Pumpkin Pie Fudge


I teach diabetic programming with another diabetes educator on Thursday evenings. In last night’s session, an attendee shared that s/he had taken their glucose readings from well over 400 mg/dl to between 100-160 mg/dl…in ONE week. What did the person do? Ate regular meals…and didn’t cut out carbohydrates, but regulated the portion at each meal.

Seeing as Wednesday was World Diabetes Day (my cooking class went AWESOME by the way — I had over 15 attendees!), I would like to take this opportunity to blast a few diabetes myths. One of the most food-centric days of the years is upon us and so what better time, right?


Myth #1: Low-carb diets are the best way to manage diabetes.

In fact, not eating enough carbohydrates can cause high blood sugars. That is not a typo, folks. It’s a tough concept to grasp, but it’s true! Low-carb diets are not suitable for diabetes and rather, a carb-controlled diet and regular meals should be encouraged.

Myth #2: If you don’t take insulin, then your diabetes isn’t bad.

False, false, false! “Good” diabetes is diabetes when the blood glucose levels are within recommended ranges. The treatment and medication needs of each individual vary…a lot. Finding the treatment that will best manage an individual’s diabetes is the best treatment, whether it be insulin, oral agents, or diet and exercise. Some of the most uncontrolled diabetes are trying to manage their diabetes with oral agents and/or diet and exercise alone. It’s important to understand that uncontrolled diabetes can lead to serious complications, such as blindness, amputations, and kidney failure.

Myth #3: Diabetics can’t eat sugar.

Just as those seeking weight loss can incorporate all foods into their diets, so can diabetics. There’s no need to resort to sugar-free options, though they are always an option. Everything in moderation!


Last night, we talked about sugar substitutes and sugar-free desserts. The class attendees decided that having “a little bit of the real deal” was far more satisfying than a larger piece of something sugar-free or reduced carbohydrate. My opinion on sugar substitutes varies on the needs of the patient. I think they have their place and purpose, no doubt. But I tend to agree with (and find true myself) the fact that sometimes…less is more. Like this fudge, for example.

I’ve wanted to make this fudge for a year now…and I finally got the chance to. There was a bake sale at work this week, and I had a lot of fun creating treats for the occasion. I think I’m learning to love baking. And I’m thinking this is scary…

I had one piece of this fudge…for quality control purposes ;). The rest was bagged up for the sale. It’s the perfect Thanksgiving splurge is you’re looking for a little bit of the real deal. Enjoy!



Pumpkin Pie Fudge adapted from  as seen on Marcus Samuelsson, adapted from Annie’s Eats, Confections of a Foodie Bride, and originally, Southern Living

3 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup fat-free evaporated milk
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 Tbsp corn syrup
2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
9 oz white chocolate chips
7 oz marshmallow fluff
1 tsp vanilla extract


Stir together the sugar, butter, milk, pumpkin, corn syrup, and pumpkin pie spice in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until a candy thermometer reads 234 degrees F (soft-ball stage).

Remove pan from heat. Stir in white chocolate, marshmallow fluff, and vanilla until well blended. Pour into a greased, aluminum foil or parchment paper-lined pan. Let stand 2 hours or until completely cool. Cut fudge into squares.

Yield: 56 pieces.

Nutrition Information (per piece): 93 calories; 3.7 g. fat; o mg. cholesterol; 9 mg. sodium; 15.7 g. carbohydrate; 0.2 g. fiber; 0.3 g. protein

Result: Divine! This fudge was wildly popular at the bake sale and it was all gone…and quickly! Waiting for fudge to get to “soft ball” stage can take awhile…but it’s worth the wait. This is creamy, rich, and worth the splurge…no doubt about it!


TGIF. I hope to call it quits at a very reasonable time at work today and hit the gym. :)

Be well,


  1. says

    Wait…diabetics CAN eat sugar?! You don’t say! hehe, jk. That’s such a common mistake. I hear it every single day. I love being able to tell a diabetic that they CAN eat sugar. It’s so fun!
    Thanks for the fudge recipe. I love me some fudge! My dad makes chocolate fudge every year around this time. Perhaps I’ll make some pumpkin fudge to accompany his :)
    Enjoy your weekend Nicole!!

  2. says

    Is the sugar thing a timing issue? My MIL is type 1 and if we ever have cake for someone’s birthday at night a little while after dinner she can’t have any. But she usually eats it sometime the next day.

  3. says

    I can’t even tell you how many misconceptions there are out there about diabetics, and diabetes. One of my sisters co-workers didn’t want to tell anyone she was diabetic, because she was overweight, and she thought people might assume she got diabetes because she was overweight – ugh!

    Testing blood sugar regularly helps me the most – and while I hope to some day get the insulin pump, I’ll just keep doing what I do. 😀

    Hope you get off work early today!

    • Nicole, RD says

      When I meet with patients, I spend half our session just blasting all the myths about diabetes. There’s so many…and it’s so sad!! Happy weekend, Biz!!

  4. STH says

    My sister, who’s on a (pretty wacky) carb-free diet, asked me if my boyfriend would be going no-carb when he got diagnosed with diabetes and was visibly shocked when I said no. I think a lot of people have this idea that some foods are evil, but I believe in moderation.

    • Nicole, RD says

      I know, lol! The irony!! It was just great timing that my diabetes class was talking about portion control with the real deal…and I mean, what a perfect recipe to demonstrate that?! 😉

  5. says

    Thank you for this post! Not only do I plan to make this fudge, I am going to share this info with my diabetic hubs. His dr told him to eat a high protein, very low carb diet, but after years of living this way it is getting very old! Plus, I worry abt his health with so much protein ( and sugar subs) and little else of nutritional value.

  6. Sarah says

    I’ve made a fudge very similar to this for years. Except, the first time I made it I didn’t QUITE have enough white chocolate to make it firm completely into fudge texture. So, instead I rolled them into balls, and rolled the balls in graham cracker crumbs. I have been making it this way from then on, it’s like a little pumpkin pie truffle.

  7. Dana says

    Wait. So you think low-carb diets cause high blood sugar. Then you post a recipe that’s *guaranteed* to cause high blood sugar.

    Confused much?

    And, cite your source? I see no link there. Just an unsupported declaration.

    • Nicole, RD says

      Dana, I am a Registered Dietitian and diabetes educator. I promote moderation, not deprivation. If you disagree, that’s fine, but I prefer constructive comments on my blog.

      • Anniebannie says

        Actuallu, I’d be interested in being able to quote research studies that show that a low-carb diet is bad for diabetic or that it raises blood sugar levelss. Any links to research studies would be helpfull

  8. Tams says

    I’m not a huge fan of canned pumpkin puree as I make my own from pumpkins I get from a local farm here in Central PA. I do know tho that my puree has a watery consistency as compared to the canned version. In light of that, would you suggest then a change in the amount of puree used if fresh or in one of the other ingredients to compensated for the increased water content?

    • Nicole, RD says

      Tams, I’m not entirely sure, but you could strain the pumpkin over cheesecloth to remove some of the excess moisture, as well. I think that would work really well.

  9. Kirsty says

    I just made this yesterday and when I licked the bowl it tasted delicious, but my problem is that it did not firm up at all. It is still really soft and gooey, almost liquidy. Any tips on how to fix this? And I don’t have a thermometer so I just let it get really hot on the stove for about 5-7 minutes.

    • Nicole, RD says

      Hi Kirsty, I’m afraid you didn’t get the fudge to the temperature needed to solidify and I’m not sure how it can be fixed. Recipes that call for candy thermometers are generally very finicky and temperamental. I’m sorry I’m not of more help! I do find, however, that it generally takes recipes 2x the cook time to get to the stages indicated (i.e. soft ball, hard ball, etc.) on recipes.

      • Kirsty says

        I poured it back into a pan and let it boil for a few more minutes, then added a bit more white chocolate chips and fluff and then let it sit and it finally set. I can’t wait to eat it. Thanks for all the help and the great recipe.

  10. Molly Adair says

    Canned pumpkin comes in different sizes and the recipe doesn’t state what size, i.e. how many ounces do I need?

    • Nicole, RD says

      Hi Molly, the recipe calls for 1 cup, not 1 can — I’m not sure how much ounces that would be.

      Adding on: it would be around 8 ounces (a standard can is 15 ounces).

  11. says

    I love pumpkin and this is really good! Very sweet, though – so a little goes a long way! FYI -I ended up cooking this like 50 minutes to get to soft ball stage (one person said they cooked 5-7 minutes). I made in lieu of pumpkin pie this year. A nice change. Thanks for sharing recipe!

    • shawn says

      it took me FOREVER to get to the soft ball temp as well. my arms got sore! i’ve made this twice, first i didn’t use the candy thermometer and put the pumpkin in after boiling. big mistake. i had to reboil it after it cooled and i added more chocolate and two ounces of cream cheese to tighten it up. that was a beautiful smooth fudge. the second time i followed the directions exactly but it seized when i added the chocolate. it set up but wasn’t very smooth. still tastes great!

  12. Quinetta says

    I’m a diabetic and I have Colitis, in making fudge, could I use powder sugar and make no cook fudge?
    With the gluten free I can have the sugar?


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