Recipe for Easy Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce

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I’m guessing if you stop by the store on your way home and bring ice cream home for dessert tonight most of you won’t face a lot of dissension. Ice cream tends to go over pretty well and spreads a lot of joy. For children ice cream can be an almost magical experience, but there’s no reason that magic has to fade for us grown-ups. We just might have to take a few more walks around the block to combat the extra calories. Today we’re going to share with you our easy recipe for homemade hot fudge sauce. Because we all (well, most of us) need ice cream in our lives. And what goes great with ice cream? Hot fudge sauce. And this hot fudge sauce really pairs well with a classic vanilla. Hot fudge for ice cream is like ketchup for a hamburger. It’s still going to taste good without it, but why not elevate it to another level?

easy homemade hot fudge sauce

My Grandmother’s Love Affair with Ice Cream

“I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!” Is this a phrase you’ve uttered? I googled it to check the origin and apparently it was part of a popular 1927 song and from there became a part of popular culture. It certainly is something we always said when I was growing up and it’s something I still say today. Of course, I come from a family where we take ice cream very seriously.

My late Grandma Gussie (miss you Grandma!) was famous for her love of ice cream. Seriously, she REALLY loved ice cream. I asked her about it once and she said it was because she grew up during the depression and so ice cream was a rare indulgence to be savoured. Sure, most people love ice cream, but I think her childhood memories and the fact that ice cream was such a rare treat really were the catalyst that began my grandmother’s live long love affair with ice cream. And over the years it grew, bowlful by bowlful.

The cruel son:

My father often tells the story of how when he was a child he would walk into my grandmother’s bedroom, after hearing a spoon clanking against a bowl, and she would quickly pull up the covers to conceal her bowl of ice cream. He says, “It was like a game…I would try to stay and talk to her long enough for the ice cream to melt.” Not cool Dad. Let Grandma enjoy her treat. Of course, when the ice cream starts to melt around the edges…we all know, that’s the best part. Right?

My memories:

In my childhood we would often gather at my grandparents house for birthday parties and other family gatherings. Almost without fail, there was ice cream for dessert. Soon we started to notice that whenever we opened the ice cream for dessert there was always a scoop already missing. “A mouse got into it” my grandmother would say. At one point, she even got smart enough that she started to open the ice cream from the bottom so that come party time when it was opened from the top it looked like it hadn’t been touched. She was crafty! Eventually family members caught on to this trick and from then on the ice cream container was always examined thoroughly for signs of tampering. Everyone started to enjoy these moments of ice cream inspection at dessert time and my Grandmother’s legendary love of ice cream grew. Scoop by scoop.

I have a lot of other great memories involving my grandmother and ice cream. On occasion other family members would open the ice cream from the bottom with the specific intention of framing my grandmother. At one birthday party my father intentionally cut a laughably big slice of ice cream cake and presented it to my grandmother just for humorous effect. She didn’t laugh or say a word. She ate the whole thing. Each new ice cream flavor she discovered was a marvelous new adventure (she loved Moose Tracks) and we were all benefited from her joy.

Up until the day she died ice cream remained my grandmother’s favorite food. Notice I said “food”, not “dessert”. There was nothing in the food world that outranked ice cream. And perhaps very little in the whole world that outranked ice cream, save for my grandfather.

I think my grandmother would have approved of our food blog and certainly of our sharing of our hot fudge recipe. Some of my favorite times with my grandmother involved sitting together and chatting over bowls of ice cream. Towards the end of her life she suffered badly from advanced dementia (which really is cruel). There were many days when she would no longer myself and other family members. But she always still took joy from ice cream. Dementia couldn’t rob her of that.

I hope you enjoy this hot fudge recipe over a bowl of ice cream and hopefully with someone you love.

On to the specifics:

It’s all about the chocolate

This recipe is about as simple as it gets. The most important decision you face is what kind of chocolate you want to use. If you’re going really simple then you could even just melt down some semi-sweet chocolate chips. However, if you attempted that in our house you would likely get your hand smacked and a stern lecture. Which is to say, Melissa is a bit of a chocolate snob. I’m not so discerning, but she definitely has refined chocolate tastes and a standard of quality that must be met when dealing in chocolate. Now, I know this is a wild generalization, but I get the feeling the ladies are really particular about their chocolate cravings while the fellas will eat anything in large quantities. A fair statement? Let’s put it this way — as a note to anyone with a girlfriend/wife — meet your partners chocolate needs whatever they might be. 🙂

I believe for this particular batch of hot fudge Melissa used 70% Dark Chocolate 56% Dark Chocolate from Trader Joes. Don’t worry, she’ll correct me if I’m wrong (see, she did). She also highly endorses Gearharts Chocolates (not specifically for hot fudge making, but for eating). So if this post becomes wildly popular and starts driving business to their website and they notice and send her free chocolates then I will pretty much be a hero. They’ll get our business either way. I’m not foolish enough to cut Melissa off from her most cherished chocolate supply!

Here’s the simple 4 ingredient recipe:

Easy Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce

Print Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes


  • 1 14 oz . can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 Tbsp . butter
  • 4 oz . dark chocolate
  • 1 tsp . vanilla


  • Place milk, butter, and chocolate in a small pan.
  • Heat over low heat until butter and chocolate melted.
  • Remove from heat and add vanilla.
  • Store in fridge and reheat as needed.

What’s your favorite chocolate? Do you have a favorite ice cream flavor or topping? Let us know in the comments below.

Spread the love and share the hot fudge on social media. Thanks!


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  • Reply
    May 15, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    Ice cream is my favorite food, too! I may need to use your grandma’s trick of opening the ice cream from the bottom… 🙂

    • Reply
      May 16, 2015 at 7:05 am

      Matea, they’ve redesigned a lot of the ice cream containers over the years and so breaking in from the bottom may prove more of a challenge, but I say go for it! Hard to beat ice cream.

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