This simple recipe for homemade chocolate syrup uses only four ingredients, takes around 5 minutes to make, and tastes amazing. There's no reason to ever buy a bottle again!
This is sure to be another one of your favorite Quick Healthy Recipes.
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Believe it or not, chocolate syrup is a pantry basic in our house (meaning a staple you'll always find in our fridge). Don't hate me, but my husband makes us cappuccinos every morning and drizzles just a bit of syrup in them.
Yes, every morning for more than 20 years now. I'm sure you can imagine what a wonderful way that is to start the day. (You can see Brian's step-by-step video on how to make awesome cappuccinos at home if you'd like - they are easy and save a ton of money vs. a coffee shop.)
There are lots of other ways to use chocolate syrup, though, and I know many of you also probably have a bottle in the fridge (if the huge, 2-bottle package they sell at Costco is any indication...).
We use it as an ice cream topping, for chocolate milk or mochas, and when I'm feeling fancy, I'll drizzle some on the plates before I serve pieces of cake (it's especially good drizzled over this Chocolate Chip Cheesecake).
All this is to say, I used to buy it regularly for these reasons - and then came the "curse" of reading labels.
Yuck. It's like, 2 inches long- in fine print (I've enlarged this for you - I'm helpful like that).
What is all that? Shouldn't it be mainly sugar and cocoa?
Well, yes it should. This is more like it - just four normal pantry ingredients.
- cocoa powder
Ah...I'm already breathing easier, aren't you?
Since this is all about the chocolate, I use a good quality organic cocoa powder as well as organic cane sugar and pure vanilla. You'll want to get the best you can for simple recipes like this.
How to Make Homemade Chocolate Syrup
What about how long it takes to make?
How about 5-8 minutes - and that includes getting out your 4 ingredients.
Simply add sugar, cocoa, and a pinch of salt to a small saucepan.
I'm not sure why salt is included, it just always is in recipes like this. It probably adds depth of flavor or something.
Measure one cup of boiling water and pour about half into the cocoa mixture.
Whisk until a paste forms, getting out as many lumps as you can.
Add the remainder of the water, stirring until smooth and then bring to a low simmer over medium heat, stirring often for about 3 minutes.
TIP: "low simmer" means bubbles just breaking the surface - like the photo above.
Extra Tip: Don't forget this on the stove - sadly, I've had to throw out batches that were burned badly on the bottom from my inattention!
Remove from heat, and add the vanilla. It will boil a bit when it hits, but just stir it in- I like to take a big whiff of it at this point because it's heavenly.
Let it cool about an hour.
It's most simple to leave it on the stove and give it a little stir once in a while (though I'm sure I've left it more than an hour at one time or another).
Find a jar to store it in.
We've uses old salad dressing bottles, Asian sauce bottles and whatever else we could find over the years. Lately we are loving this squeeze bottle that gives the perfect amount and the prettiest drizzle.
Ours probably lasts 3-4 weeks in the refrigerator, but like I said, we use it daily. I'm sure it would last longer if needed.
Homemade Chocolate Syrup Recipe
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 3/4 to 1 cup sugar; lower amount makes "dark chocolate syrup"
- pinch salt
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Start the water boiling. Mix cocoa, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan. Stir in enough boiling water to form a smooth paste, then stir in the remaining water.
- Bring to a simmer over medium to medium-low heat, stirring often. Let simmer 2-3 minutes (I like the longer time as it makes the syrup a bit thicker), stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat and add the vanilla. Let cool.
- Scrape it into a bottle or jar and store in the refrigerator 3-4 weeks (or longer?).
More Pantry Basics Recipes To Try:
Easy, honey-sweetened homemade ketchup
Frugal (aka, cheap) Homemade Pesto
This recipe has been updated - it was originally published in March 2009.
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Can I add instant espresso powder to make this a mocha sauce? If so, how much should I add?
Oh, that would probably be really good, Sue! I'd probably start with a teaspoon and see if you like it and adjust future batches from there.
Made this tonight, came out fantastic! Super easy!
Using it to drizzle on cheesecake for my son’s birthday .
Can’t wait to try it in my iced coffee 🥤
Glad you liked this - you'll love it in your coffee. 🙂
This worked perfectly. I looked at so many options for a DIY syrup and your's seemed the best.
Tried it, and it was amazing.
I made it with a scant 3/4 C sugar and it turned out with a lovely dark flavor.
I can imagine my Great Grandmothers rolling their eyes at me, but I was so proud of my pioneetring spirit, making my own syrup. lol. Thank you.
I feel the same way, Susan, every time I make a "pantry basic" like this! 🙂
So glad you enjoyed it!
Kid approved!! Lol I ran out of chocolate milk mix and my three year old wanted chocolate milk. I love looking for recipes that I can diy it and this chocolate syrup recipe is really good. Thank you for sharing.
We love this recipe. I've always just dumped everything in the pan and whisk, whisk ,whisk!
Whatever works. 🙂 lad you like it!
I can't WAIT to make this for teacher gifts this year!!! So so so yummy and such a far healthier option than the chocolate syrup you purchase in store. My daughter, who loves to play with recipes like this, is very excited about giving this a try! Thanks so much for sharing!!
Great idea, Leah!
Absolutely fabulous!! I used brown sugar, about 1/4 less water, then used a touch of heavy cream. Fabulous and I will NOT be purchasing ANYmore store bought syrup.
Thank you for sharing your post, from our home to yours, Blessings!!
Yay! And your tips seems like it would make a creamier sauce - yum. 🙂
Theresa Messner says
I enjoy making this I switch the sugar to powered sugar and found it came out thicker and smoother
Oh, nice idea, Theresa. We actually don't like ours thick, as we use it in coffee, but I can see for dessert applications that would be nice.
Rusty Jones says
Powdered sugar is very finely ground sugar with cornstarch added to it. Cornstarch and flour are ingredients used to thicken gravies.
I make my own powered/confectioner's sugar by just putting regular sugar in my nutribullet, and blending it into a powder. I never buy confectioner's sugar anymore.
This is by far, the best chocolate syrup I have made. I did a few things differently though. I shifted the cocoa powder, used organic raw turbinado sugar and added a little extra vanilla. But I followed the boiling water and heat closely. So proud of myself.
I'm so glad to hear this, Fran! I've used different kinds of sugar, too, but haven't thought to sift the cocoa. And I usually just pour the vanilla in, so am probably adding more too, lol.
Well, not too much vanilla. I would say about a 1/4 to 1/2 Tsp more. I also added a tad bit more sugar than 1 cup.
Sifting cocoa powder is a good way to ensure a lump-free result with anything powder. ( Mother taught me that.)
I read previous posts about adding heavy cream to make fudge. If so, then my suggestion is to warm up the cream to add to the mixture and put it on to simmer about 2 minutes to thicken.
Thanks, Fran, for the details!
This is by far the best chocolate syrup I have made. It didn't last long. See my review on Pinterest. Used in my morning coffee.
I made using half water and half heavy cream. Perfect outcome
Interesting! That would make it a bit more like a fudge sauce, right?
If you want to use stevia instead of sugar, how much do you need? Thanks!
I don't know, Abigail - I haven't had any experience with Stevia in recipes since I don't like the aftertaste. 🙂
For a sugar free syrup, use 1/3 cup each cocoa and stevia, add 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, add 1/2 tsp vanilla.
Thanks for this adaptation, Debra!
Can i use this as a syrup for my cake?
It's always dry and I was thinking to moisten it with this chocolate syrup
I've never tried that, Karol - would you use Hershey's syrup for this? This syrup is just like that.
Ronald Gonshorowski says
I have been a Hershey fanatic for many years and if this tastes as good then I am converted.
Now how about a chocolate spread using almond butter. I purchased some at Costco.
Also being a lifelong Oregonian I like filberts better than hazelnuts, LOL.
Well, I don't want to go on record as saying it tastes exactly the same - I don't really know, since we weren't connoisseurs. 🙂 But I DO know we really like this, it's easy and cheap and we've made it for years and years now - I hope you do, too!
I think a chocolate-almond spread would be fairly easy - I'll have to get on that. 😉
We ran out of store bought chocolate syrup last night, and my brother really wanted some chocolate milk. I decided to make some myself, and came across this recipe. I am so glad I did! In my mother's words, "This is brilliant, you don't even need milk, just eat it with a spoon!" It really is just that good, and easy to make. We did use it in chocolate milk, and it worked really well. I don't think I will be purchasing Hershey's again anytime soon. Thank you for this recipe!
Yay, Skylar - another convert. 🙂
Donna Falco says
Seven years later I've just found your recipe. Thanks so much! I do hope you're still enjoying you're cappuccinos 🙂
Yes we are, Donna - still thankful for them, and the chocolate syrup. 🙂
Mary E. says
Just found this on Pinterest a few days ago and made it last night...so happy I did!! This is so easy to make and so superior to the store stuff!! Thank you! Now if only I had a cappuccino machine!!
Wonderful, Mary! Check out thrift stores for machines - we've got a complete how-to video using old machines on our You Tube page. 🙂
I just finished a batch and I used Swerve; tastes great. Thank you.
Lyndsy Karrie says
Thanks for sharing your recipe! I have a sugar free version, and it's AMAZING, check it out here and let me know what you think:
I was wondering if anyone has ever used this recipe in making (cold) chocolate milk, since that is what my kids drink in the morning. Have you tried it? Does it blend well with a spoon? Does it have a similar and good flavor?
Yes! We do all the time and we love it, Dee. 🙂