How to make the best vegan hot chocolate

18 Jan 2022

Hot Chocolate

You’ve given up meat, eggs, even cheese… and now you have to give up hot chocolate too? Not at all!

There’s nothing like a comforting mug of hot chocolate on a cold evening. When it’s too late for coffee and you’re craving something sweeter than tea, you can always count on hot chocolate to warm you up. But what do you do when you’re vegan?

If you’ve been wondering how you can best enjoy this classic drink without compromising your diet, we’ve got you covered. No secret ingredients, no difficult tricks needed — just good, vegan hot chocolate.

Two mugs of delicious vegan hot chocolate

Is hot chocolate vegan?

When you think of hot chocolate, what’s the first image that comes to mind? Creamy milk, rich chocolate, indulgent whipped cream, perhaps even a few marshmallows — none of which are vegan. For some, hot chocolate is synonymous with dairy, unless you’re willing to brave the watery depths of the hot chocolate and water combo. (And that’s… well, acceptable, but why settle for acceptable?)

But if you’ve been vegan for a while, chances are you’re already familiar with the sheer creativity of vegan food. There’s no meal you can’t have if you’re willing to get a little bit inventive, and hot chocolate is no different. The truth is, hot chocolate can be entirely vegan with very little extra effort involved.

How to make vegan hot chocolate

There are several methods you can use to make vegan hot chocolate, but we think the absolute best quality hot chocolate comes from real chocolate — whether that’s in chocolate bar or flake form.

Powdered hot chocolate is popular because it’s convenient. But chocolate in a bar or a slab is just as easy to come by, and wins all the awards in taste and texture. Here’s how to make irresistible hot chocolate with a chocolate bar, or rather, our solid chocolate batons…



  • Finely cut up the chocolate — enough for 6 heaped teaspoons
  • Using the hob, bring the milk to a simmer in a pan
  • Remove from the heat and add the chocolate
  • Return to the hob and whisk gently until mixed in
  • Watch carefully so it doesn’t burn, then pour out into a mug after 4-5 minutes

You could also take a peek at our guide to making hot chocolate with a chocolate bar.

For an even easier method, Hotel Chocolat hot chocolate sachets come ready to go with the exact quantity of real chocolate flakes for the perfect hot chocolate every time.

Hot chocolate pouring into a white mug

With the Velvetiser

If you thought hot chocolate was easy, get ready to see it made even easier. The Velvetiser whips up your hot chocolate to the perfect consistency and temperature (67°C, to be exact) and removes the need to watch the stove.



  • Pour the milk into the Velvetiser
  • Sprinkle in the hot chocolate
  • Press the button and wait
  • Pour out after 2.5 minutes and enjoy!

Which milk is best for vegan hot chocolate?

Vegan milk alternatives are generally easy to find nowadays, owing to an increased demand for plant milk — which means you’re in luck! Popular alternatives to dairy include soy, almond, and oat milk, which all work just fine with hot chocolate — it’s all down to what you prefer.

Soy has a neutral taste and is stocked by most supermarkets. Almond milk is also widespread and has a nutty flavour (it might not be for you, but we see it as a bonus!). Oat milk is slightly sweet and has a distinctive taste. We find its creamy consistency pairs wonderfully with chocolate.

If you’re environmentally conscious, you may want to consider which crop needs the least resources to grow. Oat and soy are the undisputed kings when it comes to lower water usage, while almond boasts the lowest emissions. Most importantly, all have a significantly lower environmental impact than dairy. This makes switching to plant milk a great choice even if you’re not vegan.

Almonds and a glass of almond milk

Vegan hot chocolate toppings

Now you have your delicious hot chocolate, why not dress it up a bit? The possibilities are endless, but here are a few of our suggestions…

Vegan marshmallows

Marshmallow is the luxury hot chocolate classic, but usually contains gelatin to make its structure. However, there are vegan marshmallows out there on the market, so have a look online or at your local supermarket for some gelatin-free marshmallows to top off your hot chocolate.

Vegan whipped cream

Yes, whipped cream isn’t just for non-vegans! You might be able to find some at the supermarket, but if that’s not available you can always make your own. Yummy!

Chocolate flakes

What could be better than chocolate? Why, more chocolate, of course! Grate a chunk of high-quality dark chocolate on top and let it melt in your mouth for a burst of rich flavour before you drink the milder hot chocolate.

Sea salt

As all the best popcorn proves, salty and sweet is the ultimate flavour combination. Why not balance out the sweetness of the chocolate with some coarse sea salt?


Chocolate dust on hot drinks is standard, but what about cinnamon? Many coffee shops are now offering cinnamon powder as a topping for drinks, and it’s not hard to see why. This sweet spice adds a warming kick to your hot chocolate.

Woman holding a book and hot chocolate with marshmallows

Hotel Chocolat vegan hot chocolate

At Hotel Chocolat, we believe no one needs to miss out on the fun. Why not check out our vegan chocolate range for chocolate that you can be sure meets your dietary requirements? Our vegan hot chocolate isn’t just plain, either — from our Mint Hot Chocolate to our Chilli Dark Hot Chocolate Sachets, there are several flavours to choose from if you’re craving something different.

One of the things we love most about dark chocolate is that it’s often vegan (although make sure to check beforehand, as some dark chocolates are made in the same environment as milk chocolates). It’s also a great option for a healthier hot chocolate because of the higher cacao content. Our mantra is More Cocoa, Less Sugar, which means we’re delighted to offer a variety of high-cacao chocolate, whether that comes in a bar or in a mug.