Appalachia Appalachian Food

How About Some Chocolate Gravy?

chocolate gravy
A few weeks ago Granny called me one Saturday morning to tell me she had sausage, eggs, biscuits, and chocolate gravy ready if I wanted to come down and eat. It tickled her to death when I told her she was calling me too late. I had already made and eaten my own ham, eggs, biscuits, and chocolate gravy.

I grew up eating chocolate gravy on Granny’s biscuits. We didn’t have chocolate gravy every time we had biscuits, Pap and the boys preference was for gravy made by using the sausage or bacon grease. Looking back I guess Granny and I are the only ones who ate the chocolate gravy she made.

Way back in the day when The Deer Hunter first heard about chocolate gravy he told me it was an abomination. Pretty strong words right? Well over the years he says I’ve weakened his constitution because now he eats as much chocolate gravy as I do.

granny's chocolate gravy

Granny Gazzie and Granny

Granny learned to make chocolate gravy from her mother Gazzie. The Jenkins were a family of 11 children, 9 of which lived to adulthood and beyond.

When there wasn’t much milk nor any meat for frying for gravy, Granny Gazzie fed her family chocolate gravy and biscuits for breakfast.

Since there wasn’t many sweets back then, Granny said it seemed like a treat to get chocolate gravy. I’d say Granny Gazzie was a pretty smart lady. She made them think they were getting something special when actually it was a way of making do when there wasn’t much else to eat.

chocolate gravy recipe
For a pretty good size bowl of chocolate gravy put 3 tablespoons of flour into a pan on medium heat. Add 4 tablespoons of sugar and 3 tablespoons of cocoa.

Mix the dry ingredients well. Gradually add water to the mixture, stirring constantly. Continue to add water till the mixture thickens to your liking, just like you would do for any other type of gravy.

chocolate gravy and biscuits
Crumble up some biscuits, pour chocolate gravy on top, and enjoy!

Have you ever had chocolate gravy?



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  • Reply
    Debbie Nixon
    August 21, 2019 at 11:33 am

    Yes I am so glad I learned to make it from my mom I also add butter and vanilla to mine right before I take it off the stove. I probably use a lil more sugar to. My Grandma made hers like she was making fudge but right before it started to get to that point she would take it off the stove it was really good to but I could only eat one biscuit it was so rich. Me and Kevin would love to eat her breakfasts, kevin could put away a whole lot more of them biscuits with chocolate plus whatever else she cooked. Thanks for the short stroll through memory lane.

  • Reply
    June 28, 2019 at 6:20 pm

    I live in NE Mississippi and I grew up eating chocolate gravy at my mamaw’s. She didn’t use flour to thicken it but left it thin so the buttered biscuit would soak it up. Her recipe calls for cocoa, sugar, vanilla, butter, and milk. Most folks look at you like a calf looking at a new gate when you mention chocolate gravy but quickly become fans after they try it for the first time.

  • Reply
    Beth Durham
    February 1, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    HOW EXCITING to see a blog on CHOCOLATE GRAVY!!
    Just about a year ago I shared with readers the comfort of Chocolate Gravy. So many people have told me they’ve never heard of this marvelous creation that I’d begun to wonder if it was unique to our Tennessee mountain!
    I never thought of it as a food of scarcity because my grandparents always talked about how precious white sugar was to them.
    But my own Granny made it for the grandkids everytime we ate breakfast with her. She’s gone home to heaven now but she taught most of us how to make it and we regularly do!
    Your reader Larry Griffith mentioned another of my comfort foods from childhood, Coffee and Bread – that ranks right up with Chocolate Gravy around here.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Sheila Hart
      February 5, 2020 at 11:34 am

      I grew up in East Central Arkansas and my Granny, my aunts, my mom made this. My family made it with cocoa, sugar, flour, milk, vanilla and butter. It’s a southern thing for sure and is a delicacy to me!!

  • Reply
    January 31, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    Got to give this a try on my chocolate waffles. Yum.

  • Reply
    January 30, 2017 at 9:13 pm

    …what in “tarnations”…?

  • Reply
    Becky J Nicks
    January 30, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    Funny, the only time I ever had chocolate gravy was when I spent the night with you!

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    January 30, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    I like the “Deer Hunter” had never had Chocolate Gravy until I met my wife, I pictured Bacon and/or sausage gravy with cocoa added to it and turned my nose up at it until Bunny convinced me to try it. I loved it and still do. Bunny makes it much like your recipe but only uses enough hot water to reach a syrup like consistancy to her Cocoa, sugar and flour then adds the mixture to milk which has been heated to a “Skim” then cooks to desired thickness. We now use a quicker method, we use Chocolate Pudding then add a little extra milk and cook to desired thickness, remember to leave it thin as it will thicken as it cools. I tastes just like the home made gravy.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    January 30, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    Mama made this and was famous for it and for her regular biscuits and gravy too. She didn’t thicken hers with flour. It was cocoa and sugar and water cooked till it was slightly thick. So good on a hot biscuit!!
    Have you ever had tomato gravy? Mama made this, too. Use tomato juice (preferably homemade) or V8 instead of milk or water. My sister in law does this with a jar of home canned tomatoes and it is yummy too.

  • Reply
    January 30, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    I’ve had chocolate gravy for breakfast more times than you can shake a stick. I love that stuff on crumbled hot biscuits, matter of fact, I lived on that stuff before going to school. My brothers and I licked our plates clean as we finished. ha I never watched mama make chocolate gravy, but I knew how she made it. …Ken
    PS: We had about 1 1/2″ of SNOW up at the house, had to use 4 wheel drive to get home.

  • Reply
    Garland Davis
    January 30, 2017 at 11:21 am

    I must have missed something someplace. I grew up in the Piedmont of North Carolina, spent thirty years as a cook, baker, and as the Leading Chief Petty Officer of Food Service on a number of ships, but I have never heard of Chocolate Gravy. I like gravy and I like chocolate, but combining the two seems a little strange. Perhaps one of these mornings I will give it a try.

  • Reply
    Yecedrah Higman
    January 30, 2017 at 11:18 am

    I love chocolate gravy!!!! I grew up with chocolate gravy and that was my treat for my children when they were growing up. We made it the same way as you Tipper. I do not like mine made with milk!! Milk makes it taste like chocolate pudding, ugh!!!

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    January 30, 2017 at 10:59 am

    Can’t say that Mom made chocolate gravy specifically to go on homemade biscuits. We had chocolate sauce on cake and ice cream. However, yes I have eaten it! My Dad made most of the breakfast meals when we were in school. Sausage, eggs, grits, gravy and homemade biscuits. Then there were the days of ham and eggs, grits, Red-eye gravy and homemade biscuits. Summer time when corn was in was the best breakfast, bacon, homemade biscuits and fresh creamed corn within the butter sauce/gravy and poured over homemade biscuits with fresh red garden tomatoes on the side. He sure could cook! He learned when he took a job as a short order cook at a diner while in college at Appalachian State.
    Why when we were kids we would have to hurry to pull the biscuits out of the air to eat them they were so light and fluffy! Nope, I never learned his trick though one day he tried to teach me how he made biscuits. Mom made purty good biscuits but hers were heavier!
    Thanks Tipper,
    Dad didn’t like chocolate sauce/ gravy but loved fudge. Question that one. He was the fudge maker too. He made his fudge in an iron skillet! Oooooh, I can smell it now!

  • Reply
    January 30, 2017 at 10:50 am

    Ah! Yes, I have had chocolate gravy. A friend of mine made it one time when we were there for a visit. I don’t know if she made it the same way, but I really enjoyed it. Although I feel it was used when other types of sweets were scarce, I can picture using a scoop or two of ice cream with it. Right now my mouth is watering.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    January 30, 2017 at 10:29 am

    I don’t remember ever eating chocolate gravy. My brother Stephen, who is six years younger than I am, says we had it all the time when he was a kid. I remember Mommy making chocolate syrup to eat over biscuits (which I loved). Stephen says he remembers that too and it wasn’t the same thing. So, I am stuck with three choices:
    1. I had it and don’t remember it.
    2. I wasn’t home on the mornings Mommy made it.
    3. Stephen is talking through his hat.
    Since Stephen might read this I am not going to tell you which choice I am leaning toward.

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, PhD
    January 30, 2017 at 10:23 am

    LOSSIE, LOSSIE, NEVER have I tried chocolate gravy. I’ll just ‘take your word’ for it being good! Eva Nell

  • Reply
    January 30, 2017 at 10:22 am

    I must say I agree with The Deer Hunter’s first impression that it must be an abomination. We never ate this nor did I know anyone else that made chocolate gravy. There are foods my family commonly ate back in the day, but now I would never eat such foods as pickled pig feet or squirrel gravy. I agree with one poster who thinks might be tastier if called chocolate sauce. It does seem to be a more liquid version of my Mom’s chocolate pudding. We always had a container of that chocolate at our house, and my sister’s first cooking attempts were fudge. I love chocolate hot chocolate on a cold snowy morning like today!

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    January 30, 2017 at 10:10 am

    This is new to me. It doesn’t sound very good, but I’ll bet it would have been delicious if that was all there was to eat.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    January 30, 2017 at 9:24 am

    My grandmother used to make it when we went to stay with her for the summer. I don’t remember what she called it, but I callex it chocolate syrup because you put syrup on pancakes, right? It was always warm and sweet. My grampa whi we called Daddy Curt, loved Postum it was a delightful treat to get pancakes with hot chocolate syrup, postum with lots of milk and sugar for breakfast

  • Reply
    January 30, 2017 at 8:57 am

    If you’ve never had chocolate gravy, you don’t know what you’re missing! It’s got to be eaten on homemade biscuits. Canned biscuits will not work. What I wouldn’t give for a bowl of my mom’s chocolate gravy and one of her biscuits to sop it up with.

  • Reply
    Larry Griffith
    January 30, 2017 at 8:29 am

    No I’ve never had chocolate gravy. One of the unusual things I had for breakfast was coffee with sugar with a biscuit crumbled in. Sometimes that gave me the Arbuckle thumps. (heart flops)

  • Reply
    Larry Griffith
    January 30, 2017 at 8:29 am

    No I’ve never had chocolate gravy. One of the unusual things I had for breakfast was coffee with sugar with a biscuit crumbled in. Sometimes that gave me the Arbuckle thumps. (heart flops)

  • Reply
    Larry Griffith
    January 30, 2017 at 8:29 am

    No I’ve never had chocolate gravy. One of the unusual things I had for breakfast was coffee with sugar with a biscuit crumbled in. Sometimes that gave me the Arbuckle thumps. (heart flops)

  • Reply
    Larry Griffith
    January 30, 2017 at 8:29 am

    No I’ve never had chocolate gravy. One of the unusual things I had for breakfast was coffee with sugar with a biscuit crumbled in. Sometimes that gave me the Arbuckle thumps. (heart flops)

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    January 30, 2017 at 8:27 am

    This is the way my mother made cocoa. She used milk instead of water and it was the smoothest hot drink you could make.
    I think I would love it on biscuits since we dipped cookies and toast in our cocoa.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    January 30, 2017 at 8:15 am

    Hmmmmm can’t recall specifically. I have a dim memory of something chocolate but maybe it was chocolate pie. With us it was cornmeal mush (first cousin to grits) as the make-do breakfast.
    Relative to the Deer Hunter, I have noticed that when folks are first married the husband tends to use his Mom’s cooking as the standard. But somewhere along the way, that changes to become his wife’s cooking. I think most of the time neither one quite realizes when it happens. Probably it starts with individual favorite dishes. But all that is how it should be. It is the wise and loving thing for us guys to do. I expect our Moms understood that was how it would be.

  • Reply
    Ed Karshner
    January 30, 2017 at 8:02 am

    I have never heard of chocolate gravy. But I’m going to give it a try.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    January 30, 2017 at 8:02 am

    Tip, I never heard of chocolate gravy till I met you. When the Deer Hunter first talked about your chocolate gravy I thought it strange but then my second thought was…..well, anything is better with chocolate. LOL!

  • Reply
    January 30, 2017 at 7:59 am

    I’ve never had it. I like gravy and I inhale chocolate so I may try this soon. I’ve already had breakfast so maybe for lunch.

  • Reply
    Janet McClelland
    January 30, 2017 at 7:51 am

    Sounds nasty! Now if it would be called chocolate sauce, I might think about trying it. Just a play on words

    • Reply
      Melissa Vaughn
      August 24, 2019 at 10:56 am

      I just made Chocolate Gravy for the first time, thanks to your recipe. It was a hit with my family for sure!! Growing up in WNC I oddly don’t remember ever having chocolate gravy. My mom always made homemade chocolate icing for cakes with evaporated milk, sugar, vanilla, butter, and cocoa. Which is similar but not at all gravy like (or icing like really). It was more liquidy and sweeter. Now I have two chocolate recipes to enjoy! Thanks for sharing a yummy family recipe and some sweet memories!

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