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As a kid, there were many packaged treats I loved. Cosmic Brownies. Nutter Butters. Little Debbie’s Fudge Rounds.
I’ve already recreated the Cosmic Brownie recipe with stellar results, so it seemed only fitting that I move on to Homemade Fudge Rounds. In fact, we’re celebrating an entire Nostalgia Week recreating homemade versions of our favorite childhood packaged treats!
Actually, I had all but forgotten that Fudge Rounds existed until shopping at Target during this recent back-to-school season.
All the end caps were piled high with packaged treats for lunch boxes, and it inspired me to tackle some more copycat / homemade / from scratch versions.
Which sweet snack was your favorite?
Make sure to check out the pink tip box below for lots of baking tips to make the BEST Fudge Rounds right at home.
How to Make Homemade Fudge Rounds
What are Fudge Rounds?
Little Debbie Fudge Rounds are fudgy round chocolate cookies, sandwiched together with chocolate buttercream. Think Whoopie Pies, but richer and fudgier! A box of these treats can be found at pretty much any American grocery or convenience store.
Why you’ll love this copycat Fudge Rounds recipe:
- Super fudgy, decadent, soft chocolate cookies
- Sandwiched together with silky smooth chocolate buttercream
- Drizzled with melted chocolate for a cute (and tasty!) finishing touch of chocolate stripes on top.
These will satisfy any chocolate craving. Seriously decadent and chocolaty without being too rich, these Fudge Rounds will be a crowd-pleaser at any picnic or BBQ, or a hit with the kids after their first day back to school!
Store Bought vs. Homemade Fudge Rounds:
Although nostalgic, store-bought Fudge Rounds are much too sweet and artificial tasting for me nowadays. When you’re making them from scratch, you can get extra generous with the amount of filling. See what I mean in the photo below with homemade on the left and store-bought on the right:
Ingredients for Copycat Fudge Round Cookies:
- Butter – Always use unsalted butter in baking if you’re able to, this way you can control the amount of salt used in the recipe.
- Granulated sugar – Sweetens and moistens the cookies.
- 1 egg – helps bind the cookie dough together.
- Light corn syrup – Corn syrup is an invert sugar, which means it is liquid at room temperature. Invert sugars prevent grains of sugar from recrystallizing as the cookie cools. Essentially, that little bit of corn syrup in this recipe is creating a texture that’s bendy and chewy, giving us the soft, fudgy texture we want with a Fudge Round! I don’t recommend skipping it for this reason. You can use the same amount of golden syrup as a simple swap if needed.
- Vanilla – just a teaspoon of vanilla provides the perfect vanilla flavor and aroma.
- All-purpose flour – Make sure to measure your flour accurately with a digital scale so you don’t end up with dry or dense cookies.
- Unsweetened natural cocoa powder – the star ingredient of our Homemade Fudge Rounds! More on this ingredient just below.
- Cornstarch – Although cornstarch is typically used as a thickening agent, that’s not all it does in cookies. In this recipe, cornstarch is used to aid structure, and give the cookies a wonderful soft, chewy texture.
- Baking soda – Not interchangeable with baking powder! Learn more about the differences between Baking Soda vs. Baking Powder in this article.
- Fine salt – To balance out the sweetness a bit.
Which Cocoa Powder for Homemade Fudge Rounds?
Anyone who has been following me for a bit will know I’m passionate about high-quality cocoa powder. High-fat cocoa powder really elevates any chocolate recipe, and these Fudge Rounds are no exception. Read more about my experiments with cocoa powder in my Most Important Thing to Know About Cocoa Powder article.
If you can’t get your hands on the really high-end natural/unsweetened cocoa powder, I recommend seeking out Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa powder for these Fudge Rounds and the filling. It’s available at most supermarkets or even Target, and it gives a really delicious, smooth chocolaty flavor without breaking the bank. I don’t recommend using Dutch-process cocoa powder in this recipe as we are using baking soda as the leavener here. You can read more about the differences between Natural and Dutch-Process Cocoa Powders here, if you wish!
Fudge Round Filling Ingredients:
- Butter – Again, always use unsalted butter!
- Cocoa powder – More natural cocoa powder. Make sure to sift your cocoa powder so you have a creamy, smooth filling.
- Powdered sugar – This also must be sifted so you don’t end up with a clumpy filling in your Fudge Rounds.
- Warm water – Helps recreate that characteristic filling texture.
- Vanilla extract – The vanilla pairs wonderfully with the cocoa powder for a perfectly flavored chocolate filling.
How to Make Fudge Rounds:
- Make the cookies. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, corn syrup, and vanilla. Whisk together the flour, cocoa, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Gradually combine the wet and dry ingredients just until combined.
- Bake the cookies. Using a spring-loaded cookie scoop, drop balls of dough on baking sheets and bake until the cookies are slightly puffed up and the edges are set. Remove baking sheets to cooling racks and remove cookies after a few minutes to continue cooling.
- Decorate the cookies. For the chocolate drizzle, microwave milk chocolate chips and vegetable oil in a microwave-safe bowl. Drizzle or pipe on top of each cookie. Refrigerate until chocolate is set.
- Make the filling. Cream butter on medium speed until smooth. Add the cocoa powder and powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add in the warm water and vanilla, and beat on medium high until light and fluffy.
- Assemble the cookie sandwiches. Pipe or spread filling on the flat side of half of the cookies. Gently press another cookie on top of the filling. Enjoy with a glass of milk!
Can Fudge Rounds be made ahead of time?
Yes! You can make the fudge rounds ahead of time and fill and serve the following day – but they keep beautifully in the fridge, assembled, for several days! They even freeze well – more information on that below.
How long do these Fudge Rounds last?
Store assembled Fudge Rounds in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day, or in the fridge for up to 5 days (they’re even more delicious chilled!).
Pro tip: the colder the Fudge Rounds are when serving, the more fudgy they’ll be!
Can you freeze Homemade Fudge Rounds?
Yes, and they taste amazing frozen! Freeze assembled Fudge Rounds in an airtight container, wrapped individually in plastic wrap, for up to 1 month! Simply thaw overnight in the fridge before enjoying.
More Copycat Recipes You’ll Love:
- Cosmic Brownies
- Oatmeal Cream Pies
- Strawberry Pop Tarts
- Brown Butter Rice Crispy Treats
- Homemade Oreo Cookies
- Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts
For the cookies:
- 10 tablespoons (142 grams) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at cool room temperature
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups (159 grams) all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons (32 grams) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
For the chocolate drizzle:
- 1/2 cup (85 grams) milk chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
For the filling:
- 1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
- 2 tablespoons (11 grams) unsweetened natural cocoa powder, sifted
- 1 1/2 cups (188 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 tablespoons warm water (about 100°F)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Make the cookies:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl a couple times, until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the egg, corn syrup, and vanilla. Scrape down the bowl.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients. Beat on low until combined. The dough will be soft and slightly sticky.
- Using a 1 ½-tablespoon spring-loaded scoop, drop balls of dough on baking sheets and bake until the cookies are slightly puffed up and the edges are set, about 8 to 9 minutes. Remove baking sheets to cooling racks and remove cookies after a few minutes to continue cooling. Cookies will flatten as they cool.
Decorate the cookies:
- For the chocolate drizzle, microwave milk chocolate chips and vegetable oil in a microwave-safe bowl, stirring every 15 seconds until smooth. Drizzle or pipe on top of each cookie. Refrigerate until chocolate is set, at least a half hour.
Make the filling:
- Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth. Add the sifted cocoa powder and powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add in the warm water and vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- Pipe or spread filling on the flat side of half of the cookies. Gently press another cookie on top of the filling.
- Serve or store assembled Fudge Rounds in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day, in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 1 month. The colder the Fudge Rounds are when serving, the more fudgy they’ll be!
This post was originally published in 2015 and updated in 2022 with new photos and recipe improvements. Photos by Joanie Simon.