Homemade Chocolate Syrup (Like Hershey’s!)

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Learn how to make Homemade Chocolate Syrup! This easy chocolate sauce recipe is perfect for ice cream, chocolate milk, and so much more. It’s like homemade Hershey’s syrup!

Drizzling homemade chocolate syrup over chocolate ice cream

We’re celebrating all things ice cream this month, and one thing I’d be remiss if we missed is a yummy chocolate sauce recipe. We’ve played with thick hot fudge sauce, and crackly chocolate shell over the years, but we’ve been missing a good homemade chocolate syrup recipe here at Sweets & Thank You. Today’s the day!

This easy homemade chocolate sauce recipe is simple to make, gloriously pourable, and delicious on (and in!) all kinds of things. It’s kind of like homemade Hershey’s syrup–but WAY MORE DELICIOUS than the store-bought stuff!

Our homemade chocolate syrup is made from 5 simple ingredients you likely have on hand already, comes together in just a few minutes & works like a charm for so many different goodies.

Here’s what you need to make your own homemade chocolate syrup…

ingredients for homemade chocolate syrup

5 Simple Ingredients To Get Started

Many chocolate syrups are made with high fructose corn syrup or flavorings rather than actual cocoa. But our homemade chocolate syrup is made from simple, real ingredients, like:

  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder. We get intense chocolate flavor in our chocolate syrup with cocoa powder. It’s got all the lovely chocolate flavor I crave, and it’s easy to keep on hand! I’m using regular cocoa powder, not Dutch-processed or dark cocoa.
  • Sugar. I use regular cane sugar to create the syrup consistency. It’ll form a solution (kind of like making chocolate simple syrup!) that gives it it’s thickened, sticky texture.
  • Salt. The magic ingredient! A little pinch of salt does WONDERS for balancing the flavor and intensifying the chocolate flavor in this sauce. Don’t skip it!
  • Water (Or Milk). Most chocolate syrup recipes use water to give this homemade chocolate sauce it’s signature pourable texture. If you want yours slightly thicker, you can use milk (dairy or dairy-free) instead.
  • Vanilla Extract. Plenty of vanilla really plays up those chocolate notes. Yum!
making homemade chocolate syrup step by step

How To Make chocolate Syrup, Step By Step

As always, you can find the full recipe with ingredient amounts, detailed instructions, and tips in the recipe card below!

  1. Mix The Dry Ingredients. Add cocoa powder, sugar, and salt to a small saucepan. Whisk to combine.
  2. Add Water Or Milk. Pour in the water or milk and whisk until smooth.
  3. Bring To A Simmer. Stir the chocolate mixture over medium heat until it just begins to simmer. Simmer the chocolate syrup 2-3 minutes, or until it thickens slightly and there are no lumps remaining.
  4. Stir In The Vanilla. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Note that the chocolate syrup will look quite thin at this point. This is normal! It will continue to thicken as it cools, but will remain easily pourable, even from the fridge.
  5. Cool & Store. Allow the chocolate syrup to cool a bit, then transfer to a mason jar or airtight container to store the sauce. Chocolate syrup will keep in the refrigerator 1-2 weeks. (1 week if you used milk.)

Mix It Up! Here Are A Few Variations To Try

The best part about this easy homemade chocolate syrup is that you have total control over the ingredients. Feel free to adapt it to your taste or try one of these yummy variations:

  • Add A Tablespoon Of Butter. My favorite variation is to thicken this chocolate syrup up a bit with a pat of butter. The addition of a little fat adds a velvety smooth texture and makes for a slightly thicker texture that’s lovely.
  • Add Mint or Coconut Flavor. Add a few drops of peppermint extract or coconut extract along with vanilla (just a few drops will do!) to add an extra burst of flavor. Peppermint is glorious around the holidays, and coconut pairs beautifully with a yummy brownie sundae or coconut ice cream.
  • Use Milk Instead Of Water. Similarly, you can add a tiny bit of richness by using milk instead of water. Any percentage or variety of milk will add richness compared to water, but the higher the fat content, the thicker and richer your sauce will be. (Dairy-free or dairy milk work for this!)
Dipping strawberries into a jar of homemade chocolate syrup

Yummy Ways To Use Homemade Chocolate Syrup

  1. As An Ice cream Topping (My Favorite Way!). This homemade syrup is AMAZING on top of ice cream! Dress up your next ice cream sundae with a swirl of chocolate sauce on top! 
  2. Make Chocolate Milk. Channel your inner elementary schooler and mix up some old-fashioned homemade chocolate milk! Combine 1 cup of cold milk (whatever milk you drink) and mix in 2-3 tablespoons of our homemade Hershey’s chocolate syrup. (Or use hot or warm milk for hot chocolate!)
  3. Mix Up A Chocolate Milkshake! Make chocolate milkshakes by adding 2 cups of vanilla or chocolate ice cream to a blender along with 1/2 cup of milk & 1/4 cup of this homemade chocolate syrup. Give it a mix & garnish with whipped cream (and more chocolate syrup!).
  4. Garnish Pies & Frozen Treats. Add a drizzle to chocolate cream pie, our Grasshopper Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Pie, or fun frozen treats like fried ice cream!
  5. Top Your Cheesecake. Add a drizzle of chocolate sauce on cheesecake (or no-bake cheesecake!). I love doing this to individual slices for an especially pretty presentation!
  6. Pretty Presentation! You can also put it in a squeeze bottle and drizzle the plate before adding slices of your favorite desserts. It gives such a polished look! (Think flourless chocolate cake, molten chocolate lava cake, layered cakes, etc.)
  7. Drizzle On Apple Nachos Or Banana Splits. We love making apple nachos and healthier banana splits during the summer when my kids are hungry & we want a special snack. This chocolate syrup adds a fun touch to both!
  8. Fruit Dip. For Valentine’s Day, date nights in, or other special occasions, try serving this chocolate sauce as a fruit dip with some fresh strawberries, banana, apples, pineapple, cubes of pound cake, and more. Fresh fruit + chocolate = a perfect pairing!
  9. Over-The-Top Brunch! This definitely wouldn’t be for the everyday breakfast, but you could even try a little chocolate syrup on chocolate chip pancakes, waffles, etc. Chocolate goes well with berries, bananas, nuts, and more.
Front view of a slice of gluten-free chocolate cake on a plate drizzled with homemade chocolate syrup
A small white pitcher of homemade chocolate syrup

FAQ + Tricks For The BEst Homemade Chocolate Syrup

What’s The Difference Between Chocolate Syrup And Chocolate Sauce? These terms are often used interchangeably. Technically, chocolate syrup is usually made with water and without added fat, whereas chocolate sauce usually includes some kind of fat (milk, butter, cream, etc.). Both terms refer to pourable chocolate sauce that’s thinner than hot fudge.

Is Hot Fudge The Same As Chocolate Syrup? Hot fudge is a thick chocolate sauce that usually includes added fat, while chocolate syrup is a thin, pourable chocolate sauce made without added fat.

How Do You Make Chocolate Syrup Thicker? Chocolate syrup is meant to be thin and pourable. It’ll look SUPER thin right after you’ve made it when it’s piping hot, but it will continue thicken as it cools. If you want yours thicker, you can add a tablespoon of butter for richness, use milk instead of water, and consider reducing the amount of milk even more. (Or, try a hot fudge sauce recipe!)

How Long Does Homemade Chocolate Syrup Last? I usually try to use mine within 2 weeks (within 1 week if I used milk), but this reference says it could stay fresh up to 2-3 months! Chocolate syrup will keep best stored in an airtight glass container or glass jar in the refrigerator.

More Homemade Sauces To Try

Front view of strawberry ice cream covered with raspberry sauce

Fresh Raspberry Sauce (Raspberry Coulis)

WE ♥

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Dipping a spoon into a jar of homemade chocolate syrup

Homemade Chocolate Syrup (Like Hershey’s!)


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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Emily Dixon, Sweets & Thank You
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1/4 cups 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free
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Description

This easy chocolate sauce is perfect for ice cream, chocolate milk, and so much more. It’s like homemade Hershey’s syrup!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/2 cup (40 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (regular not Dutch processed)
  • 1 cup sugar (200 grams)
  • 1/81/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup water (or milk)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Optional: 1 Tablespoon butter

Instructions

  1. Mix The Dry Ingredients. Add cocoa powder, sugar, and salt to a small saucepan. Whisk to combine.
  2. Add Water Or Milk. Pour in the water or milk and whisk until smooth.
  3. Bring To A Simmer. Stir the chocolate mixture over medium heat until it just begins to boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer the chocolate syrup 2-3 minutes, or until it thickens slightly and there are no lumps remaining.
  4. Stir In The Vanilla. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the vanilla (and the butter, if using). Note that the chocolate syrup will look quite thin at this point. This is normal! It will continue to thicken as it cools, but will remain easily pourable.
  5. Cool & Store. Allow the chocolate syrup to cool a bit, then transfer to a glass jar to store. Chocolate syrup will keep in the fridge 1-2 weeks. (1 week if you used milk.)

Notes

  • Cocoa. I recommend regular, natural cocoa powder rather than Dutch-Processed cocoa powder, since it gives the chocolate sauce a more classic taste. If you prefer dark chocolate sauce, you can absolutely use half of each or all Dutch-processed cocoa. 
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes

2 Comments

  1. Excellent! Thank you!! I use half cane sugar and half xylitol. I always want to know exactly what’s in our food and this is a great treat, especially in iced coffee! ❤️






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