Homemade Vegan Hot Chocolate

There’s no need for a packaged mix if you’re craving hot cocoa! This homemade vegan hot chocolate is easy, refined sugar free, and tastes incredible.

Vegan hot chocolate

Want to make hot chocolate? I love asking my son this because his eyes light up. He runs inside and immediately finds the cocoa powder in our cabinet. Why I love this? Well, he knows a secret: there’s no need for packaged hot cocoa mix! It’s easy to make homemade hot chocolate with ingredients you might already have in your pantry and fridge. (If you’re as obsessed with real maple syrup we are, that is!) This plant based, vegan hot chocolate is rich and chocolate-y, with no need for the pre-made packets. And, it’s made in just 5 minutes! Here’s how it’s done.

Vegan hot chocolate

What non-dairy milk is best for vegan hot chocolate?

Great question! This is actually something Alex and I spent quite a while testing. Here are our thoughts on what’s the best, and what are some runners up.

  • The best milk for vegan hot chocolate? Soy milk. Here’s the thing. The non-dairy milk we have most often in our fridge is almond milk. But most almond milk brands have a very thin texture: almost like water. This texture isn’t the best for hot chocolate since you want a little richness and creaminess. Alex and I tested with soy milk and has a much better overall consistency.
  • The runner up? Oat milk. Oat milk is becoming a more accessible non-dairy milk, and it’s an even better choice than almond milk here because it can also be a little thicker. It has a rounder flavor than almond milk as well.
  • Can I use almond milk? If that’s all you have, yes! However, keep in mind that it can have an odd aftertaste that’s not as appetizing as the other milks. Also again, it comes out with a very thin texture
Vegan hot chocolate

Make sure your milk is unsweetened.

What about sweetened non-dairy milks? Often non-dairy milks come sweetened, because the flavor of them alone can be a little bland. However for this recipe: make sure to buy unsweetened because the sweetener can sometimes add an odd aftertaste. The maple syrup you use will sweeten this vegan hot chocolate to perfection.

Do not let this vegan hot chocolate boil!

As we’ve noted in the recipe below, do not let this vegan hot chocolate come to a boil! Why? Well, I’ll admit I accidentally let this recipe boil over while making a trial run. I was talking to our son, Larson, and then all of a sudden the bubbles rose up in the pot in a split second! When I reduced the heat, the texture of the soy milk got chunky and grainy. So, be careful to warm it just enough to melt in the cocoa powder so that it becomes a smooth mixture.

Vegan hot chocolate

The key to naturally sweet? Maple syrup.

This homemade vegan hot chocolate recipe is naturally sweet: it has no refined sugar. Our secret? Real maple syrup. Now, using maple syrup doesn’t mean there isn’t sugar. In fact, maple syrup has the same sugar quantity as refined sugar. The advantage is that maple syrup is a naturally occurring product that’s not highly processed, and it sweetens foods a little more gently than refined sugar.

You’ll find that we use maple syrup in many of our recipes here on A Couple Cooks! It’s especially helpful to use in vegan desserts: here are our favorite 10 Plant Based and Vegan Desserts.

This vegan hot chocolate recipe is…

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

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Vegan hot chocolate

Homemade Vegan Hot Chocolate


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 1 minute
  • Cook Time: 4 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x

Description

There’s no need for a packaged mix if you’re craving hot cocoa! This homemade vegan hot chocolate is easy, refined sugar free, and tastes incredible.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 5 tablespoons real maple syrup
  • 2 cups unsweetened soy milk (or unsweetened oat milk for soy-free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a medium pot and whisk to combine over medium heat. Do not boil!
  2. Ladle into mugs and serve. Garnish with vegan whipped cream if desired.

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

Keywords: Hot Chocolate, Vegan Hot Chocolate, Homemade Hot Chocolate, Vegan Hot Cocoa

More vegan drink recipes

Looking for plant based beverages? Here are a few more vegan drink recipes that we love:

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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