Chocolate Coffee BBQ Sauce

This BBQ Sauce is infused with coffee and chocolate for a bold and deep rich flavour. The smoky, sweet and sour combination is delicious brushed over anything! Plus it’s naturally sweetened with dates making it refined sugar free.

Healthy BBQ Sauce in a jar

I LOVE BBQ Sauce! It’s one of those condiments you can use for just about anything. Spread it over your proteins, brush it over some cauliflower wings, dip your fries in them, spread them in sandwiches… basically whenever you need a tasty condiment!

Ingredients homemade vegan BBQ sauce

What makes this BBQ Sauce so special? Well first, it’s sweetened with dates. Yup, no refined sugar used here! AND it’s infused with chocolate and coffee. Yessss, you heard me right- chocolate and coffee! I love infusing savoury dishes with these two ingredients, like my pulled jackfruit chili and pumpkin curry. They bring such a unique depth of flavour in savoury dishes and man this BBQ sauce becomes so sophisticated with these two additional ingredients!

Coffee BBQ Sauce in a jar

I first learned this technique of adding chocolate and coffee when learning how to make Japanese style curry. In Japanese, it’s called “kakushi aji”, which means hidden flavour. There are all kinds of kakushi aji’s used in Japanese cuisine like apples, miso, mirin, kombu and lots more.

Chocolate BBQ sauce in a jar on a spoon

This BBQ Sauce does not taste like chocolate or coffee, and it’s not suppose to. It just gives a deeper, more rich flavour and elevates the smoky, tangy, sweet and sour flavours- it gives acidity.

Chocolate Coffee BBQ Sauce on a spoon

This stuff is always in my fridge along with my go-to Date Sweetened Korean BBQ Sauce (yes… did I mention I LOVE BBQ sauce?). It’s a pantry staple, made with pantry staples! 😂

Why this Chocolate Coffee Infused BBQ Sauce is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G, it’s:

  • tangy
  • smoky
  • super flavourful
  • date sweetened
  • vegan
  • & so damn tasty!
Sugar free BBQ sauce in a jar and spoon

Tips and Tricks to making Chocolate Coffee Infused BBQ Sauce

  • I have made this with no-sugar/salt added ketchup and works perfectly. You may need to adjust the amount of vinegar and spices as there is a bit of it in the ketchup already (+/-).
  • I brew my coffee on the strong setting, for 4 oz.
  • My favourite dark chocolate to use in this recipe is the super black out by Alter Eco.
  • I always purchase soft dates, but if you only have the firmer ones on hand, it should be okay because it cooks down in the heat making it soft enough to blender later on.
  • I love using this Coffee BBQ Sauce for cauliflower wings, baked tofu, as a dipping sauce and more!
Healthy BBQ Sauce on a brush

If you recreate this Chocolate Coffee BBQ Sauce recipe let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment and rating below or by tagging me on Instagram @Okonomikitchen, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!

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Chocolate Coffee BBQ Sauce

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This BBQ Sauce is infused with coffee and chocolate for a bold and deep rich flavour. The smoky, sweet and sour combination is delicious brushed over any protein. Plus it’s naturally sweetened with dates making it refined sugar free!


  • 1 can tomato sauce (400g)
  • 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1.5 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tbsp vinegar (ACV or balsamic)
  • 1 tsp each of: garlic powder, onion powder & paprika
  • 1/4 cup of soft dates (40g)
  • 1 square of dark chocolate (10g)
  • salt & pepper to taste


  1. Into a saucepan, add in everything but the chocolate square. Bring to a boil, then reduce it down to a strong simmer (10 minutes), stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and mix in the chocolate.
  2. Transfer into a high speed blender and blend until smooth. 
  3. Allow it to cool and then use immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 10 days


  1. for gluten free: use tamari or gluten free soy sauce of choice
  2. this Coffee BBQ sauce will last up to 10 days in the fridge
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Category: Condiments
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: North American


  • Serving Size: 2 tbsp
  • Calories: 24
  • Sugar: 3.2g
  • Sodium: 168mg
  • Fat: 0.4g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.2g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 4.9g
  • Fiber: 0.7g
  • Protein: 0.6g
  • Cholesterol: 0

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Chocolate Coffee BBQ Sauce in a jar

About Lisa

I'm Lisa, a home cook, recipe developer and founder of Okonomi Kitchen. Here, you'll find a mix of classic and modernized Japanese recipes, and creative, plant-forward meal inspiration using seasonal ingredients. I hope to share more about Japanese cuisine and culture through food and recipes.

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