I want to share one of my all-time favorite recipes with you. This hot fudge sauce has been a constant in our family ever since we were a family. The only difference is that now I make a double batch because one pint of hot fudge sauce just doesn’t cut it around here.

A Hot Fudge Sauce Origin Story

In my previous life I worked at the library in my little hometown in Oklahoma. We grew up going to the library every week and it was a dream to work there as a young adult. Four of us had a lunch group we called JAKK after our initials and we had some good old times. One day Judy, the J in JAKK , gave me a cookbook that had been donated for the book sale, which was technically a tiny library misdemeanor but that’s how we rolled.

This book happened to be a huge volume of dessert recipes published by Gourmet magazine. I poured over it and dreamed of making fancy tortes and meringues. I still have that book but only make two recipes from it, an incredible lemon meringue pie and this hot fudge sauce.

Of course I think of Judy every time I make this recipe. I also think of her when my first zinnia blooms in the garden because she introduced me to zinnias from her amazing garden. I miss you Judy!

Hot Fudge Sauce Recipe

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix butter, cocoa powder, sugar, water, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook at a low but steady boil for 8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.

Cool slightly before pouring over ice cream or pouring into a jar to store in the fridge. I’m more likely to sneak a luscious spoonful now and then than have it over ice cream. This is something I highly recommend, it makes your day better.

Makes one pint that should be stored in the fridge.

Hot Fudge Sauce ingredients almost boiling.
Hot Fudge Sauce ingredients boiling in saucepan.

Tips and Tricks

  • Double the recipe if your family is like mine or you are serving this at a party.
  • Try different cocoa powders to make a darker or lighter sauce
  • Use dairy free butter for a vegan or allergy friendly version
  • If the sauce is too thick or grainy when it cools, heat in a microwave or saucepan to make it pourable again.
  • This makes a great gift in a nice jar with a ribbon tied around it. Be sure to add a tag explaining what it is and that it should be stored in the refrigerator.