This homemade chocolate syrup recipe is a great, less intense alternative to hot fudge sauce and is even quicker to make than my quick hot fudge sauce. The perfect addition to a glass of milk for the best chocolate milk you’ve ever tried!
You may also enjoy my white chocolate sauce recipe. And for ease of browsing, here are all of my dessert sauces in one place.
Thanks so much for visiting!
Chocolate sauce is also really versatile. Since it’s much thinner than fudge sauce (but not too thin!), you can more easily stir it into milk for hot chocolate or chocolate milk, spoon it over cake, dip fruit into it, or just douse your favorite ice cream with it.
Watch my chocolate syrup web story here.
Why This Sauce? What Makes It So Good?
Even though chocolate syrup is really easy to make, the success (or failure) is really about balancing the sweetness with the chocolatey-ness.
Many recipes call for what I think is way too much cocoa, leading to a slightly bitter and too-thick syrup.
Other recipes try to reduce the sugar, but that also yields a bitter sauce that might be okay over ice cream but is too bitter to make a good chocolate milk.
Here’s what’s great about my chocolate sauce recipe:
- Perfect balance of sweetness to chocolate flavor so your chocolate milk will be sweet enough and your ice cream will be super happy.
- Deep-but-not-too-intense chocolate flavor courtesy of Sugar in the Raw and just a touch of instant coffee. Not nearly enough to read as “mocha,” but just to provide deeper chocolate flavor.
- The perfect texture–thin enough to pour straight from the fridge but thick enough to completely drape fruit or ice cream in a sexy chocolate coat.
- Natural ingredients: unlike the storebought kind, this syrup only contains 6 pronounceable ingredients and no gross stuff!
No real surprises here, friends. You most likely already own everything you need to make this easy sauce–and it’s ready in about 6 minutes.
- water: filtered is best, just so there aren’t any off flavors
- sugar: I like to use raw sugar here (Sugar in the Raw, demerara, or turbinado for the extra depth of flavor you get from the bit of molasses left in the sugar. Substitute plain granulated sugar if you prefer. Or use a mixture of half brown sugar/half white sugar
- cocoa powder: this is what will give you your chocolate flavor. Use your favorite kind of cocoa powder. I used Hershey’s from the brown can, and it works just fine
- instant coffee: provides just a bit of backbone to the syrup, deepening the coffee flavor without the flavor of coffee shining through. If you have it, you can also use espresso powder
- salt: I generally use kosher salt. You need enough to counteract any bitterness the cocoa powder has as well as to bring the flavor into focus
- vanilla extract: rounds out the flavor with smooth vanilla notes. Don’t leave it out, but if you want to get extra fancy, you can also use chocolate extract
This is a really straightforward recipe to make.
All you have to do is put everything except the extract into a pan, bring it to a boil, and let it cook for about five minutes.
Once off the heat, stir in the vanilla, and that’s it.
In many recipes, I see the instructions say to make a paste out of the cocoa powder and a little water first before adding the rest of the water.
While it is true that cocoa powder does not like to mix with cold water because of the fat content of the cocoa, it will mix in almost instantly once your water is boiling.
So here’s the tip:
PRO TIP: Streamline your process by adding the cocoa powder to your syrup once the mixture is boiling. It will mix in almost immediately. No more trying to make a paste with cocoa and a portion of the water!
Chocolate Sauce Q & A
A syrup like this is best made with cocoa powder so you get the most chocolaty flavor. If you want to use chocolate, consider making hot fudge sauce or quick hot fudge sauce instead.
Yes, you can. I am not the queen of sugar free baking or cooking, so please check out my friend Carolyn’s recipe for sugar free chocolate syrup. She will make sure your sauce is successful and delicious! Note that your favorite sugar substitute might not work out well as a 1:1 sub in this recipe, so please go see Carolyn for all the details.
In this recipe, I pretty much use both terms interchangeably, and I am not really sure if there is an objective difference between the two. However, subjectively, I usually expect chocolate sauce to contain dairy while chocolate syrup is strictly non-dairy. If you were to substitute whole milk or even half and half for the water, I would call it a sauce rather than a syrup.
As long as you check to make sure you’re using vegan sugar, then yes, this syrup is vegan.
You can substitute honey if you’d like, although then it for sure won’t be vegan. I’d substitute 2/3 cup of honey for the 1 cup of sugar called for.
For a smooth, less acidic flavor, use Dutch process cocoa. However, since you most likely won’t be eating this straight up but rather over ice cream or in milk, any cocoa that you have will work just fine.
I am not a canner, but since the syrup is non-dairy and not too thick, you should be able to can your syrup with no problem. Here is a link to a canning recipe for chocolate syrup so you can check your processing time.
Again, since it’s non-dairy and has plenty of sugar in it, this syrup will be just fine in the fridge for up to four weeks. I can’t imagine it will last that long, though!
I am pretty sure you can come up with all sorts of uses for this sauce, friends!
But since you asked, I am here to tell you that this makes the best glass of chocolate milk you’ll ever drink!
If you have any questions about this post or recipe, I am happy to help.
Simply leave a comment here and I will get back to you soon. I also invite you to ask question in my Facebook group, Fearless Kitchen Fun.
If your question is more pressing, please feel free to email me. I should be back in touch ASAP, as long as I’m not asleep.
A Note About Measurements
My recipes are almost all written by weight, including liquids, unless otherwise specified.
For accuracy and consistency of results, I encourage you to buy–and use–a kitchen scale.
I promise that baking and cleanup will be so much quicker and easier.
This is the scale that I recommend for home use. I have owned and used one for years.
Don't let its small price and small size fool you. The Escali Primo is an accurate and easy-to-use food scale that I have used for years. It's easy to store, easy to use, has a tare function, and easily switches between grams and ounces/pounds for accurate measurements.
Please Take a Moment to Rate and Review
It will help me and other readers so much if you take a moment to rate and leave a review for this recipe.
You can use the stars to rate 1-5 (5 is best), and leave a review in the comments. It helps me make adjustments if any are needed, and comments help others decide whether the recipe is worth making.
Other ways to share include pinning, and/or sharing on your favorite social media platform.
Thank you so much for taking the time!
The Best Chocolate Syrup Recipe
You are seriously going to want to make this chocolate sauce. I can tell you from personal experience that it makes a killer glass of chocolate milk and is also delicious over ice cream!Note that I'm telling you to "See Notes" often in this recipe. That's because this is a starting point for you. You can add more or less of most of the ingredients, depending on your taste.
- 1 cup filtered water
- 1 cup less refined sugar such as Sugar in the Raw See Notes
- ½ teaspoon instant coffee See Notes
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt See Notes
- ½ cup cocoa powder See Notes
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- Combine the water, sugar, salt, and instant coffee in a medium saucepan.
- Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
- Once your liquid is at a boil, whisk in the cocoa powder.
- Keep an eye on the heat to keep the sauce at a rolling boil for five minutes. Stir frequently.
- After 5 minutes, remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla.
- Strain into jars or containers of your choice. Makes about 1 1/2 cups of chocolate syrup or about 12 2 Tablespoon servings.
Did You Make Any Changes?
- You can use plain white sugar, but I really suggest you use something less refined. It will add to the overall flavor of the sauce.
- You can use up to 1 teaspoon of instant coffee if you’d like. It really depends on how sensitive you are to coffee flavor. Of course, if you love it, feel free to use more to make a true mocha syrup.
- Use at least 1/4 teaspoon of salt. You can use up to 1/2 teaspoon if you like, especially if it seems bitter to you. The salt will counteract any bitterness.
- I have made this syrup with both 1/2 cup of cocoa powder and 3/4 cups. The one with more cocoa powder is of course a bit more chocolatey, but honestly not so much that I would notice. The main difference between the two is that using more cocoa powder yields a thicker sauce once it’s chilled. Either way, you really can’t go wrong.
NutritionalsNutritional information is based on the ingredients as listed, not the possible amounts listed here in the notes.
StoringYou chocolate syrup will keep in the fridge for a good 4 weeks.
Scaling the RecipeYou can double or even quadruple this recipe if desired. It would make great gifts! You could even give people the mix and all they’d have to do is add water and bring it to a boil for five minutes!
Hi, y’all! I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and hopefully also learned a thing or two.
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Thanks for spending some time with me today, friends! Enjoy the chocolate sauce, take care, and have a lovely day!