How To Save a Botched Batch of Grainy Fudge

Bad batches of fudge happen to everybody.  At least that’s what I tell myself.  I’ve made enough successful batches now that I sometime get a little bit cocky and try to take a shortcut or two.  Yeah, never a good idea.

You can probably tell from the photos above that this batch of fudge became one grainy mess.  I don’t like wasting calories on mediocre candy.  I’m also too cheap to throw a bad batch away.  The solution?  A fudge do-over.

Even though it set up properly, I threw it back into a saucepan with about 1 1/2 cups of water and gently heated the mixture to dissolve the fudge into the water.

From there, I pretty much re-did the whole cooking process.  Here are the basic steps:

  1. Heat the mixture gently to ensure the sugar has melted;
  2. Wash down the sugar crystals on the side of the pan;
  3. Boil to the mixture until it reaches the soft ball stage (without stirring!);
  4. Let cool until the mixture reaches about 110 degrees; and
  5. Beat with a wooden spoon until set.

Aahhhh… doesn’t that look better?  Although the color of the fudge slightly darkened, the flavor was unaffected.  Unlike the first batch, it was smooth, creamy, and set up just right.

Next time, I’ll try to be more careful.  But the opportunity for a second chance?  Always a good thing.  At least when it comes to candy-making.

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33 Responses to “How To Save a Botched Batch of Grainy Fudge”

  1. #
    sleepinghorse — December 9, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    Nice save. I haven't made fudge for years but your pictures are tempting me to try it again soon.


  2. #
    CATE — December 12, 2011 at 2:50 am

    If you're looking for something easy to lure you back in, I also just made this peppermint chocolate fudge- So so easy and really good!


  3. #
    Tora — December 16, 2011 at 11:27 am

    aaaw. I threw out my bad batch a couple of weeks ago. I felt I could've saved it somehow, but I was a little disheartened, so I didn't google it.

    Thank you for this, I know how to save it now, should it ever happen again!

    Yours turned out beautiful!


    • Patty — December 26th, 2017 @ 11:34 am

      Doing it now.


  4. #
    sleepinghorse — December 29, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Thanks for the peppermint chocolate fudge recipe.


  5. #
    Daniela Padilla — September 18, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    I made a batch and it just won't set :( I tried chilling it but no go. Got any tricks to help me salvage it? Thanks!


    • CATE — September 18th, 2012 @ 5:26 pm

      Hi Daniela,

      I'm guessing that it didn't get to a high enough temperature. When it comes to candy-making, be sure have a candy thermometer…. before I had one I could never really make fudge properly. You might want to try the technique above… it was for grain fudge, but I don't see why it wouldn't work for other not-quite-right batches as well. Good luck!


  6. #
    Tenna — November 18, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    I’ve attempted to make fudge twice and after my second batch didn’t set, I was about to give up. I decided to google “what to do when your fudge doesn’t set”. I found your answer and all I can say is thank you so very much for helping me rescue my fudge! Following your steps carefully I made a pretty decent batch of fudge and am looking forward to making more. Thank you again for posting this fix it page.


    • Cate — November 20th, 2013 @ 9:18 pm

      Great! So glad it helped you Tenna :)


  7. #
    Cherie — December 20, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Thank you for this fudge fix! It’s not often that I end up with a batch that didn’t set up, but it happens (and it’s then used for ice cream topping…. or just licked off the spoon lol)- this was for sure a “save”! I only used 1/2 cup of water and let it go through the entire cook stage again (not quite as long, just until it started to cook down a bit)… waited until it cooled somewhat and then began beating – it turned creamy and set up perfect! No more “botched batches” – yay!
    Oh, and it also works well for hard tack candy (rebatching) Bless you!
    [actually, what I really liked about doing it this way was that the end result was a smaller pour on the plate, making it thicker]


    • Cate — December 22nd, 2013 @ 3:41 pm

      So glad you found it helpful Cherie!


  8. #
    Allison — October 31, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Any tips on doubling batches? Single batch is great. Double = grainy.


    • Jon — December 20th, 2017 @ 3:21 am

      For some reason, most fudge recipes do not do well when doubled, especially the one from the old Hershey’s cocoa tins.


  9. #
    Sue Jennings — February 15, 2015 at 9:41 am

    What does it mean to softball stage?


  10. #
    genesis — April 2, 2015 at 10:03 am

    Hey I accidentally added to much water and it’s been boiling forever any tips?


  11. #
    Helen — September 11, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    Thanks, you saved my fudge!


  12. #
    Shanta — October 10, 2015 at 1:21 am

    Well, I consider myself pretty flipping great at fudge making, Been making it with my mom for the past, oh I dunno, twenty years, but, gotta say, eeevery now and again I Don’t cook it enough, or I over stir it, forming the sugar into crystals, and I get grainy fudge, :( I had NO idea you could save it. I am waiting for this batch to cool so I can finish it, but, so far, looks pretty darn good! I thought, water? You want me to put WATER in my fudge? But, then again, I really didn’t have anything to lose by trying. Thanks so much!! You have changed the way I will look at grainy fudge. Not so much as an epic fail anymore, but more of a ok, we can fix this. :) ciao!!


  13. #
    CS — December 5, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    I ruined a batch of chocolate fudge with 2 cups pecans (expensive!) this week, and tried your remedy. I added about 1 1/4 cup water and followed your directions. It worked perfectly, and I was able to use the fudge as I planned. It is delicious. Thanks for this great suggestion!


  14. #
    Rebecca — December 10, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    I think you should be careful about telling people a cup and a half of water. It obviously depends on the amount of fudge botched. I did the same as Genesis, still boiling. Just thought maybe it was a standard amount but obviously not.


  15. #
    Sarah — December 23, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    Thank you for the rescue remedy. One batch of fudge saved from the bin :D x


  16. #
    Dana Harr — December 24, 2015 at 9:10 am

    Thank you so much! I live in a state with high altitude and have ruined three batches of fudge due to using a timer (2x) and a candy thermometer. Hopefully, using the softball stage will work!


  17. #
    Lisa Chuvalas — July 15, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    my fudge tasted good but gritty as I did not use a can thermometer and so we got one recorded it plus added 1 1/2 cups of water now it’s too runny


  18. #
    Jen — October 3, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    Thanks so so much for this post! I had some failed, crystallized fudge- I added 1 cup water & went back through to the softball stage. My new fudge looks great- so hopefully when it’s cool it will be 2nd time is the charm.


  19. #
    TERRY — December 11, 2016 at 11:25 am

    So sorry this has been years since this was talked about, but My sugar volcanoed when I put my butter in gainy and brown I tried to add the water now its a watery miss hap. I was trying to show my daughter how to have fun making fudge, and forgot my lesson one step at a time. I think I jump the gun and added the butter too soon?? Anyone care to comment


  20. #
    Deborah — December 13, 2016 at 11:37 am

    I LOVE grainy fudge. Please tell me how to get it! Is it lots of stirring?


  21. #
    Janice Landrum — December 15, 2016 at 3:58 am

    Does this work for marshmallow cream fudge also? Thanks


  22. #
    Leslie — December 22, 2016 at 12:00 am

    Okay, thanks for this tip! I was able to save my fudge!


  23. #
    Nai — December 22, 2016 at 8:02 am

    I used this method this afternoon to fix my hideous mess of “fudge” that I made last night. It was so grainy it was like wet sand in a bit of syrup. Now it’s smooth and actually fudgey! I’m just waiting for it to set, and my last Christmas gifts will be sorted :)


  24. #
    vickithemom — December 23, 2016 at 10:43 am

    2 1/2 cups of water to the fudge mixture? Since when did chocolate and water go together. Do you cook it until all the water is cooked off?


  25. #
    RRed — December 26, 2016 at 7:24 am

    Thank you! Botched a batch of Old Fashion Pecan Praline made with Pecan Whiskey and who throws our Whiskey Fudge?! Cut corners to fit pan, then dumped in nuts and all. Added only Hot Water Instructed Here and repeated softball/beating stages. PERFECT and no one will ever know was a Do-Over!


  26. #
    Kim s — February 3, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    What do you mean by “wash down the sugar crystals on the side of the pan?”


  27. #
    helena — February 12, 2017 at 9:38 am

    i have made fudge before without any issues but lately my batches have been turning out as if they skipped right over fudge and went to caramel. I have watched my tempatures closely. I have tried below 235 above 235 nothing seems to work. Any thoughts on what is going wrong? please help.


  28. #
    Cindy — December 1, 2017 at 7:29 am

    I’ve also “fixed” grainy fudge by making what we call “no fudge hot fudge”. It’s pretty much the same as this fix but instead of adding water, add cream and heat until the graininess is gone. It makes a fabulous hot fudge. :-)


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