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Southern Chocolate Gravy

Indulge your taste buds with the irresistible allure of Southern Chocolate Gravy. Picture it: a velvety, decadent chocolate sauce that oozes richness and flavor. The mere mention of chocolate and gravy in the same breath may seem unconventional, but trust us, it’s a match made in culinary heaven..

A close-up of a hand pouring chocolate gravy over a fresh waffle on a white plate.

This delightful concoction holds a special place in the hearts of Southerners. It’s a beloved tradition that has been passed down through generations, embodying the essence of Southern comfort food. The mere thought of it can awaken your senses and evoke a sense of longing. Just imagine the aroma wafting through the air, beckoning you to indulge in its pure delight.

The magic of Southern Chocolate Gravy lies in its versatility. While it traditionally adorns warm, flaky biscuits fresh out of the oven, its enchanting presence extends far beyond the breakfast table. It serves as a captivating companion to a myriad of desserts, transforming ordinary treats into extraordinary delights. Drizzle it over a moist pound cake, let it cascade down a scoop of creamy ice cream, or generously pour it onto a delicate slice of angel food cake. For a burst of fruity sweetness, pair it with succulent strawberries and witness how this luscious gravy elevates every bite to new heights of bliss.

This delightful recipe has even woven into the fabric of cherished childhood memories. Take MacKenzie, for instance. When her second-grade class embarked on a cultural cookbook project to celebrate their diverse heritages, she passionately sought a recipe that encapsulated the essence of her family’s background. Without hesitation, MacKenzie declared, “Chocolate Gravy,” believing that the sweet allure of this Southern gem would be the perfect representation of her heritage. Even though her family’s roots did not trace back to the South, MacKenzie’s unwavering determination to include Southern-style chocolate gravy in the cookbook spoke volumes about the irresistible charm of this delicacy.

So, whether you have Southern roots coursing through your veins or simply wish to experience the decadence of Southern cuisine, this recipe for Southern Chocolate Gravy is yours to savor. It transcends geographical boundaries, inviting you to embark on a sensory journey that will leave you craving more. Indulge in its velvety richness, let it enchant your taste buds, and savor the magic of this beloved Southern tradition.

A close-up of a biscuit topped with rich chocolate gravy on a white plate, accompanied by more biscuits and a cup.

Origin of Chocolate Gravy

The origin of chocolate gravy can be traced back to the Southern United States, where it has been a cherished culinary tradition for many generations. While the exact origin story is not well-documented, it is believed to have emerged as a popular dish in the rural areas of the South during the 19th century.

The concept of gravy, typically a savory sauce made from meat drippings, was reimagined with the addition of chocolate to create a unique and indulgent twist. It is speculated that chocolate gravy originated as a creative way to make use of the limited ingredients available in Southern households at the time, particularly during times when resources were scarce.

Some theories suggest that the origins of chocolate gravy may have Indigenous roots in the Appalachian region, where biscuits are renowned for their melt-in-your-mouth goodness, and gravy is a beloved culinary staple. In other parts of the South, it may be referred to as “Soppin’ Gravy,” and there are claims that it draws inspiration from Spanish Louisiana and Tennessee, fused with Mexican-style breakfast chocolate.

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America even theorizes that chocolate gravy might have been preserved from Spanish colonies on the East Coast in the 16th and 17th centuries by a mixed-race ethnic group known as the Melungeons. However, regardless of its precise origins, chocolate gravy has firmly established itself as a beloved Southern comfort food, celebrated as a symbol of Southern hospitality and culinary heritage.

Today, this delectable treat continues to enchant taste buds and evoke a sense of nostalgia, reminding us of the rich culinary traditions and flavors deeply rooted in Southern culture. Chocolate gravy is a dish that epitomizes the creativity and resourcefulness of Southern cooks, transforming humble ingredients into a delightful morning indulgence. Typically served over warm, homemade biscuits, the gravy’s velvety smoothness complements the biscuits’ flaky texture, resulting in a harmonious marriage of flavors and textures.

Growing up in Appalachia, I was fortunate to experience the magic of biscuits with chocolate gravy firsthand. The region is known for its exquisite biscuit-making techniques, where each bite melts in your mouth. And when you combine those biscuits with the lusciousness of chocolate gravy, it becomes a breakfast experience like no other. The word “gravy” in these parts is synonymous with the lovingly prepared sauce that our grandmothers concocted in their favorite skillet, thickened to perfection and generously poured over anything deserving of its embrace.

So, whether you have Southern roots or simply seek to embark on a flavorful adventure, allow me to introduce you to the joy of biscuits with chocolate gravy. Prepare to be transported to a world where comfort and indulgence intertwine, leaving you with a lingering sense of satisfaction and a newfound appreciation for the artistry of Southern cuisine.

A biscuit covered in rich chocolate gravy on a white plate, with the text 'Easy Chocolate Gravy' and a website URL ( at the bottom.

What is Chocolate Gravy?

Chocolate gravy is a beloved traditional Southern dish that has stood the test of time as a delightful breakfast or brunch indulgence. This sweet, rich, and creamy sauce is created by crafting a roux from flour, cocoa powder, sugar, and milk or cream.

To prepare this delectable treat, the flour and cocoa powder are combined in a saucepan, and then butter or oil is introduced to form the roux base. Gradually, milk or cream is added to the mixture, and constant whisking over medium heat ensues until the gravy thickens into a smooth and velvety consistency.

Adding sugar to the mixture adds a touch of sweetness, and the gravy is cooked for a few more minutes until it reaches the desired thickness. The end result is a decadent sauce that envelops the palate with its rich and indulgent flavors. Traditionally, chocolate gravy is lovingly poured over warm, homemade biscuits or toast, allowing the smoothness of the sauce to complement the flakiness of the baked goods perfectly.

Chocolate gravy holds a special place in Southern hearts, as it has been enjoyed by generations of families across the Southern United States. Whether it’s Sunday morning in the Appalachian Mountain region, the Missouri Arkansas Ozarks, or other Southern locales, this beloved dish graces breakfast tables and fills homes with its irresistible aroma.

In my personal recipe, I prefer warm milk as the base for my chocolate gravy. It adds an extra layer of richness and imparts a silky texture that enhances the overall experience. However, it’s worth noting that some recipe variations call for water instead of milk. For those with dietary preferences or restrictions, you can easily substitute traditional milk with alternatives like almond, coconut, or any other nut milk that suits your taste.

No matter the specific recipe or ingredients chosen, the essence of chocolate gravy remains a true Southern comfort food that brings families together and evokes feelings of nostalgia. Its velvety texture, rich flavors, and the indulgence it provides make it a cherished part of Southern cuisine, continuing to captivate taste buds and create lasting memories with every luscious spoonful.

You may also want to check out my Pinterest Board for other great breakfast foods like this recipe for Appalachian Chocolate Gravy.

My First Experience with Chocolate Gravy

While the origins of chocolate gravy can be traced back to the Southern United States, an interesting tidbit worth mentioning is that it was even a favorite menu item at Graceland, the iconic home of the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley. Elvis himself said that Elvis regularly requested biscuits and chocolate gravy, adding to the allure and popularity of this delightful Southern treat.

My introduction to chocolate gravy took place during my eighth-grade year. I was fortunate enough to spend the night at my friend Angie’s house, and little did I know that the morning would bring an extraordinary culinary experience. As we woke up, the tantalizing scent of freshly baked biscuits filled the air, accompanied by the aroma of something sweet and chocolatey brewing in the kitchen.

Excitement bubbled within the hearts of Angie and her siblings as their mother prepared the much-anticipated breakfast of biscuits with chocolate gravy. It was as if a wave of joy washed over the entire household, reminiscent of the joy and anticipation felt during the holiday season. I soon gathered that this particular dish was reserved for special celebrations and cherished family moments, making it an even more enchanting experience.

Curiosity got the better of me, and I couldn’t help but inquire, “What exactly is chocolate gravy?” It was in that moment that I learned that not all gravy is created equal. While gravy is often associated with savory meat-based sauces, I was delighted to discover that there was a whole world of sweet gravy out there, perfect for special occasions or Sunday mornings.

The beauty of chocolate gravy lies not only in its delectable taste but also in its simplicity and quick preparation. The easy recipe comes together effortlessly, ensuring that you can enjoy the scrumptiousness without spending excessive time in the kitchen. The combination of flour, cocoa powder, sugar, and milk or cream creates a velvety smooth sauce that clings to the warm biscuits, creating a symphony of flavors and textures that dance on the taste buds.

My first encounter with chocolate gravy opened my eyes to Southern cuisine’s diverse and delightful possibilities. It awakened my senses to the idea that gravy doesn’t always have to be savory and meat-based; it can be a sweet indulgence that brings a smile to your face and warmth to your heart. Since that memorable morning, chocolate gravy has held a special place in my culinary repertoire, reminding me of the joy found in unexpected flavors and the treasured memories shared over a delicious meal.

A stack of pancakes being drizzled with chocolate gravy, topped with fresh raspberries on a white plate.

Here is how to make chocolate gravy.

If I may offer you one word of advice, it would be STIR.

Keep stirring with a wire whisk for a smooth, rich gravy.

It also helps keep the chocolate gravy from scorching.

Chocolate Gravy Easy Recipe Ingredients:

Chocolate Gravy

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4-6


  • 1/4 cup (30 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (such as Hershey’s cocoa or Ovaltine)
  • 1 cup (200 grams) sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (23 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (480 ml) whole milk, warmed
  • 4 tablespoons (56.7 grams) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Hot biscuits
  • Fresh fruit for garnish (strawberries, berries, peaches, etc.)

A close-up of a biscuit topped with smooth southern chocolate gravy, with the text 'Southern Chocolate Gravy' and a website URL at the bottom.

How to Make Chocolate Gravy Recipe Directions:

  1. In a skillet, combine the cocoa powder, sugar, flour, and salt. Stir until well combined.
  2. Place the skillet over medium heat. Begin stirring the dry mixture and slowly pour in the warmed milk in a slow and steady stream, whisking constantly.
  3. Continue stirring the mixture until it thickens to the desired consistency.
  4. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the cubed butter and vanilla extract. Whisk until the butter is melted and all the ingredients are well blended.
  5. Serve the chocolate gravy over warm biscuits.
  6. Garnish with fresh fruit, such as strawberries, berries, or peaches, if desired.
  7. Enjoy this delightful chocolate gravy as a celebration meal, a special treat, or simply as comforting Appalachian comfort food.
  8. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days.

Cook’s Tips:

  • Stir continuously with a wire whisk while cooking to ensure a smooth and rich gravy.
  • Stirring also helps prevent the chocolate gravy from scorching.
  • Experiment with different cocoa powders or even Ovaltine for a unique flavor twist.
  • This recipe serves as a lovely surprise for loved ones, just like MacKenzie sharing it with her first boyfriend, Cooper.
  • Remember to pair the chocolate gravy with hot, freshly baked biscuits for the ultimate indulgence.


Some folks like to make chocolate gravy and then, at the very end, stir in crumbles of crisp bacon.

Learn how to make perfect bacon in the oven.

How to Serve Southern Chocolate Gravy

Chocolate gravy, with its rich and sweet flavor, is a versatile treat that can be enjoyed in various ways. Traditionally served over warm biscuits or toast for breakfast or brunch, it brings comfort and indulgence to the table, making it perfect for a leisurely weekend morning.

Breakfast and Brunch Ideas:

  • Pair chocolate gravy with other Southern breakfast favorites, such as crispy bacon or savory sausage, for a delicious and satisfying meal.
  • Serve it alongside scrambled or fried eggs to balance out the sweetness and add a touch of savory goodness to the plate.
  • Accompany the chocolate gravy with crispy hash browns or cheesy grits for a delightful combination of flavors and textures.
  • To add a refreshing element, serve sliced strawberries or bananas alongside the biscuits and chocolate gravy, providing a burst of freshness that complements the richness of the sauce.

sweet chocolate sauce with fruit

Decadent Dessert Delights:

  • Transform chocolate gravy into a luscious dessert by pouring it over a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream. The warm and velvety sauce melds with the cold and smooth ice cream, creating a heavenly indulgence.
  • Drizzle chocolate gravy over fluffy pancakes or waffles, elevating these breakfast classics into a decadent dessert-like experience.
  • For an extra touch of sweetness, use the chocolate gravy as a topping for golden-brown French toast, infusing each bite with a delightful combination of flavors.
  • Consider pouring the gravy over a warm slice of homemade pound cake or bread pudding, allowing it to soak into the dessert, enriching it with its silky sweetness.

A cup of rich southern chocolate sauce with churros being dipped into it, set on a white saucer.

Unleash Your Creativity: Feel free to experiment and find new ways to enjoy chocolate gravy. Whether you incorporate it into your own unique creations or explore traditional Southern pairings, the possibilities are endless. From drizzling it over crepes or filling pastries with its velvety goodness, to using it as a dip for fresh fruit or even spreading it on warm cinnamon rolls, let your imagination guide you to new and delightful combinations.

Remember, Stir and Savor: Throughout your culinary adventures with chocolate gravy, remember the importance of stirring to achieve a smooth and creamy texture. Stirring ensures that the sauce develops its signature richness without scorching. So, whether you serve it for breakfast, brunch, or dessert, take the time to stir and savor each spoonful of this beloved Southern delight.

biscuits and chocolate gravy

Chocolate Gravy Recipe

Yield: about 2 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Tender, buttery biscuits enrobed in dark, rich puddles of creamy, chocolate gravy. Maybe it's Willy Wonka-inspired, but Biscuits and Chocolate Gravy is actually a delicious breakfast treat!


  • 1/4 cup (30 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (such as Hershey's cocoa or Ovaltine)
  • 1 cup (200 grams) sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (23 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (480 ml) whole milk, warmed
  • 4 tablespoons (56.7 grams) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Hot biscuits
  • Fresh fruit for garnish (strawberries, berries, peaches, etc.)


  1. Combine cocoa powder, sugar, flour and salt in a skillet and stir until well combined.
  2. Over medium heat, begin stirring the dry mixture and slowly adding the warmed milk in a slow and steady stream, whisking constantly.
  3. Stir until it is thickened to desired consistency.
  4. Remove from burner and add butter and whisk until well blended.
  5. Serve over hot biscuits.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 390Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 247mgCarbohydrates: 60gFiber: 2gSugar: 7gProtein: 10g

Nutritionl information may not be accurate

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A stack of pancakes topped with chocolate gravy, nuts, and dried fruit, with a jar of chocolate sauce in the background.

How to Store Chocolate Gravy:

To ensure the freshness and quality of your leftover chocolate gravy, proper storage is key.

Follow these steps to store chocolate gravy and preserve its flavors:

  1. Cool to Room Temperature: Allow the chocolate gravy to cool to room temperature before transferring it to a storage container. This step prevents condensation from forming inside the container, which could lead to a watery consistency.
  2. Choose an Airtight Container: Spoon the cooled chocolate gravy into an airtight container. Opt for a glass or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid to keep air out and maintain the flavors and texture of the gravy.
  3. Leave Space for Expansion: Leave some space at the top of the container to accommodate any expansion that may occur as the chocolate gravy freezes. This prevents the container from bursting or leaking.
  4. Seal and Refrigerate: Seal the container tightly and place it in the refrigerator. Chocolate gravy can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days.
  5. Reheating and Serving: When ready to use the stored chocolate gravy, gently reheat it in a saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly to ensure even heating and prevent scorching. If the gravy has thickened, add a splash of milk or cream while reheating to achieve the desired consistency.
  6. Stir and Reheat: As the gravy cools and sits in the refrigerator, it may thicken or develop a skin. Simply stir the gravy before reheating to ensure a smooth texture. Avoid reheating chocolate gravy in the microwave, as it can cause the texture to become grainy or lumpy.

By following these storage steps, you can enjoy the leftover chocolate gravy for a few days, savoring its rich flavors and velvety smoothness. Remember to check for any signs of spoilage, such as an off smell or mold, before consuming stored chocolate gravy.

Additional Tip: If you anticipate having a large amount of leftover chocolate gravy, you can divide it into smaller portions before storing. This way, you can thaw and reheat only what you need, minimizing waste and ensuring optimal taste and texture with each serving.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – Southern Chocolate Gravy Recipe

1. Can I make chocolate gravy ahead of time? It is best to serve chocolate gravy fresh and warm. However, if you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. When reheating, gently warm the gravy on the stovetop over low heat, stirring constantly to ensure a smooth consistency.

2. Can I use a different type of milk or cream? Absolutely! While the recipe calls for whole milk, you can substitute it with your preferred milk or cream alternative, such as almond milk, coconut milk, or any nut milk. Keep in mind that using different types of milk may alter the flavor and texture slightly, so choose the one that suits your taste preferences.

3. Can I make this recipe gluten-free? Yes, you can make this recipe gluten-free by using a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend instead of regular all-purpose flour. Ensure that the other ingredients you use, such as the cocoa powder and vanilla extract, are also gluten-free.

4. Can I adjust the sweetness of the chocolate gravy? Certainly! The amount of sugar in the recipe can be adjusted to suit your desired level of sweetness. If you prefer a less sweet gravy, you can reduce the amount of sugar. Conversely, if you have a sweet tooth, you can add a bit more sugar to enhance the sweetness.

5. Can I add other flavors or spices to the chocolate gravy? Absolutely! While the classic recipe calls for vanilla extract, you can experiment with other flavors and spices to customize the chocolate gravy to your liking. For example, you could add a touch of cinnamon or a hint of espresso powder to elevate the flavors. Remember to start with small amounts and adjust to taste.

6. Can I freeze chocolate gravy? It is not recommended to freeze chocolate gravy as the texture may change upon thawing and reheating. The sauce may become grainy or separate, affecting its overall quality. It is best enjoyed freshly made or stored in the refrigerator for a short period of time.

7. Can I use the chocolate gravy as a cake frosting? While chocolate gravy is traditionally served as a sauce, it can potentially be used as a cake frosting. However, it may have a thinner consistency compared to regular frosting. If you decide to use it as a frosting, ensure that the cake is cooled completely before pouring the chocolate gravy over it to prevent excessive absorption.

8. Can I double or halve the recipe? Certainly! The recipe can be adjusted to make more or less chocolate gravy. Simply double the ingredients if you want to make a larger batch, or halve them if you prefer a smaller portion. Adjust the cooking time accordingly and remember to keep stirring to achieve a smooth consistency.

9. Can I reheat leftover chocolate gravy in the microwave? While it is possible to reheat chocolate gravy in the microwave, it is recommended to reheat it on the stovetop over low heat. This ensures gentle and even reheating, helping to maintain the desired texture and prevent any uneven heating or scorching that may occur in the microwave.

10. Can I use this chocolate gravy recipe as a filling for pastries? Yes, you can certainly use the chocolate gravy as a filling for pastries. Allow the gravy to cool and slightly thicken before using it as a filling. Once cooled, you can pipe or spoon the chocolate gravy into pastries, such as cream puffs or turnovers, to add a delightful burst of flavor.

Remember, these FAQs are provided as general guidance. Feel free to adapt the recipe and methods to suit your preferences and dietary needs. Enjoy your culinary adventures with Southern Chocolate Gravy!

Alternate Names for This Recipe:

Southern Chocolate Gravy is primarily known by that name, but depending on the region or personal preference, it may also be referred to by other names. Here are a few alternative names for Southern Chocolate Gravy:

  1. Chocolate Roux: Some may call it chocolate roux, drawing inspiration from the traditional cooking technique of creating a roux as the base for the gravy.
  2. Sweet Chocolate Sauce: This name emphasizes the sweetness and saucy consistency of the chocolate gravy.
  3. Southern Chocolate Sauce: Similar to sweet chocolate sauce, this name highlights the Southern origins of the gravy and its versatile saucy nature.
  4. Chocolate Breakfast Gravy: This name specifically indicates that the gravy is enjoyed as a breakfast item, typically served over biscuits or toast.
  5. Mississippi Chocolate Gravy: In certain regions, particularly in Mississippi, it may be called Mississippi Chocolate Gravy, associating it with the specific Southern state.
  6. Appalachian Chocolate Gravy: In the Appalachian Mountain region, the term Appalachian Chocolate Gravy may be used to highlight its association with the local culinary traditions.

Remember that while these names may vary, they all refer to the same delightful treat: a sweet, rich, and creamy chocolate sauce typically served over warm biscuits or other breakfast items.

About Julee: Julee Morrison is an experienced author with 35 years of expertise in parenting and recipes. She is the author of four cookbooks: The Instant Pot College Cookbook, The How-To Cookbook for Teens, The Complete Cookbook for Teens, and The Complete College Cookbook. Julee is passionate about baking, crystals, reading, and family. Her writing has appeared in The LA Times (Bon Jovi Obsession Goes Global), Disney's Family Fun Magazine (August 2010, July 2009, September 2008), and My Family Gave Up Television (page 92, Disney Family Fun August 2010). Her great ideas have been featured in Disney's Family Fun (Page 80, September 2008) and the Write for Charity book From the Heart (May 2010). Julee's work has also been published in Weight Watchers Magazine, All You Magazine (Jan. 2011, February 2011, June 2013), Scholastic Parent and Child Magazine (Oct. 2011), Red River Family Magazine (Jan. 2011),, and more. Notably, her article "My Toddler Stood on Elvis' Grave and Scaled Over Boulders to Get to a Dinosaur" made AP News, and "The Sly Way I Cured My Child's Lying Habit" was featured on PopSugar. When she's not writing, Julee enjoys spending time with her family and exploring new baking recipes.
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