This luxuriously rich and creamy homemade vegan hot chocolate is the perfect way to warm you up from the cold of winter!
5 ingredient vegan hot chocolate
Definitely be sure to bookmark this recipe!
With just five basic ingredients, it’s super easy to make, and completely delicious. You might already have all the ingredients on hand to be fully prepared for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, snow days, or any time a hot chocolate craving hits.
The best thing about making your own hot cocoa at home (besides saving money) is that you get to be in control of all the ingredients.
You may also like this Vegan Eggnog
How to make hot chocolate 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
This easy vegan hot cocoa can be:
Hot Chocolate Flavors
Peppermint Hot Chocolate: Add 1/8 teaspoon pure peppermint extract when you add the vanilla. Or spike it with some peppermint schnapps.
Mocha Hot Chocolate: Instead of using brewed espresso, which could water down the cocoa drink, simply stir in 1/2 teaspoon of regular or decaf instant coffee.
Orange Hot Cocoa: Add the zest from one orange and a tablespoon of the juice.
Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate: Stir in a tablespoon or two of peanut butter (or almond butter or cashew butter) before heating the hot chocolate beverage.
Nutella Hot Chocolate: Stir in a spoonful of your favorite plant based chocolate hazelnut spread or this homemade vegan Nutella Recipe.
Gingerbread Hot Cocoa: Use blackstrap or regular molasses to sweeten, and add a pinch of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.
Top your hot cocoa with mini vegan marshmallows or Coconut Whipped Cream.
Crock Pot Hot Cocoa
If you want a larger size slow cooker hot chocolate recipe to feed a crowd, try the following instead of the single serving recipe further down in the post.
4 cups milk of choice, 2 cups full-fat canned coconut milk or cashew cream, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 1/4 cup regular or unrefined sugar, pure maple syrup, or agave, 1/4 tsp salt, and 2 tsp pure vanilla extract.
Add everything except the vanilla to the crockpot, and cook on low for 1 1/2 hours. Stir in the vanilla extract and any other extracts or flavors you wish.
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 hot chocolate 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.
As a holiday special, I’ve added a NEW Chocolate Covered T-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.
Above – watch the video how to make hot chocolate
Vegan Hot Chocolate
- 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
Have you made this recipe?
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More Vegan Chocolate Recipes:
Fat Bombs (Keto, Vegan, No Bake)
Love this. I had everything in the house. What a wonderful way to start my day.
It looks so decadent! Btw L O V E your new shirt!
Debbie Duran says
do you stir your coconut milk or just use the liquid?
Jason Sanford says
I would just shake the can before opening 🙂
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.
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!!
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!
Jason Sanford says
Ha! I agree. Hot chocolate over pumpkin spice lattes any day.
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? 😛
Love this recipe..
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!
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.
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!
Jason Sanford says
Aw I love the photo!
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.
Jason Sanford says
I need to add peanut butter now, that sounds amazing!
Chelsey @ The Heartspace Connect says
Peanut butter in a hot choccy – interesting! I’m curious now 🙂
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.
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!!
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.
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!
Yum!! It was delicious and easy to make!!
CCK Media Team says
Thank you so much for making it 🙂
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.
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.
Which type of cocoa do you prefer to use ?
Absolutely delicious, thank you!
I amm loving this hot chocolate. So glad I found the recipe!!
This is really too good about the vegan hot chocolate recipe.
Pursuit of Art says
This is the best hot chocolate I’ve ever made! I used cacao and cashew butter, and I’m in heaven! Thank you!
CCK Media Team says
Thank you for trying the recipe 🙂
Tasty! I added some peppermint extract and marshmallows, and we all enjoyed it!
Suzanne Lederer says
Katie, how do you stay so thin eating these delicious desserts you make??
This hot cocoa was incredible! And so yummy. Like the best hot cocoa I’ve ever made. The peanut butter addition really intensifies the cocoa flavor.
CCK Media Team says
Thank you so much for trying it 🙂
I left out the peanut butter and didn’t use any almond milk, due to allergies in the family. I used 1 cup coconut milk, and 2 tablespoons agave syrup, where appropriate in your recipe. Having some leftover coconut milk in a can from making a carrot-coconut soup, I scraped some leftover coconut cream into my hot chocolate. Best hot chocolate I’ve ever tasted! Of course, I added the vanilla and salt in the quantities indicated. Thank you!
I LOVED this recipe! I made 4 servings for my family, and I used 1 can of coconut milk and 2 and 1/3 cup of vanilla oatmilk. I topped it with marshmallows, mint chocolate syrup, and coco whip. Delicious!