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This vegan hot chocolate recipe is rich, creamy and chocolaty! No one would guess this mug of hot chocolate is 100% dairy free.

Vegan Hot Chocolate

Looking for delicious hot chocolate recipe and need it to be plant-based? This Vegan Hot Chocolate is so rich and chocolaty, no one will guess it’s dairy free! This steaming mug tastes incredible, pairing creamy oat milk, cocoa powder and dairy free chocolate chips for the ideal balance. It’s got just the right texture and flavor: take it over the top with marshmallows or vegan whipped cream. There’s no need to buy a purchased mix with hot cocoa: homemade is infinitely better and takes 5 minutes to make!

Ingredients in a vegan hot chocolate recipe

Ditch the prepackaged store-bought mixes: homemade vegan hot chocolate is where it’s at! This dairy free hot chocolate recipe takes only 5 minutes to whip up with ingredients you might already have on hand. The secret? Our favorite dairy free milk: oat milk! It has just the right creamy texture and milk-like flavor, without being too watery or rich. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cocoa powder
  • Oat milk (unsweetened)
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon
  • Dark chocolate chips (optional but recommended)
Vegan Hot Chocolate

Oat milk and more dairy free milks

Is oat milk required for dairy free hot chocolate? What other non-dairy milks are good? Here’s what to know about vegan milks:

  • Oat milk is the ideal non-dairy milk to use. The texture is just right for a hot chocolate: it ends up slightly more watery than our classic hot chocolate but not much.
  • Other options? Cashew milk or soy milk. We find that these milks have a nicer creamy texture than other milks.
  • Avoid almond milk or coconut milk. Most brands of almond milk are too watery with a sharp nutty flavor. Coconut milk is typically too rich with a strong coconut flavor.

Dark chocolate is typically vegan

The element that takes this vegan hot chocolate over the top? Real chocolate! Real chocolate brings just the right richness to this hot drink. Here’s what to know about choosing vegan chocolate:

  • Dark chocolate is usually vegan, since it’s made with cocoa butter and chocolate liquor. Milk chocolate and white chocolate are usually made with milk products, making them off limits for vegan and dairy free diets.
  • Vegan chocolate and dairy free chocolate are a thing, but this hot chocolate tastes much better with the rich, bitter flavor of dark chocolate.

How to make vegan & dairy free hot chocolate: a few tips!

Once you’ve got the right ingredients, this vegan hot chocolate recipe takes just 5 minutes! All you have to do is heat up all the ingredients and melt in the chocolate! Here’s what to know about the process:

  • 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.
  • You can omit chocolate if desired, but it adds richness, body, and depth in flavor. Using only cocoa powder gives it a thinner texture and a flavor more like hot cocoa mix.
Vegan Hot Chocolate

Toppings & add-ins

This vegan hot chocolate is delicious as is, but you can add toppings or mix-ins to mix it up a bit. Here are some tasty ideas:

More hot chocolate recipes

Love hot drinks? Try all our favorite hot chocolate recipes:

This vegan hot chocolate recipe is…

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

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Vegan Hot Chocolate

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 drinks 1x


This vegan hot chocolate recipe is rich, creamy and chocolaty! No one would guess this mug of hot chocolate is 100% dairy free.


  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 cups regular oat milk
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • ¼ cup (1 ½ ounces) dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate*


  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 the chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes. Do not boil. Serve immediately, garnished with whipped cream or marshmallows.


*You can omit for a great cup of hot cocoa with a lighter flavor (and less calories). But the chocolate really adds richness in flavor. We highly recommend it!

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

Keywords: Vegan hot chocolate, vegan hot chocolate recipe, dairy free hot chocolate

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 for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. This recipe makes the perfect hot chocolate. I added part of dark chocolate bar with almonds. Delicious!

  2. Your recipe has one major flaw, sugar. As a genuine and heath-inclined vegan, I would advise that people should refrain from using sugar. Pure dark chocolate is okay.