Easy Homemade Chocolate Syrup

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.

Homemade chocolate syrup being drizzled over a cup of vanilla ice cream

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!

Ingredients for homemade chocolate syrup include cocoa powder, granulated sugar, pure vanilla extract, and salt. We’ve got:

  • Cocoa powder
  • Granulated sugar
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Salt
  • 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.

Homemade Chocolate Syrup Recipe - This rich, dark chocolate syrup is just like Hershey's! With just 5 ingredients and 10 minutes, you'll have your own homemade chocolate syrup. Recipe as written makes a nice dark chocolate version; add more sugar for a sweeter sauce. 

This rich, dark chocolate syrup is better than Hershey's! With just 5 ingredients and 10 minutes, you'll have your own homemade chocolate syrup. Recipe as written makes a nice dark chocolate version; add more sugar for a sweeter sauce.

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!

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 10 mins

Easy Homemade Chocolate Syrup

4.83 stars from 35 ratings
This rich, dark chocolate syrup is better than Hershey's! With just 5 ingredients and 10 minutes, you'll have your own homemade chocolate syrup. Recipe as written makes a nice dark chocolate version; add more sugar for a sweeter sauce.
Yield: 8

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

Adapted from The Washington Post

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 2tablespoons, Calories: 126kcal, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 149mg, Potassium: 164mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 25g, Calcium: 14mg, Iron: 1mg

This rich, dark chocolate syrup is better than Hershey's! With just 5 ingredients and 10 minutes, you'll have your own homemade chocolate syrup. Recipe as written makes a nice dark chocolate version; add more sugar for a sweeter sauce.