Three reasons why we love Mamie Eisenhower:

1. The girl liked to party. She was the first First Lady to throw large publicized birthday celebrations for herself with celebrity guests like Rosalind Russell, Red Skelton & Mahalia Jackson. In fact, her 1956 birthday extravaganza was even televised.

2. The girl liked to recover from parties. Mamie took several meetings each morning from her bed, including updates from her social secretary, chief of staff, and chef. She regularly stayed in her pink bed until noon, earning the nickname “Sleeping Beauty” from the White House maids.

3. Her name was Mamie and her hairstyle rocked.

Ok, so technically that’s four reasons. We crammed two into one. But here’s one more reason to love Mamie…even though she was a horrible cook by all accounts, she made a few desserts so beloved that they were reprinted in newspapers across the country. One of those was dubbed “Mamie Eisenhower’s Million Dollar Fudge.” We’re not sure why the “million dollar” was added. It seems like one of those 1950s superlatives that folks just stuck on anything halfway decent. And to be honest, that’s pretty much what we thought of this fudge. It was halfway decent.

Maybe we did something wrong, because every review you read online about this fudge claims that it’s been life-changing for several generations of people’s families. But we (and our visiting experts from Baked NYC) followed the directions exactly. Don’t get us wrong, it wasn’t horrible. And it was very easy to make. It just wasn’t chocolate-y enough for us.

Or maybe we just didn’t have the right Mamie Eisenhower joie de vivre when we were eating it. We’ll try eating it in a pink bed tomorrow morning and report back.

Sometime after noon.




Mamie Eisenhower’s Million Dollar Fudge


Mamie Eisenhower's Million Dollar Fudge has been a favorite for generations.

Prep time: 20 Min
Cook time:
Total time: 6 Hours


1 pint marshmallow cream

12 ounces semisweet chocolate, either in chips or chopped fine.

12 ounces German sweet chocolate, chopped fine.

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 1/2 cups sugar

Pinch salt

2 tablespoons butter

1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk

2 cups coarsely chopped pecans


Beat together the chocolate, marshmallow creme and vanilla using the beater attachment on your stand mixer until mixed evenly. About 3 minutes.
Combine the sugar, salt, milk, and butter in a very large saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer 7 minutes, stirring continuously.
Gradually pour boiling syrup over the chocolate-marshmallow mixture and beat until chocolate is melted. Stir in nuts. Pour into a buttered large, rimmed jellyroll pan. Or several smaller buttered baking dishes. Store in a cool place several hours or overnight. Once hardened, cut into small squares.


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  • By: dharmapupil

    Her fudge may not have been all that, but her brownies were apparently to die for, at least according to Ike.
    Following WWII, when he was stationed at Allied HQ Europe in Paris he had Mamie (who was back stateside) send the recipe across the pond. It was delivered in a Top Secret coded communique to the communications center there. I know this is true, because my Mother was the person who decoded the recipe! She was a Sgt in the WACs and she had a very high clearance.
    Unfortunately I cannot immediately lay my hand on the copy she made but when I dig it out I will definitely share it.

  • By: mary lynne

    I have a similar recipe which I also found too sweet and not chocolately enough, so I used bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate in combination. the 5 cups or so of sugar sweetens it enough!

  • By: Jane

    I wonder which recipe was used for Mamie’s birthday cake. It would be interesting to know how much of each ingredient went into it. It is so huge! I want a piece!

  • By: marianne meyer

    will definitely try Mamie’s fudge
    would LOVE some children sizes in the Polkaspot tee-shirt
    some tee-shirts with photos of the brand new baby goats on would also be

  • By: NowaDiver

    OK – so then the challenge would be for you guys to find the REAL Million Dollar Fudge – the one that knocks Mamie’s off her chocolatey butt…THAT’S what I expect to find on the Beekman website! I challenge you guys to tweak this into chocolatey, fudgey heaven – like all of your wonderful foods…. 😉

  • By: Amy Smith Wexler

    Bakers brand sweet german chocolate is high in cocoa butter vs. caco so you can gain more chocolate flavor by adding about two teaspoons of chocolate liquor I think when I try it I will dress it up that way…

  • By: Jennifer Berglund

    I love me some good fudge and this recipe seems easy enough for me to try and tackle,Thankyou for the info

  • By: Jane

    Wondering if all chocolate could be dark chocolate so that it would be a more intense chocolate taste……hmmmmmmm…….

  • By: darcell

    I’m going to make this for Easter:) Looks like a good recipe.

  • By: Dorothy Hayes

    Sounds wonderful. Would love to try it but I gave up chocolate for Lent. So it must wait for now.

  • By: sally

    I absolutely love fudge! I am going to try this recipe!!

  • By: Nathan

    They don’t make “em like Mamie anymore. I doubt I will make the fudge, but thanks for the interesting historical facts on the late First Lady.

  • By: Susan

    You need to use cocoa powder to get more chocolate flavor. Or at least unsweetened chocolate. Chocolate with sugar in it isn’t going to give you the same chocolaty punch!

  • By: dolly honey

    4 1/2 cups sugar??? you sure?? what is marshmallow cream? can i use cream as a substitute?? how many calories did you say?? you sure?

    • By: Lynn Ritter

      Marshmallow cream is what we consider fluff today. I got the recipe from my great-grandmother; yes it is 4-1/2 cups of sugar but the recipe I have does NOT include the vanilla. I hope this helps.

  • By: donna rochester

    Tastes change. I raised three girls in the 60’s and 70’s, then after 16 years finally had a son in 1980. I am appalled at our diet back then and think we eat much healthier now. I think we prefer dark chocolate now as well as stronger coffee. We also eat more ethnic food. The fudge was a big thing 40 years ago, but not so much now.

  • By: Mayela

    I’m making this for a weekend get together to celebrate my daughters engagement to a wonderful young man! Thank you for sharing a special recipe.

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