Healthy Vegan 2 Ingredient Chocolate Sauce with Cacao Powder
This healthy vegan 2-ingredient chocolate sauce made from cacao powder is an instant household favorite! Naturally sweetened and oil free, this easy homemade chocolate sauce recipe boasts lots of antioxidants and necessary minerals, so you can enjoy healthy chocolate in seconds. Quickly whip up a large batch to have on hand anytime, and check out 15+ creative and delicious ways to use this vegan chocolate syrup below!
So Easy & Still Healthy!
Seriously, this is one of those recipes you’ll fall instantly in love with, memorize quickly (it’s just the ratio, really), and use constantly. Why? Well, first of all because chocolate is magical, delicious, and deserving of its own food group, but more practically, you’ll love this homemade chocolate sauce because it’s easy and healthy.
That’s right, this particular DIY 2-ingredient chocolate syrup not only wows the taste buds but also allows you to indulge while maintaining your health goals. You’ll only need raw cacao powder and a good quality maple syrup to create this perfectly drizzly healthy chocolate sauce, which means you’re skipping out on the less-than-awesome, dairy allergen-unfriendly, or just unnecessary ingredients in standard commercial sauces (corn syrups, preservatives, artificial flavors, milk powders, whey, gums, etc.).
Instead, you actually get some health benefits from this vegan chocolate sauce, and you can make it yourself in seconds. Let’s just make sure we get a few things squared away regarding those two ingredients before we go further:
Cacao Powder vs. Cocoa Powder
This distinction tends to cause some confusion, but there’s definitely a difference (besides spelling!) between raw cacao powder and cocoa powder. No matter how you spell it, we’re talking chocolate, but the difference between cacao and cocoa lies in the processing and resultant nutritional content. Both originate with the cacao bean and the separation from the fatty cacao butter; then the beans ferment to develop more flavor.
At this point, we start to diverge. To make cacao powder, the fermented beans are dried then ground into a powder; however, to make cocoa powder, those same fermented beans are first roasted at high temperatures. This roasting process does deepen the chocolate flavor and add some sweetness, but it also destroys antioxidants along the way.
You know how people say dark chocolate is good for you? Well, it’s the cacao content that provides all those awesome minerals and antioxidants, which is why cacao powder can make for a healthy way to add some chocolatey goodness into your life.
In general, raw cacao has higher antioxidant and mineral levels due to the lessened processing and minimal heat treatment. However, raw cacao powder also tends to be a bit more bitter than cocoa powder, because the beans were not roasted. This is why you’ll often see cacao powder tossed into smoothies where fruits provide some sweetness or mixed with sweeteners, like our maple syrup here, to increase the sweetness without losing the minerals and antioxidants.
I know, adding sweetener back in seems like we’re not staying perfectly healthy, right? Well, that’s true; even though maple syrup does have some good health benefits (see below), it’s still not healthy for us the way munching on some raw broccoli is. But we all need some chocolate in our lives, and this healthier vegan chocolate sauce still satisfies my chocolate cravings but in a better way than grabbing a commercial syrup or chocolate bar loaded with junk that’ll weigh me down and make me feel terrible. It’s not about perfect; it’s about progress, right? And for us, at least, this is progress.
Maple Syrup, not Pancake Syrup!
While we’ve established that maple syrup is still a sweetner, it’s again about better, not perfect. I’m not giving up dessert, especially not chocolate, but I’m going to upgrade the chocolate I choose. We prefer maple syrup as our sweetener of choice because we believe it’s maple syrup is a better option than traditional refined white sugar.
Maple syrup has a lower glycemic index score, meaning you won’t suffer from the same level of sugar high and resultant sugar crash. Also, pure maple syrup contains up to 24 antioxidants, making it a more nutritious choice than white sugar or agave, both of which have minimal antioxidant content. Generally your darker maple syrups will have a greater antioxidant level.
Maple syrup also keeps this healthy chocolate syrup plant based and vegan, making it an excellent occasional sweet treat for many diets.
However, it’s important to note that maple syrup is not the same as pancake syrup! The ingredient list on your maple syrup should only say “maple syrup.” The ingredients on pancake syrups vary but generally include sugar, corn syrups, preservatives, caramel color, artificial flavors, etc. We’re looking to upgrade our sweeteners, and maple syrup is a clear winner over pancake syrup, from which you’ll unfortunately get none of the benefits of actual maple syrup.
Also, maple syrup is one of my favorite natural sweeteners because it not only adds sweetness but a depth and richness of flavor beyond that which you get from regular sugar, agave, or any of the fake sweeteners out there. Better nutrition and better flavor = win win combination for me. Ok, now you know why we love this easy homemade chocolate sauce and why our vegan chocolate syrup is actually a healthier chocolate syrup option for you, let’s get to making it!
How to Make 2-Ingredient Healthy Chocolate Sauce
Guys, this healthy chocolate sauce is so so easy, and all that you have to remember is the ratio of cacao powder to maple syrup, which is 1:1.5. In the recipe below, you’ll see we use 1/2C of cacao powder and 3/4C of maple syrup, but this can be easily adjusted up or down, depending on how much you want. Need just a little? Use 1 Tbsp of cacao and 1.5 Tbsp of maple syrup.
We prefer to make the amount listed because we’re generally using it for a recipe or some initial purpose, and then we can store the remainder in an 8 oz (half pint) glass mason jar. It keeps in the fridge for at least a week, though likely should last longer considering the ingredients.
Gently whisk the ingredients together; if you mix too fiercely, you’ll just end up with cacao powder flying all over the place like so much chocolate dust. It takes a little bit of time for them to combine fully, so be patient; it’ll end up looking like a perfect homemade dark chocolate syrup.
When you store the chocolate sauce in the fridge, it will thicken up slightly, making it a little harder to drizzle or pour, but you can toss the jar (no metal lid, of course!) into the microwave for 10 or so seconds to take the chill off and bring it back down to room temp. This will make it easier to use again but won’t heat the contents to the point of destroying the healthy minerals and antioxidants.
If you’re pulling out just a little, you can heat it less. Stick with small times on the microwave, though, or you risk overheating and causing the mixture to burn a little. It’s pretty forgiving, overall, but still be careful.
That’s it, super easy! Now if you need some inspiration, check out the ideas below for over 15 ways to use your delicious new vegan healthy chocolate sauce!
15+ Ways to Use Homemade Healthy Chocolate Sauce
Easy Chocolate Fruit Dip:
Oooh, yay for chocolate covered strawberries (well, chocolate dipped strawberries, technically)! Or really any other fruit you’d like draped in chocolate. I love to use this as an easy chocolate fruit dip, and while strawberries are my favorite, you can eat this easy chocolate sauce as a healthier chocolate fruit dip with bananas, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, clementines, and more. This particular chocolate sauce won’t harden, so you can’t make traditional chocolate covered strawberries, but it’s perfect for a quick, healthy chocolate fruit dessert dip!
Drizzle over ice cream.
You can’t go wrong with this classic use of your homemade chocolate sauce. Whether you’re making a homemade banana nice cream, enjoying a traditional ice cream, or gobbling up a non-dairy version, your new delicious dark chocolate syrup will make your frozen treat even more decadent.
Healthy Chocolate Pancake Syrup:
Make breakfast extra special and pour this over pancakes, waffles, or french toast. Get creative! Top your pancakes with some bananas and walnuts and this chocolate sauce, add some berries to your french toast before drizzling on your new healthier chocolate sauce, or slather your waffle in peanut butter before pouring this dark chocolate syrup on top! You really can’t go wrong. I do recommend bringing the chocolate sauce at least to room temp to ease pouring and avoid cooling your breakfast. Depending on how much you’re pulling out, toss it in the microwave for 5-10 seconds at a time until you return it to room temp. (Short heatings work best to avoid burning the syrup or overheating it.)
Make a Quick Morning Mocha:
Cory loves to use this in coffee on the weekends to give him the feel of a homemade mocha. Of course, he also tends to add some cayenne or this delicious Mexican Chile Simple Syrup by Pink House Alchemy. If you like chiles or enjoy hot drinks with a little kick of spice, we highly recommend this combination of chile simple syrup and DIY healthy chocolate sauce. It’s delicious.
Turn Fruit Salad into an Easy Dessert:
Drizzle the chocolate sauce over fruit salad for a healthy tasty dessert that’s absolutely perfect for summer. I love doing this with berry salads, in particular. Just chop up some strawberries; add in blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, and then drizzle this vegan chocolate sauce over the mixture for the simplest dessert fruit salad!
Make Chocolate Peanut Butter Dip:
Add chocolate sauce to peanut butter for a chocolate peanut butter dip, perfect for dipping apples (or just eating with a spoon for an afternoon energy boost.) If you like apple dips, check out our Peanut Butter Honey Apple Dip for another delicious easy apple dip recipe!
Easy Healthy Chocolate Milk:
Whip up a healthier chocolate milk in seconds with this homemade chocolate sauce. Just add 1 Tbsp of chocolate sauce to 1 C milk and whisk well to combine (it takes a little bit of vigorous whisking to fully combine). We’ll make dairy free chocolate milk with this 2-Ingredient vegan chocolate sauce and almond milk, homemade or store-bought. It would be excellent with macadamia nut milk too, and would probably work well with coconut milk as well!
Take Banana Bread to New Heights:
Add this DIY chocolate syrup to banana breads or muffins or any other sweet breads that could use a burst of chocolatey sweetness. You can swirl this into the batter once it’s poured into the loaf pan for a pretty finish, too.
Drizzle over Nut Butter Breakfast Toasts:
If you’re not already into healthy morning breakfast toasts, hop over to our Banana Chocolate Peanut Butter Breakfast Toast to see what we’re talking about. It’s absolutely delicious and feels like such a treat on weekend mornings, but it’s quick enough to make during the week too! And, of course, it’s healthy – loaded with healthy fats, protein, whole grains and seeds (depending on your bread choice), and, of course, finished off with this healthy chocolate sauce!
Finish Pies, Cakes, Brownie:
Drizzle over cakes, pies, cupcakes, or brownies for an extra jolt of chocolatey goodness. This easy chocolate sauce won’t set up, though, so best to do it right before serving or individually on a slice.
Chocolatify your Yogurt Parfait:
Yeah, that’s not a word, but you get my drift. Add a layer of chocolate sauce between your yogurt and berries, or just mix it all up together for a decadent breakfast that tastes like dessert! If you really want a chocolate breakfast parfait, top it with this Classic Allergen-Friendly Chocolate Granola!
Warm your healthy chocolate sauce in the microwave and use this as a dessert fondue perfect for date nights, movie nights, or just because you deserve some healthy chocolate in your life. Start with 10 seconds, and add 5-10 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until it’s warm. Really heating this up will destroy some of the nutrients, but it’s still a much faster, healthier, and easier way to do chocolate fondue for those nights when getting out a fondue pot just seems like too much work. We recommend dipping bananas, strawberries, and blackberries for healthy fruit dip options, or take it up a dessert notch with marshmallows, graham crackers, and even pound cake or shortbread cookies. Pretzel sticks dipped in this chocolate sauce make for a nice sweet and salty chocolate dessert option, too.
Add to Smoothies:
Have a favorite peanut butter banana smoothie that could use some chocolate? We often toss together breakfast smoothies from a cup of almond milk, 2-3 bananas, a big scoop of nut butter, some cacao nibs, and some chocolate sauce (or a couple dates and a scoop of cacao powder) for extra sweetness. Of course, if you like chocolate in your breakfast, you simply must make my favorite smoothie of all, our chocolate cherry Black Forest Smoothie. It’s fantastic, the perfect blend of cherry and chocolate.
Top Cinnamon Rolls:
Cinnamon rolls with frosting are certainly delicious in their own right, but with homemade chocolate sauce over them as well, they’re even better. I remember my mom making those frozen orange rolls when I was a kid, too, and I bet those would be delicious with this healthy chocolate sauce drizzled over them as well. One of my favorite desserts from my grandmother’s collection is her apple rolls, and those are also made even more magical with the addition of chocolate syrup, and this DIY chocolate syrup would be a perfect healthier upgrade to our traditional Hershey’s syrup. So there you go, find a favorite breakfast or dessert roll (or monkey bread, maybe?), and add chocolate sauce!
Quick Vegan Hot Cocoa:
Make a healthier, homemade hot cocoa in just a minute or two with this vegan chocolate syrup. Whisk together 1 C almond milk, 1.5-2 Tbsp chocolate sauce (depending on how sweet and chocolatey you want the cocoa), and a splash of vanilla. Once roughly mixed, toss the mug in the microwave for 60 seconds. Whisk again to better combine the chocolate sauce now that it’s warm, and heat for another 20-30 seconds if needed.
This healthy vegan 2-ingredient chocolate sauce made from cacao powder is an instant household favorite! Naturally sweetened and oil free, this easy homemade chocolate sauce recipe boasts lots of antioxidants and necessary minerals, so you can enjoy healthy chocolate in seconds.
Do you have another favorite use for homemade healthy chocolate sauce? Let us know in the comments, and enjoy your delicious and oh so easy 2-ingredient chocolate syrup! Follow us on Pinterest to see more delicious recipes and be sure to subscribe while you’re here!