Simple Vegan Hot Chocolate - dairy and sugar free
This simple vegan hot chocolate recipe uses only 4 ingredients and is perfect for those with food allergies. It tastes great too and is the perfect thing to warm you up on chilly fall and winter days.
But this dairy-free hot chocolate is so good--who says you can't drink it all year long?
I love making my own healthy versions of processed foods like homemade chocolate chips, homemade white chocolate chips, taco seasoning, easy homemade ketchup, balsamic salad dressing, and even paleo taco shells.
Today I'm sharing with you another healthier version of a typically processed food--hot chocolate. This recipe is perfect for those who are avoiding dairy and sugar and it's so much better for you than the packaged brands.
My Daughter, Independence, and....Hot Chocolate
I am blessed, there are no two ways about it. I have a great family, a wonderful hubby, and I couldn't be more proud of my little girls.
I know – every mom says that, but I really, truly am.
I had a moment of heart-bursting love and awe with my two and a half year old last weekend that made me feel beyond blessed.
We were visiting Grandma and Grandpa in the country and it was finally warm enough to go outside and play in the snow. And was there ever snow. The massive yard was waist high with white stuff.
It had been a very rough few weeks for me and I was ecstatic to get out in the sun and enjoy the fresh air.
So out we went. My little peanut and I bundled up. The wind was colder than we had expected, but we weren’t about to let that ruin our fun.
My little one had never played in these conditions. We'd gone for some toboggan rides (pulled by mommy), shoveled a bit, and thrown some snow up in the air, but she had never trudged.
So what was my duty? To help her out, blaze a trail, have her walk in my footsteps, to make the trek easier for her, of course!
So there I was, trudging away in thigh-high snow, trying to stay on top of the harder, packed parts for the most part, musing dramatically about how I was blazing a trail literally and perhaps figuratively, for my girl. As I did this, heading for the gazebo that was boarded up for the winter, I saw my little girl out of the corner of my eye.
Wait…what? The corner of my eye? I thought she was behind me--in my footprints, taking the path I had made for her, blazed for her, to help her out, to make it easy for her!
No, there she was, walking beside me, finding her own way, blazing her own trail through the deep heavy snow and I mean deep, heavy snow. I was taken aback. I had underestimated my little girl. She was stronger than I'd given her credit for. I beamed with pride while wanting to burst into tears at how grown up she was.
From there on, she lead the way, traipsing around the property, saying things like:
“let's go this way”
“you can do it mommy” and my favorite
“we gotta go find more bunny poop” (the resident bunnies had left piles all over the yard).
I was so proud of my confident, adventurous, imaginative and self-assured little girl. She was blazing trails and making tracks where there were none. We went to each and every cold corner, up the hill, down the hill, and through the trees--to places that no one had walked all winter.
The wind started to pick up, so I began planting the idea of hot chocolate in her head. Well, after my suggestion and one more trek up the hill to look for bunny poop she said, “it’s getting chilly, better go in for hot cocoa”.
So in we went, and to add to her independent day, she scooped her own cocoa powder, dropped in her own stevia and stirred it all up in the milk.
I’m surprised she didn’t heat it up on her own out of pure will :).
We usually try to give her carob when it is later in the afternoon (to avoid caffeine) but I wasn’t about to split hairs after the moment we’d had. And Grandma had cocoa, so cocoa it was! She loved it, and savoured every last drop.
This Homemade Vegan Hot Chocolate
This drink is so satisfying and will warm you from the inside out. It's perfect on a cold winter day or any day at all. In fact, I imagine myself (when I have time to read again) curling up with a good book and a giant mug of this on a crisp autumn day or during a spring thunderstorm--cozy.
Pair this hot chocolate with a grain-free Carob Cardamom Cupcake, a delicious Soft Pumpkin Cookie, or a slice of pumpkin pie using Easiest Pie Crust.
There are many variations to this recipe and you really can’t go wrong.
We've used a variety of non-dairy milks from almond (my favourite being vanilla almond), hemp, rice, coconut and even water and they all have turned out just fine. The carob powder is quite sweet on its own so you don’t need much stevia or sweetener, which is always a plus.
I also discovered last time I made this that a combination of about 1 tablespoon carob and 1 teaspoon cocoa made a lovely mixture but start with small amounts and adjust to your tastes!
You could use stevia, as I did, or honey or maple syrup (this would make for an interesting flavour variation) or if you find the carob version sweet enough you may not need sweetener at all.
Top this with coconut whipped cream (or this "faux coconut whipped cream"), real whipped cream (if you are able to eat it), cashew cream or sans cream (which is how I usually enjoy it). The possibilities are endless.
But please, whatever you do enjoy it.
Recipe Notes and Substitutions
- Homemade Dairy-Free Milk: If you would like to make your own non-dairy milk, here is Easiest Coconut Milk, Easiest Almond Milk, and Homemade Rice Milk.
- Carob: Here is a great option for organic carob powder.
- Homemade Liquid Stevia: If you would like to make your own liquid stevia, see Homemade Liquid Stevia.
- AIP: Use carob instead of cocoa and use approx. 2 teaspoons maple syrup (read this post for help choosing maple syrup) or honey instead of stevia.
- THM: For those on the Trim Healthy Mama plan, this recipe fits in as an "S."
Dairy-free Hot Chocolate - vegan and sugar free
- 1 cup non-dairy milk (or water)
- 1 tablespoon cocoa (or carob for AIP; sifted to remove clumps)
- liquid stevia (to taste - I used 5 drops)
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- Place all ingredients in a small saucepan and whisk over low heat until combined and desired temperature has been reached.
- Pour into a mug and enjoy!
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is merely an approximation. Optional ingredients are not included and when there is an alternative, the primary ingredient is typically used. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts since they have been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
Life is so short, and I want to savor each and every moment with my family, because it’s true what they say--it goes by too fast.
So if you will pardon me, I'm off to the kitchen.
I think my snow-trekking little girl and I deserve another cup of hot cocoa.
Have you made Homemade Hot Chocolate before?
I was wondering if I can you both pumpkin puree and peppermint candy in the hot chocolate for the holidays and for the marshmallows how much monk fruit sweetener do I use and do you have any tips you can give me on using cookie cutters and food coloring for the marshmallows? 🙂
Yes you could certainly do that. Are you thinking about the powdered monk / erythritol blend or a straight monk extract?
Some people coat the cookie cutters with non stick spray (you could use a little bit of any kind of oil) but I would choose a healthier option like this one if you choose to do that.
For coloring, I would use a natural one and just a drop at a time to get the color you want.
Both actually for the monk fruit sweetener and the vanilla extract version for the marshmallows and just out of curiosity what do I coat the cookie cutters with to shape them and can you give me some tips on how to add black and red food coloring in them? 🙂
For granulated monk you can use it 1:1 for sugar. Powdered you technically would use 1 3/4 cups for each cup of sugar but not sure how well that will turn out.
Sorry I don't understand about the vanilla extract version. You could use a healthy cooking spray like this one.
I would just add a little at a time but I would get all natural (like these) to avoid toxins.
Can I use splenda or stevia sugar pellets because I do not have liquid stevia. How many should i use?
You could do that of course. I don't know those products well but if you look at a liquid stevia conversion chart that should give you an idea of how to figure it out. Let me know if that doesn't make sense.
I made this yesterday and it was delicious! Thanks for the simple recipe!
You are so welcome! Glad you liked it!
This was so bad, my face almost cracked! But it was a giggle, for the kids! ??
Sorry you had a bad experience. Other commenters said it was wonderful -- I wonder what could have gone wrong?
Try it with xylitol sweetener. Much better.
This is exactly what I was looking for! We are getting ready to move from Kauai, where it's quite warm all year round, to a great little mountain community in CA where we are certain to get snow this year. I was looking for a hot cocoa recipe that's non-dairy and low sugar so I can enjoy it without getting all wires from the sugar! Thai sounds delicious and I'm going to have to try it ASAP! Thank you!
Yea!!!! Glad to meet you! Hope you enjoy your new digs.
Would you know the carb count for this drink...Looks so good. Makes you want to curl up with a good book and a cup of your hot chocolate. Thank you
I think it depends on if you use chocolate or carob. If it's chocolate it's very low. Do you have a good site you could plug it into? You're welcome!
OH MY GOODNESS! This is the best thing I've had in two months. I've been on a candida diet for two months and really missed my chocolate! I made this tonight with Almond Milk, Cocoa Powder, and Vanilla Stevia Drops (I used 10 drops). I am SO happy - thanks for the great recipe!
yea! So happy to hear that. Sorry for the delay in responding. I am so behind - trying to catch up :).
How did u make the chocolate chips?
Here is my recipe for chocolate chips - enjoy! https://wholenewmom.com/whole-new-budget/homemade-chocolate-chips-carob-chips-recipe-revised/
Wonderful dairy free hot cocoa, my daughter loves hot cocoa but not the dairy, this would be perfect! I would love to invite you to share your recipe at Meal Planning Monday Recipe Link-Up. 🙂 https://www.aprilshomemaking.com/2014/03/meal-planning-monday-recipe-link-up-3.html
Thanks so much, I really hope she likes it! It is so hard for kiddos with allergies! I am excited to check out your link up!
Yum, I never thought of using almond milk to make hot chocolate, what a great idea!
Candace, I am a new blog follower and subscribed to your other sites as well. I am going to try some of the recipes I have already spotted. I found you through the blog hop and hope that you will follow my blog as well. You can find me here http://www.portraits-by-nc.com/blog
Can't wait to see what you cook next!
Adrienne, I typed in Candace's name in error - and there is no edit button. Please forgive me 🙂
No worries - so nice to see you here!!! 🙂
Hi Enzie! No worries on that, I do it all the time. My hands type faster than I can think sometimes! Looking forward to checking out your blog, thanks for stopping by!
I used to use stevia for everything for a number of years. I was having health problems and my adrenals were so depleted. Then I heard that using stevia consistently for a long time could effect your adrenals - so stopped using it all together.
I was wondering if anyone had heard of that as well?
I hope to write a post on stevia soon and will deal with this - thanks!
Great idea! Stevia is really amazing replacement of sugar. It has almost 0% calories and what is not least important - it's absolutely natural. Because of this it's also good for small children comparing to other "chemical" sweeteners.
Thanks Anna! I love stevia, it took a while but I have found some I like and learned to use it well. I am glad you feel the same!
Your hot chocolate looks so much more appetizing then mine ever does! I guess I have to try and try some more!
The coconut whipped cream really helps the look. I admit I don't always top it but it does add a little extra something for special days! I just piped it on using an icing tip and sprinkled on some homemade, stevia-sweetened chocolate chips, if you need some help let me know!
Delicious and easy! 🙂 Thanks!
I hope you enjoy it!
Aren’t our children precious?
My two “little” girls are now 37 and 35!!!
It seems just days ago that they were small adventurers themselves, making their mommy proud, too.
Savor these days, they grow up SO FAST!
The hot cocoa sounds a perfect end to such wonderful adventures. Thank you. I think I’ll mail my wonderful blessings a ‘care’ package including this cocoa!
They certainly are! I never understood until I had kids myself how truly fast it goes by! Thank you for the reminder to slow down and savour every day, I sometimes forget this and I don't ever want to look back and wish I had been more "in the moment".
You have very lucky girls to have a mama that sends them care packages, I am sure they feel blessed! I hope you and your girls enjoy this recipe!
I just had a conversation about this with another mom at drop off today. My oldest is shadowing at a high school and my two younger children are 8 and 11 (where are my babies and toddlers?) I already miss the days they would snuggle on my lab to read a book together. I told them in the car on the way to school that every day is a new chance to share our love and laughter or trials and tears. No matter what age they are I will share a hug and try to stop what I'm doing to listen to their day. We can never get those days back but we can always look forward to creating new memories. Hold them as long as you can!
BTW I love your blog (the coconut milk is heating as I write) and am thinking about starting my own as I am trying to rid my body of candida and other possible microorganisms I believe to be contributing to my diagnosis of Crohn's and other issues. If you have time, please e-mail as I have some questions about getting started.
Hi Kathy. Candace isn't blogging anymore so I am responding. Sorry it took so long :). You are so right about the years being precious and to be cherished.
Thanks for the encouraging words. Much appreciated!! I don't know that I have time to talk and for sure can't diagnose about candida but we might have a specialist on the blog soon :).