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Homemade Hot Chocolate Dairy-Free

My kids ask for hot chocolate all winter long.
So I make it homemade, just like my mom used to do. 
Homemade hot cocoa is affordable, easy, and can be made dairy-free!
Perfect for our son with milk allergy, but everyone enjoys it.
And don’t forget the easy dairy-free toppings listed below!
Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate | Milk Allergy Mom | READER REVIEW: Better Than Starbucks!

Yes, there are more and more store-bought options for dairy-free hot chocolate these days. 

But when we began this food allergy journey in 2005, there were none. Zero!

However, it was no biggie to make hot chocolate from scratch. 

That’s how I grew up drinking it. My mom rocked the homemade hot cocoa!

These days, there are also several vegan hot cocoa recipes out there. 

But many call for expensive dairy-free chocolate. 

Mom never made it with chocolate, we always used unsweetened cocoa powder.

So that’s how I still make it today. 

With homemade, I also love that I can control the sugar.

This recipe is not too sweet because my kids top it off with all kinds of sweet goodies!


We love to garnish our hot cocoa with these dairy-free toppings:

My kids have so much fun dipping candy canes in their cocoa. 

Natural marshmallows are also exceptionally delicious, so much better than regular marshmallows.

The natural peppermint marshmallows exceptional!

natural marshmallows

There are also now several dairy-free whipped cream brands to choose from:

  • Reddi Wip 
  • Aldi Spray Whip
  • So Delicious Whipped Cream in a tub

dairy free spray whip

To bring things up an extra notch, consider shaving dairy-free chocolate with a carrot peeler. 

My son thought to do this when he was about 10-years-old, and it was genius. So fancy!

Just sprinkle them over the dairy-free whipped cream so they don’t melt. 

dairy free hot chocolates with marshmallows

Now the best dairy-free milk when making hot chocolate?

Just about any!

We started with rice milk when my kiddo was a toddler because it was our only option.

It’s fine if that’s all you can do. But now there are creamier dairy-free milk options available.

Now my kids love oat milk. I really like coconut milk. 

Choose the one that’s right for you.

Anything with cocoa and sugar and yummy toppings will taste delicious on a cold blustery day. 


These dairy-free milks make for tasty hot chocolate:

  • almond
  • soy
  • coconut
  • hemp
  • flax
  • oat
  • pea

Now for our dairy-free hot chocolate recipe using basic ingredients! 

See below. 

dairy-free hot chocolate with dairy free toppings


Makes 3-4 small servings


2 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/4 cup sugar
dash of salt
1/4 cup dairy-free milk
3 cups dairy-free milk


Whisk 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, 1/4 cup of sugar, a dash of salt, and 1/4 cup of dairy-free milk in a medium sauce pan on medium heat until hot and smooth.

Slowly add in 3 cups of dairy-free milk while continuing to stir on medium heat, until heated through. Don’t boil. 

Bring down heat to low and let simmer until served. 

Serve with dairy-free toppings of your choice.

Hope you enjoy this easy dairy-free hot chocolate as much as we do! 

You can pin this recipe on Pinterest to save it for later.

Plus, here are some store-bought dairy-free hot chocolate packets if you don’t want to make homemade.

This was originally posted in December 2013.

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