This homemade chocolate syrup recipe isn’t only an acceptable replacement for commercially-made chocolate syrups, it sort of beats the pants off of store-bought.
It costs pennies to make, it takes all of 10 minutes to whip up, you know exactly what went into this chocolate sauce (no high fructose corn syrup here!), AND it tastes ah-mazing.
It makes milk, coffee, smoothies, ice cream – you name it – taste fantastic.
I love this classic chocolate syrup recipe because it’s not overly sweet. It’s just nice and purely chocolatey, yet with very few ingredients. FIVE ingredients, in fact – and that’s if you count the water!
- Cocoa powder
- Granulated sugar
- Pure vanilla extract
- Water (I forgot to photograph the water. I always forget an ingredient!)
So if you’ve ever wondered how to make homemade chocolate syrup, here you go! Simply stir together the cocoa powder and sugar in a medium saucepan, then add the water and salt. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Let boil for a short period of time, remove from heat, and add the vanilla. You’re done!
Now, you can add your chocolate syrup to warm milk for hot chocolate, or stir it into cold milk for chocolate milk. Start with about a tablespoon of chocolate syrup per 8 ounces of milk or so and stir in more until it’s the exact chocolatey level you crave. “Chocolatey level” being an official term, of course.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use more (or less) vanilla?
Yes! I called for 1 tablespoon because I love the stuff. But now that vanilla is at a premium, personally, I only use a teaspoon or so. It shouldn’t drastically affect the final outcome.
How can I make it sweeter?
Be sure and taste your chocolate syrup while it’s still warm. If it’s not quite as sweet as you’d like, add some more sugar, a couple of tablespoons at a time, until it’s sweet enough for you. Be sure to let it cook a bit more so that the sugar dissolves!
Am I able to safely can this chocolate syrup?
I wouldn’t do it, just because you have to be really careful what you preserve via canning. I’m not sure the pH for the chocolate syrup would make it a safe candidate.
Can I freeze it?
I haven’t tried freezing/thawing this homemade chocolate syrup. When I do, I’ll come back and leave an answer!
Can I use regular table salt instead of kosher salt?
Yes! I would start with half the amount then add a pinch or more later on when you taste and adjust.
Can I use Splenda instead of sugar?
Readers have reported success with substituting Splenda! Here are their comments.
- I followed your recipe, but replaced cup of sugar with 1/2 cup of Splenda. It worked! Tastes great and blended well with milk for chocolate milk. Thanks!
- I made this with stevia (pure stevia powder – I used 3/4 teaspoon) dissolved in half a cup of water instead of the sugar. mixed cocoa powder 90% dark and 10% milk.
Can I substitute honey for the sugar?
I have tried this and it does not work out – the honey makes the syrup way too thick. Sorry!
Can I substitute coconut sugar for the granulated sugar?
I have not tried this personally, but a reader did report success!
Can I substitute agave for the sugar?
The result is thick (like with honey) but one reader reported she still loved it that way.
My syrup is too thick. What am I doing wrong?
If it’s too thick, you cooked it for too long. Try cooking for less time. To salvage this batch, try heating the sauce gently and thin with a bit of water or milk.
If you try this recipe, please leave a rating! And, if you find it share-worthy – which I hope you do – please share. Tag #kitchentreaty on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest, and don’t forget to check out my other recipes!
Easy Homemade Chocolate Syrup
- 1 cup good quality unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup cold water
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together the cocoa powder and sugar until blended. Add the water and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and whisk over medium heat until boiling, stirring constantly.
- Continue boiling until mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. The mixture will still be fairly thin (it thickens to a syrup-like consistency once cool). Taste and stir in additional salt until dissolved, up to 1/4 teaspoon, if desired.
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Cool. Taste again. If it's not sweet enough for you, add a bit more sugar and stir in the warm syrup until dissolved.
- Store syrup in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator. The syrup should keep, refrigerated, for at least a month.
My syrup is granular or sugary texture. What did I do wrong? How can I get it smooth?
How long does this keep in the the refrigerator?
your recipe didn’t work out for me, the consistency was too runny for my taste 🙁
Hi Evelyn, if you are up for trying it again, I’d suggest cooking it a bit longer for a thicker result. Also, it thickens a lot once chilled.
Why my chocolate syrup became thick n sticky after some time? N how to use if it is thick? Can I heat it again before using?
Can it be made without any sort of sugar? I want to use this for my coffee to make homemade mochas, but I like to use 1 Stevia in it. So I’d rather try to add sugar to my coffee to taste vs it already being in the sauce.
If you look through the comments, I think some people have used one-to-one stevia substitutes with success. Hope that helps.
Xylitol is my favorite sub for sugar. 1:1 ratio for subbing.
This was soooo easy and delicious and so much btr than store bought!;we’ll nvr buy it again!
OMG! This is the best chocolate sauce I’ve ever tasted! I have to say the tablespoon of vanilla really made it fabulous! Thank you!
Hi Kim! I’m so glad this was a hit for you. Thank you so much for coming back and leaving a review!
I needed quick chocolate syrup for a lite Chocolate martini.
Thank you for sharing this recipe.. I will try this soon
My own technique is for bachelors-just the cheapest, quickest way to chocolate flavor. Take cocoa, add water, then use spoon to make mixture the desired thickness. Now you can sweeten to taste. Now you don’t have bubbles of un-mixed powder at the top.
Waaaaayyyyy better than the real thing! I highly recommend.
I let the syrup cool a bit before adding the vanilla, super good! I use it to make (peppermint) mochas at home 🙂
Love this syrup…. make it for our vanilla ice cream… keeps well in fridge and tastes great…. I cut recipe in 1/2 for us…..
It turned out amazing!
I made this the the first time with cacao it was perfect. I made it again with cocoa and it turned out thick and grainy. I much prefer the flavor with the cacao. It wasn’t as bitter.
I lost count how many time I made this chocolate syrup. So easy, simple yet super tasty!
How do I know if it’s good quality cocoa powder or not? Why do I have to bring it to boil? Couldn’t I just add boiling water to the cocoa powder and sugar?
It’s part of the process of making a smooth emulsified product with a great consistency for the purposes. You could always try what you are suggesting- but it may not be a very good consistency and could separate.
Can you store in fridge
I put too much salt and what if you put the extract in while it’s still cooking
Can use table salt?
Crazy good delicious, followed recipe exactly and turned out amazing!!! The 30 day shelf life in the fridge will never be an issue with this recipe! Thanks!!!
haha I agree with the shelf life comment! 🙂 I’m so happy this was a winner for you. Thank you so much for the review!