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!
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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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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:
- As an ice cream topping, naturally! Just pour it over your favorite ice cream flavor and enjoy the best ice cream sundae of your life. We love it with Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream!
- Use it to make homemade chocolate milkshakes.
- Drizzle it over cheesecake or any other dessert.
- Use it for dipping fresh fruit.
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.
More Dessert Sauces
- Easy Raspberry Coulis Dessert Sauce
- Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce
- Homemade Marshmallow Sauce
- Peanut Butter Ice Cream Topping
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.
Flood Mud Microwave Hot Fudge Sauce
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
This post was originally published in July, 2019. The photos and content were updated in July, 2022.