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.

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

Hot Fudge Sauce

5 / 3 votes
This hot fudge sauce is the real deal made when chocolate, sugar, butter, and cream are slowly simmered together. The result is magnificent.
David Leite
Servings32 servings | 4 cups
Calories157 kcal
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time50 minutes


  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup, (such as Lyle’s) or light corn syrup
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons (2 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract


  • 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!)
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Serving: 2 tablespoonsCalories: 157 kcalCarbohydrates: 14 gProtein: 1 gFat: 12 gSaturated Fat: 7 gMonounsaturated Fat: 3 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 35 mgSodium: 119 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 12 g

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

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2015 Mindy Segal | Kate Leahy. Photo © 2015 Marek Walica. All rights reserved.

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.

If you like a rich, dark hot fudge sauce, this is for you. It was delicious on a good quality vanilla ice cream, but, quite honestly, it would steal the show from any ice cream. I can also imagine it on a brownie and then topped with whipped cream or ice cream, gently stirred into a thick vanilla shake, as a dip for strawberries. And if it indeed lasts up to 6 months in the refrigerator (not that it would in my house, since I have already tried a spoonful out of the refrigerator just by itself), I can keep it on hand for when I need it.

This recipe does take longer than many other fudge sauces, but it is delicious! This recipe made about 4 cups. I used Lyle’s Golden Syrup. I cooked the mixture for 35 minutes until the oils separated from the solids. When I removed it from the stove, I used an immersion blender to whisk in the butter and vanilla. The mixture didn’t want to go together so I cooled it for 3 or 4 minutes and tried again. More was absorbed but not all of it. I cooled it for another 5 minutes and finally got it all to whisk together.

Hands-on time was only a few dispersed minutes spent weighing out the ingredients and giving the sauce an occasional stir. I boiled the sauce gently for 45 minutes, but found that it did not separate in that time. However, at this point I added the butter and the vanilla. I used the sauce while it was hot to pour over ice cream. The consistency was thick and glossy while hot.

I would make the sauce again. However I would not cook it for so long.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I made this last weekend. I have been making hot fudge sauce with heavy cream for decades using recipes that take much less time. I used Guittard unsweetened wafers and Lyle’s Golden Syrup. I stayed the course (mumbling curse words) on this recipe despite growing skepticism that the described separation of oil and solids would occur. It took just over an hour but I did recognize it when it happened. Oil standing on top a darker mound and the little flecks of chocolate were gone. This is the best fudge sauce I have ever tasted. My husband agreed with great enthusiasm. I will make it again …it supersedes my other recipes…despite the long time required.

    1. Wonderful, Mary! We are so happy you took the time to make this. A little patience and perseverance, often produces the best results.

  2. 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!