Get a recipe for a dairy-free chocolate sauce that’s perfect for adding to coffee drinks, ice cream sundaes, or drizzling over your favorite desserts.
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Are you a chocolate lover like I am? I have long been known to choose chocolate treats over most other dessert options when given the chance.
Though I’m a little finicky about certain things, like I prefer chocolate cake over chocolate ice cream. I’d like chocolate covered fruit over most other chocolate candies. And I prefer chocolate sauce added to my coffee or ice cream over chocolate cookies or candies.
But all in all, I’m a big time chocolate lover.
One place that I’ve found that I can buy a dairy-free version of chocolate is in chocolate syrup. You know the kind that you can stir into your coffee and it instantly becomes a mocha? Or the one that you drizzle over a bowl of ice cream to bump up the flavor?
I know that there are brands out there that you can buy that are dairy-free, like these ones:
Try one of these dark chocolate syrups in your coffee, chocolate milk (with dairy-free milk), or hot cocoa. Try one of these in your coffee drinks or on top of dairy-free ice cream.
But I have to tell you that there’s nothing that quite compares to a homemade chocolate sauce. I try to make this every holiday season to turn into hot chocolate and peppermint mochas. It’s one of the ways I try to get into the festive spirit is by adding something a little bit special just for one month of the year.
And I think there’s something to be said for it being homemade. I’m not sure if it’s the flavor, the texture, or just knowing exactly what ingredients are included with a ratio that I love, but I think a homemade chocolate sauce (and a dairy-free one at that) is far superior to a store-bought option.
That’s why I want to share my favorite dairy-free chocolate sauce recipe with you. So you can enjoy it through the holidays – or any time year-round – when you get a craving for a little extra chocolate on top of your favorite treat!
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder or cacao powder
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup unsweetened dairy-free milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- In a small saucepan, whisk together the unsweetened cocoa powder, maple syrup, and dairy-free milk. Be sure the cocoa powder completely dissolves into the sauce and no lumps remain.
- Turn the stove heat to medium-low and continue whisking until the sauce heats up and all the ingredients have combined.
- Adjust the sweetness with more maple syrup, if desired.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Allow the chocolate sauce to cool completely.
- Transfer the chocolate sauce to an airtight container, like a mason jar with a lid. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Enjoy this dairy-free chocolate sauce in coffee drinks, hot chocolate, ice cream, or over your favorite desserts.
To make this chocolate sauce peppermint flavored, add ½ tsp peppermint extract along with the vanilla after the sauce has been removed from the heat.
What ingredients do I need to make my own dairy-free chocolate sauce?
This recipe only calls for four ingredients, many of which are probably in your fridge and pantry right now. Let’s go through what you need to make this recipe come together.
Unsweetened cocoa powder or cacao powder
When I make this recipe, I use either Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder or Trader Joe’s unsweetened cocoa powder. If I have cacao powder on hand, I’ll use that.
The difference between cacao powder and cocoa powder is that cacao has not been heated and still retains all the natural antioxidant properties of a cacao plant that a cocoa powder does not.
It’s true that sugar is sugar and maple syrup can be just as refined as white sugar. However if you choose a maple syrup that’s pure and hasn’t had any additives included, this can a better option for you.
Maple syrup naturally has antioxidants, riboflavin, zinc, magnesium, calcium and potassium. Are we angling to feel better about making chocolate sauce?! Yes, we are!
Unsweetened dairy-free milk
Whatever dairy-free milk you have on hand will work great for this recipe. I prefer to not use almond milk as it tends to break down with heat, but most other milks are a good fit for this recipe.
I use oat milk or coconut milk most commonly in this recipe, because I like the richness and full flavor of these. Just be sure whatever dairy-free milk you choose that it’s unsweetened, otherwise you’ll want to adjust how much maple syrup you add to your chocolate sauce.
Vanilla extract lends a homemade flavor to this chocolate sauce, which I always appreciate in my baked goods and desserts. You can use whatever you have on hand in your pantry for this recipe.
How to make dairy-free chocolate sauce
This recipe couldn’t be easier to make. Let’s go through the steps to make this dairy-free chocolate sauce.
Combine the ingredients
In a small saucepan, whisk together the unsweetened cocoa powder, maple syrup, and dairy-free milk. Be sure the cocoa powder completely dissolves into the sauce and no lumps remain.
Heat the chocolate sauce and whisk
Turn the stove heat to medium-low and continue whisking until the sauce heats up and all the ingredients have combined.
Adjust the sweetness with more maple syrup, if desired.
Stir in vanilla
Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
Cool the chocolate sauce
Allow the chocolate sauce to cool completely.
Transfer to an airtight container
Transfer the chocolate sauce to an airtight container, like a mason jar with a lid or a glass swing top bottle. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Enjoy this dairy-free chocolate sauce in coffee drinks, hot chocolate, ice cream, or over your favorite desserts.
What can you use dairy-free chocolate sauce on?
What can’t you use dairy-free chocolate sauce on?! Joking aside, this is a very versatile ingredient you can add to a number of your favorite desserts to get a boost of chocolate flavor.
Here are some of my favorite ways to enjoy this dairy-free chocolate sauce:
- Stirred into coffee for an instant mocha
- Made into dairy-free chocolate milk
- On dairy-free ice cream
- On my favorite gluten-free mug cake
- On gluten-free pancakes or gluten-free waffles
- As a fruit dip or fondue
- On gluten-free brownies
- On gluten-free cakes
- In a bowl of oatmeal
I hope if you’ve been looking for a dairy-free chocolate sauce that you’ll give this one a try and share in the comments what you think of it! I’d love to know what you’re using it on and how you’ve enjoyed it.