Decadent Vegan Hot Cocoa

cocoa powder for vegan hot chocolate

I love treating myself to a yummy vegan hot cocoa on a chilly winter evening!

A lot of folks are surprised to learn that vegans can eat chocolate. While a lot of commercial chocolate – read: Hershey’s – is not vegan, good, pure dark chocolate is totally vegan. Chocolate comes from the cocoa plant, and your basic dark chocolate only has three ingredients:

  • cocoa powder – solids from the cocoa plant
  • cocoa butter – fat from the cocoa plant
  • sugar

The reason brands like Hershey and Cadbury add milk and butterfat to chocolate is to make up for the fact that their product contains so little actual chocolate. Cocoa powder is a lot more expensive than butter fat, so they use these cheap, animal-based fillers instead of the real deal.

I’d much rather have a few squares of real, good-quality chocolate than a whole Hershey bar, wouldn’t you?

When it comes to cocoa, though, that whole argument is kind of moot, since you’re just using the cocoa powder. All you need to do is substitute non-dairy milk for the milk in any cocoa recipe, and you’re good to go. If you want really decadent, rich, creamy hot cocoa, though, you need some extra fat, and that’s where I have a favorite trick: use coconut milk!

Vegan Hot Cocoa

Yield: about 4 cups


  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 cups almond milk (or your favorite vegan milk)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cooking Directions

  1. Whisk cocoa powder and coconut milk together until the powder is mostly dissolved.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients. Heat on low, stirring constantly, until the cocoa powder is totally dissolved. Serve immediately.

This was such a hit at our tree trimming party that I didn’t get a chance to snap a photo before it was all gone!

Creative Commons cocoa powder photo via *cart wheels*

8 comments on “Decadent Vegan Hot Cocoa
  1. I make hot chocolate with almond milk, but I’ve never tried it with coconut milk — that must be so delicious! I like my chocolate to be as dark as possible. I never liked chocolate until I discovered bittersweet.

    • I kind of want to experiment with adding a little cayenne, too, to make a full-on Mexican hot chocolate! Since this batch was for company, I stayed on the safe side, but if it goes well, I’ll share that recipe, too!

  2. Like you said, I’ve found that with good quality dark chocolate, I’m satisfied with just a square or two because the flavor is so bold. Before I went vegan, I thought dark chocolate was bitter, but now I love the deep richness of taste.

    Your hot cocoa sounds amazing! Definitely the perfect winter indulgence!

    • Isn’t it weird how your palate changes? Mine has changed a lot too since going vegan! And thank you! I can’t wait to make more!

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