Pumpkin Cranberry Fudge is sweet and creamy with a subtle pumpkin spice taste and a beautiful tart cranberry swirl. You only need a few minutes to mix it and just a handful of ingredients from your pantry.
This post has been sponsored by Cans Get You Cooking. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
If fudge was a person on a social media platform, the relationship between me and fudge would be listed as “it’s complicated”. Fudge and I are currently not on speaking terms.
You see, I made this Pumpkin Cranberry Fudge six (yes, you read it right, six!!!) times in the past two weeks. Life of a food blogger!
Aside from a few recipes in my cookbook, The One-Pan Oven Cookbook, I have not ever had to do that much recipe development for a blog post.
But you know what? Six batches of fudge means that this final version of Pumpkin Cranberry Fudge is foolproof, tasty, delicious, and – of course – really easy and convenient to make, thanks to the use of a few canned foods.
Don’t let all my recipe testing scare you off though because I promise that this recipe really comes together in an effortless way thanks to the use of canned foods and minimal steps!
Having canned pumpkin, evaporated milk, and whole-berry cranberry sauce in your pantry means that you can whip up a batch of this delicious pumpkin fudge any time.
You only need a few ingredients that you most likely already have on hand and less than 10 minutes to make Pumpkin Cranberry Fudge.
It’ll set in the fridge in just an hour but you could also chill it in the freezer to speed up the setting process.
This Pumpkin Fudge is perfect to make if you have a toddler running around and no time to spend in the kitchen. It’s really easy and convenient. Thank goodness for the convenience of canned foods!
It’s delicious, with a subtle pumpkin spice taste and a beautiful tart cranberry finish. It tastes like Thanksgiving in one bite!
How to make Pumpkin Cranberry Fudge?
Making Pumpkin Cranberry Fudge is easy. In a small pot, cook together a little bit of butter, sugar, canned evaporated milk, canned pumpkin purée, and pumpkin spice.
You only need to cook for about 1-2 minutes from the moment the mixture comes to boil. It’ll go from thin and liquid to very thick and viscous almost instantaneously.
Pour over white and dark chocolate to melt. Then transfer into a prepared pan, add a beautiful cranberry sauce swirl, and chill. Easy!
Why use canned goods to make Pumpkin Cranberry Fudge?
Have you ever made your own pumpkin purée? I have. It’s easy. Actually, really easy. But it takes time and effort: you need to roast the pumpkin, seed it, scoop the flesh out, chill it, purée it.
Don’t forget that you also have to go to a store and buy pumpkin, which, by the way, is not easily available out of season. It’s the time that I don’t have! And using canned pumpkin (and canned cranberry sauce) means that I can spend less time in the kitchen and more time with my daughter.
Fresh produce is harvested at the peak of their ripeness and then canned within only four hours! It means that canned pumpkin and cranberry sauce are probably fresher than the kind I could buy at a store not in season.
That one time I made my own pumpkin purée, I remember I ended up with a lot of it! Way more than I could easily consume.
Way more than is usually in a can. Using canned products helps eliminate food waste as the food is portioned and can be stored in your pantry for a long time.
How to store Pumpkin Cranberry Fudge?
Oh, fudge! It’s sweet, it’s delicious and there’s a lot of it! I like fudge. I like having a bite with my morning coffee. I like having it in the afternoon as a pick me up.
But this recipe makes a lot of Pumpkin Fudge! It’s a standard 8×8″ pan but since the fudge is so rich, it makes about 32 small bite-sized pieces.
In fact, you could even cut it into 64 tiny pieces. I was going to do that, but who am I kidding? I would be eating two of them at a time anyway, so I saved myself some time and cut it into 32 servings.
So, I store my Pumpkin Cranberry Fudge in the freezer! I cut the chilled fudge into 32 servings, separate them and freeze in one layer on a plate. After a couple of hours, I transfer individually frozen fudge pieces into an airtight container and store it in the freezer.
The fudge will keep in the freezer for a couple of months. You can eat it frozen right from the freezer.
If you keep it in the fridge, it should keep for about a week or maybe a bit more.
Ingredients and substitutions for the Pumpkin Fudge
- Cranberry Sauce
- I love the contrast of tangy cranberries with the sweet Pumpkin Fudge. It also creates a very pretty swirl.
- However, you can omit cranberry sauce if desired.
- My nut of choice is usually pecan as I love its buttery-smooth flavour. I find walnuts have a slight bitter edge to them, and this is exactly why I love walnuts in this Pumpkin Fudge.
- Walnuts add a gorgeous texture contrast to the smooth fudge and cut down on the sweetness a bit.
- You can omit the walnuts if you are a nut-free household. In fact, the Pumpkin Cranberry Fudge in the photos for this post does not have nuts as I was making it for my friend.
- White chocolate
- If you don’t like white chocolate, don’t simply replace it with an equal amount of dark, it will not work! Instead, omit the white chocolate and double the amount of dark chocolate. The pumpkin flavour will not be as pronounced, so increase the pumpkin spice a bit.
- Dark chocolate
- If you don’t want to have a bottom layer of dark chocolate fudge, then don’t replace it with white chocolate! It won’t work!
- Oddly enough, you will need to halve the ingredients for the pumpkin caramel and just make white chocolate pumpkin fudge.
- The dark fudge layer is pretty thin, that’s why you’ll end up with almost the same amount of fudge anyway.
Want more ideas on what to do with the rest of your canned pumpkin, evaporated milk, or cranberry sauce?
Did you know a well-stocked pantry of canned fruits and vegetables can help you serve up the recommended 42 cups of fruit and 53 cups of vegetables a family of four needs every week?
Canned pumpkin is one of my favourite canned products. It’s easy to find any time of the year even when it’s out of season and it’s amazing to add to many recipes.
Pumpkin adds a lot of fibre and vitamins and nutrients to many recipes. It’s one of my favourite ways to add extra vegetables to my daughter’s diet.
- Add quarter cup of canned pumpkin to meatloaf
- Add half a cup of pumpkin purée to tomato based sauces
- Add a few spoonfuls of pumpkin and a dash of cinnamon to your morning oatmeal
A few cans of evaporated milk are absolutely essential to a well-stocked pantry.
In my household we consume milk by gallons. There are days when we run out of it.
Having a can of evaporated milk means that I can still make oatmeal for my toddler or have coffee even if there’s no perishable milk in the fridge.
- Replace cream in soups with evaporated milk, for example, Corn Soup
- Add to oatmeal instead of regular milk
- Add to coffee if you ran out of milk in the fridge
- Add to pancake batter instead of regular milk
Cranberry sauce is a bit of an odd ingredient. Do people even eat it outside of Thanksgiving holiday?
Well, the thing is that Whole-Berry Cranberry Sauce (not the jellied kind) tastes very similar to jams but less sweet and with more tang. Refreshing!
- Add to turkey sandwiches
- Make a glaze by mixing some whole-berry cranberry sauce with orange juice and brush over pork chops
- Add to oatmeal
- Add to Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich instead of the traditional jam
Learn more about Cans Get You Cooking
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Are you going to be making this Pumpkin Cranberry Fudge or any other canned food recipes? Don’t forget to use the #CansGetYouCooking hashtag if you are sharing your delicious creations on social media!
Pumpkin Cranberry Fudge
- 1.5 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 3/4 cup white chocolate chips (it's usually two packages of white chocolate, or 1 pound)
- 3/4 cup canned evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin purée
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- 1/4 cup canned whole-berry cranberry sauce
- Prepare an 8x8-inch square baking form. Line it with foil for easy cleanup, then line it with parchment paper for easy removal. Alternatively, use just foil and spray with cooking oil.
- Place white chocolate chips in a large heat-proof bowl. Set aside.
- Place semi-sweet chocolate chips in a medium heat-proof bowl. Set aside.
- In a medium pot, combine the evaporated milk, canned pumpkin purée, unsalted butter, brown sugar, and pumpkin spice.
- Place the pot on the stove over medium heat and bring to boil, constantly whisking.
- The pumpkin caramel will go from thin to thick very suddenly. Once the butter melts, it'll start coming to boil. The milk will foam and very rapidly climb up the sides of the pot. Make sure to keep whisking so that the milk doesn't over-boil.
- Cook for 1-2 minutes from the moment the pumpkin caramel comes to boil and becomes very thick.
- Immediately pour half the boiling mixture over the white chocolate chips and the other half over the dark chocolate chips. Important: There's no need to formally measure how much you are pouring over each chocolate but if you aren't sure, it's better that the dark chocolate has a bit more caramel than the white chocolate. If there's too much liquid in the white chocolate, then it won't set.
- Working fast, so that the mixture doesn't have time to cool, mix the dark chocolate until it melts completely.
- Then mix the white chocolate until it melts completely, add the chopped walnuts (if using) and mix well.
- Evenly spread the dark chocolate fudge at the bottom of the prepared form.
- Pour over the white chocolate fudge and spread evenly over the dark chocolate layer.
- Using a small teaspoon, add small spoonfuls of cranberry sauce over the pumpkin fudge. Then take a chopstick or a toothpick and create beautiful swirls by dragging the cranberry sauce lightly through the fudge.
- Place the fudge in the fridge to cool and set. About 1 hour.Alternatively, if you need to speed up the process, place in the freezer until it's set.
- Cut into 32 pieces and enjoy.
- Storage: Place the cut up fudge onto a tray and freeze. Once frozen, transfer the pieces into an airtight container and keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.The fudge will keep in the fridge for a week or maybe a bit more.
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What a delicious sounding fudge for fall! I love the pumpkin-chocolate combination, and that cranberry swirl on top is such a unique touch! Canned pumpkin and cranberry sauce are such a great convenience and I love that you turned them into a totally unexpected treat that’s easy to whip up any time. How pretty a tray of this fudge be on a fall dessert table! Perfect for easy entertaining.
Marisa Franca says
What a fantastic holiday treat!! It screams Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love the colors in the fudge!! I always have canned pumpkin and evaporated milk in my pantry — this definitely will be on my recipe list to make in November. Love easy and delicious!!
These sounds amazing! And they’re gorgeous, too! I think you’d have to be crazy to omit the cranberry sauce. I also love the convenience of being able to use canned goods here. Such a time saver! Plus, as much as I enjoy making homemade cranberry sauce, my husband always opts for the canned stuff. He finds great amusement in that glowing ruby-hued can-shaped hunk of cranberry goodness <3
I’ve made my own pumpking puree before too, and while it is tasty, it’s certainly not the fastest thing in the world. I could see something like this going over very well in my son’s school classroom (for example) – in which case good canned pumpkin would definitely save a lot of hassle. Love the fall-flavour thing you have going on in this. There are so many good autumn desserts out there, but this stands out nicely – not the typical pumpkin pie sort of thing you see so much of!
I’m not put off from all the testing you did! I’d much rather well tested and foolproof than not. Though I understand your currently complicated relationship with fudge. 🙂 And where would we be without canned foods! I certainly don’t want to evaporate my own milk and finding fresh cranberries most of the year is a no go.
Tracy Koslicki says
6 times?! Now THAT is dedication and love! Hooray for canned pumpkin and evaporated milk to make it all so easy. Fudge and I aren’t complicated, it’s one sided… I love fudge but fudge does not like me – at least not my waistline!
THis sounds super easy. Love that in a recipe. Pumpkin and fudge sound like a winning combo. Worth the effort to keep testing!
Leanne | Crumb Top Baking says
This recipe definitely has me a little excited for fall! Looks delicious! And I can totally relate to the multiple rounds of recipe testing. I’ve had a few that reached 5-6 tests. But they were totally wroth it. Just like this one. Happy weekend Julia!
Ah, Julia — you are officially KILLING ME. I’m on day 10 of a no-carb (no-fun) diet and you put FUDGE in my face. Gaahhh! Personal vexations aside, this fudge looks like the perfect indulgent bite and the canned versions of pumpkin, cranberry sauce and evaporated milk make this a no-brainer. I keep those items on hand because they really do make it convenient to whip something up without having to puree a whole pumpkin – LOL. As soon as I hit my goal weight — THIS FUDGE IS HAPPENING!
Jennifer Bigler says
I am a pumpkin fanatic and I always have canned pumpkin in the pantry! This fudge recipe sounds absolutely perfect for all of the fall months. My family will go crazy for this on Thanksgiving. The cranberry is that perfect flavor to blend it and make it extra festive.
Ramswarup Tiwary says
Superb, easy to understand !
These fudge bars look SO good and I cannot wait to try a recipe from your cookbook! I love how you used the canned goods. I actually buy a lot of canned foods and leave it in my kitchen for days when I’m out of fresh produce and need to make a quick meal. I almost always have condensed milk, evaporated milk, chickpeas, and beans on hand.
Jo Vanderwolf says
Chocolate, pumpkin, AND cranberries??? My brain just exploded. Yes…. just yes.
This is happening this year for Thanksgiving. You are a super genius!
I ALWAYS have canned pumpkin and evaporated milk in my pantry. In fact, I prefer canned milk when making soups. I don’t have to worry about it curdling, and it sure saves a lot of calories over cream! This sounds like the perfect fall fudge. I can eat pumpkin all year long.
Sherri @ Sweet Enough says
I’m with you on the canned pumpkin! In fact, have tons of it in my pantry now. Not only is it convenient, but it allows you to enjoy pumpkin all year long! I bet my kids would love this fudge! Great recipe! 🙂