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
4.96 from 86 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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My Rating:

  1. Jennifer says

    Thank you for the recipe! Made this impromptu for a group of non-vegans and everyone raved! Used almond milk but to thicken and make a bit richer, added some cashew cream I had left over from another recipe (just soaked cashews with filtered water in blender). Used a very decadent dark chopped Icelandic chocolate bar and added the peppermint flavoring. A major hit!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Jennifer. We are so glad everyone 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

  2. Brittany says

    This truly warmed my heart. It tastes like what you imagine hot chocolate should taste like. Personally, I like mine to have a thicker consistency, so I added a little bit of cornstarch :)
    Thank You!

  3. Kat says

    I made this recipe tonight with vanilla extract, stirring in a teaspoon of coconut oil instead of coconut whip (didn’t have any on hand) and including a pinch of salt. This is easily my favorite vegan hot cocoa I’ve made so far and with this combination of ingredients, is easily a pantry staple in my house. I’ve worked so hard to find proportions I like that I copied it down in my recipe box. Thanks for another great recipe, Dana.

  4. Deana Tanguay says

    I just made this and I am in heaven! Thank you! I used oat milk (what I had), Cacao powder (what I had), pascha 100 percent Cacao Chocolate Chips unsweetened, and peppermint extract and NO sweeteners and it is AMAZING! Thank you so much. The best!

  5. Britt says

    I just made a big batch for my whole family after a snowperson building marathon and it was loved all around. I subbed canned coconut milk for half the milk since I wanted over the top decadence, exchanged the sugar for an equal amount of maple syrup, and then let my kiddos customize. One chose a bit of orange extract, two went with peppermint, and I went the Mexican route with cinnamon and Chile. All were amazing.
    Thank you for constantly being my go-to for veganizing all of our family favorites.

  6. Vanessa Tabick says

    My husband and I tried your vegan hot cocoa recipe for the first time tonight. We enjoyed it very much and will be making it during this winter season. Since I have a dairy allergy, I thought I would not be able to drink hot cocoa again but you have made it possible. Mind was blown by how good it was.

    • Becca Walker says

      I make this recipe all the time for parties! It’s always a hit. Even non-vegans are impressed with how good it tastes and *it’s vegan*!!!
      Just for fun, I put a shot of Kahlua in each cup.

      Thank you for this great recipe!

  7. Linda says

    One of my children is vegan and the rest of the family is not, but I am interested in a more plant-based diet. Where do I find chocolate that is dairy free? Can this mix be made up in bulk and then just use milk of choice?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Most grocery stores carry vegan chocolate! The best way to make sure chocolate is vegan is to quickly scan the ingredients. Good chocolate should only have a few, so it’ll just take a second. Look out for tricky ingredients like whey or casein, which are milk derived. Hope this helps!

  8. Alyssa says

    I just made this and holy no-cow!!!! It is DELICIOUS! (I added some dairy-free Redi-Whip.) This will be my go-to recipe now.
    Thank you!

  9. Shea S says

    Loved this simple yet delicious hot cocoa. I threw all the ingredients in my vitamix. I added some cinnamon and pinch coarse sea salt. This going to be my new favorite go to for hot cocoa. Thanks for the recipe.

  10. Abbigail says

    I have made at least two other recipes for vegan hot chocolate before trying this one, and the other two were just a tad bitter, but this one was perfect! I didn’t have any extract but the four main ingredients I had on hand, and it turned out great. I even had some vegan marshmallows so I put those on top. Very delicious, thank you so much for sharing this simple recipe. I think that adding the chocolate bar, not just the cocoa powder, made the difference.

    I was telling my dad as I was making it that it wasn’t fair to live in a world without hot chocolate, and here I am, living the dream. Thanks again!

  11. Pratibha says

    Simple and awesome recipe. I added a little bit of no flavor coconut oil to this and whisked it. It comes out really creamy!

  12. Venessia says

    This is probably a weird question but is there a vegan white hot chocolate recipe? My oldest dislikes chocolate unless it’s Oreos or KitKat’s lol.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi! We don’t (yet) but I am going to add it to our recipe request list as one to tackle! Thanks Venessia!

  13. Opal says

    I loved this recipe! I didn’t have almond milk, so I used soy…it was so delicious! It was rich and creamy and just perfect for a cold winter day. Thank you! I love your site and recipes.

  14. Renee says

    I realize this was published a while ago, but the fact that I’m commenting all this time later is a testament to how ridiculous this is. Too. Freaking. Delicious. Thank you!!

  15. Emily says

    I went the vanilla route instead of the peppermint route. And then… I added peanut butter powder! So so so good. Peanut butter and chocolate fans NEED that addition!

  16. Fatimah says

    My daughter just said “can I give you a hug because this is so good? ” then proceeded to give me a hug. So good!

  17. Melissa says

    It says cocoa powder, would there be much of a difference if I used cocao instead? I’m actually not sure where to get unsweetened cocoa powder. I’ve been following these recipes for years. My uncles daughter is vegan and we have been slowly converting him. This is the first recipe I’ve seen him share on fb abs he said he likes this recipe better than the traditional “hot cocoa” he drinks. So good to hear!!

  18. Jen says

    i have been eating a plant based diet for a couple years now and have so missed my hot chocolate!! I have tried some other recipes but they were gross but THIS ONE!!!! WOW!! I am smiling and giddy right now as i drink this delicious hot chocolate!!!! thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Joe says

    I had this incredibly spur of the moment craving for hot chocolate, tried this recipe, and OHMYGOD IT WAS SO DELICIOUS I DIED BUT IN A GOOD WAY!!!! I added the vanilla extract because I didn’t have peppermint (though that sounds even more delicious, if that’s even possible) and whipped coconut cream and the level of INSANELY GOOD soared even higher. Cannot WAIT to snuggle up this Christmas to open presents while drinking THIS! 10/10 would recommend do yourself a favor and just MAKE THIS. I threw the whole thing together in under 3 minutes and used the microwave and it was the PERFECT dessert <3333333

  20. Claire says

    I made this after realizing we have no packets of hot cocoa. Im lactose intolerant but not vegan so I used regular chocolate chips but had almond milk. This is way better than Swiss Miss type stuff and it’s as creamy as it’d be with regular milk. I added a splash of peppermint schnapps to add even more fun to it, and it goes perfectly in this recipe!

  21. Allison says

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I recently had to give up dairy and the hardest part was giving up milk. Hot chocolate was something I really enjoyed, especially on a cold day. I tried other recipes, but didn’t like any of them. This recipe is rich and creamy and doesn’t taste like its made with almond milk. I am so excited! I added a tiny bit of vanilla and its perfect. Again, thank you! This type of recipe make tough diet changes much easier!!

  22. Marian gravel says

    Wow this was really delicious!!! I googled a recipe at my daughters request for a hot chocolate with almond milk. I was really impressed, I did not miss the milk at all. It’s actually one of the best cups of hot cocoa I’ve ever had. I just took a little bit out of my daughters cup — it was so rich and delicious I was satisfied with that.

    I loved it as- is but My 17 year old daughter found it a little too chocolatey and added 1/4 to 1/3 cup more almond milk.

  23. Danielle Banks says

    I really should comment more often, because I love you blog! But I made this in about 5 mins, and added a candy cane left over from the holidays for peppermint hot chocolate. This is absolutely delicious!

  24. Michelle says

    Such a good recipe; I’m so glad you posted this! I made my own version, using 3/4 cup almond-coconut milk + 1/4 of vanilla bean-infused almond milk creamer, and 1 T of coconut sugar for sweetening. The drink is delicious on its own, as well as with a shot of espresso added in. I want to try making the recipe next with the peppermint extract as suggested. Thanks!

  25. Melinda Cloud says

    Is there a recipe on how to make this in bulk for gift-giving? I’m in the last-minute “argh!” phase and I would love to give this hot cocoa mix as gifts AND do “secretly” healthy for those who pish posh the urgency in our taking care of our bodies by not putting in chemicals, etc. Also, is there such a thing as dry almond or soy or hemp milk? I have seen other recipes calling for dry milk. Thank you ever so much!

  26. Kelly says

    I made this today for my kids after they came in from being out in the snow. I had some, too, of course! It was really good! We give it 20 stars (5 stars from the 4 of us). ? ☕ I’ll definitely be making this again!!

  27. Courtney says

    Used this amazing recipe for a hot-cocoa sale today at my dental school :) one girl told me, “this is better than Starbucks!” It was delicious and everyone loved it. Thanks, Dana!

  28. Ashley says

    This is the easiest quickest most delicious hot chocolate!! I am a hot chocoholic and now I can make it anytime I want! Thank you!!!

  29. Jen says

    My husband and I are trying to transition from vegetarian to vegan. All afternoon, I was craving hot chocolate from the local donut shop, but I have no clue what is in it. This was the first recipe that came up when I googled “vegan hot chocolate.” I have yet to try a recipe from this website (and the cookbook) that I don’t like. This is yet another winner! I just added a pinch of salt because the hot chocolate I am used to has a bit of a salty kick to it.

  30. Julie says

    I made this without having to run to the store for any ingredients! It was so rich and delicious. I am lactose intolerant but I’m not vegetarian, yet I try to eat healthier. Your blog is also really helpful for me since I have a number of friends who are vegetarian or vegan and gluten free. Thanks for the recipe!

  31. Sydney Anne Hughes says

    I am lactose intolerant and was wondering, that even though this delicouse resipe has no milk at all, dose the coco will still have milk in it? By the way i love your post! They look deliciouse and i cant wait to try this out! Thanks!

  32. Angela says

    I a so happy I found you site. I love the simplicity of these recipes. Thank you so much and keep up the good work. I know I will love this hot chocolate.

  33. Nancy says

    Hi Dana,

    I truly enjoy your site, my husband and I have just transitioned to vegan/vegetarian for health reasons. Finding good recipes for old time favorites is the toughest part. This looks wonderful.

    I have always like orange hint in my hot chocolate, any recommendation how to incorporate that?

  34. Jazmine S says

    Let me tell you, this hot chocolate is soooooo good! Something about good ol traditional gets me every time! I’m currently pregnant and I almost broke down in the store and cried because out of 20 different hot chocolates, not a single one of them were vegan! They all had milk! I quickly googled this recipe and found the simple items right there in the store in less than 5 minutes. I used Almond lite vanilla milk (which is semi sweet) and light agave nectar for my sweetener. Unfortunately the store was out of vegan whipped cream but to be honest this recipe doesn’t need it! It’s that dang good! Thank you for sharing?

  35. Anna Cooley says

    This was delicious! I made this for the first time during my semester finals and it was amazing. I have been drinking this as a treat through the winter, sometimes I add coconut extract for an Almond Joy kind of taste.

    Thank you for all of the scrumptious recipes!

  36. Jennifer says

    Thanks for this! I had been looking for a vegan hot chocolate. It was really good! I did use less sugar, but that was because the only almond milk I had wasn’t sugarless. :) It was perfect because it was ingredients that I already had at home, and I was snowed in.

  37. jsmithwc says

    After growing into a pesky dairy allergy at 27 I’ve missed a good hot chocolate. This is super easy and delicious! I added a dash of vanilla extract to mine. Thank you for the recipe!!

  38. Patsy says

    I love this recipe! I usually add a little blackstrap molasses to mine for a boost of iron and calcium. It also gives it a nice tangy dimension.

  39. Tiffany says

    Delicious delicious delicious……..thank you for the recipe so glad I came across it and I already had the ingredients in the cupboard. …….drinking it now yum yum

  40. Angela says

    5 stars!! This recipe is the best homemade hot cocoa recipe I’ve ever tried! I have tried several in an attempt to make a healthy homemade version and all of them were awful, until this one! And it’s vegan, double bonus! Thank you soo much for creating this recipe. Even my non-veg husband thinks this is delicious! :)

  41. Sybil says

    My family has recently discovered we need to be gluten and lactose free! This has been a sudden difficult adjustment for our family. However, with easy YUMMIE recipes like this, all will be well!!
    Thank you so much!!!

  42. Kat says

    Oh my…I’m thinking this plus a shot of espresso! It may be summer now but I’m looking forward to the chill just to make this recipe.

  43. Stephanie says

    I double the recipe using whole milk and an extra T raw sugar. It’s awesome! Thank you! Adding to the home recipe collection.

  44. Helen Gatenby Holt says

    Delicious made this last night before bed to warm up. I used rice milk but still thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks.

  45. Jodi says

    Yesterday I made a small batch of almond milk using almonds I had soaked overnight. When I was done whirring it in my Vitamix, it was HOT. So, I thought, hmmm, why not just make this into hot chocolate??? So, I reached for some cocoa powder, Truvia, a dash of vanilla extract, tossed it into the hot almond milk in the Vitamix, “zhuzzed” it for a while, making it even hotter (I think), and then poured it into a mug. It looked fabulous but alas, it wasn’t the *best* because it was lacking the chocolate-y ness that the addition of chocolate (as you indicate here!) would bring, but it was a really fun way to make it. I felt like I had just, like, I dunno, discovered America.

    This weekend, I’m going to get some fun extract and chocolate and try it again — and will post it to Instagram! Thank you for this simple recipe!

  46. Sara says

    Hey Dana,

    Great post! I have a quick question. Does your almond milk get a ‘curdle-like’ consistency when heating it in the microwave? The hot chocolate tastes fine, but I see little clumps floating at the top.


  47. Velinda says

    This is so good! I haven’t made this on the stove yet, but it comes out perfect in the microwave. I’ll be drinking this all winter!

  48. Katy says

    So glad I found this! It is getting me through finals. Thank you so much! I had everything and it is perfect- takes enough time to be a study break and makes even the toughest subject bearable. I will also be using this when my roommates (non vegan) and I (vegan) have our holiday movie binge! Can’t wait to explore your blog more.
    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  49. Lauren says

    Yes!! I was craving something sweet and this totally hit the spot. So simple too. This will be my family’s go to recipe every winter. I may have added some vegan marshmallows to mine too.. don’t judge me. :)

      • Melissa Black says

        This is absolutely delicious! My husband, kids all love this. This is perfect on cool fall and winter nights. I make it on the stove top whisking it all together and it is fantastic. Thank you so much for publishing!!! LOVE IT.

  50. Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh says

    Drinking this as we speak! Did a Google search, ran across yours and made it…fantastic!!

  51. rebecca says

    Hi Dana,
    Do you know how I might translate this (the powder, chips & sugar) to make in bulk? I’d love to keep it on hand in the pantry all ready to go :)
    Thanks so much–I love your blog!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, I’d just multiply the dry ingredients by however many you have room for (maybe 10x?) and then add to your warm wet ingredients to taste!

  52. Kenzie says

    Thank you for the awesome, simple, delicious recipe! I never tried making it on my own, nor had I bought any since going vegan almost two years ago. So simple, I had all the ingredients and whipped it right up….delicious!!

  53. Silvia says

    I just tried your recipe and is the best. I used vanilla extract but I can’t wait to try it with peppermint extract. Thank you Danna for this great and easy way to make my favorite winter treat… YUM!!!

  54. Sara says

    And I didn’t even tell you that I did indeed go forth with trying this recipe and it was super yummy! I only had sea salt dark chocolate (52% cacao) unfortunately but it still was good! I used raw coconut sugar and raw cacao powder too because that is also all that I had. :)

      • Sara says

        Thank you! such a speedy response and I appreciate it :) I’ve always been curious! I used to have a beauty blog WAY back. I absolutely love your blog and will be a frequent visitor for recipes/ideas! I have been eating vegan now for a few months. Sending love & light your way, best wishes!

  55. Nancy Andres says

    I drink cocoa all year round because I love the flavor and health benefit. I make a simpler version. Just boil water in a tea kettle (I don’t like to use a microwave), add organic dark cocoa and organic stevia, and chug it down. If I want to splurge, I add a shake of cinnamon on top.

  56. Bryony says

    Just about to make this with coconut milk – because it’s summer and i’m feeling tropical.
    PS. Your blog is delicious – my latest obsession.

  57. Alisa says

    Oh my gosh! I have tried many different recipes on this, and this is the one! Soo good (: Thank you <3

  58. Stacie says

    My daughter (3 yrs old) was watching Frozen the other night and started begging for Hot Cocoa, which I did not have, then I remembered seeing this on your site! She loved it and insisted that daddy have a cup when he got home from work! Thank you!

  59. Carole says

    It’s snowing again here today, I almost cried!! …buuuuuut now I have this awesome recipe to look forward too!! I bet a pinch of cayenne would be delish in this too!! I have to try that coconut whipped cream too!!!

  60. Nikki @ Quest for Balance says

    I’m definitely making this tonight after coming home from walking the pooch in this crazy snow storm.

  61. Alanna says

    Lovely recipe, Ms. Dana! This looks like vegan chocolate perfection. I’ve been making something similar with chile and cinnamon, but I never thought to top it with coconut whipped cream – hubba hubba indeed! :D

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      You would add chile and cinnamon, because you’re SO CLASSY AND CREATIVE. So glad we’re internet friends now. What did I ever do without your sophisticated influence? ;D (p.s. I hope you start saying hubba hubba all the time now. That would make my year.)

      • Alanna says

        What a sweet thing to say! I’m glad I’ve tricked you into thinking I’m classy and creative when I’m really just copying the hot chocolate they serve at my favorite Mexican restaurant. :) (p.s. I’ve said “hubba hubba” to myself at least five times today, teehee!)

  62. Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe says

    Considering it is minus one billion outside right now, this is totally happening later today. I even have all of the ingredients on hand. Can’t wait!

  63. Brie @ Entrée the Giant says

    A little almond extract instead of the peppermint and you’ve got yourself an Almond Joy in a mug. Candy bar in a liquid form? Uh, yes please.

  64. Elle says

    It just made my day when I realized I had all of those ingredients right on hand. Off I go to whip some up!! Thanks for sharing :)

    xo Elle

  65. Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run says

    do you take your photos with a white background/table? i just LOVE all the new posts with the WHITE :)

  66. Sarah Grace says

    Simple yet delicious. How everything should be made! I love this as I always make my own hot chocolate using almond milk and cacao powder :)

    xoxo Sarah Grace

  67. Maryea {happy healthy mama} says

    5 minutes? I’m in! This looks like a perfect afternoon treat for me while the little ones are napping. :)

  68. annie @ chase that i love says

    Homemade hot chocolate is the best because it actually tastes like chocolate. Instead of sugar. Great way to warm up on a chilly day!