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Hot Fudge Sauce

Get ready to take your desserts to the next level with this wonderfully easy and insanely delicious hot fudge sauce recipe. It’s far superior to any jar of store-bought chocolate sauce!

a jar of hot fudge sauce with a spoonful of sauce beside it

Among the simple joys of the dessert world, homemade hot fudge sauce has to be near the top of the list. Made with simple ingredients, this rich and creamy sauce is perfect for drizzling over ice cream, brownies, or just about anything that could use a chocolatey boost. Trust me, once you try this hot fudge sauce, you’ll never want to go back to store-bought!

Why You’ll Love This Hot Fudge Sauce Recipe

  • Rich and decadent. This hot fudge sauce is the epitome of indulgence. With its deep chocolate flavor and silky texture, it’s perfect for satisfying those chocolate cravings.
  • Simple ingredients. Made with baking basics like cocoa powder, sugar, and heavy cream, you can probably whip up this chocolate sauce without any special trips to the grocery store.
  • Quick and easy. In just a few minutes, you can create a homemade hot fudge sauce that’s far superior to any store-bought version. It’s quick enough for a weeknight treat but impressive enough for special occasions.
  • Versatile. Whether you’re drizzling it over ice cream, dipping fruit, or adding a finishing touch to your favorite desserts, this hot fudge sauce is incredibly versatile and always delicious.
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What’s the Difference Between Hot Fudge Sauce and Chocolate Syrup?

Hot fudge sauce and chocolate syrup both add a delicious chocolatey touch to desserts, but they differ in texture and richness. Hot fudge sauce is thick, rich, and creamy, made with heavy cream, butter, and chocolate, and is best served warm. It’s perfect for drizzling over ice cream or brownies. In contrast, chocolate syrup is thinner and more pourable, made with water, sugar, and cocoa powder, and can be used for a variety of purposes, such as mixing into milk or drizzling over desserts.

overhead view of ingredients for hot fudge sauce

What You’ll Need

See the recipe card below for the full recipe, including ingredient quantities and complete instructions.

  • Heavy cream – Look for heavy cream or heavy whipping cream.
  • Light corn syrup – This helps make your sauce smooth and glossy.
  • Brown sugar – I love dark brown sugar here for its bolder flavor, but you can use light brown sugar if that’s what you have.
  • Cocoa powder – I use unsweetened natural cocoa powder for a traditional fudge sauce, but you can use Dutch process cocoa powder if you prefer its flavor.
  • Salt
  • Semisweet chocolate – Use chocolate discs or bars instead of chocolate chips for easier, smoother melting. Either semisweet or bittersweet chocolate will work here. Chop it roughly to aid in its melting, too.
  • Unsalted butter
  • Vanilla extract

How to Make Hot Fudge Sauce

  • Combine and heat. Stir together the cream, corn syrup, brown sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and half of the chocolate in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until the chocolate melts.
  • Simmer. Reduce to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened (about 5 minutes).
  • Finish mixing. Add the butter, remaining chocolate, and vanilla off the heat. Stir until smooth.
a spoonful of hot fudge sauce over a jar of sauce

Tips for Success

  • Use quality ingredients. Your hot fudge sauce will benefit from good quality cocoa powder and chocolate.
  • Keep stirring. You’ll want to stir the sauce the entire time it’s cooking to ensure the sugar dissolves completely and to prevent scorching. If you’re worried about burning the chocolate, you can use a double boiler.
  • Don’t over-cook. Look for the sauce to be smooth and slightly thickened. (It will thicken more as it cools.) Too much stovetop time leads to a thick, hard sauce.


  • Peanut butter. Add 2 tablespoons of smooth peanut butter to the sauce along with the butter and remaining chocolate for a rich, nutty twist.
  • Mocha. Dissolve 1 teaspoon of instant espresso powder in the cream before adding it to the saucepan for a delightful coffee-chocolate blend.
  • Hazelnut. Stir in 2 tablespoons of Nutella or a similar hazelnut spread when adding the butter and remaining chocolate for a creamy hazelnut flavor.
  • Mint. Add 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract along with the vanilla extract for a refreshing minty flavor.
  • Bourbon. Add 1-2 tablespoons of bourbon to the sauce along with the vanilla extract for a rich, boozy twist. Feel free to use a different liquor or liqueur.
hot fudge sauce drizzling off a spoon onto a bowl of vanilla ice cream

Serving Suggestions

  • Ice cream. The ultimate use of hot fudge sauce! Drizzle over vanilla ice cream (or another favorite) to elevate it new dessert heights. You can even add nuts, sprinkles, whipped cream, caramel sauce, or cherries on top for classic ice cream sundaes.
  • Fruit. Use as a dip for fresh fruits like strawberries, banana slices, apple wedges, and pineapple chunks.
  • Brownies. Pour the hot fudge sauce over warm fudgy brownies for an extra indulgent dessert. Top with a scoop of ice cream for a brownie sundae.
  • Waffles and pancakes. Drizzle the hot fudge sauce over freshly made waffles or pancakes. Add some sliced bananas or berries for a special breakfast or brunch.
  • Cheesecake. Pour over a slice of cheesecake for a luscious finishing touch.
overhead view of a bowl of vanilla ice cream topped with hot fudge sauce and sprinkles

How to Store

Cool your hot fudge sauce to room temperature and transfer it to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks. To reheat, place the desired amount of sauce in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in short intervals (10-15 seconds), stirring in between until warm and smooth. Alternatively, you can reheat a larger amount on the stovetop over low heat, stirring frequently.

Can Hot Fudge Sauce Be Frozen?

If you want to store your hot fudge sauce for longer, you can freeze it. Pour it into an airtight, freezer-safe container, leaving some room for expansion. Properly stored, it should keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat gently before using to regain that smooth texture.

a glass jar filled with hot fudge sauce with a spoon sticking out of the top

Hot Fudge Sauce

This rich and creamy hot fudge sauce is the perfect topping for your favorite desserts. Made with simple ingredients and ready in minutes, it’s an indulgent treat that’s sure to impress!

a spoonful of hot fudge sauce over a jar of sauce


  • 1 cup (236ml) heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (118ml) light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup (67g) dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (21g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces (170g) semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the heavy cream, corn syrup, brown sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and half of the chocolate. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring continuously until the chocolate is melted.
  2. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sauce has thickened slightly.
  3. Remove from heat and add the butter, the remaining chocolate, and the vanilla extract. Stir until smooth and all the chocolate has melted.
  4. Let the sauce cool for a few minutes before serving warm. It can also be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks and reheated before serving.

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    2 Comments on “Hot Fudge Sauce”

  1. I have been looking for a recipe for a good hot fudge sauce! I’ll be giving this a try! 

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