5-Minute Vegan Hot Cocoa

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Glass of Vegan Hot Chocolate topped with coconut whipped cream

You guys, it’s cold. I mean, seriously cold.

We may have narrowly escaped the polar vortex but I’m still feeling its aftermath. Most days John and I hunker down inside next to space heaters. But when I just can’t kick a chill – or am having a serious chocolate craving – I make my favorite 5 minute (or less) vegan hot cocoa.

Almond milk, chocolate, cocoa powder, and sugar for making homemade Vegan Hot Cocoa

It’s such a simple recipe it’s almost a non-recipe. But I asked Facebook fans if they’d be interested and the answer was a resounding ‘yes.’ So, here it is – my go-to homemade hot chocolate that’s way better (and healthier) than any packaged or boxed mix you’ll find.

Origins of Hot Chocolate

Chocolate may date as far back as the Olmecs who were the earliest known Mesoamerican civilization. But it’s been grown and made into a drink since at least the 9th century. Mayans made a drink with cacao, water, cornmeal, chili peppers, and other spices (source). It didn’t have any added sweetener so it was quite bitter.

By the 16th century, Spanish explorers learned about the drink. They brought the concept to Spain and began adding sugar. By the 18th century, it was introduced in the US. And the rest is history!

How to Make Vegan Hot Cocoa

It starts with simple ingredients:

Unsweetened vanilla or plain almond milk (or make your own!)
Unsweetened cocoa powder
Dairy-free semisweet or dark chocolate
Raw sugar or stevia

Glass filled with simple and delicious Vegan Hot Chocolate

You can make this in the microwave in a big mug – I use my big yellow cereal mug that I’ve had since high school and have carried with me like an adult blankie. Or, if you’re not into the microwave or would rather go old school, simply add ingredients to a small saucepan, bring to a simmer and whisk away. Creamy perfection is just 5 minutes away.

Glass filled with our Vegan Hot Cocoa Recipe

Next I like to add a little extract. I know everyone usually recommends adding vanilla to “bring out the flavor of the chocolate” or something like that. But I’ve been on a chocolate peppermint kick for the last few months, so I put in a drop or two of peppermint extract and it sends my tastebuds straight to heaven.

The last element? Coconut whipped cream. I mean, hubba hubba. Also, WHY NOT? It really does put the finishing touch on the cocoa and gives it that luscious, creamy effect I just adore.

Glass of our Easy Vegan Hot Cocoa recipe

And there you have it! My 5-Minute Vegan Hot Cocoa. I hope you make it a lot this winter to keep warm. And if you do, Instagram me a photo – it’s kind of my favorite. Then we can be warm together via internet.

Grabbing a glass of Vegan Hot Cocoa for a warming winter beverage

5-Minute Vegan Hot Cocoa

My go-to, 5-minute vegan hot chocolate made with simple ingredients you always have on hand. Creamy, luxurious, and surprisingly healthy.
Author Minimalist Baker
Small glass of Vegan Hot Chocolate topped with coconut whipped cream
4.95 from 88 votes
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 4 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1
Course Beverage
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? Best when fresh



  • Add almond milk to a large mug and microwave for 1 minute. Alternatively, add to a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Once milk is warm, add cocoa powder, chocolate and sweetener and whisk to combine.
  • Put back in microwave or continue cooking on stovetop until completely combined and has reached your preferred temperature.
  • Taste and adjust sweetness as needed.
  • Lastly, add in your extract of choice – I think peppermint is truly unbeatable. Stir, and top with coconut whipped cream.



*Nutrition information is a rough estimate for one serving with stevia for sweetener and 1 1/2 Tbsp coconut whipped cream.

Nutrition (1 of 1 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 190 Carbohydrates: 20 g Protein: 2.5 g Fat: 13 g Saturated Fat: 6.8 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 193 mg Fiber: 4 g Sugar: 11 g

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  1. Carol S. says

    Very good! Because I didn’t have peppermint, I used a bit of vanilla, and I used cane sugar for the sweetener. Will make again with peppermint. Tasted great on a cold, Colorado evening watching a movie! Thank you for sharing.

  2. Nancy says

    Our tradition is to have hot cocoa and chocolate chip cookies while we watch The Polar Express. We needed to whip up a quick batch of cocoa and this was perfect! We used almond milk, but added some coconut milk to make it richer and creamier, used Lily’s dark chocolate chips, and stirred in a few Lily’s peppermint flavored chips for a hint of peppermint. Loved it!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Ivette, no specific brand! A couple brands we’ve used and like are Whole Foods 365 and Equal Exchange. Enjoy!

  3. Bee says

    If you like more of a semi-sweet taste, add half a tablespoon of sugar instead of a full tablespoon (or half the amount of your chosen sweetener)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Loes, raw cacao powder will be a bit more bitter, but if that doesn’t bother you, go for it!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Debra, you could use less of the semisweet chocolate. It wouldn’t be as rich or sweet, but still tasty!

  4. Stacy says

    I could have sworn that you had a “mix” recipe for hot chocolate that was based on this recipe – it involved grinding up the ingredients – but I cannot seem to find it. Did I imagine it? Was hoping to make a batch to have on hand and possibly to give as gifts.

  5. Ruby says

    Peppermint and chocolate is the ultimate combination (it’s better than peanut butter and chocolate – fight me) and this looks great! For some reason we’re having snow here in Indiana, definitely going to make this today!

  6. Laurie says

    I just made this for my daughter and me and it’s hit! Quick, simple, and tasty! Will definitely be making this again!

  7. Nicole Ware Spencer says

    I’m sitting here living my best life bc I’m in my flannel pjs and just made this hot chocolate! Normally, I’m team “on the stove,” but my lone pot is in the dishwasher and I just finished the cleaning the kitchen. I put 1 cup homemade cashew milk, 1 TBSP no added sugar chocolate chips, 1 TBSP dark amber maple syrup, lil’ bit vanilla extract, and few sprinkles of Himalayan sea salt into the mug and put into the microwave (don’t shame me). I took one sip and new I had to leave a comment and review bc it’s that good! Thank you for bringing some joy to my day!

  8. Sophie says

    I made this tonight because. It. Is. Snowing. I omitted the peppermint and added a little bit more like 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips ;)… but it still turned out amazing! I added a bit of homemade coconut whipped cream and it turned out amazing! Thanks for the amazing recipe!

  9. Joy says

    Was such an easy recipe to make and my kids loved it! I made it with Oatmilk and used raw sugar and enjoy life chocolate chips!

  10. Rachel says

    Now that it’s peppermint season, this recipe is back in my rotation. It is so quick and delicious! I might have even snuck some Peppermint Schnapps in it. :)

    This year I used whole milk and added some foam with a frothing wand after whisking the ingredients with the warm milk, before the second heating. It was such a delicious treat!

  11. Irene says

    So yummy and easy, thank you! We have dairy and chocolate allergies so I used Soy Milk and subbed the chocolate with Carob powder and carob chips. Carob is naturally sweeter than chocolate so it actually didn’t need any sweetner. Perfect for a cold winter’s day. Threw in a jumbo marshmallow for the kids too ;-)

  12. Ashley says

    Oh my gosh!! So yummy! We are so thankful for this recipe! The only thing I did differently is used blue agave for the sweetener and we use almond whipped cream! Comes out perfect! Thanks for sharing!

  13. Donna says

    Oh, so good! I mixed it up a bit — omitted the semi-sweet chocolate, used 1.5 TBS cocoa and added a shot of decaf coffee. The cocoa/coffee /mint combination is divine!

  14. Kim says

    OMG! So amazing, creamy and rich. I have been craving a good cup pf hot chocolate and this is perfection. I added a little vanilla and a pinch of salt, I didn’t have coconut whipped cream. So Yummy!

      • Kim says

        Okay, so I’ve made it again and it’s still amazing. I add a date to the pan while my almond milk heats up. Once it’s to temp , I toss it in the blender with the rest of the ingredients, minus the sugar. Frothy and yummy!

  15. TiaOrchid says

    Best hot chocolate for this Canadian lockdown winter/warm. I just made this for my spouse and I. It was a total success. He absolutely loved it. Working from home has never been so fun. Thank you very much for all your recipes. I apologize, usually I do not leave reviews/rating. Will do from now on. Keep making those amazing recipes.

  16. Clarice says

    So delicious!
    I used Lindt 70% dark chocolate which made a really nice dark-flavoured hot chocolate, and I also only had soy milk, which still turned out really nice overall.
    Thank you for this recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Jan. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  17. Shelby Mayer says

    Best recipe I’ve found for hot chocolate, I prefer mine a little less sweet so I halved the sugar. Tripled the recipe for the whole family and added a candy cane. Perfection! *Chef’s Kiss!*

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Shelby. We are so glad you and your family enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  18. Nisha Harjani says

    Love that this recipe is for one unlike most. Easy and delish and love that it’s microwave friendly! I used half oat milk half almond and coconut sugar for sweetener.. Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Nisha. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  19. Rachel says

    My first grader has been making this recipe almost every school day as part of her virtual learning routine. She’s so proud of doing everything herself!

    We do use regular milk (since we get plenty of cartons from the school lunch program) and it turns out excellent every time.

  20. Lakin says

    My girlfriend wanted hot chocolate on a whim so I whipped this up for her in the microwave and she loved it! Thanks so much for sharing!

  21. Dana says

    I made this last Christmas (2019) for my ladies Bible study group at our Christmas social. I took my Vitamix and all the ingredients and made it right there. Instead of extract, I bought some of those fat, soft peppermint sticks to be used as stir sticks. Everyone who tried it loved it. I had made this before at home and after having tried MANY vegan hot chocolate recipes over the years, I finally found this one, it’s perfect, by far the best tasting recipe! That is why I took it to our social. Unfortunately I left the recipe at my friend’s house. When I thought about it later and asked for it, she couldn’t find it. I couldn’t recall which website I obtained it from, so every so often throughout the year I asked if she’d found it. She always said no. A week ago this same friend sent me two vegan hot chocolate recipes saying “they can’t be that different”. I tried one, didn’t like it. Just today (10-16-20), she texted me that she found the recipe I had brought to her house 10 months ago for the social! Yay! My perfect hot chocolate drink just in time for winter !

  22. Deena says

    This hot chocolate is so comforting! I am feeling a little sad and am fighting a cold so this is just what I needed for lunch. Made with Ghiardellhi cocoa and ghiardellhi semi sweet chocolate, added a little less than 1 tablespoon of raw sugar. I topped with marshmallow fluff (not usual for me lol) and sprinkles!

  23. Jessica says

    Gosh minimalist baker is a genius. This cocoa tastes just like Swiss miss, possibly better it’s been a long time since I’ve had it. But wow exactly what I wanted!

  24. Ashley says

    We usually use Penzey’s hot cocoa mix w almond milk but these are crazy times…could you give us a hot cocoa powder recipe? Without powdered milk?

  25. Maryann Farrell says

    Dandies vegan marshmallows added! These marshmallows are better then gelatin ones! They have a creamy vanilla taste and are so good in vegan cocoa!

  26. tina says

    Loved the recipe! I omitted the sugar completely, and switched peppermint extract with real mint and steeped it in the almond milk. Delish! I also used 68% real cacoa chocolate – no added sugar, etc. Added powdered sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, more mint to the “hot chocolate bar” so guests could personalize. Kept it in a large metal airpot thermos which “mixed” it each pump.

  27. Dana H says

    I made this for my ladies Bible study Christmas gathering. So Easy! I brought my vitamix and the ingredients and walaah! I made a pitcher full by multiplying the ingredients to make 6 cups. I used an organic dark chocolate chip that my host had since mine were made in a facility that processed milk products and her daughter is deathly allergic & organic coco powder. I forgot my sweetener, I planned to use maple syrup, so I used my hosts lakanto brand monk fruit/eryrthritol blend, 1.5 TBL per cup. I blended it all in my vitamix on high. It took about 10 min to get hot. Everyone loved it! Hostess wanted the recipe.

      • Dana H says

        So funny. I just made a comment about that same Christmas social (as Dana on 10-16-20) and talked about how the recipe got lost but now is found 10 months later! So the last part of the comment above, is that the hostess wanted the recipe. I forgot about that. My comment today (10-16-20) mentions that the printed recipe got “lost”. Makes me wonder if my friend “found” it because I kept bugging her about it for 10 months! LOL. (I know that’s not the case but sure is funny!)

  28. Sarah Beth says

    Simply the best. Decadent, not sweet, rich hot chocolate. Tastes so high-end. Puts SwissMiss to absolute shame. I’ve made with water, oat milk, soy milk, almond milk, and canned coconut milk. Always add a healthy pinch of salt. Sugar or maple syrup works. Cornstarch thickens, but isn’t necessary. My husband loves it with a shot of peppermint schnapps.

    I make this often. I even gift the mixture in holidays bags. Always a success.

  29. Raquel says

    I microwaved half a cup of cashew milk for one minute and it got super thick! Mixed in about a teaspoon cacao powder and a teaspoon dark chocolate chips, a splash of vanilla extract and a pinch of coconut sugar. Mmmm super thick and not sweet!