Vegan Hot Chocolate

Tis’ the season for hot chocolate. And of course, I wanted a great vegan alternative to regular hot chocolate that would be just as creamy, decadent, and delicious. And boy oh boy did I find it. This vegan hot chocolate is not only super quick and easy to make, but it’s also smooth, rich, chocolatey, and mouthwateringly good.

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For me, it’s really not Christmas unless I drink hot chocolate. It’s one of those childhood favorites that have stuck with me and somewhere along the way it grew into a must-have. Now, I not only adore hot chocolate, but I’m also really picky about it. It needs to be just the right level of richness, and creaminess and of course, it also needs to be super chocolatey. I mean, it’s not real hot chocolate unless it tastes like chocolate, right?

Hot chocolate has that magical ability to make every day a little better and a lot cozier. 

What’s great about this vegan hot chocolate recipe:

  • It’s super easy and quick to make – barely takes 5 minutes and they’re ready to enjoy
  • Vegan, gluten-free, and soy free
  • Tastes amazing – it’s delicious, rich, and chocolatey

Origins of hot chocolate 

Hot chocolate has been grown and made by the Mayans since the 9th century. The drink is rumored to go all the way back to the Olmecs who were one of the earliest known Mesoamerican Civilizations. We know for sure that the Mayans made what must be the original version of today’s hot chocolate featuring cacao, hot chili, water, cornmeal, and spices. It was a bitter version of the drink we know as hot cocoa, without any sugar or milk. It was originally a drink considered to have great health benefits and contain lots of nutrients.

In the 16th century, the hot cocoa drink was discovered by the Spanish explorers, and they brought the recipe back with them. By the 18th century the drink finally made its way to the United States where it was quickly adapted into the delicious creamy hot chocolate we know today.

A delicious quick vegan hot cocoa recipe

This creamy plant-based homemade hot chocolate recipe is surprisingly easy and quick to make. 

Vegan hot chocolate ingredients

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Almond Milk or your preferred plant milk
  • 2 tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • Two tbsp Maple Syrup
  • ½ cup Dairy Free Dark Chocolate
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch of salt

Optional Topping

  • Coconut Whip Cream
  • Vegan Marshmallows
  • Grated Chocolate

How to make Vegan Hot Chocolate in 3 easy steps 

  • Heat the almond milk in a medium pot and add the cocoa powder, maple syrup, and chocolate chips. Stir gently to combine while the chocolate melts.
  • Turn the heat down and stir while it cooks (it’s important not to let it come to a boil).

    Remove from the heat once the chocolate is melted and whisk in vanilla extract and salt.
  • Carefully, pour into two mugs and top off with whipped coconut cream and vegan marshmallows.

    Serve hot and enjoy.

Tips and trick + options to get the best vegan hot cocoa

Dairy-free hot chocolate with low sugar

To cut down on the sugar in this recipe, I recommend using almond milk or coconut milk as they are naturally sweeter and you won’t really need the extra sugar. Just leave out the maple syrup, and follow the recipe instructions to make a delicious sugar-free hot cocoa in no time.

Lindt vegan hot cocoa

Lindt chocolate has a range of dark chocolate that are vegan…and therefore ideal to use in this easy 5-minutes hot chocolate recipe. For this recipe, I recommend using a vegan chocolate bar with around 60%-70% cocoa. 

Vegan hot chocolate with maple syrup

Maple syrup is my favorite sweetener in hot chocolate because it adds a richness and sweetness that’s beyond regular sugar. I like to have one tablespoon of maple syrup per hot cup of cocoa. If you prefer less sweet cocoa, simply use less maple syrup. 

Vegan hot cocoa no milk option

Can you even make hot chocolate without milk? The answer is “yes”…Although I highly recommend using non-dairy plant milk as a substitute for regular milk because it creates the same silky chocolatey texture we all adore in hot cocoa. If you prefer you can make this hot chocolate recipe with half water and half plant milk to make the drink less calorie dense and lighter. For a full, no-milk-at-all-of-any-kind experience you can try just making the hot cocoa with water. If you go down that route, I recommend adding a little extra vegan chocolate to make the drink more creamy.

Vegan hot chocolate options

There are so many delicious variations to hot chocolate. I have included the basic recipe here because that is the base of every great vegan hot cocoa recipe you can make. Once you have this recipe, it’s so easy to get creative and start adding different spices.

Some of my favorite hot cocoa spices are:

  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom
  • Licorice
  • Christmas spice mix
  • Pumpkin spice
  • Coffee

A super simple Healthy Vegan hot chocolate recipe 

Creamy? Check. Delicious? Check. Healthy? Also, check. This easy make in minutes dairy-free hot chocolate recipe has it all. To get the full benefits of healthy fatty acids, I recommend using almond milk or coconut milk in this recipe. It not only creates a deliciously silky texture that’s been called “better than regular hot chocolate “ on numerous occasions, but it also adds extra nutrients to the drink. For a lighter dairy-free hot cocoa recipe, you can use oat milk, or even substitute half of the milk with water. 

Best plant milk options for vegan hot chocolate

Vegan hot chocolate recipe with oat milk

Oat milk is a great option for making hot chocolate milk with non-dairy options. Oat milk creates a silky smooth texture that’s just as creamy as regular milk. Plus, it has a lovely lightness with a hint of sweetness that’s irresistible in a hot cup of cocoa.

Vegan hot chocolate recipe with coconut milk

Coconut milk is AMAZING in hot chocolate. For a fully rich, decadent, and creamy to the max vegan hot cocoa using coconut milk is the answer. 

Non-dairy hot cocoa with almond milk 

Mmm, almond milk. You can’t go wrong when you use almond milk in hot cocoa. Almond milk has a smooth, deep, and rich texture that creates a deliciously decadent and true to “real hot cocoa” texture that always wins everyone over. And, no one ever guesses your almond milk hot chocolate is vegan. It’s a winner’s choice.

Plant-based hot chocolate with cashew milk 

Cashew milk is another great option for hot chocolate. It’s naturally rich, deliciously silky, and creates a creamy hot chocolate that’s out of this world TASTY.

Hot chocolate with Soy Milk

All I can say is “Yes”. Everyone adores the creamy, luxe, and utterly rich texture of soy milk in hot chocolate. If you are ever unsure of what milk to use in a hot beverage, just use soy milk. It’s one of those things that always works and always makes a recipe better.

Looking for a Vegan hot chocolate for one recipe? 

I’ve got you covered. Just use half of all the ingredients for one delicious cup of steaming creamy hot cocoa…or make the whole batch and give yourself a treat of two cups of tasty hot chocolates. Because you’re worth it and we all deserve two cups (and maybe add some cookies to treat yourself extra).

Organic vegan hot chocolate recipe

You can easily make this plant-based hot chocolate recipe organic. Just use organic vegan chocolate, organic non-dairy milk, and organic everything else and you’re good to go.

Vegan options for hot chocolate

There are two routes you can go with homemade hot cocoa. The real chocolate decadent way like this recipe uses, or the vegan hot chocolate powder mix (which is also delicious!).

You can’t go wrong either way. This recipe uses real chocolate to get that ultra-rich, ultra-delicious true hot chocolate flavor and texture. 

Vegan hot chocolate toppings

  • Coconut Whip Cream – creamy rich coconut cream whipped to fluffy peaks is the quintessential hot chocolate topping.
  • Cashew Whipped Cream – Cashew whip Cream is one of my favorite plant-based hot cocoa toppings. It’s light and fluffy just like regular whipped cream, and also has that creamy richness and delicious melty texture. 
  • Vegan Marshmallows – if you adore marshmallows and their melty sticky texture, then you need a generous topping of vegan marshmallows.
  • Whipped foam – for a lighter, less calorie-dense more healthy hot chocolate topping you can top it with whipped foam. Just use a frother to froth oat milk into a light foam and sprinkle a little grated chocolate on top for instant deliciousness.
  • Grated Chocolate – every hot cup of cocoa needs a little fresh grated chocolate if you ask me.

What to serve with hot chocolate 

– Fluffy vegan saffron bread (St. Lucia bread recipe) – delicious, fluffy saffron bread with the fluffiest pull-apart texture and mouthwatering saffron flavors.

– Easy vegan chocolate chip cookies – because what goes better with chocolate than more chocolate? Let’s just make it an all-in abundant chocolate experience 

  • Vegan Hot Chocolate buns – mmm, delicious chocolate flavors, fluffy bun texture, and the best real bread texture.
  • Chocolate chip scones – buttery, delicious, and everything a scone should be. 
  • Spicy Pear Cake – the best holiday flavored naturally vegan and utterly delicious cake you can imagine. Served with a hot cup of cocoa, a slice of this easy vegan pear cake is just what foodie dreams are made of.

Frequently asked questions 

What’s the best dairy-free chocolate to use in hot chocolate?

There are several great vegan chocolate bar options available at the grocery store. Here are my top five picks:
–  Lindt Chocolate 70%
– Ritter Sport 61% vegan selection 
– Ghirardelli’s Double Chocolate Premium Hot Cocoa mix
– Trader Joe’s vegan chocolates
– Green and Blacks organic vegan chocolates

Can I reheat vegan hot cocoa?

I haven’t tried it yet, but in theory, you should be able to reheat this hot cocoa. It’s all about melting the chocolate gently so it doesn’t split, so I would either reheat it at low in a microwave, stirring in the cup every minute until the chocolate is melted and the drink is creamy…or I would reheat it in a pot at low heat while stirring.

How many calories are in one cup of hot chocolate?

There are approximately 190 calories in one serving of this vegan hot chocolate if you use almond milk or coconut milk. If you’re using oat milk or half milk and half water there will be fewer calories in one serving.

I want that peppermint hot cocoa flavor. How can I make my hot chocolate taste like peppermint?

There are two ways to add peppermint flavor to your hot chocolate. The first way is to add 1/8 teaspoon of peppermint extract to the drink while making. It will infuse the hot cocoa with lovely fresh peppermint. The second way is to use vegan peppermint chocolate for the chocolate. 

Looking for Delicious cookies and cakes to serve with your plant based hot cocoa? You might like some of these ideas:

Vegan Hot Chocolate

Homemade vegan hot chocolate has never been easier. This recipe is rich, creamy and deliciously chocolatey.
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Keyword hot cocoa, vegan
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 2 Servings
Author Simone – Munchyesta.com

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Almond Milk or your preferred plant milk
  • 2 tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 2 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • ½ cup Dairy Free Dark Chocolate
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch of salt

Optional Topping

  • Coconut Whip Cream
  • Vegan Marsmallows
  • Grated Chocolate

Instructions

  • Heat the almond milk in a medium pot and add the cocoa powder, maple syrup and chocolate chips. Stir gently to combine while the chocolate melts.
  • Turn the heat down and stir while it cooks (it's important not to let it come to a boil).
    Remove from the heat once the chocolate is melted and whisk in vanilla extract and salt.
  • Carefully, pour into two mugs and top off with whipped coconut cream and vegan marshmallows.
    Serve hot and enjoy.

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