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This healthy hot chocolate recipe is creamy and delicious! It makes a steaming mug with natural ingredients and sweeteners.

Healthy Hot Chocolate
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Looking for a hot chocolate recipe that’s not overly sugary and rich? Try this Healthy Hot Chocolate! There’s no need for store-bought mixes. This wholesome spin on the classic recipe is deliciously satisfying using cocoa powder, a little natural sweetener and your milk of choice. It’s so tasty and tastes like an even better version of those store-bought mixes. Here’s how to make the best healthy hot chocolate recipe around!

What’s in this healthy hot chocolate?

Did you know you can make a homemade hot chocolate recipe in just 5 minutes on the stovetop? There’s no need to buy a pre-made mix! This is especially helpful when you want a healthy hot chocolate, because you can control the amount of sweetness you add to your drink. Here’s what you’ll need for healthy hot chocolate:

  • Cocoa powder
  • 2% milk or oat milk
  • Maple syrup or honey
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon
Healthy Hot Chocolate

Use whatever milk you like

You can use any type of milk you like best in this recipe! Here are a few things to note about dairy and non-dairy milks:

  • Our preferred dairy milk is 2% milk, and our preferred non-dairy milk is oat milk. You can also use other vegan milks like almond milk, soy milk, or coconut milk. We find oat milk is the closest in texture and flavor to dairy milk.
  • 2% milk has 137 calories and 9.7 grams protein in 1 cup (source).
  • Oat milk has 120 calories and 3 grams protein in 1 cup (source). Interestingly, there’s not a large calorie difference between the two. If you’re interested in protein, 2% milk has more.

Customize the sweetness to your tastes

The great thing about a homemade healthy hot chocolate? You can customize the sweetness to your tastes. Here’s what to know about the sweetness level in this recipe:

  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey makes a lightly sweet drink. We prefer ours a little sweeter, but this is the lowest you can go.
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey has a bit more of the hot chocolate flavor you’d expect (sans chocolate). 1 tablespoon maple syrup has 52 calories and 1 tablespoon honey has 64 calories, so that would be roughly 25 to 30 extra calories per serving.
  • Other natural sweeteners you can use? Agave syrup (or nectar) also works. We have not experimented with monkfruit sweetener, but it should also work in the same quantities.
Healthy Hot Chocolate

Love dark chocolate?

Love real dark chocolate? Our Homemade Hot Chocolate has real chocolate in it, which makes the flavor deliciously rich and creamy with a bittersweet nuance. However, it does add 100 calories to each serving! So feel free to click over to that recipe when you’re in need of a decadent cup.

A key to healthy hot chocolate? No toppings.

The toppings for hot chocolate are where the calories can really add up! Leave them out for this healthy hot chocolate to keep the calorie count low. Here’s what to know about common hot chocolate toppings:

  • 1 dollop of whipped cream (¼ cup) adds 40 calories.
  • 1 handful of marshmallows (¼ cup) adds 40 calories.

How to make healthy hot chocolate: a few tips!

Once you’ve got all your ingredients, making healthy hot chocolate is a breeze! Here’s what you can expect from this healthy hot chocolate recipe:

  • First, whisk a little milk with the cocoa powder. This helps to make a paste and dissolve most of the powder, which can get lumpy.
  • The texture will be slightly thinner than a standard hot chocolate. But don’t worry: this hot drink is still very satisfying!

More healthy drink recipes

Love drinking healthy? We’ve got lots of healthy drink ideas to power your beverages:

This healthy hot chocolate recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Healthy Hot Chocolate

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 drinks 1x
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This healthy hot chocolate recipe is creamy and delicious! It makes a steaming mug with natural ingredients and sweeteners.


  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 cups 2% milk or oat milk
  • 2 to 3* tablespoons maple syrup or honey
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 pinches cinnamon


  1. Place a saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and ¼ cup of the milk and whisk until the cocoa powder is mostly integrated. Whisk in the remaining milk until smooth.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and heat over medium heat until warmed, about 2 minutes. Do not boil. Serve immediately.


*We prefer this hot chocolate with 3 tablespoons sweetener, but you can use as low as 2 tablespoons for a low sugar version.

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!