Homemade Hot Fudge


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adding hot fudge to a bowl of vanilla ice cream

Ice cream season is here, and it couldn’t be easier to make rich, creamy Homemade Hot Fudge to top your next scoop. Just six ingredients (that you probably already have) and 10 minutes is all you need to take your next bowl of ice cream up a notch. 

Near the end of my oldest daughters’ school year in May, we got in the habit of going for a scoop of ice cream after school at least once a week. Two-year-old June can reliably hold onto a cup of ice cream without spilling it (haven’t attempted the messiness of a cone yet) and the warmer weather has us all wanting to sit outside with something cold and sweet. We’ve also been buying our fair share of pints to bring home and, as if a pint of my favorite isn’t enough on its own we’ve lately been topping it with homemade hot fudge. 

You guys – if you haven’t made homemade hot fudge, treat yourself! It’s so rich, so satisfying, and so easy too! Next time a craving strikes, just whisk everything together on the stove and 5 minutes later, creamy, rich, warm hot fudge is ready to serve. Here’s all you need…

brown sugar and a stick of butter in a saucepan


  • Unsalted Butter– Salted butter works just fine, but keep in mind that it will be more…well…salty. 😉
  • Brown Sugar – Light or dark brown sugar work just fine. You’ll get a bit more of that rich molasses flavor from dark brown sugar.
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – Any type works – Dutch process or not. I just use regular ole’ Hershey’s. 
  • Heavy Cream – I make this both with heavy cream and regular milk, but the heavy cream is a clear winner. The result is just that much more thick and rich. In a pinch, regular milk will work too, but know that the result will be slightly more thin.
  • Light Corn Syrup – There are many substitutes for light corn syrup (I listed a few below), but when I tested this recipe nothing gave the same rich, creamy result as corn syrup. 
  • Pure Vanilla Extract – Whisk this in at the end to add a hint of vanilla flavor. 

Substitute for Light Corn Syrup

Honey, maple syrup, and agave can often be used as substitutes for light corn syrup. However, I tested them in this recipe, and none of them even came close to the rich, thick, pourable result I got from light corn syrup. 

I don’t use corn syrup often, but in this recipe, it really gives you the best result. 

pouring hot fudge into a small glass jar

How to Store Homemade Hot Fudge

Homemade hot fudge will keep almost indefinitely in the refrigerator. Warm it briefly (20 to 30 seconds) in the microwave before using. 

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4.63 from 8 votes

Homemade Hot Fudge

It couldn’t be easier to make rich, creamy Homemade Hot Fudge. Just five ingredients (that you probably already have) and 10 minutes is all you need to take your next bowl of ice cream up a notch.
Prep: 3 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 8 minutes
Servings: 12


  • Saucepan


  • 1 stick Unsalted Butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup packed Brown Sugar (can use light or dark)
  • 1/3 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1/4 cup Heavy Cream (heavy cream will give you the most rich, creamy result, but any type of milk will work)
  • 1/4 cup Light Corn Syrup
  • 1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch of Salt


  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, brown sugar, cocoa powder, heavy cream, and corn syrup. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 minute, whisking very well for the entire minute.
  • Remove pan from heat and whisk in vanilla and a pinch of salt.
  • Serve warm.
  • Hot fudge can be refrigerated for up to a week. Reheat it briefly in the microwave before serving.


Calories: 180kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 13mg | Potassium: 67mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 308IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg

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

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $3.00
Calories: 180
Keyword: chocolate, dessert topping, easy sauce, homemade sauce, ice cream topping, simple dessert
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at InquiringChef.com. She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

4.63 from 8 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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