Learn how to make the best 5-minute Vegan Hot Chocolate using just 6 ingredients! It’s rich, chocolatey, and has just the right amount of sweetness.
Does anything sound better than a steaming hot mug of luscious Vegan Hot Chocolate when the cold weather hits? I don’t think so!
Making hot chocolate from scratch is easy. Real chocolate, cocoa powder, sugar, and milk are heated together on the stove, flavored with vanilla and a pinch of salt, then poured into mugs. The hardest part is choosing between coconut whipped cream or aquafaba whipped cream for the topping!
Why this is the best vegan hot chocolate recipe:
- It’s made with real chocolate: Real chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate is melted along with the other 5 easy ingredients. You can’t beat the luscious, smooth texture of a mug of hot chocolate made with real melted chocolate!
- Better than any storebought mix: When you can find it, storebought vegan hot chocolate mix is pretty lackluster. Sure, it’s chocolatey, but is it rich and ultra-soothing? Not really. Making homemade hot chocolate is always the way to go, especially when it’s as easy as this recipe.
- It’s ready in 5 minutes: The process is as simple as heating all of the ingredients together on the stove and then pouring it into a mug. So quick and easy!
Ingredients needed (with substitutions)
- Non-dairy milk – If you want your vegan hot chocolate to taste just like Starbucks, use almond milk or any other non-dairy milk you like or have at home. Soy milk, coconut milk, oat milk, and cashew milk are all great options! Unsweetened is best so you can control the sweetness. If you only have sweetened milk, reduce the sugar a bit, to taste.
- Cocoa powder – Unsweetened natural cocoa powder or dutch processed cocoa powder will work just fine.
- Granulated sugar – Use organic granulated sugar to ensure it’s vegan-friendly. Pure maple syrup, coconut sugar, or another granulated or liquid sweetener can be used instead.
- Chocolate chips – Chocolate chips or a chopped up dark chocolate bar are melted into the hot chocolate mix. You can also use various flavored vegan chocolate bars, such as peppermint dark chocolate or hazelnut to customize the flavor.
- Vanilla extract
- Salt – Just a tiny pinch will enhance the rich chocolate flavors and sweetness. Try not to skip it!
- Toppings – Finish each mug of hot cocoa with coconut whipped cream, aquafaba whipped cream, vegan marshmallows, crushed peppermint candies, and/or chocolate shavings on top.
How to make vegan hot chocolate
Find the complete recipe with measurements below in the recipe card.
Add the almond milk, cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and chocolate chips to a saucepan on the stove. Heat over medium heat, whisking constantly to help mix all of the ingredients together.
Slowly, the chocolate chips will begin to melt, making the mixture smooth and creamy.
Take the pot off the heat when all of the chocolate has melted. Stir in the vanilla and salt.
At this point, taste the hot chocolate to check its sweetness. You can add another 1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar to make it sweeter or leave it as-is.
Pour into mugs, add the toppings you love, and enjoy!
Customize the flavor
Customize your mug of vegan hot cocoa with any of these flavor variations:
- Mocha – Make a mocha by adding a few shots of espresso or using half strong hot coffee and half hot chocolate.
- Mexican hot chocolate – Add 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, a pinch of chili powder and cayenne pepper.
- Peppermint hot chocolate – Add a few drops of peppermint extract and top with crushed candy canes.
- Caramel hot chocolate – Stir in a little bit of vegan caramel or salted vegan caramel (reduce sugar called for by half) and then drizzle more on top.
- Nutella hot chocolate – Stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of homemade vegan Nutella.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, as long as it isn’t made with dairy. This recipe is made with dairy free milk and chocolate, meaning it’s 100% vegan-friendly.
I like the amount of sweetness when the hot chocolate is made with 1 tablespoon of sugar, although my kids prefer it sweeter. I don’t recommend making it without sugar because sweetness is so important for balance. Instead, you can use a natural sweetener, like maple syrup.
Simply double or triple the recipe. A great party trick is to pour the vegan hot chocolate mix into a crockpot and keep it on low heat throughout the evening. Keep a ladle, mugs, and fun toppings on the side for your guests to help themselves!
Want more comforting vegan drinks?
Get cozy with a glass full of any of these comforting cold-weather drinks:
Vegan Hot Chocolate
- In a medium pot, add the almond milk, unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon of sugar and chocolate chips.
- Turn the heat to medium, and whisk to combine as it warms. The chocolate chips will slowly melt and it will become smooth and creamy. Do NOT bring the mixture to a boil, just heat and whisk until it’s warm and smooth, then remove from heat.
- Stir in the vanilla and a tiny pinch of salt. Taste for sweetness; add 2 more tablespoons for a sweeter drink (my kids prefer it sweeter, while I like it less sweet).
- Pour into mugs and top with coconut whip, aquafaba whip or vegan marshmallows, if desired. Enjoy!
- I prefer almond milk for this recipe, but any non-dairy milk will work: soy, coconut or cashew are all good choices. Just use unsweetened and unflavored or it will make your hot chocolate too sweet!
- Use organic sugar to ensure vegan. May also use pure maple syrup or another sweetener, if desired.
- Chocolate chips or a chopped up dark chocolate bar will work for this recipe. Just read the ingredients to ensure there’s no milk. You can also use various flavored vegan chocolate bars, such as peppermint dark chocolate, hazelnut, etc. for variation. My favorite brand is Theo. To make the hot chocolate less rich, simply add less chocolate.
- You can find non-dairy whip cream in all sorts of stores today! My favorite is So Delicious Coco Whip. Or make your own. Trader Joes sometimes has vegan marshmallows.
- This recipe is easy to double, or even triple for a crowd.
- Try adding a few drops of peppermint extract for Peppermint Hot Chocolate, then top with coco whip and crushed candy canes.
*This recipe was originally published December 2018 and has been updated with improved tips and writing. Thank you.