Whether you call this breakfast or dessert, this Chocolate Cream of Wheat is the absolute BEST way to doctor up boring cream of wheat! We make these chocolate farina bowls and top them with berries, Greek yogurt, and an easy homemade chocolate sauce for chocolate breakfast heaven!
Chocolate cream of wheat
What's the best way to get your kiddo to (happily) eat breakfast on weekdays?? Add chocolate to it! That's exactly what we do with this Chocolate Cream of Wheat!
It's super quick and easy to make, and absolutely amazing when topped with healthy toppings, such as Greek yogurt, fresh berries, and sliced bananas. Drizzle it with an amazing homemade chocolate sauce (from this chocolate pancakes recipe), and everyone in your family will be gobbling up this no-guilt chocolate breakfast.
If you want to do a dessert-for-breakfast type of treat, then add some whipped cream to these cream of wheat bowls.
This chocolate farina is infinitely better than the sloppy soup-kitchen-looking cream of wheat we ate as kids.
Related recipe: Instant Pot Chocolate Cherry Steel Cut Oats
Cream of Wheat vs Oatmeal vs Grits vs Farina
Farina is a coarsely ground wheat powder that cooks very quickly, similar to grits, which is coarsely ground corn. Cream of Wheat is simply a brand name of farina, and there are lots of other brand names out there.
Oatmeal is an entirely different grain (different plant), made from oats.
Related recipe: Breakfast Grits with Caramelized Peaches
How to make farina that tastes good
Aside from adding chocolate, there are a few tips for making cream of wheat actually taste good. First off, don't follow the plain instructions on the box. Cooking cream of wheat in plain water with a pinch of salt will NOT yield tasty results. Cream of wheat needs a few other ingredients to be delicious.
For one, I recommend cooking cream of wheat in a mixture of milk and water to give it a richer flavor. Don't use milk only, because milk burns in a saucepan and sticks to the bottom when boiled, so is important to use milk + water to prevent the milk solids from sticking to your pot.
In addition, I add a generous pat of butter (about a tablespoon) to the cream of wheat to give it an even richer flavor.
Next, cream of wheat needs some sweetener. You don't have to make it too sugary, but I find that it needs about ½ - 1 tablespoon of sweetener per serving (I typically use ¼ - ⅓ up dry cream of wheat for an adult serving, and half of that for a little kid serving). I like to use maple syrup as sweetener to give cream of wheat more flavor, and to cut down on refined cane sugar.
Next, I love adding a pinch of ground cinnamon to the cooking liquid, or adding a cinnamon stick to the milk while it is heating up. The little cinnamon gives the cream of wheat a nice flavor and enhances the chocolate flavor.
And of course, if you want to add some more flavor to your cream of wheat, cocoa powder is always a good choice! We also often make this pumpkin cream of wheat—SO GOOD!!
More breakfast bowl recipes to try: Buckwheat Breakfast Bowls
Is chocolate cream of wheat healthy?
Both cream of wheat and farina are typically made from non-whole grain wheat (although you can certainly buy whole grain Cream of Wheat or a different brand of whole wheat farina cereal for this recipe).
However, unsweetened cocoa powder is very healthy and loaded with antioxidants (source), so adding cocoa powder actually makes this a better choice for breakfast than regularly-prepared cream of wheat! Of course, that is assuming that you don't load it up with extra sugar or go too crazy with the chocolate sauce.... but it can definitely be part of a healthy breakfast when paired with the right toppings!
Ready to make chocolate cream of wheat??
This recipe makes about 2 filling adult servings, or 4 kid servings. I recommend only making as much as you will eat, so cut the recipe in half if you need to.
For the farina:
- 1 cup milk (any kind - cow's milk or plant milk)
- 1 cup water (or use more for a thinner cream of wheat)
- 1 tablespoon salted butter (or unsalted butter + pinch of salt)
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (aka cacao powder, unsweetened)
- 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup (or other sweetener)
- 1 cinnamon stick (optional, or a pinch of ground cinnamon)
- ⅔ cup cream of wheat / farina
- ¼ cup chocolate chips (optional)
For the chocolate sauce:
- ½ cup milk (any kind)
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons agave nectar
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup (or agave or honey)
- 2-4 tablespoons chocolate chips (the more you add, the thicker the sauce will be!)
Cream of wheat toppings
I highly recommend any (or all) of these toppings for cream of wheat bowls!
- Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla) - this adds some protein!
- Fresh berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries)
- Sliced banana
- Cinnamon sugar (I love this stuff!! I use it on my churro pancakes and it adds such a nice delicious crunch!)
- Chocolate sauce (use store-bought, or see below for an awesome EASY chocolate sauce recipe)
- Chocolate chips
- Caramel sauce
- Berry sauce
- Whipped cream
- Medium saucepan (I recommend non-stick)
- Silicone-coated whisk (I recommend silicone to prevent scratching your pan, if yours is non-stick)
- Measuring cups and spoons
In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, water, butter, cocoa powder, maple syrup, and cinnamon. Heat over medium heat and whisk until no chocolate clumps remain.
As soon as the milk starts to come to a tiny boil (starts forming small bubbles at the top), whisk in the cream of wheat powder, and whisk constantly to prevent lumps. Whisking is key!! Continue to cook over medium heat until the mixture starts to thicken.
Remove from heat, and continue to whisk until the cream of wheat is cooked to your liking. If it gets too thick, add a little water or milk and whisk in until completely combined. If it's too watery, keep stirring and cooking for another minute or two. Transfer to a bowl, allow to cool for a few minutes, and serve warm, topping with your favorite toppings. BE CAREFUL because it is steaming out when transferred to a bowl.
Top with your favorite breakfast bowl toppings!
More breakfast bowls to try: Savory Oatmeal Bowls
Tips for cooking cream of wheat
→ If you like thicker cream of wheat (we do!!), use only 2 cups of liquid for ⅔ cup cream of wheat. If you like it thinner, use as much as 2¼ - 2.5 cups liquid.
→ Do NOT try to cook the cream of wheat in milk only - the milk sugars will burn and stick at the bottom of the saucepan.
→ Watch out for splatters!! As soon as the cream of wheat thickens and comes to a boil, it will start sputtering and splattering hot bits of cream of wheat, and those REALLY hurt if they get on you!!! So my safety tip is to remove the pot from the heat (or turn off the heat) as soon as the cream of wheat thickens a little in the milk. It will still continue to thicken and cool in the hot liquid, but the splattering will be reduced significantly if you don't keep it over the heat.
→ For a lighter breakfast, omit the butter and use less milk and more water, or use almond milk. Don't skip the milk completely because you need some creaminess in there.
→ Serving tip: Cream of Wheat is HOT when it is first cooked and can take a while to cool down when served in a bowl. If you feeding little toddlers who cannot wait until something cools down, you can spread some cream of wheat out on a plate so it cools faster. And as a bonus, it will have more room to add LOTS of toppings!
→ Cream of wheat is best served fresh. It only takes about 5 minutes to make, so there's no need to make extra and plan for leftovers. However, if you have leftovers, just whisk in some milk and reheat in a saucepan.
More chocolate treats to try: Protein Mug Brownie
Make an EASY chocolate sauce for your cream of wheat bowls:
In a small saucepan, combine ½ cup milk, ¼ cup chocolate powder, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons agave nectar (or honey or maple syrup). Simmer for a few minutes until everything is dissolved and combined. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips. If you want a thicker sauce, add more chocolate chips. Cool for a few minutes, then pour over the cream of wheat. Keep refrigerated.
Leftover cream of wheat
Cream of wheat continues to harden and dry out as it cools down. I recommend making only as much as you will eat right away instead of making leftovers, so cut the recipe down if you need to.
However, if you do have leftovers, you have two options:
- Stir in more milk or water into the pot before the cream of wheat cools down. It will still continue to dry out but won't be as hard the next day. Store in a sealed container in the fridge and reheat the next day, whisking in more milk if needed.
- Leave it as is, and plan on stirring in/whisking in more milk on day 2 when reheating in a saucepan on the stovetop. At first it will look like it doesn't want to come together, but keep gently stirring the milk in (do NOT splash it out by accident) and it will come together as it cools down. Serve warm.
If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!
Chocolate Cream of Wheat
- 1 cup milk - (any kind - cow's milk or plant milk)
- 1 cup water - (or a little extra for thinner cream of wheat)
- 1 tablespoon salted butter - (or unsalted butter + pinch of salt)
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder - (unsweetened)
- 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup - (or other sweetener)
- 1 cinnamon stick - (optional, or a pinch of ground cinnamon)
- ⅔ cup cream of wheat cereal / farina
- ¼ cup chocolate chips - (optional)
- toppings - (see notes for ideas)
- In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, water, butter, cocoa powder, maple syrup, and cinnamon. Heat over medium heat and whisk until no chocolate clumps remain.1 cup milk, 1 cup water, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 tablespoon salted butter
- As soon as the milk starts to come to a simmer, whisk in the cream of wheat powder and whisk constantly to prevent lumps. Whisking is key!! Continue to cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes until the mixture starts to thicken.⅔ cup cream of wheat cereal / farina
- Remove from heat, and continue to whisk until the cream of wheat is cooked to your liking. If it gets too thick, add a little water or milk and whisk in until completely combined. Serve warm, topping with your favorite toppings.
- Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)
- Fresh berries
- Sliced banana
- Cinnamon sugar
- Chocolate sauce
- Chocolate chips
- Caramel sauce
- Berry sauce
- Whipped cream
The nutritional information displayed is an estimate and not to be used as dietary or nutritional advice. Consult a nutritionist or dietician for nutritional info based on the exact ingredients you use.