We all love fudge. It's rich, sweet and probably the easiest crowd pleasing dessert out there, but we rarely underproduce. Most of the time we end up with this huge tray of uneaten fudge that has to be dealt with. So the question is raised:
Can I dependably freeze fudge?
Absolutely! But there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. My hope is to give you a step by step guide to freezing, preserving and thawing your fudge to ensure it tastes the same two months after it's freshly made.
Fudge Shelf Life
Thankfully, fudge is high in sugar which makes it relatively uninhabitable to most bacteria and molds. This doesn't mean it will last forever, but will last longer than your typical dessert. I've outlined some rough guidelines for fudge storage. These are not universal guidelines, so use your best judgement by doing a sight and smell test. If you find yourself second guessing, best to throw it out.
All Ingredients Do Not Freeze the Same
Baseline fudge ingredients usually hold up pretty well when frozen. It's when we start adding other ingredients that texture and flavor can begin to change more quickly.
Milk: Depending on the milk being used, the fat will separate from the water parts. This will have little effect on flavor, but a larger effect on texture when fudge is thawed back out.
Sugar: Sugar holds up relatively well when frozen. Sugar is hygroscopic, so moisture pockets can form over time, but I haven't seen this noticeably effect texture.
Spices: Spices can sometimes intensify in the freezer. While I don't understand the science to this, it may be due to the expanding and condensing of these spices when frozen. When thawed, frozen spices may contract a little more than usual, causing high density spice areas.
Nuts: Nuts probably hold up better than any other added ingredients. Unfortunately, if they are sprinkled on the outside they can detach during freezing. When making fudge, it's better to thoroughly mix in nuts for best freezing (or thaw and add nuts to the surface afterwards).
Fruits: Dried fruits hold up well but will lose flavor when freezing. Fresh fruits have a lot of water and can lead to texture changes when frozen and thawed.
Proper Fudge Freezer Storage
To reduce the chance of freezer burn (or drying out), it's recommended to put your fudge in an air tight, freezer safe container or bag. In addition, you can wrap the fudge in wax paper to help catch the moisture that can be lost when freezing.
Refrain from packing the fudge in anything that will steal or contribute flavor to your fudge. Cardboard, for example, is not a good choice. It can absorb the moisture and also create a nasty cardboard flavor from a molecule known as Trans-2-nonenal.
Stacking the fudge is also a bad idea. This can cause the layers of fudge to stick to one another when thawed. If you're trying to consolidate space, place wax paper between the fudge layers.
I also suggest not continually thawing and refreezing the fudge. This can ultimately lead to flavor loss and unattractive texture qualities. Cut your fudge in quantities that you feel comfortable taking out for a week or so.
How to Properly Thaw / Defrost Fudge
Refrigerate to thaw. Changing temperatures too drastically can have unwanted effects on texture and flavor. Refrigerating will also help preserve fudge until you know you're ready to eat it. Take out of the refrigerator 2 hours before you're ready to serve, and this will ensure perfect serving temperature.
Again, cutting fudge into smaller squares will allow you to progressively take it out of the freezer. Don't cut them too small. Keeping the fudge in larger blocks creates less surface area to dry out.
What is Fudge?
In order to be considered fudge, sugar, butter and milk must be mixed at high temperatures to inspire both caramelization and maillard reaction flavors. While cocoa is a heavily accepted ingredient, it is not required to create fudge.
People add a myriad of ingredients to mix it up. Here are some of the more common ingredients that make fudge a little more exciting:
This doesn't even begin to cover the creative ingredients people have managed to add to their fudge. These are just some of the more common fillers.
A Few Simple Fudge Recipes
While I love creating my own, there are a few variations you can start with and expand on. Here are some tested recipes that have received positive feedback.
Simple Non-Chocolate Fudge Recipes
Some of my favorite fudge has been non-chocolate and I encourage everyone to experience it at least once in your life.
Brown Sugar Fudge Recipe:
Peanut Butter Fudge Recipe:
Simple Chocolate Fudge Recipes
Here are some classic and easy chocolate fudge recipes to get you going. As you move forward, you can expand on these recipes and make them your own.
2-Ingredient Chocolate Fudge:
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the more common questions about fudge storage. If I missed anything, don't hesitate to leave a comment below.
-Can You Freeze Fudge with Condensed Milk?
Absolutely! You can freeze condensed milk, or any milk for that matter, for several months. Milk is one of the more stable ingredients you can freeze with fudge.
-What Can I Do With Extra Fudge?
Obviously, your common desserts should be the first point of interest. But if you're looking to use a lot of fudge, fudge cookies are absolutely delicious.
If you're fudge is soft enough, you can break it up and mix it directly with the cookie dough. If not, a microwave or stovetop will soften it enough to mix it throroughly.
-How Do You Know if Fudge Has Gone Bad?
We always recommend doing a sight and smell test. If there is any hint of something that resembles ANYTHING other than fudge, I highly recommend you throw it out. There's no reason to roll the dice on fudge. It's a cheap and easy dessert that can be recreated in a couple of hours.
-Can You Reheat Fudge?
Reheating fudge once isn't a big deal. But if you reheat, then refrigerate or freeze again, quality goes down the drain. If you do decide to reheat you fudge, I highly advise you to use it all. If you don't use it all, throw it away. Better to have quality fudge than sub par.
I hope this article was helpful. Storing fudge the right way is imperative to preserving flavor for as long as possible. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. I try to get back to all comments within 24 hours.
Founder of Robust Kitchen