Thick and smooth hot fudge sauce made with simple ingredients including semi-sweet chocolate and cocoa powder. This decadent sauce will complete the best ice cream sundae you will ever enjoy!

Serve hot fudge sauce over your skillet cookie, homemade crepes, or drizzled inside your Oreo Milkshake.

A glass mason jar filled with hot fudge sauce and a spoon in it.

Hot Fudge is a thick chocolate sauce that’s served warm, over ice cream (or your favorite dessert recipe), and topped with nuts, whipped cream or a maraschino cherry. You can buy it in a can at the store, but nothing compares to this simple homemade hot fudge recipe.

What we LOVE about homemade hot fudge sauce:

  • From scratch: This is one of those recipes where you never knew what you were missing until you tried it from scratch. Never again will you settle for store-bought Mrs. Richardson’s or any other brand of hot fudge for topping on your ice cream!
  • A holiday tradition: My mom always made hot fudge during the  Christmas season.  We would have a huge ice cream sundae bar with all sorts of toppings on Christmas Eve and I always ladled cups-full of this stuff on top of my ice cream.  Nothing beats this warm, dark chocolate-y deliciousness!

How to make Hot Fudge Sauce:

1. Chop & melt chocolate. I use 12 oz (2.5 boxes) of semi-sweet Baker’s chocolate. Any high quality chocolate will work! Melt the chocolate in the microwave (half power, stirring every 30 seconds) or in a double boiler, until smooth.

Side by side photos with the first of chopped chocolate and the other of a glass bowl with melted chocolate and a spoon.

2. Add cocoa powder.  Sift the cocoa powder into the melted chocolate mixture and stir to combine. The chocolate mixture will be pretty thick.

Side by side photos of glass bowls with melted chocolate with cocoa powder in it.

3. Heat sugar, light corn syrup, heavy cream, salt and water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring well. Then stir in the butter and vanilla.

4. Add chocolate mixture: Add the chocolate mixture to the saucepan and stir until smooth. That’s it! The sauce will thicken as it cools.

Process photos of making the sauce for hot fudge.

Store it in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 3 weeks.

Our favorite way to enjoy hot fudge sauce is over a bowl of ice cream! Sprinkle some walnuts (or any chopped nuts!) on top, and add a maraschino cherry if you’re feeling extra fancy 🙂 Oh my YUM!

A cup full of vanilla ice cream with hot fudge, walnuts and a cherry on top.

Make Ahead And Freezing Instructions:

To make ahead: Make hot fudge sauce up to 3 weeks ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in your fridge.  Heat slowly in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds.

To freeze: Allow hot fudge to cool completely and store it in a freezer safe jar or bag for up to 3 months.  Allow it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator.  Reheat the fudge slowly in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds and being careful not to let it get too hot or burn.



Homemade hot fudge in a glass jar, ready to enjoy.
Prep 5 mins
Cook 10 mins
Total 15 mins
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  • 10 ounces good quality semi-sweet chocolate* , chopped
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder , measured, then sifted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 Tablespoons butter , chopped


  • In a microwave-safe bowl (or double boiler on the stove, stirring constantly) melt the chocolate on half power, in 30-second increments, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. 
  • Remove from microwave and stir in the sifted cocoa powder until smooth. The mixture will be thick. Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, corn syrup, cream, salt and water. Stir constantly and bring to a simmer. 
  • Simmer for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and butter.
  • Add the melted chocolate mixture and stir until smooth. 
  • Serve warm, over ice cream. 


Chocolate: I use 12 oz (2 ½ boxes) of semi-sweet Baker's chocolate or Trader Joes pound plus bars, but any high quality chocolate, like Ghirardelli chocolate chips, will work.
Storing Instructions: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. Rewarm slowly in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds, until pourable. 
Freezing Instructions: Cool completely then store in a freezer safe jar or container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then rewarm slowly in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds, until pourable. Be careful not to let it get too hot or burn.


Calories: 283kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 2gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 68mgPotassium: 175mgFiber: 2gSugar: 33gVitamin A: 195IUCalcium: 26mgIron: 1.8mg

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I originally shared this post in December 2014. Updated December 2020.

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RATE this recipe and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 2 stars
    It turned hard as soon as it touched the ice cream. I added more cream and it was better. Should increase the liquid in the recipe.

  2. 5 stars
    It is much easier to add the cocoa to the water mixture and the butter to the chocolate. The result was perfect ….a bit too thick so I added 1/3 cup water.

  3. 4 stars
    It?s difficult to find experienced people on this topic, but you seem like you know what you?re talking about!

  4. 5 stars
    easy too make. No need for candy thermometers ect… delicious results! reminds me of my grandmothers when i was little.

  5. 5 stars
    This is unbelievable!!!! It tastes like a 15 /10 or heavenly. My kids love it. Thank you. i do not want to lose this recipe , it will be one I repeat again.

  6. 5 stars
    This really is the best hot fudge I have ever made. I was wary of the corn syrup, but it turned out delicious and the exact right consistency. I have tried many but I will stick with this one for sure.

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