Fudge Icing Recipe


4.89 from 35 votes
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Fudge Icing goes perfectly on so many desserts. Get this heirloom fudge icing recipe that is sure to become a family favorite

Fudge Icing Recipe | ©addapinch.com

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

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.

How to Make Fudge Icing

  • Stir together sugar, cocoa powder, and milk together in a large saucepan set over medium-high heat. Cook until large bubbles begin to form and the mixture reaches a hard boil.
  • Boil for 1 minute at a hard boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla extract. Beat with a wooden spoon until thick and smooth.
  • Pour over the cake. The fudge icing will firm as it cools.

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

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

Here’s Grandmother’s Fudge Icing Recipe. I hope you love it as much as we do!

Fudge Icing Recipe

4.89 from 35 votes
Fudge Icing goes perfectly on so many desserts. Get this heirloom fudge icing recipe that is sure to become a family favorite.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 12


  • 2 cups (396 g) granulated sugar
  • 3 heaping tablespoons (16 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup (151 g) whole milk
  • 1/2 cup (113 g) butter, (1 stick) salted, cubed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (7 g) vanilla extract


  • Mix sugar, cocoa powder, and milk together in a large saucepan.
  • 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.
  • Beat with a wooden spoon until thick and smooth.
  • 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.


Calories: 207kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 74mg | Potassium: 25mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 258IU | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Robyn xo

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About Robyn

Robyn Stone is a cookbook author, wife, mom, and passionate home cook. Her tested and trusted recipes give readers the confidence to cook recipes the whole family will love. Robyn has been featured on Food Network, People, Southern Living, and more.

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Recipe Review


  1. Sara says:

    Would this make a good garnish for decorating the rim of a cake? Or does it harden to a point where it cannot be piped once cooled?

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Sara, this is a hard icing. You wouldn’t be able to pipe this icing.

  2. Whitney says:

    5 stars
    Exactly what I was looking for! I used an electric hand mixer instead of a wooden spoon 🫢, turned out perfect.

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      I’m so glad this fudge icing recipe was the one you needed, Whitney, and worked so well with the hand mixer.

    2. Lexi says:

      5 stars
      This is it! I have been trying to recreate a recipe from memory that came from an old cook book my aunt had and I could never quite get it right. This recipe is exactly what I was looking for it tastes just like I remember.

    3. Robyn Stone says:

      Lexi, I’m glad this recipe tastes like the fudge icing you remember. This is the recipe my grandmother always made.

  3. Cathy Inman says:

    I made the icing it turned out just like my mom used to make I didn’t quite add 2 cups of sugar but still was great boiling is the key to the icing

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Cathy, I’m so glad this icing turned out like your mom made. I think of my grandmother every time I make this.

  4. C says:

    5 stars
    I didn’t read the comments before getting to the wooden spoon bit. I’ve never made fudge before. I, like others before me, probably did not cook long enough (electric stove) prior to adding the butter and vanilla judging by the thickening rate. I salvaged the effort by throwing it back on the heat for a hard boil. It took longer than the comments indicate but it thickened nicely and was delicious. Before returning to the heat, I didn’t actually “beat” the icing with the wooden spoon but rather just steadily stirred it. I put a little more muscle into it after the second heating. That may be worthwhile info for any other novices out there. Good stuff. I’ll try the cake recipe next time.

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      I’m glad the second time making this was a success, C. I’m sorry you missed Step 3 which tells you to beat the icing until it is smooth and thick. I do hope you try the cake with this icing sometime. I think you will love it. Thanks!

  5. Kellie says:

    I burnt the first batch. So stirred constantly and it turned out great. My candy thermometer shows The “hard ball” is more than 250• Should it be cook one more minute after the soft ball stage?

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Kellie, you cook until large bubbles begin to form and the mixture reaches a hard boil. Boil for 1 minute at a hard boil or a rolling boil. You are not cooking until it reaches a hard ball stage.

  6. Danny says:

    5 stars
    Exactly what I was looking for

  7. Mandy Davis says:

    5 stars
    My favorite! Grandmother used the same recipe and it brings back so many great memories. Thanks Robyn! ❤️

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Thanks, Mandy. I think of my grandmother every time I make this icing, too.

  8. Desi says:

    Important! If you follow this recipe precisely on a GAS stove top it works. The time frame listed above does not work for an electric stove. You will have to cook longer if you are using an electric stove top. I have cooked this recipe on both and it has turned out the best on a gas range.

  9. Jana Rogers says:

    5 stars
    I looked for and found this recipe because my mother made it decades ago for the icing on a white cake. The simple directions and ingredients are right on. My fudge icing and white cake were a hit!! If you like real fudge at all, try this icing. You will love it and make again.

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Thanks, Jana. Every time I make this, I think of my grandmother making it for us. I’m so glad you found the recipe and hope it brings back fond memories to you, too.

  10. Regina says:

    So, I followed the directions TWICE, & never got the icing to thicken. It was like Hershey’s syrup.?? After boiling for one minute & removing from the stove, I added the butter & vanilla & stirred & stirred. Are you supposed to return to heat to cook more? Directions never say to put back on heat AFTER adding the butter & vanilla & getting it mixed together. Please help!

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Regina, it sounds like your icing didn’t cook long enough before you added the butter and vanilla. You do not return it to heat after adding those. Make sure your icing reaches a hard boil. A hard boil is the same as a rolling boil. The entire surface will be bubbling at a rapid rate and will keep bubbling when you stir it. The temp should be 212ºF. Then you let it boil for 1 full minute. I use a timer to make sure I wait the full minute. I hope this helps.

    2. Diana says:

      I had the same trouble. I Checked the temp, 223 degrees, boiled for longer than a minute, added the butter slowly, and it still was consistency of syrup as opposed to icing.

    3. Robyn Stone says:

      Diana, this icing recipe should come to a hard, rolling boil and then cook for one minute. It should not be really soupy but won’t be really thick when you take it off the heat. Once you start stirring, it should start thickening fairly quickly. 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.