DIY Homemade Chocolate Milk Syrup (without refined sugar)

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Homemade Chocolate Milk Syrup without refined sugars or artificial colors. The healthy, fun, and easy way to do chocolate milk.

Shall we bring back a bit of nostalgia this morning?

Maybe it’s the DIY facial serum at work? Bringing me back to the youthful years of 1992. I promise, we’ll skip the overalls and tie-dyed shirts. Everyone take a deep sigh of relief.

I grew up with everything the late 80’s and early 90’s had to offer– the good, the bad, and the “What in the world were we thinking??”.  Overalls and tie-dyed shirts that flowed down well-past the knees definitely qualify for the latter category. If you thought overalls were the bomb-diggity (it’s the 90’s coming out), just keep reading. No hard feelings. I’m sure you pulled off the overall look much better than I did.

Homemade Chocolate Milk Syrup without refined sugars or artificial colors. The healthy, fun, and easy way to do chocolate milk.

One of my fondest memories as a child, besides cooking with my mom, was a magical bottle of dark chocolate syrup kept in the door of our almond-colored fridge.  The 90’s aren’t exactly known as the age of health food, so the thought of chocolate syrup and mystery ingredients never came into question. All I knew was that the big bottle of chocolate syrup took my milk from a plain white drink to a heaven-sent glass of chocolatey-satisfaction.

My heaven-sent chocolate milk experiences were not an everyday event. The bottle of magical chocolate syrup only came out on special occasions, much like fast food and chips.

Fast forward to 2015 and real food.

Oh don’t worry, I’m not about to take away the nostalgia of chocolate milk! No, no…

Homemade Chocolate Milk Syrup without refined sugars or artificial colors. The healthy, fun, and easy way to do chocolate milk.

When people hear, read, or notice (“Umm…Your fridge is a tad bit different than mine. You have half a cow in your freezer…what?!”) that we enjoy real food, the first reaction is often, “So do you eat a lot of salads and quinoa?” My reply usually includes a line about butter, steak, bacon, and homemade ice cream. Oh, and my utter distain for quinoa, until recently. Remember? We made up and became friends!

The good news is that we are not  thriving on salads and quinoa alone. Yes, I make both. I’m a huge fan of a hearty homemade salad, like my Probiotic Chicken Caesar Salad, but that doesn’t mean salads make-up our entire real food existence. In fact, because of our real food lifestyle, we don’t have to worry about an ingredient list, calorie counts, or trans fat. We enjoy homemade treats with great pleasure–homemade ice cream, pastured bacon, brownies (!!!), and even chocolate milk.

Amazing, right?

We enjoy these treats and find pleasure in the taste and wholesome ingredients.

Homemade Chocolate Milk Syrup without refined sugars or artificial colors. The healthy, fun, and easy way to do chocolate milk.

Let’s get to the syrup…shall we?

Homemade chocolate syrup is seriously one of the easiest homemade treats to make in the kitchen. Homemade chocolate syrup is made with just a few basic ingredients: cocoa powder (the chocolate punch), water, pure maple syrup (the sweetness), vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. The simple ingredients come together in just minutes to create a decadent chocolate syrup that can be stored in the fridge for several months. Stir homemade chocolate syrup in a tall glass of whole milk or drizzle over homemade vanilla bean ice cream. You can also enjoy this syrup straight from the spoon…hey, I won’t judge.

Homemade Chocolate Milk Syrup without refined sugars or artificial colors. The healthy, fun, and easy way to do chocolate milk.

Homemade Chocolate Milk Syrup without refined sugars or artificial colors. The healthy, fun, and easy way to do chocolate milk.
4.93 from 14 votes

DIY Homemade Chocolate Milk Syrup (Refined Sugar Free)

Homemade chocolate syrup is seriously one of the easiest homemade treats to make in the kitchen. Homemade chocolate syrup is made with just a few basic ingredients: cocoa powder (the chocolate punch), water, pure maple syrup (the sweetness), vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. 
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Keyword Chocolate Milk Syrup
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1 1/4 cup chocolate syrup
Calories 599 kcal
Author Kristin Marr



  1. In a medium-size saucepan, over medium-high heat, whisk together the water and maple syrup. Bring the water/syrup mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low.
  2. Whisk the cocoa powder into the water/syrup mixture until the powder is fully dissolved. Simmer for 2 minutes. This is just the right amount of time needed for the syrup to thicken. If the syrup simmers for longer, the cocoa powder may burn resulting in a burnt flavor (yuck!).
  3. Remove the chocolate syrup from the heat. Stir the vanilla extract and pinch of salt into the syrup.
  4. Store the syrup in a container in the fridge for several months.

Recipe Notes

The “where to buy” links provide links to the actual products I use. As always, I recommend shopping around online and at local stores for the best prices and products you love. Find all my favorite kitchen essentials, here.

Homemade Chocolate Milk Syrup without refined sugars or artificial colors. The healthy, fun, and easy way to do chocolate milk.

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Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

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Cinnamon Baked Apples

20 healthy meal prep foods you can make in advance to save time and money! This is also a printable list so I post it on the fridge to help me prepare for the week.

20 Healthy Meal Prep Foods to Save Money and Time

More from Kristin Marr
Join the Conversation


    1. says: Kristin Marr

      Thank you, Jennifer. I haven’t tried honey out of fear that it may make the syrup too sweet, but I think it would work. You may need to the decrease the amount used by a few tablespoons, depending on the sweetness desired.

  1. says: Christina cox

    5 stars
    Just made this and my daughter and I love it. Tastes great and so much better then the “chocolate flavored syrup” from the store. Thank you.

  2. says: Dona

    thanks!! I’m on a mission to get my hubby healthy.. But I must be sneaky about it 😉 I’ll be trying this. Hoping he doesn’t notice unless to say it’s better tasting! He eats so much “crap”. Next will be milk.. Finding one that doesn’t have so many hormone issues, then the chips, pop, cookies!

  3. says: Bethany

    5 stars
    This turned out yummy thank you! Just in case anyone wants to know; I didn’t cook it, cuz I was in a hurry and didn’t read the directions and I forgot to add the vanilla. It turned out really runny but tasted just like store-bought to me, only fresher. Next time I’ll have to try it the right way. Teehee *blush*

  4. says: Regina

    5 stars
    Just found your blog and am loving it! I am working at getting rid of some of the unhealthier things in my young family’s diet. My little girls don’t like to drink milk plain and lately have been asking for chocolate milk. I hated the thought of buying another bottle of chocolate syrup and knew I needed to try this recipe when I found it. I made it yesterday and they all loved it! Now I just need to buy a cute glass jar to permanently be our chocolate syrup jar! thanks!

    1. says: Kristin Marr

      Hey Regina, Welcome to Live Simply!! I’m so glad you’re here. My son isn’t really into milk these days either, but he loves chocolate milk…there’s something extra special about homemade chocolate milk, too. I’m so glad everyone enjoyed the syrup. A cute bottle is a must ;).

  5. says: Kari

    5 stars
    Delicious! Thank you! Made this tonight for the first time. I’ve always made my own chocolate syrup, but it called for 3 cups white sugar. 🙂 My son definitely realized this was “dark” chocolate syrup, but he likes it.

  6. says: Marie

    I made this today and was surprised how similar the taste is to the store-bought powder (you know the one!). I also liked how easy it was to incorporate into the milk. Thanks for posting.

  7. says: Cristie

    I am in love with your site. I too was wondering if you could use honey only because maple syrup has such a flavor of it’s own. If someone tries it post the results. Keep up the good work you’re inspiring.

  8. says: Hela

    Hi Kristin , I’m wondering if you ever did try this recipe with honey ?…and if so would it go with raw honey? Thanks in advance

  9. says: Bev

    Gonna try this with raw honey, almost out of the homemade made with lots of sugar. something to think about if using raw honey add this after the mixture has cooled down but still warm, (if you want to keep all the goodies raw honey has to offer) that is!

      1. says: Bev

        Wow! This stuff is amazing!!!
        It makes a super chocolatey chocolate milk, but does not add a whole lot of sweet, perfect! I used raw honey, and can’t even taste it!

  10. says: Kristin Small

    Hi Kristin!

    Just wondering if you think this would still work with raw cacao powder as opposed to the cocoa powder? It’s all I have on hand right now and want to try this recipe out asap as my son has just discovered his love of chocolate milk!


  11. says: Julia

    Thank you for the recipe!

    I switched from Organic Valley Chocolate milk to DIY “Nesquik” Powder and back again. The DIY stuff had an insane amount of sugar. So for the past month the one child that liked chocolate milk (my youngest doesn’t like to eat sweets, only hold them…nice problem to have!) has been living without chocolate milk. Organic Chocolate milk is crazy-expensive and in our house, we’ve only liked one brand that was easily available at Publix (no Whole foods by us). This will make her little happy heart more sunshiny! Thank you.

  12. says: Cheryl

    5 stars
    Thank you so much for this recipe! We love it! It is exactly what I was looking for and not “sicky” sweet– just enough to add a lovely chocolate taste without a bunch of artificial garbage! 🙂 I am getting ready to make my second batch and had a question for you. After keeping it in the refrigerator for a few weeks, it started to get thick on the bottom. I tried warming the jar I was storing it in, but that didn’t seem to help. Any suggestions for keeping it smooth? We don’t keep it for too long (it lasted maybe slightly less than a month), but it would be great to keep it running smooth/liquid-y until the end…

    1. says: Kristin Marr

      Hey Cherly, I’m so glad you’re enjoying this syrup! Yes, my jar gets a bit thick on the bottom, too. I use a long a spoon to stir the mixture before use, which seems to help, or even shake the jar (if it’s tightly sealed).

      1. says: Cheryl

        Thanks for your quick response, Kristin! We will try that (or maybe just eat it even faster!). Looking forward to trying more of your recipes…

  13. says: Barbara

    I just made this! IT’S absolutly awsome! I had agave syrup in the cabinet so I used it. Turned out just right! Now I can try those iced coffees and not feel so bad. I’m trying to adjust to being paleo. This will help in those oh o times! And I stopped using regular white sugar years ago, wish we had pintrest way back then!

  14. says: jessie flo

    5 stars
    Thanks very much for this recipe! I used it over the weekend for an ice cream bar and it was delicious. I did find it a little thin at first so I added a dark chocolate bar to the mix and then it was perfect.

  15. says: Dena Haeffner

    This was really good and very easy. I tried to cut back on the amount of maple syrup, but it really did need what you called for.

  16. says: Janet

    I have been searching for a sugar free chocolate fix since September 2016. This fits the bill perfectly. I take a spoonful now and then but mostly stir it into my coffee. Thank you!

  17. says: Julie

    I just tried it. I am I made some mistake and it was very thin. I used Hershey’s special dark cocoa and 1/2 cup. And used Molasses replacing maple syrup. Do you have any recommended recipes using these two ingredients?

    1. says: Kristin Marr

      Hey Julie, I’ve never tried making this with molasses, so I’m not sure if that was issue or possibly something else. I don’t have any recipes with molasses. You can add a few tablespoons to homemade granola add the end of baking. There are a lot of ways to use cocoa (I’m sure the same is true with molasses–it’s just not an ingredients I keep on hand often). You could make pudding: Or hot chocolate, brownie bites (skip the peppermint):

  18. says: cassiterita

    Hi Kristin! Do you think it would be ok to skip the maple syrup and just add some liquid stevia for sweetness?

      1. says: cassiterita

        5 stars
        Thank you, Kristin! I added just a spoonful of honey, some Stevia and a bit more water to adjust the liquid-powder ratio. Stronger cocoa flavour, but it worked just fine, husband loved it 🙂

  19. says: Chloe

    4 stars
    Hi Kristin, I am a big chocolate milk fan and when I found your recipe on Pinterest I was really excited. I made it yesterday and followed the directions but it turned out pretty thick. Do you have any ideas on how to thin it out or avoid this in the future?

  20. says: Diana

    Should I wait until the chocolate syrup completely cools down before putting it in her fridge? And also will it stay with the same texture or will it get thicker? I like the consistency of it at first, just thick enough.

  21. says: Sydney Lorenz

    I’m so happy to see this recipe and will be making it soon. What do you think about using cacao instead of cocoa! I’ve been reading a lot and understand that is is a better choice than cocoa because it isn’t roasted/heated. I’d love your take on this.
    Two months ago I went “real” (no alcohol or refined/processed food) and my head is spinning with all the different perspectives and opinions. Thank you!

    1. says: Kristin Marr

      Hey Sydney, Yes, you can use cacao. I generally use cacao these days, but for many people cacao isn’t easy to find so that’s why I stick with cocoa in the written recipe. Cacao adds a rich chocolate flavor. I’m personally not worried about using a good cocoa powder from a trusted brand, but also have read about there being benefits to using cacao instead. Cacao is very easy for me to find these days, so that’s what you’ll generally find in my pantry. I’d say go with what you can find and love using.

  22. says: Caity

    Hi Kristin, so happy to run across this recipe . I’m gifting personalized ice cream spoons and ice bowls to the kids in the family this year for Christmas and needed to add a bit something to the gift and I think a container of this is perfect, however, I’m wondering about storage? Do you think there is a maximum amount of time it can be left out of fridge before it goes bad ?

    1. says: Kristin Marr

      Hey Caity, What a great gift! It needs to stay in the fridge. I wouldn’t keep it out for more than a few hours, or a day. Another idea may be create a DIY chocolate syrup kit with the printed recipe. So they can make their own?

  23. says: Ashley T

    As an adult who has been desperately trying to figure out a healthy alternative to chocolate milk.. THANK YOU! Absolutely delicious AND I have come across your blog.. It’s beautiful! Total bonus!

  24. says: Michelle

    5 stars
    This is fantastic! I’m trying to cut down/out refined sugar but dying for an iced mocha. I won’t use bottled sugar-free syrups so I decided to try this. I bought good quality cocoa powder and made this. It’s delicious! I don’t taste the maple and it’s pure ingredients. I can’t wait to make iced coffee with it tomorrow.

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