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Hot Fudge Sauce over a scoop of vanilla ice cream in stackeed white bowls

Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce

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This magnificent Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce topping is thick, rich, and decadent. Made with simple, wholesome ingredients, it will beat any jarred version by a mile!

Rich and luscious, this fudge topping turns ordinary vanilla ice cream into a delectable dessert! And it only takes minutes to make, plus it’s so delicious, you’ll want to drink this chocolate sauce!!!

Hot Fudge Sauce over a scoop of vanilla ice cream in stackeed white bowls

Hot Fudge Ice Cream Topping

When summer rolls around, ice cream sundaes are an absolute necessity. My family adores desserts, so having some homemade hot fudge sauce on hand makes for an easy after-dinner treat. Plus, this hot fudge sauce recipe is so luscious, you’ll want to eat it with a spoon!!!

While store-bought chocolate sauces have ingredients you never heard of, this homemade hot fudge is not muddied with any artificial ingredients or additives. It’s just pure chocolate deliciousness!

I chose a recipe from Chocolatier magazine. Thick, glossy, and decadent, it’s a versatile chocolate sauce that’s a marvelous topping for cakes, brownies, and of course, all kinds of ice cream. Just look at the ingredients and you’ll see why! Made with heavy cream, butter, chocolate, sugar, real vanilla extract, it’s worth a try. Are you convinced?

Jar of homemade hot fudge sauce with a spoonful being removed

What is hot fudge?

Hot fudge sauce is a thicker, richer version of chocolate sauce or chocolate syrup. Both are used as ice cream toppings, but hot fudge sauce is definitely more indulgent with cream, butter, chocolate, and/or cocoa powder as ingredients. Chocolate sauce is obviously thinner and pourable right from the refrigerator. Hot fudge needs to be warmed before using to top ice cream or other desserts.

How do you make hot fudge sauce?

I have two hot fudge recipes on the blog, one using cocoa powder, and this one using unsweetened chocolate. Both are thick, glossy, and delicious! This recipe requires a candy thermometer to ensure the boiling liquid gets to the proper temperature (and therefore, proper consistency). It also contains corn syrup, which works some magic by preventing any sugar granules from recrystallizing.

Step 1: Melt butter in a large saucepan, swirling to coat the sides of the pan. This helps prevent any sugar crystals from attaching to the side of the pan. Add the corn syrup and chocolate, then the sugars, cream, and salt once the chocolate melts. Bring to a boil.

Step 2: Insert the candy thermometer and boil, without stirring until the mixture is thick and reaches 220-224º Fahrenheit. Remove from heat.

Step 3: I like to pour into a large 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup with a spout. Mix in vanilla.

Step 4: Pour into jars or storage containers and let cool before adding the lids and refrigerating.

A bowl of vanilla ice cream topped with hot fudge sauce and a red handled spoon

How to Store Hot Fudge Sauce

Hot fudge can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 weeks. It should be kept cold, then gently warmed in the microwave or on the stovetop before serving. If you have too much to finish in 4 weeks, it will freeze well. Just make sure to use a freezer-safe container.

How to use leftover fudge or chocolate sauce

Make my 3 ingredient S’mores Dip or make a hot fudge brownie sundae, with a brownie, ice cream, whipped cream, fudge sauce, nuts, and a cherry to top it off! ! It’s excellent drizzled over angel food or pound cake, especially if a little vanilla ice cream is involved.

While you’re at it, whip up a batch of Microwave Caramel Sauce or Marshmallow Topping to add to the mix! This Homemade Peanut Butter Sauce from Snappy Gourmet sounds terrific, too! Have yourself an Ice Cream Sundae Party! Check out all my best Dessert Recipes, for more inspiration.

This recipe was first shared in June 2010. Photos and text were updated in 2020.

Hot Fudge Sauce over a scoop of vanilla ice cream in stackeed white bowls

Hot Fudge Sauce

Glossy and decadent hot fudge sauce you can make at home

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Yield 2 cups


  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla


  1. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat and swirl it around in the pan to coat sides. Add corn syrup and chocolate and stir until chocolate melts. Add sugars, cream and salt and continue to cook over medium till mixture comes to a boil.
  2. Using a candy thermometer, boil gently for 7 to 9 minutes, without stirring, until sauce is thickened and candy thermometer reaches 220-224º. Remove from heat.
  3. Pour sauce into a heatproof bowl or 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup. Whisk in vanilla. Set aside to cool for few minutes before serving.
  4. Sauce keeps for 2 weeks. Cool sauce completely before covering and chilling.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

2 tablespoons

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 232Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 69mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 1gSugar: 23gProtein: 2g


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Ah, gelato. Creamy, cold gelato. A scoop of caffé, pignoli, or nocciola was often lunch during our whirlwind tour of Italy. I decided to recreate this summer treat at home. Gelato, even though it seems creamier than ice cream, has less cream and more milk in the custard. Another key is less air in the final product.

I failed miserably as my crema gelato stunk! I didn’t have any trouble slurping down a couple of scoops drenched in homemade hot fudge sauce, but it’s back to the drawing board before posting a recipe. But if you have some vanilla ice cream in your freezer, make a batch of this marvelous ice cream topping and dive right in! 

Italian Gelato in a paper cup in Florence, Italy

A cup of half pignoli and half stracciatella gelato in Florence.

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25 comments on “Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce”

  1. Liz – you are too much with the desserts! I so adore gelato and prefer that to ice cream any day! The fudge sauce recipe sure looks special. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Liz, your fudge sauce looks so good and the gelato sounds great too. I have never tried any. Love your blog….

  3. Thanks, girls!!!

  4. Liz… are killing with all your amazing desserts. Love gelato, and that sauce looks so rich and delish. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Never have I made fudge sauce, and I’m wondering why. The recipe looks simple, might give it a try soon.
    thank you for the recipe.

  6. Look perfect and delicious Lizzy!!!

  7. It is the season for me to make ice cream and now I have an excuse to make this topping. I am forgetting about any calories. It is just too tempting.

  8. Well, it looks good enough for me! I wouldn’t mind joining you for some 🙂

  9. YUM YUM YUM!! top on my list

  10. I love this recipe! It’s my family’s favorite. We enjoy this every time.

  11. Very yummy! I feel like drinking it :-)) We don’t have corn syrup here…what else can you use instead? Maple syrup?

  12. Dear LIz, hot fudge sauce as a topping for fresh vanilla ice cream or brownies is hard to beat. Sounds like a wonderful recipe – I will also go and take a look at the other options on your blog for topping sauces, I am sure they are as wonderful as this one.
    Happy weekend, my friend!

  13. Homemade Hot Fudge Sunday Sauce!?! We are checking on flights now! Save us a bowl.

  14. This looks so luscious and delicious. All I need is a spoon! Thank you. 🙂 ~Valentina

  15. Dear Lizzy how are you doing? This looks absolutely delicious and yummy!!

    hugs xoxo

  16. What an incredibly, luscious, glossy fudge sauce! Definitely a keeper for the summer.

  17. There is nothing like homemade hot fudge sauce! Yours looks like perfection, Liz. Love that texture. Just put the ingredients for this on my shopping list – weekend sundaes!!

  18. My niece would want me to make her about a gallon of this 😊

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  19. Hello and thank you for the recipe.

    I just wanted to point out a typo in Step 2 of the pre-recipe card instructions. As posted, the “Step 2: Insert the candy thermometer and boil, without stirring until the mixture is thick and reaches 120-124 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from heat.” should read 220-224. Obviously at 120 degrees the mixture won’t be boiling and that might help readers to look at the recipe card steps, but updating the post might help those who don’t pay too much attention 🙂

    Thank you for all you do.

  20. This is the best hot fudge sauce I’ve ever tried. I can’t eat vanilla ice cream without it anymore!

  21. So much better than storebought and I can’t think of a flavor this wouldn’t pare with.

  22. I’ve always found you know you’ve done a good chocolate sauce if it shines like a mirror! Always believe these kind of sauces have to be homemade as the store versions can’t cut it.

  23. Liz
    I’m tempted to recreate this fudgy sauce now. I love the very look of this sauce and gelato is love after eating in Italy. Luscious is what the word calls for such a rich, chocolatey heaven. Thanks

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