Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce: Indulge Your Sweet Tooth

This hot fudge sauce is just as ooey gooey wonderful as the topping you remember from your childhood. Made with real ingredients for when you must give in to the chocolate cravings.

Originally published December 2011; this post has been updated.

vanilla ice cream topped with hot fudge in a tall glass dish.

It’s been years since I’ve had a hot fudge sundae. Two? Three? Ten years? It likely came in a waxed cardboard cup from Baskin-Robbins. Inexplicably, the other night I was craving one. Time for some homemade hot fudge sauce!

Making this hot fudge sauce homemade means you can indulge without resorting to the store-bought, high fructose corn syrup versions. It’s not hard to make! The flavor is superior to that of the jars you’d get at the store.

spoon full of hot fudge sauce and jar full of hot fudge sauce

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Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce 

This recipe makes enough for us to indulge ourselves and still have a full jar left to give away. Or to keep on hand in case of an emotional crisis that absolutely requires chocolate. In which case, feel free to skip the ice cream and enjoy straight from the spoon.


Sugar Use your favorite brand of granulated cane sugar. I prefer organic. 

Cocoa powder This is the ingredient that gives this recipe its rich chocolate flavor. Use unsweetened cocoa powder, not the ready-to-use hot cocoa mix.

Butter — I used salted butter; if you prefer unsalted, that will work fine. 

Cream You’ll find this in the dairy section of the grocery store. Heavy cream or whipping cream is what you’re looking for. You do not want the already-whipped cream.

Seasonings Vanilla and cinnamon pair to give this hot fudge sauce a richer flavor. 

No corn syrup. No preservatives.

Making it

Combine the butter, cocoa, sugar, and cream in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil for 7 minutes.

Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and cinnamon. 

Serving it

Spoon the sauce over your favorite ice cream flavor while it’s still warm. 

Take a few minutes to toast some walnuts to top your sundae — you won’t be sorry!

Want to really indulge? Add a dollop of homemade marshmallow fluff or some of these black cherry preserves, too!


Store any remaining sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month. 

graphic of canning label for hot fudge sauce.
A jar of hot fudge sauce makes a great gift. Grab a FREE download of these cute printable canning labels — complete with a gentle reminder to return the jar! 
hot fudge sunda

★ Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

vanilla ice cream topped with hot fudge in a tall glass dish.

Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce Recipe

Yield: 3 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes

This homemade hot fudge sauce certainly doesn't qualify as healthy, but it means you can indulge without resorting to the store-bought, high fructose corn syrup versions.


  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 cups granulated organic cane sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Combine butter, cocoa, sugar, and cream in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and boil for 7 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and cinnamon. Cool slightly, then spoon over ice cream. Store any remaining sauce in the refrigerator.


Optional: for a smoother consistency, blend with an immersion blender after adding the vanilla and cinnamon.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1/8 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 214Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 65mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 0gSugar: 25gProtein: 1g

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About the author: Kris Bordessa is an award-winning National Geographic author and a certified Master Food Preserver. Read more about Kris and how she got started with this site here. If you want to send Kris a quick message, you can get in touch here.

12 comments… add one
  • Monica May 27, 2023 @ 14:40

    Do you think this would freeze well?

    • AttainableSustainable Jun 1, 2023 @ 11:40

      I haven’t tried it, but I think so!

  • Don Jul 3, 2020 @ 3:19

    Question from a type 2 diabetic. I have bought a bag of stevia designed for sugar substitution in recipes. Was wondering if you have looked into recipes with a Stevia substitution and if you think that might work in this hot fudge sauce recipe. Caving in to my normal chocolate cravings usually ends up in a carb coma for a couple hours while my blood sugar works to get back down. Love your posts. Regards, Don

    • Kris Bordessa Jul 4, 2020 @ 10:24

      Have you tried monk fruit? I’m not sure how that compares to stevia, but I’ve found it to be a pretty excellent substitute for sugar.

  • Alex Mar 31, 2020 @ 10:30

    Maybe we can replace sugar and butter with honey and coconut oil?

    • Kris Bordessa Apr 1, 2020 @ 16:12

      I imagine so!

  • Michelle Mar 24, 2018 @ 21:57

    Amazing recipe!
    And a sweet treat as well.

  • Susan Oct 20, 2014 @ 17:28

    A great and easy recipe! I used a double boiler to be sure not to scorch the sauce. I agree – why not make your own and have control over the quality of the ingredients.

  • sarah henry Dec 21, 2011 @ 14:57

    Hot fudge sauce sounds like a lovely holiday gift.

  • Casey@Good. Food. Stories. Dec 20, 2011 @ 15:26

    I love that your husband pays attention to HFCS now – as does mine. It’s so heartwarming!

  • Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart Dec 20, 2011 @ 8:36

    That’d be “eve” not even. sigh.

  • Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart Dec 20, 2011 @ 8:36

    I’m still compiling my xmas even menu. I might have to work in some hot fudge sauce.

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