Cardamom Cashew Fudge

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During my years as an ice cream scooper back in high school, I indulged in a lot of ridiculously awesome frozen treats. Hot fudge sundaes with real vanilla bean ice cream, waffle cones dipped in chocolate and covered in fun rainbow sprinkles, and my favorite – unlimited access to maraschino cherries. Yes, the color of those cherries is slightly scary. And yes, my metabolism was faster back then.

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In addition to ice creams and toppings galore, we also sold the most heavenly homemade fudge. I was never privy to the exact recipe, but I can assure you it contained an obscene amount of butter and sugar.

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We sold only a handful of classic flavors, including plain chocolate, penuche (a delicious brown sugar), and chocolate peanut butter. This was literally chocolate fudge with a good two inches of straight up creamy peanut butter spread on top. Insane.

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I certainly wouldn’t turn down a piece of that fudge if someone offered it to me today, but my taste preferences (and metabolism) have changed quite a bit since my days as an ice cream scooper. I still have a killer sweet tooth, but now I try to enjoy desserts that have more wholesome ingredients and leave me feeling energized, while still satisfying my sugar cravings.

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I stumbled upon a cashew fudge in Whole Foods recently, and was immediately intrigued by the short ingredient list: raw cashews, butter, water, and sugar. This seemed simple enough, and I knew I could easily sub the butter for a vegan buttery spread.

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I initially considered adding cinnamon as well, but then found an almost-full jar of cardamom tucked away on my spice rack. The cardamom could be traded for another spice, or no spice at all, but I like  that it adds an Indian twist to accompany the rich cashew base.

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It’s definitely not the super indulgent fudge I used to eat, but it’s perfectly satisfying, and all without a sugar hangover.

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Cardamom Cashew Fudge
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 15
  • 2 C. Raw Cashews
  • ½ C. Granulated Sugar, plus 2 Tbs.
  • 2 Tbs. Earth Balance
  • ⅔ C. Water
  • ½ Tsp. Ground Cardamom
  1. Begin by coating 2 large sheets of parchment paper with Earth Balance or cooking spray. This will be used to roll out the fudge.
  2. Grind cashews and 2 Tbs. sugar in a food processor until very finely ground. Be careful not to over-process, or you will end up with cashew butter.
  3. Combine water and ½ C. sugar in a large saute pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently for 12-15 mins, until syrup begins to thicken.
  4. Slowly add the ground cashews, stirring until no lumps remain.
  5. Add Earth Balance and cardamom. Continue stirring for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture resembles a thick paste.
  6. Transfer dough onto 1 sheet of parchment paper, place the 2nd sheet on top, and roll to ¼ inch (or desired) thickness.
  7. Allow to cool completely before cutting.
  8. Store in a tupperware in your fridge for up to 1 week.
This makes approximately 30 1-inch pieces of fudge. As I've mentioned before, I have a heavy hand when it comes to spices, but I recommend going easy on the cardamom. Like nutmeg, a little goes a long way!

What’s your favorite sweet indulgence? Is there a particular dessert you’re most looking forward to this Thanksgiving?

Although I basically ate an entire pumpkin pie by myself last weekend (oops), I’m still looking forward to a slice on Thursday. Similar to my love of ice cream, pumpkin pie just never seems to get old.

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  1. says

    Love how simple that recipe is!

    Favorite sweet indulgence is a cupcake with a cake to icing ration of about 1:3.

    Dessert I’m most looking forward to next week is my mom’s cranberry upside down cake.

  2. says

    This recipe is so intriguing to me! And I’m w/ you on the pumpkin pie, I’ve had two slices at work today, whoops. I love pecan and pumpkin pies, but I definitely limit myself to having them only for thanksgiving. clearly, I’ve started a little early this year. Tis the season, right? haha

  3. says

    Oh this looks sooo good! I love the simplicity of it…as well as the caveat “Be careful not to over-process, or you will end up with cashew butter.” <— I have done that when making raw desserts a few times. Go from cashew flour to cashew butter in precisely 5 extra seconds in the Vita. Whoops :)

    • says

      Did the mixture resemble a thick paste after you mixed everything together (mine was borderline difficult to stir)? I can’t say for sure, but I think it’s likely that the syrup may have needed some more time to reduce…
      I’m sorry you had trouble with the recipe!

      • Pat says

        It actually did set up overnight but is very soft. I think you are right – it was kind of “loose” when mixing it together. Next time I’ll reduce it more. Thanks so much! By the way – even the kids LOVE this and say it is one of the best things they’ve ever tasted. I did modify one thing – I used 1/4 t cinnamon and 1/4 t cardamom (just because I’m not a huge cardamom fan). Thanks so much for the recipe!

        • says

          I’m so glad your kids like the recipe! I hear you on reducing the cardamom though. It’s a very strong flavor! I’m going to keep your modification in mind the next time I make this. :)

  4. says

    Hiya! I followed over from the link in your post today because I am obsessed with both cardamom and cashews. Question for you: what would happen if I didn’t use sugar? From Pat’s comment about it not holding together, wondering if the thick sugar water is what makes it all happen. Thoughts?

    • says

      Hmmm. The simple syrup is what holds it together, so you would need something with a similar texture. Honey or agave might work, but you don’t do any kind of refined sugar, right? I wonder if you could do something with a date paste…I have no idea if that would work, but maybe if you froze it too. Now I’m curious. haha

  5. Sussie says

    This looks and sounds amazing! Just a question though, what is Earth Balance? I’m european and I don’t think we have it here. I tried googling it, but it seems to be a brand and not a product. Thanks!


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