I can think of a number of treats that I love to make for the holidays but this cherry cola fudge is hands down one of my family’s favorites. It’s definitely an indulgence, but when something comes out only once a year, it’s worth the extra slice. Yes, there’s sugar in this, I want to be upfront about that first (wink) so be prepared.
Cherry Coke is a childhood classic, and one of my most favorite memories of drinking a cherry coke, of course, that amazing Coke flavor punctuated by maraschino cherry juice, was the maraschino cherry floating at the top. A similar experience is recreated here in this fudge recipe. It’s a combination of chocolate, white chocolate, sweetened condensed milk, maraschino cherries, and maraschino cherry juice.
Maraschino cherries play an important role in the recipe. I’ve chopped up some cherries and set them on a paper towel to dry a bit. Then, it’s on to the chocolate-milk combo, where white chocolate chips are slowly melted together with sweetened condensed milk until melted and stirred smooth. To really punctuate the “cherry” theme, I’ll add some of that maraschino cherry juice and pink food coloring to the melted chocolate while stirring in the cherries.
This “batter” – if you will – is poured into a parchment-lined 8-inch square baking dish and then chills in the refrigerator for 30 minutes until it becomes firm.
Once chilled, it’s soda-time! And that means melting butter, sugar, and cocoa powder in a saucepan. To this, I’ll add about a ¼ cup of Coca-Cola soda and stir until the chocolate mixture is melted and smooth. I’ll pour the chocolate over the chilled white chocolate and cherries and refrigerate again to set.
I’ll keep this chilled until I’m ready to serve, and that’s another feature that I love about this recipe: it’s a great make-ahead treat before a holiday party, and I’ve been known to leave a square or two out for Santa as well. A classic Cherry Coke served in fudge form is a fun way to celebrate the holidays. Enjoy!
Cherry Coke Fudge
Serves 10-12 15 minutes active, 1 hour inactive
- For the cherry layer:
- 22 maraschino cherries
- 28 oz white chocolate chips
- 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tablespoon maraschino cherry juice
- 1 drop of pink food coloring
- For the chocolate layer:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 6 tablespoons Coca-Cola
- 1 lb powdered sugar
- Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, leaving some overhang over the sides.
- Chop the cherries into quarters and pat dry using paper towels. Set aside.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the white chocolate chips and can of sweetened condensed milk. Heat in microwave for 1 minute, stir and heat for 45 more seconds. Let rest for 3 minutes and stir until chips are mostly melted.
- Add cherry juice and food coloring and stir to combine. Stir in chopped cherries. Spread mixture in prepare pan and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the chocolate-cola layer:
- To a separate, large heat-proof bowl, add the powdered sugar.
- Add the butter, cocoa powder, and cola to a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then pour over powdered sugar, whisking until smooth.
- Pour over chilled fudge and smooth evenly with a spatula. Chill until set, about 20 minutes. Slice into squares and serve. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from How To Make Easy Fudge.