Dairy Free Hot Chocolate

Jump to Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

This ultra thick & creamy dairy-free hot chocolate recipe is for serious chocolate lovers. It’s made from scratch in 15 minutes with 6 ingredients! Truly is the best Paleo and vegan hot chocolate you will ever drink!

a mug of dairy free hot chocolate with toasted marshmallows


The temperatures are dropping, snow is falling, and Thanksgiving has come and gone, which can only mean one thing, hot chocolate season has arrived!

This dairy-free hot chocolate recipe is amazing. It’s rich and creamy and perfect for those of you who love hot cocoa but need to make it dairy-free, or vegan or Paleo!

Because nothing beats coming inside after playing in the snow, curling up with a blanket and a warm cup of cocoa (like this peanut butter hot chocolate) and watching a Christmas movie! And just because you can’t eat dairy doesn’t mean you should have to miss out.

Make a batch of these homemade marshmallows and you will be in serious hot-chocolate heaven!

dairy free hot chocolate being poured into a mug

Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate: Substitutions

As written, this dairy free hot chocolate recipe results in an extra-dark hot cocoa. There are a few substitutions you can make to adjust the sweetness and chocolate intensity to cater to your family’s tastes.

overhead photo of the ingredients in this dairy free hot chocolate recipe
  • Full-fat coconut milk. You can use coconut cream to make it extra thick. I do not recommend using almond milk because it is much less creamy than coconut milk. However, I have had great success with Silk’s almond/coconut blend!
  • Chopped Chocolate. Any form of chocolate works well (chips, discs or a chopped bar). You can choose the darkness of the chocolate, I use 70% dark chocolate, but have also use 60%, semisweet, and even milk chocolate. If you use unsweetened chocolate, add 1-2 Tablespoons more sugar (or to taste).
  • Granulated sugar. The amount and type of sugar used in this recipe can be adjusted to your liking. For a paleo version use coconut sugar, or honey or maple syrup.
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder.  The only adjustment to make here is the amount. I use a full 1 TBS of cocoa powder to make a super dark, rich dairy-free hot cocoa. You can adjust the amount to your tastes.
a mug of dairy free hot chocolate with toasted marshmallows

How to make Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate

Let’s walk through how to make dairy-free hot chocolate together!

Begin by combining the coconut milk, granulated sugar, sea salt and cocoa powder in a 3-quart saucepan.

Then, warm the mixture over medium heat, whisking often until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is smooth.

two photos showing how to make dairy free hot chocolate in a pot

Once the mixture is smooth, add the chocolate and vanilla and whisk until the chocolate is melted. This takes about 5 minutes.

next, remove the pot from the heat and let the dairy free hot cocoa sit (covered) for 5 minutes before serving to thicken.

Note. The longer this recipe sits, the thicker it becomes. I have forgotten about it and it’s transformed into more of a super thick drinking chocolate than hot cocoa. If this happens, simply reheat it and add a splash of non-dairy milk.

two photos showing how to make dairy free hot chocolate in a pot

Serve

 Pour into 4 mugs and serve warm with marshmallows. This recipe makes enough dairy-free hot chocolate for up to four people because it’s very rich.

a mug of dairy free hot chocolate

Store

Leftovers should be stored in a glass jar with a lid for up to 5 days. I actually love putting leftover dairy free hot chocolate in my coffee in the morning!

a mug of dairy free hot chocolate with toasted marshmallows

Dairy Free Hot Chocolate Recipe FAQs

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

Full-fat coconut milk is definitely the best choice.

What are some dairy-free chocolate options?

Here are some of my favorite paleo/vegan/dairy free chocolate options.
Hu Kitchen Chocolate Gems. This is my favorite paleo chocolate. These gems are delicious and easy to toss into cookies (no bar chopping required).
Hu Kitchen Dark Chocolate Bars. You can also buy dark chocolate bars and chop them up to toss into these paleo chocolate chip cookies.
Lily’s Dark Chocolate. They make chips and bars that are stevia sweetened, low carb, keto, etc.
Enjoy Life Foods Dark Chocolate Chips are a good option that are vegan, dairy-free but not fully paleo.

a mug of dairy free hot chocolate with toasted marshmallows

If you make and love our recipes, it would mean so much to me if you would leave a comment and rating! And don’t forget to follow along with us on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Youtube – be sure to tag @joyfoodsunshine and use the hashtag #joyfoodsunshine so we can your creations!

Dairy Free Hot Chocolate

Laura
This ultra thick & creamy dairy-free hot chocolate recipe is for serious chocolate lovers. It's made from scratch in 15 minutes with 6 ingredients! Truly is the best Paleo and vegan hot chocolate you will ever drink!
5 from 5 votes
Course Dessert, Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 4 Servings (about 1/2 cup each)
Calories 220.5
Prep Time5 minutes
Resting time10 minutes
Total Time15 minutes

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • Combine coconut milk, granulated sugar, sea salt and cocoa powder in a 3-quart saucepan.
  • Warm the mixture over medium heat, whisking often until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is smooth.
  • Add chocolate and vanilla and whisk until the chocolate is melted, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let cocoa sit (covered) for 5 minutes before serving to thicken.**

Video

Notes

*for a darker version, use 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder. 
**The longer this recipe sits, the thicker it becomes. If it becomes too thick, simply reheat it and add a splash of non-dairy milk.
Ingredient Substitutions
  • Full-fat coconut milk. You can use coconut cream to make it extra thick. I do not recommend using almond milk because it is much less creamy than coconut milk. However, I have had great success with Silk’s almond/coconut blend!
  • Chopped Chocolate. Any form of chocolate works well (chips, discs or a chopped bar). You can choose the darkness of the chocolate, I use 70% dark chocolate, but have also use 60%, semisweet, and even milk chocolate. If you use unsweetened chocolate, add 1-2 Tablespoons more sugar (or to taste).
  • Granulated sugar. The amount and type of sugar used in this recipe can be adjusted to your liking. For a paleo version use coconut sugar, or honey or maple syrup.
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder.  The only adjustment to make here is the amount. I use a full 1 TBS of cocoa powder to make a super dark, rich dairy-free hot cocoa. You can adjust the amount to your tastes.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 220.5kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 1.2g | Fat: 13.6g | Saturated Fat: 9.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2.2g | Sodium: 66.3mg | Potassium: 100mg | Fiber: 1.7g | Sugar: 22.5g | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 0.9mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you enjoy this recipe? Have a question? Leave a comment below!

Try these recipes




latest recipes

Post a Comment or Ask a Question!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




61 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Ok Laura, you’ve done it AGAIN! This is fantastic and so super creamy! We used nearly 1/4 cup of coconut sugar and it was a touch sweet for me, but most definitely not for the littles. My 2 year old son with a dairy allergy just downed half the batch after playing in the snow! You should see the sweet mess all over his little face right now…. squeal. This hot cocoa is the lightly charred marshmallow on top of a perfect Chicago snow day! Thank you!

  2. I LOVE a couple things about this recipes! I love that it is dairy free but what I love most is the toasted marshmallows! Your picture is to perfection!

  3. The coconut milks gives a nice twist to hot chocolate! And just look at those marshmallows!! Move over Swiss Miss!

  4. Haha – serious chocolate lovers only!! That is definitely me. This looks amazing. I’ve been wanting to try a homemade hot chocolate since it started getting chilly so I can’t wait to try this recipe! And those marshmallows on top are perfect!!

    1. LOL Rebecca yay for chocolate connoisseurs! My family likes theirs a little sweeter but momma likes it dark! 😉