This warm, rich, and chocolatey Hot Fudge sauce is the perfect topping for vanilla ice cream, brownies, or ice cream cake roll. There are endless ways you can enjoy this heavenly recipe! 

A jar of Hot Fudge sauce with a spoon in the jar.

This recipe is from my mother-in-law who shared it with me over the holidays. This is the recipe my husband grew up with, and let me tell you, he would always complain when I’d buy store bought hot fudge. “This isn’t as good as my moms’,” he’d say.

Well, he was right.

Homemade is better. Always.

What is hot fudge?

Hot fudge is a deliciously thick chocolate sauce served warm over ice cream, brownies, and a variety of desserts. Use the sauce to make a homemade ice cream sundae or banana split. Add toppings such as chopped nuts, whipped cream, and a maraschino cherry.

If this is your first rodeo making hot fudge at home, you’re probably wondering, “What’s in hot fudge?!” Surprisingly, not that many ingredients. Let’s go over them below.


  • Granulated sugar
  • Cocoa powder – natural unsweetened (I use Hershey’s brand).
  • All purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Evaporated milk – will need 1 – 12 oz can.
  • Butter
  • Vanilla extract

Overhead photo of hot fudge sauce in a glass jar.

How to make Hot fudge

  1. Add the dry ingredients (sugar, cocoa, flour, salt) to a saucepan. Whisk to combine. Two photos: saucepan with sugar, cocoa, and salt, right photo all of the ingredients are whisked together in the saucepan.
  2. Pour in the evaporated milk. A can of evaporated milk being poured into a gray saucepan.
  3. Mix until combined. Close up photo of hot fudge sauce, prior to cooking it on the stove.
  4. Place the saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. The mixture will slightly thicken, but be careful because we don’t want it to be *too* thick. Note: hot fudge sauce will thicken as it cools. Tip: if you accidentally cooked the mixture too long (and the sauce is thicken than you’d like) stir in a splash of milk and that will help thin it out.
  5. Remove from heat and add the butter and vanilla extract. Whisk vigorously  until smooth. Hot fudge in a saucepan, with a small piece of butter, ready to be stirred into the mix.
  6. Serve over all the desserts! 
  7. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks.

A spoon scooping up homemade hot fudge sauce.

Tips and FAQ about Hot Fudge

To reheat hot fudge, warm it in the microwave in 10-15 second intervals until warm.

Does it need to be refrigerated? Yes, to properly store the sauce you should keep it in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Does hot fudge go bad? Yes. Use the sauce within 3 weeks of making it. If you notice any liquid separation in the sauce, it’s time to discard it.

Is this hot fudge recipe gluten free? This sauce isn’t because it uses all-purpose flour. You can try to sub the AP flour for gluten-free flour. When doing so I suggest you use Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 baking flour.

Will hot fudge harden? As hot fudge cools it thickens, but doesn’t necessarily harden. The sauce will thin out when warmed.

Can you freeze hot fudge sauce? Haven’t attempted this personally, but I did a lot of research and it turns out you can freeze hot fudge. Place in a freezer safe container. Will last 3-4 month frozen. To use, thaw in the refrigerator and reheat in the microwave in 10-15 second intervals (stirring/whisking well to combine everything) until warm.

Pro tip: If your sauce is a bit too thick, whisk in a splash of milk! Viola! Perfection.

More Chocolate Recipes

A jar of Hot Fudge sauce with a spoon in the jar.
Print Review
5 from 4 votes

Hot Fudge Sauce

This warm, rich, and chocolatey Hot Fudge sauce is the perfect topping for vanilla ice cream, brownies, or ice cream cake roll. There are endless ways you can enjoy this heavenly recipe! 
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 7 mins
Total Time: 17 mins
Servings: 1 serving


  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder - I used natural unsweetened (Hershey's brand)
  • 4 tablespoons all purpose flour - see notes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  • In a medium saucepan whisk the sugar, cocoa, flour, and salt.
  • Pour in the evaporated milk and mix until combined.
  • Place the pot over medium to medium low heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. The mixture will thicken slightly, but be careful to not boil too long. The longer you boil, the thicker it gets.
  • Remove from heat and add the butter and the vanilla extract. Whisk vigorously until smooth.
  • Store, covered, in the refrigerator.


I haven't tried this, but you can try substituting gluten-free flour for the all-purpose flour. I suggest you use a brand/product similar to Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 baking flour. 
To reheat hot fudge, microwave in 10-15 second intervals until warm. 
If the sauce ends up being too thick stir in a splash of milk.
Nutritional information is based on 1 serving.
Recipe from my mother-in-law. 


Calories: 1842kcal (92%)Carbohydrates: 436g (145%)Protein: 7g (14%)Fat: 14g (22%)Saturated Fat: 9g (45%)Cholesterol: 30mg (10%)Sodium: 1175mg (49%)Potassium: 305mg (9%)Fiber: 7g (28%)Sugar: 401g (446%)Vitamin A: 350IU (7%)Calcium: 26mg (3%)Iron: 4mg (22%)
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?snap a photo and tag @saltandbaker in your posts and stories so I can see what you're making!