A classic holiday favorite, mint chocolate fudge is often loaded with sugar and overly sweet. This easy, healthier version ditches the refined sugar. It’s a creamy and delicious no-bake treat.
Living in Spain, I’m generally making almond-based Christmas treats like marzapan and turrón this time of year. Ironically, my Spanish husband isn’t really a fan of almond desserts and prefers chocolate instead. (His favorite is my easy homemade chocolate mousse!)
I decided that it might be fun to make an easy fudge recipe for the holidays, packed with healthy fats and real food ingredients. (What’s great about this recipe is that there is no baking, and no need for a candy thermometer!)
This healthier chocolate mint fudge uses real food ingredients without any refined sugar. It includes coconut oil, cashew butter, almond butter, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, maple syrup, and salt. For the peppermint flavor, you can use either peppermint extract or food-grade peppermint essential oil.
Coconut oil is solid at room temperature when it’s in a cool environment. That’s perfectly normal. Virgin coconut oil will have a mild coconut flavor. If you’d like to avoid that, you can choose deodorized or expeller pressed coconut oil instead.
For the almond butter, feel free to use homemade almond butter. Homemade cashew butter can be made in the same way! Speaking of ingredients made from scratch, I also used my homemade vanilla extract. You could theoretically make a peppermint extract in the same way (shown in my recipe for peppermint liqueur) but it will be milder in flavor so you might need to add a bit more if using homemade.
For the cocoa powder, choose unsweetened cocoa in whatever brand or type you prefer. I like the dark, rich flavor of Dutch process cocoa powder, but you can use natural. In this recipe it doesn’t make a difference.
As for the sweetener, I used maple syrup, but feel free to sub it out for honey or a lower carb alternative if you prefer. (Stevia extract, erythritol, or monk fruit are some options.)
Melt the coconut oil and combine it with the cashew butter, almond butter, and maple syrup. If it’s difficult to combine thoroughly, you may find it easier to combine them all in a small saucepan, mixing them together over low to medium heat. Don’t use high heat. You want just enough heat to melt the oil and and butters so that they will form a smooth mixture. Don’t let the mixture boil!
(Another option is to mix them all in a glass bowl and heat them slightly in the microwave instead.)
Remove the mixture from the heat source and add the cocoa powder and the extracts. Stir everything together until smooth.
Line an 8×4 inch (10x20cm) pan with parchment paper (or use a silicone mold). Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, smoothing it with a spatula, if needed.
Sprinkle the salt over the mixture. (You can also add the salt to the mixture instead and sprinkle the fudge with crushed candy canes or peppermint candies instead.)
To firm up the fudge, place it in the freezer for at least 90 minutes. Once it has set, you can remove it from the freezer and cut it into squares to serve.
Store the leftover fudge squares in an airtight container in the freezer. Serve the fudge cold to maintain a nice creamy solid consistency.
Customizing the recipe
If you’re looking to make a firmer fudge that doesn’t need to be stored in the freezer, try mixing in some melted semi-sweet chocolate chips with the oil and butters. (Play with the ratio to get the desired consistency.)
Another option would be to add melted white chocolate chips instead of the cocoa powder to make a white chocolate peppermint fudge.
Either could be served topped with crushed peppermints for an added holiday flair!
Easy Mint Chocolate Fudge
- In a small pot combine the coconut oil, cashew butter, almond butter, vanilla and syrup.
- Heat over medium to low heat until everything starts to melt. Whisk to combine making sure not to bring it to a boil.
- Add in the cocoa powder and peppermint extract. Remove from heat and whisk until smooth.
- Line an 8×4 pan with parchment paper and pour the mixture into the pan.
- Smooth it out with a silicone spatula and sprinkle the salt evenly over the mixture.
- Place in the freezer for 90 minutes to set.
- Remove from freezer, cut into squares and enjoy!
- Store in the freezer.