Fudge is, no doubt, an irresistible candy made by mixing sugar, butter and milk, heating it at 240°F until soft, and finally beating the mixture until smooth and creamy.
This simple yet delectable treat is often too tasty to forget about, but if your eyes were bigger than your stomach in the supermarket, or you’ve made a big batch at home, you’re probably wondering if your fudge will go bad and, if so, how long it will last.
The sad truth is, it will go bad eventually—but you’ll be glad to hear that fudge can be quite resilient provided it is stored correctly.
Below you’ll find a guide on fudge shelf life and the best ways to store it so it can keep for as long as possible while maintaining its sweet flavor.
What Are The Signs Of Spoilage?
An obvious sign of spoilage is, of course, the appearance of mold. If you see mold growing on your fudge, sadly it is not safe to eat anymore and should be thrown in the trash. Other telltale signs are discoloration and the smell of rotten dairy.
But this is often the worst-case scenario; because fudge goes off slowly, signs of spoilage can often be subtle. Look out for a change in texture. Rather than being smooth, its surface will either become incredibly dry or too damp if it has gone bad. Even if you think it is still safe to eat, it’s best to take no risks and chuck it out as it won’t taste as good.
If you have been storing fudge in your freezer for over six months, discard it even if there are no signs of decay. Its sugary flavor will have disappeared at this point and is not worth eating.
How Long Does Fudge Last?
Let’s not forget that two out of three of the ingredients in fudge are dairy products. The milk and butter, therefore, will be the first to go off—but it’s not all bad! The good news is the cooking process toughens up the ingredients, meaning fudge lasts longer than you’d think.
The shelf life of fudge is dependent on where and how well it is being stored. At room temperature in a dark, dry place, you can expect your fudge to keep between one and two weeks.
Refrigerated fudge will maintain its taste and texture for three to four weeks, especially if you can prevent moisture from ruining it.
If you have decided to store away your fudge in the freezer, its shelf will certainly be extended. You can expect it to keep up to six months. It may still be safe to eat after six months have passed, although, as already mentioned, its taste will have degraded.
It’s important to note that, if you bought fudge from the store, checking the best-by date is essential as there are various types of fudge. Also, remember to check the label as some brands might not recommend storing it in the fridge.
How Do I Store Fudge?
Want to know how to prolong the shelf life of your fudge? It’s easy! Simply avoid exposing it to heat, moisture, air, and sunlight. The best way to do this is to wrap it tightly in wax paper or a freezer bag and keep it in an airtight container.
Fudge can be stored at room temperature in a safe place away from light and heat sources such as your pantry or a kitchen cupboard (not too close to the cooker).
In hotter climates, however, the pantry may not be enough. This is when a fridge will come in handy! It’s also better for storing fudge long-term. But do remember to ensure moisture is kept at bay, and if store-bought, check it’s okay to refrigerate. The last thing you want is damp fudge!
The ideal method of storage if you want fudge to last for months is freezing. It gets better—even after freezing, its texture doesn’t change. Once thawed, it should still be soft and smooth on the tongue!
As ever, just make sure it is wrapped in wax paper or a freezer bag and stored in a tightly sealed container with as little access to air as possible. To thaw, leave it in the fridge for a few hours rather than defrosting at room temperature.