Easy Hot Fudge Sauce

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Easy Hot Fudge Sauce is sweet and indulgent, made with cocoa powder, butter, sugar, and heavy cream with vanilla, and ready in only a few minutes!

We know that toppings are just as important as the main dessert, which is why we’re sharing our Easy Whipped Cream, Chocolate Ganache, and Chocolate Frosting!

Ultimate Hot Fudge Sauce

Easy Hot Fudge Sauce is a thick and indulgent dessert topping, and only takes a few minutes to make on the stove. Plus it’s made with only six ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.

This is like a sauce-version of your favorite chocolate fudge, made with cream, sugar, butter, cocoa, and vanilla extract. I am absolutely sure that you’ll never want to go back to the store-bought version again!


The big difference between hot fudge and chocolate sauce is the texture. Hot fudge tends to be thicker and more indulgent, while chocolate sauce is noticeably thinner. Chocolate sauce also has sugar and water or corn syrup, while hot fudge uses heavier ingredients like cream and butter.


You can replace the heavy cream in this recipe with unsweetened condensed milk. If your hot sauce is turning out too thick, add a tablespoon of water at a time until it reaches the right texture. Keep in mind that this recipe will thicken as it cools down.


Hot fudge sauce can become grainy when it is overcooked and the chocolate is scorched. It can also happen if you’re using semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of cocoa powder in this recipe, which requires tempering before adding. Next time, try mixing in a tablespoon of butter, and cooling the fudge more slowly.


I like to store this homemade hot fudge in the refrigerator, because it contains heavy cream. As a general rule, dairy based recipes get stored in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to 2 weeks stored in an airtight container.

You can also freeze this hot fudge sauce recipe. When you’re ready to use it, heat it up in a saucepan over medium-low heat, and add additional heavy cream as needed.


Hot fudge sauce may naturally thicken as it cools down. If you’re not getting the texture you want, try raising the cooking temperature and whisking for longer, to evaporate some of the water in the recipe.

Easy Hot Fudge Sauce

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  • I like to use unsalted butter for this hot fudge sauce recipe, so I can control the amount of salt in the sauce. It’s really easy to go overboard and salted butter contains varying levels of salt, so this just adds a little bit more control.
  • Use a saucepan that’s made out of a good quality metal. If you don’t have one, use a glass bowl over a pot halfway filled with water, and make the hot fudge in a double boiler for more even heat distribution.
  • Serve this over ice cream, with bananas and strawberries, or drizzle over an ice cream banana split!
  • This recipe takes about a total time of 15 minutes to make, so you can throw it together any time you want!
  • You can use lighter or dark cocoa for this recipe, depending on how sweet you want this recipe to be.
  • Mix with my caramel sauce for a chocolate caramel dessert!
  • Add a teaspoon of cinnamon for more flavor variation in this fudge topping recipe, and serve over chocolate ice cream.
  • Melt white chocolate chips instead of using cocoa powder to make a sauce that tastes like white chocolate fudge!

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Easy Hot Fudge Sauce

5 from 7 votes
  • Yield: 16 servings
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Course: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder

Easy Hot Fudge Sauce is sweet and indulgent, made with cocoa powder, butter, sugar, and heavy cream with vanilla, and ready in only a few minutes!


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Add the sugar and cocoa powder into a medium pot and start whisking while you pour in the heavy cream until the mixture is smooth then turn the heat onto medium, then add in the butter and salt whisking until melted.
  2. Turn the heat off and add in the vanilla whisking well until combined before transferring to a new container to serve from or let cool (it will thicken more as it cools).

Recipe Notes

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 16 servings, Amount per serving: 164 calories, Calories: 164g, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 35mg, Sodium: 10mg, Potassium: 93mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 12g, Vitamin A: 395g, Vitamin C: 0.1g, Calcium: 18g, Iron: 0.7g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keyword: hot fudge sauce

Easy Hot Fudge Sauce

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  1. This is one of the Best Chocolate sauces I have made, perfectly balanced, I will teach my Daughter this. Thanks for sharing.

  2. My fudge sauce is a little bitter. Any idea why this might have happened? I used Dutch Process Cocoa.

  3. I made this recipe over a month ago and it turned out great! I saved this recipe but it seems the recipe is different now. I’m almost positive I used 2 cups heavy cream last time and this recipe calls for 1 cup. With one cup, it wouldn’t mix good with the cocoa and sugar. I had one big lump stuck to my whisk. I decided to add one more cup heavy cream and it looks like it did last time. Did the recipe get mixed up on here? I just want it to turn out like last time. It was soooo good and I will never go back to Hershey’s again. Also, the recipe said to cook a little bit last time — now it doesn’t. I’m so confused. This is the only recipe I saved to my board for hot fudge sauce. I know these are the ingredients I used last time. Please help!

    1. Hmm, that is weird. I just checked and this recipe hasn’t been touched or adjusted. You can always add more than 1 cup if needed though. I’m glad you like it so much and hopefully it’ll work out for you again.

    2. I had the same thing happen. I honestly thought there was 2 cups of cream. I couldn’t even mix it until I added the second cup.
      With that being said. This is the best! I even add a spoon of the sauce to my iced coffee?.

  4. Thank-you Sabrina, this is so good and easy to make. Made this a few days ago in the microwave and what was left is stored in a mason jar in my fridge. Taking a spoonful every now and then right from the jar reminds me of the center of a dark chocolate truffle. It’s great stuff.

    1. You’ll want to keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Make sure to warm it before using

  5. I’m not wild about canned evaporated milk either, but I do like to make my own organic evaporated milk! You just put at a very low heat in a pan on the stove, removing the skin when it covers the top and keep at just less than a simmer and let it evaporate to half the amount that was put in the pan, so for one cup you put in 2 cups organic milk to begin the process. Works great (and less expensive than heavy whipping cream).

  6. What do you think of adding a little instant coffee—or a bit of liquid coffee if you prefer? Many chocolate recipes include a little coffee for a richer more complex flavor; I’m wondering if adding this, like adding a little cinnamon, would have a similar effect.

  7. I’ll take the cream and butter! 😉 I love this type of chocolate sauce and your list of tips is fantastic!

  8. I really shouldn’t be looking at food blogs when I am craving chocolate!!! This hot fudge sauce looks and sounds AMAZING!