Vegan Hot Chocolate

5 from 6 votes

Vegan Hot Chocolate is one of my favorite holiday drinks - it's dairy-free, paleo-friendly, naturally sweetened & easy to make with a blender and 4 ingredients

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This vegan hot chocolate recipe is made with raw cashews for a plant-based variation that is rich and comforting during the cold weather months. Made completely in a blender with only four simple ingredients, this hot cocoa is ready in less than 5 minutes. Serve with whipped coconut cream and crushed peppermint for an indulgent and cozy drink.

Vegan hot chocolate made with cashew milk and topped with crushed peppermint

A dairy-free hot chocolate recipe

This is a great time to be alive and be lactose intolerant/sensitive because the abundance, variety and taste of plant-based milk is just amazing! Not only can you buy almond milk, cashew milk, soy milk, coconut milk, rice milk, oat milk and hemp milk, but you can pretty much make most of these at home. And so I use cashews to make this heavenly vegan hot chocolate.

How to make vegan hot chocolate

While this is a 5-minute recipe, there is one make-ahead element that’s important. Be sure to soak raw cashews in water for 2 hours or overnight preferably so they soften and blend more easily. Here are the 4 simple steps after you soak the cashews:

  1. Drain the cashews from the liquid they were soaking in, and rinse them thoroughly. Then transfer the cashews without any liquid to the blender.
  2. Add 3 cups of water to the cashews. If the blender has a heating function, you can use lukewarm water. Otherwise I recommend using hot (not boiling) water along with maple syrup, vanilla extract and sea salt.
  3. Blend everything together until it looks like milk. The time will vary based on your blender, but I recommend anywhere from 2 to 4 minutes.
  4. When it looks like milk, add in the cocoa powder and blend again just until it’s well mixed.
Process shots showing the blender with cashews, water, then cocoa and cinnamon being added

Tips for making vegan hot chocolate recipe

  1. Make sure to use raw (not roasted), unsalted, unseasoned cashews. The raw cashews are softer and sweeter, so they will yield a better consistency for the milk; and one that’s not salty or seasoned anyway.
  2. Soak the cashews for 15 minutes in boiling water if you’re pressed for time. While I recommend soaking the cashews overnight for best results, you can also get away with soaking them for less time if you use boiling hot water.
  3. Vary the sweetener level to your liking. I like to use natural sweeteners like maple syrup for myself. When I’m making for my kids, I usually double the sweeter and I might even add some granulated sugar for them to dissolve in the hot chocolate.
  4. Enjoy the hot chocolate immediately for best results. This vegan hot chocolate, like regular hot chocolate, may thicken as it stands stills. You can whisk it or thin it out with more water or milk if desired.
Two mugs full of the plant-based homemade hot chocolate

Frequently asked questions

Can you use any milk in this vegan hot chocolate recipe?

Yes, you can use a store bought non-diary milk if you prefer, but this will alter the taste of the drink, and the drink maybe slightly thinner. It’s easy and cheap to make your own cashew milk right in the blender with no straining necessary.

Can you make this drink ahead of time?

This drink is best served as soon as it’s made, but if you want to make a bigger batch, you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge and it will keep for about 3-4 days. You can then reheat it in the microwave or on a stovetop when you are ready to serve it.

Close up shot of a clear mug of hot chocolate made with homemade cashew milk

For more cozy holiday drinks, check out:

There’s nothing that makes winter and 6 inches of snow more “acceptable”  than a warm cup of hot chocolate! This is my favorite hot chocolate recipe, and it’s perfect for the whole family. It’s vegan, paleo-friendly, made without added sugar, easy to make and gives me all the cozy feels during winter.

If you try this healthy-ish feel good Vegan Hot Chocolate recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then please come back to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!

This Vegan Hot Chocolate recipe was originally published on December 12, 2017. I’ve updated the post to include newer step-by-step photos. Here’s the original photo!

Vegan hot chocolate in two red mugs topped with whipped cream and shaved chocolate

Vegan Hot Chocolate

Vegan Hot Chocolate is one of my favorite holiday drinks – it's dairy-free, paleo-friendly, naturally sweetened & easy to make with a blender and 4 ingredients
5 from 6 votes
Servings 4 servings
Course Beverages, Drink
Calories 397
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Total Time 10 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup raw cashews soaked
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch sea salt optional
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder

Instructions

  • Soak cashews in a mason jar overnight, or for at least 2 hours. When ready to use, drain and rinse.
  • Place cashews, warm water, maple syrup, vanilla extract and sea salt in a blender and blend until completely smooth to make the cashew milk.
  • Add the cocoa powder and blend again until smooth and the cocoa is fully incorporated.
  • Serve warm with whipped coconut cream and crushed peppermint, if desired.

Video

Notes

Results May Vary: This cashew milk hot chocolate thickens when it stands still. The thickness may also vary depending on what milk is used and the exact ingredients used. You can thin it out with some water or splash of cashew milk/almond milk.
Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last about 3-4 days in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave or on a stovetop when ready to serve.
Make Ahead Tips: The cashews will need to be soaked 2 hours or up to 24 hours in advance in order to use in this recipe.
Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However if you prefer to use a different nut, this recipe will still work but have a different taste. You can also use different store-bought plant-based milk.
Equipment: I made this vegan hot chocolate in my Vitamix. It has a “soup” button so it does all the work for me until the ingredients are well blended and warmed.
Nutrition: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate only. It will vary based on the specific ingredients used.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g, Calories: 397kcal, Carbohydrates: 34.7g, Protein: 11.5g, Fat: 27.4g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Sodium: 17.6mg, Fiber: 4.3g, Sugar: 16.5g

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

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Vegan hot chocolate made with cashew milk and topped with crushed peppermint

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Comments

  1. Tasty recipe.. so easy to make and super fun too.. I topped it up with whipped cream and shredded chocolate.. Amazing, will definitely try again 🤩

    1. Thank you! And yes, you can absolutely make this with almonds or hazelnut. I would recommend if you’re making almond milk or hazelnut milk that you strain the milk with a cheesecloth though to make it more smooth like the texture of milk. Hope you enjoy it!