Learn how to make Homemade Chocolate Sauce (hot fudge sauce) for ice cream, chocolate milk, hot chocolate and so much more. Once you make chocolate sauce from scratch, you’ll never reach for a store-bought bottle again.
What would an ice cream sundae be without ooey-gooey chocolate sauce? It would just be a scoop of ice cream and we can’t have that. This simple chocolate sauce is made with just a handful of basic ingredients and is ready in just a few minutes for all of your ice cream sundae needs.
This chocolate sauce recipe is courtesy of my friend, Alison and I am so glad she introduced me to it. I’ve made it so many times. I’ve even hosted ice cream parties just so I had an excuse to make it and share with my neighbors. It’s that good and it’s that easy.
- Sugar – Use granulated sugar and be sure to bring the sauce to a boil slowly so the sugar granules have enough time to dissolve.
- Cocoa – Use unsweetened cocoa as the one linked. Hershey’s is also good.
- Cornstarch – helps thicken the mixture into a thick hot chocolate sauce.
- Water – loosens up the sugar, cocoa, and cornstarch into a sauce.
- Butter – adds flavor and helps create a silky texture.
- Vanilla – sweetens and deepens the chocolate flavor.
- Pinch of Maldon Sea Salt (optional) – A small amount of salt added to sweet food enhances the sweetness.
How to Make // The Steps
Step 1: In a saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and cocoa.
Step 2: Add the water.
Step 3: Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Let it come to a bubble. Whisk in the butter and vanilla. Add a pinch of sea salt.
Step 4: Pour into a jar and get ready for an ice cream party. (P.S. – I cannot wait to share with you the recipe for what is in the other jar. Be patient, my friends.)
Step 5:Spoon over your favorite ice cream.
Tips & Tricks //
- For a thicker chocolate sauce, truer to the consistency of hot fudge, use heavy cream, whole milk, or half and half in place of water.
- Bring the sauce to a boil slowly and whisk frequently so the sugar dissolves and your chocolate sauce doesn’t end up tasting gritty.
- For a bit of Mexican-inspired heat, add a pinch of cayenne or chili powder.
Why is this Homemade Chocolate Sauce So Good?
- Quick! You can make homemade chocolate sauce quicker than you can run to the store and buy it.
- Better tasting than store-bought!
- Chocolate sauce can be used for so many things! Ice cream, hot cocoa, fruit dip, etc.
- Delicious. Rich, thick, silky, and smooth. What’s not to love?
How to Use Homemade Chocolate Sauce //
The options are endless when it comes to ways to use homemade chocolate sauce. How not to use homemade chocolate sauce probably has a shorter answer.
- Hot fudge sauce for vanilla ice cream sundaes
- Chocolate milk
- Served with citrus mint fruit salad
- Hot chocolate
- Drizzled over chocolate rum cake
- As a glaze for brownies
- A reader mentioned making this for dessert with pears and that sounds heavenly.
How to Store and Reheat //
Storing: Let any leftovers cool to room temperature completely before storing in a glass airtight container in the fridge for 1 to 2 weeks. Stir well before using again. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave.
Make-Ahead and Freezer Options
Freezing: Let chocolate sauce cool to room temperature completely. Pour into an air-tight freezer-safe container and freeze for 6 months to a year. Thaw completely before use.
Chocolate sauce is generally richer and thicker than chocolate syrup. Chocolate sauce is also often served warm while the chocolate syrup is served at room temperature or chilled.
The terms are mostly used interchangeably but the chocolate sauce is sometimes considered thinner than hot fudge sauce, which can be more rich and indulgent. This recipe could very easily be considered either-or.
I have not tested this recipe with vegan and dairy-free ingredients, but a reader mentioned switching up some things to accommodate their dietary restrictions. They used vegan butter, potato starch, and almond milk and loved it!
More Chocolate Recipes
The Best Chocolate Sauce Ever
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 Tablespoon cocoa
- 2 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- a pinch of Maldon sea salt optional
- In a saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and cocoa.
- Add the water.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Let it come to a bubble.
- Whisk in the butter. Add vanilla, and a pinch of sea salt.
- Pour into a jar and get ready for an ice cream party.