Is Hot Chocolate Dairy Free? Recipe to Make Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate

Traditional hot chocolate is typically made with milk or milk-based ingredients, so it would not be dairy-free. However, you can make dairy-free hot chocolate in different ways.

To make a simple dairy-free hot chocolate, you can substitute cow’s milk with plant-based alternatives like almond, soy, oat, or coconut milk.

Hot Chocolate

Best Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate Powders

Mushroom Hot Cacao Mix by Four Sigmatic

This mix offers a unique blend of cacao with the benefits of medicinal mushrooms. The flavor is unique, earthy, and not overly sweet, making it an interesting choice for health-conscious individuals who also want a treat.

Mushroom Hot Cacao Mix by Four Sigmatic

Daybreak Cacao: Organic Cacao + Morning Mushrooms

This blend combines the rich taste of cacao with the nutrient benefits of medicinal mushrooms. The chocolate flavor is robust and pairs well with the subtle mushroom notes.

Daybreak Cacao Organic Cacao + Morning Mushrooms

Castle Kitchen Double Dutch Dark Chocolate Premium Hot Cocoa Mix

This dark chocolate mix is rich and decadent. The taste is smooth, with a hint of bitterness that dark chocolate lovers will appreciate. It’s a premium, dairy-free treat that’s comforting and delicious.

Castle Kitchen Double Dutch Dark Chocolate Premium Hot Cocoa Mix

Coconut Cloud Dairy-Free Instant Hot Cocoa Mix

Made from coconut milk powder, this mix offers a creamy, slightly tropical twist to traditional hot cocoa. It’s sweet, rich, and easy to prepare. A good choice for coconut lovers.

Coconut Cloud Dairy-Free Instant Hot Cocoa Mix

Lakanto Sugar-Free Drinking Chocolate

This sugar-free option uses monk fruit as a sweetener, creating a guilt-free indulgence. It’s rich and satisfying, offering a full-bodied chocolate flavor without any added sugar.

Lakanto Sugar-Free Drinking Chocolate

Double Donut Dairy Free Hot Chocolate Mix

This mix offers a nice balance of sweetness and chocolate flavor. It’s creamy and satisfying, even without dairy. Plus, the convenient single-serve packaging makes it perfect for on-the-go or portion control.

Double Donut Dairy Free Hot Chocolate Mix

Laird Superfood Functional Mushrooms Hot Chocolate

Combining the benefits of functional mushrooms with the indulgence of hot chocolate, this mix is health-forward without skimping on flavor. The taste is rich and complex, with a hint of earthiness from the mushrooms. A great option for those looking to boost their health while enjoying a treat.

Laird Superfood Functional Mushrooms Hot Chocolate

Tips for Buying Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate

Check the Ingredient List: Always read the ingredient list to ensure no dairy or dairy-derived ingredients. Even if a product is labeled as non-dairy, it might still contain traces of dairy.

Look for Allergen Information: Products usually mention if they’ve been processed in a facility that also processes dairy. You might want to avoid these if you’re highly sensitive or allergic.

Consider the Sweetness Level: Some hot chocolate powders might be excessively sweet. Look for ones where you can adjust the level of sweetness by adding your preferred sweetener.

Opt for High-Quality Cocoa: The quality of cocoa will greatly affect the taste of your hot chocolate. Opt for a brand that uses high-quality, preferably organic, cocoa.

Check for Added Flavorings: Some brands may add flavorings like vanilla or spices. Choose according to your preference.

Consider Nutritional Content: If you’re health-conscious, opt for a hot chocolate powder that is low in sugar, high in fiber, and includes beneficial nutrients. Some brands even add superfoods or medicinal mushrooms for an extra health boost.

Recipe to Make Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate


  • 2 cups of your preferred non-dairy milk
  • 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons of a sweetener of your choice (like sugar, maple syrup, or honey if you’re not vegan)
  • A pinch of salt
  • Optional: a drop of vanilla extract for extra flavor


  • In a small saucepan, heat the non-dairy milk over medium heat until hot but not boiling.
  • Mix the cocoa powder, sweetener, and salt in a separate bowl.
  • Add a small amount of the hot non-dairy milk to the cocoa mixture, stirring until smooth. This step helps prevent lumps.
  • Add the cocoa mixture to the saucepan with the rest of the hot milk, stirring until well combined and heated.
  • Remove from heat and add vanilla extract if using.
  • Serve hot, and enjoy your dairy-free hot chocolate!

Remember, if you strictly avoid dairy, use a dairy-free cocoa powder. Most pure cocoa powders should be, but it’s always best to check the label.

Dairy-Free Milk Options for Making Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate

  • Almond Milk: Almond milk has a mild, slightly sweet, and nutty flavor that complements the cocoa nicely. It’s also low in calories compared to other options.
  • Soy Milk: This is a great option for those who want a thicker, creamier hot chocolate as it has a similar texture to cow’s milk. Its flavor is also relatively neutral, letting the chocolate shine.
  • Oat Milk: Oat milk is naturally sweet and creamy, making it a perfect choice for rich and decadent hot chocolate. It also froths well, which is ideal if you like a bit of foam on top.
  • Coconut Milk: Coconut milk imparts a tropical flavor to hot chocolate and has a rich and creamy consistency. However, its flavor can be strong and might not be for everyone.
  • Cashew Milk: Cashew milk is another creamy and slightly sweet option. Its thick texture and subtle nutty flavor make for a comforting cup of hot chocolate.

Dairy-Free Milk Options for Making Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate

Frequently Asked Questions

Is dairy-free hot chocolate vegan?

Dairy-free hot chocolate can be vegan, but it depends on other ingredients used. Always check the label to ensure no animal-derived products, such as honey, are present.

Is vegan hot chocolate always dairy-free?

Yes, vegan hot chocolate is always dairy-free, as vegan products do not contain any animal-derived ingredients, including dairy.

Is dairy-free hot chocolate healthier than dairy-based hot chocolate?

It depends on the specific ingredients used in each product. While dairy-free options can be lower in saturated fats, they could also have high sugar content. Always check the nutritional information.

Is dairy-free hot chocolate gluten-free?

Most dairy-free hot chocolate is likely gluten-free, but cross-contamination can occur during manufacturing. Always check the label for gluten-free certification.

Is Lindt dark chocolate dairy-free?

Some Lindt dark chocolate may contain dairy or traces of dairy, so they’re not necessarily dairy-free. Always check the ingredients list on the packaging.

Is milk chocolate dairy-free?

Milk chocolate, by definition, contains milk, so it is not dairy-free.

Is white chocolate dairy-free?

Traditional white chocolate contains milk or milk derivatives, so it is not dairy-free. There are dairy-free versions available made with plant-based milks.

Is Starbucks hot chocolate dairy-free?

Starbucks can make hot chocolate with dairy-free milk alternatives, but you should check about potential cross-contamination if you’re highly sensitive to dairy.

Is Cadbury’s hot chocolate dairy-free?

Most Cadbury hot chocolate mixes are not dairy-free as they contain whey, a milk product. Always read the ingredients list to be sure.

Is Costa hot chocolate dairy-free?

Costa offers dairy-free milk alternatives for their hot chocolates, but cross-contamination might occur, so it’s not guaranteed to be 100% dairy-free.

Is Bournville chocolate dairy-free?

Bournville is a type of dark chocolate produced by Cadbury. While the recipe doesn’t include milk, it may contain traces of dairy due to shared production lines. Always check the packaging.


I live in Los Angeles with my better half, Dave, and our child, Corey. Each second with them is the acknowledgment of my fantasies working out as expected — and for that? I am so extremely thankful. Hi! I am Diana Rodriguez, the founder, author, and photographer of ATD.

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