This decadent 5-minute hot fudge sauce (classic, peanut butter, and butterscotch flavor variations!) is dangerously delicious!

Hot fudge sauce is my weakness.

Not my only weakness, of course, but a very strong contender for top five weaknesses of all time.

Vanilla ice cream in white bowl with 5-minute hot fudge sauce being poured on top.

Ultra chocolatey? Check. Rich and fudgy? Check. Perfect on everything from ice cream to bananas to digging in with a spoon? Check, check and check.

While I have a much-loved hot fudge sauce recipe posted way back in the archives, this 5-minute hot fudge sauce has completely moved in and stolen my hot fudge loving heart.

Rich chocolate 5-minute hot fudge sauce in jar with chocolate chips on counter.

I mean, how can you resist a hot fudge sauce that literally takes just minutes to make?

Actually, let me be a sensible friend and say: you should actually try and resist this amazing and easy hot fudge sauce, because it is dangerous. Very, very dangerous to have around.

Consider that your friendly warning.

Now for those of you, like me, who can’t resist and feel you need to press forward into the decadent waters of hot fudge land, I have a feeling you are going to fall head over heels for this stuff.

And if a rich and extra-chocolatey classic hot fudge sauce is a little too mainstream for you (huh??), live a little and try one of the flavor variations included in the recipe.

Peanut butter-chocolate hot fudge sauce? Oh heavens.

Butterscotch-chocolate hot fudge sauce? Bring it on.

Three jars of 5-minute hot fudge sauce.

I currently have three jars of this 5-minute hot fudge sauce in my refrigerator. Not because we’ve forgotten about it.

No, no. Because we go through it at a shocking pace.

I should be embarrassed about that. But hey, it’s summer. Ice cream season. Dig-in-with-a-spoon-coping-skills season. Forget-about-it-being-swimsuit-season season.

Basically, it’s hot fudge season, and I’m not sad about that.

Vanilla ice cream in white bowl with 5-minute hot fudge sauce on top.

One Year Ago: The Best Chicken, Pork, or Steak Marinade
Two Years Ago: Caramel Pecan White + Dark Chocolate Chip Toffee Bars
Three Years Ago: Peanut Butter Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Four Years Ago: Creamy Tex-Mex Quinoa Dippers
Five Years Ago: Grilled Lime Coconut Chicken with Coconut Rice

Vanilla ice cream in white bowl with 5-minute hot fudge sauce on top.

5-Minute Hot Fudge Sauce {Three Ways!}

4.64 stars (44 ratings)


  • 1 ⅓ cups (227 g) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (see note)
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons (57 g) salted butter
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar, optional
  • 2 tablespoons natural unsweetened or Dutch-process cocoa powder, sift the cocoa powder before using if it is extra lumpy
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • In a medium saucepan, stir together the chopped chocolate (or chocolate chips), heavy cream, butter, corn syrup, brown sugar (if using), and cocoa powder. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth, 3-5 minutes. Don’t let the mixture overheat or scorch! Add additional milk or heavy cream, if needed, for a thinner consistency.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
  • Peanut Butter-Chocolate Variation: use milk chocolate chips (or half milk chocolate/half semisweet), add 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter to the mixture before heating, and increase the heavy cream to 1 cup.
  • Butterscotch-Chocolate Variation: use half milk chocolate/half semisweet chocolate, add 2/3 cup butterscotch chips (about 4 ounces) to the mixture before heating, decrease the cocoa to 1 tablespoon, and increase the butter to 6 tablespoons.
  • Use immediately or store the sauce in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks. Reheat in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly just until heated (don’t let it boil or simmer) or in the microwave for 20-30 seconds at a time – thin with additional milk or heavy cream, if needed.


Chocolate: the hot fudge sauce (any flavor) will only be as good as the chocolate you use! I almost always use Ghirardelli or Guittard chocolate chips. They melt better than other brands I’ve tried, but ultimately, just use chocolate chips you love the flavor of!
PB & Butterscotch Versions: as much as I love dark chocolate, in the PB and butterscotch versions, it really does help to lighten up and go with at least part milk chocolate, otherwise the chocolate flavor overwhelms the add-in flavors of peanut butter or butterscotch. The sauce is still very rich and chocolatey. 
Serving: 1 Serving, Calories: 173kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 24mg, Sodium: 35mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 11g

Recipe Source: adapted from Food Network Mag May 2018 (altered amounts for PB and butterscotch variations as well as increased chocolate slightly in classic version and opted out of extra brown sugar)