Cocoa Hot Fudge Sauce

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Cocoa Hot Fudge Sauce-just simple ingredients make this family favorite topping.

Cocoa Hot Fudge Sauce-just simple ingredients make this family favorite topping.

I don’t always have chocolate in the house. Did I really just say that? It’s like butter, sugar, and flour, I try to stay stocked up. I buy Butter 10 pounds at a time. Just today I ran out of powdered sugar. I buy that two 7 pound bags at a time. So it does happen. No good sales happening or I just go on a baking spree and before I know it, the last bag is gone.

Cocoa Hot Fudge Sauce-just simple ingredients make this family favorite topping.

Sure I might have other flavors of chips like peanut butter or butterscotch. Those just won’t do when you want hot fudge though. That’s not to say you can’t make a yummy topping with those chips, it just won’t be chocolate.

Cocoa Hot Fudge Sauce-just simple ingredients make this family favorite topping.

In case of an emergency, I wanted to have a good recipe to make Hot Fudge Sauce using cocoa. No baking chocolate, no chocolate chips, no fancy ingredients someone might not have on hand. Well, maybe you wouldn’t have heavy cream on hand but whole milk works just fine for this recipe. I’ve made this with all three, the cream, half and half and the milk. I honestly couldn’t tell the difference. So use what you have.

Cocoa Hot Fudge Sauce-just simple ingredients make this family favorite topping.

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Cocoa Hot Fudge Sauce

Yield: 3 cups sauce

Cocoa Hot Fudge Sauce


  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup heavy cream, half and half or whole milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. In a 2 quart saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa and milk, stirring with a whisk until completely combined and smooth.
  2. Turn heat on stove to medium and stirring occasionally, bring to a boil.
  3. Stir in butter and continue to boil until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and salt. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving over ice cream. Store in container in the refrigerator. To reheat, microwave for 30 seconds at a time until warm.


keeps for 2 weeks refrigerated

recipe source

Perfect for ice cream, over cake, with fruit or stir it into your morning coffee!

Cocoa Hot Fudge Sauce-just simple ingredients make this family favorite topping.

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About Joan Hayes

Mom to 3 teens, sweets and travel are her passions. Joan really does love her chocolate. She has a secret stash she hides from the kids and she has at least one bite of something chocolatey every day. She creates easy recipes any skill level can achieve to satisfy the sweet tooth in everyone!


  1. ooooh love this! making hot fudge sauce with cocoa powder is such a good idea!

  2. I’m like you. I don’t always have chocolate chips…but there is some sort of chip-variety in my house at all times.
    I LOVE that this recipe doesn’t actually need chocolate. Perfect! Pinning!

  3. Debbie Caraballo says:

    LOVE this recipe! I’ve already pinned it – growing up, my mom, grandmother, and aunt all tended to use cocoa in practically everything chocolate at our house. Chocolate pie, hot cocoa, frosting, cake, whatever! So I actually prefer cocoa over baking chocolate, and chocolate chips, if it has to be melted. I do keep them on hand most of the time though.
    Thanks for a great recipe.

  4. Joan,
    I buy butter when it’s on sale and my hubby always complains that it’s taking up all of the fridge but you can freeze it and it stays fresh longer. I’d love to make this recipe. It’s a lot better than Hershey’s syrup in the can. Pinned.

  5. Joan, I am new to your site, and I am already loving it! Who needs ice cream? I would eat this right out of the jar. It looks amazing!

  6. Cathy Perez says:

    Hot Fudge Sauce, looks easy to make, Pinned!

  7. This fudge sauce looks like the perfect amount of chocolate! Saving for later!

  8. This looks incredible! Must make it soon!

  9. My daughter would want me to make her about a gallon of this 🙂

  10. I just made this and am happy I did. The hot fudge sauce turned out great. I love that it doesn’t use chips or a special type of milk. I used a blend of Hershey’s Dark and Ghirardelli’s unsweetened cocoa powders and coconut milk.

  11. I just made this and it was delicious! Thank you for the recipe! I only had one problem. When I add it to the ice cream, within seconds, it starts to get kinda hard. As in, it doesn’t keep its fudgy consistency and it’s difficult to eat. Any advice as to what I may have done wrong?

    • Ms Lisette A Perron says:

      I FIND THAT IF I COOK IT to the point that it looks “jar” thick, THAN EACH ADDITIONAL TIME THAT I WARM IT TENDS TO MAKE IT HARDER AND HARDER. Try boiling it for a much shorter period and even though it doesn’t look as if it is thickened enough, it will continue to thicken as it’s cooling. Hopefully you will find that you will have thick enough sauce to start and will be able to continue warming it a few more times before it gets so thick that it becomes hard candy and can’t eat it. Good luck and I hope my suggestion helps you as it has done for me.

  12. Charlotte says:

    coild you use unsalted butter in this recipe

  13. Thanks for the great recipe! Trying it out now. Agree it’s absolutely the way to go on those sad days in the kitchen when we don’t have chocolate on hand. 🙂

  14. This sauce is fantastic! I detest having to melt chocolate, plus I have 10 lbs of Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate & Cocoa to use up, so this recipe is a win-win. Since my cocoa is already sweetened, it was easy enough to adjust the cocoa/sugar amounts.

  15. Jim Turner says:

    This is a very good recipe! I’ve made it a few times already and the whole family likes it. It’s very simple and quick, and I like that it uses cocoa powder and other common ingredients. We use it for ice cream treats.

    I always half the recipe, and use half-and-half for the milk. It’s come out a bit thick a few times, but is easily thinned with a bit more milk.

    To store, I use a plastic bottle with a small hole, like a generic ketchup bottle. I don’t care to reheat it in the microwave directly. Instead, I microwave water in a glass measuring cup and then place the bottle of chocolate in the hot water. Works great!

    Thanks again!

    • Thanks Jim, I’m glad to hear that! And thank you for sharing what you do when you make it (love that trick for heating it up in the hot water)! 🙂

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