This homemade Hot Fudge sauce is thick, smooth, and perfectly decadent! It only takes minutes to make and makes the best hot fudge sundae!

Looking for more rich chocolate recipes? Try my Fudge, Chocolate Truffles, or Chocolate Mug Cake.

A glass container filled with homemade hot fudge, ready to enjoy.

Hot Fudge is a thick chocolate sauce that’s served warm over ice cream to make a hot fudge sundae, then topped with nuts, whipped cream and a maraschino cherry. You could really top it on a variety of different dessert recipes. You can buy it in a can at the store, but nothing compares to this simple homemade hot fudge recipe.

Why this is the BEST Hot Fudge Sauce:

  • Fast – Only 15 minutes from start to finish.
  • Variety of Uses – We love this with ice cream topped with nuts on the best hot fudge sundae, on crepes, a skillet cookie, on an Oreo milkshake, Chocolate Milkshake, and sometimes even just with a spoon! It’s great for holiday gifting, presented in a jar with a ribbon and tag.
  • Delicious – Store-bought hot fudge may be convenient, but you just can’t beat the flavor of homemade. I promise you will never buy it from the store again.

How to make Hot Fudge:

Melt Chocolate: Place chopped chocolate in a glass bowl in the microwave on half power, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth.

  • I use 12 oz (2.5 boxes) of semi-sweet Baker’s chocolate, or Trader Joes Pound Plus bars. Any high quality chocolate, like Ghirardelli chocolate chips, will also work!
Two images showing chopped chocolate in a glass bowl, then the chocolate melted.

Add Cocoa Powder: Pour the cocoa powder into the melted chocolate mixture and stir to combine. The mixture will be thick.

Cocoa powder being added to melted chocolate for the best Hot Fudge.

Heat Ingredients: Combine sugar, light corn syrup, heavy cream, salt and water to a saucepan and stir well. Bring to a simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring well. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.

Two images showing sugar, light corn syrup, heavy cream, salt, and water in a saucepan, then that same mixture after it's cooked and vanilla is added.

Add Chocolate Mixture: Pour the chocolate mixture into the syrup and stir until smooth. The sauce will thicken as it cools. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. Enjoy on top of ice cream, in a chocolate or Oreo milkshake, in a dessert crepe, fondue, or with a spoon!

Homemade Hot Fudge being poured on top of a bowl of vanilla ice cream.

Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions:

To Make Ahead: This hot fudge sauce recipe can be made up to 3 weeks ahead of time and kept in an airtight container in the fridge. Heat slowly in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until pourable.

To Freeze: Cool completely then store this easy hot fudge in a freezer safe jar or bag for up to 3 months. Allow it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator then reheat slowly in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds. Be careful not to let it get too hot or burn.

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Homemade hot fudge in a glass jar, ready to enjoy.
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 10 minutes
Total 15 minutes
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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 10 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 and 2022.

Recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook.

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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.

4.98 from 268 votes (248 ratings without comment)

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  1. 5 stars
    I had to improvise a bit because I didn’t have all the ingredients – so used a mix of whole milk chocolate with 70% cocoa chocolate and 10% cream instead of heavy whipping cream. Maybe that’s why the corn syrup mix looked curdled during the boiling but it all came together in the end. The sauce was a good texture – though I might use less water next time so it’s thicker but the taste was great.

  2. 5 stars
    This fudge is excellent in taste. I used it on an ice cream cake roll for Father’s Day. I however did change the steps slightly to make it easier. First I made the sugar sauce as directed. After it started to simmer I lowered the temp down to low and continued whisking it the entire 4 min. Removed pot from heat and sifted the cocoa powder directly into the pot. Whisked that until combined. It does take a minute but will come together. Then I added my chips to the pot. Let that sit for a min just like when making ganache. Then whisked it until combined. The simmered sugar easily melts the chips. Hope this simplifies things for others attempting this recipe as it is delicious.

  3. 5 stars
    Followed the recipe exactly except that I added just shy of 1/3 cup of additional water after reading previous comments that it was too thick. Lovely chocolate flavor, the sauce broke somewhat when I added the chocolate – not sure why? I fixed it by throwing it in the blender though, then the texture was perfect.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 4 stars
    It?s difficult to find experienced people on this topic, but you seem like you know what you?re talking about!

  7. 5 stars
    easy too make. No need for candy thermometers ect… delicious results! reminds me of my grandmothers when i was little.

    1. you probably burned the chocolate while melting it, very easy mistake to make! try stirring more consistently. i’ve made this recipe 6x now and it’s never come out bitter (even despite reducing the sugar and corn syrup and using some bittersweet chocolate)

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 5 stars
    I loved this! I didn’t use nearly the amount of sugar and corn syrup, and it was plenty sweet… even for my five-year old! Thank you for sharing!

  11. Yes! Finally a fudge sauce that’s fudge sauce and not cake frosting. I tried another recipe and threw it out because it tasted just like cake frosting. Thanks so much for this recipe. All my kids loved it!!!
    I didn’t have enough corn syrup…I only had 1/3 cup and it actually tasted fine.

  12. 5 stars
    Wonderful recipe! Made it with 53% dark chocolate chips. Doubled the recipe no problem. Finished it with the inversion blender to smooth out the cocoa lumps even after sifting.

  13. If you like.bitter dark chocolate flavor,great! I prefer a typical sweet hot fudge. Also recipe is a great consistency when very hot but becomes Very thick when cooled Such that it almost needs scraped out of the bowl when cold. Also the order of operations can easily make the cocoa difficult to combine.

    Try this very simple scrummy recipe, stir and simmer one cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup Light syrup for 4 min. Then lower heat and stir in 12 oz semi sweet chocolate till blended. Easier and a classic I remember from ice cream parlors of old

  14. 5 stars
    Thanks so much for this! It’s an excellent recipe and will become a staple… I wondered about combining with orange juice or other flavors to vary…

  15. 5 stars
    Now that I’ve made this, there is no reason to go back to store bought. Homemade is the way to go. Great recipe!

  16. 5 stars
    I made this for an ice cream sundae bar for the Fourth of July. OMG it was so good and everyone went crazy for it. I’ll be making this many times to come.

  17. I love this idea. We actually barbequed for Christmas dinner this year- next year I would like to steal this for Christmas Eve dinner.