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Whenever cream, chocolate, and butter meet, only good things can happen. In this case, it’s a thick hot fudge sauce begging to be drizzled over ice cream, or maybe a slice of pound cake, or maybe your tongue. And it’s as easy as turning on your burner.

If you want to see a friend’s eyes shine with admiration and unbridled affection, bring a Mason jar of this next time you go visit. You could wreck their car afterward, and they would still think highly of you.

Pouring fudge sauce over bowl of vanilla ice cream.

Hot Fudge Sauce: Thick and creamy and ever-so chocolately, this old-fashioned fudge sauce is perfect drizzled over ice cream, cake, or feel free to dunk a strawberry right into the pot.

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Ingredients

Chocolate chips, vanilla, cream, and other fudge sauce ingredients on marble.

The Best Chocolate for Fudge Sauce

You can decide how bittersweet or sweet you want your chocolate sauce and pick your chocolate accordingly. This recipe uses a combination of semisweet and milk chocolate chips for a balance of chocolateiness that isn’t too intense nor too sweet.

You can also use all semisweet chocolate or even all milk chocolate if you’re going for a very soft, gentle chocolate flavor. Try bittersweet or darker chocolate if you want a more intense fudge sauce. You can always add a bit more corn syrup if you find your sauce isn’t sweet enough. I also think that if you are planning to serve it over ice cream, a little touch of bitterness is nice.

Variations

You can add so many different flavorings to the chocolate sauce, and of course, you’ll decide if they appeal to your kids (though the booze option is just for you). If not, divide the sauce in two, keep one cup plain and simple, and doctor up the other cup of hot fudge sauce with half the amounts listed here.

Add any of these when you add the corn syrup and vanilla.

  • 1 tablespoon liqueur, such as Grand Marnier (orange liqueur), Kaluha (coffee cream liqueur), Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur), or any kind of rum, whiskey, or brandy
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter

How to Make Hot Fudge Sauce

  1. Make the fudge base: Over low heat in a medium saucepan, heat the cream and butter until it begins to simmer. You should see bubbles around the edge of the pan.
  2. Add the chocolate: Pour the chocolate chips into the pan and let them sit for a couple of minutes until they begin to melt. Stir occasionally for about 4 minutes.
Melting chocolate in buttery cream for fudge sauce.
  1. Add the remaining ingredients: Stir in the corn syrup, vanilla, and a pinch of salt.
Stirring hot fudge sauce in saucepan.
  1. Serve: Pour the hot or warm sauce over your favorite desserts.

Pro Cooking Tips

  • Remember that the sauce will thicken up considerably as it cools. It will thin out again if you reheat it.
  • If you like a thinner consistency, then go for the larger quantity of cream. For a thicker sauce, use the smaller amount. There are arguments to be made for both consistencies, and it’s an argument most people enjoy best over a bowl of chocolate fudge sauce-covered ice cream.
  • Heating liquid in a saucepan until little bubbles form along the edge of the saucepan is called scalding. (In case you’ve ever been perplexed by this word.)

Make-Ahead and Storage

The sauce can be used right away, hot or warm. It will be fairly thin, but as it sits and cools, it will thicken. You can store it, well covered, in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Fudge sauce will thicken and even become quite solid when it is cold, but it can be reheated over a gentle flame, stirring frequently. It can also be reheated in the microwave. If you reheat it in the microwave, do it in 20-second bursts, stirring after each burst. If your microwave has a low or warming setting, use that.

What to Serve With Fudge Sauce

Fudge sauce, of course, is perfect for ice cream (also think about caramel sauce and whipped cream!), but also a decadent way to finish off a slice of pie or cake. You can also add it to milkshakes, like this Eggnog Milkshake, Vanilla Milkshake, or Oreo Milkshake. It also makes an irresistible dunk for fresh strawberries or other fresh fruit.

No Churn Ice Cream

Devil’s Food Cake

Bubble Waffles

Pouring hot fudge sauce over bowl of vanilla ice cream on wood table.

More Chocolate Dessert Recipes

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Hot Fudge Sauce

5 from 3 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 12 People (makes 2 cups)
Thick and creamy and ever-so chocolately, this old-fashioned fudge sauce is perfect drizzled over ice cream or cake. Or feel free to dunk a strawberry right into the pot.

Ingredients 

  • 1 ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup semisweet chips
  • ¾ cup milk chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions 

  • In a medium saucepan, heat the cream and butter over low heat until the butter has melted and the mixture is hot but only just beginning to simmer. You’ll see little bubbles around the edge of the pan (see Note). Add the chocolate chips and let them sit in the hot liquid for a minute or two, until they start to melt, then stir occasionally just until the mixture is smooth, about 4 minutes or so. 
  • Remove from the heat, stir in the corn syrup, vanilla, and a pinch of salt.
  • The sauce can be used right away, hot or warm. It will be fairly thin, but as it sits and cools, it will thicken. You can store it, well covered, in the fridge for up to 2 weeks; it will be quite solid when it is cold but can be reheated over a gentle flame or in the microwave at low heat.

Notes

Heating liquid in a saucepan, until little bubbles form along the perimeter of the liquid, is called scalding. (In case you’ve ever been perplexed by this word.)

Nutrition

Calories: 84kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 28mg, Sodium: 7mg, Potassium: 24mg, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 364IU, Vitamin C: 0.1mg, Calcium: 16mg, Iron: 0.02mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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