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Easy Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce

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Easy homemade hot fudge sauce comes together in minutes with ingredients you probably have on hand.  It is the perfect ice cream topping, but is also great drizzled over other desserts.

Bowl of peanut butter chocolate chip no churn ice cream topped drizzled with homemade hot fudge sauce.

This hot fudge sauce only takes just 4 ingredients and a few minutes to make.  You can be drizzling it over a bowl of ice cream in ten minutes and you most likely have everything you need to make it in your house already. 

We love using it to make ice cream sundaes, but really you could drizzle it over anything your heart desires.  No bake peanut butter pie and baked peanut butter pie are two of our favorites.

Ingredients: milk, cocoa powder, sugar and butter ready to be made into hot fudge sauce.

It’s hard to go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter, but you can use it on almost any sweet treat. Make your hot fudge dreams come true!

The Difference Between Chocolate Syrup and Hot Fudge

I have a confession to make.  I don’t like chocolate syrup.  

My husband loves the stuff.  He puts it in his milk and sometimes in his coffee.

He adds it to his smoothies (nothing says health food like simple syrup and chocolate syrup as regular ingredients in your smoothies!)  He likes it on ice cream too.

Saucepan with milk, cocoa powder and sugar mixture with stick of butter and whisk ready to be heated and turned into hot fudge sauce.

I just can’t like the stuff. I do, however, LOVE hot fudge.

They are not even close to the same thing.  One is watery and blah and the other is rich and smooth and luscious and wonderful.  Not that I feel strongly about it or anything.

Realistically the difference is chocolate sauce stays liquid and pourable when it is cold. Hot fudge is thicker and will become almost solid in the refrigerator.

Hot fudge needs to be warm to be drizzled and it get a thick fudgy texture as it cools.

Two glass jars of freshly made hot fudge sauce ready to use.

Why This Recipe is Perfect

This is one of those recipes you should just memorize.  It is so easy, comes together quickly and is made from pantry staples.

If you have a surprise visitor, you can impress them by whipping up a batch and drizzling it over Ice Cream Recipes.  There isn’t much better!

This would also make a great icing drizzled over a bundt cake.  It is also tasty licked off fingers, or spoons, or spatulas or the whisk…

But one of our favorite ways to enjoy it is with peanut butter pie. Just look how good that looks!

slice of baked peanut butter pie with hot fudge on plate with rest of pie behind it.

This recipe started as a fudge icing recipe that my aunt Marlene taught me when I was in elementary school. She used it over rice krispie treats and brownies.

I made a minor adjustment to make it a sauce instead of an icing. Now it is perfect for drizzling over all the things!

See, easy!  It is also forgiving.  You should try it!

How do you store homemade hot fudge sauce?

This recipe makes about 2 cups of hot fudge, so you will likely have some left. Store it in an airtight container, I like using small glass jars, in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Warm it up in the microwave or over low heat on the stove before using.

No bake peanut butter pie with oreo crust topped with chopped peanut butter cups and hot fudge sauce with jar of hot fudge in the background.

Ice Cream Recipes to Serve With Your Hot Fudge

To continue the theme of peanut butter and chocolate, you can make peanut butter chocolate chip no churn ice cream. It is creamy with a great peanut butter flavor and is perfect with hot fudge.

Hot chocolate ice cream is another treat that is perfect with a little fudge. It uses hot chocolate mix powder in the base, so we recommend adding some mini marshmallows for a super decadent themed treat.

brownie topped with ice cream, hot fudge and a cherry

Of course homemade vanilla ice cream is a classic base for a sundae. It really lets the gooey fudge shine, add a brownie for an extra special treat.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a review in the recipe card below!

Bowl of peanut butter chocolate chip no churn ice cream topped drizzled with homemade hot fudge sauce.

Hot Fudge Sauce

Servings: 12 Servings (about 2 cups)
Author: Carlee
This hot fudge comes together in minutes with ingredients you probably have on hand.  It is the perfect ice cream topping!
4.72 from 32 ratings
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes


  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup butter


  • In a medium sauce pan, whisk together sugar and cocoa to make sure there aren't any lumps.
    1 cup granulated sugar, ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • Add milk and butter. Cook over medium-low heat until the butter melts.
    ½ cup milk, ½ cup butter
  • Turn up the heat to medium and continue to cook until it comes to a hard boil.
  • Boil for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool some before serving.



Serving: 1ServingCalories: 144kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 1gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 66mgSugar: 17g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating


Tuesday 17th of October 2023

Hello! Thanks for charing with us your recipe! Does it get thick? I wanted to use to make a twix ice cream. I would like to incorporate that fudge with, caramel sauce and toffe sauce. Do you think that i can use this recipe or do you have any other?


Tuesday 17th of October 2023

That sounds delicious! It does get thick. When it's cold, it is pretty solid. I think it would be really tasty swirled in an ice cream.


Thursday 27th of May 2021

Simple and delicious. I added a touch of super fine espresso and salt but only because I used unsalted butter. Thank you for this. No more store bought junk for me.


Thursday 27th of May 2021

Oooh, the espresso sounds amazing! I am glad you liked it.

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies

Monday 20th of April 2020

YUM! I want to make ice cream this weekend, so I'll have to make sure and make this to go with! And... I'm going to run the chocolate syrup in the coffee concept by my husband. Interested to see what he thinks of that!


Friday 24th of April 2020

You'll have to let me know what he says!


Monday 26th of November 2018

Does this have to be refrigerated? I'm planning on making an ice cream baskets for gifts and won't be refrigerated until unwrapped.


Friday 24th of April 2020

Due to the dairy, I'd be worried about leaving it out for too long. I normally store mine in the refrigerator.


Monday 3rd of July 2017

Can I store in the fridge? If so, for how long?


Monday 3rd of July 2017

Yes you can! I made another batch last week knowing I wanted to use some on ice cream then and the rest to drizzle on a fun cake this weekend. It kept perfectly. (Usually it doesn't last that long around here!) It will solidify in the cold though, so just heat it up 15-20 seconds at a time in the microwave stirring between until it is smooth and stirrable again. Enjoy!