Chai-Spiced Hot Chocolate

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Hands surrounding a mug of our chai hot chocolate recipe

There’s not much that could improve the creamy perfection of hot chocolate, but this chai-spiced twist on the classic drink is hard to beat! This spice-infused treat is warming, oh-so chocolaty, and perfectly sweet. It’s winter comfort in a mug!

Plus, it’s dairy-free, naturally sweetened with dates, and requires just 8 ingredients and 10 minutes to make. Let us show you how it’s done!  

Spices, coconut milk, cacao powder, dates, and salt

Origins of Chai

Masala chai is a creamy, spiced tea that’s most popular in India but is now enjoyed around the world. The spices used vary depending on the recipe, but common ones include cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and ginger.

Our chai-spiced hot chocolate takes inspiration from the warming, sweet, and spicy flavors of masala chai and puts a chocolaty twist on it! For a more authentic recipe and to learn more about this delicious Indian tea, see this video from Bhavna’s Kitchen.

How to Make Chai-Spiced Hot Chocolate

First, let’s get clear on the essentials: creaminess, chocolaty-ness, sweetness, and spiciness.

Light coconut milk is our favorite here for the creamiest results, but any dairy-free milk will do! Next comes cocoa or cacao powder, dates for sweetness, and chai spices like cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom. Black pepper, nutmeg, and cloves are optional but highly recommended!

Blender with water, coconut milk, dates, salt, and spices

Then it’s time to blend before we taste and adjust. Love cinnamon the most? Add a pinch more. Sweet tooth? Us too! Add another date! After adjusting based on your personal preferences, simply warm the hot chocolate on the stovetop and it’s ready to serve.

Stirring a pot of chai hot chocolate

We hope you LOVE this chai-spiced hot chocolate! It’s:

Easy to make
& Perfect for the holidays!

Enjoy it as a cozy morning beverage or afternoon pick-me-up, or pair it with your favorite holiday cookies for a festive weekend treat.

More Cozy Drinks for the Holiday Season

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Side view of two mugs of dairy-free hot chocolate topped with coconut whipped cream and chai spices

Chai-Spiced Hot Chocolate

Creamy hot chocolate infused with chai spices! A warming, dairy-free beverage perfect for the holiday season and beyond. Just 8 ingredients and 10 minutes required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Overhead shot of a mug of chai hot chocolate with coconut whipped cream and a cinnamon stick as a straw
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 (Mugs)
Course Beverage
Cuisine Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Indian-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 3-4 Days


  • 1 cup canned light coconut milk (choose a smooth, creamy brand // we like Whole Foods 365 brand // or sub other dairy-free milk)
  • 1 cup water (replace with more dairy-free milk if not using canned coconut milk)
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder (or cacao powder)
  • 3-4 large medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1-1 ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper (optional)
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 pinch ground cloves (optional)

FOR SERVING optional


  • Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender (starting with the lesser amounts where ranges are provided) and blend on high until creamy and smooth with no visible pieces of dates remaining — about 1 minute. Taste and adjust, adding another date or two for sweetness if preferred.
  • Transfer the mixture to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until steamy and warmed through. This takes about 3-5 minutes.
  • Serve warm garnished with coconut whipped cream or marshmallows (both optional). Leftovers keep in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.



*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with the lesser amount of dates and without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 2 servings)

Serving: 1 mug Calories: 200 Carbohydrates: 33.9 g Protein: 1.8 g Fat: 8.8 g Saturated Fat: 7.4 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 38 mg Potassium: 344 mg Fiber: 5.5 g Sugar: 26.2 g Vitamin A: 9 IU Vitamin C: 0 mg Calcium: 50 mg Iron: 1.3 mg

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My Rating:

  1. Mia says

    Hi Dana! I love all of your recipes. I do have a question, while I was making this delicious hot chocolate, I accidentally put too much ground ginger and now it is super hot/spicy. Do you have any suggestions on how to reduce the extra heat the accidental too much ginger added to it?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you for your kind words, Mia! We’re so glad you enjoy our recipes. We would recommend adding more of all the other ingredients to dilute the ginger flavor. Hope that helps!

  2. Nicki Escudero says

    The chai spices really gave this hot cocoa a unique flavor. I felt all warm and cozy with every sip. Thanks for the great recipe!

  3. Liz says

    We made this with soy milk and carob powder instead of cocoa and it was a hit with the kids. Thanks for a great recipe! Will be trying other versions soon.

  4. Anna Kathryn says

    Delicious! I didn’t have dates, so I subbed 2 tablespoons maple syrup for the dates.
    I put the milk, water, and maple syrup in a Mason jar and heated it in the microwave for 2 minutes. Whisked in the spices and cacao and topped with coconut whipped cream. Perfect! Thanks, Dana!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sara, we’d suggest ~1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk and 1 1/2 cups water. Let us know how it goes!

  5. Bakingbiking mom says

    This was absolutely delicious! The best hot chocolate I’ve ever had!! And so simple to make, going to have it all winter. Thank you

  6. Sara says

    This looks so so delicious!! Warm and comforting!😍. I don’t have a very good blender! Can the dates be substituted with something else? Thank you so much! I’ve followed you for a few years a absolutely love your recipes!🤗💗

  7. Susan Hege says

    Would date paste work in this recipe? I bought some for a recipe and now I can’t remember which one! Don’t judge haha

  8. Christine Lafond says

    It’s so good! I used extra creamy oat milk and vegan marshmallows. The spices and sweetness are just right and it’s so creamy!

    • Amanda Ford says

      Thanks for recipe as I absolutely love it! I’t’s so yummo! I use half coconut and almond milk. Also it’s so chocolatey that I can add more water or almond milk when serving in a glass so it lasts me a while when I do that. I also add some honey when serving. 😋🍫

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Karen, its like a chai flavored hot chocolate! We think it would be delicious with homemade marshmallows.

      • Karen Beth Martin says

        I’ve used Alton Brown’s recipe on The Food Network website for many years. They are very easy and SO good!

      • Kathy says

        I am going to try soaking the dates in the 1 cup water from the recipe on low heat to soften and then add the coconut milk to cool it off, blend that mixture, until smooth, add the rest of the ingredients and blend again. Reheat as wanted. I have not tested this, but I think soaking the dates will help my “regular” blender work.

        • Kelly says

          Hi Kathy!! Now I’m really curious if this worked because my regular blender sucked at blending the dates lol
          This recipe has me thinking if a vitamix is really worth it!