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Caramel Hot Fudge Sauce: Here’s How You Top Ice Cream

Have you ever made a homemade hot fudge sauce? This caramelized hot fudge tastes amazing and is simple to create. Some links in this post are affiliate links that earn me a small commission if you click through and purchase.

Hot fudge sauce packaged and ready to give

This past weekend was another Chicago Food Swap, and of course I participated. I love coming home with all sorts of goodies, my favorites being the jams and pickles. I’m a pickle fiend, and Mister Man has Greek yogurt with preserves every morning for breakfast, so it’s perfect for us.

I wanted to make something more wintery for this swap, since it is December and all. I chose two of my favorites, roasted garlic butternut squash soup and homemade hot fudge sauce. Simply cook, cool, and place into a pretty glass jar. I cut some fabric to put over the first lid and under the screw top to make it look prettier.

And you know what? The homemade hot fudge was so pretty and tasted so good that I think I’m going to make these as teacher gifts for the secretaries in the office, the gym teachers, the art teacher, the therapists, etc.

Because it isn’t that hard, and oh is it good. Plus, I can make a cute card and play on words about how sweet it is to have them in our lives.  It’s a win all around, right?

Bowl of hot fudge with ice cream

How to Make Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce

Heat a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add the butter, sugar, cocoa, evaporated milk, and salt. Stir with a whisk until combined. I found that using a whisk and stirring regularly helped give it a great texture.

Ingredients for hot fudge sauce in pot

Bring the mixture to a boil – slowly – while whisking every minute or so. You want it to come to just a slow boil, not a rolling boil.

Slow boil for hot fudge sauce

Once it boils, turn the heat down to medium low to control the boil (you may have to adjust for your individual stove). Boil while whisking for seven minutes for a more traditional taste. To make it more caramelized, boil for up to twelve minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the vanilla.

Hot Fudge sauce dripping off whisk

Note that the hot fudge sauce is still very thin at this point. That’s ok. It’s supposed to be. It thickens as it cools. Trust me.

Either use an immersion blender in the pot or carefully pour the hot sauce into a blender and blend for three or so minutes. This gives it a nice silky texture and keeps it from being at all grainy.

If you are using a blender, please be careful. Do not fill a blender more than one-third full of hot liquids. Use a potholder to hold the lid on to prevent the pressure that builds up from forcing the lid off and spewing hot liquid all over your kitchen. You may want to periodically vent the blender (after turning it off) to reduce pressure. Or just buy an immersion blender.

Pour caramelized hot fudge into sterilized mason jars and seal. Let cool to room temperature on your counter, then place jars in the fridge. You never want to put hot items straight into your fridge!

These keep well in the fridge for at least two weeks and longer if you don’t open a jar.

To reheat when you’re ready to use some, place an open jar in a pan with water halfway up the jar and gently simmer. Alternatively, spoon out the amount you need into a microwave safe bowl and zap for 30 seconds. Stir, then heat in 15 second intervals, as needed.

Simple and delicious homemade hot fudge sauce with just a few ingredients. It has a caramelized flavor to make it even richer

Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce

Yield: 4 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

This simple dessert topping is easy to make and oh wow does it hit the spot. You'll never want to buy it from the store again!


  • 1/2 c butter
  • 2 c sugar
  • 1/2 c cocoa powder (unsweetened, not hot cocoa powder!)
  • 1 12 oz can evaporated milk (not sweetened condensed milk)
  • 3/4 t salt
  • 1 t vanilla


  1. Heat large heavy pot over medium heat. Add butter, sugar, cocoa, evaporated milk, and salt. Stir with a whisk until combined.
  2. Bring the mixture to a slow boil while whisking every minute or so.
  3. Once it boils, turn down heat to medium low. Boil while whisking for 7 minutes. For a more caramelized taste, boil for up to 12 minutes.
  4. Remove pot from heat and whisk in the vanilla.
  5. Blend sauce for 3 minutes for a silky texture.
  6. Pour caramelized hot fudge sauce into sterilized mason jars and close lids. Let cool to room temperature, then place in fridge.
  7. These store up to two weeks.


The best way to reheat it is to place the container into a bowl of hot liquid and let it gently reheat this way - like warming a baby bottle. If you need to, spoon some sauce into a small bowl and heat it in the microwave, but it only takes a few seconds, and you don't want to burn it.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 32 Serving Size: 2 Tablespoons
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 87Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 14mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 0gSugar: 14gProtein: 1g

Did you make this recipe?

Please rate the recipe above and save it on Pinterest so you can find it to make again and again. Leave me a comment to let me know what you think about it, too!

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  3. Toni says:

    Thank you for sharing…that hot fudge looks amazing and love how simple the ingredients are. 🙂

  4. Sandra says:

    You are so awesome to gift all the teachers. I never knew hot fudge is this easy to make. But I’d be scared to have this around the house… 🙂

    • Michelle says:

      Knowing all they do for my kids and others and how little thanks they get, it’s the least I can do! And yes, it truly is this easy to make. It’s fine to have hot fudge around the house so long as you don’t have any ice cream though, right? Or maybe not.

  5. anymommy says:

    It looks beautiful. Well done!! Congratulations. I shall figure out how to resubscribe.

    • Michelle says:

      Awww, thanks, Stacey! Resubscribing – just click on the button at the top. All you have to do is choose either email or RSS and you’re good to go. Yay, right?

  6. Tara R. says:

    I like giving homemade gifts at Christmas too. This sauce would be very popular.

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