Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce — You’ll never want store-bought again after making your own in under 10 minutes. The hot fudge sauce is thick, rich, dense, fudgy, very intensely chocolaty and not overly sweet. Serve over ice cream, brownies, cakes, cookies, waffles, pancakes, or just find a spoon and dig in!
The BEST Homemade Hot Fudge Recipe
To be totally honest, I don’t love ice cream — it’s the hot fudge that I really want. I work around the ice cream just to get to the hot fudge. I’m good with a spoon like that.
After making your own homemade hot fudge, a brown squirt bottle of store-bought chocolate syrup will never do. Even some of the gourmet varieties of store-bought hot fudge sauce pale in comparison!
They’re either too sweet, too lackluster, or don’t have enough chocolate intensity. And taste notwithstanding, it’s more economical to make your own. And more satisfying and gratifying!
Some people will really love this chocolate fudge sauce over ice cream. I happen to really love this with a spoon at midnight.
It’s so fudgy, rich, decadent, and stops my chocolate cravings dead in their tracks.
The batch makes just one 16-ounce jar, which is probably good. Because there’s only 10 minutes standing between you and this.
Hot Fudge Sauce Ingredients
For this easy hot fudge sauce recipe, you’ll need:
- Heavy cream (I used half-and-half)
- Light corn syrup
- Dark brown sugar
- Unsweetened natural cocoa powder
- Dark or bittersweet chocolate
- Unsalted butter
- Vanilla extract
How to Make Hot Fudge Sauce
Making hot fudge sauce from scratch is quick and simple! Here are the basic steps:
- First bring the cream, corn syrup, brown sugar, cocoa powder, optional salt, and half the chopped chocolate to a boil in a heavy saucepan over moderate heat.
- Stir frequently until the chocolate is melted, then reduce the heat and cook at a low boil for 5 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and add the butter, vanilla, and remaining chocolate. Stir until smooth, and then let cool for a few minutes before serving.
This homemade hot fudge will keep for a month in the fridge unless you eat it all in the first two days, which is a very real possibility. I have been storing mine on the counter at room temperature for two weeks and it’s fine.
I’m sure someone will ask me about refrigeration for gift-giving. I don’t know, so do what feels right to you. To me, the extensive boiling process renders this okay to store at room temp, but store it how you’re comfortable!
If you do store it in the refrigerator, it’ll firm up and can be reheated before serving. I recommend scooping some into a small cup and nuking that portion for 15 seconds rather than reheating the whole jar over and over. This will keep the rest of the hot fudge sauce fresh and will prevent it from clumping up from being reheated time and again.
Yes, you need to use corn syrup for this recipe and this ingredient cannot be omitted or altered. **
I have never experimented using another liquid sweeter such as honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar, nor tested the recipe in any other way other than in which the recipe is written, so I advise following the recipe exactly for best results.
*Since the time I originally posted this recipe in 2013, I have had a reader use honey rather than corn syrup because of a corn allergy, and she said the honey worked fine and the hot fudge set up perfectly. I haven’t tested honey personally in this recipe, but if you’re feeling experimentational you can give it a try.
**I also had a reader in 2022 mention she used sweetened condensed milk rather than corn syrup with great results. I haven’t tried this but am sharing the information.
No, chocolate chips are resistant to melting and won’t work for this recipe. You need to use actual chocolate bars that you chop up yourself.
Yes! If you don’t love rich, dark fudge sauce I recommend using milk chocolate instead of dark or bittersweet. Or, use a blend of milk and dark chocolate to achieve your perfect level of sweetness!
The warm hot fudge sauce is thick, dense, and not runny or thin. If it sets up too thick for your liking after it’s cooled, add a drizzle more corn syrup and stir to thin it out.
I’d rather have my hot fudge thick enough that when I turn it upside down on a spoon, it hangs on. Also keep in mind that when you reheat it for future uses, it naturally thins from the heat.
This recipe makes 16 oz. (2 cups) of chocolate fudge sauce.
Tips for the Best Hot Fudge
For the chocolate, I used three ounces from a Trader Joe’s 72% Pound Plus Bar and three ounces of Dark Chocolate Pound Plus Bar (54%). I mixed the two because I didn’t want the hot fudge to get too dark and sultry. I like my hot fudge dark and not too sweet, but didn’t want it bitter.
I used unsweeetened natural cocoa powder, but Dutch-process may be used. I’d also like to try it with Hershey’s Special Dark, but I can’t find it locally in San Diego anymore.
I didn’t sift the cocoa powder, but probably should have because it was pretty lumpy and it took quite a bit of stirring to smooth it. If your cocoa is particularly lumpy, sift. If not, don’t worry about it.
The resulting fudge is just sweet enough while being robustly and intensely chocolaty. It’s full-tilt on the chocolate oomph meter and it’s so very satisfying.
Ways to Use Hot Fudge Sauce
Use the chocolate fudge sauce whenever recipes call for it, or simply spoon it over your favorite desserts. Try pairing the fudge sauce with any of the following desserts:
- Hot Fudge and Salted Caramel Blondies
- Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars with Hot Fudge
- Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups with Ice Cream
- Easiest Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes
- Turtle Poke Cake
- Sea Salt Brownies
- 1-Minute Microwave Brownie
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- 2/3 cup heavy cream (I used half-and-half)
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder (I used natural, Dutch-process may be used; if your cocoa is particularly lumpy, sift it)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
- 6 ounces dark or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used 3 ounces 54% and 3 ounces 72%)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Bring cream, corn syrup* (See Notes below), brown sugar, cocoa powder, optional salt, and half the chopped chocolate to a boil in a 1 to 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until chocolate is melted. Reduce heat and cook at a low boil for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Turn off the heat and add butter, vanilla, remaining chocolate, and stir until smooth. Cool slightly before serving.
- Cooled sauce can be stored in a jar with a lid or in airtight container in the refrigerator for many weeks (recipe source says 1 week but I think that’s very conservative). I store mine for up to 1 week at room temperature; do as you’re comfortable with. Reheat sauce before using by placing the desired portion in a microwave-safe bowl and heating for about 10 to 15 seconds, or reheat on the stovetop.
Recipe adapted from Epicurious
*Since the time I originally posted this recipe in 2013, I had a reader use honey rather than corn syrup because of a corn allergy, and she said the honey worked fine and the hot fudge set up perfectly. I haven't tested honey personally in this recipe, but if you're feeling experimentational you can give it a try.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 133Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 45mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 1gSugar: 12gProtein: 1g
More Homemade Dessert Sauces:
The Best Salted Caramel Sauce — This homemade salted caramel sauce is creamy, buttery, rich, thick, smooth, and blows away anything you’ll ever buy. Best of all, it’s done in 15 minutes!
Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter – Even though peanut butter doesn’t need doctoring up, adding a bag of chocolate chips doesn’t hurt. Ready in 5 minutes and so easy!
Homemade Peanut Butter – Ready in 5 minutes and you’ll never want storebought again. It’s life-changing!
Homemade Cookie Butter — Fans of Biscoff or Trader Joe’s Speculoos Spread, now you can make this knockoff spread at home in minutes!
Dark Rum Caramel Sauce – An easy sauce to make with step-by-step photos, rum optional but it sure makes things more fun. Caramel sauce keeps for months in the refrigerator and makes nice gifts
Originally posted April 10, 2013 and reposted July 17, 2020 with updated text.