Homemade Bittersweet Chocolate Syrup


It is amazing what a drizzle of chocolate syrup will do for coconut milk vanilla ice cream, a plain glass of milk, or a cup of coffee. This version keeps it dark and bittersweet, and is sweetened with honey and coconut sugar.  This syrup makes a mean cup of chocolate milk, but I could also see using it to make homemade chocolate shakes, homemade frappes, or drizzling on desserts. Chocolate syrup is great because it is easy to stir into cold liquids, unlike cocoa powder.

Plus, chocolate is kind of like bacon: It makes everything better, right?

How well do I remember the Hershey’s bottle of chocolate syrup we had in the refrigerator growing up. I loved coming in from an exhilarating play world in the backyard to make myself a cup of chocolate milk. Now I can share that love with my children, though my version is less sweet and naturally sweetened. They like to eat it straight off the spoon! 

I might find a way to include this in our Easter Celebration! Speaking of which, you might want to check out this round up of posts on Easter related recipes! Everything from my favorite roasted asparagus with lemon butter sauce recipe to two instructional posts on how to naturally dye Easter eggs.

Ever used coconut sugar before? It’s a tasty traditional sugar that is lovely, and perfect for those sensitive to cane sugar. I have found it at Trader Joe’s recently, but you can also buy it online, if you can’t find it locally. (Affiliate links). Here are two options, I’ve used and enjoyed this brand, but this brand is a GREAT deal right now (I haven’t tried this specific brand yet).

 Chocolate recipes you may enjoy:

Homemade Bittersweet Chocolate Syrup
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Swirl into milk, coffee, or milkshakes, eat by the spoonful, or enjoy over ice cream or raspberry sorbet! Sweeten to taste. I use the lower amount of sweetener called for, but be forewarned, it is very dark. :-)
  • 1½ cups of water
  • 1½ to 3 cups of unrefined sugar (coconut sugar, unrefined cane sugar, maple sugar)
  • 1½ cups of cocoa powder
  • Dash of unrefined salt
  • ¼ cup of honey or maple syrup (use maple syrup for vegan version)
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract (use gluten-free, as needed)
  1. In a medium pot, combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil over high heat, then turn heat down to keep at a low simmer.
  2. Whisk in the cocoa powder thoroughly. Add the honey and salt and whisk again to combine (Carefully! Don't splatter the hot liquid on yourself!).
  3. Once everything is dissolved and the syrup is lump free, and it has thickened, turn off the heat, and stir in the vanilla extract.
  4. Cool. Serve warm, if desired, or store in the refrigerator in jars or a squeeze bottle.




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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

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  1. Kim Martineau says

    Thank you for sharing this recipe!! I will definitely be making some today for my girls! They love their chocolate milk and I have really been wanting to find an alternative to the ‘Quick’ Syrup purchased in the grocery store. This sounds like it is going to be exactly what I have been looking for! 🙂

  2. Kim Martineau says

    Thank you for sharing this recipe!! I will definitely be making some today for my girls! They love their chocolate milk and I have really been wanting to find an alternative to the ‘Quick’ Syrup purchased in the grocery store. This sounds like it is going to be exactly what I have been looking for! 🙂

  3. says

    “chocolate is kind of like bacon: It makes everything better, right?”

    Now that’s a quote to keep, love it 🙂

    The syrup looks delicious!

  4. Tywana says

    I love this idea and can’t wait to try it!! My daughter is allergic to Soy and I refuse to give my children High Fructose Corn Syrup so I never buy the syrup in the store! Even the organic ones contain Soy!! Off to the kitchen now to whip up a batch for the frozen bananas we will blend up tonight for ice cream!! Thanks Kimi

  5. Amber says

    Do you know how long this would keep? I’m excited to try it out, but think a little bit would still go a long way…

  6. Stephanie says

    THANK YOU!! Since we live in a place now that does not have a Trader Joe’s, we miss our UN-HFCS chocolate syrup, and don’t buy the other stuff. My husband loves a little chocolate syrup in his coffee with lots of extra cream. He will be so excited!

  7. Anne Marie says

    I love homemade chocolate syrup. So easy. So yummy. I use leftover honey squeeze bottles to store it in. My boys love it on pancakes or french toast and coconut milk mint chip frozen dessert.

  8. Molly Maloney says

    I’m excited to try this too. And I’d also love to know how long it keeps. I’d love to be able to keep a jar in the fridge for months to use a bit at a time. Let me know if it’s suitable for that. Thanks very much!!

  9. says

    kimi i’ve missed you! as usual, this recipe, like so many of yours, looks phenomenal and is inspiring to me. recent health setbacks have kept me treading water, but hopefully i’m coming up for air now! cheers xo Ariyele

  10. says

    I have cocoa in the cupboard right now, I’m going to try this today! I am such a chocolate fiend, I couldn’t pass this up…

  11. says

    My fave syrup is when I just melt a few TB of unsweetened carob chips in a little bit of water…..no need for sugar at all as carob has a natural sweetness to it. It’s addicting and uber healthy!

  12. Roxanne Rieske says

    I’m trying to really cut down on sugar. Do you think this would work w/ half the total amount of sugar, using either coconut sugar or honey, and then sweetening to taste w/ liquid stevia?

  13. Faye says

    I made half a recipe yesterday and put the minimum amount of sugar, 3/4 cup. The kids and I loved it! They had strawberries and a small bowl to dip them in as dessert. It has a very rich, dark chocolate taste. My husband was not so keen, but he doesn’t like dark chocolate as much, maybe I’ll encourage him to try some in his coffee! This seems like a very versatile sauce/syrup. This would also be great as a gift! Thanks!

    • Tracy says

      I have made this several times. I actually ended up doubling the batch and storing it in the back of the fridge where it lasted for several months. We use it as fruit dip, to make mocha’s, put in shakes or smoothies. I even used it as a sauce for a batch of Triple Chocolate Brownie Pancakes . It was super sweet but everyone loved it with homemade ice cream. I do use the least amount of sugar recommended as well. I am thinking that when I make it again this week, I will try reducing the sugar even more. Plus, I now have homemade vanilla to use. Thanks for such a great recipe! I will definitely be gifting this goodie for Christmas this year!

  14. Albert says

    Just made my second batch of this wonderfully dark chocolate sauce. I have been subbing agave syrup for the sugar – 2/3 of cup. Works just fine and is not overly sweet. Also using Ghiardelli cocoa powder. I am a Bay Area native so I’m partial! Thanks for the basis its wonderful. Grilled some ripe peaches tonight and drizzeled this sauce over them, yum! Thanks again!

  15. Emily says

    I’m looking for the MINIMUM amount of sugar needed to make chocolate syrup. A ratio of 1:1:1 water:cocoa:sugar is to me a basic recipe since it is simple syrup with cocoa added. 1:1 cocoa:sugar is NOT bittersweet at all, it’s just normal! Has anyone experimented with LESS sugar? I can reduce it to about 80-90%, but I wanted to know if anyone had done 50% sugar or less. It’s mainly there to help thicken and help the cocoa dissolve.

  16. Mary says

    I also like to minimize sweeteners. I think the sugar/sweetener is there to of-set the bitterness of the chocolate, in addition to any other reasons, though. If you have ever tasted straight, unsweetened chocolate, you will know that it is very bitter, overwhelmingly so, or at least I experience it that way.

  17. Kaiti says

    I just made this using maple syrup instead of sugar. I used about a cup of maple syrup and it turned out great! I used it to make myself a mocha and it’s delicious. Next time, I think I’ll use even less maple syrup as I like just a little bit of sweetness. Thanks for the recipe!

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