What chocolate syrup is dairy-free?

For those with dairy allergies or intolerances, finding dairy-free chocolate syrup can be a challenge. Many popular chocolate syrups contain milk or cream as an ingredient. However, there are several good dairy-free options available. In this article, we’ll discuss what to look for in a dairy-free chocolate syrup and review some of the top recommended brands. We’ll also provide tips for using dairy-free chocolate syrup and some simple recipes to try it out.

What Makes Chocolate Syrup Dairy-Free?

Traditional chocolate syrups are made by melting chocolate along with milk, cream or butter. So to make a dairy-free chocolate syrup, alternative ingredients must be used. Here’s what to look for:

– Coconut milk or nut-based milks instead of dairy milk. Almond milk, coconut milk and cashew milk are common.

– Vegetable oils or coconut oil in place of butter.

– Thickening agents like arrowroot starch or guar gum instead of cream.

– Pure cocoa powder as the chocolate flavor base. Make sure it is non-alkalized or dutched.

– Natural sweeteners like maple syrup, agave nectar or coconut sugar instead of refined white sugar.

– Vanilla extract for flavoring. Make sure it does not contain alcohol if needed.

As long as the ingredients avoid dairy products like milk, cream, butter and whey, the syrup should be dairy-free. Watch out for chocolate syrups labeled as “non-dairy” as they may still contain milk derivatives. Always read the ingredients list to be sure.

Reviews of the Best Dairy-Free Chocolate Syrups

Here are some top recommended dairy-free chocolate syrup brands:

1. Santa Cruz Organic Chocolate Syrup

– Made with organic coconut milk, cocoa powder and maple syrup

– Thick, rich consistency

– Strong chocolate flavor

– Certified organic, vegan, gluten-free and Non-GMO

– No artificial ingredients

– Excellent for chocolate milk, ice cream sundaes, etc.

2. AH!LASKA Chocolate Sauce

– Uses almond milk and coconut milk

– Smooth, pourable texture

– Sweetened with coconut sugar

– Subtle chocolate flavor, not too sweet

– USDA Organic certified

– Free of dairy, gluten, soy and artificial flavors

3. Torani Chocolate Sauce

– Made with cane sugar and cocoa powder

– Thinner consistency good for drizzling

– Notes of vanilla complement the chocolate

– Sweet but not overly so

– Contains no dairy, gluten, GMOs or cholesterol

– Vegan and Kosher certified

4. Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Syrup

– Contains no high fructose corn syrup

– Made with natural cocoa and sugar

– Intense dark chocolate flavor

– Thick, pourable consistency

– Budget-friendly option

– Dairy-free but contains trace milk due to manufacturing

5. Walden Farms Calorie Free Chocolate Syrup

– Sweetened with fruit sugars and natural flavors

– Very thin, drizzling consistency

– Light chocolate taste but not super rich

– Zero calories, carbs, sugars, gluten and dairy

– Not organic but vegan

Tips for Using Dairy-Free Chocolate Syrup

Dairy-free chocolate syrups perform a little differently in recipes compared to traditional syrups. Here are some tips:

– Shake or stir before use as separation can occur.

– Refrigerate after opening to extend shelf life.

– Heat gently to make pourable if the syrup gets too thick.

– Add a bit of non-dairy milk if thinning out the syrup.

– Use thicker syrups for drizzling and thinner ones for mixing into drinks.

– Reduce any additional sweetener in recipes to account for sweetness in syrup.

– Add a pinch of salt to help chocolate flavors pop.

– Mix in a bit of instant coffee powder for a mocha flavor.

– Blend with peanut butter or other nut butters for a chocolate-nut flavor.

Simple Recipes with Dairy-Free Chocolate Syrup

Here are some easy ways to use dairy-free chocolate syrup:

Chocolate Milk

– 1 cup dairy-free milk
– 2-3 tablespoons chocolate syrup
– Pinch of salt (optional)
– Ice (optional)

Add all ingredients to a blender and process until smooth and creamy. For hot chocolate milk, heat dairy-free milk in a saucepan then mix in chocolate syrup.

Chocolate Banana Smoothie

– 1 frozen banana
– 1 cup dairy-free milk
– 3 tablespoons chocolate syrup
– 1 tablespoon peanut butter or almond butter
– 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
– Pinch of salt
– 2-3 ice cubes

Blend all ingredients in a blender until creamy and frothy. For a thicker smoothie, use less milk.

Chocolate Syrup Coffee

– Hot coffee
– 1-2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
– Dairy-free creamer or milk (optional)

Stir chocolate syrup into hot coffee until blended. Add a splash of dairy-free creamer or milk for a mocha flavor. Top with whipped coconut cream.

Chocolate Dipped Fruit

– Strawberries, banana slices, orange segments
– Dairy-free chocolate syrup

Arrange fruit pieces on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle or dip fruit into chocolate syrup coating each piece. Refrigerate until syrup sets, about 15 minutes.

Chocolate Oatmeal

– 1/2 cup dry oats
– 1 cup dairy-free milk
– 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup
– Toppings: chopped nuts, banana slices, dried fruit

Cook oats with milk and chocolate syrup over medium heat until creamy. Remove from heat and add toppings.

Chocolate Fondue

– 1/3 cup chocolate syrup
– 2 tablespoons coconut cream or dairy-free creamer

Heat chocolate syrup and cream together in a small saucepan, stirring frequently, until smooth and warm but not boiling. Transfer to a fondue pot and dip in fruit, cake or other items.

Finding Dairy-Free Chocolate Syrup in Grocery Stores

Dairy-free chocolate syrup can be found in the syrup or baking aisle at many major grocery stores. Here’s where to look:

Whole Foods

– Santa Cruz Organic chocolate syrup

– AH!LASKA chocolate sauce

– Nature’s Agave chocolate sauce

Trader Joe’s

– Trader Joe’s Organic Chocolate Magic Shell Sauce

– Trader Joe’s Fair Trade Organic High Cacao Dark Chocolate Syrup


– Santa Cruz Organic chocolate syrup

– Wedderspoon chocolate coconut nectar

– Nutiva chocolate hazelnut spread


– Hershey’s sugar free chocolate syrup

– Smucker’s chocolate fudge topping

– Walden Farms calorie-free chocolate syrup


– Santa Cruz Organic chocolate syrup

– Nature’s Agave chocolate sauce

– Walden Farms calorie-free chocolate syrup


– Hershey’s chocolate syrup

– Smucker’s Magic Shell chocolate syrup

– Santa Cruz Organic chocolate syrup

Be sure to check the organic and natural sections in addition to the main syrup aisle. Many health food stores like Sprouts and Whole Foods have a good selection too. You can also find a variety of options online if your local stores don’t carry your preferred brand.

Are the Popular Brands Dairy-Free?

Here’s a quick look at whether some of the major chocolate syrup brands are dairy-free:

Brand Dairy-Free?
Hershey’s Yes
Nestle No
Smucker’s Some varieties
Torani Yes
Santa Cruz Organic Yes
Ah!Laska Yes
Walden Farms Yes
Nature’s Agave Yes

As you can see, Hershey’s, Torani, Santa Cruz Organic, Ah!Laska, Walden Farms and Nature’s Agave all offer dairy-free chocolate syrup options. Be sure to check the ingredients though, as some varieties from brands like Smucker’s contain dairy. Nestle chocolate syrup is not dairy-free.

Is Homemade Chocolate Syrup Dairy-Free?

The great thing about homemade chocolate syrup is you can customize it to be dairy-free. Here is a simple dairy-free recipe:

Dairy-Free Homemade Chocolate Syrup

– 1 cup coconut milk or almond milk
– 1/4 cup cocoa powder
– 1/4 cup maple syrup or agave
– 1 teaspoon vanilla
– Pinch of salt

Whisk all ingredients together in a small saucepan. Heat over medium, stirring frequently, until warm. Remove from heat and whisk until smooth. Allow to cool completely before using. Store refrigerated.

The base is dairy-free milk and cocoa powder. Sweeten with your preferred liquid sweetener. Add vanilla for extra flavor. This simple homemade version lets you control the ingredients.

Vegan Condensed Milk Chocolate Syrup

For an extra creamy dairy-free chocolate syrup, try making it with vegan sweetened condensed milk. Here’s a recipe:

Vegan Sweetened Condensed Milk

– 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
– 1 cup organic powdered sugar
– 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
– Pinch of salt

Mix all ingredients together until smooth. Refrigerate overnight or up to 3 days before using.

Vegan Condensed Milk Chocolate Syrup

– 1 cup vegan sweetened condensed milk
– 1/3 cup good quality cocoa powder
– 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
– Pinch salt

Whisk together all ingredients until smooth. Heat in a saucepan until warm. Allow to cool before using.

The vegan condensed milk makes this syrup ultra thick and creamy for topping desserts or making chocolate milk.

Mocha Syrup with Espresso Powder

To make your dairy-free chocolate syrup into a mocha coffee flavor, simply add some espresso powder.

Mocha Syrup

– 1 cup dairy-free chocolate syrup
– 1-2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– Pinch of salt

Mix all ingredients together until smooth and uniform. Add espresso powder to taste depending on how strong you want the coffee flavor. Stir before using.

Try using this mocha syrup in coffee drinks, milkshakes, drizzled over cakes and ice cream. The espresso powder gives it that rich mocha taste.

Nutrition Facts for Dairy-Free Chocolate Syrup

When choosing a dairy-free chocolate syrup, be mindful of the nutrition labels. Here are some general nutrition facts per 2 tablespoon serving:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 60-100
Fat 2-5g
Carbs 12-20g
Sugar 10-15g
Protein 0-1g

As you can see, chocolate syrups are high in sugar. Some brands will be lower calorie and lower carb than others. Go for options with no artificial sweeteners or hydrogenated oils. Pick organic when possible.

Choosing Dairy-Free vs. Regular Chocolate Syrup

So should you choose a dairy-free chocolate syrup or regular? Here’s a comparison:

Dairy-Free Regular
Ingredients Uses plant-based milks, oils Contains milk, cream, butter
Allergies Safe for dairy allergies Not safe for dairy allergies
Nutrition Higher in fat from oils Higher in saturated fat from dairy
Flavor Milder chocolate taste Richer, deeper chocolate taste
Price Usually more expensive Typically more budget-friendly
Availability Found in natural stores or online Easier to find in major stores

As you can see, dairy-free syrups swap the dairy for plant-based ingredients. They are safer for those with dairy issues but tend to be more expensive and harder to find. Pick dairy-free if needed for dietary reasons or if you prefer simpler, organic ingredients.


Finding a good dairy-free chocolate syrup is possible despite so many brands containing milk ingredients. Look for options using plant-based milks and oils instead of dairy. Santa Cruz Organic, Torani and Ah!Laska make great-tasting dairy-free syrups. You can also easily make your own healthy chocolate syrup at home. Use dairy-free syrups in milkshakes, drizzled over ice cream and fruit, or blended into smoothies. Be sure to check labels closely and read ingredients to avoid hidden dairy. With so many options now available, people with dairy-free diets can still enjoy chocolatey syrup goodness.

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