Homemade hot fudge is made with simple pantry ingredients and takes less than 10 minutes of cooking on the stovetop. Rich, fudgy, and thick, this hot fudge makes the perfect ice cream topping! It can also be used in any recipe that calls for hot fudge as an ingredient.
This hot fudge sauce is so easy that you'll never go back to store bought! Not too sweet, but rich, fudgy, and filled with cocoa flavor. This will be your new go-to ice cream topping!
You'll be making this hot fudge with just a few simple pantry staples: granulated sugar, cocoa powder, heavy cream, butter, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. That's it! With just a few minutes on the stovetop, you'll have a jar of rich, thick, and gooey hot fudge ready to go.
Serve this hot fudge over your next bowl of vanilla ice cream, or in any recipe that calls for hot fudge as an ingredient (like my marshmallow pie recipe!). This recipe makes one 8 ounce jar of hot fudge.
Ingredients and substitutions
Since this recipe uses minimal ingredients, I don't have a lot of substitutions to offer today.
- Butter - Unsalted butter and the listed and salt can be substituted with salted butter.
- Natural cocoa powder - Can be substituted with dutch cocoa, which will give your hot fudge a milder chocolate flavor and darker color.
- Heavy cream - This is a must to ensure your hot fudge turns out thick. Using other dairy products like half & half or milk will cause your hot fudge to turn out thin.
- Granulated sugar - Can be substituted with brown sugar, which will add a deeper, caramelized flavor.
- Vanilla extract - Adds flavor to the hot fudge.
- Salt - Enhances the flavor of the hot fudge.
Tips and tricks
Use a whisk - A whisk is a must for this recipe. Whisking helps the cocoa incorporate with the wet ingredients and gets rid of any clumps that may form during the cooking process.
Allow fudge sauce to cook - This is where the thickening happens. If you don't allow your fudge sauce to cook on the stovetop, it will turn out thin.
But don't cook too long - Don't overcook your fudge sauce. Otherwise, it will turn out too thick to pour and chewy when added to ice cream. If your fudge sauce begins to look too thick, add a splash of heavy cream to thin it back out.
Frequently asked questions
Homemade hot fudge will keep for about one month when stored properly in a sealed container in the refrigerator. While there is likely enough sugar to store your hot fudge safely at room temperature, I recommend storing it in the refrigerator for best results.
Hot fudge can be used as an ice cream topping, added to a milkshake and blended in to add chocolate flavor, drizzled over brownies, added as a layer in parfaits or trifles, added as a layer in cream pie (like my marshmallow pie recipe), or drizzled over fresh fruit.
To reheat fudge, transfer a portion to a microwave safe bowl and reheat in 10 second increments until warmed through.
This recipe makes one 8-ounce jar of hot fudge.
Homemade Hot Fudge
- ½ cup (99 g) granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup (28 g) natural cocoa powder
- ⅓ cup (76 g) heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a saucepan over medium heat, add granulated sugar, cocoa powder, heavy cream, butter, and salt. Whisk until combined, continuing to whisk frequently until mixture comes to a boil.
- Immediately reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes. At this point your sauce will look thin - this is normal. It will continue to thicken as it cools.
- Remove from heat, add vanilla, and stir to combine. Allow fudge to cool slightly before enjoying.
- Store leftovers in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.
- Hot fudge will keep for up to one month stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- To reheat fudge: transfer a portion to a microwave safe bowl and reheat in 10 second increments until warmed through.
- Recipe makes one 8-ounce jar of hot fudge.