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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce (5 Minutes)


Homemade hot fudge sauce comes together in just 5 minutes on the stove, and you can use it on any and all of your ice cream confections, from ice cream cake to brownie sundaes… or serve it as a dip for fruit… or simply savor a spoonful of it all on its own!

hot fudge sauce being drizzled from spoon into jar.

You’ll never go back to store-bought once you’ve tried this homemade hot fudge sauce.

This was a recipe I worked on back in 2015 when I was developing recipes for my 2nd cookbook, Sally’s Candy Addiction. I was up to my arms in fudge and caramel, and ended up putting it on the back burner to focus on handheld candies and such. This past winter, I pulled it out of my recipe ideas folder and got to work on it again.

The result? An easy 8-ingredient thick chocolate sauce that’s ready for your next bowl of ice cream. This stuff is dangerously delicious.


Why Should I Make Homemade Hot Fudge?

  • Homemade tastes infinitely better than store-bought (and has fewer ingredients!)
  • Takes just 5 minutes on the stove, and only 10 minutes total
  • Thickens into a gooey caramel-like consistency
  • Silky-smooth and glossy
  • Tastes like melted chocolate fudge
hot fudge being spooned on top of bowl of strawberry and vanilla ice cream.

Difference Between Hot Fudge & Ganache

Today’s hot fudge is a soft and smooth sauce with a caramel-like syrup consistency. Chocolate ganache, while made from 2 ingredients also used in hot fudge (cream and chocolate), is thicker and not as sweet. And when it cools completely, it’s much firmer than hot fudge sauce. In fact, chocolate ganache is a fantastic frosting for layer cakes. Hot fudge sauce, on the other hand, would drip right off.

Think of hot fudge more like a caramel sauce rather than a ganache.

Key Ingredients You Need & Why

  • Real Chocolate: Many recipes call for chocolate chips, but I prefer to chop up good-quality chocolate baking bars such as Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate baking bar. (Not sponsored, just a fan!) If you can find high-quality chocolate chips, such as Ghirardelli 60% cacao baking chips or Guittard, go ahead and use them.
  • Sugar: Some recipes use brown sugar. You can use that, but I usually just reach for regular granulated white sugar. Many recipes call for more sugar than what I use—after several recipe tests, I decided 6 Tablespoons is enough because I want the darker chocolate flavor to shine.
  • Light Corn Syrup: Frequently used in candymaking, this ingredient prevents crystallization, which keeps the hot fudge sauce smooth. And because of its high viscosity, corn syrup keeps the fudge sauce syrupy, soft, and glossy.

You also need heavy cream, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla extract, and butter.

ingredients on counter including heavy cream, bar of chocolate, sugar, cocoa powder, butter, vanilla, salt, and corn syrup.

How to Make Homemade Hot Fudge

This part is super quick and easy! Simply combine all the ingredients except for the butter and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat and whisk to combine and melt the chocolate. No need for a double boiler; a medium saucepan does the trick.

Let the mixture boil for a few minutes, then stir in the vanilla and butter at the end. That’s it! You just made hot fudge sauce from scratch.

Success Tip: I recommend using an instant-read thermometer to determine its doneness, and so you get the perfect fudge sauce consistency.

ingredients in pot including cocoa powder, heavy cream, sugar, and corn syrup.
chocolate sauce in pot with two pieces of butter being whisked in.
jar of homemade hot fudge chocolate sauce.jar of homemade hot fudge chocolate sauce.

Hot fudge thickens considerably as it cools, but it’s easy to reheat on the stove or in the microwave to thin it out again.

Now comes the best part… finding all the delicious desserts and other things you can pour it on!


Uses for Homemade Hot Fudge

Drizzle over a scoop of ice cream or serve alongside one of these ice cream confections:

Hot fudge sauce is incredible on ice cream, of course, but why limit this rich, glossy, deeply chocolatey topping to frozen treats? Try it drizzled over pound cake, brownies, cookies & cream pie, flourless chocolate cake… oh and let’s not forget cheesecake in its many forms, including no-bake cheesecake, easy cheesecake pie, and no-bake cheesecake jars!

It also makes a fabulous dip for fruit, pretzels, biscotti, you name it.

close-up of hot fudge sauce in glass jar.close-up of hot fudge sauce in glass jar.
Does this hot fudge sauce harden on ice cream?

No. This is not like a chocolate shell topping. While it thickens considerably when cold, it won’t have that “snap” that cooled melted chocolate would.

Can I make this hot fudge without corn syrup?

I don’t recommend it, and I haven’t tested an alternative like golden syrup, agave nectar, or honey. Without corn syrup, the mixture could crystallize or separate, and it won’t be as syrupy, soft, and glossy.

Print

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close-up of hot fudge sauce in glass jar.close-up of hot fudge sauce in glass jar.

Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star
5 from 6 reviews


  • Author:
    Sally


  • Prep Time:
    5 minutes


  • Cook Time:
    5 minutes


  • Total Time:
    10 minutes


  • Yield:
    1 and 1/2 cups


  • Category:
    Desserts


  • Method:
    Cooking


  • Cuisine:
    American


Description

Homemade hot fudge sauce comes together in just 5 minutes on the stove, and you can use it on any and all of your ice cream confections, from ice cream cake to brownie sundaes… or serve it as a dip for fruit… or simply savor a spoonful of it all on its own!



Instructions

  1.  In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, whisk the chocolate, sugar, heavy cream, corn syrup, cocoa powder, and salt together until the chocolate is melted. Whisking occasionally, allow the mixture to come to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes. Use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature; the hot fudge is done when it reaches 220°F (104°C). (If you don’t have a thermometer, 3 minutes is usually the amount of time.)
  2. Immediately remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla extract until combined.
  3. You can use the sauce immediately for ice cream or other desserts. To store, let it cool completely and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Hot fudge will thicken as it cools and in the refrigerator. To reheat, warm it over low heat on the stove or in the microwave.


Notes

  1. Special Tools (affiliate links): SaucepanWhisk | Instant-Read Thermometer
  2. Chocolate: You can use 4 ounces of high-quality chocolate chips if needed (I prefer Ghirardelli or Guittard), but I recommend using chocolate baking bars, in either semi-sweet or bittersweet. You can find them right next to the chocolate chips in the baking aisle. They are sold in 4-ounce (113g) bars. I like Ghirardelli brand best.
  3. Corn Syrup: I don’t recommend skipping this. Without corn syrup, the mixture could crystallize or separate, and it won’t be as syrupy, soft, and glossy. I haven’t tested an alternative like golden syrup, agave nectar, or honey. They should each work as a 1:1 substitute, but the flavor and consistency will vary slightly.

Adapted from Food Network. I reduced the sugar, heavy cream, and butter, and added cocoa powder for more flavor.

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