Cocoa Hot Fudge Sauce

Homemade hot fudge sauce takes ice cream, brownies, or your favourite spoon to a whole new level of deliciousness.

Warm and gooey.

The best possible way chocolate can behave.

This particular recipe is a favourite. One that my ten-year-old self wrote carefully on an index card in her neatest handwriting. The hearts dotting the i’s must have only started when I turned eleven.

It has been made so often, and is so very loved, that I’m shocked it has not yet made an appearance.

Many hot fudge recipes call for melted chocolate and corn syrup. I find the cocoa-based version has a thicker texture and better flavour.

As it cools, it becomes almost chewy. And you don’t have to worry about tempering chocolate or having it seize. Easy peasy.

Also, you wanna talk about making a killer ice cream cake? Just spread a layer of softened ice cream in the bottom of a springform pan. Freeze. Make cocoa hot fudge sauce, cool slightly, and spread on frozen ice cream layer. Top with crushed chocolate wafers and another layer of softened ice cream, in a complementing flavour. Freeze again.

Or just pour it all over chocolate and bananas.

My recipe is made in the microwave. But you could make it on the stove if you prefer. Either way, watch it closely and stir often. Unless you enjoy scraping chocolate from all your kitchen crevasses. Boiling cream + sugar = sticky volcano.

Speaking of chocolate mess, in this photo I am pouring hot fudge sauce all over the floor.

Oliver was thrilled.

Cocoa Hot Fudge Sauce

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or milk
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt

1. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine sugar, cocoa and cream. Cook on high 2-3 minutes, until sugar dissolves and mixture boils.

2. Stir in butter and cook on high 2-4 minutes more, watching closely and stirring every 30 seconds or so, until mixture thickens. Stir in vanilla and a pinch of salt.

  • Helen Shideler

    yemmy – this is so good on hot fudge brownie pie!

    • Anonymous

      I think that’s where I first had it, mom! I

  • Teresa

    Love your recipe card! I have a card that was written out for me by my great-aunt when I was about ten, giving me her recipe for peanut butter cornflake squares. It was my favourite and I was so excited that she shared the recipe with me. That fudge sauce looks addictive.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Teresa! Peanut butter cornflake squares sound incredible, by the way…

  • Tres Delicious

    Mmmmm yummy! I will prepare it next weekend

    • Anonymous

      Let me know what you think! :-)

  • Sheena Starky

    Hmmm. I just might have to try this cocoa hot fudge out at my annual ice cream-making party.

    • Anonymous

      Ice cream making party, eh?? How ’bout you invite me, and I’ll just bring it! :-)

  • Tess

    It was my roommates birthday the other day and I let her have a choice of what I would bake for her. In the end it came down to me basically forcing her to choose something that would go well with this liquid/gooey deliciousness. She and I were both not sorry about it. So easy and so so gooood. Once again, thank you!

    • Anonymous

      You’re very welcome, glad you liked!

  • Jaime_tracey

    Mom made this the other day Jen and it was fantastic! We have yet to find a recipe of yours that we don’t love! 

  • Paula Braman-Duarte

    I’ve tried a lot of hot fudge sauce recipes and this has to be the easiest and definitely one of the best. I like how it thickens quickly, and a recipe made with cocoa is great as that is probably a staple in the pantry.

  • Paula Braman-Duarte

    I’ve tried a lot hot fudge sauce recipes but this is definitely the easiest and one of the best. I like how it thickens up quickly and the use of cocoa is great because that is usually a staple in the pantry.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks Paula!

  • Farrout

    Too much cocoa, although it is super easy. Would it work with 1/4 cup?

    • foodess

      That is how I have always made it, not sure what you mean by “too much” cocoa. You’d have to try it with 1/4 cup to find out!

  • Sistersplayinghouse

    This looks awesome! I just linked this up to our blog!!!! I hope you don’t mind!


  • Sisters Playing House

    Thank you for the recipe – we are featuring cool treats all this week on our blog.  Today we focused on “toppings” and we shared a link to this recipe.  Looks fabulous!!!

  • Laura

    I just did it on the stove top and I think my timing was off. It didn’t get as thick as I would like. Do you have some time parameters if you do it on the stove? I wasn’t quite sure how long to boil it for in each step. It sure is yummy though! Thanks!

  • Jennifer Mitchell

    This makes such a thick, rich sauce.  Wonderful!  I had no chocolate in the house to melt for my usual recipe.  I made this on the stovetop.  I combined the sugar, cocoa, and salt, and whisked in the milk slowly to prevent lumps.  Then dropped in the butter and heated it over medium-low heat, stirring until it came to a boil.  I let it boil (stirring) for a minute or two, removed from heat, and stirred in the vanilla.  Delicious on bananas, ice cream, and brownies (or all 3 in one bowl!).  My family and I thank you!

  • Country_joyce

    I couldn’t find my old Hershey’s cookbook for the hot fudge recipe this morning, so I went looking on the net. Yours sounds close, though I think Hershey’s had some syrup in theirs. Still, I tried yours, and it looks like it will be a winner. The spoon was wonderful, but I am swirling the sauce into the ice cream along with Pineapple, maraschino cherries, & bananas so I can’t just dig in. Should be a pleasing treat for the church ice cream social Sunday!

  • Barbe

    Fast & easy, and a very intense chocolate flavour. Thanks for sharing.

  • yarniac

    I love this recipe. Thanks so much for sharing. I used Kahlua because I didn’t have vanilla … yummy

    • foodess

      I think that’s a fair swap… ;-)

  • Annee

    I have been looking for this recipe. It sounds like the one we used to make based on the Hershey’s Cocoa Fudge recipe – just don’t cook it as long as fudge. YUMMY!

  • Jessica Welsh

    I just made this tonight – FANTASTIC! no corn syrup like other recipes – and everything else is staples around here ;) Next time I make it, I think I’m going to melt in some peanut butter too – just for a variation :) Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

  • Naomi

    Made this within minutes of finding the site. Perfect… Thank you

    • foodess

      You’re welcome! Come back again soon :)

  • Joshuatreegal

    We made this last night, it was fantastic and reminded me of my junior high school cooking class! We loved its pure taste, and the fact that all the ingredients are pure….no corn syrups, etc! Thanks :)

  • vickie

    this is the best I have ever tasted thank you sooooooooo much

  • rdtripp

    Excellent.  Great over vanilla blue bell ice cream sprinkled with chopped pecans.  Best hot fudge sundae ever.

  • http://facebook wwat

    I <3 FUDGE!!!!!!!!!!!! #SWAG

  • Ruth

    This is the perfect hot fudge sauce. I have warmed it up several times and it holds up really well to repeated (3 or 4) heating. Usually doesn’t stay around much longer than that!

  • seija

    i love love love this recipe. so glad i found this. few weeks ago, i was searching the net and i couldn’t find good enough recipe based on comments. when i read here that it has the “perfect sweetness,” i told myself this must be it…. i don’t have ice cream in my cup anymore right at this moment. but i am glad i still have my cocoa hot fudge sauce. so good. :)

  • Anna

    Yum the girls who didn’t want to try it have now come back while I was clearing up for “more ice cream with loads of chocolate sauce please”

  • Karen

    Thanks for posting the recipe. My preference is for something less sweet, especially if it is going on top of ice cream; I think I will try 1/2 c sugar next time.

  • Deb

    Awesome & so unbelievably easy! I added 1 t Saigon cinnamon. Takes this to a whole new flavor level!!!!! Very rich.

  • trixy

    oh my gosh this is so delicious and no soybeans and no corn syrup yay!! Its so good just from the fridge i keep sneaking spoonful….

    Do you think if immediately after making if I put it in the freezer for a couple hours then took it out it would become an actual fudge? Or would I need to add something to make a it a true fudge?

  • Christy

    Hello! JW how long this stays for in the fridge?

  • EvilleGenius

    Very Yummy used this on vanilla ice cream, added peanuts and rasins called it a Chunky sundae my hubbys favorite candy bar.halfway through he asked me if this dessert was under 200 calories LOL