-free?
When most of us think of fudge, we think of chocolate fudge. Let’s answer the question of whether chocolate is gluten-free, so you can feel okay about this ingredient.
Most plain and pure chocolate is gluten-free, as the chocolate itself usually contains dairy, sugar, and milk powder.
Chocolate is gluten-free when it is plain, but when you’ll want to start looking out for gluten in flavored chocolate bars or those chocolate candies with mix-ins, like cookies or pretzels.
Chocolate may not be gluten-free if it is made on equipment that also processes gluten-containing ingredients.
Read on: Is chocolate gluten-free?
Is fudge gluten-free?
Fudge may or may not be gluten-free. How’s that for a straight-forward answer?
Homemade fudge is almost always gluten-free, as it can be made with gluten-free ingredients easily and safely. Remember that any ingredients that already have gluten before you turn it into candy, like cookie crumbs or peanut butter that contains gluten will not make a gluten-free fudge.
Fudge bought at the store or small candy shop is a little more tricky. Some fudge is thickened with flour, while other places make their fudge on shared equipment with other gluten-containing ingredients.
The best option is to ask questions if you’re buying from a local candy maker as to what their process is like and what ingredients may contain gluten.
If buying store bought fudge, review the ingredients lists for any hidden gluten-containing ingredients and look for a gluten-free label.
How to know if fudge is gluten-free
It will be different to find out if fudge is gluten-free depending on the source of where you’re getting your fudge.
If you’re making it at home yourself, you can choose gluten-free ingredients to use in your homemade fudge.
If receiving fudge from a family friend or relative, you can review the recipe or ask what ingredients are in the homemade fudge. FInd out what brands of ingredients are used to determine whether or not there is likely gluten in the finished product.
If buying fudge from a local candy store, ask the person behind the counter if they know the ingredients in their fudge.
If it’s hard to determine what ingredients may or may not be gluten-free, it’s in your best interest to skip the fudge and enjoy another treat. It’s likely that if some fudge contains gluten in the case, that there is a high likelihood of cross contamination anyhow.
If you’re buying fudge from the grocery store, you can look through the ingredients lists for any ingredients that look like they contain gluten. You can also look for a gluten-free label that will indicate the product contains less than 20ppm of gluten.
Are different flavors of fudge gluten-free?
There are so many different types of fudge that it would be impossible to list them all. However, let’s go through some popular flavors of fudge and determine if they are likely to be gluten-free, particularly if made at home.
Is vanilla fudge gluten-free?
Vanilla fudge is made with sugar, light corn syrup, butter, heavy cream, and vanilla. This type of fudge is likely to be gluten-free, especially when made at home.
Read on: Is vanilla extract gluten-free?
Read on: Is corn syrup gluten-free?
Is maple fudge gluten-free?
Maple fudge is made with maple syrup, heavy cream, butter, and sometimes nuts. This flavor of fudge can easily be made gluten-free, especially when you make it at home.
Read on: Is maple syrup gluten-free?
Is chocolate fudge gluten-free?
Chocolate fudge is most often made with butter, sugar, cooca, vanilla extract, and sometimes chocolate chips or sweetened condensed milk.
This flavor of fudge is gluten-free as long as the ingredients used are also gluten-free.
Is caramel fudge gluten-free?
Caramel fudge is made with a combination of these ingredients (not every recipe is the same): butter, sugar, sweetened condensed milk, white chocolate chips, golden syrup, or brown sugar. Some caramel fudge is sprinkled with salt for a salted caramel flavor.
This flavor of fudge is easily made gluten-free as long as all the ingredients are gluten-free that go into it.
Read on: Is caramel gluten-free?
Is peanut butter fudge gluten-free?
Peanut butter fudge is easy to make gluten-free with just peanut butter, vanilla, white or brown sugar, milk or heavy cream.
This flavor of fudge is gluten-free as long as the peanut butter is labeled gluten-free and contains no added gluten. Peanut butter that uses only peanuts and oil are the best options when shopping for peanut butter.
Read on: Is peanut butter gluten-free?
Is cookies and cream fudge gluten-free?
This flavor of fudge is most likely to not be gluten-free. Cookie crumbles most likely contain gluten, as the cookies used are usually normal Oreo cookie wafers. Unless specifically made with gluten-free Oreos, you can assume this fudge is not gluten-free.
Read on: Are Oreos gluten-free?
Is hot fudge gluten-free?
Hot fudge isn’t fudge in the traditional sense that we’ve been talking about. Hot fudge is more of a sauce than a candy. This sauce gets used to top ice cream or other desserts.
There are many brands of hot fudge that are gluten-free, such as Smuckers and the hot fudge at Dairy Queen. It is easy to make your own hot fudge at home using gluten-free ingredients.
Read on: Gluten-free Dairy Queen Menu Items
Is fudge dairy-free?
Fudge is generally not dairy-free as it contains heavy cream and butter. However, if making fudge at home, you can definitely make it dairy-free with a few swaps. There are a number of dairy-free fudge recipes available online if you’d like to try your hand at it.
Here are a few you might consider:
- Super Easy Dairy-free Fudge from Loving It Vegan
- No Thermometer Dairy-free Fudge from Allergy Awesomeness
- Peanut Butter Dairy-free Fudge from The Almond Eater
Is fudge vegan?
Fudge isn’t vegan as it contains both heavy cream and butter in some form. If you like to make your own treats at home, you can make your own vegan fudge with coconut oil and coconut milk.
Try one of these recipes for vegan fudge at home:
- Easy 5 Minute Vegan Fudge from Nora Cooks
- Pure Maple Fudge from My Evil Twin’s Kitchen
- Salted Caramel Cashew Butter Fudge from Paleo Gluten-free Eats
If you love fudge, I hope that this post has helped you get the information you need to confidently enjoy this sweet candy in your gluten-free diet.
Remember that homemade fudge made with gluten-free ingredients is safe, but to be a little more careful with fudge that’s from a candy store or from the grocery store. Review ingredients lists and ask the right questions before buying.