Trail Cooking

Dairy-Free Allergen Friendly Fudge

Let’s be upfront:

This is not a light weight food. It’s not low calorie. It’s not sugar free. There is nothing healthy about it. You can only carry it in mid to late fall, winter and early spring. It’ll melt in hot temps or climates. It’s a total NorthWest thing. Sorry all you in Hotlanta and Florida.

But I’ll say this: you carry fudge, and every hiking partner you have will be your best friend. If not, they are not your type of hiking friend.

There was a period in my hiking career that I always had a brick with me – and people would offer to pack the weight to have it on hand.

Fall is coming in a month, the days are already getting shorter in the far north, and it’s cool in the evenings. As it gets cooler in September and October having extra calories is a good thing. You will sleep better on a belly of calories….

Now imagine you could have a fudge that contains only 3 ingredients. Comes together quickly, with no special talent needed to make it. No thermometer needed. And is allergy-friendly. So nearly all can enjoy it!

Did you know I wrote a trail cookbook that is allergy friendly? I did it for my youngest son, who has severe multiple food allergies, so that he’d have a guide when he got older – that he could trust.

Hiking Free Allergy Friendly Recipes For The Outdoors:

Now then, you can of course make it with standard chocolate chips and dairy condensed milk. Both are equally good, if you don’t have allergies. The options these days though – we had little of it just 10 years ago!

Dairy-Free Allergen Friendly Fudge



Line a glass 8×8″ baking pan with parchment paper (it helps if you wipe the pan with cold butter first, then press the paper in. It won’t shift then.)

Add the sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips into a medium heavy bottomed saucepan.

Heat on low, whisking often, until the chocolate is fully melted, and it is smooth.

Remove from the burner. Whisk in the vanilla.

Pour into the prepared pan, spreading smoothly with a spatula.

Place in refrigerator, let chill until set (about 2 hours).

Pull up on the parchment paper to remove from the pan, set on a cutting board and cut into bite size pieces.

Store in a tightly sealed container or wrap in 2 layers of plastic wrap. Keep chilled before leaving on trips. When I would take fudge on trips, I kept it in an insulated bag/cooler for the ride, as your car could be pretty toasty. I’d carry it wrapped in plastic wrap, then stashed in a gallon freezer bag for carrying, and carry in the center of my pack so if the sun came out it didn’t get soft.

“Lasts” up to 3 weeks. If you have chocolate fans around you, it’ll be gone first night out…or at home.


Most grocery stores now carry at least 1 type of allergy friendly chocolate chips, next to the regular ones. Even the big names are getting into the game, but I prefer Enjoy Life as I know they are safe.

Oat Sweetened Condensed milk is also now available if you are allergic to coconut products.

Enjoy Life makes a white chocolate chip that can be used for other flavors of fudge. Think white + lemon extract or orange extract. Or mint extract.

Add in dried diced up fruit or berries (or nuts if you can eat them) right before pouring. Even vegan marshmallows, such as Dandies, can be folded in (they are usually safe for most allergies).


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