Available in a wide range of tempting flavors such as vanilla, Belgian chocolate, triple chocolate, peanut butter, cookies n’ cream and more, fudge is a purely indulgent sweet treat that one simply cannot resist.
This rich, creamy and indulgent dessert is something you just can’t say no to; however, you won’t be able to finish all of the fudge in one sitting, and you’ll almost certainly have leftovers.
So, can fudge go bad? How long does fudge last? In this article, we’ll discuss all these aspects and more.
What Is the Shelf Life of Fudge?
Fudge is commonly made from ingredients such as sugar, milk (evaporated or condensed) and butter. Both butter and milk are perishable and have very short shelf lives.
But even if it is not refrigerated, fudge can last for a few days, thanks to the sugar and heating during its preparation. The shelf life of fudge depends on whether it is homemade or store-bought.
Typically, when kept at room temperature, homemade fudge can last for around 1-2 weeks. If you store it in an airtight container, the fudge will remain soft and delicious for a long time.
When stored in the refrigerator, the shelf life of homemade fudge can extend up to 3-4 weeks. And, if you want the fudge to last a lot longer, i.e., for a few months, then it is best to freeze it.
If you have purchased fudge from the store, then check the best-by date on the label and use it as a guideline of how long you can store the fudge. It is quite difficult to say how long the particular fudge you have bought will last because there is a wide variety of fudge available and while some manufacturers use preservatives, others don’t.
While certain varieties of fudge can even survive for 1-2 months, if the components in store-bought fudge are the same as those in handmade fudge, it should last for around 10-14 days. It is thus important to read the best-by label and adhere to the suggested date.
Manufacturers frequently advise chilling store-bought fudge to increase its shelf life by one to two weeks. And freezing the fudge is the ideal option if you want to keep it for a longer period of time.
What Is the Best Way to Store Fudge?
Fudge can be stored in 3 ways—at room temperature, in the fridge and in the freezer. Each of these storage methods has its benefits and drawbacks. And, it is best to choose the storage method depending on your requirements and situation.
Storing at Room Temperature
For both homemade and store-bought fudge, storing it at room temperature in the kitchen or pantry is best when it is for a short period. Store the fudge in a cool and dry place, away from any sunlight or heat, because exposure to both can cause the fudge to melt.
And, to keep the fudge soft and prevent it from becoming hard or drying out, store it in an airtight container. You can place several layers of fudge in a single container by putting a sheet of wax paper between each layer.
Storing in the Refrigerator
If you don’t plan to consume the fudge in the next few days and if you want to store it for a longer time. Or, if it is summer or you live in a hot place and are worried that the fudge will melt, then it is recommended that you store the fudge in the fridge.
However, do read the product label before keeping store-bought fudge in the fridge, as some manufacturers specify that the fudge should not be refrigerated. When it comes to homemade fudge, check with the recipe if refrigeration is okay.
If you’re storing the fudge in the fridge, pack it properly, preferably in a freezer bag or an airtight container so that it does not pick up any odors or moisture from the fridge.
Storing in the Freezer
Both homemade and store-bought fudge can be stored in the freezer. Double-wrap the fudge, first with wax paper and then with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to ensure that the fudge does not dry out and retains its best quality.
Then, put the fudge into an airtight container or freezer bag and store it in the freezer. To thaw the fudge, put it into the refrigerator for a few hours. It is very easy to cut frozen fudge into cubes. So, if you want to serve the fudge right after it comes out of the freezer, just cut it up and serve it.
How Can You Tell If Fudge Has Spoiled?
Unlike other baked goods, fudge does not get spoiled and is unlikely to grow mold. As it is stored for a longer time, the fudge ages and the quality will degrade in terms of its taste and texture. Old fudge is quite safe to eat, but you will not have a very delicious and decadent experience.
You will know that the fudge has gotten spoiled if you notice the following signs. If the fudge is exposed to the air, its surface will dry out and develop cracks. Some amount of crumbling at the edges may be fine, though the texture of the fudge is not likely to be very pleasant.
The fudge will become drier as it gets older. And, if you notice large and deep cracks on the surface of the fudge, it means that it is very old and should ideally be thrown away. If the fudge is exposed to moisture, it will quickly go bad.
Some moisture on the surface may be okay, but if the fudge is soggy or mushy, then you should not eat it and throw it away. If the fudge becomes very hard and develops an oily sheen on the surface, it means that it has spoiled and must not be eaten.
This may not mean that the fudge is unsafe to eat, but the taste will be rather unpleasant.
In conclusion, fudge does not really go bad; however, over time, its quality will deteriorate, as will the taste and texture. As we have discussed in our article, there are many ways of storing fudge and by storing it properly, you can ensure that this sweet treat stays soft and delicious for many days, even months.