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This homemade hot fudge sauce recipe couldn’t be easier or more delicious. It’s sure to be your favorite ice cream topping all summer long.

Spoon drizzling hot fudge sauce back into a jar of the sauce.

When I was a kid, we briefly lived with my great grandmother, Lottie. She was a magnificent woman and an incredible cook. I was quite young – about 5 or so, but I have some pretty vivid memories of the time we spent in her home.

I remember sitting at her dining room table and coloring for hours with the crayons she kept in an old coffee can, and an old fashioned rotary phone that sat on her perfectly organized desk. 

Her home was immaculate and I remember giggling every time she told me to keep my feet off of her davenport.

She had a drawer devoted to her beloved baking tools, and even went so far as to purchase a set of miniature tools just for me. She’d neatly pull my hair back and keep it out of my face with a babushka, and then put a ball of dough in front of me. 

We’d sit at the kitchen table for hours, rolling dough and cutting perfect circles with the top of a glass. Then we’d fill, fold, and crimp each of the dough circles to create the most amazing pierogies.

On summer evenings, we’d all load up into the car and head to the ice cream parlor.

I was always a caramel sundae kind of girl, but I remember snagging bites of my dad’s Tin Roof Sundaes that were slathered in the most incredible hot fudge sauce. And even though I’ve never been much of a hot fudge kind of girl myself, Elle can’t get enough of all things chocolate.

And during the summers she is all about ice cream, especially when it’s topped with a bit of chocolate sauce, Reddi Wip, sprinkles, and – of course – a cherry.

Whether you’re out of the jarred stuff or just craving a rich, chocolatey, homemade treat for your favorite ice cream, this homemade hot fudge sauce should definitely be on your summer bucket list!

Ingredients for hot fudge sauce arranged on a light gray countertop.


If you read my post on how to make caramel sauce, making your own hot fudge sauce is even easier! 

Ingredients you’ll need

To make this recipe, you’ll want to grab:

  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

If you bake a lot, you may already have a lot of these ingredients on hand. The one ingredient you may not have readily available is Dutch-process cocoa, so let’s talk about that one.

Ingredients for hot fudge sauce in a metal saucepan.

What is Dutch-process cocoa powder?

There are two main kinds of cocoa powder: natural cocoa and Dutch-process cocoa.

Dutch-process cocoa has been treated to reduce the acidity of the cocoa powder, which gives it a darker color and less bitter flavor than natural cocoa. 

Using Dutch-process cocoa in this recipe will help give it that deep, rich color and help avoid any bitter flavor. It will be pure, sweet, chocolate goodness! 

Hot fudge sauce on the stove, being whisked.

Making this recipe

If you can whisk things together and bring things to a boil, you can make this hot fudge sauce recipe! I promise.

I like to use a heavy saucepan for this recipe. It will help the sauce heat evenly and keep it from burning.

Add the cream, corn syrup, brown sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and half of the chopped chocolate to the pan. Bring all of this to a boil, whisking it until the chocolate is completely melted.

Saucepan of hot fudge sauce cooling on a white board.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and keep the mixture at a low boil for about 5 minutes, stirring it occasionally. 

After 5 minutes, remove the sauce from the heat and whisk in the butter, vanilla, and the rest of the chocolate until it is nice and smooth. The sauce will thicken slightly and have a beautiful finish to it.

Let the fudge sauce cool a bit and it’s ready to serve!

Spoon resting in a glass jar of hot fudge sauce set on a white board.


There are endless ways to use your homemade hot fudge sauce. You may just find yourself making a new batch of it every week!

Of course it is perfect for drizzling over no-churn ice cream, but don’t stop there! Set up an ice cream sundae bar with this fudge sauce, some strawberry sauce, caramel, sprinkles and homemade whipped cream

Strawberry being dipped into a white bowl of hot fudge sauce.

It’s pretty much a direct pass to becoming the coolest parent ever.

But no need to stop with ice cream! Try it for breakfast on top of Bisquick waffles or over a stack of Boston cream pie pancakes for a truly decadent breakfast treat.

I also love it over a slice of vanilla cheesecake or cheesecake bars

When it comes to this sauce, you’re really only limited by your imagination!

Hot fudge sauce being drizzled over vanilla ice cream in a white bowl.


Because of the dairy in this recipe, it needs to be stored in the refrigerator.

Let the sauce cool completely and store leftovers in an airtight container, such as a glass jar, in the fridge for up to one week.

The sauce becomes quite thick after it has been chilled, so you will likely want to reheat it slightly. I recommend doing so in the microwave; microwave it on low in 15-second increments, stirring until it is your desired consistency.

Spoon holding hot fudge sauce being held over a jar of the sauce.
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Hot Fudge Sauce

By: Jamie Lothridge
4.50 from 6 ratings
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 16
This homemade hot fudge sauce recipe couldn’t be easier or more delicious. It’s sure to be your favorite ice cream topping all summer long.


  • cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • cup packed dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces quality bittersweet chocolate not unsweetened, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • In a medium, heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine cream, corn syrup, brown sugar, cocoa, salt, and half of the chocolate. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the chocolate pieces are completely melted.
  • Reduce heat and cook at a low boil, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add in butter, vanilla, and remaining chocolate, stirring until smooth. 
  • Allow the sauce to cool down before serving.



  • Makes about 2 cups.
  • This recipe can be easily adapted to create new flavors. I added in 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract which yielded a subtle, smooth, minty flavor. 
  • To store, cool sauce completely and chill in an airtight container within the refrigerator for up to one week.
  • Recipe from Gourmet, February 2004 via Epicurious


Serving: 2tablespoons, Calories: 181kcal, Carbohydrates: 18g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 46mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 12g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

4.50 from 6 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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  1. Amy K says:

    Just made this a few weeks ago. It was perfect and tasted exactly as hot fudge should — over the top delicious!!

    1. Jamie says:

      I’m so glad to hear that, Amy! Thanks so much for sharing your feedback. Happy baking!

  2. Ana Paula says:

    Wow, this sounds really good! I will share with my friend and very soon I will make this recipe here at home for my children

    1. Jamie says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by! I appreciate you taking the time to comment. Happy Baking!

  3. Naz says:

    This turned out divine! I added two tablespoons of instant coffee and added swirls of the fudge into homemade chocolate ice cream to make mocha almond fudge. The consistency and taste were perfect.. it was glossy and not too sweet. I used half and half instead of whipping cream because I was out — still worked perfect!

    1. Jamie says:

      So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Naz! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your feedback!

  4. Luciana says:

    wow looks delicious, great pics too!

    1. Jamie says:

      Thanks so much!