Fudge is a delicious and incredibly textured chocolate and creamy treat, but its shelf life is a bit limiting. Therefore, the crucial questions are does fudge go bad, and how long does fudge last. As always, the secret is in proper storing to prevent possible drying, melting, and spoiling. Let’s take a closer look at this delicacy.
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Does Fudge Go Bad?
Like most sweets, fudge can spoil, but it is hard to determine the exact shelf life of this product because of numerous different recipes that include various ingredients. Thanks to the cooking process, you will see a change in fudge’s texture and flavor on time without becoming hazardous for consumption.
You probably expect that homemade fudge has a shorter shelf life than mass-produced one because it doesn’t contain any preservative and artificial components. That won’t apply in this case because of the amount of added sugar that works as a preservative.
In most cases, you can determine if your cake is still edible based on the way you store it. For instance, fudge kept in an airtight container can probably last at least one to two weeks at room temperature, but it will spoil slower when you store it in the fridge.
How Long Does Fudge Last?
Fudge consists of primary ingredients, butter, milk, and sugar. As you have already known, milk and butter are perishable products, so you may think that fudge will break down easily and quickly. However, it is not the case because of sugar and heating during preparation.
Fudge shelf life
|2 to 3 weeks
|Up to one year
|7 to 14 days
|3 to 4 weeks
2 to 3 months
Your homemade fudge will last at least a week or two left at room temperature. If you store your cookies in an airtight container, they will stay yummy and soft for long. Storing fudge in the fridge will prolong its shelf life up to a month. You can even freeze it if you want to keep it safe for a few months.
This product has the printed date on the label, so you will know precisely how long these cakes will be delicious. That period will depend on used ingredients and way of preparation. If the confectioner uses more preservatives, its product will last longer.
For example, you can find fudge with an expiration date of 10 to 14 days, but some products can last even a few months. You should also check a recommended way of storing.
The best option is to keep some products in the fridge, while others do fine at room temperature, as well. On average, storing fudge at low temperatures usually gives the cake an additional week or two.
Tips to Tell if Fudge Has Gone Bad
Fudge won’t become spoiled just like that, especially if you store it correctly. In such a case, it won’t show spoilage signs typical for most cakes. On the other hand, you can expect that its quality decrease over time.
Change in texture is usually the first sign that your fudge is not as delicious as it should be.
- Dry – When you store fudge in the open container, it will lose water and become dry over time, even in the fridge. You can expect cracks and crumbling the edges after a few days. However, the occurrence of deep cracks and massive crumbling is the sign that your cake is probably stale and tasteless instead of creamy and delicious.
- Soft – Fudge usually doesn’t melt at hot temperatures, but you can expect it to become too soft when absorbing moisture from the air. Such a cake will be edible but far away from the yummy delicacy you like.
- Hard – Once fudge becomes hard and its surface sheen, you shouldn’t consume it anymore. It is not poisonous, but its taste is unpleasant for sure.
- Ingredient separation – If you notice some liquid, greasy fudge surface, or ingredient separation, you can suppose that your cake went bad.
- Chocolate oxidation – When chocolate oxidizes, white powder appears on its surface. It is only a chemical reaction that won’t affect the fudge taste.
- Rancid fats – Sometimes fats or even nuts that fudge contains can go rancid. You can save such a product by freezing it.
- Mold – It is pretty unlikely for quality fudge to become moldy, but it may happen after exposure to contamination. Any discoloration, sliminess, or stinky smell signifies that something is wrong, so you should get rid of such a product.
Tips to Store Fudge
You can store fudge in three possible ways. Each option has advantages and downsides, and you should decide which one fits you the best.
Mass Produced Fudge
It is the short-term option to store fudge when you plan to use it for a few days. You can place the container with sweets on the countertop for a day or two or keep it in the pantry for a week.
The best solution is to place your fudge away from direct sunlight and safe from too high temperatures. Always choose to put the product in an airtight container to prevent drying.
When you want to place a few layers of fudge in one container, always put wax paper between them.
This way of storing fudge is an ideal option when you want to use it for a few weeks. That way, you will prevent melting during hot summer days. Pack fudge properly in a tightly sealed container to avoid entering other food odor and moisture.
Always check the label on the packaging since some confectioners recommend avoiding refrigerating their products.
Once you decide to store your fudge in the freezer, you should wrap it in plastic wrap or wax paper first. Then, place it in a sealable container to keep it away from air or moisture.
The best option is to freeze fudge in as large pieces as possible to prevent drying and cracking. It tolerates low temperatures well so that the taste will change only slightly.
Never thaw this product at room temperature but leave it in the fridge overnight before consuming it. Always eat this fudge within a week and never re-freeze it.
The way of storing homemade fudge primarily depends on the recipe and ingredients used. Generally, heat, moisture, and air will negatively affect its quality over time, so you should store your product appropriately.
If you plan to eat your dessert within a week or two, it will be enough to pack it appropriately and keep it in the kitchen or pantry. For longer storage, it will be necessary to place it in the fridge. That way, you will prolong the product’s freshness and save its taste intact.
If you decide to make Freezer Fudge, the best option is to form a block and put it in the freezer for at least half an hour. Once you decide to serve the dessert, take it out and cut it into cubes without thawing.
The Risk of Consuming an Expired Fudge
It is unlikely that fudge makes you sick even though you keep it for too long. In most cases, this product becomes dry and tasteless before spoiling. When exposed to moisture and temperature fluctuation, it will go bad in rare cases, but it is still harmless and won’t cause severe health issues.
There is only one exception when your dessert contains nuts that can go rancid. Such fudge can also become moldy. Once you spot mold over its surface, you should throw the whole amount away immediately.
Can You Freeze Fudge?
When you plan to keep fudge leftovers for long, freezing is one of the options. You can keep your homemade dessert in the freezer for a couple of months, while some commercial ones can stay edible even for a year.
The crucial thing is to retain the product’s high quality. Believe it or not, it will be enough to double-wrap it in wax paper and plastic wrap or aluminum foil before putting it in an airtight container or a freezer bag.
You can also find recipes for Freezer Fudge that require freezing the fresh product before serving.
You should do it for a few hours and then cut the dessert into cubes while it is still frozen. Avoid long thawing to prevent the surface from becoming tacky.
Always freeze your fudge before cutting because leaving it in a block decreases the possibility of drying it out quickly. Plus, keeping it this way will reduce the negative impact on the fudge flavor.
Remember that improper packaging while exposing fudge to low temperatures will result in quick drying. Additionally, your cake will probably pick up other food’s scents, making it unattractive for consumption.
As you can see, fudge probably won’t go bad, but its taste will become unsatisfied over time. In fact, with so many ways to store, your dessert can stay tasty and juicy for weeks, even months. If your fudge becomes moldy or goes rancid, don’t think twice, but throw it away.