Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Vegan Chocolate Egg Cream

Yummy nostalgia! Try this Vegan Egg Cream for National Egg Cream Day on March 15.

No need to beware the Ides of March! March 15 is National Egg Cream Day! In honor of that, I’ve created a vegan version of this favorite vintage fountain drink for all to enjoy.

If there’s ever been a menu item that one could not figure out from its name, it’s the egg cream, as there is neither egg nor cream as an ingredient. This effervescent beverage of a bygone era, when soda jerks whipped up ice cold concoctions as customers spun in their leatherette stools, has its origins on the Lower East Side of New York according to legend. There are numerous proprietary tales of which Yiddish immigrant asked which fountain worker for whatever he actually wanted, in broken English, and got served this, sometime in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s. I’m not one to step on toes, so I’ll leave it at that. Either way, the first soda jerk to set a tall cold glass of chocolate milk stirred up with bubbling seltzer probably had no idea that his creation would not only become a craze but eventually would have a day on the calendar in commemoration. Well earned, sir, well earned.

Now, messing with an egg cream recipe is a tenuous task as there are hard and fast absolutes according to egg cream aficionados. Ironic as there are only 3 ingredients. I’ve broken all three absolutes. The first, of course, would be whole cow’s milk which I’ve replaced with extra creamy oat milk to keep it plant-based. The second would be Fox’s U-bet chocolate syrup. Perhaps back in the day, it was made with clean and simple ingredients, but now it’s got corn syrup and preservatives and artificial vanilla. That’s a big no for me. In place I made a simple homemade chocolate syrup that will have you swooning! The third would be seltzer from a seltzer dispenser to give it that extra fizzy fizz. That I would have liked, but didn’t want to invest though I did use seltzer. No easy feat living in LA where seltzer is hard seltzer or flavored seltzer or diet flavored seltzer. Now, I could have used club soda, but that has salt added or sparkling mineral water, but that has naturally occurring minerals. Both change the taste of the water. No, I was determined to find unflavored seltzer, which is simply carbonated water, for at least some sense of an olde time taste. Thanks to online searches I found these cans of Polar Seltzer (pictured), at Target, which will make your life easier when assembling the ingredients.

If you’re thirsty for a bit of olde time nostalgia, do try this modern take on a classic soda fountain drink.

Chef’s Tips:

  • Vanilla paste is thicker than vanilla extract that has a minute amount of sugar added as well as flecks of vanilla beans. I prefer it over extract, though do use both. Please note that artificial vanilla is not a good product as it is made from a byproduct of the wood industry or in some cases castoreum, which is from a beaver’s glands. Pay more and stick to real vanilla pastes and extracts. It makes a difference in the taste of the final product.
  • Have all ingredients chilled.
  • I like this ratio of chocolate milk to seltzer as I like creaminess in my egg cream. Some recipes use very little milk. Only 1.5 tablespoons. You’ll have to experiment to find your perfect egg cream.
  • Once stirred up, serve and drink up the egg cream immediately as it separates when sitting too long.
  • For a really authentic take, serve with pretzel rods. Dip the pretzel into the egg cream.
    The salty-sweet is fabulous!
  • Feel free to swap out chocolate syrup with other flavors.

Vegan Chocolate Egg Cream
Have all ingredients chilled
This makes one egg cream

2 heaping T homemade chocolate syrup (recipe follows) or to taste
4 ounces extra creamy oat milk (or milk of choice) or to taste
Seltzer (or club soda)
Preztel rods

-In a tall glass stir up the chocolate syrup with the milk.
-While continuing to stir, vigorously add enough seltzer to reach the top with the bubbles. If it spills over, it’s really authentic!
-Serve immediately with a straw and pretzel rods. Enjoy!

Homemade Chocolate Syrup

1 cup water
1 cup organic sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, sifted
1.5 T vanilla paste or vanilla extract
Pinch of kosher salt

Combine the water, sugar and sifted cocoa in a small saucepan.

Turn heat to medium, while whisking constantly. Keep whisking.

When the mixture starts simmering lower the heat and switch to a small silcon spatula or spoon. Stir for 3 minutes until a bit thickened, scraping down sides of pan and stirring up from the bottom to avoid sticking. Be careful not to burn the chocolate.

It will thicken a bit as it cooks.

Remove the pan from the burner and stir in the vanilla and salt.

Let the sauce cool completely in the pan before transferring to a covered jar. I occasionally stir up as it’s cooling.

Refrigerate until ready to use. Please note that it will thicken more in the fridge.

Keeps 3-4 weeks.

In addition to egg creams you can use this syrup for regular chocolate milk, hot chocolate, mocha drinks, drizzled on cakes, brownies, ice cream or berries or right off of the spoon!

Ingredients for the homemade chocolate syrup.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Deborah Brooks
Deborah Brooks
Deborah is currently a documentary film producer. She is also a former certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition coach. The shutdown of business due to Covid-19 and the implication of an animal wet market connection caused her to rethink her high animal protein food lifestyle. She has spent the last year exploring the world of plant based eating for her own health as well as the health of the planet and all of its sentient beings. Her recipes can be found on Instagram. She would love you to follow along on her journey.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Latest Articles

.printfriendly { padding: 0 0 60px 50px; }