My Fudge Is Like Caramel – What Did I Do Wrong?

Ever find yourself wondering why my fudge is like caramel? When making fudge, achieving the correct temperature is essential to get the right texture. If the temperature is too low, the fudge will be too soft and sticky, and if it’s too high, it will turn into a hard, crumbly mess. The ideal temperature to cook fudge is between 232-234degF (111-112degC).

It’s not the most difficult recipe to prepare; however, now and then, it’s possible to encounter certain difficulties.

One of the problems we hear about is that fudge turned out to look less like caramel and more similar to the confection we are familiar with and enjoy.

In this article, we’ll go over making fudge and how to keep it from going goopy or turning into caramel.

Key Overview

  • Fudge-making requires precise temperature control to melt and recrystallize sugar.
  • The amount of moisture removed during cooking affects sugar concentration and therefore texture.
  • Fudge requires cooking to 232-234degF (111-112degC) or softball stage.
  • Once cooked, the fudge is cooled and stirred until it thickens and lightens in color.
  • Overcooking results in hard candy, while undercooking and excess moisture creates chewy fudge.
  • Chewy fudge can also be caused by incorrect beating or stirring.
  • To prevent chewy fudge, ensure accurate temperature measurement using a reliable thermometer and beat the mixture only after it has cooled completely.
Fudge sauce into a sauce pan.
Fudge sauce into a sauce pan. Credit: Unsplash

How To Make Fudge Correctly

Making fudge is quite simple. However, like many other sweets, its success depends heavily on accurate and precise temperatures.

When creating candy, the objective is to melt sugar crystals and regulate how they recrystallize.

This is achieved by regulating how much moisture is taken out of the sugar mixture as it is cooked. The lower the amount of moisture that is present more sugar concentration as Ricardo Cuisine explains in their Successful Fudge guide.

The sugar content can be measured by analyzing temperatures that can be measured with accurate thermometers. The different sugar levels (meaning the various moisture levels) make various kinds of candy.

Process of Making Fudge

For fudge, it is important to get to the point of softball234-240degF (112-116degC). Therefore, when making fudge sugar, the sugar should be cooked until the temperature of 232-234degF (111-112degC).

After the mixture has heated to the right temperature, it’s removed from the oven and placed aside for cooling. The crystals begin to grow.

When it’s cooled down to around 110 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit (43-45degC), the fudge is stirred or beaten constantly until it becomes thicker and lighter in the shade.

The fudge is then poured onto an oven-proof tray and left to cool completely at room temperature before being put in the refrigerator to ensure it is set.

Fudges stacked up beautifully on a display board.
Fudges stacked up beautifully on a display board.

Why Is My Fudge Chewy & Gooey?

When something goes wrong when you make fudge, it’s likely to affect the temperature. We’ve already mentioned that the ideal temperature at which fudge mix should be cooked is 232-234degF (111-112degC). The exact temperature is 232-234degF (111-112degC).

Chewy fudge results from the excessive moisture present in the mixture, which means the fudge was not cooked to the right temperature and could not be cooked enough to release the moisture.

Most times, the fudge is gooey or chewy. However, sometimes, the dessert will not make any difference!

However, take care not to overcook fudge because it will take away the moisture and leave you with hard, chewy candy.

Apart from the incorrect temperature, chewy fudge could result from inadequate beating. When it has cooled to 110 to 113 degrees F (43-45degC), you need to beat the batter mix until it is creamy and smooth.

The process could take between 20 and 30 minutes. Don’t keep going until it’s not shiny.

How Do You Stop From Making Chewy Fudge?

There isn’t a solution to repair ready made fudge. This is the moment you realize the fudge you’ve made is chewy.

There are, however, a few ways to stop chewy fudge from happening.

Test the temperature correctly

The correct temperature for fudge is between 232-234degF (111-112degC). This means you need to use a reliable thermometer.

Here are some suggestions to determine your temperature accurately with a thermometer:

  • Be sure to have a working thermometer. You can put the tip into an ice bath to test the temperature. Water is boiling at 212°F (100degC).
  • Take note of any temperature differences and take the appropriate measurements.
  • Don’t put your finger on the base of your pot using the thermometer’s tip. The bottom is always hotter than the rest of the mixture.
  • Place the thermometer in the mix always.
  • Moving it into and out of the mix is time-consuming and could give incorrect readings.

Place the thermometer on the sides of the pot. Most candy thermometers are equipped with hooks.

Another way to test the temperature or level of the mixture is by using an old technique. Keep a bowl filled with cold water close to you.

When the mixture has been cooked to the suggested time and is almost cooked, pour a small amount of sugar syrup into the cold water.

If the sugar can harden to a soft-ball state (a soft ball of sugar that is easy to flatten with your fingertips), it is now at the proper consistency.

Mix the mixture properly

An incorrect beating may make the fudge chewy. It could be because you began beating the mixture too fast (while it was still hot), resulting in hard, unappealing crystals and a chewy texture.

Be sure to allow the mixture to cool completely before beating it to a sufficient length!


How Do You Fix Caramel Fudge?

It’s difficult to fix caramel fudge once it’s overcooked, but you could try melting it down and cooking it to the right temperature.

Why Has My Fudge Turned To Caramel?

Fudge can turn into caramel due to overcooking or undercooking, incorrect temperatures, or wrong ingredients.

What Is The Difference Between Caramel And Fudge?

Caramel is a candy made by heating sugar until it melts and then turns brown, while the fudge is a candy made with sugar, milk or cream, and butter, cooked to a specific temperature.

Why Is My Fudge Like Soft Toffee?

If your fudge has a texture like soft toffee, it could be due to overcooking, using too much sugar or butter, or not cooking it to the right temperature.


Making fudge is a simple process that depends heavily on achieving accurate temperatures. If the temperature is too low or too high, the fudge can turn out gooey, chewy, or even hard.

When cooked correctly at the right temperature, the fudge should have a creamy, smooth texture. If not, the dessert can become more like caramel due to excessive moisture.

To avoid this, it’s important to use a reliable thermometer, test the temperature correctly, and beat the mixture thoroughly at the right time.

So, if you’re wondering why my fudge is like caramel, it’s likely because it wasn’t cooked to the right temperature, resulting in excess moisture and chewiness.

Did you find this guide helpful?
Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, the founder and editor of YummyTasteFood! She's a seasoned food writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry as a former pastry chef, sous chef, and barista. When not writing about food, she explores new recipes or travels the world for culinary inspiration.

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