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.

Why You Must Make

  • 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, that 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, and real vanilla extract, it’s worth a try. Are you convinced?

Ingredient Notes

  • Kitchen Staples – Butter, Sugar, Brown Sugar, Salt
  • Light Corn Syrup – Karo brand works well
  • Unsweetened Chocolate – I use the Ghirardelli brand that’s readily available in supermarkets
  • Heavy Cream – 36% butterfat
  • Vanilla Extract – Make sure the label reads Real Vanilla, not artificially flavored.
Jar of homemade hot fudge sauce with a spoonful being removed.

How to Make

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.

Step 2: Add the corn syrup and chocolate, then the sugars, cream, and salt once the chocolate melts. Bring to a boil.

Step 3: Insert the candy thermometer and boil, without stirring until the mixture is thick and reaches 220-224º Fahrenheit. Remove from heat.

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

Step 5: Pour into jars or storage containers. Keep chilled but warm it to serve.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

How Do You Store Hot Fudge?

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.

What Can You Do with Leftover Hot Fudge 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.

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

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

Hot Fudge Sauce

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

Glossy and decadent hot fudge sauce you can make at home


  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla


  1. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat and swirl it around in the pan to coat the sides. Add corn syrup and chocolate and stir until chocolate melts. Add sugars, cream, and salt and continue to cook over medium until the mixture boils.
  2. Using a candy thermometer, boil gently for 7 to 9 minutes, without stirring, until the sauce is thickened and the 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 a few minutes before serving.
  4. The 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.