Hot fudge sauce with sweetened condensed milk is a rich, smooth topping for ice cream, cake, and dessert. The chocolate sauce is ready in a matter of minutes and made with 3 simple ingredients that you already have in your pantry.
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3-ingredient hot fudge sauce with sweetened condensed milk
This homemade fudge sauce with sweetened condensed milk is crazy delicious and goes on just about everything.
You’ll love to pour this decadently rich fudge sauce over cold ice cream, cheesecake, and every treat that deserves some chocolatey goodness.
And with 3 ingredients and 5 minutes cook time, it doesn’t get much simpler than this recipe. Once you give it a try, you’ll never go back to store-bought. It’s that good!
For more sweet sauce recipes, try our vanilla bread pudding sauce and lemon dessert sauce.
You probably have all of these ingredients for hot fudge sauce already in your kitchen. For full ingredient quantities, scroll down to the recipe card at the end of the post.
- Condensed milk provides sweetness and creates a wonderfully thick and luscious texture. You need one 14-oz can of full-fat sweetened condensed milk.
- Semi-sweet chocolate: I prefer to chop up a chocolate bar because it melts more evenly than chocolate chips. Chocolate chips are fine too if that is what you have on hand. For more options, check out the FAQ section below.
- Butter: I like salted butter because it balances the sweet and enhances the chocolate flavor. Of course, unsalted butter works great as well.
How to make hot fudge sauce with condensed milk
Hot fudge sauce with condensed milk is so easy and delicious that you may find yourself whipping up a new batch every week. You can prepare the sauce either in the microwave or on the stove. Let’s go over both methods:
- Add. Place the sweetened condensed milk, chopped chocolate, and butter into a microwave-safe bowl.
- Melt. Microwave on medium-high for 30 seconds. Remove from the microwave and stir. Continue to microwave, stirring every 30 seconds, until the chocolate has completely melted and everything is well combined and smooth.
- Add. Pour the sweetened condensed milk into a medium, heavy-bottom saucepan. Add the chopped chocolate and butter.
- Melt. Warm over medium-low heat, constantly stirring, until the butter and chocolate are completely melted and the sauce is fully combined. Be careful to never go over medium-low to medium heat – otherwise, the hot fudge sauce might become grainy.
Serve + store
- Cool. Let the hot fudge sauce cool slightly. Then serve over ice cream or your favorite treats like cheesecake, cake, or fresh fruit.
- Store. Let the sauce cool completely before transferring it into an airtight container or bottle. Keep in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks. Reheat to make the sauce pourable before serving.
Here are a few tips to ensure your condensed milk hot fudge sauce comes up perfect.
- Good quality chocolate: Using good quality chocolate makes all the difference, and you can really taste it. So, grab the best quality you can get your hands on.
- Keep stirring: Be sure to stir constantly if you cook the sauce on the stovetop to ensure a creamy smooth consistency.
- Don’t overcook: Use medium heat and heat until the chocolate has just melted. If you overheat or cook for too long, the chocolate will split, resulting in a grainy sauce.
- Thickening: Don’t worry if the sauce initially seems a little thin. Just like store-bought jars, the homemade fudge sauce will thicken as it cools.
Classic hot fudge sauce with sweetened condensed milk is so good, but you can switch up the flavor and customize the dessert sauce to your taste. Take a look!
- Vanilla adds depth and complexity to hot fudge sauce. If desired, stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste after taking the sauce off the heat.
- Almond extract: Chocolate and almond go so well together. For a lovely almond aroma, add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon almond extract to the recipe.
- Peppermint extract: Add 1 teaspoon peppermint extract and the sauce would be a delicious topping for the holiday season.
- Spices: Throw in 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or chia spice mix for a warm, cozy flavor.
- Cayenne pepper: Turn this into Mexican hot fudge sauce with a dash of cayenne pepper or chili powder.
There are almost endless options to enjoy this hot fudge sauce with sweetened condensed milk. It’s perfect for anything that needs some chocolatey goodness. Here are a few of our favorite ways to use it:
- Ice cream topping: Easy chocolate fudge sauce is integral to hot fudge sundaes and banana splits! Simply pour over your favorite ice cream and garnish with chopped nuts, candied pecans, and a cherry on top.
- Dessert sauce: Drizzle the sauce over cake, cheesecake, pies, and other desserts. We love it with fluffy vanilla cake, brownies, and sawdust pie.
- Breakfast: This quick fudge sauce turns your favorite breakfast dishes into a decadent treat. It’s delicious with pancakes, French toast, bread pudding, and waffles.
- Dip: Hot fudge sauce with chocolate chips is a delicious dipping sauce for fresh fruit and cookies. Try it alongside this creamy fruit dip and this strawberry cream cheese dip from Love Bakes Good Cakes.
- Milkshake: The sweet sauce is also perfect for creating milkshakes. For a quick chocolate fudge milkshake, blend 2 cups vanilla ice cream, 1 cup milk, and 1/4 cup hot fudge sauce.
- Hot chocolate: To make hot chocolate, add 1 cup milk and 1/4 cup hot fudge sauce into a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until combined and warmed through.
What is the best chocolate for hot fudge sauce?
The great thing about hot fudge sauce with sweetened condensed milk is that you can adjust the chocolate aroma according to your preferences.
- Semi-sweet chocolate is my go-to for this hot fudge sauce recipe. It gives a nice, full-bodied chocolate flavor and just the right amount of sweetness.
- Dark or bittersweet chocolate is a good choice if you prefer a really rich and intense chocolate flavor. The sauce will turn out less sweet.
- Milk chocolate results in a light chocolate flavor and relatively sweet sauce.
- White chocolate: I don’t recommend white chocolate as the sauce will end up too sweet.
Can I make this recipe with cocoa powder?
Yes, you can prepare this condensed milk chocolate sauce with cocoa powder. Just keep in mind that the taste and texture will be a bit different. Here’s what to do:
- Add 1 can condensed milk with 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder and 3 tablespoons butter to a saucepan.
- Heat on the stove over medium heat, whisking continuously, until the cocoa powder has fully dissolved.
What is the difference between chocolate sauce and hot fudge sauce?
Chocolate sauce and hot fudge sauce are similar but differ in taste and texture. Because it’s made from heavier ingredients, hot fudge sauce is thicker and richer.
Chocolate sauce or chocolate syrup is made from lighter ingredients, usually water, sugar or corn syrup, and cocoa powder.
How to store hot fudge sauce with sweetened condensed milk
First, let the easy hot fudge sauce cool to room temperature. Then transfer it into an airtight container, jar, or bottle and store tightly sealed in the refrigerator. It will last for up to 3 weeks.
Reheat condensed milk hot fudge sauce
Homemade fudge sauce will firm up in the fridge. To make it pourable again, reheat your hot fudge sauce in a small saucepan or Turkish coffee pot on the stovetop or in the microwave.
If using the microwave, heat in 20-second intervals to avoid scorching the sauce, and stir between each heating.
Can you freeze hot fudge sauce with sweetened condensed milk?
Yes! After the hot fudge sauce has cooled completely, transfer it into a freezer-safe jar or container and seal airtight. You can freeze the sauce for up to 3 months.
To defrost, let the sauce thaw in the fridge overnight. Reheat the sauce in the microwave or on the stove. You can thin it out with a few tablespoons milk or water if the sauce seems too thick.