hot fudge sauce

[Psst: There’s a newer and more beloved hot fudge sauce recipe on the site.]

Raise your hand if you’re surprised that my mother used to make us homemade hot fudge sauce for our ice cream? Right, I see you’re not new here! Welcome back. But really, the crazy didn’t start with my generation, despite the fact that I may or may not have crafted a really elaborate chicken dish this week when sick and not remotely interested in cooking or eating it. So I didn’t waste the ingredients. Also totally my mother’s daughter there.

hot fudge sauce, bubbling gurgly, thick and shiny

Is it me, or does something about hot fudge sauce on ice cream seem distinctively retro? I don’t hear much about fudge sauce and their accompanying sundaes these days. Maybe I’ve stepped too far into the Tahitian vanilla bean ice cream in a pool of cognac, drizzled in the world’s most expensive chocolate, covered with shaved white, black and clear truffles, topped with edible 25-karat gold leaf world… Let me fix that right now.

hot fudge sauce

Because really, everyone should have a recipe for hot fudge sauce. There are kids and birthdays and chocoholic family members and, uh, you and spoons and a hunch that it might be good straight from the fridge. You’d be correct. You should totally go for it.

hot fudge sauce

About that ice cream: Earlier in the week, intent upon making this sauce this week, I made a batch of David Lebovitz’s most excellent vanilla bean ice cream. (Which tastes remarkably like frozen creme brulee, evil thing that it is.) But then I got sick and lost my appetite for everything except, well, ice cream and come Friday, we had to go to the store to find something to pour the sauce over. That there is Ciao Bella’s hazelnut gelato, not bad at all. But not the same.

One year ago: Best Chocolate Pudding
Two years ago: Green Tea Cookies and Mom’s Chocolate Chip Meringues

Hot Fudge Sauce
Adapted from Silver Palate Cookbook [Anyone remember this?]

Psst: There’s a newer and more beloved hot fudge sauce recipe on the site.

Yields 2 1/2 cups

This is a deep, dark fudgy bittersweet sauce that firms up on ice cream.

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3 tablespoons butter, unsalted
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
6 tablespoons corn syrup
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon rum (or other flavoring, such as a flavored liquer or vanilla extract)

Melt the chocolate and butter very slowly in a double boiler or in the microwave, stirring frequently until combined. Meanwhile, heat the water to boiling in the small, heavy saucepan. When the butter and chocolate have melted, stir the mixture into the boiling water. Add the sugar, corn syrup and salt and mix until smooth. Turn the heat up and stir until mixture starts to boil; adjust heat so that sauce is just maintained at the boiling point, stirring occasionally. Allow sauce to boil for nine minutes.

Remove from heat and cool for 15 minutes. Stir in the rum and serve warm over ice cream.

Do ahead: Sauce can be easily and quickly reheated in the microwave for 15 to 30 seconds. Stir and it will be shiny and even again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New here? You might want to check out the comment guidelines before chiming in.

245 comments on hot fudge sauce

  1. The Silver Palate Cookbook? Still one of my go to books when planning parties – etc. Great suggestions for menus – I love the side bars on cheeses, wines, etc. This recipe will be printed and slipped between its inspiring pages.

  2. Jasleen

    Happy Valentine’s day to you and your hubby! This is totally going in my recipe book that i will one fine day put together (i can assure you that). Thank you for all the wonderful recipes, photos and stories, you are, in the entirety of the word, a delight!

  3. The chocolate sauce looks so yummy.You just don’t hear too much about sundaes these days. My dad and I used to get banana splits. I wonder if they even sell those anymore…

  4. Jenny in NYC

    Wonderful! Can’t wait to try it – and yes, it is a welcome thing in this complicated foodie world we get sucked up into sometimes. Thank you!

  5. My eyes widended when I saw this picture, and then I read on to find that IT HARDENS when it contacts the ice-cream! I’ve been looking for a good substitute for the bad stuff that you can get in the store. Maybe I will try this in the future.. I might try to make it dairy and sugar free, but we will see what happens!

  6. Mmm…looks wonderful. I usually try to avoid corn syrup as a rule. Is there something else that could be substituted here, maybe agave syrup? If not, then I do suppose there should be exceptions to every rule! Happy Valentine’s Day Deb & Alex!

  7. That was an awesome episode too!! I used to have that cookbook – I don’t know what happened to it – it was the most awesome carrot orange soup recipe too! Man, I could use some hot fudge sauce right about now…

  8. I love hot fudge sauce! I’ve never understood those people that can be satisfied by just putting chocolate syrup on ice cream. I’ll have to try this one out soon.

  9. lisa (lost pezhead)

    thank you for sharing this! i have been thinking about making my own, but didn’t want to experiment! looks much better than hershey syrup!

  10. My best friend’s mom loves making us sundaes with her homemade fudge, and this post makes me laugh just thinking about it. She’s always so impressed with herself that we always end up with a bowlful of fudge and a tiny (in comparison) scoop of ice cream. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Susan

    I still have that cookbook too! I always make the pecan bars for Christmas.

    I currently have a crush on David Lebovitz’s Best Chocolate Sauce. It makes Hershey’s syrup (which I never liked anyway) taste like the nondiscript brown fluid that it is. And, It makes the BEST chocolate milk. This recipe is similar but with the addition of butter and less water, so it’s nice and rich. I think I will have two crushes now. So fickle!

  12. In my house, we had ice cream after dinner every night, usually just vanilla, but every once in a while my mom would surprise us with fresh or canned fruit on top…or my favorite, hot fudge. She was pretty simple about it: bittersweet chocolate chips microwaved in a mug with a little milk, but it made all the difference.

  13. Whoa, how could I forget the Silver Palate cookbook?!? Seriously, if you haven’t made the beef carbonnade in there, you haven’t lived. Or the pork and fruit ragout. Or the spaghetti carbonara. But evidently, I haven’t lived yet either, because I haven’t made that hot fudge sauce.

  14. My mom made this too! She knew it cost a few cents while the gross hershey’s cost several dollars! Sorry to hate on your chocolate, but I have to tell you what is even better….

    Sherry Sauce from
    from 1951 Charleston Receipts cookbook (my first three cookbooks were Junior League books from SC and NC!)

    boil 1/2 cup milk, 1 cup sugar, 4 tablespoons butter for five minutes. add 2 tablespoons sherry.

    Mrs. Prioleau Ball (Theresa Daniel)

    (awesome, huh? a last name as a first name!) (and yes, maiden names were in parentheses! so old school)

  15. Anne

    I love this sauce! I used to keep it on hand all the time. I’m going to make some tonight … (and I still use The Silver Palate Cookbook all the time … )

  16. Christine

    This was our family hot fudge sauce growing up. I’m still making it at 28. Somehow, all the expensive Sharffenberger/Callebaut (sp? whatever) plus expensive liquor plus cream recipes that seem to be so popular just never hold a candle to the Silver Palate gals’ 80’s wonder. Love it!

    P.S. This is also really great in coffee.

  17. i guess we can all take comfort in knowing that even with gold leaf flaked ice cream out there, they still settled on a mcflurry. which definitely has hot fudge in it.

  18. Phoo-D, I’m pretty sure the corn syrup is there to prevent crystallization, so the sauce maintains smoothness. It’s a different form of saccharide so it prevents crystals of sugar from forming, therefore preventing graininess.

    My hubby’s type 1 diabetic, so I’ve done some sugar research. There’s only a small difference between “high fructose corn syrup” and “corn syrup” – Karo is really just glucose syrup. High fructose corn syrup is glucose/sucrose. They’re in essence both sugar. Chemically similar, and just as fattening and tooth-rotting as the stuff in our sugar bowls. All things in moderation – including moderation…I’m making some of this soon!

  19. i love the silver palate cookbook! my mom still uses her original copy all the time (to the point of breaking the spine!) and gave me a cope when they reissued it for it’s 25th anniversary (though i daresay the original is still better!). i will definitely make this sauce soon!

  20. Will have to try this chocolate sauce (Yes, I remember the Silver Palate Cookbook. I own all of them). And I will have to make David Lebovitz’s vanilla ice cream. Actually, David’s chocolate sauce is the one I’ve been making lately.

  21. jwg

    I’ve been making potato cheese soup and spiced shrimp from the Silver Palate for our annual holiday party for over 15 years. The year I decided to skip the soup there was mutiny. It’s still a great resource.

  22. Sarah

    My mother loves hot fudge sauce more than she loves her children. I’m almost sure.

    And I just may love 30 rock more than her. Just kidding. But it’s incredible, week after week after week!

  23. Wow, that looks amazing! Hot fudge sauce is very nostalgic, in my book. When I was a kid we lived near a “Dairy Queen” and would bug my mom for cash to go get a small hot fudge sunday on the sweltering summer days.

  24. Amy

    I agree there’s something retro about fudge but I’m so glad. It is magical when someone takes the time to make it and drizzle it over a dish of vanilla ice cream. I went to a friend’s house a couple weeks ago and she treated us to just that. Magical. Thanks for the recipe so I can do something magical for a guest of my own. :) Happy Val Day. Feel the love!

  25. kat

    I sometimes think the recipes go straight from your site, to my hips and tush! :) Never thought about making my own chocolate sauce, but I just might have to try this. Hmmm…not might. I must try this!

  26. Yum. This looks amazing and delicious. Have never made hot fudge sauce beyond some totally secret microwaving-of-chocolate to throw on some ice cream, but now I want to…how awesome would it be for a dinner party! Say, two weeks from now?

  27. Robyn

    This takes me back. My grandma used to make homemade hot fudge sauce. I remember eating, without out ice cream, until I made my self sick. And I’d do it again!

  28. Oh, good lord that looks good. OM NOM NOM. One teensy problem. What can I substitute the corn syrup with? We don’t get it. Can I substitute it with something like golden syrup? Or some brown sugar?

    (I love hot fudge sauce. And you’re TOTALLY right about you and a spoon and a jar of this in the fridge.)

  29. Penny

    I have loved hot fudge sauce since having Hot Fudge Nutty Nutty sundae’s at Farrells when I was a kid (vanilla ice cream, hot fudge sauce, roasted peanuts and whipped cream). It is a pleasure to see yours glistening on my computer screen, but I must admit to having a preference for a sauce that stays liquid on contact with the cold ice cream – so far the Ben and Jerry’s recipe is the best one I’ve found for this.

  30. Stephanie

    Silver Palate Cookbook is still one of the tried and true in my ever increasing library of cookbooks. Another one for trivia, do you remember the Silver Palatte shop on Columbus and 71st (or thereabouts)? The place where it all started, and sadly gone from the Upper West Side of NYC.

  31. This looks delicious, however I thought boiling chocolate was a cooking no-no? Obviously that is not the case for fudge sauce! Why should boiling the chocolate be all right here? Now I am craving vanilla ice cream, but it is far too cold for such delectable treats!

    1. Lori KIlmer

      Just made some, my question is the same, how long will this last in the fridge? I am planning on giving it away for Christmas gifts. In fridge now but its still early Dec. I put it in 4 oz canning jars to give as hostess gifts, and some gift exchanges.

  32. My mom made a fancy hot fudge sauce as well. Hmmm? You’re right, it does seem rather “vintage” for some reason. I might have to find her recipe and do a retro-post as well. Very good idea and thanks for the inspiration! If nothing else, poured into an old fashion canning jar, the chocolate sauce makes for a good gift. Yum, love your pictures!


  33. Angela

    I’ve used a hot fudge sauce from the New Basics Cookbook (same authors and those “new” basics are more than 20 years old now…) that’s great. However, the firming up on ice cream might qualify this as an alternative.

  34. Missy

    I came here last night in search of a dessert to make for my hubby & kids, and found this. LOVELY! So, I made it to serve over ice cream and to dip strawberries in. While it was absolutely delicious, it never got very thick – It was more of a syrup consistency. Even spooned over ice cream, it was runny. Now, don’t get me wrong, we ate it, oh yes we did. ALL of it. I’m a good cook, this recipe was exceedingly simple, but I can’t figure out if I somehow missed something… what might I have done wrong?

  35. Julie

    (how long will this keep? hahahahaha. amateur ;-)

    1. Does this harden like Magic Shell, or just solidify into fudge?

    2. Still waiting for the buttermilk ice cream recipe, though a merger of buttermilk and a recipe that produces frozen creme brulee* would be awesome.
    3. Glad you’re feeling better, Deb.

    *on a side note, I tried some Ben + Jerry’s “creme brulee” ice cream last week, and it was merely ‘meh’. Reading the ingredient list was a mistake.

  36. Julie

    (to be utterly clearly non-offensive, my parenthetical remark is only meant as a jab at how quickly hot fudge will disappear from my own fridge, not as a remark about anyone’s cooking skills)

  37. Wow, this one got a lot of chocoholic responders! My good friend Judy and I still refer to The Silver Palate as “The Girls,” and I have all three of their books. I made Chicken Marbella last weekend, always good for a do-ahead dinner party dish.

  38. deb

    Couple clarifications: The sauce should keep in the fridge for a week, probably up to two but honestly, it has never lasted that long. That said, it is full of stable ingredients and should have a decent fridge shelf life.

    The corn syrup is extremely helpful in forming a smooth, shiny sauce, which is also why it is used so often in candy-making. David L. has a good post on this. (He also makes some suggested alternative invert sugars, such as honey, but I haven’t tested this with any of them.)

    Lastly, about the hardening: This sauce hardens, but not shell-style. The stuff that you buy that hardens that way has all sorts of wax (even wonder why it hardens just the way a candle does?) and other ingredients you wouldn’t want to know about in it! This is more firm-chewy. And amazing.

  39. Mary

    My mom used to make wonderful chocolate sauce that got thick when put, hot, on ice cream. I’m pretty sure it was nothing but chocolate chips and evaporated milk. I can’t imagine anything better, but I’m going to try this one, yes I am! Also, I’ll be really surprised if anyone manages to come up with a definitive answer for how long this will keep in the fridge. Certainly not I!

  40. I want to go to there. Just placed my amazon order for the stand mixer ice cream freezer attachment and Chef Migoya’s excellent frozen dessert cookbook from the CIA. This post has me even more excited than I already was!!

  41. Pam

    My kids would probably not go for the rum…would you use the same amount of vanilla extract (1 Tablespoon) as you would use for rum? Thanks…I can’t wait to make this!!!

  42. Susan

    I love this — the other night I tried to concoct my own (should have taken a few mintues and run to the computer) and it wasn’t very good. I will definitely print and keep handy when the “honey, would you like a hot fudge sundae?” mood hits me. The Silver Palate….my first real “big girl” cookbook. I still love it.
    Thanks for your website — I come here every day.
    Susan in Williamsburg, VA

  43. How funny! Great minds think a lot, I made hot fudge last week and it was delicious. Mine was more like melted ganache, but that was quite alright with me. :) This version looks delicious too!

  44. Ah the Silver Palate Cookbook…that is one cookbook I have very distinct memories of my mom using when I was growing up. Think she still has it. I love that first photo by the way…something sort of whimsical about it.

  45. My mom used to make what she called James Beard Sauce every year on New Year’s Even when she would go to her friends’ place for celebrations. It had strong coffee and liqueur in it, in addition to obscene amounts of dark chocolate and cream. When she brought home leftovers, I would sneak it by the spoonful and eat it like fudge, rather than bothering to melt it for ice cream.

  46. This sounds divine….maybe I could use it to cover those chocolate toffee cookies that I cannot stop making and eating. Put ’em in the freezer to harden the chocolate after a light sprinkling of sea salt and yummity yum. Who cares if I break a tooth?

  47. Carol

    This is my FAVORITE fudge sauce, and yes, I do have an original Silver Palate cookbook!

    It hardens to a chewy kind of texture that is just magic with ice cream. If you don’t want to use rum, just substitute vanilla and it’s just fine. I have never experienced a runny consistency with this recipe, so I’m not sure why Missy had trouble. I have always been careful to let it bubble, but not stir it, for exactly nine minutes – maybe that has something to do with it.

    It has never gone bad in my fridge, but then again, it has never lasted more than 3-4 days. No ice cream? No problem. A spoon and a mouth are all you need. Actually, you don’t even need a spoon if you have a clean finger . . .

  48. I just finally caved and bought myself a used copy of the new Silver Palate. The New Basics was my favorite book in my parents’ cookbook library and one of the earliest in mine (it now has around 8 million friends). I’m celebrating by making Silver Palate recipes whenever I come across them this month, and there was no reason to pass up having a little fudge with my chicken marbella. My favorite fudge, though, comes from Herrell’s in Northampton, MA, where they do not mess around. Oh, and one more thank you, because I ran out of corn syrup and opened a tin of Lyle’s golden syrup that’s been lying around–and damn if that stuff isn’t really really good.

  49. MK

    Better than the mcFlurry shake I bought with a coupon I found in the collection plate.
    We always made our own chocolate sauce that would vary greatly based on what was available. A couple of tablespoons of raspberry jam did nicely when there wasn’t any corn syrup, and sometimes cocoa stood in for the chocolate with extra sugar and butter to even things. Always still better than the weird “fudge” toppings you could buy that seemed more like candy – rather than winter necessity.

  50. kim

    Is fudge retro? This dessert never went out of fashion here in Belgium, you can order a “Dame Blanche” in nearly every restaurant. It has always been a favourite of mine (and my gran too, we used to split one when she was on a diet)

  51. Cecilia

    HOLY MOLY JEBUS!!!! I CANNOT make this sauce …. I have 0 trust in myself!!! The dangerous thing is that I have ALL the ingredients in muh pantry …. oh shyte, this aint looking good, I tell ya …. ;)

  52. Thank you.
    Thank you thank you thank you.
    For the last four years or so I have been looking for this, and here you are, just … just giving it to me. As if the chocolate-peanut-butter cake (now known as: the only cake Erica ever wants ever again) wasn’t enough, you go and give me this. Your generosity, it knows no bounds.
    Bless you.

  53. How crazy that you posted this. For our valentine’s day dessert I made a hot chocolate sauce to put over Tahitian vanilla bean ice cream that we get from a local micro dairy for the kids (my husband and I sampled a bit, if you know what i mean!). I will have to give this recipe a try, I am a huge fan of the silver palate.

  54. Amy

    I spent many, many, many summer evenings in a retro drug store/soda fountain eating hot fudge sundaes
    The drug store and soda fountain are both long gone and I don’t eat hot fudge sndaes anymore because I can’t replicate the taste memory
    Thanks for the recipe and the trip down memory lane

  55. pam

    my mother in law makes hot fudge. i’ve always let it be “her thing”. i think i’m going to have to make it “my thing” now. haha!

  56. Liz

    For the corn syrup phobic– I did not have corn syrup on hand when I made this so I sub’d Steens pure cane syrup. It turned out really well. I also sub’d bourbon for the rum. Delicious!

  57. I am going to need to try this recipe. We are totally an ice cream with chocolate sauce family and celebrate virtually every holiday and family occasion with it (along with some cake, of course). I have used this recipe ( forever, because it is insanely easy, and you want to steal away with it, spoon in hand. It used to be on the back of Baker’s unsweetened chocolate – I usually use higher quality chocolate now, nonetheless, it is pure chocolate heaven. For Thanksgiving last year, I made your Salted Butter Caramel Sauce and mixed it with some leftover chocolate ganache (from David Liebovitz’s site). That was a huge hit. I’m gaining weight just thinking about it.

  58. Kathy

    I laughed out loud with that 30 Rock reference. Absolutely no one I know watches it, and it definitely made my day to read that. (I think the gold flakes would be lovely!) Also, hot fudge sounds absolutely delicious right now. I’ll be making this later today!

  59. Tracey

    I think this is what my Grandma used to make (and I’ve been searching for). Only instead of over ice cream, she would spoon it over day old biscuits or bread . YUM! Can’t wait to make it and see if it’s “the sauce”

  60. I’m lovin’ the nod to 30 Rock’s “golden ice cream” bit!! Thanks for that! And for the fun retro throwback.

    I DO remember The Silver Palate! I love those recipes!!! My mom must have made everything in that cookbook by the time I was 15 – easily.

    I used to eat at Perret’s – their old restaurant chain in San Diego – often. In fact, And, I actually worked for Perret’s when they opened in Beverly Hills, after they sold it to a corporation. Alas, the corp-heads were clueless (imagine that), and it didn’t take, so they shut down the whole franchise months later. Leave it to corporate America to muck up a good thing. I loved that place, though. Great charcuterie!!

    This post was great! Thanks for the memories, and for the recipe, since I don’t have a copy of The Silver Palate Cookbook any longer.


    ~ Paula

  61. Deb, not gonna lie. I really only read SK for your dessert posts.

    And your fabulous sense of humor, but still… those drippy gooey creamy chocolatey photos get me every time! Going to try this minus the corn syrup with sugar-free sweetener. Looks decadent!

  62. Memory lane …. My grandmother use to make homemade fudge sauce, I think the recipe was on the hersey box. I LOVED it. I use to eat it without the ice cream. I am definitely going to be making this and probably eating with a spoon as well!


  63. Susan

    I used this recipe as my inspiration tonight. I could tell by the ingredients that this is no retro fudge sauce. My real fudge recipe uses 3 cups of sugar, 2 Tbsp corn syrup and 4oz of unsweetened chocolate and it has a deep chocolate flavor, but not a bitter one. So, I knew this was going to be way too bitter for my palate! I didn’t change it much. I used some 89% chocolate that I had on hand and upped the sugar to 1/2 cup. It definately needs iced cream or a glass of wine and a shortbread cookie! It’s pretty bitter still, but I like it okay! Love the consistancy of it and it does ooze then puddle over the ice cream like a taffetta prom gown! That’s the only retro part about it! ;)

  64. I love fudge sauce, and use a v. simple recipe ALL THE TIME (yes, guests do love retro ice cream sundaes–who wouldn’t?–since they’re on nobody’s every-day menu). I also use it just as frequently over profiteroles, which I keep handy in my freezer at all times. I actually think the big tub at Costco is the best, though the one’s at Trader Joe’s are a close second. For me, this is a quick, last-minute dessert so I never consider making them from scratch.

    As for the hot fudge, all I do is melt chocolate is a big of cream, adding to the correct consistency and then finish with enough cognac, kalhua or coffee liqueur to enrich the sauce…but not flavor it.

    PS I’m new to the food blog world, and I do love your site.

  65. I’m having trouble with my sauce being gloppy. I mean, it’s smooth and creamy and VERY chocolatey, but it doesn’t drizzle—it’s just too thick. Did you have this problem?

  66. chocoholic

    just want to let you know that we tried this and served it for desert over a scoop of ice cream and a peice of cake. it was heavan. period.

  67. Aly

    This looks spectacular and I can’t wait to try it… It also got me thinking about caramel sauce. Do you know of a good homemade recipe to try? My husband buys the icky artificial preservative-heavy stuff from the store. It always seems a shame to me to ruin the simple wholesomeness of vanilla ice cream by topping it with that mess. Thanks!

  68. James

    I made this and it’s divine, but the butter separated while boiling. I stirred it back in as it cooled, and all is well, but did I do something wrong?

  69. Rhonda A

    LizzieBee – I think from your blog that you’re in Australia. We can get Karo corn syrup here – try Coles, or a health food store. But if you can’t find it try using golden syrup instead. I’ve made a very similar recipe to this that used golden syrup – very nice

  70. Wow. That looks fantastic – personally I like to make a really thick fudge sauce, and some brownies, then cover them top (before cutting ’em up) and let it set… mmm.

  71. Just about to make fudge sauce for an ice cream cake – did you mean 1 1/3 cups sugar? 1/3 seems like a teensy amount for 4 oz. of unsweetened chocolate.


  72. Jami

    Is the yield correct? I seem not to have yielded 2.5 cups. Maybe to start, but not to finish (after boiling for 9 minutes, not after eating/licking the spoon!). ;)

  73. Lauren

    I had the same problem with the butter (or other non-chocolate liquids) separating from the chocolate while boiling. Maybe it’s because I used Baker’s chocolate?

  74. deb

    Jami — The yield is from the book — though I do feel that I get less than that, too.

    Lauren — My mother always used Baker’s chocolate and it worked fine. Did the sauce come back together?

  75. Thanks, Deb. I actually did use 1 1/3 cups, because the recipe in the Silver Palate Cookbook had 1 2/3 cups (plus the corn syrup)! My sauce came out a bit sweet for my taste, no wonder. I may stick to my standby, which is Baker’s Regal Chocolate Sauce. Not too sweet, takes 5 minutes to make. Then again, I got raves when I combined your salted caramel sauce with some dark chocolate ganache. Maybe I’ll go back to that.

  76. Lauren

    It didn’t actually come back together, but I’m going to try it again and see if maybe I didn’t boil it long enough or had the measurements wrong. (it did taste amazing, though, even if the consistency wasn’t right)

  77. Meg

    This was so good! I was a little freaked out while it boiled, but it did eventually come together. I like my chocolate on the bitter side of the fence, so this was perfect! This + mint ice cream = awesome!

  78. I had the same separating issue as Lauren as other — after it cooled, I poured off some of the excess water/butter that separated out. The result wasn’t pretty, but it tasted great on coffee ice cream on this snowy/sleeting afternoon.

  79. rebel

    Mmmm. When I was a kid, my mom made a chocolate sauce for ice cream that was wonderful and that contained golden syrup. Maybe this will be similar. I can now get golden syrup in the U.S., rather than asking every friend who ever goes to England to bring back a couple of tins of it, but it would be so much more convenient to use Karo. Not to mention my mother has no clue what I’m talking about when I ask her how she made it.

  80. JJChris

    Thanks so much for posting this! I’m living overseas at the moment, and while good chocolate is abundant, hot fudge sauce is not to be found anywhere. This will go a looooong way toward making up for that: I see many hot fudge sundaes in my future!

  81. writeapostcard

    I just made this sauce, and followed the directions but it doesn’t seem to have thickened? It’s pretty watery, and when I put it on ice cream it just kind of mixed together with the ice cream as it melted.

    I already cooled it down, but should I try boiling it again for a longer period?

  82. Karin

    I made this for my mom last time I went to visit her, and it was amazing. Even my dad, who was incredulous that I was taking the time to make something that could so easily be bought, loved it. Everything about this recipe is just perfect, thanks for posting!

  83. Gene Goldsmith

    We Tried this Hot Fudge Sauce at a family gathering, it was awful. It was not sweet at all. As much semi-sweet chocolate used, and only 1/3 c. sugar is not near enough. After it cooled, some of the liquid separated, and when stored in refrig, and reheated, it appeared the corn syrup separated and would not remix when heated. With all comments to this, but two, coming on the day of posting and none of the posters tried it before hand makes me think that they were just trying to make this a
    popular recipe. I’ll never use another recipe from thia site and remove it from my bookmarked list.

  84. itsme

    I just tried making this twice. The first time i mixed in the 9minutes and the mixture completely separated into oil and chocolate glob. The second time there wasn’t as much separation but after boiling it for 9 minutes the sides with crusty and the fudgey part was still really globby. Do you know what I could’ve done well?

  85. Susan

    I have made this over and over and over.. I’ve never had a problem with it separating. I use the 3.5oz Lindt 85% Intense chocolate bar and add 1 Tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder. It works just the same as the original recipe but is a tad sweeter. I’ve even upped the sugar to 1/2 cup and it still worked perfectly. I can’t imagine what is happening that would make this sauce separate for some, unless they aren’t stirring it often enough or are using a margarine spread instead of butter. It’s a great recipe and the only one I use now..I love the bitter-sweet bite to it. it balances perfectly with rich, sweet vanilla ice cream.

  86. Christine N.

    I have made this three times now and I will admit: the first time it DID separate on me. I didn’t follow the directions exactly and added the boiling water to the melted chocolate that was already in the saucepan. For whatever reason that ruined everything. The next two times I did exactly what the instructions said and it was perfect and wonderful both times. This recipe is a keeper – especially since I moved to Norway and I can’t get Hot Fudge in this town anywhere!

  87. SAS

    I’ve made this twice in two days. I needed something ultra simple for Christmas dessert and we all love ice cream, so this was too easy! If I gain weight, it will totally be worth it. This is absolutely heavenly. Mine did separate a little the first time too, but I poured vanilla in way too early. The 2nd time, I waited to pour vanilla in – as recipe states, no problem. I used 3 squares Baker’s, 1 square semi-sweet Nestle’s the second time since I was short a Baker’s. Was great!! Thanks for this easy wonderful treat! Cannot wait to try your butterscotch sauce.

  88. Kelly

    Just tried out this recipe–like others, I did find that the sauce separated during the last minute of cooking, sort of in the manner of cream-puff dough. (I’m not sure whether I was seeing butter or corn syrup around the edges). I tasted it after I pulled it off the heat and discovered that it is, indeed, a VERY bittersweet chocolate sauce. Since I was making it for kids as well as their chocolate-craving mother, I cross-referenced with Silver Palate to see what the changes are here. That original recipe calls for a full 1 2/3 cup of sugar, in addition to the corn syrup. My successful adjustment to that first pan of sauce involved adding another cup of sugar (which was too much–I’ll knock it back to a cup next time) and pouring in just enough water to get the sauce moving again on the stove. Another few minutes of boiling, and I had a beautiful, chewy sauce that tasted like childhood to me and my husband. (I suspect that the yield issue may have something to do with that extra 1 1/3 cup of sugar in the original recipe, although I thing that even the sugared-up Silver Palate version might be an over-generous estimate!)

    (Thanks, Deb–this is a truly wonderful site).

  89. Laura

    nom nom nom, this stuff smelled fantastic while cooking, and was fantastic to eat too. I halved the recipe and used bakers chocolate, only I took others advice and subbed 1 oz of semi sweet since I had a really burnt bitter tasting caramel sauce to go with it. Still rich and bitter and yum, this is going to be a new staple in my fridge.

  90. Meg

    Good news, Deb: I’m twenty, and know all about the Silver Palate cookbook; furthermore, my mum makes it in the summer with ice cream. :) I’m totally with you on this – fantastic!

  91. kiwi

    I just made this and it was so fun and easy! Thank you! I had all the ingredients on hand except for the chocolate bar so I used unsweetened cocoa powder. 3 Tablespoons per ounce of bar and Tablespoon of butter per ounce substituted. So 12 T of Powder and a total of 7 Tablespoons of butter. I dissolved the powder in the melted butter. This was so fun, Im excited that i can make hot fudge!! Thanks!

  92. Abigail

    I attempted to make this (twice!) and each time when it came to pour the smooth butter/chocolate mixture into the 2/3 C hot water, it became a grainy, lumpy, mess. Afterwards, the mixture did not become smooth, nor would the corn syrup meld into the mixture. What am I doing wrong?

  93. Sue

    I was on line looking for a hot fudge sauce to go with brownie sundaes for Mother’s Day and found this one. The recipe was easy to follow and tasted great! Thanks!!

  94. Meghan

    I was so excited to make this !!
    and it is currently taking the 15min of painstaking cooling that is required and i snuck a little bit dying to try it.
    2 problems I burnt my finger and it tastes like peanuts ??
    Still delicious or is there a reason this may be.
    Yes I am aware that both problems are completely my own issues haha but I am
    happy to accept some advice

  95. KitKat

    This is bar none, the best hot fudge sauce on the planet. It is so easy to make and it’s good right after you make it, straight from the fridge or reheated. I’ve never had it this good nor this easy. Note for people who get freaked out by the weirdness of the mixture when you first pour the chocolate/butter into the BOILING water, you just need to follow the directions and stir it, boiling, till it smooths out. I’ve made this three times and never had it not be perfectly smooth. My husband loves this sauce so much that he took pictures of the empty bowl (since this is anonymous, I can say that it only took two days for it to be polished off) to remind me that I needed to replenish the supply soon. Thank you, Deb!

  96. Brian

    Easy, great and fast!!

    I tried the vanilla extract instead of rum, and chopped up bits of rease’s cups — at the kids request — and let them add it at the very end of the cooling period. Came out perfect.

  97. Made this for the middle layer of an ice cream cake. Used bittersweet instead of unsweetened, but otherwise followed the recipe as written! It is cooling now, no problems with separating. Looking forward to using it in my ice cream cake when it cools a bit! :) Thanks for the recipe!

  98. Julie

    Thank you! I have made this a couple times and it’s always great. I recently found a jar in the back of my fridge. (Gasp! How did I miss this?!) It was maybe 2 months-ish old and I had to eat it..can’t hardly throw that away! It was still fantastic. Probably not the answer the health dept would give you but for anyone wondering….

  99. Rochelle Eissenstat

    Shalom Deb from Jerusalem! Shana Tova umetuka [a happy sweet new year] to you and your family.
    I love hot fudge sauce but often it is too much of a patchkeh. 1 day, I simply tried mixing together a light honey – orange blossom or clover for example, with Dutch cocoa. For a cup of warmed honey, you may need almost as much cocoa! But stir the cocoa by tablespoonfuls into the honey and soon the mixture will achieve the texture of hot fudge sauce. You don’t need any additional sweetening. Then add a tablespoon of vanilla extract, or rum, or Kahlua or amaretto or other liqueurs. This is delicious and has the nice almost chewy texture of a good hot fudge sauce when it hits the cold ice cream. No real measurements needed and only 1 bowl and a spoon to make it. Must be refrigerated, warm it before serving. That is it, or as they say here – zeh-hu-zeh.

  100. C

    FABULOUS!!!! This is my 4th time making it. Only once did I have the separation of the butter. I actually stir it continuously for 9 minutes. Question: Can I leave this fudge out on counter for hours, or does it have to be refrigerated?

  101. Sarah P

    Yum! This really brought back childhood memories. My Mom also made hot fudge all the time when I was young, but the last time I had eaten it was probably 15 years ago. I loved the addition of rum! I didn’t have any corn syrup on hand, so I used agave instead. I know the corn syrup is used to prevent the sugar from crystalizing, and I am not sure if agave is as good for this purpose, but it worked fine for me.

  102. Mandy

    I have this cookbook! I made the recipe with honey instead of corn syrup. It’s good, but maybe next time I would use 4 T of honey to see how it comes out, just because it doesn’t taste chocolate-y enough. But a sacrifice I’m willing to make to avoid CS. Will serve with homemade strawberry ice cream, whipped cream and a cherry.

  103. Eli

    I have been looking for an ice cream sauce that mimics the ice cream parlor hot fudge sauces to either buy or make for a long time. This is the closest recipe to those sauces. It is so easy to make too.
    The first time I made this recipe, I cut the recipe in-half to see how it would work. It was thick, smooth and shiny. The chocolate taste was very good, the thickness was perfect and it slightly hardened on the ice cream, the only negative was a slight gritty texture not seen during the cooking stage, but sensed when eaten.
    The second time I made it, I made the whole recipe, but substituted confectioners sugar for sugar (about double the amount) and it made a much smoother sauce. Near perfection. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe!

  104. Amanda

    I’ve made this sauce twice now, and had the fairly common separation issue both times. After reading all the above comments, and trying a few, I think I’ve figured out the easiest way to bring the sauce back together without adding 4 times the original amount of sugar.

    To my totally separated sauce I added another 3-4 tablespoons of sugar (potentially unnecessary?) and 2-3 tablespoons of water (because I think that much had evaporated). I then heated it back up to the boiling point over medium heat and used my spoon to *fold* the liquid corn syrup into the chocolate blob. This reconstituted the sauce very quickly, and I then turned off the heat to let it cool without any new separation issues. I hope this helps anyone else in this spot, and although I haven’t tried it – I would guess that using a folding technique during the original 9 minutes of boiling would help prevent separation in the first place. I say this since people who seemed to have followed the recipe the exact same way had different results, and the stirring technique is one place where there may be different interpretations.

    (Sorry if this sounded a bit scientific, I’m a biomedical science graduate student and troubleshooting protocols is my life right now. :) )

  105. Elizabeth

    Ok I’ve made this 3 times now, all with different results-
    The first time I made it, I was using frozen butter, added a little more sugar, stirred in the water, and the end result was not perfectly smooth, but still yummy.
    The second time I was using softened butter, keeping everything else the same (including the extra sugar) and it was PERFECT!
    This time, I had extra bakers chocolate to use up, so I made a 1.5 batch, doing everything as I did it the second time (but with more ingredients) and the fudge kept separating while boiling down, needed a lot more whisking! and needed even more sugar and vanilla to combat the unsweetened chocolate, and overall just wasn’t quite right. What gives?

  106. Jeanne

    Looks WONDERFUL!! I’ve been looking for the ultimate chewy, sticky , hot fudge sauce. Ever been to Crown Candy Kitchen in St.Louis? They have an incredible sauce as I described above. I would love to be able to make this. If anyone can help, I think you can!

  107. Joy

    Tastes great but my sauce came out super thick- so thick that a spoon of it over ice cream came out like a blob (i.e. won’t drizzle). Too much water evaporated during the boiling stage? Not heavy enough pan? I’ll try again with more water.

  108. Beth

    I’m looking for a chocolate sauce that can be put on the ice cream ahead of time, put back in the freezer, and when it’s brought out to be served is ready to have a gazillion candles added for a birthday celebration. Would this sauce stay in place while in the freezer and not slide off while the birthday boy is blowing out his candles? Sure hope so, ’cause it sounds awesome!

  109. Jodi

    This is hands down the best chocolate sauce I’ve ever had. I’ve made it quite a few times now. I brought it as a hostess gift to a BBQ right off the stove hot…and guess what they had just made homemade vanilla ice cream that day, it was amazing! We’re also going to a cocktail party tomorrow night and I’m going to bring a jar of this sauce hot with a container of ice cream as a hostess gift instead of your standard bottle of wine!

  110. Frances

    No problems with texture or separation here! The first batch I accidentally left out half the water, so it thickened up very quickly. The second batch had all the water, and actually boiled instead of just glurping quietly in the pan.

    I substituted half the rum for vanilla, because the plain rum was a bit rumm-y for my chocolate tastes. I also made this with Ghirardelli chocolate chips, as that was what I had on hand, and omitted the sugar. It all came together just fine, and wasn’t too sweet at all with the corn syrup.

  111. Jee

    I have the old Silver Palate cookbook and the original recipe seriously calls for 1-2/3c sugar. You must like it VERY bittersweet with only 1/3c sugar!

  112. Kayla

    I made this two days ago and put it into the fridge after it cooled. The corn syrup/butter seems to have separated from the chocolate and looks like lard sitting on top and in between the chocolate. Doesn’t look very appetizing.

    I also had problems with the corn syrup not mixing with the chocolate while cooking. Any idea why this may be? It stayed on top and popped and boiled right out of the pot. Even when I stirred it, it never wanted to come together. I’m taste testing this today but something tells me it isn’t going to turn out well.

    Any suggestions???

    1. deb

      Hi Kayla — I’m not sure why that happened but I just added another hot fudge sauce recipe this week that’s more foolproof. (I’ll update this post with a link to it now — I forgot.) You can leave out the peppermint and add some vanilla if you want a traditional flavor, like this one has. Hope that helps.

  113. J

    Question from a novice:

    Making this with Taza Guajillo Chili Mexican chocolate, added in 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper and 1 tsp cinnamon to put on top of brownies and vanilla ice cream after a Mexican meal.

    It tastes exactly how I hoped, but tell me, am I supposed to stir while it boils? It makes me nervous to just leave it. I have been stirring and it’s finally starting to thicken a little after about 20 minutes. If I didn’t stir what would happen?

  114. Kathleen

    I made this last week and it was complete success! It is so difficult to find a real deal bittersweet hot fudge! I was planning on making ice cream with my 5 year-old daughter, so I looked at the sauces at the store. NO bittersweet and they all had High fructose corn syrup which makes my husband painfully sick.
    This stuff is the real deal!!
    Instead of water, I used coffee for an extra bitter kick. Also, I didn’t have any rum on hand, so I used vanilla.
    This is now my “go to” dessert sauce!
    Thank you!

  115. lisa

    Made this tonight – delicious! Made half the recipe, used bittersweet chocolate because that’s all I had so I just reduced the sugar a bit to compensate. So easy, came together really well. Thank you!

  116. Thanks for sharing. I started out making your recipe but ran short of corn syrup so substituted Pancake syrup. It came out well. I also just dumped everything into the pot as I was in a hurry and it worked really well. Thanks

  117. Sabrina

    Sooo.. i know that it is probably not the best idea to eat this and be talking to a personal trainer at the same time.. but here I am eating a bowl of homemade espresso bean ice cream with this sauce on it.. topped with real whipped cream. Oh my… it is so good on a day this hot that I am at a loss for words.

    I guess if you are going to treat yourself, you better do it right! lol!

  118. Krista

    I just finished making this with Cocoa powder instead of baking chocolate and a tablespoon of Kahlua. ABSOLUTELY DEVINE! This is my new go -to recipe. Thank you!

  119. ktkakes

    I haven’t yet unpacked my Silver Palate cookbook after a move and need to make a double batch of this (no alcohol) for tomorrow’s Make Your Own Sundae bar for our interns. I’ve made this sauce forever and it is, bar none, the best hot fudge sauce I’ve ever had. Thanks for posting this (and our interns will thank you, too!).

  120. Jeni

    This fudge sauce was exactly what I was craving yesterday (I’m 6 months pregnant and this baby loves dessert!). I made it, followed your directions, and it came out delectably perfect! I ate many spoonfuls before my husband came home with mint Oreo ice cream to go with it. After cooling in the fridge for several hours there was a teeny bit of separation (looked like butter), but after a little stir and quick warming, all was perfect again. I believe the separation was due to boiling at a very low temp – I was nervous I’d burn the fudge sauce! But again, the fudge sauce was perfect, amazing, and exactly what I was looking for to indulge my craving!

  121. Sarah

    Hello, this looks fantastic, and possibly just what I’m looking for! I’d like to mix it right into some ice cream to create a ripple effect- just wondering if it will work? I’ve been looking for a recipe that won’t get rock hard when completely frozen. I’m thinking the alcohol will help, but maybe I need to add a little more?


  122. My friend and I made this last night! It tasted fine, but I think I broke the chocolate a little bit – it looked pretty grainy towards the end of boiling, and some of the butter started separating out. I poured off some of the liquid, but I can see in the container in the fridge that more of the fat has solidified overnight. Still tasted delightful, though!

  123. Kristi Bussell


    I am in the middle of making this and the oil isn’t mixing with the chocolate. Did I do something wrong?



  124. Chris

    I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong that the printed recipe doesn’t work for me, but if I up the water to a full cup it turns out perfectly. I assume that I’m somehow letting too much water evaporate, but whenever I start with the indicated 2/3 cup of water, the butter separates out.

  125. Lynn

    Janet (August 2015) is correct. The original recipe calls for 1 and 1/3 cups (one and one third cups) of sugar, not one-third cup. All the other ingredients are correct.
    Chris, try with the correct amount of water and stir vigorously to incorporate the chocolate, butter and water; the water has to be boiling hot. It will thicken but thin out as soon as you add the sugar.

  126. Kelly

    Deb, I live in a non-corn syrup country (New Zealand). What could I substitute? Golden syrup? Maple syrup? Thanks and Merry Christmas! x

  127. Holly

    Always glad for comments on recipes. My butter also separated during the latter half of the boil. It wisked back together nicely though.
    Thanks for the recipe and commentary.

    1. They look adorable in mason jars – I made some different flavoured fudge sauces and divvied them up in small jars to give away. I’ve had some in the fridge for a week and a half now – no problems. I would also like to know roughly how long it can keep, though!

  128. I’ve made this twice now without the corn syrup, both because I didn’t have any and because I was using some particularly excellent bittersweet chocolate so I needed to ramp down the sweeteners anyway. I suspect the texture is a little less nice and it’s a bit less shelf-stable (I’ll have to try it with the corn syrup after I run out of the fancy-but-sweetened chocolate and do a comparison) but it definitely works, so if you’re corn syrup averse fear not.

  129. Susan

    I have an original copy of The Silver Palate Cookbook – iconic! I learned to entertain using the Silver Palate series and Martha Stewart.

  130. paulareeveslmt

    *Beams a big smile your way* The Silver Palette Good Times cookbook was one of my favorites!

    This recipe is the bomb! I use hazelnut extract instead of vanilla ~ totally scrumptious. Thank you!

  131. M G Cooke

    I still use the Silver Palate Cookbook which is well-bookmarked!

    However my Fudge Sauce recipe comes from the OLD Joy of Cooking.
    It has no milk or cream in it. It uses Baker’s Bitterswseet chocolate, butter, boiling water, and corn syrup (which is not at all the same as HFCS!). However it uses more sugar and less corn syrup than this recipe. I am always amazed at the magic that happens when you add the water and the mixture clumps up and then when you add the sugar it instantly turns to a glossy syrup. I don’t understand the boiling water but the result is wonderful! This is easy, quick and keeps forever if not consumed immediately.

    2 oz. Bakers Chocolate
    2 TBS Butter
    1/3 cup boiling water
    1 cup of sugar
    1 TBS white corn syrup
    2 tsp Vanilla

    Melt chocolate and butter in a heavy bottom pot.
    Add the boiling water and stir – it will thicken and be coarse looking.
    Add sugar and it will turn to a syrupy chocolate.
    Add corn syrup which keeps it from crystalizing later.
    Let boil for 2 minutes for sauce or 5 minutes for a fudge that hardens on ice cream.
    Add vanilla and try not to eat it all before sharing with others.

  132. T

    Made a half batch of this tonight for Valentine’s/Birthday celebration. Because of kitchen complications to weir to delve into now, I took a chance on the microwave. Worked perfectly! Put everything I combined half the ingredients other than chocolate and extract/rum (half the amounts called for) into a Pyrex cup and stirred mightily. Microwave one minute at a time, on 50% power, placing the cup onto a towel in between and stirring mightily again. After four one-minute cycles, I added half the chocolate, microwaved for two one-minute cycles at 50% power, then added the other half of the chocolate. (I added the chocolate by halves to ensure it would melt evenly. Prior experience.) Then I added in the extract, microwaved for one more minute. Love!

    Next step will be to blend what is left after tonight’s fete with the wee bit of “leftover” Baileys from Christmas, to see how that goes. (We have not braved any of the new “Bailey’s” versions out in the big world. We stick with the original. For now at least. The others sorta scare me. Afraid the strawberry version is going to be a $20 foray into bad cough syrup. And, why?)

    Thank you, Deb.

  133. Wow. Just wow. So easy and quick but with great flavor and silky texture. I just made vanilla ice cream for the first time and used 5is sauce. Incredible. Now of course I have to make your Favorite Brownies and build a sundae on it. Yikes. This will be a bad weigh in!!

  134. Jackie

    This us not what I call fudge sauce. Not sweet or creamy enough. Where is the cream?
    A waste of good chocolate. I wonder if there’s anything I can do to fix it now after it’s beeen cooked and cooled?

  135. Eva

    Just want to throw my vote in for this classic. I’ve tried the newer version, but this one wins by a long shot. The other one is too sweet, but this one is perfect, super chocolatey, and I keep coming back to it again!