How To Make Healthy Hot Chocolate

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I'm a Certified Health Coach, longtime blogger, and host of Elizabeth Eats on YouTube. In addition to writing recipes (I love to eat!), I'm a strong believer that life is too short to settle for anything less than living your best life.


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Healthy Hot Chocolate

Healthy hot chocolate is here, and I think it’s even better than the classic.

Whoever said hot chocolate couldn’t be both indulgent AND healthy clearly never met this version.

In fact, this healthy hot chocolate recipe has a 5-star rating for a reason! One reader recently commented:

This recipe is so easy and makes a surprisingly amazing delicious hot cocoa. I had my reservations but I added two teaspoons of honey and a bit of vanilla extract and YUM! So great to stick with a healthy diet and get your chocolate fix!!!

~ Francine, recent blog comment

With the weather cooling down, hot chocolate is a classic warming treat that everyone loves. However, as delicious as regular hot chocolate might be, it’s typically filled with dairy, processed white sugar, and other artificial preservatives and additives. No thank you!

My homemade version is made with all-natural ingredients, natural sweetener, and is dairy-free, too. You can choose the type of nut milk (or oat milk) you use to create the best hot chocolate for you.

Healthy Hot Chocolate Ingredients:

  • Unsweetened almond milk (or any unsweetened dairy-free milk of choice, like oat milk, soy milk, or coconut milk)
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder (or cacao powder, which is raw chocolate powder)
  • Honey or maple syrup to sweeten it up (use a natural sweetener so you can control the quality and amount of sugar)
  • Vanilla extract to give it a rich, gourmet flavor

It’s absolutely wonderful as is, but to make it even more special, you can add a big dollop of coconut whipped cream on top! Homemade coconut whipped cream is dairy-free/vegan and super easy to make, see my recipe and video tutorial for coconut whipped cream here.

How to Make Healthy Hot Chocolate

  • Step 1: Heat the almond milk (or milk of your choice) on the stove over medium heat until hot but not boiling, about 5 minutes.
  • Step 2: Add the cocoa powder, honey or maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Add then whisk to combine (1-2 minutes).
  • Step 3: Heat another 1-2 minutes and serve immediately.
  • Optional: add a small dash of cinnamon and/or coconut whipped cream on top, then enjoy!

The full recipe and quantities are in the printable recipe card below, and you can watch me make this recipe in less than 5 minutes in this episode of Elizabeth Eats of Youtube!

YouTube video

If you want to get really fancy, sprinkle some cinnamon or dark chocolate shavings on top of the coconut whipped cream. Yum!

healthy hot chocolate with whip

I sip healthy hot chocolate often in the cooler months for a warm and healthy treat. Not only does it taste great, but it makes me feel great too.

You can customize this recipe depending on what you have and which ingredients make your body feel the best. I usually use unsweetened almond milk, but I also love to switch up the flavors with oat milk or coconut milk.

More Healthy Hot Drinks You’ll Love:

Save on Hot Chocolate Ingredients:

I buy my cocoa powder and most pantry ingredients on Thrive Market—here’s a link for 40% off your first order. Thrive Market is a direct-to-consumer online grocer that has most of the brands you already buy. I find they have the best prices and high-quality ingredients. I use them often!

Skip the sugar overload and embrace warming bliss with this health-conscious hot chocolate recipe. Loved by over 150,000 people every year, Health Coach Elizabeth Rider’s version is rich, creamy, and guilt-free.

healthy hot chocolate in mug
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How to Make Healthy Hot Chocolate Elizabeth Rider

Healthy Hot Chocolate

  • Author: Elizabeth Rider
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Beverage
  • Method: Simmer, Whisk
  • Cuisine: American


This healthy hot chocolate recipe is gluten-free and dairy-free. It also happens to be one of the most popular healthy hot chocolate recipes on Google Search. If you make it and love it, please leave a star rating in the comments below to help other readers in our community. (Thank you!)


Units Scale
  • 2 1/2 cups (20 ounces) unsweetened almond milk (OR unsweetened soy milk, oat milk, any other unsweetened nut milk or unsweetened coconut milk)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons organic unsweetened cocoa powder (OR raw cacao powder)
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey or maple syrup (plus more to taste if needed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Warm the almond milk on the stove over medium heat until hot but not boiling. Simmer about 5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk to combine (1-2 minutes).
  2. Heat another 1-2 minutes and serve immediately.
  3. Optional: add a small dash of cinnamon on top and serve.
YouTube video


As written this recipe makes about two servings, but it’s easily doubled or tripled.

Keywords: Healthy Hot Chocolate Recipe, Healthy Hot Chocolate, Hot Chocolate Recipe

healthy hot chocolate vegan

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  1. Candee says:

    This is how I have been making hot chocolate for a while now… so good! Also if you mix some cocoa powder & some pure maple syrup together to make a Chocolate sauce you can add this to hot milk for hot chocolate or use it to drizzle over frozen yogurt or ice cream. Makes a nice Hot Fudge Sundae when you want a treat & it will keep in the fridge for a very long time.

  2. Sammie says:

    This turned out really delicious! And I don’t feel as bad!! LOL!

  3. Malin says:

    I have made this hot chocolate a few times, always with oat milk and it’s delicious! My six year old (with a sweet tooth) loves it too!
    We will continue to make it for sure!

  4. Kitchenhutt Spices says:

    Your blog is impressive, thanks to the quality of your recipes & other content.

  5. Janet says:

    This is an easy and delightful TASTING HOT CACAO drink in the morning. wish I had this recipe when my sons were little (in their 50’s now;). THE ONLY CHANGE I MADE was using 6 drops of liquid Stevia- no honey or syrup in the house! I’m going to treat my grandkids and the grownups with this one! Yumm! I tried whipping up coconut whipped cream when Our sons were little. It was not passable. Will tackle this again. Barrista Oatmilk was super in this drink. Rich taste -just how we like it!

  6. Laurie says:

    This sounds amazing – I will try it for sure. I LOVE your mug and saucer. Can you tell me who makes it? I am hoping for a new set of dishes and that pattern would be perfect. Thank you!

  7. Francine says:

    This recipe is so easy and makes a surprisingly amazing delicious hot cocoa. I had my reservations but I added two teaspoons of honey and a bit of vanilla extract and YUM! So great to stick with a healthy diet and get your chocolate fix!!!

  8. Tammy L Dolce says:

    This was incredibly easy and delicious! Decadent, but not too sweet…perfect! I topped it with some vegan marshmallows…yum! Gave it some added creaminess. This is a keeper for sure!

  9. Megan says:

    Where did you buy the beautiful coffee mug and saucer from?! I can’t wait to make this recipe with my daughter!

  10. Cate says:

    This hot cocoa is soooo good! It’s my new go-to. I make it every night for my dessert/sweet treat for the day. My son and I love it because it’s not too sweet, it’s healthy, and it’s a great way to be a little “bad.”

  11. Ozioma Nwabuikwu says:

    i had this and it was terrible. i used the microwave to heat it the first time. i used baking cocoa, 100% natural. i used unsweetened vanilla almond milk. the only measurements I changed were the sweeteners like the vanilla extract and the honey, I added a little more. it tasted so terrible, like raw eggs. how can I make this better. someone tell me

    • Hi Ozioma, baking cocoa is very bitter so I do not recommend it here. You can buy cacao powder (I get mine on Thrive Market) or 70% cocoa powder. Also, the microwave tends to make nut milk a funny texutre. Stick to the stove. ~E

  12. MYRA says:

    Pretty solid recipe

  13. Vanessa says:

    Thanks for sharing! Does it reheat well?

  14. Suzanne says:

    This looks so good! What a great way to still enjoy a treat but maintain diet!

  15. Michelle says:

    I just made this for myself – roughly half the ingredients (I didn’t measure precisely), using cacao and a little shake of cinnamon. It’s the perfect balance of rich and decadent, perfect for when you’re craving chocolate!

  16. Kim says:

    So after all that, can cacao be used instead of cocoa?? Same taste? I guess i can do my own experiment : )

  17. Kathy says:

    Thank you for the recipe. I made it with dark cocoa and it was delicious!!!

  18. Chuck says:

    As far as spelling: Cacao bean (also cocoa bean,[1] often simply cocoa and cacao; Mayan: kakaw; Nahuatl: cacahuatl [ka’kawat͡ɬ]. Cocoa /ˈkoʊ.koʊ/) is the dried and fully fermented fatty seed of Theobroma cacao, from which cocoa solids and cocoa butter are extracted. They are the basis of chocolate, as well as many Mesoamerican foods such as mole sauce and tejate.

    The word cocoa is derivative of “cacao”. Cocoa can often also refer to the drink commonly known as hot chocolate;[4] to cocoa powder, the dry powder made by grinding cocoa seeds and removing the cocoa butter from the dark, bitter cocoa solids; or to a mixture of cocoa powder and cocoa butter.[5][6]

    The cacao tree is native to the Americas. It may have originated in the foothills of the Andes in the Amazon and Orinoco basins of South America, current day Venezuela, where today, examples of wild cacao still can be found.

  19. Chuck says:

    I make hot chocolate with raw cacao and coconut milk. Is coconut a nut? David Wolfe says that raw cacao is the best food that there is. It is great for arterial health and helping to reduce high blood pressure. It is one of the foods highest in anti-oxidants. I re-tweeted this post to my 43,000 followers.

  20. Pam Howard says:

    Yum! This sounds delicious! My kids are huge hot cocoa fans, add a bowl of popcorn and you have their favorite after school snack!

Hi, I'm Elizabeth

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