Say the word “gravy,” and you likely picture a rich, brown sauce being poured over pot roast and mashed potatoes. And while gravy as we know it is largely savory, here’s a sweet secret: There are dessert versions too! Take chocolate gravy for instance: This sauce is warm and indulgent like fudge sauce without being overly sweet or too thick. So you can drizzle it freely on top of ice cream, waffles, donuts or even biscuits when those sugar cravings strike. Even better? It’s quick to make with just a few pantry staples! Here’s the scoop on chocolate gravy along with an easy recipe to help you make it in 20 minutes or less.
What is chocolate gravy?
Chocolate gravy is a sauce made from butter, cocoa powder, sugar and flour. Its origins are believed to date back to the early 1900s in the South. “It turns out that chocolate gravy was born out of necessity, thanks to some poor farmers who didn’t exactly have a surplus of baking supplies,” explains Ron Stewart, chef and founder of Chef Ron LLC. “They needed something sweet to accompany their biscuit-based breakfasts, and thus chocolate gravy was born.”
Although chocolate gravy is traditionally poured over biscuits and served for breakfast, it’s also smothered over donuts, waffles, ice cream and French toast as an all-day treat.
How is chocolate gravy different from fudge sauce?
It’s easy to confuse chocolate gravy with fudge sauce as they’re both dark brown and thick. However, chocolate gravy is made using a flour and fat thickener called a roux, while fudge sauce gets its hefty texture from heavy cream and butter. This gravy being made from a roux also gives it a slightly thinner, more pourable consistency than the globby fudge sauce you find in the store. Overall, making chocolate gravy on a whim is hassle-free and offers an easy, inexpensive feeling of decadence.
How do you make chocolate gravy?
Since chocolate gravy relies on pantry staples, you can make it right away. Here, JD Alewine, food blogger at ThemBites.com, shares a recipe that he notes is a “comfort food that brings back nostalgic memories for many Southerners.” Give this gravy a go and see how it makes any sweet dish extra rich.
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 2 ½ cups whole milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
- Total time: 15 mins
- Yield: 6 to 7 servings
- In medium-sized saucepan, whisk together cocoa powder, flour, sugar and salt until well combined.
- Gradually add milk to dry ingredients, stirring continuously to avoid lumps.
- Place saucepan over medium heat and cook mixture, stirring constantly until it thickens and starts to bubble, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Remove saucepan from heat and stir in vanilla extract and butter, until butter is fully melted and incorporated into gravy.
- Allow chocolate gravy to cool slightly before serving.
Feel feel to douse this gravy over anything your sweet tooth desires, from these French Toast Waffles to Ree Drummond’s recipe for Sheet Pan Pancakes. Or enjoy this gravy the traditional way by making a batch of these Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits and drizzling them with the sauce once baked. Yum!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbs. sugar
- 2 Tbs. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. baking soda
- ½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Active: 30 mins
- Total time: 1 hr, 30 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings
- Heat oven to 425°F. Line baking sheets with parchment. In bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Using pastry blender or two knives, cut butter into flour mixture until coarse crumbs form. Stir in buttermilk until dough just forms.
- On lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1-inch thickness. Using 2 ½-inch round, fluted cutter, cut out 8 biscuits. Place 2 to 3 inches apart on baking sheet. Bake until golden, 20 to 24 minutes. Let cool.
- Split biscuits and pour desired amount of gravy over each one.
Can you store leftover chocolate gravy in the fridge?
Any leftover gravy should be stored in an airtight container for up to three days in the fridge. During this time, you enjoy cold or warm over your favorite treats.
How do you reheat chocolate gravy?
To reheat the gravy, pour your desired amount into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave it in 15-second intervals. Stir the gravy after each interval, and finish microwaving until it’s fully warmed. Then, spoon the gravy over your dessert and savor its syrupy and indulgent qualities!
Hungry for more Southern-inspired favorites? Check out the stories below: