This peppermint hot chocolate is extra creamy and rich without the dairy. You’ll use a combination of chocolate and cocoa powder for extra flavor. Serve with your favorite toppings like vegan whipped cream and a candy cane.
As the holidays ramp up and the temperature drops, I start thinking about the long winter ahead and I dream of cozy, comfort foods like this vegan spinach lasagna. This vegan peppermint hot chocolate is exactly what I want to curl up with on a cold winter night. (On the weekend, I may add a little booze and make this spiked hot chocolate version.) The recipe below makes enough for two, but can be easily be doubled or tripled so you can share with family or friends.
Making homemade hot chocolate is super easy and so much tastier than those store-bought packages. Plus, it’s way cheaper to make it at home than going to Starbucks. (Although, I do love the occasional Starbucks trip!) Most of those also contain a whole lotta sugar so making your own gives you more control over just how much sugar you want to use.
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
- This recipe is vegan. It is also vegetarian, dairy free, and gluten free. My favorite plant-based, non-dairy milk to use for these is soy milk.
- Healthier than store-bought packages since you can adjust the amount of sugar.
- Rich and creamy thanks to the melted chocolate in this recipe.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Milk: Use any milk that you like (dairy or non-dairy). I prefer to use soy milk since it makes a much richer hot chocolate than some of the other non-dairy milks like almond or oat.
- Chocolate: Any chocolate that you have on hand will work for this recipe. I typically use either dark chocolate or vegan chocolate chips. If using a milk chocolate, you may want to adjust the sweetener.
- Cocoa Powder: Adds extra chocolate flavor.
- Maple Syrup: Just 1-2 tablespoons is all you need to sweeten this hot chocolate. You can also use granulated sugar if you don’t like the taste of maple syrup.
- Peppermint Extract: Adds just the right amount of peppermint flavor without tasting like toothpaste.
- Sea Salt: Add a pinch of salt to your hot chocolate to balance out the sweetness and highlight the chocolate flavor.
See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
Step by Step
Step One: Add all of your hot chocolate ingredients to a small saucepan over low heat. Bring to a gentle simmer, stirring frequently until hot and chocolate has melted.
Step Two: Use a whisk to stir hot chocolate as it cooks. Avoid letting it boil. Transfer to 2 mugs for serving.
- Sweeten to taste: adjust the sugar in this recipe to your liking. If you are using a sweetened milk, you may want to skip the sugar.
- Don’t skip the salt! The salt helps balance out the sweetness of the hot chocolate and enhances the chocolate flavor.
- Make it Frothy: Add your warm hot chocolate to a blender and puree for 30 seconds to a minute on high to make extra frothy hot chocolate.
- Serving to adults? Add 1-2 ounces of peppermint liqueur instead of peppermint extract for a spiked peppermint hot chocolate.
- Make it a Mocha: add a shot of espresso or 2 ounces of strong brewed coffee to this hot chocolate to make it into a peppermint mocha.
Yes! Use sugar free chocolate and replace the sugar with alternative sweetener of choice like stevia. (You’ll just need to adjust the amount of any sweeteners added as you will need much less.)
Simply double/triple the recipe below and add to a crockpot instead of a saucepan. Turn on low until chocolate has melted and the hot chocolate is hot then switch to the “warm” setting.
I think soy milk is the best non-dairy milk for hot chocolate because it is higher in protein/fat than other non-dairy milks it makes for a more rich hot chocolate. If you want to be extra indulgent, you can use canned coconut milk.
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Peppermint Hot Chocolate
For the Hot Chocolate
- vegan whipped cream
- vegan marshmallows
- candy cane
- Add your milk, chocolate, cocoa powder, maple syrup, peppermint, and salt to a small saucepan. Use a whisk to stir everything together as you heat it over medium-low flame until warmed through; do not boil.
- Pour into a mug and top with whipped cream and toasted marshmallows. Garnish with a candy cane.
- Instead of maple syrup, you can use 1-2 tablespoons granulated sugar.
- Instead of vegan chocolate chips, use 1 1/2 ounces chocolate. I prefer dark chocolate, but any will work.
- If using a sweetened milk, make sure to adjust the sugar added so that it isn’t too sweet.
- Add a shot of espresso or strong coffee to make this into a peppermint mocha.
- To make a large batch: double or triple the recipe and add to a crockpot on low until hot (about 20 minutes) then turn to “warm” setting for serving.