Oat Milk Hot Chocolate: a smooth, velvety treat that's just the right amount of sweet. Perfect for families seeking an allergy-friendly, chocolatey delight, that's perfect as is or dressed up with marshmallows and coconut cream!
- 👪Why You Will Love This Recipe
- 💡Recipe Tips & Tricks
- 👩🏽🍳Step-By-Step Instructions
- ⏲️ Time-Saving Tip: For Oat Milk Hot Chocolate
- 🍫Substitutions & Leftover Ideas
- 🎉 Fun Tip: Indoor Marshmallow Roasting
- 🧠Brain Benefits of Cocao & Chocolate
- 🥣Recipe Parings and More
- 📖 Recipe
- 📝Information Source
There is nothing like the feeling of sipping on a warm cozy hot chocolate recipe at the end of a wintery chilli day! I find such comfort in coming home to a warm, welcoming big mug of hot chocolate, and so do my kids! In our house, this creamy oat milk hot chocolate has become more than just a drink; it's a way for my family to reconnect after a long day. While traditionally a weekend drink, I often make this hot drink when my kids get home from school along with these no-bake healthy bliss balls snacks. We chat and just hang out and they are always eager to help with the marshmallows!
What sets this dairy free hot chocolate mix apart is its rich and creamy texture, a luxurious blend of chocolate and cocoa powder that's indulgent without being overly sweet. It's the perfect treat for those moments when you need something to warm you up from the inside out. And while we sometimes dress it up with roasted marshmallows and homemade coconut cream, it's just as delicious as is and without all the frills!
So, if you're looking for a dairy free cocoa beverage that's easy to make, wonderfully creamy, and just the right amount of sweet, you've come to the right place. Let's dive into how you can create this velvety treat that's sure to become a favorite in your home too.
👪Why You Will Love This Recipe
This hot chocolate with oat milk is one of our favorite recipes to make with our boys. We absolutely love it, and here's why you and your family will too:
- Balanced Flavor: One of the best things about this recipe is its beautifully balanced flavor.
- Allergy-Friendly: Completely dairy-free, gluten-free, and nut-free!
- Festive and Fun: There's something inherently festive about this hot cocoa recipe.
- Perfect for Chocolate Cravings: It satisfies those chocolate urges in the most comforting and heartwarming way.
Creating a creamy rich homemade oat milk hot chocolate requires just a few simple ingredients and heartwarming flavors. Here's what you'll need (for full quantities, see the recipe card):
- Oat Milk: My go-to plant-based milk, it adds a naturally sweet and creamy texture.
- Cocoa Powder: Essential for that rich chocolate flavor, I love how it transforms this recipe into a rich drink!
- Cinnamon: A hint of spice makes everything nice, adding a cozy warmth.
- Dark Chocolate Chips (Vegan): For that deep, luxurious chocolatey touch. I opt for vegan chocolate chips. Using real chocolate helps give that rich flavor so try not to skip this one.
- Pinch of Salt: Just a pinch of salt balances all the flavors.
- Vegan Marshmallows: Also optional but recommended!
- (Optional) Maple Syrup: Perfect for sweetening up the mix, especially when my kids are enjoying it with me or when I'm craving something sweet.
For The Coconut Whipped Cream:
For the coconut cream.
OR use dairy-free whipping cream if you prefer.
An optional step but worth the time if you have it. Alternatively, you can use store-bought whipped cream if you prefer. Our oat milk hot cocoa is just as delicious without the cream!
- Coconut Cream (1 can): The base for our fluffy, dairy-free whipped cream (Refrigerate the night before!).
- Powdered Sugar: To sweeten our whipped cream just right.
💡Recipe Tips & Tricks
My kids and I have made our oat milk hot chocolate recipe countless times, and here's what I've found gives the best results:
- Slow and Steady Heat: Warm the mixture slowly and avoid boiling. This ensures all the flavors meld together perfectly without burning the chocolate.
- Sift Clumpy Cocoa: If your cocoa powder is clumpy, sift it first. This prevents a grainy texture in your hot chocolate.
- Choose the Right Chocolate: For a creamy and smooth melt, look for vegan chocolate that doesn't contain wax. Mini chocolate chips are ideal as they melt faster. If using chocolate bars, grate or cut them into small bits for easier melting.
- Making the Perfect Coconut Cream:
- Chill the coconut cream overnight in the fridge, not the freezer.
- Use a good quality brand of coconut milk or cream.
- Before whipping, chill your mixing bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- If the whipped cream is too stiff, add a bit of the reserved liquid from the can to achieve a smoother blend.
- Whip until you see light peaks form, but avoid overwhipping as it can cause separation.
Minimalist Baker has an amazing post on making coconut cream so if you need more information or direction!
Step 1: Combine Ingredients:
Pour all the oat milk, cinnamon, cocoa powder, salt, chocolate chips, and maple syrup (if using) into a small saucepan. This is where the magic begins, combining all our flavors into one pot.
Step 2: Heat and Stir:
Place the saucepan over medium-low heat. You are looking to melt the chocolate and blend the flavors but not boil the mixture. So keep the heat low. Stir often to prevent any burning. Keep this up for about 5 minutes or until all the chocolate chips have melted. Then, take it off the heat.
Step 3: Prepare Coconut Cream (If Making)
Gently open your can of coconut cream without shaking it. Scoop out the thick cream that's settled at the top, leaving the liquid behind. If the cream hasn't separated from the liquid, a quick fix is to chill the can in the fridge for about an hour. This chilling is key to achieving that dreamy whipped texture.
Step 3b: Whip the Cream
Transfer the coconut cream to a chilled mixing bowl (you can chill the bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes). Using a mixer on low speed, begin whipping the cream, slowly adding powdered sugar as you go. Aim to whip for about a minute until you see soft, fluffy peaks forming. Be careful to not overmix, as this can cause the cream to separate and lose its silky texture.
Step 4: Serve and Enjoy
Finally, pour your aromatic vegan hot chocolate into a mug. Top it with a generous dollop of your homemade coconut whipped cream. Feel free to garnish with vegan marshmallows, extra chocolate chips, or a sprinkle of cinnamon, depending on your mood. Each sip is a cozy hug in a mug, perfect for those busy days when you need a moment of bliss.
⏲️ Time-Saving Tip: For Oat Milk Hot Chocolate
- Opt for Store-Bought Whipped Cream: If you're pressed for time, skip making coconut whipped cream and use a ready-made vegan whipped cream instead. It's a quick and convenient alternative.
- Batch Preparation: Make a larger batch of this hot cocoa and store it in the fridge. It doesn't separate and can be easily reheated in the microwave or added to your morning coffee for an extra treat.
- Use Mini Chocolate Chips: They melt faster, reducing the overall cooking time.
- Milk Frother: If you have a milk frother at home you can use it while warming up the hot chocolate. This will help add a creamy silky texture to your hot cocoa.
🍫Substitutions & Leftover Ideas
In the spirit of "using what we have," it's perfectly fine if you're missing an ingredient or two for this recipe. Here are some substitutions and variations to help you tailor the recipe to your family's preferences or to make the most of leftovers!
- Milk Alternatives: No oat milk? No problem! Almond milk or cashew milk can be great plant-based milk alternatives. And they offer unique nutty flavors. If you are not dairy-free, this recipe works well with dairy milk as well (my husband prefers it this way).
- Sweeteners: If you're out of maple syrup, consider using honey or agave syrup. They add a lovely sweetness and depth of flavor.
- Chocolate: In place of dark chocolate chips, feel free to use any vegan chocolate you have on hand. Vegan milk chocolate is another option for a sweeter flavor.
Variations & Leftover Ideas:
- Oat Milk Pumpkin Spice Latte: For a festive touch, add a dash of pumpkin spice to the mix or a scoop of any leftover pumpkin puree. Top with a shot of espresso and voila, a delicious festive drink.
- Sweetness No Sugar: Enhance the natural sweetness with a hint of vanilla extract, adding a layer of warmth and aroma without extra sugar.
- Spicy Twist: For those who enjoy a little heat, a pinch of cayenne pepper can elevate the chocolate experience.
- Boost your Caffein Content: Stir in a shot of espresso to your hot chocolate to balance the sweetness with a robust caffeine content.
- Boozy Delight for Adults: Adults might enjoy a splash of Irish cream for a decadent, boozy twist.
🎉 Fun Tip: Indoor Marshmallow Roasting
Want to add a bit of campfire charm and cozy vibes to your creamy hot chocolate? Here's a fun and safe way to roast marshmallows indoors, making it an exciting activity, especially for kids!
Note: Roasting marshmallows is a fun addition to your hot cocoa beverage experience, but safety comes first. Always supervise children and keep flammable materials away from the flame.
Using Candles (Kid-Friendly): Use non-scented candles to avoid adding any unwanted flavors. Set up a mini roasting station with a candle for each child, supervised by an adult. Skewer the marshmallows and let the kids gently roast them over the candle flame. It's a delightful experience and a great way to involve them in the kitchen!
Using a Gas Stove (Adults Only): For a quick roast, use the flame of your gas stove. Skewer a marshmallow and carefully hold it over the low flame, rotating it slowly for an even roast.
- Safety First: This method involves an open flame and is very hot, so it's strictly for adults. Always keep a watchful eye if kids are around.
Keeping your homemade hot chocolate recipe for later is simple with these storage and reheating guidelines.
Fridge Storage: After your oat milk hot chocolate has cooled to room temperature, transfer it to an airtight container or a jar with a tight-fitting lid. This step is crucial to preserve its rich flavor and prevent it from absorbing other odors in the fridge. Properly stored, it can last up to 5 days in the refrigerator, making it a convenient make-ahead treat.
Freezer Storage: For longer storage, you can freeze any leftovers for up to 2 months. Pour the hot chocolate into individual servings or an ice cube tray for easy portioning. Make sure to use a freezer-safe container or bag, and leave a bit of space at the top as liquids expand when frozen.
Reheating: Reheating this recipe is pretty straightforward. If it's been refrigerated, gently warm it in a saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally until it reaches your desired temperature. You can also microwave it in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, to get it evenly warm. For frozen hot chocolate, let it thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating. Remember, whether reheating from the fridge or after thawing, avoid bringing it to a boil to maintain its creamy texture and rich flavor.
🧠Brain Benefits of Cocao & Chocolate
You know I can not resist talking about the brain benefits of this recipe. As a neuroscientist and mom, I am alwasy on the lookout for ways to support brain health and cognitive function. Here is why Incorporating cocoa powder and chocolate into your diet isn't just a treat for your taste buds; it also offers some fantastic benefits for your brain.
- Enhances Cognitive Performance: Regular consumption of cocoa flavanols, which are abundant in cocoa powder and chocolate, can improve cognitive functions like attention, processing speed, and memory. This is due to increased blood flow to the brain and the neuroprotective effects of these flavanols (1).
- Boosts Mood: The compounds in cocoa, such as theobromine and phenylethylamine, have a mild stimulant effect that can enhance mood and overall mental well-being. So, indulging in chocolate might just make your day a little brighter (2).
- Neuroprotective Properties: Those same flavanols (found in cocoa) have neuroprotective properties. These can help protect the brain from damage related to aging and neurodegenerative diseases, contributing to long-term brain health (3).
These points highlight not only the deliciousness of cocoa and chocolate but also their role in supporting brain health, making them a smart and sweet choice for your diet.
To heat your oat milk hot chocolate in the microwave, transfer it to a microwave-safe mug. Heat it in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval to ensure even warming. This method helps maintain a creamy texture and prevents hot spots.
To warm up leftover oat milk hot chocolate, pour it into a small saucepan and heat it over low heat, stirring frequently. This method ensures that the hot chocolate warms evenly and maintains its creamy texture. Avoid boiling it to prevent altering the flavor and consistency.
Clumpiness or a grainy texture in oat milk hot chocolate is often due to the cocoa powder not being fully dissolved or the chocolate not melting properly. To prevent this, ensure that your cocoa powder is sifted and free of lumps before adding it to the mixture. Also, use finely chopped chocolate or small chocolate chips to ensure they melt easily and evenly. Stirring continuously while heating can also help achieve a smooth consistency.
If your coconut cream isn't whipping, consider these factors:
1. Quality of Coconut Cream: Choose a high-fat coconut cream known for its whipping quality, like Savoy or Aroy-D.
2. Chilling Time: Ensure the coconut cream is thoroughly chilled, ideally overnight, to help the fat separate and solidify.
3. Whipping Technique: Whip gently and avoid overmixing, as this can make the cream grainy.
4. Cream Separation: Scoop out only the solid part of the coconut cream, leaving any liquid behind.
🥣Recipe Parings and More
I hope you enjoyed our dair free hot chocolate with oat milk! This dairy free hot chocolate recipe is one of our favorites! If you want some fun pairings or more easy recipes be sure to check out these (I recommend the vegan zimtsterne cinnamon cookies!)
Cozy Creamy Oat Milk Hot Chocolate
Oat Milk Hot Chocolate
- 4 cups unsweetened oat milk (we like Earths Own)
- ½ cup chocolate chips (dairy-free)
- 2 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (powdered)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)
Whipped Coconut Cream
- 400 mls coconut cream ( 1 can, refrigerated)
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- In a saucepan, add oat milk, a sprinkle of cinnamon, cocoa powder, a pinch of salt, and dark chocolate chips. If you like it sweeter, add some maple syrup.
- Cook the mixture on medium-low heat. Stir regularly to prevent burning and ensure the chocolate chips melt evenly about 5 minutes. Don't let it boil.
Preparing the coconut cream (optional)
- Open a chilled can of coconut cream without shaking. Scoop out the solid cream from the top.
- Whip the coconut cream in a bowl using a mixer for 30 seconds. then slowly add in the powdered sugar. Whip until it's fluffy with soft peaks, but be careful not to overdo it, about 1-2 minutes total.
- Pour hot chocolate into mugs, top with whipped cream, and garnish as desired.
- Nutritional content is only based on the oat milk hot chocolate and does not include any toppings.
- Nehlig, A. (2013). The neuroprotective effects of cocoa flavanol and its influence on cognitive performance. Journal of Nutrition, 139(3), 1-6.
- Scholey, A., & Owen, L. (2013). Effects of chocolate on cognitive function and mood: a systematic review. Nutrition Reviews, 71(10), 665-681.
- Socci, V., Tempesta, D., Desideri, G., De Gennaro, L., & Ferrara, M. (2017). Enhancing Human Cognition with Cocoa Flavonoids. Frontiers in Nutrition, 4, 19.