Vegan Hot Chocolate Recipe from Scratch (2024)

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By Carine Claudepierre
Published on 01/27/2021 - Last updated on 12/04/2023

4.97 from 81 votes

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An easy vegan hot chocolate recipe made from scratch using 6 wholesome ingredients, including cocoa powder and almond milk.

Bonus, this recipe is also gluten-free with sugar-free, low-carb options!

Vegan Hot Chocolate Recipe from Scratch (2)

Table of contents

I love everything hot chocolate, from my Vegan Peppermint Hot Chocolate Recipe to my Protein Hot Chocolate with Protein Powder, but I often just want the classic. A vegan hot chocolate.

It’s super easy to make hot chocolate vegan and dairy-free at home! All you need are 6 simple ingredients, one saucepan, or a microwave.

Let me share below my tips to make the most delicious vegan hot chocolate with cocoa powder.

Ingredients for the best vegan hot chocolate

  • Unsweetened cocoa powder or unsweetened cacao powder – this refers to 100% cocoa/cacao powder, with no added sugar and no added dairy milk powder. Cocoa powder and cacao powder are very similar, and both options work well in this recipe. Cacao powder has a bitter aftertaste because it is made from fermented beans that have not been roasted. Cacao powder also creates hot chocolate with a lighter color but with higher nutritional properties. Choose your favorite powder.
  • Coconut sugar – or any crystal sweetener you love, including xylitol or erythritol for vegan keto hot chocolate. Keep in mind that these two sugar-free sweeteners have a slightly minty aftertaste and might upset your guts. Other options are unrefined cane sugar or maple syrup. Also, always start with the minimum amount of sugar and increase later to taste to avoid an overly sweet drink.
  • Vegan chocolate chips, preferably dark chocolate chips, boost the cocoa flavor of your drink and avoid too sweet hot chocolate. This ingredient is optional, and you can skip it to make a vegan hot chocolate with cacao powder only! But your drink won’t be as thick, sweet, and chocolatey. You may also have to increase coconut sugar if you remove the chocolate chips.
  • Unsweetened almond milk
  • Soy milk or oat milk, or coconut milk – I highly recommend combining both almond milk and creamier non-dairy milk to create a smooth thick hot chocolate. Of course, you can also make this recipe only with almond milk. A vegan hot chocolate recipe with almond milk is a great option if you are after a lighter hot chocolate with fewer carbs.
  • Vanilla extract or scrape vanilla seeds from vanilla beans.

How To Make Vegan Hot Chocolate

There is nothing easier. Add all the ingredients into a small saucepan and bring over medium heat.

Stir occasionally for 2-3 minutes until the hot chocolate starts simmering, and the chocolate chips are melted.

Vegan Hot Chocolate Recipe from Scratch (3)

Vegan Mexican Hot Chocolate Option

A vegan Mexican hot chocolate is a spicy hot chocolate.

You can totally use this simple homemade vegan hot chocolate recipe to make Mexican hot chocolate.

To do so, add the ingredients below to the warm hot chocolate mix, just before serving:

  • 1/8 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

Serving Hot Chocolate Vegan Recipe

There are many plant-based toppings you can add on top of your hot cocoa drink, including:

  • Whipped coconut cream
  • Frothed milk – soy milk and some almond milk froth very well in a milk frother.
  • Vegan marshmallow
  • Caramel drizzle or chocolate sauce, or mocha sauce to add a touch of coffee flavor.
  • A sprinkle of cacao powder or cocoa powder
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How To Make A Vegan Hot Chocolate Mix

You can use the following recipe to prepare your own vegan chocolate mix powder.

For 12 servings of vegan hot chocolate mix, bring all the dry ingredients below into a sealed mason jar, shake the jar to evenly combine the ingredients, and store in the pantry for up to 3 months.

  • 3/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder or unsweetened cacao powder.
  • 1/3 cup of vegan dark chocolate chips.
  • 1/3 cup of crystal sugar of choice – coconut sugar or unrefined cane sugar.

Using Vegan Hot Chocolate Mix

Place 2 tablespoons of the mix above in a saucepan along with 2 cups of non-dairy milk.

I always recommend 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk and 1 cup of creamier non-dairy milk like soy milk or oat milk.

Warm 2-3 minutes, stirring often, and serve with a touch of vanilla extract, cinnamon, or extra sweetener.

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Frequently Asked Questions

If you don’t have time to make this homemade vegan hot chocolate recipe or want to enjoy one on the go, let me answer a few important questions.

Is Hot Chocolate Powder Vegan?

No, not all chocolate powders are vegan. Actually, most cocoa powders, except pure unsweetened coconut powder, contain added milk powder.
Always read the ingredients listed in the cocoa powder or hot chocolate mix you buy to make sure they contain added dairy milk.

Is Starbucks Hot Chocolate Vegan?

Classic hot chocolates from Starbucks are not naturally vegan as they contain dairy milk and whipped cream.
However, you can order vegan hot chocolate from Starbucks by opting for coconut milk or almond milk, or soy milk.
Make sure you don’t order white hot chocolate though, the white chocolate powder contains milk.

More Vegan Hot Drink Recipes

If you want to try some other delicious vegan hot drinks, including my vegan protein powder hot chocolate, follow the recipe links below!

Skinny Vanilla Latte

Vegan Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte

Protein Hot Chocolate Recipe

Vegan Matcha Latte

Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte

Beetroot Latte

Did You Like This Recipe?

Leave a comment below or head to our Facebook page for tips, our Instagram page for inspiration, our Pinterest for saving recipes, and Flipboard to get all the new ones!

Vegan Hot Chocolate Recipe from Scratch (14)

Vegan Hot Chocolate Recipe from Scratch

An easy vegan hot chocolate recipe ready in 5 minutes using non-dairy milk and cocoa powder.

PinPrintReview SaveEmail

Prep Time: 5 minutes mins

Cook Time: 5 minutes mins

Total Time: 10 minutes mins

Course: Breakfast, Snack

Cuisine: American

Servings: 2 mugs

Calories: 146 kcal

Author: Carine Claudepierre

4.97 from 81 votes


US CustomaryMetric

Optional – for a Mexican vegan hot chocolate


  • In a small saucepan, add unsweetened cocoa powder, vegan dark chocolate chips, vanilla extract, and coconut sugar – start with 1 tablespoon and adjust sweetness later.

  • Add unsweetened almond milk and another cup of thicker non-dairy milk of your choice, like soy milk or oat milk, or coconut milk.

  • Bring the saucepan over medium heat, gently stirring often, and cook for 2-3 minutes or until hot, chocolate chips are melted, and bubbles form on the sides of the saucepan.

  • If you want to make a Mexican vegan hot chocolate, stir cinnamon and chili powder now.

  • Serve immediately with a dollop of frothed soy milk or whipped coconut cream and a pinch of cocoa powder on top.


Low-carb option: replace the coconut sugar with sugar-free crystal sweeteners like erythritol or 1-2 stevia drops. Use sugar-free chocolate chips and unsweetened almond milk only.

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Serving: 1serve (1cup) | Calories: 146kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 245mg | Potassium: 295mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 503IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 350mg | Iron: 1mg

Vegan Hot Chocolate Recipe from Scratch (15)

About The Author


Hi, I'm Carine, the food blogger, author, recipe developer, photographer, and published author of a cookbook and founder of The Conscious Plant Kitchen with my husband Damien.Learn more about us.

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    1 comment

  1. Vegan Hot Chocolate Recipe from Scratch (16)
    I made your hot chocolate and LOVED IT!


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