It's easy to make rich and creamy homemade hot fudge sauce using just four ingredients. This homemade chocolate sauce is the perfect ice cream topping and it will rival any you've ever had at an ice cream shop.
Hot fudge sundaes are a perfect summertime dessert. Well, actually, they are a perfect anytime dessert according to my husband.
No matter where we go to enjoy ice cream, he orders vanilla ice cream topped with the classic chocolate sauce. He'd go out for ice cream every night if he could but those ice cream shop sundaes are expensive.
To save money, I like to make jars of hot fudge sauce using sweetened condensed milk at home. It's so easy! I always use our favorite chocolate chips (Hershey's Special Dark), a few pats of Kerrygold salted butter (European-style butter has a richer flavor and less water than American brands of butter), and pure vanilla extract.
With just 4 simple ingredients and 10 minutes of work, I can have enough sauce to make lots of hot fudge sundaes. I keep the leftovers in the refrigerator and we enjoy it served over homemade cheesecake or ice cream pie too. It also makes great hot chocolate stirred into a mug of hot milk.
Are you ready to make some?
- Chocolate Chips - Use your favorite semi-sweet chocolate chips (or candy bar, finely chopped). The chocolate flavor will be pronounced so use chocolate that you enjoy eating right out of the package.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk - I used sweetened condensed milk to make this easy chocolate sauce because it provides the sugar and milk that are called for in a traditional hot fudge recipe without all of the fuss. Plus you don't have to worry about your sauce becoming gritty.
- salted butter - The butter will melt into the condensed milk fudge sauce adding a luxurious mouthfeel and rich flavor.
- vanilla - Pure vanilla extract adds a nice undertone of vanilla to the sauce.
See the recipe card for quantities.
Pour the sweetened condensed milk into a small saucepan, and then add the semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Stir the two together, then set the saucepan over low heat on the stove.
Allow the chocolate to begin melting, stirring every minute for about 4-5 minutes.
Once most, but not all, of the chocolate has melted, remove it from the stove and stir until melted.
Add the butter and allow it to begin melting into the warm sauce.
Stir slowly allowing the butter to completely melt.
Pour the vanilla over the sauce.
Stir until creamy and smooth.
Your sauce should be thick and creamy.
Pour it into a jar or small glass pitcher.
It's ready to pour over scoops of ice cream.
If you don't use all of the sauce immediately, press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the hot fudge to keep a crust from forming.
Microwave Hot Fudge
You can make microwave hot fudge sauce by combing the chocolate and sweetened condensed milk in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat at high power for 30-second increments, stirring after each, until the chocolate has melted. Stir in the butter then stir in the vanilla until creamy and smooth.
If you'd like to use milk chocolate or white chocolate instead of semi-sweet chocolate, the sauce will be a bit thinner unless you adjust the recipe. Add an additional 1 tablespoon of milk chocolate chips or 2 tablespoons of white chocolate chips.
Change up the flavor profile by using other flavorings or extracts.
Peppermint Hot Fudge Sauce - add ½ teaspoon peppermint extract.
Orange Hot Fudge Sauce - add ½ teaspoon orange extract.
Mocha Hot Fudge Sauce - Add an extra 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips and add a shot of espresso to the fudge sauce.
Boozy Hot Fudge Sauce - Add an extra 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips and add a tablespoon of your favorite liquor to the fudge sauce.
Do NOT overheat the chocolate as it can easily burn.
Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the hot fudge topping otherwise a crust will form as it cools.
See more helpful tips on our Easy Fudge-Making Tips FAQ page.
Store this sauce in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
If you'd like to make other chocolate fudge recipes, be sure to check these out.
A quick and easy chocolate sauce made using 4 ingredients including chocolate and sweetened condensed milk. Pour this thick and creamy sauce over vanilla ice cream to make the best hot fudge sundaes.
- 14 ounces (1 can) sweetened condensed milk
- 6 ounces (1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons salted butter, cut into thin slices and softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pour the sweetened condensed milk into a small saucepan.
Stir in the chocolate chips.
Set the pan over low heat on the stove.
Allow the chocolate to melt, stirring occasionally, until most of the chocolate chips have melted. This will take 4-5 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir slowly until all the chocolate melts.
Add the butter and stir allowing it to slowly melt into the chocolate sauce.
Stir in the vanilla.
Alternatively, you can make microwave hot fudge sauce by combing the chocolate and sweetened condensed milk in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat at high power for 30-second increments, stirring after each, until the chocolate has melted. Stir in the butter then stir in the vanilla until creamy and smooth.
Pour the warm hot fudge sauce over scoops of ice cream to make a delicious sundae.
- Store the sauce in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks or the freezer for 3 months.
- Reheat in the microwave for 10-20 seconds or in a saucepan on the stove over low heat, stirring until smooth and creamy.
thinning the sauce
- If needed, add a small amount of water (1-3 teaspoons) to thin out the fudge sauce.
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