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!

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.

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!

A mason jar half full of homemade chocolate syrup resting on a piece of waxed paper.

Watch my chocolate syrup web story here.

Pastry Chef Online Participates in Affiliate Programs. If you make a purchase through one of my links, I may earn a small commission. For more information click to read my disclosure policy

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:

  1. Perfect balance of sweetness to chocolate flavor so your chocolate milk will be sweet enough and your ice cream will be super happy.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Natural ingredients: unlike the storebought kind, this syrup only contains 6 pronounceable ingredients and no gross stuff!

Jenni Says: Chocolate syrup is basically simple syrup with cocoa powder and flavorings added. If you ever find yourself in need of chocolate syrup but don’t have access to the Internet, make a simple syrup with equal weights of water and sugar, then add cocoa powder until you like the taste. Pinch of salt, a little vanilla, and you’re good to go!


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.

Collage of ingredients for homemade chocolate syrup recipe.
  • 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.

Pro Tip

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 mason full jar and a half full jar of homemade chocolate sauce.
Oh, the possibilities. Your ice cream, your hot chocolate, your chocolate milk and more will all be made so much better!
Can I make this sugar free?

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.

Is there a difference between chocolate syrup and chocolate sauce?

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.

Is this chocolate syrup vegan?

As long as you check to make sure you’re using vegan sugar, then yes, this syrup is vegan.

What kind of cocoa powder is best to use?

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.

Can I can chocolate syrup?

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.

How long will this last in the fridge?

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!

A glass of milk with chocolate syrup pouring in from the top and pooling in the bottom of the milk. A long metal spoon rests in the milk, ready for stirring.
Add syrup to your milk to taste, stir it up, and you are good to go! You think you drink Nestle Quik fast? This chocolate syrup blows that out of the water!


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.

Best for Home Use
Escali Primo Digital Food Scale

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.

Purchase Now How & Why to Use a Kitchen Scale
This is an affiliate link which means I earn from qualifying purchases. Your price is unaffected.
07/19/2024 12:57 am GMT

Please Take a Moment to Rate and Review

5 golden stars for rating recipes
a full jar and a half full jar of homemade chocolate sauce

The Best Chocolate Syrup Recipe

Jennifer Field
This is simply the best homemade chocolate syrup recipe, friends. Perfectly balanced between sweetness and chocolaty-ness and with full deep flavor thanks to using less refined sugar and a touch of instant coffee.

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.
4 from 4 votes
Tried this recipe?Please give it a star rating!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Dessert Sauces
Cuisine American
Servings 1 1/2 cups
Calories 81 kcal


  • 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?



Ingredient Notes

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.


Nutritional information is based on the ingredients as listed, not the possible amounts listed here in the notes.


You chocolate syrup will keep in the fridge for a good 4 weeks.

Scaling the Recipe

You 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!


Serving: 1gCalories: 81kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 1gSodium: 133mgFiber: 1gSugar: 17g
Did you make this recipe?Please tell us what you loved!

Thanks for spending some time with me today, friends! Enjoy the chocolate sauce, and take care.

Join in Today!

My Top 5 Secrets to Becoming Fearless in the Kitchen

Plus weekly new recipes, how-tos, tips, tricks, and everything in between


  1. Indeed, it is really good. I’ve made it with Hershey’s and with Ghirardelli cocoa. Do you have a favorite cocoa, that’s easy to obtain?

    Do you have any recommendations on canning chocolate sauce. The recipe I found on-line uses 1.5 c water, 3 c sugar and 1.5 c cocoa, with 2 Tbsp of corn syrup, and I’m wondering if higher sugar is needed for safe canning.

    I did a bit more checking and now I suspect that chocolate sauce probably is “low acidity” and hence unsuitable for water bath canning. (I don’t have a pressure canner.) I also found that sugar gives shelf-life, but not safety in water-bath canning.

    So, if please delete everything about canning in this comment. Sorry!

    1. Hey, Keith! So glad you like the sauce. I know zero about canning but I’m pretty sure there’s some sort of issue about canning dairy-based sauces. As to chocolate syrup, which is basically simple syrup woth cocoa powder in it, my guess is you could can it if you use regular cocoa powder rather than Dutch process to keep the pH low, but I’m not an expert. I defer to the Ball Blue Book of canning for such issues. 🙂

  2. Hi!
    Is your chocolate syrup for ice cream the same as Ganache? I love chocolate!!
    I love ganache too!

    1. Hi, Suzanne. No, chocolate syrup is basically simple syrup with cocoa powder suspended in it. I also add some instant coffee, vanilla, and salt to round out and deepen the flavor. At its simplest, ganache is a mixture of 1 part dark chocolate to 1 part cream or 2 parts chocolate to 1 part cream by weight. Generally you bring the cream just to a boil and then pour it over the chopped chocoate, allow it to sit for a couple of minutes, and then whisk slowly until the mixture becomes dark and shiny. You can also add a pinch of salt, a little butter, or a bit of vanilla to your ganache. Ganache will set up thicker than the syrup which will remain liquid in the fridge, so depending on what you want to do with it, you’ll have to decide which will work better for you. Hope that helps. Let me know if I can help in any other way. 🙂

  3. The homemade chocolate syrup was really good! I admit,i was kind of skeptical. I followed the recipe. I put 3/4th of a cup of granulated and 1/4 of a cup of light brown sugar. 1/4tsp.of salt and 1tsp. of vanilla. Came out really yummy in milk.

4 from 4 votes (4 ratings without comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.