How Long Does It Take for Fudge to Set?

Fudge is a favorite treat amongst many – including me. I love a good piece of fudge, whether classic chocolate and nut fudge or something out of the box like cookies ‘n’ cream. Regardless, the most challenging part about making fudge is the waiting period for setting. 

How long does fudge take to set, anyway? Most recipes tell you to let your fudge set at room temperature for at least three hours, but overnight is preferred. You can speed up the process by placing (covered) fudge in the fridge or freezer, but it shouldn’t remain there for too long.

Hey! What’s up, everyone? I’m Michelle, an avid fudge aficionado and self-taught baker. I have enjoyed baking many recipes throughout my cooking journey, but fudge ranks in the top three. I love making it as much as I love eating it, and I’m here to share some “setting” knowledge.

Keep reading to find out how long it takes fudge to set (plus some speedy tips!).

How Long Does it Take for Fudge to Set?

Fudge can be a bit finicky to make. That said, it’s incredibly important to follow the directions to a T – including when it comes to the setting time. You don’t want to rush it, as this won’t allow the fudge to set correctly, leaving you with subpar fudgy treats.

Most fudge recipes say to let fudge set at room temperature for at least three hours. At this point, your fudge should be ready. But I recommend letting fudge set for longer than that. If you can swing it, 24 hours is ideal.

Why? Additional time will allow your fudge to have a superior texture. While this might not be a big deal to some, a fudge fanatic like me wants perfection. Be patient with your fudge’s setting time, and you will be delighted with the results – trust me.

Additional time may be necessary if you’ve added ingredients like marshmallows, nuts, candies, etc. These added components can make the fudge set slower.

The other thing to consider is the temperature of your kitchen. If your kitchen is quite chilly, your fudge should have no problem setting within a few hours. It will need additional time if it’s a particularly hot or humid day.

How to Make Fudge Set Faster

Three to 24 hours? Yeah, that’s not exactly fast. So what happens if you want your fudge, like, right now? What happens if your child just told you about a bake sale happening in two hours? Don’t worry – you’re not out of luck. Try these simple hacks to make the fudge set faster.

1. Place it in the Refrigerator

One of the simplest ways to speed up the setting time is to place your (covered) fudge into the refrigerator. Notice I said the word covered. Covering your fudge with plastic wrap or placing it in an airtight container is critical when using this method.

Uncovered fudge that is stored in the fridge is risky. Not only is fudge susceptible to absorbing nearby odors (hello, cilantro, or onion fudge – ew), but the refrigerator is highly drying. The last thing you want is dried-out, crumbly fudge resembling a block of clay rather than a sweet treat.

To set it in the fridge, do the following:

  • Allow the fudge to cool for 10-20 minutes.
  • Transfer into an airtight container, if using, or cover with plastic wrap.
  • Place the fudge in the refrigerator for about 1 ½ to 2 hours.

While some people will keep their fudge in the fridge (it will last about three weeks), at this point, you can remove it and store it on the counter. Although this may be surprising, fudge doesn’t need to be refrigerated. It will last at room temp for up to two weeks when stored properly.

2. Place it in the Freezer

Your second option is to place your fudge into the freezer. However, I don’t necessarily recommend this unless you’re in a serious time crunch. That’s because fudge can quickly freeze and damage the flavor and consistency.

To set your fudge in the freezer safely, follow these steps:

  • Allow the fudge to cool for 10-20 minutes.
  • Transfer into an airtight container, if using, or cover with plastic wrap.
  • Place in the freezer for up to 30 minutes. 
  • Remove from the freezer and place the pan of fudge on the countertop.

The key is to keep an eye on your fudge during the process. You do not want your fudge to freeze. It should “set” but not become a rock-hard block of chocolate. Do not let fudge sit in the freezer for longer than 30 minutes.

Once your fudge is set and cut into desired pieces, you can opt for storing it at room temperature, in the fridge, or in the freezer. 

When storing in the freezer, ensure the fudge is wrapped with a layer of plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Allow it to thaw in the fridge overnight before consuming.

3. Use Smaller Pans

Smaller pieces of fudge will set quicker, but you don’t want to try and cut them into squares and stash them separately. It’s just not going to work.

My favorite trick? Place fudge inside of a muffin tin. Sure, the fudge will be round rather than square, but it’s fun to shake things up a bit occasionally – wouldn’t you agree?

How to Know When Fudge is Set

None of these tips or tricks matter if you don’t know when your fudge is actually set

To check if your fudge is done, simply poke it with your finger. It should be relatively firm but not rock hard. It should not wiggle or wobble when you touch or move the pan. 

FAQs

Ideally, the fudge should be set up on the counter in three or more hours. If you want to keep learning about fudge setting time frames, check out these commonly asked questions. You will be glad you did.

How do I get my fudge to harden?

Is your fudge refusing to harden up? The best thing to do is reheat it. Make sure to use a good thermometer to know when to take the mixture off the heat. If it’s still not thickening, mix a slurry (one tablespoon of cornstarch and one tablespoon of water) into your fudge.

Will fudge set faster in the freezer?

Fudge will set faster in the freezer, yes, but it shouldn’t be in there for too long. Allow your fudge to cool down for about 10 to 20 minutes, then cover and transfer to the freezer for 30 minutes. Remove from the freezer, cut into desired shape and size, and store.

How long should fudge boil?

Fudge should boil for around seven minutes, but never more than nine minutes. It’s easiest to make fudge with a handy thermometer in your grip. Once the fudge reaches 234°F, it’s good to go.

Final Words

Fudge takes about three hours to set at room temperature, but the longer you wait, the better. You can speed up the process by utilizing your fridge or freezer. Make sure it’s covered with plastic wrap or placed in an airtight container. You can also use a smaller pan, like a muffin tin.

How long do you let your fudge set for?

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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