Easy Cocoa Powder Chocolate Sauce Recipe

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Do you ever get cravings for chocolate milk but never have syrup on hand? Or maybe you just now realized cocoa powder has an expiration date and need a quick way to use it all up? Or maybe you just really can’t stand that fake stuff in the brown jug. Well no matter what scenario you are in, I have a simple and easy solution for you – homemade cocoa powder chocolate sauce. 

What is Cocoa Powder Chocolate Sauce?

Cocoa powder chocolate sauce (or chocolate syrup) is really just a chocolate flavored liquid that can be drizzled onto or stirred into desserts. It’s made from cocoa powder, which is a common kitchen ingredient!

Cocoa powder chocolate sauce in a mason jar placed on a white table

My Approach to Chocolate Sauce 

This is one of the easiest sauces you can make – I’m going to make a simple syrup with cocoa powder in it. Yes that is it. It is exactly what it sounds like: chocolate and syrup.  

What Makes a Good Chocolate Sauce?

There are really only 2 main ingredients, one of which is sugar. A good chocolate sauce starts with good chocolate. I prefer the special dark cocoa powder with the red band branding on the container.  

The Challenge with Chocolate Sauce

When developing this recipe there is one technique that I think makes it much easier. That is how to dissolve cocoa powder into water. You definitely don’t want clumps in your sauce. 

To eliminate clumps you add a tiny bit of water first and form a slurry or paste. From there, you can dilute with more water to get a syrup or sauce. 

Pro tip: this works equally well for mixing the “wasabi” you get at sushi places with soy sauce. 

Cocoa powder and white sugar in separate bowls

Developing Flavors

There are two ingredients that are technically optional but highly recommended. The first is vanilla and the second is espresso powder or fine coffee grounds. There’s something about coffee and vanilla that add to and enhance the chocolatiness. 

Some additional flavor additives would be spices like cayenne, clove, or cinnamon to make it more of a Mexican chocolate sauce.  

What Pairs with Homemade Chocolate Sauce?

You can put this sauce onto or into so many different things:

  • Make some cold chocolate milk on a hot day
  • Top cake or ice cream with a quick drizzle
  • Make yourself a delicious chocolate peanut butter banana smoothie
  • Shake it up into a mixed drink

How Long will Homemade Chocolate Sauce Last? 

Homemade chocolate sauce should last you 1-2 weeks in the fridge stored in a mason jar. You can however, freeze chocolate sauce in which case it would keep indefinitely. 

All that said, I kept the recipe deliberately on the smaller side so you shouldn’t be making more than you can use up quickly. 

Tools Required

Cocoa powder and sugar mixture cooking in a saucepan

Very limited tools are required to make your own chocolate sauce. All you will need are:

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Saucepan
  • Jar or container to store your sauce in
Cocoa powder chocolate sauce in a mason jar placed on a white table

Cocoa Powder Chocolate Sauce

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Course: Sauces
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 12 Servings
Calories: 74kcal


  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon coffee powder optional


  • Add all items to saucepan
  • Add 2 tablespoons of water and make a paste
  • Dilute with rest of water
  • Bring to a boil and immediately turn off stove
  • Let cool
  • Serve on top of something like ice cream!


Calories: 74kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 58mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg
Author: Beginner Food
Beginner's Guide to Making Sauces

Nathaniel Lee is an avid cook, drawing on his decades of home cooking and fine dining experience. He is a contributing chef at Mashed, and his recipes and contributions have been featured in Tasting Table, Edible Arrangements, Insanely Good Recipes, and The Daily Meal.