This Oat Milk Hot Chocolate is all the best things: comforting, warming, and oh so chocolatey. Lose the pre-made packets, and make simply delicious hot chocolate at home.
Everyone needs a back-pocket hot chocolate recipe, ready to pull out on a chilly winter day. I find that too much regular milk upsets my stomach, so I like to use milk substitutes for my cold weather drinks, as with this Turmeric Latte. And turns out oat milk is a perfect complement to chocolate, making this hot chocolate my all-time favorite!
Why Make This Recipe
- Big Chocolate Flavor: The combination of cocoa powder and chopped dark chocolate makes for a super chocolatey hot chocolate.
- Dairy-Free and Vegan: Using oat milk makes this hot chocolate dairy-free and vegan (unless you top it with dairy whipped cream of course!).
- Easy to Make: Yes, this recipe is harder than stirring milk into a packet, but it is still super easy to do. Read on for my trick for avoiding clumps of cocoa powder in your drink.
- Cocoa Powder: High-quality cocoa powder is super delicious in this recipe. I prefer dutch-processed cocoa powder, like this Valrhona Cocoa Powder, but you can use whatever cocoa powder you like (just make sure it is unsweetened).
- Maple Syrup: You can replace this with regular sugar or coconut sugar if you like. I like using maple syrup since it has more minerals and antioxidants than refined sugar.
- Oat Milk: I really like the combination of chocolate with oat milk, but you can use whatever milk you prefer. Soy milk, almond milk, and of course, regular milk, would also be delicious. Whatever milk you use, look to see if it is pre-sweetened. If it is, you may not need to add much maple syrup.
- Dark Chocolate: If you want a vegan hot chocolate, make sure the chocolate you choose does not include milk-based ingredients. You can use chocolate chips rather than chopping your own chocolate, though they don’t melt as smoothly as chopped chocolate (and are often not dairy-free).
Whisk cocoa powder and maple syrup with a little bit of oat milk (about 2 ounces) in a small saucepan until well-combined and smooth.
Then whisk in the rest of the milk, vanilla extract, and salt. Heat over medium-high heat until mixture begins to steam and then just starts to bubble, about 8 minutes.
Add the chopped chocolate, and whisk until chocolate is fully melted. To serve, garnish with whipped cream and marshmallows, if desired.
🧐 Recipe FAQs
Yes, it does, because cocoa beans have caffeine in them. And, the darker the chocolate, the more caffeine. This hot chocolate will have more caffeine than a typical powdered hot chocolate mix because it contains a good amount of dark chocolate. That said, the amount of caffeine in hot chocolate is significantly less than in coffee, and less than in most teas as well.
As noted above in the Ingredients section, you can really use whatever milk substitute you like to make hot chocolate. That said, oat milk is usually creamier and a little thicker than almond milk and soy milk. That makes it perfect for a rich and luscious hot chocolate.
👩🍳 Expert Tips
The key to working with cocoa powder is making sure that it incorporates smoothly into the milk, without lumps. That’s why this recipe instructs you to mix it with the maple syrup and a small amount of milk first. If you try to just mix the cocoa powder into the whole amount of milk, you’ll find that it is very difficult to get it completely smooth.
Hot chocolate can scorch easily, so watch your heat and take your hot chocolate off the stove before it starts to boil.
Looking for vegan toppings for hot chocolate? You can now find vegan marshmallows at some specialty stores, and you can also make your own using a recipe like these vegan marshmallows from The Hidden Veggies. You can also make non-dairy whipped cream by whipping coconut cream, as in this vegan whipped cream recipe from Loving It Vegan. Or, look for a non-dairy whipped topping in the store. Reddi-Wip now sells non-dairy coconut and almond whipped topping. You can also top with ground cinnamon or nutmeg. Or, try a mint version by adding a bit of peppermint extract to the mixture and garnishing with crushed candy canes.
Delicious Dessert Recipes
What goes better with hot chocolate than cakes, cookies, and crêpes? Here are some of my favorites that would make an excellent pairing with this drink.
- Almond Flour Chocolate Cake
- Banana Nutella Crepes
- Almond Flour Chocolate Cookies
- French Yogurt Cake with Almonds
- Almond Apple Cake
- Ultimate Blondies with Chocolate Chips
- Almond Flour Peanut Butter Cookies
If you try this oat milk hot chocolate recipe, I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below—I read them all, and your feedback is invaluable to me. And please follow along on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook or subscribe to my newsletter. I'd love to inspire you with more delicious, healthy, and seasonal recipes!
📖 Recipe Card
- 1 T. cocoa powder
- 2 T. maple syrup
- 2 cups oat milk
- 1 t. vanilla extract
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 2 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- Whipped cream and marshmallows, to garnish (optional)
- Whisk cocoa powder and maple syrup with a little bit of oat milk (about 2 ounces) in a small saucepan until well-combined and smooth.
- Then whisk in the rest of the milk, vanilla extract, and salt.
- Heat over medium-high heat until mixture begins to steam and then just starts to bubble, about 8 minutes.
- Add the chopped chocolate, and whisk until chocolate is fully melted.
- To serve, garnish with whipped cream and marshmallows, if desired.
Recipe Tips: Hot chocolate can scorch easily, so watch your heat and take your hot chocolate off the stove before it starts to boil.
Ingredient Notes: If you want a fully vegan hot chocolate, make sure the dark chocolate you choose does not have any milk-based products in the ingredient list. (Cocoa butter is fine!)
Vegan Toppings: You can now find vegan marshmallows at some specialty stores, and you can also make your own (just google vegan marshmallows). Or make non-dairy whipped cream by whipping coconut cream. You can also top with ground cinnamon or nutmeg. Or, try a mint version by adding a bit of peppermint extract to the mixture and garnishing with crushed candy canes.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 400Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 88mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 7gSugar: 34gProtein: 7g
Nutrition information is provided as a general reference for users courtesy of the online nutrition calculator Nutritionix.