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Sometimes a good chocolate syrup or chocolate sauce can save the day, or at the very least, improve it immensely. The uses are endless: From a simple bowl of vanilla ice cream topped with a bittersweet chocolate variety to the after-school treat of freshly made chocolate milk with cookies to a decorative chocolate design as a garnish beneath a plated dessert, the only limit for chocolate syrups and sauces is your imagination.
While chocolate sauce can, of course, be made at home, it's also a time-consuming kitchen task. For those situations when you simply want to reach inside the refrigerator for a quick indulgence or you want to spend your time and energy baking a masterpiece that just needs an easy finish, store-bought options are the way to go.
Here are the best chocolate syrups and sauces for whatever sweet treats you're craving.
Best Overall: Ghirardelli Chocolate Premium Chocolate Sauce
First started in 1852 by Domenico Ghirardelli, an immigrant from Rapallo, Italy, Ghirardelli Chocolate is the longest-operating chocolate company in the United States. So it's no surprise that Ghirardelli's Premium Chocolate Sauce has the same high-quality flavor profile as the brand's well-known chocolates, which offer a complex, rich, and intense fine chocolate taste. This is a chocolate sauce that works for everything: Drizzle onto ice cream, into milk, or on desserts.
While chocolate syrup and chocolate sauce are often used interchangeably, syrups tend to be thinner than sauces. Store-bought syrups often contain high fructose corn syrup in the ingredient list as well, so if this is something you're looking to avoid, be sure to check the label.
Best for Chocolate Milk: Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup
Classic Hershey’s syrup is an iconic American treat and has been well-loved in home kitchens since it was first created in 1926. So the fact that this is our choice for the best chocolate syrup for making chocolate milk isn’t surprising, really. The recipe? Simply stir a tablespoon of the good stuff (or just add to taste) into an 8-ounce glass of cold milk. If what you want is that classic chocolate taste, this is your go-to syrup.
The Hershey’s Company itself is also well-loved, starting small in 1894 in rural Pennsylvania with the intention of making delicious chocolates affordable for the everyday person, and going on to build a model town for its employees, followed by an amusement park, a school for orphans, and more.
Best Organic: Wildly Organic Chocolate Syrup
With a commitment to using “ingredients that support your lifestyle from the inside out," Wildly Organic Chocolate Syrup is both all-natural and delicious. In fact, it's made with just two ingredients: raw cocoa powder and raw agave nectar. In addition to being an organic syrup with a deep chocolate flavor, you can rest assured that it's Fair Trade International certified, vegan, raw, gluten-free, and packaged in a BPA-free container.
There’s a lot of flexibility with this syrup. Use it in the typical recipes that call for chocolate syrup all while knowing you’re supporting sustainability and fair trade. It doesn't need to be refrigerated, either. Simply pop it into the microwave to warm it a bit for best drizzling results.
Best Bittersweet: Stonewall Kitchen Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce
Bittersweet chocolate is a very individual flavor (as the name suggests, it's more bitter and less sweet than other chocolate), and for those who love it, this sauce is perfection! This bittersweet chocolate sauce holds the taste of home. Award-winning specialty food creator Stonewall Kitchen was started in a New Hampshire home kitchen by Jim Stott and Jonathan King, who took their wares to local farmers' markets before they expanded into a brand with a focus on quality gourmet food items. The beloved brand sells other chocolate sauces but says this one is the best-seller. Drizzle a bit into your coffee for a morning treat or top off your bowl of ice cream with a little decadence.
Best Keto: ChocZero Chocolate Sugar-Free Syrup
Following a keto diet or trying to cut back on sugar doesn't mean you have to give up your beloved chocolate syrup. ChocZero Chocolate Sugar-Free Syrup is not only sugar-free, low-carb (1 gram of net carbs per serving), and keto-friendly, but it’s also all-natural. Made with Madagascar vanilla beans and premium chocolate liquor with sweetness from monk fruit, the flavor is vivid and satisfying. According to the brand, the texture is "decadently thick." We recommend drizzling it onto your keto-friendly ice cream for a hot fudge sundae or using it to liven up any of your other favorite keto-friendly desserts.
Best Dark Chocolate: Torani Puremade Dark Chocolate Sauce
Torani is most well-known for the products it creates for use in specialty coffee drinks, but the same deep knowledge of flavor is used in its Puremade sauces. This dark chocolate sauce is a standout: great texture and flavor, no GMOs or artificial flavors, and made with high-quality ingredients like Dutch cocoa, cold filtered water, and pure cane sugar. You can use this with all kinds of desserts or really wow as an at-home barista by adding it to everything from lattes to frappucinos.
This is also a purchase you can feel good about. The company’s motto is “Flavor for all, Opportunity for all,” which is a promise to deliver top-notch quality with a strong commitment to people. In fact, Torani is a Certified B Corporation, a “new kind of business that balances purpose and profit."
Best White Chocolate: Torani Puremade White Chocolate Sauce
When most people think of chocolate sauce, they think of milk or dark chocolate, but white chocolate sauce is an inspired idea that really shakes things up a bit. Torani's version is our top choice. Like its dark chocolate version, this white chocolate sauce is made with premium ingredients (like real cream) and contains no artificial ingredients or GMOs. You can use it by itself or blend it with dark or bittersweet chocolate sauce to add extra layers of flavor and texture to all your sweet beverages and desserts.
Best Mocha: COOP's MicroCreamery Cold Brew Mocha Sauce
Award-winning Coop’s MicroCreamery is all about handmade, artisanal, small-batch dessert sauces that are made with the best ingredients. The Cold Brew Mocha Sauce perfectly combines the rich flavors of cold brew coffee and chocolate for a well-balanced sauce that goes great with desserts or blended drinks. Actually, this mocha sauce could be eaten out of the jar with a spoon, but try to hold off and use it in your favorite recipes!
Its quality comes from the ingredients: cane sugar, fresh cream, butter (cream, salt), brown cane sugar, cold brew Arabica coffee, pure unsweetened chocolate, and natural cocoa powder. The chic packaging also makes this a great gift for the chocolate lovers in your life.
If you want a classic, high-quality chocolate sauce that's versatile enough to complete all your sweet concoctions, you can't go wrong with Ghirardelli's Chocolate Premium Chocolate Sauce (view at Amazon). For chocolate lovers following a keto diet, ChocZero Chocolate Sugar-Free Syrup (view at Amazon) is a great low-carb choice.
What to Look for When Buying Chocolate Syrup
Taste is the ultimate important test. You want the creamy, silky, sweet—or bittersweet—taste of chocolate that you're craving. If the syrup doesn't taste as you expect it to and give you those wonderfully decadent bursts of flavor in your mouth, it won't satisfy your desire for chocolate.
There are many different chocolate syrups available on the market today. Some are all-natural and/or organic, while others aren't. Check the labels for those ingredients you can't pronounce or that you may recognize as being artificial preservatives and sweeteners.
Ease of Use
Depending on what you prefer, chocolate syrups can be found in squeeze bottles or jars that you can dip a spoon into to get the sauce out.
Does chocolate syrup need to be refrigerated?
Unopened chocolate syrup can be stored in your pantry, but once it's been opened, you should keep it in the refrigerator.
How long does chocolate syrup last once opened?
Chocolate syrup that has been opened will last in the refrigerator for around 12 months. Also, make sure to check the expiration date on the bottle.
What else can chocolate syrup or sauce be used for?
Chocolate syrup and sauces can be used in so many ways, from chocolate milk, drizzled on ice cream, brownies, or cookies, to delicious milkshakes, as a dip for pretzels or fruit, even as a syrup for pancakes or waffles.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Karen Resta is a freelance writer and former pastry chef who covers food and drinks for The Spruce Eats. She specializes in food culture and history, cooking, pastries, and restaurants. She's traveled to Budapest, Kyiv, and Paris during their Fashion Weeks as a photographer and writer, always finding the best authentic pastries along the way. She now spends a lot of her free time baking at home and recommends quality within your given budget