Healthy (er) Homemade Chocolate Syrup

I am a big fan of chocolate milk. Huge. However, a few years ago I decided to try making my own syrup since there was so much junk in the commercial stuff. The recipe I used, and that my family has grown to love still uses sugar (usually the “in the raw” kind, so that’s a little better), but far less than your standard recipe.

For a while now, we’ve been trying to get away from using sugar. I often use maple syrup or honey in place of it in desserts (not birthday cake, though!), and just try in general to reach for something else first. So when I was getting ready to make some chocolate syrup, I finally decided to try a recipe that doesn’t use sugar. I found one that uses honey, and though that sounded awful to me (honey in chocolate milk?), I gave it a shot. And I’m glad I did, ’cause it’s delicious! There’s enough richness from the cocoa that you don’t taste honey flavor at all. And, omg, it made amazing hot cocoa.

I’ll share both recipes below, my favorite healthy-ish recipe that uses sugar, and the even healthier one that uses honey. Either way, if you’ve been thinking about making your own chocolate syrup, you should go for it. It’s super easy, lasts a while in the fridge, and tastes way better than the standard grocery store variety. Both recipes fit as-is in a pint size jar. Add to milk to taste. Your kids will love it.

Seriously, who didn’t blow milk bubbles when they were a kid?

Chocolate Syrup (with sugar)

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup quality cocoa powder
1/2 cup water
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla* (optional)

In a small saucepan, whisk the first 4 ingredients, and bring to a boil over medium to med-high heat, whisking constantly. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and let cool. Store in the refrigerator.

If you want a thicker syrup, you can boil it for a few minutes, always whisking. I like it as is for chocolate milk.

Chocolate Syrup (with honey)

This recipe is from In the Nursery of the Nation.

Edited to add: I just had this recipe (with the vanilla extract) over some ice cream, and it was… the most amazing thing EVER! The honey recipe is officially my favorite. 

1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup quality cocoa powder
1/4 cup hot water
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla* (optional)

Whisk all ingredients until smooth. That’s it!

*Note on the vanilla: I like the vanilla in both, but sometimes I don’t add it unless I’m making hot cocoa. I do like it in the chocolate milk, but it reminds me too much of hot cocoa, if that makes sense. If you’re unsure, go ahead and try it. Both recipes make small batches, so you won’t be out much. 



7 thoughts on “Healthy (er) Homemade Chocolate Syrup

  1. You hit on something I have been meaning to do for a while because I have daily cravings for chocolate milk! Even the “natural” organic kind in the store has lots of junk in it. I will definitely try both of these, but am especially excited about the honey one!

    • Oh, it’s a plan now! I like the way you think. I just had ice cream last night with the honey version, and it was literally, mind-blowingly amazing. I’ve decided that’s my favorite, and the vanilla is no longer optional. So good.


    • I just use a raw honey from the farmers market. It was amber in color. I’m not sure what the predominant plants surrounding the hives were (like clover, pumpkin, whatever), so I can’t really answer the question, but I’m guessing that if you like the honey, you’ll like it in the syrup.

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