Pecan Ice Cream Balls Recipe with Hot Fudge Sauce

Sneak Preview: Pecan Ice Cream Balls Recipe with Hot Fudge Sauce is ice cream formed into balls, rolled in toasted pecans, and served with homemade hot fudge sauce.

ICE CREAM BALLS rolled in pecans WITH HOT FUDGE SAUCE on topPin

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Looking for a make-ahead dessert? You’re set if you have room in your freezer and a gallon of ice cream. Make the pecan ice cream balls ahead of time and reheat the fudge sauce at the last minute.

Normally, I don’t think about Easter dinner anytime before Good Friday. But my relatively new blogging addiction has me thinking about dessert already.

Since dinner will be after church, I want something I can prepare beforehand–as in DAYS ahead of time. These retro Pecan Ice Cream Balls with Hot Fudge Sauce will be perfect.

Helen Corbitt was one of the greatest influences on my cooking because of my previous job in the kitchen at The Greenhouse. She published this wonderful hot fudge sauce recipe in Helen Corbitt’s Cookbook(paid link). Her directions called for using a double boiler and cooking for 30 minutes on the stove. 

Using Your Microwave To Make the Fudge Sauce

I prefer to use my microwave for the same delicious results in a third of the time.

First, I get out my trusty 2-quart glass batter bowl.   Two trips to the microwave and a good beating will produce a thick, rich, glossy, fudge-y sauce you can reheat (in the microwave if you are careful) at a moment’s notice.  Or pour the sauce into a pretty glass jar and give it away.


Ms. Corbitt also gave me the idea of making ice cream balls.  I usually use vanilla, but coffee, chocolate chip, mint, and cherry would all work.  Toasting whatever nuts you decide to use will bring out the flavor. Kids will go crazy for chopped candy or colored sprinkles instead of nuts.

ice cream balls covered with candyPin

How To Make Ice Cream Balls and Cover them with Pecans or Candy

Scoop out ice cream.  Using plastic gloves, mold ice cream into a rough ball and drop it on a pile of toasted, chopped, and cooled pecans or candy sprinkles. Roll to cover completely and return to the freezer to harden.  Wrap well to store.

rolling ice cream balls in toasted pecansPin

More Ways To Dress Up Ice Cream

ICE CREAM BALLS rolled in pecans WITH HOT FUDGE SAUCE on topPin
Yield: 4 balls

Pecan Ice Cream Balls Recipe with Hot Fudge Sauce

These ice cream balls are rolled in toasted pecans and served with hot fudge sauce.

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(5 stars if you loved it)

4 from 9 votes
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 38 minutes
Total time: 48 minutes


Ice Cream Balls

  • 2 cups (260 g) ice cream
  • 1 cup (110 g) toasted pecans

Hot Fudge Sauce

  • ½ cup (113 g) butter
  • cups (270 g) powdered sugar
  • 6 ounces (170 g) bitter chocolate
  • cup (151 g) evaporated milk
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • heavy cream if needed


Ice Cream Balls

  • Scoop out 2 cups (260 g) ice cream
  • Using plastic gloves, quickly mold ice cream into a rough ball and drop it onto a pile of 1 cup (110 g) toasted pecans , chopped.
  • Roll the ice cream in nuts to cover the ball completely and return to the freezer to harden.  Wrap well to store.

Hot Fudge Sauce

  • In a 2-quart Pyrex batter bowl, melt ½ cup (113 g) butter in the microwave for 1 minute, 15 seconds on HIGH. Stir in 2¼ cups (270 g) powdered sugar.
  • Lay the 6 ounces (170 g) bitter chocolate on top of the sugar mixture in a glass bowl and pour ⅔ cup (151 g) evaporated milk over all. DO NOT STIR. Microwave on MEDIUM for 8 minutes. Check after 5 or 6 minutes. Chocolate should just be melted–no more. If you prefer, heat in a double boiler for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the microwave and add ¼ teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Beat–slowly at first and then more vigorously. A portable mixer works perfectly, but you could also use a whisk. Keep beating until silky smooth. Add heavy cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the sauce is too thick, but never add water.
  • Store fudge sauce in the refrigerator and reheat as needed.


The calories are figured on the pecan-covered ice cream balls only. The kind of ice cream you use will cause this to vary. The fudge sauce is not included because this recipe makes a lot more than you will need for four servings.


Serving: 1ice cream ball | Calories: 308kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 53mg | Potassium: 233mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 292IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 1mg

All images and text ©️ Paula Rhodes for Salad in a

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  1. P.S. from Connie
    Helen’s original recipe calls for bittersweet chocolate. I supposed unsweetened could work but they are not the same.

  2. Yes, the Helen Corbitt’s Cookbook (1957) is the original of this fabulous and very easy Fudge Sauce recipe along with two other chocolate sauce recipes one reader mentioned. This is a wonderful cookbook and I couldn’t cook without it!! That said, please amend your recipe for the current reader. Whereas Helen used the term “squares of chocolate”, that term is no longer applicable due to changes in packaging. Squares actually means ounces in old recipes. Your readers will be sorely disappointed if they take squares literally. Bars now are 4 ounces instead of 8. A young friend of mine took squares (rectangles) literally which meant she used 1/4 to 1/2 ounce of chocolate causing the failure (and disappointment) of her recipe. ANY old recipe saying “squares” must be changed to “ounces”!!

    1. Hi Connie,
      Thanks so much for writing. I have not made that recipe in many years so it was due a good updating. I changed the squares to ounces to avoid confusion.

      I’ve done some research and I don’t think the “bitter” issue is quite so clear cut. Ms Corbitt didn’t call for “bittersweet” chocolate. She specified “bitter” chocolate which could have referred to unsweetened chocolate back then. Throughout the entire book, she refers to “bitter” chocolate in many of her recipes, but never bittersweet. She ocassionally refers to Baker’s chocolate which was commonly sweet chocolate back then. But of course, they now make unsweetened chocolate among other things. Confusing!!!

      At any rate, we made the Fudge sauce at the Greenhouse spa (where she created all the menus with her recipes) with unsweetened chocolate and it was wonderful, so that’s the way I do it. I think the sauce would be way too sweet with bittersweet chocolate but each to his own on that.

      Again, thanks for writing. I’m always striving to make my recipes clearer and hopefully, this will help.

      p.s. I wish we could talk. I would love to know which recipes you like and make a lot from that book. I probably cook even more recipes from her “Cooks for Company” cookbook. My monkey bread is an adaptation from that one.

  3. Pam BaiLey says:

    Had this just today at a up scale resturant. Tasted like the pecans had a sweet coding on them but didnt see anything in reciepe for this. .

    1. Hi Pam,
      Sugar-coated pecans would take this recipe over the top. Yum! I’m going to try it. Thanks for writing.

  4. Your fudge sauce calls for bitter chocolate. Do you mean bittersweet or unsweetened? It looks so good and so easy!

    1. Lynn, I double checked and it’s just as I thought. Unsweetened. I changed the recipe on my blog. Thanks so much for letting me know because that was confusing.

  5. P. S. I left out butter and vanilla.

  6. Back in the 70’s, I had a Helen Corbitt cookbook that had a superb hot fudge sauce, different from the one you feature. It had regular milk, unsweetened chocolate, cocoa, sugar, salt, … the rest I’m unsure of, maybe some corn syrup? Unfortunately, I do not recall the proper amounts of the ingredients. I had searched a number of cookbooks and tried innumerable chocolate sauces looking for one easy to make and with a wonderful thick syrupy, glossy consistency. This one was an immediate hit and I made it weekly for our family Sunday night dessert ritual. Do you by any chance know that recipe?

  7. YUM! I love ice cream. This is a really great way to dress up store bought ice cream – I love it! I’ll be doing this at my next get together.

  8. I love this dessert. YUM! Ice cream is perfect no matter how you serve it!!!

  9. You can NEVER go wrong with ice cream. I’d love the pecans and the boys would totally go for the sprinkles!

  10. What a fun dessert! I love the ones covered in sprinkles.

  11. Those ice cream balls would be perfect for Easter dessert! My nephews and nieces would LOVE them! I would have to figure out how to make the balls before they melted on me…
    Thank you for visiting my blog! I treated myself to a new bundt pan from Sur La Table which has become my favorite store since starting TWD! =)

  12. I just bookmarked this page! I have vanilla and cookies and cream ice cream in the freezer. Several bags of pecans and almonds, and everything I need to try that hot fudge sauce! Mmmmm! Can’t wait!

  13. How yummy! My philosophy is, if it’s not chocolate, it’s not dessert. I think I just gained 5 lbs looking at this.

  14. Crystal's Cozy Kitchen says:

    Oh My! Those look way too delicious!

  15. I shudder to think what would happen if your microwave shorted out. 🙂 The dishes you can make with that thing – amazing! Can I come for Easter? Mom never would have served ice cream balls! These look so wonderful – especially for the hot summer months. And that fudge sauce…
    Mike — sheepishly admitting I have (and use) my mom’s Revereware double boiler (wedding cookware) from ’57.

    1. Mike, I think using a double boiler may actually qualify you to be an official chef–unlike me, since I’m always looking for the quickest way to put healthy and delicious food on the table without pouring it out of a can or a box.

  16. Just give me the hot fudge and a spoon.

  17. YUM! What a fabulous dessert! Ice cream lovers everywhere will love this recipe. You make it look soooooo easy,and as always the photos are awesome!

  18. Christine @ Fresh Local and Best says:

    This looks like a luxurious hot fudge sauce. I should have known that you had a culinary background, your desserts are always so exquisite!