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Vegan Hot Fudge Sauce (Dairy-Free)

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Vegan Hot Fudge Sauce –  You’d never guess this gorgeous vegan chocolate sauce is dairy free! It’s exactly what you want on an ice cream sundae–thick, chocolatey, and perfectly sweet. 

Vegan Hot Fudge Sauce drizzled over a gluten-free brownie with dairy-free ice cream and sprinkles.

For his birthday this year, Michael requested brownie sundaes. It had been YEARS since I’d had one, and I knew that while I have an amazing brownie recipe, and know all about great dairy free ice cream options (see my notes below), I really needed a good hot fudge sauce recipe.

But…we needed one that was dairy free.

So after some delicious trial and error, we perfected the recipe. This vegan hot fudge? Totally amazing. It’s gooey, rich, chocolatey, and close-your-eyes-while-you-eat-it good. Here’s what makes it special…

Vegan Hot Fudge Sauce in a white saucepan being stirred with a whisk
Vegan Hot Fudge Sauce being poured into a jar

3 Reasons We LOVE This Vegan Hot Fudge Sauce:

The BEST Texture

First off, our dairy-free hot fudge sauce has that amazing almost “chewy” quality that’s what makes hot fudge so gloriously different than a hard magic shell topping. It’s the kind of sauce that’ll slowly drip down the sides of your ice cream, so that when you take a bite, you get delicious warm brownies, cold creamy ice cream, and thick, gooey hot fudge sauce that’ll make you want to shout amens and hallelujahs.

Better For You Ingredients

Second, I was able to make it without using corn syrup (which is how many hot fudge recipes achieve that gloriously decadent texture). I swapped it out for brown rice syrup, which is literally just made from boiling down brown rice to make a syrup. It’s more mildly sweet and has caramel-y notes I just love. We also use it to make our homemade granola bars and homemade scotcheroos. It helps make the sauce nice and thick (it won’t be completely solid, even in the fridge).

Decadent Chocolate Flavor

Vegan chocolate chips finish the job, by adding a final layer of chocolate-y goodness. It’s easier and easier to find dairy free chocolate chips these days. (I love the Guittard dark chocolate chips and Enjoy Life brands). They’re absolutely lovely here, and you can use whatever chocolate you prefer–I like semi-sweet or dark.

Related: The Perfect Gluten Free Brownies

I hope when you try this, you’re as happy with it as we are. It’s a mega favorite here, drizzled over cookie dough nice cream or ice cream, brownies, or even over fresh fruit. (It’s INCREDIBLE with strawberries, raspberries, and bananas!)

Vegan Hot Fudge Sauce being drizzled over a gluten-free brownie topped with dairy-free vanilla ice cream


MY FAVORITE DAIRY-FREE ICE CREAM. I REALLY need to do a full post about our favorite vegan ice cream brands, but one brand I consistently recommend is NadaMoo. The texture is really lovely. It’s soft and scoop-able, when many other dairy free ice creams can be hard and icy. They have LOTS of yummy flavors–I find it at Sprouts or Whole Foods.

CAN I SUBSTITUTE…? I’ve tested this a lot, and here’s what you can and can’t substitute:

  • MILK – you can use just about any dairy free milk. Full-fat coconut milk will give you a thicker result and the coconut flavor will come through taste-wise. I prefer using almond or cashew since they’re more neutral. I recommend unsweetened.
  • BROWN RICE SYRUP – the only substitute you could swap here is corn syrup. It’ll give you that almost “chewy” texture that store-bought or traditional sauces have, but I really don’t use it any more. Do know, it will be VERY sweet if you use corn syrup. You can’t use honey, maple syrup, or agave. The end result will be too sweet and too thin.
  • COCONUT SUGAR– any granulated sweetener you like will work. Brown sugar gives a really nice flavor, or you can always use white sugar or maple sugar. I haven’t tested this with stevia or erythritol, etc.
  • COCONUT OIL – My husband didn’t notice a strong coconut flavor in this, but if you’re allergic or don’t love coconut oil, you can swap in vegan butter. (Don’t be tempted to skip it all together–If you skip the oil/vegan butter, your sauce will be too thin.)

HOW TO STORE & REHEAT HOT FUDGE SAUCE. This recipe makes about 2 cups of vegan hot fudge sauce, which is PLENTY. It’ll keep in the fridge at least a week. You can reheat it all together in the jar or container you’re storing it in, or you can pull out a few tablespoons at a time. To microwave, go slowly, microwaving 20 seconds at a time, stirring regularly to avoid scorching. To heat on the stovetop, simply reheat over low heat in a saucepan.

NEED A VEGAN BROWNIE RECIPE? These gluten-free vegan brownies are LUSCIOUS and perfect for making a brownie hot fudge sundae! You can also try building a sundae on blondies or something like these Gluten-Free Vegan Oatmeal Bars–YUM!

Vegan Hot Fudge Sauce in a jar with a little fudge sauce dripping down the side.


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Vegan Hot Fudge Sauce - This dairy free chocolate sauce is perfect for ice cream sundaes and so much more! (gluten free, dairy free)

Vegan Hot Fudge Sauce

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 9 reviews

  • Author: Emily Dixon – One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


You’d never guess this gooey chocolate sauce is dairy free! Rich, chocolatey, and delicious, it’s everything hot fudge sauce should be! 


  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I like regular rather than Dutch process cocoa powder)
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • pinch salt (about 1/8 tsp)
  • 1/2 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1/31/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk–see notes!)
  • 1 cup dairy free chocolate chips (semi-sweet or dark)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine coconut oil, coconut sugar, cocoa powder, salt, brown rice syrup, and 1/3 cup almond milk.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium heat and simmer 3-5 minutes to thicken, whisking regularly.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Stir in chocolate chips and vanilla. Whisk to dissolve chocolate and continue whisking until glossy, thick, and smooth. Taste and add additional salt, as desired.
  5. Cool 10-15 minutes before serving. Note: sauce WILL THICKEN more as it cools.
  6. If your sauce seems thicker than you like, add a few more tablespoons of almond milk to thin it out.
  7. Pour into a jar or an airtight container and store in the refrigerator about 1 week. (See notes about reheating leftovers)


How to Store & Reheat – This makes about 2 cups of chocolate fudge sauce, which is PLENTY. It’ll keep in the fridge at least a week. You can reheat it all together in the jar or container you’re storing it in, or you can pull out a few tablespoons at a time. To microwave, go slowly, microwaving 20 seconds at a time, stirring regularly to avoid scorching. To heat on the stovetop, simply reheat over low heat in a saucepan.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


  1. I know you said not to use agave, but I did it before reading that tip. It was all I had on hand, anyway. My hot fudge still came out thick and not overly sweet at all! Maybe I did use a bit less sugar than called for (and I used organic regular sugar). Unlike you said the corn syrup would do, it didn’t have that “chewy” texture, but it was still very good!

  2. This fudge sauce is seriously amazing! I looked up a few different recipes, doubtful of whether I could find something that would rival classic (dairy-containing) chocolate sauce… but having recently switched to dairy free I can say with confidence that this recipe really is just as good, if not better. I made it to put on crepes, which was fantastic, but honestly now I just eat the leftovers off a spoon, drizzle over cereal, spread on toast… it is delicious any way you have it.

    I used corn syrup and regular sugar, and didn’t find it to be too sweet at all. I also have been using good quality dutch-processed cocoa (Droste brand), which gives this a really rich, deep, delicious chocolate flavor.

  3. Just made this but swapped out the oil for coconut oil and syrup with maple syrup. it was amazing!

  4. I’ve made this twice now, and it is seriously the best. It doesn’t go hard in the fridge. Hubby spreads it on graham crackers as dessert. Since it’s a cooked sweet, it’s lasted at least a month in the fridge before we finally finish it off.

    Thank you so much for Thisbe delicious recipe!

  5. Obviously, one must make a chocolate dessert item after a hard week of work! It’s hard to find food that works for all my food allergies (egg, wheat, dairy), so I was thrilled to find something that was easy and tastes good! I will probably use the leftovers on my warm corn tortilla breakfasts the rest of the week.

    Thanks for your recipe. I sent a pic of my hot fudge sauce on strawberries to my parents. They are wicked jealous… I guess I’ll have to take them some.

  6. Just made this and it is FANTASTIC! I had a go-to hot fudge recipe before I was plant-based and I just sort of gave up the idea of having hot fudge again because I didn’t think I could make anything taste close to as delicious as that old recipe. This delivers. Big time. So good (and simple). My entire family loved it!!

  7. First time making this and will be my go-to recipe! Absolutely unbelievable, perfect favour not sickly sweet. Gunna try and mix it up by adding some favour like peppermint and hazelnut

  8. This sounds amazing! Can I use maple syrup instead of brown rice syrup which is the only ingredient I don’t have in my pantry?

    1. Kana – You can use maple syrup, but it won’t have the same thick texture. I do really love the texture the brown rice syrup gives, but maple syrup will totally work in a pinch!

    1. I haven’t experimented with freezing it. If you’re worried about getting through it before it goes bad, I’d probably recommend halving the recipe instead 🙂

  9. We made this a couple of years ago and I am craving hot fudge sauce again. It was so good before that I dug through the internet until I found this particular recipe again. Perfect taste and texture! Hot fudge sundaes tomorrow. Yum.

    By the way, I am an American living in Denmark. I’ve seen neither corn syrup nor brown rice syrup while I lived here. But I tried ‘mørk sirup,’ a Danish product which is sort-of like molasses and sort-of not, and it worked perfectly for the texture last time. I believe Lyle’s Golden Syrup (out of the UK) might also work for this.

  10. This is SO good!!! I omitted the coconut sugar and used Hu dark chocolate gems, and it was perfect. Will definitely be saving this recipe and making again!

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