Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce Recipe – It takes only 6 ingredients and less than 10 minutes to make the best, most thick, rich, and delicious chocolate fudge sauce from scratch!

Metal spoon pouring the sauce into a glass mason jar.

Why We Love This Hot Fudge Sauce Recipe

Warm, thick, and decadent chocolate fudge sauce is the perfect complement to any bowl of ice cream or slice of pound cake. You can buy a decent version in a jar at the grocery store… But with very little effort you can make this Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce recipe without cream and customize it to your taste!

We found many different methods of making hot fudge sauce online, but feel the very best and easiest method is made with just 6 ingredients, including cocoa powder. After testing various methods, we determined the varieties made with chocolate chips always taste like ganache or chocolate sauce rather than traditional hot fudge sauce, which has a slightly roasted flavor from the use of cocoa powder.

Here we are providing our foolproof best-tasting hot fudge sauce with the fewest possible ingredients. If you don’t happen to have cocoa powder on hand (but have chocolate chips) we’ve also provided our best alternative chocolate sauce. It’s absolutely delicious, but is definitively not hot fudge sauce.

Whichever set of ingredients you choose to use, this fabulous fudge sauce is easy to make on the stovetop or the microwave in less than 10 minutes.

Glass dish with vanilla ice cream topped with the homemade fudge sauce and colorful sprinkles.

Ingredients You Need

To make our favorite (BEST) hot fudge sauce –

  • Sweetened condensed milk – for that perfect thick, fudgy consistency
  • Cocoa powder – unsweetened (dutch-process)
  • Butter – unsalted
  • Milk – whole fat or 2%, not skim
  • Vanilla extract – balances the sweetness of the condensed milk
  • Salt – just a pinch

Alternative (and still great) recipe –

  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Chocolate chips – any variety (milk chocolate, semi-sweet, or bittersweet chocolate)
  • Butter
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt
Recipe ingredients: jar of sweetened condensed milk, stick of butter, cocoa powder.

How to Make Hot Fudge Sauce with Cocoa Powder

Sift the cocoa powder to make sure there are absolutely no clumps. Then pour the cocoa powder into a small saucepot or microwave-safe bowl.

Add in the sweetened condensed milk, butter, and a pinch of salt.

Hand adding condensed milk to a white bowl with cocoa powder and butter.

If using the stovetop method, set the pot over medium heat to medium-low heat and stir the contents until the butter is fully melted and the cocoa powder is completely combined. The sauce should be very smooth, but thick. Mix in the vanilla extract and then thin out the hot fudge sauce by adding ¼ – ½ cup of milk. Stir to your desired consistency and turn off the heat.

Get the Complete (Printable) Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce Recipe Below. Enjoy!

If using the microwave method, place the microwave-safe bowl in the microwave and set it on high for 1 minute. Mix the ingredients and microwave again in 30-second increments, stirring in between, until the mixture is very smooth. Then, stir in the vanilla extract, and thin out the sauce by adding ¼ – ½ cup of milk to reach your desired consistency.

Green spatula held over a white bowl with homemade hot fudge sauce.

Use immediately while warm, or transfer the hot fudge sauce to a glass storage container for later.

Metal spoon pouring homemade chocolate fudge sauce into a glass mason jar.

Serving Suggestions

The sauce will thicken when cool, so re-warm the hot fudge sauce on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.

Slater the warm sauce on a thick slice of pound cake or other baked treat. And, of course, it is a must-have topping for ice cream sundaes! Try it with some of our favorite homemade ice cream recipes:

For a true sundae experience, add other classic toppings like colorful sprinkles, chopped nuts, crushed cookies, Homemade Cookie Dough chunks, whipped cream… And a cherry on top!

You can even use scratch-made chocolate fudge sauce to make other recipes like Frozen Hot Chocolate drinks, Chocolate Banoffee Pie, and everyone’s favorite Buster Bar Ice Cream Cake!

Spoon drizzling the homemade hotfudge sauce over a glass bowl of vanilla ice cream.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between hot fudge and chocolate sauce?

As the name suggests, hot fudge is thick and rich. It is warmed before using, so the consistency goes from nearly solid to pourable. Chocolate sauce is thin and does not typically solidify. It’s best to use at room temperature or even cold from the fridge.

Why is my homemade hot fudge sauce grainy?

The key to a perfect smooth sauce is to sift the cocoa powder first.

How long does homemade hot fudge sauce last?

Hot fudge sauce can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days, or in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

How do I reheat hot fudge?

Scoop any amount you want into a small microwave-safe dish. Heat at 50% power in short bursts of 5 seconds, stirring between each burst, until warm and pourable. Alternatively, you can reheat the fudge sauce on the stovetop in a small saucepan over low heat. (Do not boil.)

How can I make chocolate fudge sauce with chocolate chips?

If using the alternative recipe with chocolate chips instead of cocoa, you can simple add all of the ingredients to a sauce pan and heat up together on medium heat. Be sure to stir very frequently and don’t burn it! The sauce is done once all the ingredients are combined and the sauce has started to thicken.

Metal spoon with scoop of vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, and sprinkles.

Looking for More Sweet Recipes? Be Sure to Also Try:

Metal spoon pouring homemade chocolate fudge sauce into a glass mason jar.
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Best Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce Recipe

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes
It takes only 6 ingredients and less than 10 minutes to make the best, most thick, rich and decadent hot fudge sauce from scratch!
Servings: 10 servings (2.5 cups)

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Sift the cocoa powder to make sure there are absolutely no clumps. Then pour the cocoa powder into a small saucepot, or microwave-safe bowl.
  • Add in the sweetened condensed milk, butter, and a pinch of salt.
  • If using the stovetop method, set the pot over medium-low heat and stir the contents until the butter is fully melted and the cocoa powder is completely combined. The sauce should be very smooth, but thick. Mix in the vanilla extract and then thin out the hot fudge sauce by adding ¼ – ½ cup of milk. Stir to your desired consistency and turn off the heat.
  • If using the microwave method, place the microwave-safe bowl in the microwave and set on high for 1 minute. Mix the ingredients and microwave again in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until the mixture is very smooth. Then, stir in the vanilla extract, and thin out the sauce by adding ¼ – ½ cup of milk to reach your desired consistency.

Notes

The hot fudge sauce can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days, or in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
The sauce will thicken when cool, so re-warm it on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.
Alternative Thick Chocolate Sauce Recipe –
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (any variety)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25cup, Calories: 233kcal, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 0.4g, Cholesterol: 39mg, Sodium: 128mg, Potassium: 290mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 22g, Vitamin A: 399IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 134mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert, Sweets
Cuisine: American
Author: Sommer Collier
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