Ritzy fudge is quickly and easily made from a four-ingredient fudge, Ritz crackers, and salted caramel sauce. This is one of the easiest recipes on my blog, and it comes together in about 10 minutes. Ritzy fudge also checks all the boxes: Sweet, salty, easy, crispy, melts-in-your-mouth, fun, and quick. This makes ritzy fudge the perfect dessert for busy people who still want to bring something homemade to get-togethers—especially during the holidays!
This recipe makes 24 large or 48 smaller pieces of fudge. You can easily halve or double the recipe for any size of event; just keep in mind that you may want to use a different pan size to make sure there’s still a good ratio of fudge to toppings.
Ingredients for Ritzy Fudge
The base of this dessert is a four-ingredient fudge. It’s then topped with Ritz crackers and salted caramel sauce for a sweet, salty, crispy, and melts-in-your-mouth kind of candy. I use my own quick and easy salted caramel sauce recipe as a drizzle on the top, but you’re more than welcome to use your favorite kind, whether that’s homemade or store-bought.
- Milk chocolate. The higher quality of chocolate you use, the better this fudge will be! I love Trader Joe‘s Pound Plus milk chocolate bars, so I developed the recipe to use an entire bar (18.6 ounces). Use your favorite kind of milk chocolate here: Chocolate chips and chocolate bars will both work.
- Sweetened condensed milk. The sweetened condensed milk contains most of the ingredients in a traditional fudge recipe (sugar and condensed milk), so it cuts down a lot of the work needed to make homemade fudge. (See the next section for more details on how this recipe works.)
- Vanilla extract. This gives the fudge a more pronounced vanilla flavor.
- Salt. The milk chocolate and sweetened condensed milk are pretty sweet, so adding in some salt helps to balance that out.
- Ritz crackers. These will give you a crunch or a crisp, which I think is needed when eating something that melts in your mouth.
- Salted caramel sauce. Not that you need a reason to add salted caramel to anything, but the caramel flavor works so well with the Ritz crackers. And again, the salt in the sauce helps to balance out all the sweetness. Here’s my recipe for salted caramel sauce if you don’t already have one you love!
How Does This Four-Ingredient Fudge Recipe Work?
Traditional fudge is made from sugar, butter, and milk boiled to the soft-ball stage (234°F/112°C). As the milk and the sugar boil, the milk cooks down and loses a lot of water, resulting in what is essentially sweetened condensed milk.
The butter in fudge also cooks down during this process, resulting in a higher fat-to-water ratio. This helps emulsify all the ingredients, which will give the fudge its distinctly smooth and melt-in-your-mouth texture.
For this four-ingredient fudge, we substitute sweetened condensed milk for the boiled milk and sugar and substitute chocolate for the butter and cocoa powder. The result is a very similar fudge, just made a bit easier and much faster!
Prepping Four-Ingredient Fudge with Ritz Crackers and Salted Caramel Sauce
This homemade fudge is incredibly easy, but it comes together in a matter of minutes, so it’s helpful to know what you’re looking for!
Lining Your Baking Dish in Advance
I always stress this in my recipes because generally there’s not a good time to line your pan once you’ve already started on the recipe. While these homemade fudge bars with caramel are nowhere near as particular as macarons, it gives me peace of mind knowing I have everything done in advance.
I used USA Pan’s nonstick stoneware 9×13″ pan. It’s one of my favorite pans because it cleans up so easily—even messy baked-on dishes like enchiladas seriously just rinse off of the pan! And while you probably won’t need to wash the dish, it’s always nice to know it will be easy, just in case.
Recently, I’ve started cutting out the corners of my parchment paper so that they are easier to lay in the pan. I simply lay the parchment where I want it, making sure it covers all the sides, and poke a hole with my scissors into the corner. Then, I cut out the corners, using that hole as my guide, and voila! Perfectly lined pans everytime.
Chopping Your Chocolate
I used a full bar of Trader Joe’s Pound Plus milk chocolate, and those pieces of chocolate are pretty hefty. Because they are so big, I like to chop them up into smaller pieces about a quarter of the size. Spending a couple of minutes to chop the chocolate reduces the amount of time you need to spend stirring the mixture over the stove, as the chocolate melts faster.
If you use chocolate chips or are able to break up the chocolate in your hands into relatively small pieces, don’t worry about chopping up your chocolate.
Melting the Chocolate and Sweetened Condensed Milk into Fudge
This is where the magic happens! Once you place the pot on the stove over medium heat, the milk chocolate and sweetened condensed milk begin warming up. The chocolate will not seize as long as you’re giving the pot a stir every 30 seconds or so.
Once the chocolate looks just about melted, give the mixture a final stir to make sure there aren’t any lumps. Remove from heat, then stir in the vanilla extract and salt.
Spreading the Four-Ingredient Fudge into Your Lined Pan
This is one of the most satisfying parts of this fudge recipe! Once you’ve verified that there are no lumps in your fudge, pour the fudge into your lined baking dish.
To prevent the parchment paper from moving too much, move your spatula in concentric circles to spread the fudge to the edges of the pan.
Then, smooth over the fudge to even out any high or low spots. I like to make a back-and-forth sweeping motion to do this. You don’t need the fudge perfectly smooth on top because you’ll be covering it with Ritz crackers.
Topping the Ritzy Fudge with Ritz Crackers and Caramel
My favorite part of the recipe: Topping the homemade fudge with Ritz crackers!
Use a bit of gentle force to press in the Ritz crackers. You should be displacing some fudge so that the Ritz cracker starts to sink into the fudge. If the Ritz cracker only sits on top of the fudge, it will pop off during cutting (speaking from experience!).
You can either chill the fudge now or drizzle the salted caramel on top and then chill the fudge; it doesn’t make too much of a difference.
Cutting the Ritzy Fudge
Once the fudge has chilled for at least four hours and is set, remove the parchment paper lining from the baking dish. Cut the fudge slab into 24 squares, using the space between each Ritz cracker as a guide.
Can I Double or Halve This Ritzy Fudge Recipe?
Yes, you can! There are a few different ways to go about doing that. The ratio of fudge to Ritz cracker and salted caramel sauce varies depending on what you choose:
- To double the recipe but keep the same ratio of fudge to Ritz cracker, make a double batch and split the fudge between two 9×13″ (33×23 cm) baking dishes. Top with 24 Ritz crackers each, for a total of 48 crackers.
- To double the recipe but increase the ratio of fudge to Ritz cracker, make a double batch and pour all the fudge into one 9×13″ (33×23 cm) baking dish. Top with 24 Ritz crackers.
- To halve the recipe but keep the same ratio of fudge to Ritz cracker, make only half a batch and pour the fudge into an 8×8″ or 9×9″ (20×20 or 23×23 cm) baking dish. Top with 16 Ritz crackers.
Does the Ritz Cracker Break into a Million Pieces when Cut?
No, it actually doesn’t! The Ritz crackers are placed into the fudge while there’s still a bit of moisture from the warm fudge. They absorb just enough moisture to prevent them from breaking into a million crumbs but not enough to become soggy. It’s great!
Do the Ritz Crackers Get Soggy from the Salted Caramel Sauce?
I don’t know why, but no, they don’t. Store the fudge uncovered in the fridge, and you shouldn’t have a problem with your Ritz crackers going soggy!
Dish Cleanup: Piece of Cake
I rate my recipe cleanups on a scale of 1 to 5. 1 is only a handful of dishes, and 5 is everything including the kitchen sink.
This ritzy fudge recipe has a cleanup rating of a 1. The baking dish doesn’t get dirty because of the parchment paper lining, so I don’t even wipe it out. The fudge easily pours out of the pot, so you shouldn’t have too much stuck in there.
I used my cutting board and knife twice: Once to chop up the chocolate in the beginning, and again to cut the fudge into bars after they had set. Don’t feel the need to wash the board and knife between uses unless you need them for something else!
Ritzy Fudge Recipe
- 18.6 oz good-quality milk chocolate, like a Trader Joe's Pound Plus bar (3 cups, 530 grams)
- 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 24 Ritz crackers
- 2 Tablespoons salted caramel sauce, store-bought or homemade
- Line a 9x13-inch baking dish (33x23-cm)* with parchment paper, making sure the sheet is long enough to cover the sides.
- Chop up the chocolate into small, even pieces (if using a chocolate bar and not chocolate chips).
- Add the chocolate and sweetened condensed milk to a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until all the chocolate has melted. Add in the salt and vanilla and stir to combine. Remove from heat.
- Pour the fudge into the lined baking dish. Smooth out the fudge into an even layer with a spatula, making sure the fudge reaches to the edges of the pan.
- Press the Ritz crackers into the top of the fudge while it's still warm, with six across in a row and four down in a column. For best results, press the Ritz crackers firmly into the fudge until they are about even with the fudge. The fudge will contract a bit when it chills, and if the Ritz crackers aren't pressed in firmly enough, they may pop out during cutting.
- Drizzle the salted caramel sauce across the top, then place in the refrigerator for at least four hours or until set.**
- Once chilled, remove the fudge from the baking dish via the parchment paper and place on a cutting board. Cut in between each Ritz cracker for 24 pieces.
- Serve immediately, or store in an air-tight container in the fridge (preferably in one layer) for up to a month.
*For thicker pieces of fudge, use a square 9x9-inch pan (23x23-cm). You may only use 16 Ritz crackers instead of 24.
**You may drizzle the salted caramel sauce on top of the fudge before or after chilling; I've found it makes less of a mess if the salted caramel is chilled before cutting.
For smaller pieces (because these are pretty rich!), cut each Ritz cracker in half for a total of 48 pieces.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 210Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 103mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 1gSugar: 25gProtein: 4g
The nutrition facts are estimated and may vary based on specific ingredients used.
Thanks for trying out my homemade four-ingredient fudge with Ritz crackers and salted caramel sauce! Please consider rating this recipe so others find it, too.
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