Just say no to Hershey’s

I started making our own chocolate syrup back in March of 2011.

I wanted chocolate syrup in the worst way. I wanted to make my own Bailey’s (because I am a cheapskate), and was also looking for an easier way to make chocolate milk & cocoa (because cooking cocoa from scratch for impatient 2 year old just doesn’t work). But every time I picked up that brown plastic bottle of Hershey’s at the store, I’d glance at the ingredients list and reluctantly put it right back again.

First ingredient: High fructose corn syrup. Second ingredient: Corn syrup. Then water. Then – at place #4 – cocoa! Then more sugar and… (let me quote) POTASSIUM SORBATE; SALT; MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES; XANTHAN GUM; POLYSORBATE 60; VANILLIN, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR. All that and more for … however much Hershey’s costs. I don’t even know.

Anyway, preachy-preachy, who cares. (But do they really need three kinds of sugar? –ahem-) My point is, when I finally manned up and went searching for a healthier version of that good ole addictive brown sauce, I could have kicked myself for waiting so long in the first place. 52 Kitchen Adventures had my back.

Did you know you can make chocolate syrup identical to Hershey’s – or dare I say, even better – at home with only five simple ingredients, in ten minutes or less? I KID YOU NOT. (Really, it’s only because it’s so easy to do that I’ve managed to keep up with it for two years.)


  • 1 cup baking cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon or a four-finger pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons good vanilla extract

In a small-to-medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cocoa until it’s fairly smooth. Add the water and salt and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently.

Still stirring frequently, bring to a boil and cook for a few minutes until thickened. Remove from heat and let it cool for about 5 minutes before adding the vanilla extract. (Vanilla is delicate and if you add it when things are hot you risk evaporating some of the good vanilla-ness.)

Pour into a repurposed screw-top jar… or your old Hershey’s bottle. (Because after you do this a couple times you sure won’t be buying another one at the store.) Keep it in the fridge.

Pour over everything.

4 Responses to “Just say no to Hershey’s”

  1. heidi Says:

    When I was a kid, Saturdays were market day for my mom. Of course she was exhausted after that, so Saturday lunch was Ice cream (actually imitation ice milk) and chocolate sauce.Yummy. And we made the sauce up fresh every week. Not a choice meal for growing kids, nutritionwise, but looked forward to by all.

  2. Diana Guillermo Says:

    Lol Heidi that sounds like something I’d do just to get SofĂ­a to behave while we were at the market. :)

  3. Anonymous Says:

    How long does it keep in the fridge? I laugh at myself for asking that question, as chocolate has an extremely short half life in my house, but good to know nonetheless.

  4. Diana Guillermo Says:

    Good question! 52 Adventures says 2-4 weeks, but I’ve had mine in there longer than that and it is still fine.

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