Vegan Chocolate Sauce

Vegan chocolate sauce is super-easy to make. This version uses balsamic vinegar for a bit of tang and extra flavor. This post is sponsored by Pompeian.

Recently I went to a yoga retreat that serves primarily vegan food. I was surprised by how delicious everything was. I came back inspired to make more vegan dishes. This inspiration has fueled my sweet cooking as well as my savory cooking, which is how I ended up making this decadent vegan chocolate sauce.

Glass jar of chocolate sauce and yellow silicon spatula on white plate. Cocoa powder and balsamic vinegar in background.

Making It Vegan

The trick to making this chocolate sauce vegan is to use cocoa powder instead of chocolate. A lot of chocolate (although not all) has whey or milk ingredients added to it, making it no longer vegan. Pure cocoa powder, which you likely have on hand in your pantry, does not have these added ingredients.

The other trick to making this sauce is the balsamic vinegar, which is the main liquid used. It has a rich flavor but also acidity, which cuts the richness of the chocolate flavor a bit and adds a lot of depth.

I’m pretty sure you’re going to love this twist on chocolate sauce.

How to Make Delicious Vegan Chocolate Sauce:

Step #1

Pour 3/4 cup of balsamic vinegar into a small sauce pan.

Balsamic vinegar being poured into pan on stove from glass measuring cup.

Add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and stir.

Adding brown sugar to pan of balsamic.

Step #2

Heat over medium-low stirring frequently until it reaches a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until sauce is thick and reduced to 1/3 of a cup, 8-12 minutes.

Pot of balsamic on stove being stirred by wooden spoon.

Step #3

Add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder.

Add cocoa powder to pan of balsamic.

Whisk until smooth.

Tip: This flat whisk is a great kitchen tool to have, it really helps get into the edges of your pan to fully mix while cooking.

Whisk cocoa into balsamic.

Add a pinch of salt and taste it. Add another 1-2 tablespoons of brown sugar if you’d like the sauce to be sweeter. Here you can see how it’s thick and shiny.

Thick and shiny chocolate sauce on stove with whisk in it.

Serve immediately or put into an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to a week.

Vegan chocolate Sauce in glass jar.

Vegan Chocolate Sauce

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 14 minutes
  • Yield: 1/3 cup
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


This vegan chocolate sauce uses ingredients you probably have in the pantry and will be ready in minutes.


  • 3/4 cups balsamic vinegar
  • 24 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. pure cocoa powder
  • A pinch of salt


  1. Pour the vinegar into a small saucepan. Add 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar.
  2. Heat over medium-low stirring frequently until it reaches a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until thick and reduced to 1/3 of a cup, about 8-12 minutes.
  3. Whisk in the cocoa and salt. Taste. Add more brown sugar if desired.


Store in airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

This post originally appeared in April 2018 and was revised and republished in April 2021.
Vegan Chocolate Sauce

4 responses to “Vegan Chocolate Sauce”

  1. Tracy says:

    I’m so intrigued! I live a ketogentic lifestyle so do you think this would work with a brown sugar free substitute, such as Swerve™? I would try it myself but I’m out of balsamic vinegar so its on the list Ü Sounds fantastic! Can’t wait to try this!

    • Christine Pittman says:

      I’ve never used that substitute, Tracy, but please report back and let us know how it goes!

  2. Stella R says:

    I had never imagined a chocolate sauce without chocolate and also which consists vinegar. But when I tried it, it actually tasted wonderful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating

Fill your busy life with great food!

Sign up to get my quick recipes and useful tips by email and receive my air fryer ecookbook as a free thank you gift.