Homemade hot fudge sauce is the perfect topping for ice cream. It’s simple to make from scratch and is ready in less than 15 minutes.

spoon dropping hot fudge sauce into a small white creamer jar

Ice cream season (aka summer) is here and the best topping is homemade hot fudge sauce. This thick, yet smooth, sauce is decadent. It has a rich chocolate flavor, which pairs well with almost any ice cream flavor. I suggest adding some chopped nuts or fresh fruit to enjoy the sauce even more!

Why this recipe works: It uses good quality bittersweet chocolate and dutch-process cocoa powder for the best chocolate flavor. Brown sugar and granulated sugar also improves the sweet flavor while butter and heavy cream make the sauce thick and rich.

hot fudge sauce ingredients in bowls labeled with text

How to make homemade hot fudge sauce

  1. Add heavy cream, butter, brown sugar, sugar and salt to a saucepan. Heat the ingredients over medium heat and bring to a simmer for 1 minute.
  2. Add chopped chocolate and stir until melted. Remove the mixture from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder until no clumps remain.
  3. Return the saucepan to low heat and whisk constantly until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Whisk in vanilla. Remove sauce from heat and transfer to a serving jar or storage container. Serve warm.

How to reheat hot fudge sauce

To reheat hot fudge sauce on the stove, place the sauce in a saucepan over low heat. Whisk frequently until heated through. To reheat hot fudge sauce in the microwave, place the sauce in a microwave-safe container. Heat on 50% power level and stop to stir every 15 seconds until heated through and warm.

photo collage demonstrating how to make hot fudge sauce in a saucepan

Helpful tips

Hot fudge sauce is all about the ingredients. The better quality chocolate you use, the better tasting fudge sauce you will have. I prefer Callebaut chocolate or Guittard chocolate. Don’t use chocolate chips. Instead chop the chocolate yourself. It will melt more quickly and evenly.

The right cocoa powder is also crucial. Dutch-process cocoa (aka alkalized cocoa) has a darker color and more mellow flavor. It also dissolves more easily in liquids, which is important for making hot fudge sauce. I prefer Guittard dutch process cocoa, but King Arthur Flour also makes a good one. Natural cocoa powder (such as Hershey’s or Ghirardelli) is more acidic and often paired with baking soda in recipes.

hot fudge sauce drizzled on vanilla ice cream in a white bowl

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use natural cocoa powder for hot fudge sauce?

Yes, but it will affect the texture and taste. Natural cocoa powder doesn’t dissolve into liquid as well as dutch-process cocoa. As a result, the sauce will not be silky smooth. Also, natural cocoa powder has a more acidic taste than dutch-process cocoa.

What’s the difference between hot fudge sauce and chocolate syrup?

Hot fudge sauce is thicker and more rich than chocolate syrup, which is a thin drizzle consistency.

How can I thin my hot fudge sauce?

Add a tablespoon of milk to the sauce when reheating. Continue adding a tablespoon of milk until desired consistency is reached.

How long does hot fudge sauce last?

When stored properly, hot fudge sauce will last for up to 4 months. Store sauce in an airtight container such as a mason jar in the refrigerator.

bowl of vanilla ice cream with hot fudge sauce next to creamer jar with fudge sauce and white kitchen linen

This old-fashioned hot fudge sauce is asking to be served at an ice cream sundae bar. You can serve this sauce over no churn chocolate ice cream, which is perfect for any chocoholic. I also like this sauce on strawberry ice cream for a chocolate-covered strawberry moment. This sauce is also used in between layers of ice cream cake!

Aside from ice cream, you can pour hot fudge sauce over brownies or slices of cake.

mason jar filled with hot fudge sauce

Set up your ice cream sundae bar and impress everyone with this homemade hot fudge sauce (it’s so much better than store bought). Serve it alongside chopped nuts, fresh fruit, whipped cream and whatever other ice cream toppings you love. If you try this recipe, leave a review by tapping the stars and tag @ifyougiveablondeakitchen on social media.

spoon dripping hot fudge sauce into a jar

Hot Fudge Sauce

Homemade hot fudge sauce is the perfect topping for ice cream. It's simple to make from scratch and is ready in less than 15 minutes.
5 (4 ratings)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (473 ml) heavy cream
  • ¼ cup (56 g) unsalted butter, cut into quarters
  • ½ cup (100 g) light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ounces (⅓ cup or 57 g) bittersweet chocolate , chopped into pieces
  • 1 ¼ cups (125 g) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions 

  • In a medium saucepan, combine heavy cream, butter, brown sugar, sugar and salt over medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer for about 1 minute.
  • Add chopped chocolate and stir until melted. Remove saucepan from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder.
  • Return saucepan to low heat and bring to a simmer whisking constantly until glossy, about 30 seconds. Whisk in vanilla and remove from heat. Transfer to a bowl, sauce boat or jar with a lid for storage. Serve warm.
  • To reheat, warm in a saucepan over low heat and frequently stir until warm. Alternatively, microwave the sauce on 50% power level stopping to stir every 15 seconds until warm.

Notes

Store hot fudge sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 months. 
Serving: 0.25cup, Calories: 200kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 37mg, Sodium: 43mg, Potassium: 143mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 16g, Vitamin A: 469IU, Vitamin C: 0.2mg, Calcium: 33mg, Iron: 1mg

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