Learn how to make the best homemade Vegan Hot Chocolate in just 5 minutes! Perfectly creamy, chocolatey and rich with just the right amount of sweetness. Totally customizable, too! 

vegan hot chocolate with coconut whip cream in a cup

There is nothing quite as comforting as sipping a rich, creamy delicious cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter day, perhaps while sitting by a warm fire. Ahhh….Bliss.

This vegan hot chocolate is just the easy recipe you need. It’s easy to double, or even triple, if you are serving a crowd, and it’s customizable. For example, I like my hot chocolate a little less sweet than some, but my kids like it pretty sweet, so I give you some options depending on your tastebuds.

Ingredients needed (with substitutions)

  • Almond milk – You can substitute any non-dairy milk you like, such as soy, oat, coconut or hemp. Try to use unsweetened, but if you only have sweetened milk, add less sugar so it doesn’t turn out too sweet.
  • Cocoa powder – Regular, non-dutch processed is best, but any cocoa or cacoa powder will work.
  • Sugar – Make sure to use organic to ensure it’s vegan, or substitute maple syrup/agave to taste. You could probably even use a sugar substitute of some sort like monk fruit or stevia.
  • Non-dairy chocolate chips or bars – You can use chopped vegan chocolate bars or chocolate chips, your choice.
  • Vanilla
  • Salt – Just a tiny pinch to balance flavors.
  • Vegan Whipped Cream – You can use my recipe for aquafaba based whipped topping, which tastes a lot like marshmallow fluff and is perfect on hot cocoa! Or top with a store bought non-dairy whipped topping. Vegan marshmallows are also fun.

How do you make vegan hot chocolate?

In a medium sized pot, add the almond milk, cocoa, sugar and chocolate chips. Warm over medium heat, while whisking to combine until the mixture is creamy, smooth and warm. Don’t bring to a boil.

cocoa powder and other ingredients in a pot for vegan hot chocolate

Taste for sweetness; add more sugar if desired. Stir in the vanilla and a tiny pinch of salt.

Pour into mugs, then top with optional non-dairy whip cream or vegan marshmallows! That’s it.

Where can I find non-dairy whip cream?

Luckily, non-dairy whip creams are popping up all over the place. I can even get it at Target nowadays, it’s the Reddi-Wip brand and they have coconut and almond. But my personal favorite is So Delicious Coco Whip, in the freezer section at Whole Foods and some other stores.

You can also make your own using my Vegan Whipped Cream recipe. Or skip the whipped cream and go with vegan marshmallows instead! Trader Joe’s usually carries them.

whisking vegan hot chocolate in a pot

Tips and variations

  • If you don’t like a lot of sweetness, cut the sugar in half and add to taste. It’s very adjustable.
  • Just want 1 cup of hot chocolate? Cut the recipe in half.
  • Mocha – Make a mocha by adding a few shots of espresso or using 1/2 strong hot coffee and half hot chocolate.
  • Mexican Hot Chocolate – Add 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg.
  • 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 (reduce sugar called for by half) and then drizzle more on top.

vegan hot chocolate with coconut whip cream, dripping down the cupYou might also enjoy my Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte or Vegan Eggnog.

square image of hot chocolate

5 Minute Vegan Hot Chocolate

Learn how to make the best homemade Vegan Hot Chocolate in just 5 minutes! Perfectly creamy, chocolatey and rich with just the right amount of sweetness. Totally customizable, too! 
5 from 14 votes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1-3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup dairy free chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate bar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • tiny pinch of salt
  • coconut whip cream, vegan marshmallows, chocolate shavings, (optional, for topping)

Instructions

  • 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!

Notes

  1. 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!
  2. Use organic sugar to ensure vegan. May also use pure maple syrup or another sweetener, if desired.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. This recipe is easy to double, or even triple for a crowd. 
  6. Try adding a few drops of peppermint extract for Peppermint Hot Chocolate, then top with coco whip and crushed candy canes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 337kcal, Carbohydrates: 30g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 335mg, Potassium: 389mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 17g, Calcium: 338mg, Iron: 6mg

*This recipe was originally published December 2018 and has been updated with improved tips and writing. Thank you.

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