Make this rich and creamy dairy free hot chocolate. in under 5 minutes. This vegan and refined sugar free drink will warm you up and impress everyone with a few simple ingredients.
I love making my own hot chocolate because I know EXACTLY what goes in it. In fact, this recipe is completely paleo so it's refined sugar-free and gluten-free. And I love that this dairy free hot chocolate recipe only takes only a few minutes to make. You will look forward to making this chocolate treat at the end of a cold day! It's also great to sip on around Christmas it's one of our favorites to choose from when picking out Thanksgiving drinks for after our meal.
- Full fat canned coconut milk: this is what gives the hot chocolate such a thick and creamy texture. It's similar in consistency to heavy creamy, but it's dairy free (part of what makes this a great vegan hot chocolate!) I don't like when a recipe calls for only part of the can so I started with the full can and based the rest of the ratios off that.
- Unsweetened milk: some of my favorites are oat milk, coconut milk, almond milk or cashew. All work great in this recipe and help thin out the coconut milk.
- Dark chocolate: You could use a dark chocolate bar or 3 ounces of dark chocolate chips. I like to use Lily's Dark chocolate because it's sweetened with Stevia. This gives the healthy hot chocolate a deep, rich flavor.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder: the combo of dark chocolate and cocoa powder is what really makes this so rich and chocolatey.
- Sea salt: this might seem odd, but who doesn't love chocolate and sea salt? Salt's job in any recipe is to bring out the flavors and that's what it does here!
- Pure maple syrup: sweeten it naturally with pure maple syrup. I like 2 tablespoons, but if you want it sweeter you could add one more.
- Pure vanilla extract: what isn't better with vanilla? This adds another dimension of flavor.
- Almond extract: there's just barely enough almond extract in this to make people notice. It isn't overpowering at all but it will make people ask, "what's in this recipe?!"
How to Make Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate
Heat the milk
- Pour the coconut milk and dairy free milk in a medium saucepan and begin to heat it over medium-high heat.
Whisk in the chocolate
- Once it’s warm, add the chopped dark chocolate, cocoa powder, pure maple syrup and salt and whisk together until melted and no clumps remain. Bring to a light boil then remove from the pot the heat and add the vanilla and almond extract.
- Carefully taste it and add more maple syrup if you want it sweeter.
Serve with toppings
- Serve in a mug with whipped cream or marshmallows. We love homemade coconut whipped cream! Keep reading for fun variations and more topping ideas!
- Keto hot chocolate: swap out the maple syrup for 1-2 teaspoons of your favorite low carb sweetener, like stevia or monk fruit and swap out the dark chocolate baking bar for 1 more tablespoon of cocoa powder. Carbs in one serving: 4 g
- Spiced Thai: add 1/2 teaspoon almond extract and 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom.
- Peppermint: Add 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract and serve with crushed peppermint candy.
- Mexican hot chocolate: add 1/8 teaspoon of chili powder and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
- Peanut butter hot chocolate: add 1 tablespoon of creamy peanut butter or PB2.
- Irish: add a splash of dairy free Bailey's Irish cream before serving.
What to serve with dairy free hot chocolate
This smooth and creamy hot chocolate is so good on it's own, but add some fun toppings to make it even more fun and festive:
- Whipped cream: I like the dairy free almond milk whipped cream or make your own coconut whipped cream.
- Mini marshmallows:marshmallows were made for hot chocolate! If you wan't a vegan version, check out Dandie's vegan marshmallows.
- Shaved chocolate: use a potato peeler to shave the side of a chocolate bar over the top of the mallows.
- Chopped peppermint bark: if it's the holidays (or not!) and you're feeling festive, give it a try!
- Candy cane: the candy cane starts to melt in the healthy hot chocolate and gives this cozy drink the best flavor.
- Holiday sprinkles: add some festive color on top of the whipped cream with your favorite red and green sprinkles.
More Holiday Drinks
- Cranberry Moscow Mule
- Dairy Free Eggnog
- Spiced Winter Sangria
- Healthy Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate
- Hot Chocolate Sticks
Creamy Dairy Free Hot Chocolate
- 1 (13.5 ounce) can full fat coconut milk shaken
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened dairy free milk
- 3 ounces dark chocolate bar chopped (I like Lily’s chocolate)
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (plus more if you want it sweeter)
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon almond extract optional
- Heat the coconut milk and dairy free milk in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Once it’s warm, add the chopped dark chocolate, cocoa powder, pure maple syrup and salt and whisk together until melted and combined. Bring to a light boil then remove from the pot the heat and add the vanilla and almond extract.
- Carefully taste it and add more maple syrup if you want it sweeter. Serve with whipped cream or marshmallows. See the recipe post above for more topping ideas.