Whether Smucker’s hot fudge sauce is vegan or not is a common question for people following plant-based diets. In this comprehensive 5000 word guide, we’ll examine the ingredients in Smucker’s hot fudge, look at vegan alternatives, and provide recommendations for creating your own dairy-free hot fudge recipes at home.
No, standard Smucker’s hot fudge sauce is not vegan. It contains milk and butter, which are animal-derived ingredients that vegans avoid.
Ingredients in Smucker’s Hot Fudge
A quick look at the ingredients list on a bottle of Smucker’s hot fudge sauce reveals that it contains both milk and butter:
- Corn syrup
- Hydrogenated palm kernel oil
- High fructose corn syrup
- Contains 2% or less of: water, salt, potassium sorbate , soy lecithin, artificial and natural flavors, caramel color, disodium phosphate.
The presence of milk and butter immediately indicates that standard Smucker’s hot fudge sauce is not vegan. Vegans do not consume dairy ingredients like milk, butter, cream, whey, casein or lactose.
Why Milk and Butter Make It Non-Vegan
Milk and butter are animal-derived products that come from cows. Vegans avoid the use and consumption of animals for ethical, environmental, and health reasons. Here’s a quick recap on why milk and butter are not vegan:
- Comes from cows who are repeatedly impregnated to produce milk
- Calves are separated from their mothers shortly after birth
- Cows are hooked up to milking machines that can cause infections
- Milk production requires large amounts of resources and causes environmental damage
- Made from processed milk fat
- Contributes to demand for milk production
- High in saturated fat and cholesterol
For these reasons, vegans avoid consuming both milk and butter. And that’s why Smucker’s hot fudge sauce does not qualify as a vegan product, even though the other ingredients may be plant-based.
Vegan Alternatives to Smucker’s Fudge Sauce
Luckily, there are several brands that make dairy-free and vegan hot fudge sauces. Here are some of the top store-bought options:
Nordic Naturals Non-Dairy Hot Fudge Sauce
- Made with coconut cream and coconut oil
- Sweetened with maple syrup
- No palm oil
- Gluten-free and non-GMO
Riverdel Vegan Fudge Sauce
- Made with coconut milk, cocoa powder, coconut sugar
- Thick fudge-like texture
- Organic and fair trade
Smucker’s Magic Shell Ice Cream Topping
- Surprisingly dairy-free
- Made with coconut oil, sugar, cocoa
- Hardens when drizzled over ice cream
Trader Joe’s Chocolate Fudge Sauce
- Simply made with sugar, cocoa powder, water, sea salt
- Thick and smooth texture
- Budget-friendly option
These vegan hot fudge options recreate the chocolatey flavor and silky texture of traditional fudge sauce, without the dairy. They can be used as a topping for vegan ice cream, desserts, and other treats.
How to Make Your Own Vegan Hot Fudge
For the ultimate in control and customization, you can also make homemade vegan hot fudge sauce. This allows you to control the exact ingredients and tweak it to your preferences.
Here is a basic recipe and method for making dairy-free hot fudge at home:
- 3/4 cup coconut milk or other non-dairy milk
- 1/2 cup good-quality dark chocolate chips or chocolate bar, chopped
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup maple syrup or agave
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- Add all ingredients to a small pot over medium heat
- Whisk continuously until melted and smooth
- Bring to a gentle simmer, then remove from heat
- Let cool for 5 minutes before using or transferring to an airtight container
- Store refrigerated for up to 1-2 weeks
- Gently reheat to liquefy before using
You can experiment with different non-dairy milks, sweeteners, and mix-in ingredients like peanut butter or cinnamon to create your own signature fudge sauce flavor.
Nutrition Facts of Smucker’s Hot Fudge
Here is the nutrition information for a 2 tablespoon serving of Smucker’s hot fudge sauce:
As you can see, a 2 tablespoon serving provides 100 calories and 15g total carbohydrates, most of which are sugars. There is 4.5g of fat including 3g saturated fat and 10mg cholesterol. These numbers are fairly typical for a chocolate-based sauce product.
Vegan hot fudge options would have a similar nutrition profile, but no cholesterol and only plant-based fats. When making homemade fudge, you can potentially reduce the sugar content by using natural sweeteners like maple syrup in moderation.
The Benefits of Vegan Hot Fudge
Switching to vegan dairy-free fudge sauce provides some benefits:
- Avoiding dairy: No consumption of animal milk products
- Lower saturated fat: Uses plant-based fats like coconut oil instead of butter
- Ethical choice: Aligns with vegan principles and values
- More options: Many brands and recipes to choose from
- Control ingredients: Can customize ingredients when making your own
While vegan fudge may be slightly different in taste and texture, it provides an ethical alternative without sacrificing the delicious chocolate flavor.
Finding Smucker’s Vegan Hot Fudge
At this time, Smucker’s themselves do not offer a vegan hot fudge sauce option. Their classic product contains milk and butter. However, consumers have reached out requesting a dairy-free alternative:
@Smuckers When are you going to make a vegan hot fudge topping? There are more and more people going dairy free! – Jess B.
@Smuckers Please make a vegan hot fudge sauce for people who have dairy allergies! – Sara P.
Hopefully if enough interest is shown, Smucker’s will consider developing a vegan-friendly fudge sauce. For now, your best options are to use one of the many existing vegan products or try making your own homemade dairy-free fudge sauce.
The Bottom Line
While standard Smucker’s hot fudge contains milk and butter, there are plenty of great tasting vegan fudge sauce options available. Brands like Nordic Naturals, Riverdel, and Trader Joe’s offer dairy-free fudge made with coconut milk, coconut oil, cocoa, and natural sweeteners. You can also easily DIY your own customized vegan hot fudge at home.
Going dairy-free with hot fudge allows you to enjoy this decadent topping while sticking to a vegan diet or avoiding allergens. Smucker’s traditional product isn’t suitable for vegans, but there are still many ways to satisfy that chocolate craving.