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Easy Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce Recipe

This easy homemade hot fudge sauce is a delicious topping to put on vanilla ice cream or any other favorite dessert. You only need a few simple ingredients to make the best hot fudge sauce you’ve ever tasted. In fact, it will quickly become your favorite topping.

hot fudge sundae

I highly recommend reading this entire post before you begin preparing the recipe. However, if all you want is the list of ingredients with full directions, please either click on the jump-to-recipe button above or scroll to the bottom of this post.

This hot fudge sauce has a rich flavor that when heated and drizzled over cold ice cream, it tastes like something you’d get at a specialty frozen dessert shop. It’s such a delicious treat that you’ll dream about it … at least I do. Seriously.

Try frosting this 2-ingredient cherry chocolate cake with hot fudge sauce. The flavor will be out of this world delicious!

This is my favorite way to make hot fudge sauce. However, there are a lot of other ways to make it, and they’re all good.

Chocolate Syrup vs. Hot Fudge

Hot fudge is a thick, warm chocolate syrup. However, not all chocolate syrup can claim to be hot fudge.

While store-bought chocolate syrup is delicious, a homemade hot fudge sundae tastes much richer … and way more delicious! 

Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce Ingredient List

This easy recipe has ingredients that are readily available in any grocery store. Here are the items you’ll need:

  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Vanilla extract
  • Butter
  • Water
  • Salt if you use unsalted butter
chocolate chips, vanilla extract, sweetened condensed milk, water, butter, and salt

For exact measurements of each ingredient and full directions, go to the recipe card at the bottom of the page. You can even print out the card by using the “print” button.

Something you’ll probably notice when you see my ingredients is that if there’s a generic product, I’m likely to pick that one up. I often can’t tell the difference between a name brand item and a store brand—especially if it’s mixed into a sauce.

How to Make Hot Fudge Sauce

Use a heavy saucepan that is big enough but not too big—a 1-1/2 or 2-quart pan is best. The sides of the pan should be tall enough to contain the ingredients, but you don’t want the bottom of the pan to be so big that the chocolate spreads out and becomes scorched.

Pour the sweetened condensed milk into the pan and set it on medium heat. Give it about 2 minutes to warm up.

pot of sweetened condensed milk

Add the chocolate chips, butter, water, and salt. Turn the burner down to medium low heat.

Stir or whisk until all of the butter and chocolate chips have melted. The chocolate mixture should have the thickness of cake batter.

all hot fudge sauce ingredients in a pot

Remove pan from the heat and add the vanilla extract.

Stir until it is mixed into the chocolate.

adding vanilla to hot fudge sauce

If you made this fudge for ice cream, drizzle it while it’s still warm. It’s also delicious over cake or brownies.

You can also make butterscotch or caramel sauce with the same basic recipe. All you have to do is substitute butterscotch chips or caramel nibs for the chocolate chips. I usually have some butterscotch chips left after making these delicious butterscotch pecan cookies.

Microwave Hot Fudge Sauce

You can also make this in the microwave if you’re pressed for time. Simply put all of the ingredients except the vanilla extract in a microwave-safe bowl and heat on high for 1 minute.

Give it a good stir and return it to the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between. After all of the butter and chocolate chips have melted, add the vanilla, stir, and enjoy.

spoon of hot fudge sauce

Another DIY Hot Fudge Recipe

Instead of using sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips, you can substitute heavy cream, powdered sugar, and unsweetened cocoa powder. 

Use 1 cup of heavy whipping cream, 1 cup of powdered sugar, and 1/2 cup of cocoa powder. Add butter and a pinch of salt. Heat it in a saucepan on medium on the stovetop until it thickens. 

After you remove it from the heat, add 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Stir and it’s ready to top your favorite dessert.

Although this is a good recipe, I still prefer using sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips. It’s easier and always turns out.

How to Store Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce

After it reaches room temperature, pour it into glass jars or an airtight container and put it in the refrigerator. It should still be good for at least a couple of weeks … that is, if it lasts that long. It wouldn’t around my house.

jar of hot fudge sauce

Does Hot Fudge Sauce Need to be Refrigerated?

When made with any kind of milk or milk product, I recommend refrigerating it. Otherwise, it might turn sour. It would be such a shame to waste all of this deliciousness. 

So yes, it should be refrigerated. When you want a hot fudge sundae, just scoop a little bit into a small glass bowl and microwave it for a few seconds to heat it back up.

drizzling hot fudge sauce over ice cream

How to Heat Hot Fudge Without a Microwave

If you prefer not to use a microwave, you can heat it a couple of other ways. First, you can place a small bowl of the sauce in a pan with about a half inch of hot water. It doesn’t take long to warm up with this method.

Or you can put it in a small saucepan and heat it on low on the stovetop. Stir often and keep a close eye on it to make sure it doesn’t scorch. It only takes a minute or two to heat it up.

hot fudge sundae and hot fudge in a bowl

More Delicious Sweet Treats

Rolo Pretzel Turtles – Super easy and so delicious! Let the kids help you make these for a fun time in the kitchen.

Mini Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie – Made in a small iron skillet. It’s the perfect way to make cookies for two.

Peanut Butter Mug Cake – Flourless, delicious, and gluten-free. This is a single serving cake, so you’re not tempted to have another slice.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Moose Munch – Perfect for watching TV or family game night. The flavors and crunchy goodness will make this one of your favorites.

Pound Cake – This delicious pound cake from Julia’s Simply Southern blog would be the perfect foundation for a spoon or two of gooey hot fudge sauce.

Candied Pecans – Super simple but scrumptious. This recipe is perfect for dessert or just snacking.

Yield: 12 servings

Easy Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce Recipe

hot fudge sauce

Make this delicious homemade hot fudge sauce to drizzle over your favorite dessert.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk (14 ounce can)
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt if you’re using unsalted butter


  1. Pour the sweetened condensed milk into a 2-quart saucepan. Turn the heat to medium.
  2. Add all of the remaining ingredients except the vanilla. Stir or whisk until the butter and all of the chocolate chips melt.
  3. Remove the chocolate mixture from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  4. Serve over ice cream or your favorite dessert.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 106Total Fat 8gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 9mgSodium 32mgCarbohydrates 11gFiber 1gSugar 10gProtein 1g

The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.

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Miz Helen

Monday 13th of June 2022

We are featuring your awesome post on Full Plate Thursday, 592. Thanks so much for sharing your talent with us and sure hope you will come back to see us real soon! Miz Helen

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