Hot Fudge Sauce

Update 12/2011: As you can see from the memo below, I love me some hot fudge sauce. I originally posted a recipe back in 2009 but have since changed loyalties to a new hot fudge recipe that I found a few months ago. It is a bit simpler with a few less ingredients than the first recipe but the end result is silky, decadent and completely perfect. I’ve changed the recipe below to reflect my new favorite. If you want the old recipe, I’ve included the printable link below the recipe…but I promise, you’ll want to try this version, also. We used this recipe for Christmas gifts this year, making about three double batches and storing it in half-pint jars with a cute tag on how to reheat the sauce. It went over quite well with our friends and of course, I made sure to save a jar (or ten) for us as well.

Dear Hot Fudge Sauce,

Where have you been all my life? You just may be the most perfect food on earth. I made you nearly two years ago for the first time and have since slathered every imaginable food in sight with your delicious, velvety, decadent self and have been the better for it. Ice cream, bananas,  and graham crackers have never tasted so divine.

Hot Fudge Sauce

Thank you for changing my life (and going straight to my hips).

Your deepest, most devoted fan,


Hot Fudge Sauce

Hot Fudge Sauce

Yield: Makes about 2 cups

Hot Fudge Sauce

Note: It is important to sift the cocoa before whisking it in with the melted chocolate so it doesn’t make the chocolate mixture lumpy. I have used chopped chocolate or Ghirardelli semisweet chocolate chips – both with great results.


  • 10 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/3 cup sifted cocoa powder, Dutch process or regular (the flavor will be more decadent, deep with the Dutch process)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • pinch table salt
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces


  1. In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate on 50% power at one minute increments, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Take care not to overheat and scorch the chocolate. Alternately, you can melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in a small heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Once the chocolate is melted, remove from microwave or heat and whisk in the sifted cocoa until smooth. Set aside.
  2. In a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, cream, salt and 1/3 cup water. Warm the mixture over medium-low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat to medium or medium-high; simmer mixture, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat and whisk in the vanilla and butter. Cool the mixture slightly, about 2 minutes; whisk in the melted chocolate. Serve warm.
  4. The hot fudge sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. For serving, reheat the sauce on low (in the microwave or over simmering water), stirring several times until the sauce is smooth and shiny.

Recipe Source: adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook

Here is a link to the old hot fudge recipe (the printable version), in case you still prefer that recipe:
Hot Fudge Sauce (Old Recipe)

37 Responses to Hot Fudge Sauce

  1. Anna says:

    I try a lot of your recipes and they are awesome. But sorry Mel, this wasn’t life changing for me. I thought I would give it a try and it is good, but I prefer hot fudge sauce without the corn syrup. The classic chocolate, cream, sugar, butter, vanilla and salt recipe suits me better.

  2. Becca says:

    I adored this hot fudge sauce on my ice cream tonight. I knew I could come to your website and find just the chocolate magic I craved. Thanks, Mel!

  3. Erin says:

    I made this sauce last night using raw, unfiltered, local honey. It affects the texture some, but not a lot. It was still a huge success. Thank you for another scrumptious recipe!

  4. vanessa says:

    success with the corn syrup alternative posted above.
    going on the Mint Brownie and Oreo Hot Fudge Trifle tomorrow for my husband’s birthday.

  5. Lisa says:

    Mel, does this sauce thicken up on ice cream? I’ve been looking for the old fashioned type that almost turned hard!

    • Mel says:

      Lisa – This sauce turns thick and fudgy on ice cream (but not crispy like the magic shell). You might want to check out this Eskimo Bar recipe as it has more of a magic shell type sauce.

  6. ednarose says:

    Thank you Mel! I appreciate your comment! Sorry if I misinterpreted your comment!
    Thanks again!

  7. EDNAROSE says:

    Thank you Tamera! will try this… Glad to know someone else cares bout what we are feeding our kids and families! i kinda felt like she thought it was rediculous that i don’t
    use any corn products because of gmo’s. thank you again!

    • Mel says:

      Thanks for the suggested substitute for corn syrup, Tamera! I’m sorry you misinterpreted my response, Ednarose. I actually do care a great deal about what I feed my children and family – just because we still eat corn products here and there doesn’t mean that I don’t, and I definitely don’t think you are ridiculous. I admire anyone who tries to make strides toward healthier eating. I haven’t actually tried a substitute to the corn syrup like I indicated in my first response to you which is why I can’t recommend a variation completely but playing around with recipes is fun and definitely worth a try. I hope that the suggestions Tamera gave will help you.

  8. Tamera says:

    I avoid corn products because of GMO’s as well. The Taste of Home website had this substitution suggestion: For each cup of light corn syrup in a recipe, substitute 1 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup water. For each cup of dark corn syrup, substitute 1 cup of packed brown sugar and 1/4 cup water. Love your blog Mel! It is my go to place for recipe ideas.

  9. EDNAROSE says:


    • Mel says:

      Ednarose – I don’t avoid corn products completely so I have never tried a substitute. You could try honey or agave nectar but I’m not sure how that would affect the texture of the sauce.

  10. Deb says:

    Ridiculously easy and ridiculously delicious!

  11. Rebecca says:

    Crazy delicious and easy sauce! Thanks for sharing and we will enjoy.

  12. anissa says:

    Holy cow this was amazing!!!!

  13. […] a couple of days back I made this delicious hot fudge sauce recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe – I used all her ingredients but simply tossed them into the […]

  14. Mel says:

    Kellie – the batch makes about 2 cups, which is one pint.

  15. Kellie says:

    How many pints does one batch make?

  16. Monica Peterson says:

    Will you do a taste test for me? The following recipe is one I grew up with and continue to enjoy often. It seems much easier than yours, but I’d like to know how the taste compares. I won’t take the time until after the holidays to try yours, but if you’ve got the time/would like to take the time, here is my recipe:

    2 cups granulated sugar
    1/2 cup cocoa powder
    1/2 cup butter
    1 can evaporated milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    Stir cocoa, sugar and butter over low heat until well melted. Mix well. Add milk gradually. Stir well. Bring to a boil. Cook four minutes stirring constantly to keep from burning. Cook until desired thickness, stirring occasionaly. Add vanilla. Enjoy warm, or store in fridge and reheat to serve.

    Please let me know what you think, if you decide to try it!

  17. Shannon says:

    I want to make this jarred up as Christmas gifts…..but if there is only a shelf life of 2 weeks, I wouldn’t be able to make it too much ahead. Do you think it would last longer in the fridge than just 2 weeks?

    • Mel says:

      Shannon – the shelf life listed in the recipe is if it is refrigerated. I’ve never kept it much longer than that, but I’m guessing you could push it to 3 weeks and not have a problem.

  18. Amy says:

    Ha ha! This looks sooo dark chocolaty, I would like to try it! But do you HAVE to use white vinegar? Do you know a substitution? Because, really, vinegar in hot fudge sauce ?…?

  19. Lucy says:

    Why do I even bother to look anywhere else for recipes? I tried a bunch of hot fudge sauce recipes and none of them turned out right. I made this one last night and it was perfect. Thank you!

  20. Sharon says:

    Hi Mel,

    I made this sauce yesterday. It’s delicious and so superior to store bought. Do you know what contribution the vinegar makes to this recipe?

    Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your family.

  21. Jessica says:

    Great pictures~!!

  22. Norah says:

    Oh that looks so good!

  23. comfycook says:

    I made the one from Sweet Melissa and it was great. I must make this one and see if there are differences. I know, they are both good but the ingredients are different. How do you decide which to use when there are two or maybe more really good hot fudge sauces.

  24. grace says:

    this is a substance that i’ve never made for myself, but it seems so easy and looks so good. great recipe, and cute post. 🙂

  25. Melanie says:

    Ali – you cracked me up with the August Gloop reference. Too funny. I’m so glad you loved the hot fudge sauce and the other recipes you tried. It means a lot that you would comment and let me know! Happy cooking!

  26. I'm Lindsay! says:

    Oh gosh I must make this now! It looks AMAZING!

  27. Heidi says:

    Can I please lick the computer screen!

  28. Libby says:

    Oh my this looks good!!

  29. Leslie says:

    I have made this before..and yep, I am pretty sure I could survive on it for the rest of my life!

  30. Bunny says:

    Oh my gosh the trouble I could get into with this!

  31. Ali says:

    I have to say this sauce changed my life! I was pouring/dipping it on graham crackers, rice cakes, ice cream, etc. I felt like August Gloop on Charlie and the Chocolate factory.

    I visit your blog each time I sit down to type up my grocery list. Everything I’ve tried has been a smashing success. Because of you, I love to cook.

  32. Sophie says:

    MMMMMM,…i love this sort of a divine dessert sauce!!

    Yummie for my tummy,…

  33. Sook says:

    Hot fudge is my husband’s favorite! He will be really excited to try a homemade one.

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