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Vegan Hot Chocolate

4.95 from 20 votes

Rich and creamy homemade vegan hot chocolate is the perfect way to warm you up from the cold of winter!

Vegan Hot Chocolate

5 Ingredient Vegan Hot Chocolate

This is definitely a great recipe to bookmark!

With just five basic ingredients, it’s easy to make, and so delicious! And you might already have all the ingredients on hand, so you can be fully prepared any time a hot chocolate craving hits.

The best thing about making your own at home (besides saving money) is that you get to be in control of all the ingredients – you can use more or less sugar depending on your desired tastes, add a little peppermint extract if you’re a chocolate peppermint fan like I am, or top it off with Coconut Whipped Cream.

How To Make It Like Starbucks

To recreate the Starbucks hot cocoa, I first looked at their ingredients:

Almondmilk [Filtered Water, Almonds, Sugar, Tricalcium Phosphate, Sunflower Lecithin, Sea Salt, Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2 (Ergocalciferol)], Mocha Sauce [Water, Sugar, Cocoa Processed With Alkali, Vanillin].

Okay so… milk, sugar, vanilla, and cocoa processed with alkali (which just means they use Dutch cocoa).

Sounded pretty easy, and the Starbucks hot chocolate can actually already be vegan, which is good to know if you’re ever out running errands and find yourself craving hot chocolate.

For my homemade dairy free hot chocolate recipe, instead of combining water, sugar, and cocoa to make a sauce, I decided to streamline it and omit the water, both for simplicity and to not dilute the flavor of the final product.

Also Try This Whipped Coffee Recipe – 3 Ingredients

Vegan Hot Cocoa

This Easy Vegan Hot Cocoa Can Be:

Soy Free
Gluten Free
Dairy Free
Egg Free
Sugar Free

Hot Chocolate Flavors:

Peppermint Hot Chocolate: Add 1/8 tsp pure peppermint extract when you add the vanilla.

Mocha Hot Chocolate: Stir in 1/2 tsp instant coffee, regular or decaf, along with the cocoa.

Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate: Stir in 1-2 tbsp peanut butter before heating the hot chocolate.

The Best Vegan Hot Chocolate

Tips For Success:

The Cocoa: Starbucks uses Dutch cocoa, which has a milder and more chocolatey taste than regular unsweetened cocoa powder. It still tastes perfectly delicious with regular cocoa, just not as much like the one from Starbucks.

The Milk: I tried numerous different milks in this recipe and found that my favorite was a combination of coconut and almond milk.

If you don’t need a lower-fat recipe, I highly recommend trying it with the coconut milk because the added fat makes the recipe ultra creamy. If you’re allergic to coconut, subbing cashew cream or stirring in 1-2 tbsp raw cashew butter works just as well!

The Other Ingredients: Be sure to use pure vanilla extract, not imitation. Sweetener amount will depend on whether or not you’re using unsweetened milk, as well as your own personal tastebuds and what sweetener you choose to use.

And don’t forget that pinch of salt! It might be small, but leaving it out will completely change the flavor of the hot chocolate.

Vegan Girl Hot Chocolate

As a Valentine’s Day special, I’ve added a NEW Chocolate Covered Tee Shirt to the lineup!

The shirts are priced a bit higher because 100% of all profits go to charity.

Each shirt comes with Amazon Prime free shipping, and they’re made with premium lightweight jersey fabric and are super soft and fitted, so it’s a good idea to go up one or two sizes.

(50% of all profits from each shirt are donated to Doctors Without Borders, an international humanitarian organization providing help to those affected by violence, neglect, catastrophe, malnutrition, natural disasters, etc. I choose to donate to this charity because it is highly rated by Charity Navigator and uses funds where they’re most needed at the time.)

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Above – watch the video how to make hot chocolate!

The Secret To Making The Best Vegan Hot Chocolate

Also try this Avocado Smoothie Recipe

Pin it now to save for laterPin Recipe

Vegan Hot Chocolate

A creamy homemade vegan hot chocolate recipe that's the perfect way to warm up.
Total Time 5 minutes
Yield 1 serving
5 from 20 votes


  • 2/3 cup milk of choice
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk (or additional milk of choice)
  • 3 tbsp Dutch cocoa, or 2 tbsp regular
  • 1-2 tbsp sweetener of choice, as desired
  • 1/16 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • optional 1-2 tbsp peanut butter


  • Notes: See "tips for success" above in this post for the ingredients that yield the best results. There's also a step-by-step recipe video above.
    Directions: Whisk all ingredients except vanilla. Either heat on the stovetop, or microwave in 30-second increments—stirring after each—until hot. Stir in the vanilla, and whisk to finish dissolving the cocoa. Serve.
    View Nutrition Facts

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 4.95/5 (20)

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Published on January 22, 2019

Meet Katie

Chocolate Covered Katie is one of the top 25 food websites in America, and Katie has been 
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Today Show, CNN, 
Fox, The 
Huffington Post, and 
ABC's 5 O’Clock News. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating dessert every single day.

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  1. Joanna says

    This is exactly how I make my hot chocolate, too! Well, besides the pinch of salt. Havent tried that before and will see if it makes a difference.

  2. Amber says

    Omg katie even though I’ve been reading and creating recipes from your blog since 2015 I dont think I’ve ever left a comment on any of your recipes! You posted this recipe at a scarily great time because this east coast cold weather has brought my hot chocolate obsession back with vengeance! Ive been looking for a good hot chocolate recipe that wont give me a sugar high but still tastes rich and delicious!! This recipe did not disappoint!!! It was so perfect and tasted like starbucks hot chocolate (better actually)! I even made your marshmallow fluff which rocked my world omg I was so skeptical and freaked out about using the chickpea brine thinking it couldnt possibly taste like marshmallow fluff but IT DID!!! I scooped so much fluff on my hot chocolate and it was true happiness in a cup and is the cure to any bitter cold day!!

  3. Cassie Autumn Tran says

    Hot chocolate is actually my FAVORITE holiday beverage of all time–pumpkin spice lattes and apple cider are great but hot chocolate KNOCKS them off, LOL! In all seriousness, this vegan hot chocolate looks absolutely magnificent! Cashew milk, oat milk, flax milk, and almond milk are some of my favorite non-dairy milks to use. But, coconut milk is the BOMB for anything super creamy!

  4. Neha says

    this is super tasty!! i used 2 tablespoons of coconut sugar as sweetener, and 1/3 water and 2/3 cashew milk instead of 1 cup plant based milk – it was still super chocolately and thick, except with 1 cup of milk it would’ve been even thicker so I’m very happy how it turned out with this substitution! I used the full 3 tablespoons of dutch cocoa powder, and with all of this I probably should have increased the sweetener – coconut sugar isn’t as sweet as other sugars too. If you like dark dark chocolate, this is perfect. If you like super sweet milk hot chocolate, then add more sugar.
    Can we see a snickerdoodle or white hot chocolate latte sometime? 😛

  5. Alycia says

    Katie, my son has a dairy allergy and I am so thankful for your vegan recipes. Now that he is two years old, I’m excited to introduce him to some healthy treats and your blog has been a lifesaver!

  6. Mon says

    So thrilled that you’re donating part of the proceeds of the shirts to Doctors Without Borders. True heroes. Thanks for this post. Looking forward to making all the versions at a cookout next week, with my students.

  7. Bettsi says

    Big hit here at my house! Just delicious! I did not have any coconut milk on hand so just made it with my oat milk and it is delicious. We’re a little fanatical about Trader Joe’s cocoa powder and it really shines here. Thank you!

  8. Meg says

    This is SO delicious! I have found that making good vegan hot chocolate is difficult without evaporated milk to give it richness. The peanut butter in this recipes seals the deal. I tried it with soy/lite coconut milk and straight soy milk and I found I didn’t need the coconut milk to make it thick and rich and tasty — the peanut butter did the trick. I also blended all ingredients together in my mini blender before heating it up, and topped it with Miyoko’s cool-whip style whipped cream. This is my hot chocolate recipe forever! Thank you for sharing.

  9. Nina says

    love this recipe!!! I used oat milk for both of the milks, it turned out great!! I made a vegan whipped cream for it as’well worked so good with it. It was so creamy for something vegan even though I did not use coconut milk.

    • Nina says

      I made this recipe for my cuz she can not eat dairy so I’m very glad it was really tasty. would have no idea it’s vegan. really helpful thank you!!

  10. Lisa Smith says

    this recipe is identical to the one on the side of the Hershey’s cocoa canister (just with non dairy milk), so i don’t think this was too much effort to come up with! If you use an immersion blender to froth this Hershey’s recipe up it will take it next level.

  11. Molly says

    Wow, I never leave reviews on recipes but this was simply fantastic and WAY easier than heaps of other recipes I’ve looked up. I used the steam wand on my espresso machine to heat the milk and mix the ingredients which I would definitely recommend if you’ve got one as it also adds a hearty froth on top!

  12. Junni says

    I’m going to try this because I cannot do pasteurized dairy, and do not have raw milk on hand. I’m hoping it does not taste too much like the Starbucks version because I hate it so hard.

  13. Dan Delmerico says

    I noticed that most of your photos show mini-marshmallows floating on top of the hot cocoa. See below:

    It really boils down to being all about the mini-marshmallows IN the hot cocoa. If the marshmallows are made out of the marshmallow plant, as they were when marshmallows were first invented (according to legend the inventor was a vegetarian Battle Creek 7th Day Adventist who ran a health spa) 100+ years ago they were Vegan, and Kosher for that matter.

    But nowadays, the gelatin which is the fixing agent for the marshmallow’s for holding its shape, but not the flavor (unlike the original “natural” recipe, which does contribute to the flavor) is derived from Beef tallow and other by-products of the slaughtering process; including their hooves & horns. I believe.

    SO, if the marshmallows are made using the modern process, then they ARE NOT Vegan….and not Kosher either.

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