Vegan Hot Chocolate Recipe

Vegan Hot Chocolate in cups

The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 2 cups
Yield: 2 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
198 Calories
9g Fat
30g Carbs
2g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 198
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 277mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 30g 11%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Total Sugars 25g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 28mg 2%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 118mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Nothing warms you on a cold day like a steaming mug of hot chocolate. Because it has real melted chocolate instead of just cocoa powder, it's a little different from—and richer than—cocoa. It's also not something that can be made from a mix, like cocoa can. For vegan eaters, the regular version, which is made with dairy milk, is off-limits, so we set out to make a version that is safe for all, no matter what your milk preferences are. To make hot chocolate vegan, you need only to swap out the liquid for a non-dairy milk, so it was an easy feat.

This hot chocolate is best made on the stove, and the recipe can be easily doubled or halved. It can be made in the microwave, as well. You'll simply heat a non-dairy milk until hot, then add cocoa powder, chocolate chips, a pinch of salt, and sugar. Once the chips have melted and everything has come together to steamy perfection, you've got a creamy and luscious vegan hot chocolate for two. Lots of different flavors work for this if you want to switch things up, from a dash of peppermint extract to a few shakes of cinnamon; we have more suggestions in the variations box below.

Once hot, serve as is or with a dollop of vegan whipped cream or a sprinkle of cinnamon on top. It's also great with a cinnamon stick stirrer.

Vegan Hot Chocolate Recipe/Tester Image

"This is a perfectly balanced hot chocolate—neither too sweet nor too rich—that's ideal for those who don't consume dairy products. I used oat milk and prepared it on the stove. It's a great starting point for flavor additions, like cinnamon, cardamom, or ground chiles."—Danielle Centoni

A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk

  • 1/4 cup vegan semisweet chocolate chips

  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Vegan Hot Chocolate ingredients

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  2. Add the non-dairy milk to a small saucepan on medium heat, and heat until very hot, but not boiling, about 2 minutes.

    Non-dairy milk in a saucepan on a burner

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  3. Lower the heat to a simmer. Add the chocolate chips, cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Stir the mixture until the chocolate is completely melted, about 2 minutes more.

    Chocolate chips, cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla, and salt poured into a saucepan with non-dairy milk, on a burner

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  4. Remove from the heat and whisk until the mixture is well combined and frothy.

    Vegan Hot Chocolate in a saucepan

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  5. Divide the hot chocolate between two mugs and serve immediately.

    Vegan Hot Chocolate poured into cups

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

Recipe Tips

  • Most semisweet chocolate chips are vegan. You'll want to check the label for anything that implies dairy, such as whey or milk solids. Guittard is our favorite vegan chocolate chip for its creamy texture, and we used the semisweet version they refer to as baking chips on the label.
  • Any non-dairy milk will work, if you want to use whatever you have on hand. We like Whole Foods unsweetened almond milk for its texture, as it's less watery than other non-dairy milks can be.

Recipe Variations

Flavor this hot chocolate with any of the following:

  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup instead of sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

How To Make Hot Chocolate in the Microwave

Heat the milk for 1 1/2 minutes in a microwave oven in a microwave-safe bowl. Add the chocolate chips, cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Stir the mixture, then heat the mixture in 30-second increments, stirring after each, until chocolate is fully melted. Remove from the microwave and whisk until mixture is well combined and frothy.

How to Store

Because melted chocolate will harden once cold, this cannot easily be made ahead. It can only be stored in the fridge if you reheat it completely until the chocolate has melted again, and whisk thoroughly.