20-Minute Homemade Chocolate Sauce

Homemade chocolate sauce recipe

The Spruce / Ali Redmond

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 24 servings
Yield: 2 1/2 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
92 Calories
1g Fat
21g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 24
Amount per serving
Calories 92
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 1mg 0%
Sodium 18mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 19g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 12mg 1%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 15mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This popular chocolate sauce takes only 20 minutes of cooking time. It's a simple recipe made with just a few common ingredients—cocoa, flour, milk, salt, sugar, and vanilla extract. After you sample this smooth, rich, and very chocolate-dense version, store-bought chocolate sauces simply won't taste the same.

The recipe makes about 2 1/2 cups of chocolate sauce and keeps well for two weeks. That gives you plenty of time to enjoy it in many delicious ways. Warm the chocolate sauce to make a hot fudge sundae or serve it cold or at room temperature. Drizzle the sauce over ice cream or use it to dress up a chocolate chip pie or pound cake. It's also a great topping for chocolate chip pancakes.


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"Skip the store-bought Hershey’s syrup and make this delicious recipe instead. I had all the ingredients I needed already in my pantry—just cocoa powder, sugar and milk, plus a little flour, salt, and vanilla. It was an incredibly simple process that resulted in sweet, rich syrup that tasted nearly identical." —Danielle Centoni

20-Minute Homemade Chocolate Sauce Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk, divided

  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for homemade chocolate sauce
    The Spruce / Ali Redmond
  2. Place the granulated sugar, cocoa powder, flour, and salt in a medium-sized saucepan, along with 1/2 cup of the milk and whisk to combine into a thick paste.

    Dry ingredients in a pan and milk in a measuring cup
    The Spruce / Ali Redmond
  3. Whisk in the remaining milk and bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. This can take up to 10 minutes.

    Whisk in milk to dry ingredients; bring to a boil
    The Spruce / Ali Redmond
  4. When the sauce comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer very gently for 5 minutes, whisking often. Remove from heat, add the vanilla extract, and let the sauce cool.

    Sauce removed from heat; ready for vanilla extract
    The Spruce / Ali Redmond
  5. Store the sauce in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, covered.

    Pouring sauce into a jar to be stored
    The Spruce / Ali Redmond
  6. Warm the sauce in the microwave or on the stovetop, if desired, and enjoy.

    Chocolate sauce poured over ice cream
    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

How to Use

Keep this sauce on hand throughout the year, as it is a low-fat treat, and a little bit goes a long way. There are many ways to enjoy its sweet, creamy taste:

  • Use hot or cold on ice cream, cake, fruit, or other desserts.
  • Blend it to taste with milk for a cup of chocolate milk, or warm up the milk for a quick hot chocolate.
  • For a light dessert with a chocolate fix, slice a few bananas, sprinkle them with walnuts, and then drizzle some of this chocolate sauce on top.

Recipe Variations

  • The chocolate sauce can be made with low-fat or even skim milk for a lower-fat treat.
  • Add orange liqueur and a bit of orange zest for a chocolate orange sauce.
  • Make a cherry bounce chocolate sauce by adding a couple of tablespoons of bourbon and some cherries.
  • For a delicious chocolate mint sauce, add a little mint extract and chopped fresh mint leaves. Or, add some crushed peppermint candy.
  • Give the sauce a mocha twist by adding 1 teaspoon of espresso powder.

What's the Difference Between Chocolate Sauce, Syrup, and Hot Fudge?

Equally tempting and made in the same way, a few ingredients make a difference between chocolate sauce, hot fudge, and chocolate syrup. Chocolate sauce is thickened with flour (sometimes cornstarch) but remains thin and pourable. Hot fudge is considerably thicker and includes butter, which gives it a slightly richer taste. Chocolate syrup is the thinnest of the three toppings; it's often made with water rather than milk and may use corn syrup as a thickener.