Hot Fudge Sauce

This hot fudge sauce is the real deal made when chocolate, sugar, butter, and cream are slowly simmered together. The result is magnificent.

An almost empty pot with traces of hot fudge sauce and a wooden spoon resting inside.

This hot fudge sauce recipe was one of the first things I learned how to make in my early days as a pastry cook (thank you, Judy Contino), and I’m still fascinated by the alchemy of the process. Chocolate, sugar, syrup, and cream are simmered until the oils separate from the solids. At first it looks like chocolate gone wrong, but then I add butter and a generous helping of vanilla and whisk the whole thing thoroughly. The hot fudge magically comes together. Once made, the hot fudge lasts for weeks and weeks in the refrigerator.–Mindy Segal and Kate Leahy

Why You Should Make This Hot Fudge Recipe

Two words.  Homemade Milanos. Okay, ice cream sundaes, too. And dribbled over brownies or pound cake. And for chocolate-dipped strawberries. Stirred into a milkshake. Or simply savored by the spoonful.

Hot Fudge Sauce

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 50 M
  • 50 M
  • Serves 32 | Makes 4 generous cups
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In a 6-quart or larger heavy pot over medium-high heat, warm the cream, sugar, and syrup, stirring until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. 

Tester tip: Because the chocolate and cream need to cook for a while, use a sturdy pot to avoid scorching the bottom.

Add the chocolate and salt and bring to a boil. Lower to a gentle simmer so that the bubbles percolate in the center of the pot. Cook, stirring periodically to avoid scorching the bottom, until the mixture either breaks and the oils separate from the solids or you still see some chocolate flecks clinging to the back of your spoon, 35 to 45 minutes.

Tester tip: Yes, you want everything to separate as you’re making this hot fudge sauce. It will be tempting to think that all is lost, but trust us, it’s not. Far from it.

Remove from the heat, whisk in the butter and vanilla thoroughly (you can also use an immersion blender to do this if you want it extra smooth), and let it cool at least slightly before using. The hot fudge sauce works splendidly hot, room temperature, or cold and keeps in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. (Hah!) Originally published July 10, 2015.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

This hot fudge sauce is a 10. No explanation needed.

You most definitely want to use Lyle's Golden Syrup for a smooth, buttery flavor for a perfect fudge sauce. Use it to top ice cream (coffee-flavored) and your favorite fruits (pears, strawberries) for a delectable dessert. Also, it would be perfect drizzled over pound cake.

The buttery flavor is exceptional in this fudge sauce. I found that 45 minutes was just enough time to combine the chocolate and butter with the cream mixture. I would describe the desired appearance not as a separation of oils from solids but rather look for a smooth mixture with a few flakes of chocolate still appearing on the back of a spoon. Using a whisk for just a few minutes was enough to thoroughly combine the butter and vanilla.

I am so glad this will last for 6 months kept in the fridge, but I do think it will only last 6 days in our house—so good!

This hot fudge is easy to make and spreads easily. Use this in the homemade Milanos recipe and the end result is a cookie that tastes better-quality than store-bought Milanos. The cookies are buttery and the chocolate is fudgy. I made the second batch of cookies with a thicker layer of fudge and preferred that.


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  1. I have only one question in regards to this recipe………how is it possible that someone discovered this would last for “weeks and weeks”? I don’t think mine will make it to the end of the day!

  2. Help, I followed the recipe accordingly and it is watery and grainy. Is there anything I can do to save it?

    1. Hi Jill, sorry that your fudge sauce isn’t very fudgey. Couple of questions. What kind of chocolate did you use? And did you use golden syrup or corn syrup?

      1. I used unsweetened chocolate that I normally use when I am baking and light corn syrup. It eventually thickened up once refrigerated but it remained grainy. It still tasted good, even though it does not look like velvet chocolate. Is there anything to get rid of the graininess?

          1. yes it was. It is the color of a light to medium chocolate mousse with flecks of chocolate

  3. Hey David,

    Just checking to see if this is a typo …. The fudge recipe reads… cook the fudge, stirring periodically to avoid scorching the bottom, until the mixture breaks and the oils separate from the solids, 40 to 45 minutes. .. Is 40-45 minutes correct or is it 4-5- minutes?


    1. Hey wlsherry, I know you addressed your query to David, but I wanted to get back to you right away. It is actually 40 to 45 minutes, which I know is surprising, but several of us made this recipe for the Homemade Milanos recipe and the timing worked just dandy in our kitchens.

      1. Hey Renee- Thanks for getting back to me with the fudge cooking time. I plan to make the sauce tomorrow and add it to a batch of homemade espresso ice cream…can’t wait to taste it. Yum!!

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