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In recent months, I’ve been asked my friends and family how to make fudge, how long fudge is good for, and how to store fudge. And because we have super hot and muggy summers here in SC, they also often asked me, “Can you freeze fudge?” as well as, “Does fudge need to be refrigerated?”
So, I decided to write a post covering everything you need to know about freezing homemade fudge.
Let’s get started…
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Can You Freeze Fudge?
Yes, you can freeze fudge to extend its shelf life. This applies to homemade fudge as well as store-bought. However, the consistency and texture after thawing may vary slightly depending on how the fudge was frozen and the ingredients in the fudge. Most fudge can be successfully frozen up to 3 months although some may retain its quality for up to one year.
What Is Fudge?
Fudge is a confection usually made from chocolate. It is not baked. Fudge contains sugar, butter, milk, and chocolate. The ingredients are heated in a pan to 240° F, whipped, and then cooled.
Some chocolate fudge recipes also use sweetened condensed milk.
What Does Fudge Taste Like?
Good fudge tastes rich, indulgent, velvety, smooth, and creamy. Poorly made fudge is grainy and has an unpleasant texture.
I have never been able to eat a lot of fudge at once. Actually, most people can’t. So it’s necessary to know how to properly store your fudge in your cost-effective kitchen.
Does Fudge Need To Be Refrigerated?
No, fudge doesn’t need to be refrigerated but it can help extend its shelf life.
How Long Is Fudge Good For?
The length of time your fudge keeps before going bad depends on whether it was store-bought with preservatives or homemade without preservatives. Shelf life also depends on what added ingredients it contains (think nuts), and how it is stored.
What Is The Best Way To Store Fudge?
There is no one “best” way to store fudge. As I said previously, the shelf life of your fudge depends on (1) whether it has preservatives or not, and (2) whether it has added ingredients like nuts.
Let’s take a look at how to store fudge at room temperature, in the refrigerator, and in the freezer.
How To Store Fudge At Room Temperature
Whether it is store-bought or homemade, fudge can be stored at room temperature.
It needs to be stored in an airtight container away from heat and direct sunlight. Think pantry, not counter.
Left unrefrigerated and at room temperature, homemade fudge will last 7 to 14 days (depending on ingredients) if stored in a cool, dry location in an airtight container (I use these).
For store-bought fudge, you should always look at the manufacturer’s best by date and storage recommendations first.
Many times, store-bought fudge will last longer due to preservatives.
How To Store Fudge In The Refrigerator
Don’t worry. You can put your homemade fudge in the fridge.
When storing fudge in the refrigerator, make sure you store it in an airtight container to prevent the fudge from drying out and absorbing unpleasant odors. If properly stored, most fudge will last 3-4 weeks in the refrigerator.
If you have store-bought fudge, you can most probably store it in the fridge, but again, always read the storage suggestions on the manufacturer’s product first.
Should I Freeze Fudge In Bite-Sized Pieces or Larger Blocks?
There is no right answer to this. I have done both with great success. Each has its pros and cons. Here’s what you need to know.
Freezing Fudge In Large Blocks
There is less surface area on large blocks making it less likely to dry out as quickly as bite-sized pieces.
It takes less effort to properly wrap a large block of fudge than it does with individual pieces
You have to thaw the whole block at once
It takes longer to thaw a large block than individual-sized pieces
Freezing Fudge in Bite-Sized Pieces
You can remove a few pieces as you want them (if they are individually wrapped).
It takes a lot less time to thaw a few individual pieces than a large block of fudge.
There is more surface area so your fudge may dry out more quickly than a large block.
It takes more effort to wrap individual pieces of fudge.
It costs you more money to wrap individual pieces (especially if you double-wrap them) compared to a large block.
Tip: If you want bite-sized pieces but don’t want to put the time and effort into freezing individual pieces, then freeze small blocks of fudge together (maybe 4 to 8 pieces). Just be sure your 4 to 8 pieces are pushed together to keep air from getting between them. Then freeze them together.
How To Freeze Fudge
When freezing fudge, you want to preserve the texture and flavor of it by preventing freezer burn and preventing freezer odors from affecting its flavor.
The more effort you take when freezing your fudge, the longer it will retain its quality in the freezer. Here’s what you need with easy-to-follow instructions.
Tools & Equipment Needed To Freeze Fudge
- cutting board
- airtight container or plastic freezer bag
- plastic wrap, parchment or wax paper, and/or aluminum foil
- freezer labels (optional)
- black sharpie
- Gather your materials.
- Cut your fudge into the desired freezing size.
- Wrap each piece of fudge (whether small or large) tightly with plastic wrap, wax, or parchment paper. Be sure the wrap is firmly against the fudge to keep air out.
- Then double-wrap your fudge with the second layer of plastic wrap, parchment paper, or aluminum foil. (This is optional – see notes below).
- Place your fudge into a plastic freezer bag. Squeeze out as much air as you can and seal. Or, place your fudge into an airtight container and seal.
- Using your black sharpie and freezer labels, records the contents and date frozen. If using a plastic bag, you can opt to write directly on the bag.
- Place fudge into the freezer.
Notes: Double-wrapping your fudge in two layers of plastic, wax or parchment paper, and aluminum foil will help keep your fudge moister for longer and it helps prevent freezer odors from affecting the flavor.
I only double-wrap fudge if I am making it way in advance for a party or holiday gifts. Otherwise, I find wrapping it in a single layer of plastic wrap inside of a freezer bag works just fine.
What Is The Best Way To Store Homemade Fudge
If storing fudge on the counter, remember to keep it away from light and heat.
For the refrigerator, be sure to store it in an airtight container so it doesn’t pick up odors from the fridge.
In the freezer, be sure to double-wrap to ensure your fudge retains its’ quality for as long as possible.
How Long Does Fudge Last In The Freezer?
The length of time your fudge lasts in the freezer depends on the ingredients in the fudge and how well the fudge is wrapped.
Most fudge will retain its quality for three months up to a year.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Freeze Fudge With Condensed Milk?
Yes, you can safely and successfully freeze fudge made with sweetened condensed milk. Follow the same instructions as if you were freezing any other fudge.
Can You Freeze Peanut Butter Fudge?
Yes, peanut butter fudge can be frozen.
Freeze it the same way you do regular fudge but be sure to let it cool completely before wrapping in plastic wrap.
Can You Freeze Hot Fudge?
Yes, you can freeze hot fudge if you follow these instructions.
First, allow the hot fudge to cool completely. Then you can freeze in an airtight, freezer-safe container or plastic bag.
Remember, when freezing liquids, you must allow 1” to 2” of headroom in the container as liquids expand when frozen.
Thaw hot fudge in the refrigerator and heat up slowly on the stove (preferably in a double-boiler) or in the microwave in 10 to 15-second increments until the desired consistency is reached.
How Do You Defrost Frozen Fudge?
The best way to thaw your frozen fudge is to do so in the refrigerator.
What Causes Fudge Not To Harden?
Most of the time the reason when homemade fudge doesn’t harden, it is usually because it was not heated to a high enough temperature before it was cooled.
If your fudge didn’t set (harden), don’t bake it.
Instead, return it to the stove with 1 to 1 ½ cups of water and reheat until your candy thermometer reached 235°-245° F.
What To Do With Fudge That Fails To Set Up?
If your fudge didn’t harden even after you placed it back on the stove and reheated to the proper temperature, you can always use it as icing. Trust me, it makes a truly decadent icing!
Can Old Fudge Make You Sick?
Plain old fudge probably won’t make you sick even if it is dried out or soggy. However, if your fudge contained other add-ins such as nuts, they could spoil and make you ill.
When it comes to food consumption, you should always err on the side of caution and not consume fudge that had dried out to the point it has deep cracks or if it has liquid pooled on the top of it due to separation.
How Far Ahead Can You Make Fudge?
How far in advance you can make fudge depends on how you will store it.
Remember, if stored at room temperature, room temperature, the fudge will likely last 7 to 14 days.
If you plan on storing your fudge in the fridge as soon as it is made and cooled, the shelf life is extended by two to three weeks. Don’t forget to store your fudge in an airtight container so that it doesn’t pick up fridge odors.
And finally, if you prepare your fudge and freeze it as soon as it has cooled, your fudge could easily last up to 6 months in the freezer if it is double-wrapped and stored in an airtight container.
Can You Cool Fudge In The Freezer?
Even though many people claim they have quickly cooled their fudge in the freezer, I’ve found it is best to NOT cool your fudge in the freezer or refrigerator.
Fudge should be cooled at room temperature to avoid lumpy, grainy fudge due to crystallization.
Final Thoughts From Cost-Effective Kitchen
Did you know fudge makes an excellent gift for your kids’ teachers, coworkers, friends, and neighbors?
Not only do the recipients love the gift, but the fudge doesn’t take you long to make and it can be made ahead of time to reduce your stress during the holidays.
And if you follow your grocery store’s sales cycle when purchasing the ingredients, it’s extremely cost-effective. It’s a win-win!
Remember, heat and light are fudge’s number one enemy so store your fudge away from light and heat if storing at room temperature.
If storing in the refrigerator and freezer, you want to store it in an air-tight container to avoid it drying out and picking up “off” odors. Double-wrapping will help.
Want even more fudge ideas? Follow me on Pinterest. I am always on the lookout for new fudge recipes.
Let me know if you have any questions or need additional information. I am here to help and I’d love to hear from you!
Until next time…