Having friends over this weekend? Hosting an all-girls affair? Just staying in and playing cozy all by your lonesome self? All three are excellent options if you ask me. But in any case I have just the thing: Vegan Mexican Hot Chocolate with sweet cinnamon, earthy nutmeg, spicy cayenne and a dollop of creamy coconut whipped cream.
Oh yeah, #youknowyouwantthis.
Origins of Mexican Hot Chocolate
Chocolate has been grown in Mesoamerica since at least the 9th century. The Mayans called it xocolatl and believed it to be a gift from the gods (source). We’d say they were onto something!
They would make chocolate into a drink by fermenting, roasting, and grinding cacao and then mixing it with water, cornmeal, chili peppers, and other spices (source). The drink didn’t have any added sweetener so it was quite bitter.
Then in the late 1500s, sugar was introduced in Mexico and was adopted into hot chocolate. Our version is not traditional, but is inspired by the concept of adding spices to hot chocolate. You can learn about Mexican Hot Chocolate and its history here.
As you know from my Boozy Pumpkin White Hot Chocolate story, I love hot chocolate. Its hot, sweet and chocolate-y goodness never does me wrong. But since I’m a part-time vegan and lover of all things coconut and spice, I decided to give an alternative recipe a try.
The base of this beverage is simple: Non-dairy milk (I mixed full-fat coconut milk and vanilla almond milk), cocoa powder, vanilla extract, salt, sugar, and pinches of Vietnamese cinnamon, nutmeg, and extra-hot cayenne. Then for a luxurious finish I add a layer of vanilla-infused coconut “whipped cream” made with my remaining coconut milk and drizzle it on top with a little chocolate syrup for good measure.
If my hot cocoa-loving neighbors wouldn’t have been nearby for sampling, I would’ve guzzled the whole batch down by myself.
Vegan Mexican Hot Chocolate
- 2 cups non-dairy milk (I used 1/2 full-fat coconut milk 1/2 vanilla almond milk)
- 3 heaping Tbsp cocoa powder (or more for intense chocolate flavor)
- 2-3 Tbsp sugar or agave (or honey if not vegan // depending on your taste)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon (I recommend Vietnamese as it’s sweeter)
- 1/4 scant tsp each nutmeg and cayenne (omit cayenne if you don’t like spice)
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 pinch sea salt
- In a small saucepan, bring milk to a low simmer over medium heat.
- Add cocoa powder, sugar, salt, vanilla and spices and whisk vigorously to combine.
- Serve warm with coconut (or regular) whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup.
Nutrition (1 of 2 servings)
Coconut Whipped Cream
- 1/2 can full-fat coconut milk
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Place your coconut milk in the fridge overnight or in the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour. Upon removal, be careful NOT to shake the can as you want the cream to remain separated from the liquid.
- Open the can and scoop the top layer of cream into a chilled mixing bowl. Whip on medium-high until soft peaks form. (Add a dash of the remaining coconut liquid if it’s too thick.)
- Add powdered sugar and vanilla and whip again to combine. Taste and adjust flavor/sweetness accordingly. Serve with hot cocoa and reserve the rest in an airtight container in the fridge for later use. Should keep for several days.
Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)
P.S. The mug featured in this post was handcrafted by our local artist and friend Troy Becker.