Fudge Icing Recipe

For as long as I remember, this Fudge Icing has been a special part of my Grandmother Verdie’s recipe collection.


Fudge Icing Recipe | ©addapinch.com

She’d make it each year to top my sister’s Chocolate Pound Cake Grandmother would make her for her birthday.

While the Chocolate Pound Cake was just delicious on its own, it didn’t hold a candle to when it was topped with her fudge icing.


Maybe that’s why I have this obsession with chocolate.

Fudge Icing Recipe | ©addapinch.com


I will tell you though, this fudge icing is thick and rich – and heavenly! I make it while the chocolate pound cake is cooling and then begin pouring  the fudge icing over the top once it is ready. By the end, I do end up having to just spoon bits of the fudge icing onto the cake it gets so thick.

But oh my word! Just look at that piece of perfection up there!



Chocolate Pound Cake Recipe | ©addapinch.com

Be sure to make this cake WITH the fudge icing soon. It is perfect for celebrations, reunions, picnics, taking on camping trips and just about anything else you can imagine.

Oh yeah – and it works like a charm for those instances when one child is jealous of another’s birthday party.

Believe me, I speak from experience.


Yield: 12

Fudge Icing Recipe

Total Time 10 minutes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Fudge Icing goes perfectly on so many desserts. Get this heirloom fudge icing recipe that is sure to become a family favorite
4.53 from 23 votes
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  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 heaping tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup 1 stick salted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla


  1. Mix sugar, cocoa powder, and milk together in a large saucepan.
  2. Cook over medium-high heat until large bubbles form and reaches a hard boil. Boil one minute at a hard boil. Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla.
  3. Beat with a wooden spoon until thick and smooth.
  4. Pour over cake. It will harden as it cools.


This icing hardens quickly. I prefer to use it as a poured icing as photographed or poured onto a sheet cake. I would not recommend using it as a spreadable frosting on a layered cake.

All images and text © Robyn Stone for Add a Pinch


This Fudge Icing also works perfectly on so many other desserts! Here are just a few ideas:

Fudge Brownies Recipe

Chocolate Marble Squares Recipe

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Practically just about anything you would use a ganache on, you can now use this fudge icing recipe. You won’t be sorry!

Robyn xoxo

95 comments on “Fudge Icing Recipe”

  1. Hi Robyn

    I have made this fudge recipe more than once and it has been excellent. We are undergoing a heatwave at the moment and I have made two batches of the recipe and it just won’t set. HELP

    • I’m so glad you enjoy it! I’m so sorry, but it may certainly be the humidity and the heat, Alfie. Hopefully you’ll have a cool part of the day soon to make it a little easier to pour it and let it cool & set/harden. Thanks!

  2. Im stirring and stirring, and all i have is chocolate soup.

    • Hi LM,
      This icing is one that is poured onto your cake. It should get thick and smooth (like mentioned in the recipe) and it should harden after it’s poured onto the cake. This icing is a different consistency than many other frostings. Hope this helps – Thanks!

  3. It’s just the most amazing icing EVER!

  4. What exactly is a “hard boil”?  When I look it up on Google just gives me hard boiled eggs lol.  I candy thermometer has “hard crack” around the 300 degree mark. Is that the same thing?

  5. We love this icing. It’s the closest thing to fudge in an icing that I’ve ever tasted. There is a little problem with who gets to scrape the pot when finished. I have yet to run out of icing when using it on a layer cake. Thanks. Great recipe.

    • Haha, I remember my sister and I scraping the pot after my grandmother made this icing when we were growing up! That is some kind of delicious! Thanks so much for leaving this kind comment – I’m thrilled that you enjoyed this, C.J.!

  6. I’ve made this icing many times. All my family and friends love it. I’ve never had a problem with consistency. I pour the frosting over the cake when it’s warm. I’ve used it on moist, cake sheets, bundt cakes and cupcakes. 

  7. Made this icing for your best chocolate cake. It is delish and tastes just like fudge. It came out perfect, I was a little doubtful when I took it off after 1 minute of heavy boiling, but the more you stir it the thicker it becomes. It did take several minutes for mine to get thick, so just keep stirring if yours isn’t getting thick enough. For those of you with a candy thermometer boil until soft ball.

  8. I have made this icing numerous times because flavor is great. However this is not a simple icing. Sometimes it works; sometimes it don’t ;). I have made it across many states. To get mine to a consistency that I find correct, I have to boil mine for much longer to harden the icing ( about 8 minutes). This makes it the consistency of fudge covering the cake. If I boil it for only one minute as described in the directions, the consistency is hot fudge sauce. If I boil it for 12 minutes, it makes an amazing “cracked fudge” that I use in a layer cake. I have tried this icing with dutch process cocoa and the icing never ever works out.

    • Hi Krysta,
      I’m happy to hear that you enjoy the taste – it’s one of our favorites from my Grandmother. This should actually be one of the very simplest icings. This is supposed to be a poured icing as I describe in my blog post. I recommend pouring it on the cake as in the pictures I show of the Chocolate Pound Cake. The icing will harden after it sits.
      I hope this helps! Thanks! xo

  9. Does this need to be refrigerated?

  10. This stuff is great!!! Pour it over ice cream. Yummy! But, be ready to serve, it melts the ice cream fast. Hot fudge sauce and its so much better than that jar kind. Boil it 6 minutes and you have fudge candy. But, you have to work quickly or it wont pour out of the pan. Love it!!!

    • I’m so glad you like it Rachelle! I must say I’ve not tried this icing over ice cream – sounds decadent!!!
      You are correct, this poured icing firms up fast, so it is one that you have to move quickly to pour over your cakes or brownies, etc.
      I always loved “sampling” the pan for that bit of extra icing after pouring over the cake. It’s so delicious!
      Thanks so much! xo

  11. I have been searching for this recipe for AGES!!! My cousin made this when I was a child and she taught me how to make it, over the phone, but that was 40 years ago!! 😀 She’s passed on and I’ve struggled to find it. I know WHY I found it this time. This is a very special finish to a very special birthday cake I bake. Thank you SO VERY MUCH for sharing!!! 🙂 May you be doubly blessed!!!

    • Aww, bless you too Kejtlin! This one of those delicious favorite recipes my Grandmother made. It was always the requested icing on my sister’s birthday cakes too. I hope you enjoy this for many years to come! Thanks so much for saying hello! xo

  12. Has anyone tried this on brownies? I love gooey brownies with a good fudge icing.

  13. I plan to make this today and I’m a little worried about the consistency. I’ve made it before using my grandmother’s recipe, however she only estimated the amounts of the ingredients. She made it so many times that she didn’t need to measure. Anyway, it’s raining and humid in Villa Rica, Ga.. today! Will I need to boil longer than 1 minute? I have failed several times when making this in the past that I’m hesitant to try again. Sometimes it’s too hard and sometimes it’s sticky and doesn’t set. I know that once you start pouring it on the cake, there’s no turning back.

    • Hi Cindy!
      It always turns out fine when I make it according to this recipe.
      My grandmother made this a lot too! So delicious!
      I hope you enjoy making – and eating – this icing. Thanks so much!

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