Recipe: Homemade chocolate syrup

There’s a huge focus, quite rightly, at the moment on what’s actually in our food. I don’t want to get into the whole horsemeat saga in this post – there’s one brewing around that – but I do think that knowing what we’re putting into our, and our children’s, bodies is important.

Homemade chocolate syrup

Having never been an avid examiner of ingredients lists I’m trying to take small steps of being mindful of what we’re eating and, in turn, what that food is made up of. It worries me when I look at some of our staples and ingredients that I’d have thought would have been in the top few listed only appear half way down. And it’s concerning when I can’t actually pronounce some of the things in there.

It’s something that I’m still educating myself about and I imagine that a lot of this is obvious to some of you but we all have to start somewhere. I make homemade versions of lots of things already but I’ve usually approached this from a taste and cost perspective, now I’m more interested in knowing what’s in there.

I started looking into homemade chocolate syrup when I glanced at Izzy’s preferred brand and couldn’t tell you what some of the ingredients were. Anything resembling cocoa was much further down the list than I would have liked and I figured it couldn’t be that difficult to make our own.

Chocolate milk with homemade chocolate syrup

It’s really not but there does seem to be a lack of recipes from the UK. Some of my favourite American blogs came up trumps.

The syrup is rich and incredibly chocolaty, a little goes a long way. Clearly one of its main uses for us is for chocolate milk but it makes a fantastic hot chocolate and stirred into a coffee, it makes an intense mocha. Whizzed up with milk, a banana and a spoonful of peanut butter and you have a fantastic milkshake.

I reduced mine for longer than suggested as I wanted a spoonable syrup but if you want more of a pouring consistency then reduce the simmering time by a few minutes.

Spoonable homemade chocolate syrup

Source: Adapted from Small Notebook

Homemade chocolate syrup

Homemade chocolate syrup for making chocolate milk, hot chocolate, stirring into a coffee or drizzling over pancakes or puddings.


  • 255g light brown sugar
  • 125g cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 225ml cold water
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract


  1. Place the sugar, cocoa and salt into a medium saucepan. Add the water and whisk it all together. Over a medium heat bring it to the boil, whisking regularly.
  2. Once boiling, lower the temperature and simmer the syrup until it has reduced and thickened, whisking every couple of minutes. Mine took about 10 minutes and I ended up with a spoonable syrup which is what I wanted but do keep in mind that it will thicken further as it cools so reduce the time slightly if you want more of a pouring one.
  3. Once the syrup has reduced, take off the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract. Pour into a jar and leave to cool. Once cool, store in the fridge.


Be careful! Keep in mind that you are dealing with boiling sugar which is incredibly hot; make sure there are no small people around.

Experiment with flavourings, I’ll be making a hazelnut version and the thought of a choc orange one appeals.

  • Kelly

    Sounds great! How long would this keep? Kelly @

    • Fishfingers for tea

      I’m no expert when it comes to this kind of thing and I should probably advise you that it will last a couple of weeks in the fridge but there’s not really much to go off. I made mine nearly a month ago and it’s still completely fine.

  • Laura@howtocookgoodfood

    This would be perfect as my kids love chic milk & I would agree with you, making your own syrup is going to not only taste better but include ingredients I recognise by name not a serial number!

    • Fishfingers for tea

      Exactly! I’m not obsessive about it at all but it’s concerning when something you’d think would be simple whether it was or home made or bought from a shop turns out to mainly a list of unrecognisable ingredients!

  • Bangers & Mash

    I dread to think what’s in the shop-bought chocolate milk powder and am so excited about the idea of a homemade syrup. I’ll definitely be making up a batch this weekend. Thanks Sian – great idea!

    • Fishfingers for tea

      Brilliant! And thank you, I really hope you like it.

  • Charlotte

    Will definitely be trying this one! x

    • Fishfingers for tea

      Fantastic, do let me know what you think.