I am not a fan of hot beverages except one, hot chocolate. On really cold days, a steaming mug of hot chocolate is my drink of choice for warming up. Especially when topped with some whipped coconut cream or vegan marshmallows. When I was little hot chocolate was something that came in a packet to which you added some hot water. In hindsight, that was really just chocolate flavored water. When I got older and would crave a mug of hot chocolate, I started making it with milk rather than water. Eventually I started skipping the packets and bought either hot chocolate mix or cocoa to which I would add sugar to make hot chocolate. This was a huge improvement from the packets, especially as I could now adjust the sweetness or cocoa-iness to my own taste. In looking into how to make hot chocolate even better, I started looking at recipes for European hot chocolate. Those recipes use actual chocolate rather than cocoa powder. I began to play with different combinations and finally landed on what I think is the best of both worlds, using both cocoa powder AND chocolate. What is almost as good as the taste is that this recipe is so quick and easy that it is almost like adding water to a packet. However it is so much better and richer. The combination of cocoa powder and chocolate chips gives this drink extra richness that is everything a hot chocolate should be. For an adult treat, add a splash of vegan Bailey’s.

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cooking Time: 4 minutes
Yield: 1 mug


1 cup almond milk, or other non-dairy milk
1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
4 1/2 teaspoons vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Whipped coconut cream, optional
Marshmallow, optional


1. Add Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat.

2. When milk is warm, mix 1 Tablespoon of the warm milk with the cocoa powder in a small bowl. Stir well to get rid of any lumps. Add cocoa powder mixture, chocolate, and sugar to the warm milk. Whisk to combine. Continue heating until it is at your preferred temperature.

3. Taste and add more sugar if needed. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

4. Pour into a mug. Top with whipped coconut cream and marshmallows.