Vegan Hot Chocolate

Vegan Hot Chocolate

This recipe for vegan hot chocolate is reminiscent of the traditional hot chocolate served in Italy; super thick, rich, and creamy – the kind you can eat with a spoon! Homemade hot chocolate is so simple to prepare, plus you can personalize the recipe with your favourite ingredients. This healthy hot chocolate is made with dark cocoa powder, dairy-free milk, maple syrup, plus it is seasoned with some extra earthy flavours, like cinnamon and turmeric.

The year was 2004. I was living in Sardinia, Italy – a place I grew up in during the summers. After studying in Nice, France, and teaching in London, England, I found myself uprooting once again, back to one of the places I know best – in the summer, that is! Let me preface by saying that I have an aversion to the cold. In fact, I despise it. Winter is not my cup of tea. Albeit Sardinia boasts relatively mild temperatures during the winter (compared to Canadian winters) the result of the cooler temperatures combined with the humidity from living near the Mediterranean Sea was still a problem for me!

Sardinia is a mecca for tourists for 6 months of the year, but the hustle and bustle that fills the towns and beaches during the warmer months completely transforms during the winter. Many stores and restaurants close up shop, waiting for the next tourist season to arrive. Life slows down, albeit it is well-deserved and often looked forward to after a busy season working overtime to appease the tourist industry. For me, there was always a sort of melancholy with the changing of the seasons, but eventually I came to appreciate the serenity and slower pace of the winter months. And there’s one more thing I started to appreciate – their unbelievably delicious cioccolata calda! We’re not talking a traditionally North American concoction of powdered hot chocolate mix dissolved in milk or water, we’re talking a full on, thick and creamy, super rich and decadent hot chocolate – the kind you can eat with a spoon! I have fond memories of my winters in Sardinia, hanging out at the local cafe, playing rounds and rounds of backgammon with friends, and sipping scooping up spoonfuls of their delicious hot chocolate.

My kids were begging for hot chocolate over the Christmas break. As if they weren’t consuming enough sugar as is, they wanted a hot version of it too! It’s a tradition for me to prepare a cup of hot chocolate for our annual Christmas movie-a-thon. This year in particular, I was inspired by my love affair with Italian cioccolata calda so I prepared this healthier, homemade version for the kids. They were none the wiser – asked for seconds, of course, and the best thing is that I was able to enjoy this vegan version too!

Vegan Hot Chocolate

If you try this recipe (and love it!) be sure to snap a pic and tag me on Instagram with #bitesforfoodies so I can see your creation!

Vegan Hot Chocolate

: 2 cups
: 5 min

This recipe for vegan hot chocolate is reminiscent of the traditional hot chocolate served in Italy; super thick, rich, and creamy – the kind you can eat with a spoon! Homemade hot chocolate is so simple to prepare, plus you can personalize the recipe with your favourite ingredients. This healthy hot chocolate is made with …


Vegan Hot Chocolate
    2 cups unsweetened coconut or almond milk (or other milk of choice, including regular milk for non-vegans)
  • 2 heaping tbs. dark cocoa powder
  • 2 tbs. pure maple syrup (or raw honey for non-vegans)
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla bean powder or 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp. turmeric (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tsp. arrowroot or corn starch to thicken (optional)

Heat the milk in a small pot on high heat, whisking every minute or so. Once bubbles start to form on the sides of the pot immediately turn the heat to low (otherwise the milk will burn on the bottom of the pot!). Add the vanilla, maple syrup, cocoa powder, turmeric, cinnamon, and salt to the pot and continue to whisk for 2-3 minutes until combined and smooth. Turn off the heat and set aside until the hot chocolate lowers to a drinkable temperature (I like mine piping hot!).

If you prefer a thicker consistency, before removing from the heat, whisk the arrowroot or corn starch in a small bowl with a 1/4 cup of the hot chocolate until smooth then return to the pot and whisk for another 2 minutes until thickened.

18 thoughts on “Vegan Hot Chocolate”

  • Liz Graham 6 years ago

    Sounds delish. Thanks for the recipe! I just started using arrowroot and like it far better than corn starch 🙂

  • I am a huge fan of hot chocolate and I can say that I have never tried anything vegan before. It looks and sounds delicious and simple!

  • My kids could drink hot chocolate for days during the winter months. Who am I kidding, I like to enjoy a glass from time to time, too. You have me intrigued when you say that this is a thicker version of the old favorite. Yum!

  • I am excited to try this. I need to go to the store to find some of the ingredients. It looks so good.

  • This recipe looks delicious and my boys happen to like hot chocolate. It seems like something that I should make for them. Plus, it’s vegan so even more reason for me to give it a try.

  • This sounds really good. It can be hard to stick to a diet like that when you have limited options but this recipe would make it easier for some. My daughter loves hot cocoa and if the diet allows this she would be all about committing to the lifestyle is it fit her needs.

  • I guess I would love this because I hate milk. Almond milk is perfect for me. Sounds like such a nice, warm drink to have during the wintertime. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  • I’m not vegan, but this sounds so delicious and healthier as well. I would love to try this with my kids and see if they like it. Thank you for the awesome recipe!

  • I’m not vegan but I have friends who do, so this would surely be helpful should they come over my place next time 😀 Thanks for sharing it! It’s not only helpful for vegans but even for non-vegans like me 😀

  • alalisainfo 6 years ago

    My best friend is slowly becoming vegan and so I’m finding it harder and harder to whip up snacks and meals for her whenever she comes over. Love the fact that this hot cocoa is vegan-friendly. Definitely will have to pin/bookmark this one!

    • No one in my family is vegan per say, although I try to feed them vegan foods! I try whenever I can to serve the same thing to everyone in the family!

  • I’m sure I got confused by the title of “vegan” when the recipe calls for “milk of choice”. I see you used a non-dairy milk, but what brand? Would my coconut milk heat fine for this recipe or do I have to buy a new product?

    • Hi Katie! I clarified in the recipe ingredients for you! I prefer unsweetened coconut or almond milk (my favourite brand is ‘Silk’) You could also use soy, hemp, or even regular milk, if you’re not vegan!

  • Elaine 6 years ago

    I can’t wait to try this…tonight!

    • Awesome! Can’t wait for you to come back and let me know what you think! Take a pic and tag me on Instagram too 😉

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