Old fashioned hot fudge sauce recipe uses a handful of simple ingredients like Hershey’s cocoa powder, sugar, butter, and milk. Drizzle this homemade, thick and chewy hot fudge over an ice cream sundae for the perfect dessert!
Best Hot Fudge Sauce recipe
I have been making this old fashioned hot fudge sauce for years. Actually, now that I think about it, decades. Yikes. 😳
Growing up, my mom didn’t micromanage my sisters and I in the kitchen (probably too exhausted from cleaning up after us). Whenever the fancy struck for a sweet treat (daily), we would be left on our own to make it.
So, if you need verification for how easy this hot fudge sauce recipe is, evidently a 10 year old can make it. Even better, without supervision!
I’m still devoted to this recipe 30 years later. I love the way the warm, thick hot fudge becomes chewy once it hits the cold vanilla ice cream. In my book, that is how hot fudge should taste, or it’s just chocolate syrup!
old fashioned Hot Fudge Sauce ingredients
This recipe also doesn’t require special ingredients, like heavy cream, evaporated milk, or speciality baking chocolate. In fact, I bet you have everything you need to make the best hot fudge sauce right in your kitchen!
- Cocoa Powder – Use regular unsweetened baking cocoa or dutch processed cocoa powder.
- Milk – Anything you have in the fridge, or substitute non-dairy milk
- Unsalted Butter
- Granulated Sugar
- Light Corn Syrup – The magic ingredient that gives this recipe a gooey, thick, slightly chewy texture
- Vanilla extract
How to Make Hot Fudge Sauce Recipe
- In a saucepan over medium heat combine sugar, butter, cocoa powder, corn syrup, and milk. Stir to combine until butter is melted and sauce is smooth.
- Continue stirring and bring to boil. Reduce to a simmer, stirring constantly, for 1 minute, into a smooth, glossy sauce.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
- Cool slightly before serving over a scoop of ice cream, stirring occasionally.
Hot Fudge with Cocoa Powder
It’s possible to make a thick hot fudge sauce without chocolate chips! This recipe still has that essential dark chocolate flavor without using semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate.
Unsweetened cocoa powder, such as Hershey’s Baking Cocoa, or Dutch processed cocoa powder may be used. Dutch cocoa gives a stronger chocolate flavor with less acidity.
Does Hot Fudge sauce need to be refrigerated?
Store bought hot fudge needs to be refrigerated after opening. Once this homemade recipe has cooled completely, transfer to an airtight container, like a mason jar. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks.
How Long Does Hot Fudge Last?
Leftover hot fudge will stay good for 1-2 months in refrigerator. To be honest, I have kept hot fudge a lot longer and still used it. It still tastes fine, but the texture may become slightly grainer the longer it is stored.
It may also be frozen. Make sure it has cooled completely then transfer to ziplock freezer bags. Thaw in the refrigerator then reheat on the stove over medium-low heat.
Alternatively, spoon the chocolate sauce to a microwave safe bowl and warm in the microwave for 10-15 seconds.
How to Reheat Hot Fudge
When reheating chocolate sauce transfer the serving amount to a small microwave safe bowl and reheat for 10-15 seconds. It doesn’t take long so watch carefully!
It may also be reheated in a sauce pan. Warm on low heat, stirring constantly, until warmed and smooth.
What to do with Hot Fudge Sauce
What doesn’t taste better with chocolate?? Add homemade chocolate sauce to amp up any of these glorious desserts!
- Ice cream sundaes (even better, a hot fudge brownie sundae!)
- Cheesecake topping
- Swirl into milk shakes
- Use a dipping sauce for fondue or Dessert Boards
- Parfaits with ice cream or mousse
- Layer in ice cream cakes, like Gluten-Free Ice Cream Cake
- Mix into bar cookies, like Hot Fudge Peanut Butter Bars
Adding Peanut Butter
If you are a peanut butter chocolate enthusiast, try Peanut Butter Hot Fudge sauce! Stir in 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter into the chocolate sauce after cooking.
More chocolate Dessert recipes
- Chocolate Chess Pie
- Chocolate Whipped Cream
- Ding Dong Cake
- Chocolate Bark
- Buckeye Turtle Brownies
- Chocolate Granola
SAVE THIS Easy Hot Fudge Sauce Recipe TO YOUR PINTEREST BOARD!
Let’s be friends on Pinterest! I’m always sharing great recipes!
Old Fahsioned Hot Fudge Sauce
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- ¼ cup milk, or dairy-free milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- optional: ¼ cup creamy peanut butter for peanut butter hot fudge sauce
- In a small saucepan place the sugar, butter, cocoa powder, corn syrup, and milk. Heat over medium-low, stirring to combine until butter is melted and sauce is smooth.
- Continue stirring as mixture comes to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and optional peanut butter until smooth.
- Cool slightly before serving over ice cream. Makes one heaping cup or 9 – 2 tablespoon servings.
- DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? DON'T FORGET TO GIVE IT A STAR RATING AND COMMENT BELOW!
Storing Homemade Hot FudgeLeftover hot fudge will stay good for 1-2 months in refrigerator in an airtight container, like a lidded jar. Hot fudge sauce may also be frozen. Make sure it has cooled completely then transfer to ziplock freezer bags. Thaw in the refrigerator, then reheat on the stove.
Reheating Hot FudgeWhen reheating chocolate sauce transfer the serving amount to a small microwave safe bowl and reheat for 10-15 seconds. It doesn’t take long so watch carefully! It may also be reheated in a saucepan. Warm on low heat, stirring constantly, until warmed and smooth.
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I made this and have not eaten it yet. It looks too thin. It’s still hot though. Does it thicken up as it cools? If not cigs there a way to thicken it up?
Melissa Erdelac says
It does thicken as it cools. Hopefully it worked out for you!
Pam Smith says
Perfect! Exactly what I was craving! I wouldn’t change a thing!
Melissa Erdelac says
Thank you, Pam!
Marje Pierre says
Just made this & it was extremely easy. I doubled the recipe as I was cooking it & it still went well. It’s now my go to & I’ll add various flavors when I do. Today I made it for homemade strawberry ice cream. So it’s perfect
Thank you for sharing, Marje! Strawberry ice cream sounds like absolute perfection! You must live somewhere warm because we are still in soup season here!
Easy and perfect
Thank you so much, Karen!
I love this recipe for how easy it is and that it is way better than anything you can buy at the store! My family loves it and frequently asks for it!
I completely agree! I have never had anything remotely as good from a store or ice cream shop. This is the recipe I grew up on, though, so I’m a little partial…
Best hot fudge sauce ever! My mom is allergic to corn, so I substituted brown rice syrup for the corn syrup. The sauce was a huge it. Rich, chewy, and fudge. This recipe goes in my permanent file.
Yay! Love when a recipe goes in the permanent file. It’s definitely in mine. I’ve been making it over 30 years!
Quick, easy, and ingredients that I already have. My daughter said it was the best hot fudge she has ever had.
Thank you so much! I’m so glad it was a such a hit!
Does the butter need to be salted or unsalted?
Either will work!
So glad you enjoyed, thanks for writing!
Quick, easy and delicious. Next time I will add some peanut butter!
A true emergency dessert at its best! So glad you enjoyed it! 🙂
Just like my Mother’s, but more smooth. I bet the corn syrup is the secret to that.
Just the recipe I was looking for. It is like the Swedish “mudcake” that is super easy to make, and is gone from the school open day cake sale in five minutes. Same ingredients too, fat, sugar, cocoa… This is a basic fudge recipe, so I suppose I could have given it a few degrees more, and made fudge. I used a sugar thermometer, to be on the safe side. 105 degrees Celsius made perfect sauce. I used cream (because I had some in the fridge), and stirred in extra cream at the end to make sure it stayed a sauce. I had to double the recipe, because it was necessary to check the taste quite often as it cooled, to make sure it was still good. It was still good every time! Everyone else loved it too. Perfect!
Hello! Thank you so much for writing and for the helpful tips 🙂 I love the idea of using a splash of cream at the end to keep it a sauce. If you like your hot fudge more “saucy” than “chewy” this is a great way to keep it that way. I’m super intrigued by the Swedish mud cake too. I’m definitely going to give that a try!
Cynthia Bliss says
How much is in one serving and how much does this make?
It makes a heaping cup, so the serving size would be 2 tablespoons. Enjoy!
If anyone is like me and finds the aftertaste of bittersweet chocolate to be gross you won’t like this sauce. It would work great in baking if any recipe calls for fudge sauce, but not appealling to someone who greatly dislikes bittersweet chocolate. I may try this again, with far less cocoa powder and using cream instead of milk.
Hello, Thanks for writing. I’m a dark chocolate fan, so you won’t find any complaints from me! But, you also could try swapping out dutch cocoa powder in recipes that call for a lot of baking cocoa. Dutch cocoa is alkalized, so it has a more mellow flavor.
Belinda Lassen says
I just made this and followed the directions exactly as printed…it was looking good! But it turned to solid rock once it was on the ice cream. Not chewy…just hard rock. What did I do wrong? I followed directions exactly as written. The flavor was good. And then it was incredibly hard to clean my sauce pan since it had turned into industrial strength glue. Advice?
Oh no! That’s a big bummer. Possibly it cooked at too high of heat and it got too hard. I’ve never had any problems with cleaning my saucepan. I usually just let some hot water sit in it and it comes right up. It does harden slightly and get chewy when it hits the cold ice cream, but it shouldn’t turn to rock. 😳 Thanks for writing. I adapted the recipe to make sure it doesn’t cook at too high of heat. Hopefully others can avoid running into the same problem you did.
I made this, and it was easy and delicious, although I always reduce the sugar. I like Lisa’s idea, too – I make my hot chocolate that way – with cinnamon/nutmeg/chili pepper in a 3:1:1 ratio. (Also known as Mayan chocolate.) When I didn’t have anything else to put the sauce on, I got out a frozen banana – it was yummy!
Barbara, all great ideas! I’m going to try that hot chocolate. I have some this hot fudge sauce in my fridge right now, so why not??
How much sauce does one recipe make?
It makes about 1 1/2 cups. Enjoy!
Hey Susannah, I made this tonight so I more accurately measured it. It makes 1 cup without the peanut butter addition. Sorry for the misinformation before!
I’m going to tweak this recipe because my taste buds believe darker is better, plus my own chocolate syrup recipe gets a full pinch of cinnamon for flavor, a half pinch of nutmeg for warmth, and a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper to nibble gently around the edges of your tongue. If you want to exchange recipes or ideas on variations, let me know. I love to share.
Those all sound absolutely amazing! I will definitely give some of them a try of those ideas. Thanks!
It looks PERFECT. The perfect consistency and texture. WILL be trying this one.
Thank you! Please let me know what you think!
What Do you think of substituting heavy cream for the milk?
I think that sounds like a fantastic idea. You might want to cut back on the boil time, though, or it will get too thick. I’d love to hear how it turns out!