Oat Milk Hot Chocolate
This oat milk hot chocolate is the creamiest, dreamiest dairy-free hot chocolate you’ll ever have! It’s even free of refined sugar, since it’s sweetened with maple syrup.
You’d think finding the perfect vegan hot chocolate would be easy, but make it with coconut milk and it’s much too rich and heavy; make it with almond milk and it’s watery and meh. Friends, oat milk hot chocolate is the answer we’ve been waiting for.
It’s got the perfect amount of creaminess, just the right flavor, and you can use it to make all your favorite hot chocolate recipes, from Matcha Hot Chocolate to Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate and Gingerbread Hot Chocolate. But today, we’re going to make a delicious back-to-basics oat milk hot chocolate—and then we’ll share some ideas for customization!
About this oat milk hot chocolate
This oat milk hot chocolate starts with oat milk and water. You’ll add cocoa powder and then dark chocolate, which melts into the hot cocoa making it luxurious and rich. Vanilla extract enhances the flavor, as does a pinch of sea salt. Maple syrup is our sweetener of choice, but agave works too, or if you want your oat milk hot chocolate sugar-free, you can use stevia.
While this recipe serves six, you can easily scale it up for a party (and even keep it warm in your slow cooker!), or scale it down if you’re just whipping up a mug for yourself. You won’t need to go to Starbucks for your fancy hot chocolate fix this winter!
What you need
- Oat milk – Use unflavored oat milk here.
- Water – The combination of water and oat milk gives this cocoa the perfect consistency.
- Cocoa powder – Natural cocoa powder will give you that classic hot cocoa flavor, while Dutch process cocoa has a more mellow taste to it. Another option is cacao powder, which is minimally processed.
- Dark chocolate – While you could make this with chocolate chips, we recommend chopping a bar of dark chocolate because it will melt smoother.
- Maple syrup – Cocoa powder is unsweetened, and dark chocolate has minimal sugar in it as well, so a little sweetness is needed. You can also use agave, granulated sugar, or powdered sugar.
- Vanilla extract – If you’d like, you can use peppermint extract, but go easy on it—it’s much stronger than vanilla, so add a very small amount and go up from there.
- Sea salt – A touch of salt balances out the flavors perfectly.
- Marshmallows or whipped cream – Use Dandy marshmallows and coconut whipped cream for a vegan option.
How to make it
Simmer the ingredients. Combine all of the ingredients in a large pot set over medium or medium-low heat. Whisk frequently to keep the chocolate from scorching.
Tip: If you’d like to make this oat milk hot chocolate in the microwave, you can. Place all the ingredients in a large microwave-safe bowl and heat for a minute at a time, stirring between intervals, until the chocolate is melted.
Finish. Once the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth, ladle the hot chocolate into 6 mugs. Top with marshmallows or whipped cream and serve.
As long as you don’t let the hot chocolate come to a boil, the oat milk will not curdle. If needed, reduce the heat to keep it at a low simmer.
We really like oat milk in hot chocolate because it’s not too rich or thick and it has a nice, mild flavor.
You can use cocoa powder instead of hot chocolate mix, which is what we do for this oat milk hot chocolate. But, because cocoa powder is unsweetened, you’ll need to add sugar, maple syrup, or another sweetener.
How to make this oat milk hot chocolate your own
Oh boy, do we have some ideas for topping and customizing this oat milk hot chocolate! Here are some of our favorites.
- Take your whipped cream to the next level. Try our coffee whipped cream, chocolate whipped cream, or cinnamon whipped cream.
- Make it spicy. Add ground cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne or stir in some of the sauce from a can of chipotle in adobo.
- Add some peppermint. A small amount of peppermint extract will add lots of minty flavor, or you can place a candy cane in each mug. You might also love a peppermint hot chocolate!
- Try it s’mores style. Place marshmallows on top of the hot chocolate, then use a kitchen torch to toast them. Sprinkle on some graham cracker crumbs and add a drizzle of chocolate syrup if you really want to go over-the-top. Try serving with s’mores pancakes. Or s’mores sheet pan pancakes! Orrrrr s’mores cereal!
Make Ahead Ideas
You can make the oat milk hot chocolate mixture and keep it in the refrigerator, then warm it up as needed.
Store leftovers in a glass bottle or an airtight container. It will keep for up to 3 days.
Reheat your leftovers in a mug in the microwave, or pour it into a saucepan and simmer over low heat, being careful not to let it boil.
More hot chocolate recipes
Get the Recipe: Oat Milk Hot Chocolate
- 3 cups oat milk
- 2 cups water
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
- ¼ cup maple syrup or agave (granulated sugar or powdered sugar will also work)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Pinch sea salt
- marshmallows or whipped cream for topping (optional)
- In a large pot over medium to medium-low heat, bring all of the ingredients to a simmer while whisking frequently to prevent the chocolate from scorching. Once the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth, carefully ladle into mugs.
- Top with marshmallows or whipped cream and serve immediately.
- Store oat milk hot chocolate in a glass bottle or an airtight container. It will keep for up to 3 days.
- Reheat your oat milk hot chocolate in a mug in the microwave, or pour it into a saucepan and simmer over low heat, being careful not to let it boil.