Fudge causes the downfall of many a good diet, but it’s so delicious! How long can this sweet candy last, if you don’t eat it all first? And where is the best place to store it so it lasts the longest time?
Fudge can last anywhere from one to two weeks outside of the refrigerator, and three to four weeks in the refrigerator. The estimate depends on the recipe and ingredients used to make it. The fudge made in stores lasts longer than homemade fudge, around a week after the “best by” date printed on the package in the pantry or cupboard and two to three weeks after the “best by” date in the fridge. This is because the commercially made fudge has more preservatives in it and it’s sealed from contaminants that could make it unsafe to eat.
Here are some helpful tips to make sure your fudge lasts as long as possible, if it isn’t eaten before that becomes a problem.
Does Fudge Go Bad? How Long Does Fudge Last?
Fudge, like a lot of other foods, lasts the longest if stored in an air-tight container. Where you store it is as important as how it’s stored.
How Long Does Fudge Last Outside?
Homemade fudge can last around one to two weeks if you keep it in a cool, dry place away from too much humidity, dryness, or contaminants. The keyword being “around.” Always check to make sure there are no signs of it going bad.
The commercially produced fudge that you can find in a store lasts longer since it’s sealed off from contaminants. It lasts around a week after the “best by” date.
The best way to store fudge outside of the fridge is to cut it into chunks and to use resealable plastic bags with any excess air squeezed out.
How Long Does Fudge Last in the Fridge?
Fudge not only lasts longer in the refrigerator, but the cooler temperature keeps the fudge from melting in the summer or in hot climates. Since the fridge has more moisture than a pantry, the fudge will keep better if it’s wrapped in wax paper before storage.
On average, homemade fudge will last around three to four weeks in a fridge if you keep it in the back where the temperature is consistently low. Store-bought fudge lasts around two to three weeks after its “best by” date.
If you store your fudge in the fridge, be careful. Some kinds of fudge aren’t meant to be stored in cold temperatures. Read any instructions on the packet before you do anything with it.
How Long Does Fudge Last in the Freezer?
Freezers suck the moisture out of foods, making storage in an air-tight container essential. The fudge also lasts longer if it’s wrapped in wax paper or aluminum foil, keeping moisture inside.
Fudge can last at least three to six months in a freezer, with some sources saying it can last as long as a year. Using freezers runs the risk of your fudge getting freezer burn, however. The fudge lasts the longest if it’s kept in the back of the freezer, away from any light or heat sources.
One factor of how long fudge lasts in the freezer is the ingredients. Freezing fudge can affect the consistency and texture, depending on what was used to make it. Some kinds of milk, for example, will separate into fat and water if frozen too long.
Fudge’s expiration dates aren’t set in stone; the dairy ingredients are unpredictable, and your fudge might not last as long as you hope it will. The key is checking your fudge before you eat it.
How To Tell If Fudge Has Gone Bad
Fudge won’t go bad all at once but in a gradual process. Here are some signs that it’s time to throw it away.
A funny smell: If your fudge smells a bit strange, that means that the milk inside of it has begun to break down. It might still be safe for a while, but it won’t taste good.
Drying up: When fudge loses moisture, it dries out and becomes hard. It also develops cracks and crumbles when squeezed.
Turning soggy: This happens when your fudge has too much moisture. The fudge turns mushy or slimy and feels like it melted.
Losing flavor: Another effect of the milk inside of the fudge breaking down is the way it tastes. If it tastes funny, then it needs to be thrown out.
Discolored spots: If you see spots on the fudge that clearly aren’t part of the flavoring, that’s a good indication that your fudge has been exposed to contaminants like mold or mildew. These look like yellow, white, or green spots on the surface of the fudge.
Liquid on top: This can happen because the milk or butter inside of the fudge has started to separate, or because the container the fudge is in isn’t air-tight.
How to Store Fudge?
Fudge lasts the longest when stored in an air-tight container in a cool, dry place away from any light and heat sources, however, there are times when extra protection is needed.
- Don’t store your fudge in a cardboard box for more than a day or two. The cardboard doesn’t keep moisture inside very well, and the fudge quickly dries out. Cardboard also absorbs odors from other food in a fridge or freezer, which will affect the taste of the fudge inside
- Wax paper helps to not only keep moisture in but to keep pieces of fudge from sticking together. This lets you store multiple layers of fudge in one container
- If you’re making homemade fudge, wait until the fudge has cooled off and dried before putting it into the fridge or freezer
- Don’t forget the date you put it in storage. If you don’t remember when you made your fudge, it’s a good idea to test it out by smelling or tasting a small piece
- Make sure that any containers you use are sealed off. If you use resealable plastic bags, squeeze out any extra air before you close it
Can You Freeze Fudge? How?
If you want to store fudge long-term, freezing is your best option.
- Make sure that the type of fudge you’re freezing can be frozen. Denser types of fudge freeze better than looser types
- Any freezing should be done in an air-tight container, preferably in a resealable bag or container. Keep the container in the back of the freezer and away from any foods that smell, because the fudge can absorb odors
- To prevent your fudge from drying out and make it last, wrap it in wax paper. You can then wrap it in a layer of aluminum foil and put it into an air-tight container to prevent any contaminants from getting into it
- Cut the fudge into larger pieces before you freeze it. Larger blocks are less likely to dry out and easier to cut than small ones
- The freezer is only for long-term storage, not for cooling down just-cooked fudge. Cooling fudge in a freezer or a refrigerator will make it lumpy
How to Thaw Fudge?
Once you’re ready to thaw out the fudge, you will need to do some preparation first.
- Give yourself plenty of time to let it thaw, like doing it overnight. Once you’re ready to thaw it out, put it in the fridge. Drastic changes in temperature affect how the fudge tastes and feels
- Keep the fudge fully wrapped in the container until you’re ready to use it. This prevents condensation from forming on it.
- Once thawed, your fudge should be stored in the fridge
Frequently Asked Questions About Fudge’s Shelf Life
What kinds of fudge can you not store in the fridge or freezer?
Denser fudges freeze better than lighter ones because the lighter ones have more ingredients that tend to separate when stored in the freezer. Vegan fudge and fudge made in the microwave don’t chill very well, for example. There are other reasons why some kinds of fudge can’t be refrigerated, like fudge made with imitation vanilla or dried fruit losing its flavor when frozen. Overall, the way fudge reacts to being in a fridge or freezer tends to change depending on the ingredients used. Pay attention to the label on the package or recipe to see if you can freeze your fudge.
What ingredients extend fudge’s shelf life?
There are a lot of different ingredients used to make fudge, but the ones that contain preservatives work best. Butter and some kinds of oil, for example. Sugar, which can also act as a preservative, has an anti-bacterial effect which usually keeps contaminants like mold out.
Even if you take every precaution, it’s best to err on the side of caution and use or eat your fudge before it has a chance to go bad. Enjoy!