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This is the hot fudge you remember having as a kid at the ice cream store. Goes best with ice creams that don't have a custard base or else it can be too rich. I once made this with Valrhona cocoa powder, which has both an amazing color and exotic flavor, but the complex cocoa flavors didn't seem to fit this classic topping. Stick with simple brown cocoas and avoid those with reddish hues. Hersheys cocoa, which I would normally avoid, is probably the best cocoa for this recipe and the results are the most authentic. This is a quick and easy recipe that anyone can make.


3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
2/3 cup evaporated milk (check the exp. date!)
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup butter
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine sugar, cocoa evaporated milk and corn syrup together in saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture begins to boil. Boil for 5 minutes to thicken. Make sure you time it from a good rolling boil and not the first few bubbles that will persist for several minutes beforehand. If you want really thick hot fudge sauce, you can boil for a few more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.

This recipe makes a batch that will fit perfectly in a regular mason jar. Simply reheat in microwave and then pour over ice cream.

Click any image below to enlarge
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  1. Comment from Mary 
    3:35 PM   29-Jul-2007
    I think this is what I'm looking for. Even the Hershey Kitchens website didn't have this recipe! I'm fixin to try it! Thank you.
    1. Response from Brian
      5:35 PM   29-Jul-2007
      Hi Mary, it's hard to believe such an easy recipe could be so genuine in flavor. Everyone I make this for loves it.
  1. Comment from Jane 
    10:53 AM   13-Nov-2007
    Is this the kind of hot fudge that hardens when it hits cold ice cream?
    1. Response from Brian
      11:05 AM   13-Nov-2007
      Hi Jane, this sauce thickens when it cools, but it is not like "magic shell". This is just a traditional hot fudge sauce. I just made some the other night and it is delicious!
  1. Comment from Pablo 
    10:14 PM   05-Jan-2008
    Well, if I do say so myself Mary, I am so glad to hear this is what you think you are looking for. May this recipe bring love, laughter, and sweetness into everyones new year! We loved it!
  1. Comment from Ilana Bar-hai 
    11:01 PM   26-Feb-2008
    Hello. Thanks for the beautiful recipe and pictures! Do you have any idea about the shelf life of this ? I want to make some that has a few months shelf life! Thanks somuch! Ilana
    1. Response from Brian
      8:09 PM   09-Jul-2008
      Hi Ilana, this keeps for about 2-3 weeks in the fridge, possibly longer. Sorry I can't be more helpful--I've never had it last that long and get requests for another batch in no time!
  1. Comment from Ryan 
    8:19 PM   22-Aug-2008
    This hot fudge sauce is the best I've ever tasted. Thank you so much for the great recipe!
  1. Comment from Fanua 
    6:59 PM   05-Jan-2009
    Tried this out for my culinary class and it is fantastic! Much cheaper than buying a little 10 oz glass of prepared hot fudge, and sooo much more flavor! Thanks for this recipe.

    Now I can't wait for Christmas 09 to come around so I can make this as a gift to give to friends!
    1. Response from Brian
      9:29 PM   06-Jan-2009
      Hi Fauna, this sauce is so easy to make and tastes so great, I don't know why more people don't make their own sauce. So glad it worked out in your class.
  1. Comment from katherine 
    5:47 PM   17-May-2009
    not too good. Maybe should add a pinch of salt. I have a couple of recipes that outshine this one. Sorry, it's not a keeper.
    1. Response from Brian
      6:13 PM   17-May-2009
      Sorry it didn't work out for you. Salt was not called for in the original recipe and I don't think it is necessary. Perhaps you used unsalted butter? Not sure what you were looking for. This recipe is a major crowd pleaser for those longing for a classic hot fudge sauce and I've had nothing but rave reviews. Using a plain cocoa powder is critical. It's no good with fancy pants cocoas.
  1. Comment from Mike 
    5:11 PM   14-Jun-2009
    This sauce is EXCELLENT. I added about a 1/2 tsp of instant coffee and it's great!!!
    1. Response from Brian
      7:17 AM   01-Jul-2009
      Hi Mike, I bet the coffee brings out the chocolate flavor a little more.
  1. Comment from Emma 
    7:28 PM   04-Dec-2010
    YUM!!! Not too runny, even when it's hot, and it gets nice and thick when cold. This is exactly what I've been looking for. (and made a pregnant mommy very happy!!!)
  1. Comment from Carolyn 
    10:10 AM   22-Apr-2011
    Thanks so much for this recipe from an old friend that was lost in a home fire. I remembered it used canned milk and cocoa, but that was all. The best I've ever had !
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