Fudge is a silky smooth, delectably sweet luxury that’s easy to whip up at a moment’s notice. You can make your favorite fudge recipe with as few as two ingredients, but adding a few more flavors helps you create endless variations. Thanks to its long shelf life, fudge is an ideal treat to send to friends and family without worrying that it might spoil or go stale. Though fudge doesn’t really spoil, its taste and texture can be compromised. However, if you follow a few tips and prepare it correctly for storage, your fudge can last a long time.
How Long Does Fudge Last?
When stored correctly at room temperature, fudge can last up to two weeks. Fudge placed inside the refrigerator will last even longer, up to four weeks. When securely packaged, it will stay good for up to a year in the freezer.
Watch for a couple of signs to help you determine if your fudge is okay to eat. One of the most common signs of degradation are cracks. With too much exposure to open air, fudge can dry out and crack on the surface. The deeper the cracks, the less tasty your fudge, so you may want to throw it out.
If your fudge is overly wet, soft and mushy, it’s probably past its best date. If you see a pool of liquid at the surface or separation, don’t consume it. It’s also passed its prime if it’s hard and has an oily surface.
How to Store Fudge
When you’re deciding how to store your favorite fudge recipe, first determine when you plan to eat it. If you think it will be eaten within the next two weeks or so, the best way to store it is at room temperature in an air-tight container. You don’t have to wrap the fudge in foil or plastic wrap; instead, use a self-sealing bag or plastic container and put it in a cool, dark place. Don’t leave it on the countertop; the heat from the sunlight can cause fudge to become sweaty and mushy.
For longer periods of storage, such as one month, use the refrigerator. This method, however, is not preferred; frequent temperature changes can cause fudge’s taste and texture to disintegrate more quickly. Avoid packing the pieces of fudge tightly together if you want to keep them from sticking to each other. Simply place the completely cooled fudge in an airtight container toward the back of the shelf and away from the door.
To store fudge long term, consider freezing it. Denser fudges freeze better than lighter fudges, such as those made in the microwave. Note that imitation vanilla extract loses its flavor somewhat after it’s frozen. Other flavors, such as cinnamon, are intensified in the freezer.
You can freeze fudge made with condensed milk, but follow these steps to properly package it before freezing:
- Roll out a long sheet of aluminum foil on the countertop.
- Place the fudge on the foil in a single layer with some space in between each piece.
- Put a layer of wax or parchment paper over the first layer; stack a second layer on top of the first.
- Continue layering with wax paper or parchment as a barrier between each layer until all the fudge is laid out on the aluminum foil.
- Fold the aluminum foil up and over the layers of fudge.
- Place another layer of aluminum foil perpendicular to the first to seal the open sides of the layers of fudge.
- Once the fudge is wrapped in the aluminum foil, slide it into a large, freezer-friendly self-sealing plastic bag.
Avoid storing the fudge inside the door of the freezer; instead, place it toward the back of the freezer to help insulate the fudge from temperature changes as the freezer door opens. Packaged this way, the fudge will keep for up to a year.
Molly is a freelance journalist and social media consultant. In addition to Leaf.tv, Molly has written for Teen Vogue and Paste magazine. She is the former assistant editor of the Design and Style section of Paste magazine. View her work at www.mmollyharris.com.