Fudge is indulgent, with decadent, rich flavors, and a texture that just can’t be beaten. The beauty of fudge is that it is easily made at home too, and it only requires a few simple ingredients.
If you make fudge at home, or buy a batch from the store, you need to make sure that you store it properly, to not only allow it to last longer, but to keep it in the best condition possible.
Does fudge need to be refrigerated?
Contrary to what most people think, fudge does not need to be refrigerated, and it can last for a few weeks kept at room temperature if it is stored properly. Storing fudge in the fridge can actually dry it out and make it hard, so it is best to avoid it if possible.
If you want to store your fudge properly, and keep it as fresh as possible, read on for the best tips on how to do this, and to find out how long fudge lasts.
Should You Keep Fudge In The Fridge?
There are many different flavor and ingredient variations you will come across when it comes to fudge, but a simple fudge recipe includes sugar, butter, and milk.
Usually, when baking or cooking with these ingredients, the food item needs to be kept in the fridge, but this isn’t true for fudge.
Fudge does not need to be kept in the fridge, and it is perfectly fine to keep fudge at room temperature.
At room temperature, and when stored properly, fudge can last a good few weeks before going stale or bad, which should give you more than enough time to finish it!
It is actually recommended that you do not keep fudge in the fridge, and instead keep it at room temperature. Keeping fudge in the fridge draws out the moisture, which can cause the fudge to turn hard and dry, which isn’t very enjoyable.
How Long Does Fudge Last?
Fudge can last for quite some time, depending on how it is stored.
When looking at the different storage options for fudge, you can choose between the countertop, the fridge, or even the freezer.
All these different storage options keep fudge fresh for varying amounts of time, so this is definitely something to consider when deciding how to store fudge at home.
Keeping fudge at room temperature is recommended, even though it doesn’t keep fudge fresh for as long as the other storage options.
However, it is recommended because it keeps fudge in the best quality, in both taste and texture.
Kept at room temperature, and stored properly in an airtight container, fudge can keep fresh for up to two weeks.
There are a few factors that can alter this time, such as the container the fudge is stored in, as well as the temperature in the room.
It is not recommended to keep fudge stored in the fridge because it can cause the fridge to go dry and hard, but keeping fudge in the fridge is a great way to extend its shelf-life further, although you do have to compromise on quality a bit.
Stored properly in a fridge-safe container, fudge can stay fresh for up to three weeks in the fridge.
This is a week longer on average than at room temperature, so it is worth considering if you do not think two weeks is enough to finish all the fudge!
For when you have quite a large batch of fudge to store, and you know it will never be finished in a few weeks, you can opt to keep the fudge stored in the freezer.
The quality will decline slightly, but it definitely extends the shelf-life quite a bit.
Stored properly in the freezer, and protected against freezer burn, fudge can keep fresh for up to three months while frozen.
The fudge will still be fine to enjoy after three months, but the quality will begin to decline quite rapidly.
How To Store Fudge Properly
Proper storage extends the shelf-life of fudge quite drastically, and the fudge will go stale, and even spoil quite quickly if it is not stored properly.
Whether you choose to store fudge on the counter, in the fridge, or in the freezer, here are the recommended ways to store fudge, to keep it fresher for longer:
Once again, we recommend that you store fudge at room temperature, as it is the best way to keep the fudge soft, smooth and decadent.
To store fudge at room temperature, you need an airtight container that seals properly and is large enough to fit the fudge you need to store.
If you need to place some fudge on top of other pieces to fit into the storage container, then it is a good idea to place a layer of plastic wrap or wax paper between the fudge pieces to prevent them from sticking together.
When keeping the fudge on the counter, make sure to keep it out of direct sunlight, and away from any heat sources. A cool, dark area is ideal.
If you absolutely need to store the fudge in the fridge, then you need to pack it properly to try and reduce how much it might dry out.
The best way to store fudge in the fridge is to wrap it up in plastic wrap , keeping the fudge packed tightly together, but not so tight that they become squashed.
Once wrapped, place the fudge in an airtight container that seals well.
Close the lid properly, and place the fudge in the back of the fridge, away from any other food items that have a strong smell.
Fudge absorbs odors easily, so you don’t want it to pick up odors from your leftovers in the fridge.
You need to protect fudge well when placing it in the freezer, as freezer burn can ruin the taste and texture of the fudge, and it will be quite inedible once thawed.
To freeze fudge, wrap it up properly and tightly in plastic wrap, covering it in a few layers to offer added protection. Then, wrap it up in a layer of aluminum foil.
This seals off the fudge well and will prevent drying and freezer burn.
You can then either place the wrapped up fudge in a resealable plastic freezer bag, or into a freezer-safe airtight container.
Make sure that you label the packaging with the date of freezing, so you know when to use the fudge by (three months)
When it is time to eat the fudge, remove it from the freezer and leave it in the fridge or at room temperature to thaw out slowly.
Signs That Fudge Has Gone Bad
Even though fudge has quite a decent shelf-life, it can eventually go bad, so you need to know the signs to look for that fudge has spoiled, to make sure it is still safe to eat.
Here are the signs to look for that fudge has gone bad:
Fudge should never have a bad odor, and if it does, then it should be thrown away.
Fudge should have a sweet, delicious smell to it, and anything else is an indication that the fudge has gone bad and should not be eaten.
Fudge which has spoiled will likely have a sour or musty smell to it, and this will be quite noticeable when you open up the container and take a whiff.
Fudge should be smooth and creamy, and it should be easy to bite into and chew. If the fudge is rock hard and stiff, or if it has become soft and even slimy, then it shows that it has spoiled or begun to go bad.
Kept in the fridge, fudge can go hard, but it usually softens when exposed to some heat or when kept at room temperature.
Fudge that has gone bad will not soften and will instead be crumbly and stiff, and not enjoyable to eat at all.
Fudge will vary in color depending on how it was made and the ingredients it was made with. However, you will know what the fudge looked like when it was fresh, and it should ideally stay the same color.
If you open the box of fudge and notice that it has any discoloration, then it might be safer to throw the fudge away.
You should definitely get rid of the fudge if you notice any moldy spots on it, which could be white, light green, black, or even fuzzy. You cannot just cut the moldy bits away and eat the rest of the fudge.
This is a specific sign to look for with fudge that has been lept in the freezer. If you protect the fudge properly and wrap it up well, and use it within three months, it should not develop freezer burn.
However, if you notice ice crystals on the fudge, or spots that look very frozen, it shows that the fudge has experienced freezer burn.
This does not necessarily mean that the fudge has spoiled, but the taste and texture of the fudge will be ruined.
Does Fudge Melt If It Is Too Hot?
If you live in a warmer climate, or if you have made fudge in the middle of summer, you might be concerned that leaving it out at room temperature could cause the fudge to melt.
The warmer temperature will probably lessen the shelf-life of the fudge kept on the countertop, and it might be safe to use it within a week rather than two, but it will not melt the fudge.
Fudge does not melt when exposed to warmer temperatures, instead, it softens.
This is still fine to eat as long as there are no other signs of spoiling, and there is no reason you cannot enjoy the fudge, even though it will be a little more gooey.
The melting temperature for fudge is around 240 degrees Fahrenheit, so there really isn’t a chance that it would be exposed to this sitting on the counter in your kitchen,
How To Keep Fudge Fresh
When you have gone through the effort of making fudge at home (or taking a trip to the shop just to buy some!), you want to make sure that you can keep it as fresh as possible.
In moderate temperatures, the best way to keep fudge fresh is to store it at room temperature. You cannot just leave it lying out on the counter though.
Wrap the fudge in wax paper or aluminum foil, and place it inside an airtight container or plastic freezer bag.
Keep it tucked away in the pantry out of direct sunlight, or place it on the counter somewhere cool where it will not be exposed to any heat.
Can You Leave Fudge In The Fridge Overnight
It is perfectly fine to leave fudge in the fridge overnight, and some recipes actually call for fudge to be refrigerated for a few hours or overnight, as it helps the fudge set solid and in shape before being cut.
However, once the fudge has set and is to your liking, then you should slice it up and place it in a container to be stored on the countertop, to prevent it from drying out more in the fridge and becoming too hard.
How Far In Advance Can I Make Fudge?
Fudge is quite a process to make, so if you have an occasion coming up and you need to make fudge, you can plan to make it in advance.
We recommend not making fudge more than a week in advance. It can be stored at room temperature during this week and still be perfect to eat later on.
However, you’d ideally want to make it a few days in advance, to have it be as fresh as possible. It is best to keep it at room temperature during this time, but it can be kept in the fridge if you need it to keep it fresher for longer.
If you do store the fudge in the fridge, it might be worth taking it out the night before and placing it on the counter at room temperature, so it can soften a bit before being eaten.
Does Fudge Need To Be Refrigerated?
As fudge has a high sugar content, it has quite a long shelf-life. Even though it is made from dairy, it does not need to be kept in the fridge, and it does best when left out at room temperature.
Fudge keeps its best taste and texture when stored in an airtight container, and it will stay fresh this way for up to two weeks.
If you need to store fudge for longer than this, then you can store it in the fridge for up to three weeks, or in the freezer for up to three months, but you need to make sure to package it properly so it stays as fresh as possible.
Can old fudge make you sick?
It is quite rare to become ill from old fudge, as the high sugar content keeps it stable for quite some time. However, it isn’t impossible, and you should know the signs to look for when the fudge has gone off, such as a bad smell or signs of mold.
Can fudge set at room temperature?
Fudge is best when left to set slowly at room temperature, as it avoids the sugars from crystallizing too rapidly and creating a grainy texture.