This easy, hot fudge sauce recipe tastes just like the old fashioned sundae topping of your childhood, but it’s made with coconut milk so it’s dairy free and vegan. It’s creamy, gooey and full of chocolate flavor. Use it with your favorite toppings for an indulgent ice cream sundae treat. Makes about 2 cups.

homemade hot fudge sauce recipe
This recipe was sponsored by Hudsonville Ice Cream. As always, all opinions, ideas and recipes are my own.

A sweeter birthday celebration

Today is my birthday (and my twin sister’s birthday too!). This year, we’ve decided celebrate it with a ice cream sundae bar.

It’s perfect for celebrating our birthday as moms with little kids. We get an indulgent treat, the kids get to have a ton of fun creating their own sundaes, and I don’t even have to make my own birthday cake (like I did last year). It’s a win-win-win in my opinion.

And, thanks to Hudsonville Ice Cream’s dairy free ice cream and a few strategic topping choices, I was able to make this birthday celebration even sweeter by creating an ice cream sundae bar that that everyone can enjoy.

Find Hudsonville Ice Cream near you with their scoop locator.

dairy free hot fudge sauce recipe made with coconut milk

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own sundae bar:

Start with your favorite Hudsonville Ice Cream dairy free flavors. For our sundae bar, I went with birthday cake, cherry fudge, and chocolate. You can even grab some of their regular ice cream for those who aren’t eating dairy free.

Next, choose your toppings. I decided to keep all of mine dairy free so there wouldn’t be any confusion, but you can easily separate or label if there’s something you want to include that isn’t dairy free. As always, make sure you read the labels.

An ice cream sundae bar wouldn’t be complete without hot fudge sauce. It’s a nostalgia thing for me, and the warm, gooey texture can’t be beat.

Since there’s obviously nothing dairy free on the market, I decided to let this be the one topping I would make from scratch.

dairy free ice cream sundae toppings including hot fudge sauce

Why I love this hot fudge sauce

When I decided to make hot fudge sauce, I knew I didn’t just want a dairy free alternative. I wanted to make something that would take me back to my childhood. I imagined a warm, gooey hot fudge sauce that sticks to your cold spoon and gets thicker when it hits cold ice cream.

What is hot fudge made of? Since traditional hot fudge sauce uses heavy cream, I replaced that with creamy, canned coconut milk and I decided to skip the butter all together. To replace that buttery flavor, I opted for brown sugar instead of white. The results were nothing short of what I had imagined, and I still haven’t gotten over how great the hot fudge sauce turned out.

I’m already imagining different ways to use it, and I have quite a few ideas in mind, including topping off this grasshopper pie and my favorite turtle sundae.

dairy free hot fudge sauce recipe

Here’s what we chose:

  • Rainbow sprinkles
  • Chopped peanuts
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Chocolate chips
  • Shredded coconut
  • Gummy bears
  • Angel food cake
  • Chocolate chip cookie pieces
  • Crushed pineapple
  • Hot fudge sauce
  • Salted caramel sauce
  • Vegan whipped topping

You’ll also need bowls to serve your toppings and something to serve your ice cream in. I decided to go with mugs. We always ate our ice cream from mugs when we were kids so I thought it would be fun to do as adults. They also have built in handles so they’re super kid friendly.

hot fudge sauce recipe

How to make hot fudge sauce

Mix the ingredients in a large pot and put it on the stove over medium heat. Stir the ingredients as the chocolate melts, until the sauce is smooth. You may need to use a whisk to get the sauce super smooth.

Let the sauce cool. Remove the pot of sauce from the stove and let it cool for a few minutes before transferring it to a container. I store ours in a mason jar, but you could put it right into your serving dish if you want. Just make sure the container is microwave safe so you can warm it up before serving.

Can you reheat hot fudge sauce? Yes. In fact, if you’re making this recipe ahead of time, you’ll want to reheat the hot fudge sauce before serving it. You want to serve it warm, but not hot. I recommend popping it into the microwave for about 30 – 45 seconds. You could also keep it warm in a small slow cooker or electric sauce warmer.

dairy free hot fudge sauce recipe

FAQs about hot fudge sauce

What’s the difference between hot fudge and chocolate sauce? The main difference between the two sauces is the texture. Hot fudge sauce tends to be thicker due to the fat content of ingredients like cream or butter (or in this case coconut milk),  while chocolate sauce is thinner because it’s more of a water/sugar based syrup.

How long does hot fudge last in the refrigerator? This recipe should last in the fridge for about 2 weeks, but use your best judgment. If it smells or looks funny, it’s time to toss it.

Can hot fudge sauce be frozen? Yes, you can definitely freeze hot fudge sauce, but since this recipe is made with coconut milk, you may see some separation when you thaw it. If that’s the case, just whisk it back together when reheating.

closeup on hot fudge sauce recipe

More birthday friendly treats:

Even more chocolate recipes:

dairy free hot fudge sauce recipe
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Hot Fudge Sauce Recipe

Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce | This easy, vegan recipe tastes JUST like the old fashioned hot fudge sauce of your childhood, but it’s made with coconut milk so it’s dairy free. It’s creamy, gooey and full of chocolate flavor. Use it for ice cream with your favorite sundae toppings for a simple, indulgent treat.

  • Author: Melissa Belanger
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: about 2 cups 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2/3 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Combine ingredients in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Heat the ingredients, stirring frequently, until chocolate chips have melted and sauce is smooth.
  3. Remove from heat and transfer to a container. Serve warm or refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. To reheat: microwave for 30 – 45 second intervals, until warm (but not hot).

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
  • Calories: 119
  • Sugar: 17 g
  • Sodium: 8 mg
  • Fat: 5.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 18.9 g
  • Fiber: 1.3 g
  • Protein: 1.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: dairy free, vegan, gluten free, ice cream

Last Updated on December 29, 2020 by Melissa Belanger

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5 Comments

  1. This a delicious recipe! My dairy-free mother loved it. I’m sending it to my vegan son to have fun with too. Super essay. Thank you!

  2. This was a perfect use for the leftover coconut milk from dinner. I added a pinch of salt to cut the sweetness and it was excellent.

    1. You could try making a thick sample syrup (one part water, 4 parts syrup) or use something like agave, molasses, or brown rice syrup.

  3. Great Mother’s Day treat for my mom who loves chocolate but is dairy free. Super easy and tasty. Thanks!