Vegan Peppermint Hot Chocolate – This dairy-free peppermint hot chocolate recipe is so warm and cozy! You’ll love the creamy texture and warm peppermint flavor!
Is there anything cozier this time of year than curling up with a steaming mug of hot chocolate? I LOVE a good hot chocolate recipe, and this vegan peppermint hot chocolate recipe is one of our favorites around the holiday season.
It’s got a luscious creamy texture, deep chocolate and bright peppermint flavor, and comes together in under 5 minutes, which makes this festive drink just about perfect in my book. No hot cocoa packets necessary for this recipe!
You’ll only need a few ingredients to get started, and you’ll likely have most of them on hand already!
Here’s all you need to get started on this dairy-free peppermint hot cocoa recipe…
Dairy-Free Peppermint Hot Chocolate, At A Glance:
Here’s What You Need To Make Our Vegan Peppermint Hot Chocolate recipe:
- Coconut Milk. I prefer using a mix of dairy-free milk in my vegan hot chocolate. I like a *little* bit of full fat coconut milk for creaminess and richness, then to keep the flavor more neutral, I add
- Almond Milk (Or Your Favorite!). Really, whatever you usually drink works here–almond milk, oat milk, soy milk, etc. Whatever plant-based milk you drink and enjoy!
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder. For a deeply chocolate flavor, I add unsweetened cocoa powder. Regular or dark/Dutch-processed works great here. The better the quality, the better the flavor, so use the best that fits your budget! We’re big fans of Guittard, Rodelle, Valrhona, and Ghiradelli.
- Dairy-Free/Vegan Chocolate Chips or Chocolate. For some richness and even more well-rounded chocolate flavor, I also add chopped chocolate or chocolate chips to our vegan peppermint hot chocolate. See the box below for some of our favorite brands!
- Pure Maple Syrup or Sugar. To sweeten, we usually use pure maple syrup (it doesn’t make it taste maple-y, promise!), or regular granulated sugar. Whichever is easiest for you! (I’m sure you could play around with stevia or a keto sugar substitute, I just haven’t tried those.)
- A Tiny Pinch Of Salt. Might sound weird, but you’ll notice if you skip it! You only need a *tiny* bit (less than 1/8 teaspoon!), but it balances the flavor and intensifies the chocolate.
- Vanilla. Some vanilla extract is key when making hot chocolate! It rounds out the flavor and adds some gorgeous depth. Don’t skip it!
- Peppermint Extract. Then, to finish, we need peppermint extract. I’ve put a range of 1/4-1/2 tsp. in the recipe. If you only want a hint of peppermint, stick with that 1/4 tsp. If you want the peppermint more pronounced, go with 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract (or even more!) for a punchier peppermint flavor. (My preference!)
What Kind Of Chocolate Is Vegan?
There are more dairy-free & vegan chocolate brands on the market than ever before! Here are some of our favorites, depending on your needs:
- ENJOY LIFE – Allergy-friendly & pretty easy to find in the U.S.!
- HU KITCHEN – A truly great brand that’s also naturally sweetened with coconut sugar. This is pricey, but yummy!
- ENDANGERED SPECIES – Many flavors of their chocolate bars are certified vegan! I get these at Sprouts, Target, Natural Grocers, Whole Foods, etc.
- GUITTARD – Our favorite chocolate chips. Their dark and semi-sweet chocolate contain no dairy ingredients, but they aren’t strictly certified vegan.
How To Make Dairy-Free Peppermint Hot Chocolate, Step By Step:
- Add Ingredients To Your Saucepan. In a small saucepan, combine coconut milk, almond milk, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, maple syrup/sugar, and salt.
- Gently Melt & Heat. Whisk over medium-low heat on the stove top until the mixture is hot and the chocolate and cocoa powder are fully melted and dissolved. NOTE: You want the milk steaming, but not simmering or boiling (this can cause the milk to separate and can scorch the chocolate).
- Finish The Flavor. When the hot chocolate is warm enough and smooth, remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and peppermint extract. Taste and add more sweetener, vanilla or peppermint, as desired.
- Serve with your favorite toppings! Now, you’re ready to pour your peppermint hot cocoa into mugs add garnish with your favorite toppings! Speaking of which…
Let’s Talk Toppings! Yummy Ways To Top Your Peppermint Hot Chocolate:
- Marshmallows. Vegan marshmallows totally exist and they’re delicious in this cozy vegan peppermint hot chocolate. Try Dandies brand or Trader Joe’s brand!
- Dairy-Free Whipped Cream. We love adding vegan whipped cream on top of hot chocolate! Homemade coconut whipped cream works great if you want to make it yourself. Otherwise, ReddiWip makes almond and coconut milk whipped cream, or there’s SoDelicious CoCoWhip, or TruWhip.
- Shaved Chocolate. Some shaved chocolate always looks and feels so fun and fancy!
- Crushed Peppermint. Crunch up some candy canes or peppermint candies to sprinkle or stir in! I love the delicious peppermint flavor!
- Cacao Nibs. These unsweetened little bites of cacao have a satisfying crunch. They’re not for everyone, but I love ’em!
- Mini Chocolate Chips. Or, get cute with some mini chocolate chips. It’s tough to beat these cuties!
- A Candy Cane! Stick with a classic, and stir your creamy vegan peppermint hot chocolate with a candy cane. Mini or full-size!
FAQ & Tips For The Best Vegan Peppermint Hot Chocolate:
Can I Use Regular Milk Instead? You bet! If dairy isn’t a problem for you, you can absolutely make this peppermint hot chocolate recipe with whatever milk you drink. In this case, a higher fat percentage (like 2% or whole milk) will give you a creamier consistency.
Can I Use All Almond Milk or Coconut Milk? Yep! If you use all almond milk, it’ll be slightly thinner. If you use all coconut milk, it’ll be thicker and the coconut flavor will likely come through. (Not a problem if you like that flavor!)
Is All Cocoa Powder Vegan? Yes! Unsweetened cocoa powder is naturally vegan and dairy-free!
Can You Make Hot Chocolate In Advance? Yes! This vegan peppermint hot chocolate recipe actually re-heats like a dream! We’ve made it, chilled it, and reheated it many times on the stove or in the microwave without a problem. The big thing to remember is NOT to let the hot chocolate boil or simmer when re-heating. Use a gentle, low or medium-low heat and stir regularly to prevent scorching.
Could I Make This In A Slow Cooker For A Crowd? Sort of! It doubles, triples, and quadruples like a dream to make a big batch for larger groups (use the 2x or 3x buttons in the recipe card for easy math!), but it works best if you make it on the stovetop and then keep it on the WARM setting in a slow cooker for up to 2 hours. This allows you to gently melt the chocolate chips without them scorching on the bottom of the crock pot/slow cooker.