Make the perfect DIY gift with ingredients you already have in the pantry right now. My Homemade Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate Mix recipe is so much better than store-bought hot cocoa packets. Once you make your own cocoa mix, you will never buy premade again!
This easy vegan hot cocoa mix is easily customizable, uses just 4 simple ingredients, and is the ideal guilt-free sweet treat for everyone, including your friends with food allergies.Jump to Recipe
There’s nothing that screams winter like a comforting cup of cocoa. I warm up my favorite plant-based milk, add the mix, then mix it up with my handy dandy frother. Right now, that cup of milk is homemade cashew oat!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
When the weather outside is frightful, there’s nothing quite like a cozy mug of hot chocolate to warm your hands and soothe your soul. That said, pre-made mix cocoas are often filled with weird additives, milk products and cost far too much.
Luckily, I’ve discovered the secret to making the best hot cocoa mix around! Aside from being delectably rich and chocolatey, this simple recipe is:
- Quick & Easy – You only need 4 ingredients, 5 minutes, and a blender or food processor to make a batch.
- Budget-Friendly – Making your own hot chocolate mix costs mere pennies compared to the expensive (and wasteful!) packets they sell at the store.
- Endlessly Adaptable – Feel free to mix up your own mug of wintertime magic by adding your choice of spices or flavorings to the mix. Read on below for lots of ideas!
Ingredients & Substitutions
As promised, you only need a few basic pantry staples to make this dairy-free hot cocoa mix. Here’s what to grab:
- Rolled Oats – Oats add a marvelously rich and thick mouthfeel to the cocoa, making them a perfect swap for milk powder. If you are gluten-free, be sure to choose a bag that is certified GF. You can also swap in instant oats if needed! Can’t have lots? Use dry coconut milk or soy milk powder instead.
- Cocoa Powder – you can use any natural cocoa powder
- Coconut Sugar or Brown Sugar – You’re also welcome to use coconut sugar or any other *dry* sweetener of your choice. If you want to use a wet one, add to the cup with the mix. You can use mink fruit or stevia to make it sugar-free.
- Salt – A pinch of salt really makes the flavors come out, but you can leave it out if you are on a no-salt diet.
How Can I Use a Liquid Sweetener?
I would suggest that you add any liquid sweetener per cup rather than to the mix. Then you can use date syrup or paste, maple syrup, or any flavored simple syrup you might have on hand.
If you are insistent on adding it to the mix, you will need to dehydrate the mix and then blend again to get it dry enough to store and powdered enough for it to work well.
I Don’t Have Any Cocoa Powder – What Can I Do?
Well, you can just melt a good quality vegan chocolate chip or even vegan white chips to make white hot chocolate. Add that to your milk, then heat along with any flavor add-ins.
- Make sure your blender is completely dry before starting to blend all the ingredients up
- For an adorable and delicious homemade gift, wrap up your DIY hot cocoa mix in a mason jar, then attach a cute tablespoon measure with a ribbon. To take it over the top, add a cheerful mug, a tetra-pack of your favorite shelf-stable plant-based milk, a mini whisk, and a small bag of vegan marshmallows all wrapped up in a box or basket.
- For an extra rich treat, add a sprinkling of vegan marshmallows (Trader Joe’s or Aldi carries them!) or a dollop of vegan coconut whipped cream.
- Use canned lite or regular coconut milk for a richer mouthfeel
How To Make Vegan Hot Chocolate Mix
This simple homemade hot cocoa mix comes together in just a few minutes. Here’s how:
Blend the rolled oats, unsweetened cocoa powder, and coconut sugar or vegan organic cane sugar. Store in an airtight jar until ready to use.
How to Use Cocoa Mix
Step 2: To make a drink add 2 tablespoons of the cocoa mix to 1 cup of hot water or non-dairy milk.
While Cheryl and I love this dry hot cocoa mix recipe as-is, there is a lot of room for you to be creative with it. Here are just a few variations to consider:
- Sugar-Free Cocoa Mix – Swap in your favorite sugar-free sweetener (e.g. Stevia or Monkfruit) to make this healthy treat diabetic-friendly.
- Gluten-Free Hot Chocolate – Oats are naturally gluten-free, but the equipment they’re rolled on may not be free from contamination. Make sure to reach for a certified gluten-free brand if you’re worried!
- Make it Creamier – Add 1/2 cup coconut milk powder to your mix and then you can add to hot water instead of heating up dairy-free milk.
- Add-Ins – Consider dressing up your plain dairy-free hot cocoa mix and turning it into a gourmet experience. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Cinnamon Hot Chocolate – Add a teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the mix while blending.
- Spicy Hot Chocolate – Add a teaspoon of cinnamon and a 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne or other ground chili powder to the mix while blending for a Mexican hot chocolate.
- Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate – Add 1/4 cup of peanut butter powder to the mix while blending.
- Mocha Hot Chocolate – Add 1/4 cup of instant espresso or instant coffee granules to the mix for a grown-up and caffeinated interpretation of hot chocolate. You can also use decaf if needed!
- Vanilla powder, pumpkin spice blend, and ground cardamom are some of my other favs too!
Did you come up with a brilliant way to flavor your hot chocolate mix? Let me know in the comments below or tag me on your social media posts so I can cheer you on !
Mix-ins Per Cup
Sometimes you want an extra special dairy free hot chocolate recipe. You can still heat up some nondairy milk but add in one or more of these to make it fancy!
- add a tablespoon or 2 of chocolate chips in with the milk before you heat it up for a rich chocolate flavor
- a few dashes of vanilla extract per mug will elevate it to a coffee shop version
- decorate with a mini candy cane and add a dash of peppermint extract for a mint cocoa
Frequently Asked Questions
Many of the commercially available hot chocolate mixes add milk powder, making them decidedly not vegan. That said, PETA compiled a list of vegan hot cocoa mixes in the event that you don’t want to make your own!
I personally like the creaminess of either soy milk or oat milk (plain, chocolate, or vanilla, preferably unsweetened). That said, you are welcome to use any plant-based milk you prefer including but not limited to coconut milk, cashew milk, almond milk, or hemp milk.
If you want to add a little extra flavor and pizzazz to your homemade hot cocoa mix, I suggest turning to your spice cabinet. Pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, chili powder, cayenne, cardamom, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger are all lovely additions.
You can also add things like vegan caramel sauce, pumpkin purée, or chopped-up vegan chocolates or candies to the mix when you’re making a mug. Vegan mini marshmallows or vegan whipped cream are also delightful toppers. You can even rim your mug with vegan chocolate sauce and chopped nuts or candies. YUM!
If you are trying to add flavor to the dry vegan hot chocolate mix and want it to stay shelf-stable, just make sure you’re using dry ingredients.
More Cozy Vegan Drink Recipes
- Instant Pot Gingerbread Syrup
- Crockpot Lavender Cocoa
- Vegan Hot White Chocolate
- Slow Cooker Maple Pumpkin Spice Latte
- Maple Spiced Hot Toddy
- Warm Horchata
Vegan Hot Chocolate Mix
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup brown or coconut sugar or dry sweetener of choice, to taste
- pinch of salt
- Blend all of the ingredients together to a fine powder.
- Store in an airtight container.
This sounds fantastic! I’ve been wanting some hot cocoa.
Can I use cacao powder?
Kathy Hester says