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This healthier dairy-free hot chocolate is ready in just 5 minutes, is naturally sweetened, and only uses 4 simple ingredients. Plus, it’s so easy to make!
- oat milk – a neutral tasting milk that makes it super creamy
- cocoa powder or cacao powder – an essential ingredient in hot chocolate
- maple syrup – adds a really nice natural sweetness.
- vanilla extract – helps to balance out the chocolate and give it more dimension
- salt – helps to balance out the sweetness
- marshmallows (optional) – homemade marshmallows if you’re feeling extra fancy
How to Make Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate
- Heat it up. Add all the ingredients (minus the marshmallows, if using) to a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Stir. Whisk to break up any clumps and continue stirring until everything is well-combined and the mixture is hot.
Make it Your Way: Ingredient Substitutions
Please remember that recipes are meant to be used as guides.
How can you make this dairy-free hot chocolate using what you already have? Here are some ideas…
- No oat milk? ➝ You can really get away with using any kind of dairy-free milk. If you want to use something super creamy like canned coconut milk, I recommend using it in combination with another type so it doesn’t have an overpowering coconut flavor.
- No cocoa/cacao powder? ➝ You can alternatively use chocolate chips in place of the powder. I would start with 1/4 cup.
- No vanilla extract? ➝ Peppermint extract also works really well, or you can just omit it completely.
- No maple syrup? ➝ Coconut sugar works really well here, but any granulated sugar will work.
Helpful Tips for Making the Best Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate
- Cocoa powder vs cacao powder. Cocoa powder provides a nice milk chocolate flavor. Cacao powder has more dark chocolate characteristics – think bitter, richer flavor, more antioxidants, and minerals.
- If using chocolate chips in place of the powder, add them to the saucepan with a little bit of the milk until the chocolate has melted before adding in the rest of the ingredients. You’ll also need less maple syrup.
More Chocolate Recipes
Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate
- Add all the ingredients (minus the marshmallows, if using) to a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Whisk to break up any clumps and continue whisking until everything is well-combined and the mixture is hot. Serve immediately.
- For a deeper chocolate flavor, use 2 tablespoons of cacao powder or 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder.
- If using cacao powder instead of cocoa powder, you may want to use the full 3 tablespoons of sweetener since its flavor is more bitter.