Delicious 4-ingredient hazelnut chocolate fudge recipe – one bowl, a few minutes prep, and this dairy-free, vegan, and refined sugar-free ‘Nutella’ inspired healthy fudge is going to rock your world!
This Nutella inspired fudge is my take on the very popular vegan peanut butter fudge, because why should peanut butter have all the fun? By combining hazelnut butter and cacao powder, you get a rich and creamy hazelnut chocolate fudge that is ridiculously moreish. However, with a recipe that uses just one bowl, 4 ingredients, and is gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and even refined sugar-free – it’s definitely a hit in this apartment!
If you have a bit of a sweet tooth and want a treat without all the extra guilt that comes with some of the traditional chocolatey treats, this healthy fudge recipe is a great option. The recipe uses hazelnut butter for richness and maple syrup for natural sweetness. It’s obviously not going to be winning any awards for the healthiest of healthy foods – but, do we really want our fudge to do that anyway?
The best thing of all about this fudge is that there are just 4 ingredients, not including sea salt:
- Hazelnut Butter
- Cacao Butter
- Maple Syrup
- Cacao Powder
Regular store-bought fudge ingredients can consist of lots of refined sugars. It can also include ingredients such as glucose syrup, butter, golden syrup, sweetened condensed milk (yet more sugar), and sometimes even chemical flavorings. However, this homemade fudge recipe is not only bare-bones with its ingredients list but comes with a variety of health benefits.
Who knew vegan fudge could be so creamy?!
The Healthy Fudge Ingredient Benefits
Nut Butter: Nut butters, in general, are full of healthy fats and nutrients. Hazelnut butter, in particular, contains less protein than many other nuts however is rich in omegas 6 and 9 and vitamins E, copper, and manganese. They are also packed with antioxidants and have been found to reduce bad LDL cholesterol levels and improve heart health as well as skin health.
Maple Syrup: While I don’t believe that sugar is quite as bad as it can be led to believe – in fact, our bodies thrive on certain amounts of sugar, I do like to keep my processed sugars to a minimum. Natural sweeteners like Maple syrup are a wonderful substitution. Plus, maple syrup also contains magnesium, calcium, and zinc.
Cacao Powder: Cacao products contain antioxidants, have anti-cancerous properties, and are rich in a number of beneficial plant compounds. They also contain a variety of minerals including magnesium, selenium, chromium. manganese and even iron. Not to mention that it contains tryptophan, which produces serotonin that helps tell our brains to ‘relax’.
Cacao Butter: Not only is good for your skin but raw cacao butter is also rich in antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and polyphenols. It also has anti-inflammatory, heart-healthy benefits.
Recipe Tips & Variations
The crazy thing about this 4 Ingredient fudge recipe is that, even with such few ingredients, it is still so customizable and forgiving to what you have available. For example:
The nut butter: As I said above, I love that hazelnut butter gives this fudge a Nutella taste. However, if you are craving something more along the lines of chocolate peanut butter fudge then this is an easy swap. In fact, here is a list of nut and seed butter recipes for you to experiment with.
The Oil: I’ve used cacao butter as it’s used to make chocolate and so has a wonderful ‘mouth feel’ if that makes sense. However, coconut oil could be a good replacement, if that’s all that’s available.
The Sweetener: If you don’t have maple to hand then you can swap it out with your favorite natural sweetener of choice like agave, or honey (for a non-vegan fudge).
The Chocolate: You probably didn’t think I’d have any replacements for the cacao powder, but that’s not the case. Not only could you swap this for cocoa powder, but you can actually replace the cacao butter and powder altogether with your favorite, high-quality semi-sweet/dark chocolate bar. If the bar is already sweetened then you may even want to lower the amount of sweetness.
Additional flavorings The key to the fudgy texture of this dairy-free fudge is the nut butter. This means that, depending on which nut butter you use, then you’ll want to pair any additional flavorings accordingly. For a dose of extra flavor, you can add natural flavor oils like peppermint, orange, or even a splash of homemade vanilla extract.
You can also add ‘toppings’ to your fudge bars such as crushed nuts, freeze-dried fruit, additional chocolate chips, and more.
Bonus Tip* You can also make double-layer vegan fudge too with different flavors such as vegan peanut butter fudge and hazelnut cacao fudge – they’re delish!
The Recipe How-To
To begin making this chocolate fudge, you need to start by using a double boiler to melt the cacao butter at low heat. I usually use a bowl on top of a small pot of boiling water (with the heat on low).
Once the butter has melted, add the cacao powder and mix well to make sure there are no lumps.
Next, add the remaining ingredients and stir well to thoroughly combine.
Once the mixture is ready, I transfer it to a small pouring jug so it doesn’t spill. This makes it easier to transfer to the ‘molds’ / baking pan of your choice.
I used a silicone ‘bar’ mold for this – for easy removal. However, you could also use any baking dish, loaf pan, or shallow pan with parchment paper.
Place in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes or fridge for about 30 minutes to fully set. Voila – your healthy fudge is ready to eat.
I like to store the chocolate fudge bars in the fridge or the freezer and pop one out and leave to ‘cool down’ for 10 minutes, or so. This vegan fudge can be stored for around a week in the fridge. It can also be stored in the freezer for up to a month.
Other Vegan Dessert Recipes You May Like
- Salted Caramel & Raspberry Vegan Magnum Ice Creams
- Oeey Gooey Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Fudgy Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake
- Healthier Homemade snickers Bars (Vegan)
If you try this chocolate fudge recipe, then let me know what you think in the comments below. Also, feel free to tag me in your recipe re-creations @Alphafoodie.
Healthy Chocolate Fudge (Naturally Sweetened)
- Use a double boiler to melt the cacao butter at low heat. I usually use a bowl on top of a small pot of boiling water (with the heat on low).
- Once the butter has melted, add the cacao powder and mix well to make sure there are no lumps.
- Add the remaining ingredients and stir well to thoroughly combine.
- Once the mixture is ready, I transfer it to a small pouring jug so it doesn't spill. This makes it easier to transfer to the 'moulds' / baking pan of your choice. I used a silicone 'bar' mould for this- for easy removal. However, you could also use any baking dish, loaf pan or shallow pan with parchment paper.
- Place in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes or fridge for about 30 minutes to fully set. Voila - your healthy fudge is ready!
- I like to store the chocolate fudge bars in the fridge or the freezer and pop one out and leave to 'cool down' for 10 minutes, or so. This vegan fudge can be stored for around a week within the fridge. It can also be stored in the freezer for up to a month.