This recipe for My Favorite Hot Chocolate has been tweaked to perfection over the years. Plus, it’s almost as easy as opening a ready-made hot chocolate packet, but SO much better. This is wonderfully rich and satisfying – especially on a cold day- and it’s not too sweet either.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
I drink hot chocolate a few nights a week, no matter the time of year. I believe in this comforting little practice with all my heart. After all, there are no rules about things like this, so why not have some of my Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies too?
- It’s creamy and rich and very, very chocolaty
- Dairy free if you want it to be! I use almond milk and no dairy whipped cream, but you can use full dairy ingredients too if you prefer.
- This warm chocolate drink is smooth, satisfying and filling
- These ingredients come together quickly, made from scratch on the stove top with a few easy-to-find ingredients
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Almond Milk: I absolutely LOVE toasted coconut almond milk for it’s thick consistency and flavor, (not sponsored) but whole milk can be used if you’d like.
- Whipped Cream: Totally optional, though either whipped cream OR marshmallows are mandatory 🙂 I use a dairy-free whipped topping that comes in a tub in the freezer section of grocery stores.
- Coconut Sugar: This gives us a deep, rich flavor, and is a pretty main-stream ingredient these days, found near the regular sugar in well-stocked grocery stores. In case you’re wondering, this hot chocolate recipe has a faint hint of nutty coconut flavor, but not much at all.
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: Just the regular powdered stuff that comes in a can.
- Cinnamon and Sea Salt: Both HUGE flavor-boosters, so don’t skip them.
- Vanilla: Make sure to use pure vanilla extract (not imitation) as it adds a special sweetness you can’t get from anything else.
For the full recipe, please scroll down to the recipe card below. Here’s all you do:
- Pour the milk into a medium saucepan over medium heat
- Add in the cocoa powder, sugar, cinnamon and salt too
- Whisk, whisk, whisk
- Add the vanilla extract
- Pour the hot chocolate into a mug, top with whipped cream chopped chocolate
Now go sit on the couch 🙂
Expert Tips and Serving Ideas
- Feel free to adjust the sweetness up or down with more coconut sugar. Start by adding a 1/2 teaspoon at a time.
- Add more cocoa powder for a stronger chocolate flavor, adding 1/4 teaspoon at a time.
- IF AT ALL POSSIBLE, serve with a cinnamon graham cracker or cookie 🙂
- No whipped cream? Have a few marshmallows instead!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Try whole or reduced-fat milk, oat milk, coconut. hemp or soy milk in this recipe.
Try light or dark brown sugar, date sugar, honey, maple syrup, or even regular granulated sugar in this recipe.
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My Favorite Hot Chocolate
- 1 1/2 cups Almond Milk
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Cocoa Powder, unsweetened
- 2 tablespoons Coconut Sugar
- 1/4 tsp Cinnamon, ground
- 1/8 tsp Sea Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- Whipped Cream, for serving
- Shaved Chocolate for garnish, optional
- In a medium saucepan, add the almond and turn the burner on medium high heat.
- Add the cocoa powder, coconut sugar, cinnamon and sea salt
- Whisk the ingredients together to combine, continuing to heat on medium high the mixture heats through. It'll be smooth and a bit frothy.
- Remove from heat and add the vanilla extract, whisk to combine. Pour into a mug and add whipped cream or marshmallows and shaved chocolate, if you like.
- Use plain, vanilla or toasted coconut almond milk.
- Regular milk is fine to use too.
- Add more coconut sugar if you like it sweeter, just start with adding 1/2 teaspoon at a time to taste.
- I use a non-dairy natural whipped topping that’s usually available in the freezer section of well-stocked grocery stores.
- Super important to read the whole recipe before you begin
- Pay attention to the ingredient list and photos for the recipe
- If possible, prep your ingredients a little before you start
- Always use a sharp knife for safety
- Use the size of pan called for in the recipe
- For savory recipes, taste and season as you go
- Buy fresh, organic ingredients, locally sourced whenever possible
This recipe was updated with new text and instructions July 2021