This homemade Hot Fudge Sauce is an easy microwave recipe that makes a thick, rich, chocolate-y topping for ice cream and other desserts in a matter of minutes! It's made with simple ingredients that you always have on hand in your pantry so you can have hot fudge sauce any time you want!

An ice cream sundae with hot fudge sauce and maraschino cherries on top.
Table of Contents
  1. What's the Difference Between Hot Fudge and Chocolate Sauce?
  2. What You’ll Need
  3. How to Make Hot Fudge Sauce from Scratch
  4. Tips for Success
  5. FAQ's
  6. Our Favorite Ways to Use Hot Fudge Sauce
  7. How to Store and Reheat
  8. More Dessert Sauces
  9. Flood Mud Microwave Hot Fudge Sauce Recipe

This easy recipe came to me from my sister-in-law Deborah, who has been one of the biggest supporters of this blog since Day 1. She shared it with me over 10 years ago, and it's the recipe I have used to make the best hot fudge sauce for ice cream sundaes ever since.

(Deborah has some excellent recipes; I've already shared her knotted orange sweet rolls on here, along with her recipe for cream puffs!)

In our family, we can't have an ice cream sundae bar without this hot fudge sauce. And nothing, NOTHING from a jar compares to homemade. I'm not typically a snob about stuff like this, but this blows store-bought hot fudge out of the water. 

Pour this decadent easy hot fudge sauce over a scoop of vanilla ice cream, sprinkle it with some nuts, then top with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry for an old-fashioned ice cream sundae. It's one of our favorite toppings over cold ice cream and guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser.

A jar of homemade hot fudge with chocolate chips and a striped linen napkin beside it.

What's the Difference Between Hot Fudge and Chocolate Sauce?

The biggest differences are the texture and flavor. Hot fudge is thicker and richer than chocolate sauce. That's because hot fudge is made with heavier ingredients like butter, heavy cream or evaporated milk, while chocolate syrup is made with water or corn syrup. While chocolate syrup is great for making a glass of chocolate milk, it pales in comparison to the best fudge sauce when it comes to ice cream sundaes!

(If you are looking for a delicious chocolate sauce though, I've got one that I use for the chocolate ripple in my caramel Oreo fudge ripple ice cream recipe.)

What You’ll Need

Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions for this easy hot fudge recipe.

  • Semisweet chocolate chips - You could also use an equal amount of chopped bittersweet chocolate instead since they are practically the same thing, but we always have chocolate chips on hand so that's what we use.
  • Unsweetened chocolate – This is 100% cacao, so it adds a lot of depth to the flavor of this fudge sauce. If you don’t have it on hand, you can substitute 3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder and an additional tablespoon of butter.
  • Salted butter
  • Powdered sugar
  • Evaporated milk
  • Vanilla extract
Ingredients for homemade hot fudge sauce.

How to Make Hot Fudge Sauce from Scratch

Here’s how to make your own homemade hot fudge sauce for all your ice cream sundae needs!

Melt the chocolate and butter. Place the chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high for 1 to 1 ½ minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until the butter and chocolate are melted and smooth

Add the remaining ingredients. Stir in the powdered sugar, evaporated milk, and vanilla. Microwave this mixture for another 3 to 4 minutes, or until it’s thick and bubbly.

Serve. Spoon the hot fudge over ice cream sundaes, or transfer it to a jar, let it cool, and store it in the refrigerator.

Tips for Success

Here are some tips and hints for perfect homemade hot fudge sauce!

  • Use a good quality chocolate. It’s the main ingredient here, so it will make or break this recipe. 
  • Don’t skip the stirring! When you’re melting the chocolate chips, chopped chocolate, and butter together, the chocolate chips might appear solid, but once you stir them with the butter, they’ll melt. 
  • The sauce will thicken. Just like the store-bought jars of fudge sauce, this homemade version will thicken as it cools.
An overhead image of hot fudge sauce in a glass jar.

FAQ's

Can I use heavy cream to make hot fudge sauce instead of evaporated milk?

Yes, if you don't have evaporated milk on hand, heavy cream or whipping cream can be used in this recipe in its place to make this hot fudge sauce recipe.

Can I make this recipe on the stovetop instead of in the microwave?

If you want to do this on the stovetop, just use a medium saucepan and don't go over medium heat. Just combine all of the ingredients over medium heat and stir until everything is melted and completely combined, about 5-6 minutes.

Our Favorite Ways to Use Hot Fudge Sauce

There are so many delicious ways to use this hot fudge sauce! Here are a few of our favorites:

How to Store and Reheat

This homemade hot fudge sauce will last for 2 to 3 weeks stored in an airtight container like a mason jar with a lid in the refrigerator.

Just know that when you refrigerate hot fudge, it will firm up. To loosen it so the hot fudge is pourable again, just reheat in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds, giving it a stir partway through.

A spoon drizzling homemade hot fudge sauce into a glass jar.

More Dessert Sauces

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.

Stay in the know

Flood Mud Microwave Hot Fudge Sauce

5 from 4 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
"Flood mud" is our family's homemade hot fudge sauce recipe. It's a cinch to make, and it tastes so much better than store-bought!

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 (5-ounce) can evaporated milk (about ⅔ cup)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Place chocolate and butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 to 1 ½ minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until melted.
  • Stir in the powdered sugar, evaporated milk, and vanilla, then microwave another 3 to 4 minutes until thick and bubbly.

Notes

  • Storage: This hot fudge sauce will last for 2 to 3 weeks in the refrigerator. To use, reheat in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds, giving it a stir partway through.
  • Heavy cream: If you don't have evaporated milk on hand, heavy cream or whipping cream can be used in this recipe in its place to make this hot fudge sauce recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 204kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 59mg | Potassium: 149mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 179IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

This post was originally published in July, 2019. The photos and content were updated in July, 2022.

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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Reader questions and reviews

  1. It definitely does make a great neighbor gift! It actually got its name because my mom made so many, many batches of it to give as a thank-you gift to everyone who helped clean out the mud and other debris after our house flooded when I was a teenager. I've given it for Christmas gifts too, with a cute holiday ribbon tied around a mason jar full of it.

    1. Ah-ha! I didn't remember that story! I'm sure you told me about that but it was so long ago since you sent this that I had forgotten the history of the name! I'm going to have to update the post to include that.

  2. 5 stars
    This is a great recipe. I made the fudge sauce in one of my layers of an ice cream peanut butter pie. Delicious and easy to make. 5 stars for sure!