Hot Fudge Sauce

This hot fudge sauce was 100% impromptu and perhaps one of the best decisions that I have ever made at 9:45pm on a random Saturday night. This past Saturday my Chief Culinary Consultant was enjoying  some guy time golfing and going to a baseball game, so I spent some quality time with my mom. My first instinct was to see if there were any chick flicks OnDemand. After a quick search, I realized that I forgot that 400+ channels yield virtually nothing in the good movie department. Then it dawned on me – there were actual sports to be watched. Unfortunately for my mom, that meant sitting through the Pirates game (she loathes baseball). She did perk up afterward, though, when I switched to the hockey playoffs to see New Jersey live to play another game. It was during the baseball game (specifically, after the Pirates scored 5 runs in the 4th inning) that I decided ice cream sundaes needed to happen. I still had some vanilla bean ice cream in the freezer from the ice cream sandwiches, and there was a tiny bit of salted caramel sauce in the fridge just begging to be polished off. Whipped cream and maraschino cherries? Check. The only thing missing was hot fudge. I hopped off the couch, grabbed my iPad, and bolted into the kitchen. In less than 20 minutes, we had hot fudge sauce, and not just any hot fudge sauce. The best, ever. I guarantee there will forever be a jar of this stuff stocked in my refrigerator.

When I started poking around for a recipe, I obviously wanted something that could be made with ingredients I already had in the house. Even though I live about 10 minutes from two 24-hour grocery stores, me putting on “real” clothes and going to buy ingredients just wasn’t going to happen. Luckily, I had what I needed for just about every recipe I found. The next hurdle? This couldn’t take forever. I wanted an ice cream sundae almost immediately. One recipe required cooking the sauce for an hour. That wasn’t going to work for me. I finally settled on a slightly merged recipe from one of my cookbooks and Deb’s site. It looked to be quick, fairly foolproof and had great reviews. I’m pretty confident I made the best choice possible, because this sauce is life-changing.

It’s rich, smooth, and the absolute perfect texture for pouring over ice cream. It lays on top, settles in puddles, and straddles the fence between melding into the ice cream and maintaining its own identity. Like I said, I don’t think I could have found a better hot fudge sauce. For all of the ice cream making that I do during the summer, I haven’t spent much time working on homemade toppings. Truth be told, I’m usually an ice cream purist and enjoy a cupful (or a bowlful) plain, without any toppings. I obviously didn’t inherit my dad’s zest for building grandiose ice cream concoctions. He would routinely top a bowl of vanilla ice cream with things like maple syrup and Grape-Nuts cereal (Elf, anyone?!). While I usually enjoy my ice cream for what it is, sometimes nothing beats an awesome sundae, and it totally hit the spot on Saturday night. If only I would have had one of my favorite chocolate chip cookies to throw into the mix 😉

Once you make this hot fudge sauce you’re going to want to hoard it, hide it in the back of the refrigerator so no one can find it, and only eat it when alone. I totally understand. The awesome news is that since it’s so easy and quick to make, you can whip up batch after batch in no time at all. So I encourage you to share the hot fudge love. Even though we’ve just merely dipped our toe into the warm days of summer, the winter holidays will be here before we know it, and I’m always on the lookout for ideas. This sauce would make a fabulous homemade gift. You could even play around with the flavorings, substituting a ¼ teaspoon of a flavored extract like peppermint, orange, or even raspberry, for a more festive sauce.

Whether you pour gallons of this over your ice cream, eat it with a spoon, or package it up and give it to a friend, this hot fudge sauce will certainly make your world a better place.

One year ago: Peanut Butter & Jelly Pie Bars
Two years ago: Blueberry Boy Bait
Three years ago: Irresistible Peanut Butter Cookies
Four years ago: Fresh Strawberry Tart

Hot Fudge Sauce

Yield: A heaping 2 cups

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes


2/3 cup heavy cream
½ cup Lyle's Golden Syrup, or light corn syrup
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
¼ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped, divided in half
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. In a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream, syrup, brown sugar, cocoa powder, salt and half of the chocolate to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low or low (enough to maintain a low simmer), and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining chocolate, the butter, and the vanilla extract, stirring until smooth. Let cool for 20 to 30 minutes before using (it will thicken as it cools). Store in a jar or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. To reheat, microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute until it's pourable but still thick.

(Recipe adapted from Gourmet Today and Smitten Kitchen)


119 Responses to “Hot Fudge Sauce”

Comment Pages 1 2
  1. Kristen on June 11, 2012 at 12:57 am

    I saw your tweet with the picture and had a feeling it was chocolate sauce before I saw the post. This looks awesome!


  2. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on June 11, 2012 at 2:09 am

    Who needs icecream? I would totally eat this right out of the jar :) Looks amazing!


  3. DineIn on June 11, 2012 at 4:06 am

    Basically fudge is very sweet…made of sauce with fudge is may be very tasty and sweetly…i like it :)


  4. Katrina on June 11, 2012 at 7:02 am

    This is on my summer to-make list! Your recipe sounds delicious!


  5. Ellen @ The Baking Bluenoser on June 11, 2012 at 7:13 am

    This, along with your salted caramel sauce, would make just about the most amazing ice cream sundae. I need to make this now!!


  6. Mi Vida en un Dulce on June 11, 2012 at 9:06 am

    When I started looking at it I thought how difficult it will be, but it’s not, it’s like making a ganche, but will lot of flavors. This is something I must try.
    Thanks for sharing.


  7. Kristy on June 11, 2012 at 9:20 am

    Mmmmm…. this looks so delicious! I need some of this in my life.


  8. Shirley@bells-bakery on June 11, 2012 at 9:28 am

    This looks fantastically yummy!!!


  9. Ali @ Gimme Some Oven on June 11, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Oh my goodness. I want that fudgy ice cream…like…now! :)


  10. Jessica@AKitchenAddiction on June 11, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Great impromptu decision and chocolate chip cookies with this would be amazing!!


  11. Tracey on June 11, 2012 at 9:57 am

    I can never keep enough hot fudge stocked in my fridge for my husband. I’ll confess I often buy him the Hershey’s syrup but this looks about a million times better! Perfect for summer too!


  12. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Pepper on June 11, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Oh yummy!! I just started to make ice cream and this would be perfect to go on top! On my weekend to do list!!


  13. Mallika on June 11, 2012 at 10:45 am

    I am drooling over this. Fabulous!


  14. Kristen on June 11, 2012 at 10:52 am

    I want this for breakfast. Seriously.


  15. Pennie D on June 11, 2012 at 11:21 am

    This looks delish. My cousin just gave me an ice cream maker, now I will make this to go along with it. The only bad thing is the waiting til both are done.


  16. Malina on June 11, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Is this just like the jar hot fudge that’s full of junk?! I’ve been trying for a home made version but I can’t achieve the same glopy thickness so I still crave the jar when it comes to a hot fudge sundae and that’s no good! hoping this will do it!


    • Nikki on January 11th, 2014 at 12:04 am

      If you’re struggling to get a sauce that’s as thick as you want it, try adding some cornstarch while boiling. Basically, make up a slurry (cornstarch with just enough water to become pourable), and add a little at a time, whisking constantly as you add it. Allow it to cook for 45 seconds before adding more – this way you can see the thickness of what you’re making (unlike most other thickeners, corn starch thickens sauces as they cook, rather than as they cool). Be super careful to not get chunks!


      A pastry chef


  17. Kim Bee on June 11, 2012 at 11:29 am

    I must try this. I make ice cream weekly so finding the perfect hot fudge sauce is just going to indulge the madness.


  18. Living The Sweet Life on June 11, 2012 at 11:42 am

    I could go for a bowl right now … sundea, not hot fudge sauce. Unless …. 😉 lol.


  19. Lori on June 11, 2012 at 11:47 am

    You often mention dutch-processed cocoa powder. Can you suggest a brand or where to get it? Can’t wait to make this and see if it compares to my Dad’s secret hot fudge sauce. He won’t share the recipe with me but passed it down to my son in a top-secret cooking session. Thinking it is time for a fudge sauce competition!


    • Kevin on November 27th, 2013 at 7:33 pm

      Because I’m a chocolate snob (LOL!) I just made this with Scharffen Berger chocolate – Natural (not Dutch process) unsweetened cocao powder and bittersweet 70 % cocao baking chocolate chunks. Combined with natural/pure vanilla extract and good quality butter this is SERIOUS chocolate flavor but SO easy to make!


      For the serious chocoholic this is heaven. If you like your fudge sauce more on the sweet vs. intense chocolate flavor, simply add 1 tbl of powdered sugar. If you like it even more sweet, then add the powdered sugar to your taste.


      • Cindy on October 18th, 2015 at 2:16 pm

        I did the same and had to add powdered sugar, just too bitter tasting to me


  20. Stephanie on June 11, 2012 at 11:48 am

    I think I could use this topping for anything, not just ice cream. Thanks!


  21. Cecily on June 11, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    This looks a lot like the one I make. I think I need to make some right now.


  22. natalie@thesweetslife on June 11, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    GORGEOUS pictures-you have me craving ice cream now!


  23. Jenny on June 11, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    I ALWAYS keep a jar of hot fudge in my fridge. It’s my all time favorite sweet item. I eat it by the spoonful when I crave chocolate. I tried to make it once and it was good. But this looks better, I think I will try it sometime!


  24. Meghan @ After the Ivy League on June 11, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    I asked my dad this weekend what dessert he wanted for Father’s Day, and he said chocolate chip cookies. I immediately thought of chocolate chip cookie bars, topped with ice cream and hot fudge. Homemade hot fudge… that’ll really take it up a notch! Thanks for the great recipe!


  25. Jenny on June 11, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Oh women please! Yummmmmy!:D


  26. Jaclyn on June 11, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    You need to stop with these dangerous recipes! First the salted caramel sauce, now hot fudge sauce!?! I can’t handle all this temptation!


  27. B @ Crags and Veggies on June 11, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    MMMM, I love chocolate sauce! I was craving some last night to go over my mint chocolate chip ice cream! Instead of buying some though, I’ll just make it! Thanks girl!


  28. Martha in KS on June 11, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    I love chocolate sauce with corn syrup in it – makes it chewy. YUM! I keep fat-free evaporated milk in the pantry for times when I want to make something yummy & don’t have cream.


  29. RisaG on June 11, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    this is the perfect thing to go with the ice cream that i will be making when i get my new Ninja Pulse Blender at the end of the week. It looks so easy and rich. You are a constant source of information.


  30. DB-The Foodie Stuntman on June 11, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    WOW! This sauce must be something else if you speak that highly of it.


  31. Karen on June 12, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Wow – Salted Caramel and now Fudge Sauce — my daughter made the salted caramel the other week and she shared. Now we need the fudge, too! She’s the “keeper of the chocolate” that we bought last winter…I’ll head her way with heavy cream – sounds like a rainy day plan!


  32. Riley on June 12, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Saturday night TV is the worst. This recipe looks great, thanks so much for sharing! Some of the best recipes come about spontaneously!


  33. Rebecca on June 13, 2012 at 8:37 am

    I made this hot fudge sauce and it is absolutely delicious!!! However, I’ve noticed that when I put it over ice-cream it turns hard and chewy almost immediately instead of remaining a sauce. Am I doing something wrong?


    • Michelle on June 14th, 2012 at 10:58 am

      Hi Rebecca, It shouldn’t turn hard, however I went through nearly a dozen homemade fudge sauce recipes (from cookbooks, blogs, etc.) and they all described the sauce as getting a chewy texture once it comes in contact with the cold ice cream, which was heralded as the sign of a great fudge sauce. If it got actually hard, it may have been cooked a bit too long, or your heat was too high.


      • Rebecca on June 14th, 2012 at 12:29 pm

        Thanks, Michelle! That makes sense. I love that the chewy texture is heralded as a sign of a great fudge sauce! I think the problem was that the first night that I reheated a little of it, I must have put it in the microwave for too long (it was bubbling when I took it out). Last night, I only reheated for about 10 seconds and it wasn’t as hard. It is absolutely delicious and I plan to give it as gifts!! I LOVE this site. :)


        • LindaSonia on February 12th, 2015 at 7:03 pm

          My brand name Sanders Hot Fudge Sauce hardens too. Very unappetizing. I don’t remember it doing that back in the day when Sanders was a household name and I REALLY don’t like it.

          I’m going to try and make my own with this recipe.


  34. Debra Kapellakis on June 13, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    I can’t wait to try this.


  35. Tracy {Pale Yellow} on June 13, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Hot fudge sauce is always necessary! I find the recipes that come from places of desperation always turn out amazing!


  36. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction on June 13, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    This hot fudge sauce looks divine… Can’t wait to make (and eat!) some :)


  37. Javelin Warrior on June 15, 2012 at 12:57 am

    This fudge looks incredible – nice and thick and gooey! And it’s from scratch – love that… I’m featuring this post in today’s Food Fetish Friday series (with a link-back and attribution). I hope you have no objections and it’s so much fun following your creations…


  38. Stephanie @ Macaroni and Cheesecake on June 20, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    I am in LOVE with this recipe! It looks so perfect for my husband & I! I am always adding hot fudge to my frozen yogurt when we go out and I would love to make it at home!


  39. Nicole on June 25, 2012 at 3:59 am

    I made this to take to a BBQ ( grilled fruit with sauce drizzled over) I had to make a double batch. One for my house one for the party!


  40. Brianne on June 30, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Can I make this, jar it, and then freeze it? The 2-week period isn’t long and I’m making large batches to use for gifts. Wondered if it’d keep well in the freezer until the week I’m giving them and then pull it out a couple days ahead to thaw in the fridge?


  41. Nicole on July 3, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    I have made this using Bittersweet chocolate, semi sweet, and milk chocolate
    I love the bitter sweet but the semi sweet I added instant espresso powder to and it was so yummy. The only reason I made with milk was hubby thinks the othetr two where bitter. I really dont like it with the milk


  42. Sherry on July 9, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Thanks for the wonderful hot fudge sauce recipe. I made a double batch and added 1/4 cup of bourbon to it. Yummmm. I like that it stays soft and fluid when you put it over ice cream, it doesn’t harden like many other hot fudge recipes.


  43. Jessica on August 3, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Some vanilla ice cream topped with this, and some of your homemade caramel sauce…life-changing doesn’t even begin to describe it!


  44. Kate on August 19, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    I just made some of this for an ice cream party I’m having in a couple hours. It’s soo delicious! I can’t wait to try it over the Andes mint ice cream we made.


  45. Laura on September 23, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    I just made this and I had to walk away… otherwise I’d eat the whole thing!!!
    I used Hershey’s dark cocoa powder. All other ingredients were as written.
    I tested it over a small amount of vanilla ice cream. Okay, so it was more than a small amount, but no one saw me so it doesn’t count, right?! Anyway, it did turn just a bit too chewy for me so I added a splash of milk to the pot and whisked it in. The second taste test was without ice cream but cooled enough to know that it’d be PERFECT!!
    Thank you for an AMAZING hot fudge sauce recipe!!


  46. Stephanie on October 20, 2012 at 9:33 am

    I make this on a basically weekly basis now – it doesn’t last much longer around here! My brother loves it and eats it out of the jar in front of the fridge :) Thanks so much for sharing!!


  47. Michelle M. on November 3, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    I just made this and it’s phenomenal!! The only thing I did different was use light brown sugar instead of dark (using what I had). Love the flavor and the texture. Just perfect! Thank you so much for posting it!!!


  48. BeetleZee on December 6, 2012 at 8:33 am

    I tried this recipe and felt it was very good. A bit on the ‘bitter’ or ‘dark’ side, even though I used Semi-Sweet instead of Bittersweet.. It set’s up beautifully and really does taste wonderful! My husband, the taste tester, said it was really good, but he’s just used to the store bought fudge which is a lot sweeter.. So it think I’ll keep experimenting to make it just a bit sweeter. It’s very good with Vanilla Ice Cream and turns really fudgy when it goes onto the cold IceCream :) it passed the test! :)


  49. Dawn W on December 7, 2012 at 12:38 am

    I would like to make this and your salted caramel sauce as Christmas gifts. I am wondering if you have tried canning either of these to preserve them longer and how you did it? Can I just put it in jars and boil them? How long would they last this way? Any information would be appreciated. I am not experienced with canning.


    • Michelle on December 9th, 2012 at 10:22 am

      Hi Dawn, I have not canned either, and I don’t believe that you can simply boil the jars in order to make them safe for preservation. There are certain acidic variables that need to be present in recipes that are preserved, which makes them safe to be canned and consumed later. I would just make the recipes within a week or so of Christmas, refrigerate, and when you give it away, note on the package that it needs to be refrigerated.


    • Anne on March 20th, 2014 at 7:28 am

      I wondered the same thing myself. I looked around online and found several recipes for preserved hot fudge sauce but none of them had cream in them. I also read in a couple places that NO kind of chocolate sauce is safe to can so I don’t know what to think. Pressure canning is used for low-acid foods but I’ve never tried that method, I’m afraid I’ll blow up my kitchen :-)


  50. Sophie on December 24, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    After boiling it burnt really easily, very annoyed!!!


    • John on October 3rd, 2015 at 9:53 pm

      So did mine. Also very annoyed!!!!

      Afterwards, I read on another site that dark chocolate should not be heated above 120 ºF. Boiling is quite a bit higher than that. Wondering how anyone has had success with these directions?


      • John on October 3rd, 2015 at 9:55 pm

        Forgot to mention, mine came out like a giant mass and the cocoa butter seperated.

        Giardelli 100% cocoa


        • Suzq on November 27th, 2015 at 4:14 pm

          John, try bringing up the heat slower; your chocolate seized. Even at lower heat, it’ll eventually ‘boil’ but you don’t want it boiling like pasta water would… just starting to bubble around the edges of the pot is/was good enough.
          This is definitely ‘wait until my family goes to bed and stay up until 1am to have ice cream and hot fudge’ worthy. Now… where are my gym clothes??


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