Fudge is such a rich and delicious treat, but that richness can be limiting. After all, it’s unlikely you’ll eat the entire container of fudge in one sitting. You may find yourself wondering, “can fudge go bad?" What is the shelf life of fudge, and how should you store it? Read more to find out!
Can Fudge Go Bad?
Like most candies and confections, fudge can go bad. Because there are so many recipes and production methods, it’s difficult to give an exact shelf life. Homemade fudge will most likely have a shorter shelf life than fudge bought from the store. The high amount of sugar and fat in fudge can act as a good preservative, allowing this treat to stay delicious far longer than brownies or other similar baked goods.
While there is no set shelf life for fudge, you can approximate how long fudge will stay fresh when properly stored. In general, fudge that is kept in an airtight container at room temperature will last for one to two weeks. Refrigerating fudge can extend its shelf life to two to three weeks. Freezing fudge will extend its shelf life to around three months, if tightly sealed.
Image used under Creative Commons from Veganbaking.net
How to Store Fudge
Fudge should always be stored in an airtight container, to seal out excess moisture. Sealing the fudge will also protect it from the drying effects of air, as well as potential contaminants. Fudge stored at room temperature should be kept away from light or heat, to prevent rapid spoilage.
When refrigerating fudge, it’s still important to seal the fudge in an airtight container. This will not only help to keep the moisture level steady, but will also prevent other flavors from being absorbed by the fudge. Wrapping the fudge in wax paper before refrigerating it can help to regulate the moisture level.
To store fudge in the freezer, it’s best wrapped tightly in wax paper and then plastic wrap before being placed in a sealable container. If possible, fudge should be frozen in as large a block as possible, as it can dry out more easily when cut into smaller pieces. Fudge freezes quite well, though the texture and flavor of the fudge may change slightly after freezing. Frozen fudge should be thawed overnight in the refrigerator, not at room temperature. Once the fudge thaws, it should be consumed within a week and should not be refrozen, but should be stored in the refrigerator.
Signs Fudge Has Gone Bad
Unlike baked goods, fudge tends not to spoil in the traditional sense. It’s highly unlikely that fudge will mold or rot. Instead, as the fudge ages, the texture and taste will start to degrade. While it may still technically be safe to eat fudge if it exhibits signs of spoilage, it won’t be a pleasant experience!
There are several visual cues that can help determine if fudge has gone bad. If fudge is exposed to the air, the surface will begin to crack and dry out. While a little bit of crumbling around the edges isn’t necessarily harmful, the texture might not be so pleasant. The older the fudge is, the drier it can become. If there are large, deep cracks in the surface of the fudge, it is too old and should not be consumed.
Fudge that has been exposed to too much moisture will spoil more rapidly. While some moisture on the surface isn’t a problem, if the fudge becomes overly mushy or soggy, it should not be consumed. Similarly, any separation or pools of liquid on the surface indicates spoilage.
Finally, if the fudge becomes hard with an oily sheen to the surface, it should not be consumed. While this doesn’t necessarily indicate a food safety issue, the fudge will be quite unpleasant tasting at this point.