This Oat Milk Hot Cocoa is rich, creamy, and perfectly sweetened - everything hot chocolate should be! Whip this decadent treat up in 5 minutes or less, then curl up by the fire to stay warm this holiday season. All you need is your favorite oat milk and 4 additional ingredients. This post is sponsored by Nutrasweet.
Nothing gets me more in the spirit of the holidays than a big cozy cup of hot cocoa. It truly makes me feel like a little kid again, but more importantly, it keeps me warm during the cold winters in Connecticut.
Plus oat milk is the BEST rich and creamy plant-based alternative to dairy milk. You won't miss the dairy in this dairy free hot cocoa version!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Quick and easy. Making homemade hot cocoa without pre-made powders and hot chocolate mixes is easier than you think. All you need is 5 minutes and a medium-sized sauce pan and a whisk to make this oat milk variation.
- Easy to customize. Use my oat milk hot cocoa recipe as a guide and adjust the sweetness and cocoa to your liking. You can also try one of my 6 flavor variations with your choice of toppings. If you are hosting, you can set out the flavor options and toppings out on a Vegan Hot Chocolate Charcuterie Board and allow guests to pick and choose their hot cocoa customizations for themselves.
- Pairs well with breakfast and dessert. Try serving hot cocoa with Fluffy Vegan Oat Milk Pancakes, Moist Vegan Banana Pumpkin Bread (GF), or Chewy Biscoff Butter Cookies (Vegan)!
- Vegan and gluten free friendly. Oat milk hot cocoa is a safe choice when serving friends with allergies or specialty diets!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Oat milk - Unsweetened oat milk or barista oat milk works best. Oat milk is naturally sweet tasting and oat milks made with additional sugars may be too sweet. If you use a sweetened oat milk, taste before adding the additional NutraSweet to make sure you don't overdo it.
- Cocoa powder - Unsweetened cocoa powder or cacao powder is required to give this homemade oat milk cocoa that chocolate flavor. The only ingredients in the cocoa powder should be cocoa - no sugar and no additional additives.
- NutraSweet - Nutrasweet is a sugar alternative that is low in calories and naturally sweetens this hot cocoa. I love that NutraSweet is an all-natural plant-based sweetener that is derived from a stevia plant. It adds a delicious, sweet flavor to this drink. You can purchase NutraSweet on Amazon. If you're out of NutraSweet, try sweetening your hot cocoa with my Apple Simple Syrup or Pumpkin Spice Simple Syrup!
- Vanilla Extract - Vanilla helps add a layer of sweetness and flavor to this hot cocoa. I highly recommend it. If you have a vanilla bean paste, that would also taste amazing here.
- Sea salt - You may be tempted to skip the salt and think "why would I need that on a sweet drink?". But a small sprinkle of sea salt helps balance the sweetness from the NutraSweet and the creaminess in the oat milk and brings the whole hot chocolate drink together.
Step by Step Instructions
- Heat the oat milk. In a medium-sized saucepan, gently heat your oat milk over medium-low heat. Once it begins to simmer, remove it from heat and add in the optional sweetener, vanilla extract + sea salt. Whisk until combined.
- Stir in cocoa powder. Add in the cocoa powder and any desired flavor variations, then whisk the hot cocoa again until smooth and frothy.
- Serve. Serve with your favorite hot cocoa toppings. My favorites are coconut whipped cream, chocolate, and a cinnamon stick.
- Peppermint: Mix in ¼ tsp of peppermint extract then top the hot chocolate crushed spearmint or a candy cane garnish. This is the perfect oat milk hot cocoa for the holidays!
- Pumpkin spice: Swap the added sugar alternative for 1 tbsp of my Pumpkin Spice Simple Syrup.
- Apple pie flavored: Swap the added sugar alternative for 1 tbsp of my Apple Simple Syrup.
- Frozen: Divide the oat milk hot chocolate into ice cube trays and freeze. Once it is frozen, place it into a blender and blend until your desired consistency. You may need to add 1 tbsp of oat milk to allow it to smoothly blend.
- Spicy: Mix in ¼ tsp of ancho chile powder to add a little heat! Sprinkle some chili powder on top of the whipped cream for a full effect.
- Mocha: Mix in 1-2 tbsps of espresso to give this drink more of a kick! You may also garnish it with espresso beans. Or, make yourself an Creamy Iced Oat Milk Latte instead.
- Boozy: Oat milk hot chocolate with Baileys is absolutely delicious. To make this boozy, add 2 oz of Baileys into your hot chocolate once it is made. Be sure to use Bailey’s Almande, as regular Baileys is not vegan. You may also add peppermint schnapps, rum, or tequila. You may also like my Vegan Cinnamon Roll Cocktail or Pumpkin Spice Espresso Martini.
- Extra Chocolate: Add in 1 tbsp of vegan chocolate chips and let them melt as you sip on the most decant hot chocolate!
Hot Chocolate Topping Ideas
There are so many wonderful options to top your cozy oat milk hot cocoa with. Whether you like spicy, sweet, or creamy, the possibilities are endless.
- Vegan Chocolate Sprinkles
- Vegan Chocolate Shavings
- Coconut Whipped Cream
- Dairy Free Cold Foam
- Crushed Candy Cane
- Vegan Marshmallows
- Crushed Biscoff Cookies or Easy Pink Sugar Cookies (vegan)
You can also check out my hot chocolate charcuterie board that is full of fun ideas for what to serve it with!
Yes, to make oat milk hot chocolate in the microwave, heat the oat milk 25 seconds at a time, then continuing it is it is warm enough for your liking. Then, whisk in all the ingredients and add your favorite toppings.
Absolutely. Store any leftover hot chocolate in an airtight container like a glass jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Yes! Hot chocolate can be stored in the refrigerator and reheated the next day. You may reheat this oat milk hot cocoa on the stovetop or the microwave. Reheat by placing on the stovetop and gently warming on low to medium heat for 2-4 minutes or in the microwave, heating for 25 seconds at a time. Stir often when reheating on the stovetop of microwave.
- Warm the milk on medium-low heat! If the stovetop is too hot it can scald the oat milk and cause the hot cocoa to separate. Slow and steady is best!
- Sweeten to taste. Everyones preferred sweetness in their hot cocoa is going to vary so adjust this to your liking.
More Oat Milk Recipes You May Like
Oat Milk Hot Chocolate
- 2 cups oat milk
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 3 tsp cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp vanilla extra
- 1 tbsp sweetener (optional) I used Nutrasweet
- In a medium saucepan, gently heat your oat milk over medium-low heat. * see notes for microwave instructions
- Once it begins to simmer, remove it from heat and add in the optional sweetener, vanilla extract + sea salt. Whisk until combined.
- Add in the cocoa powder, then whisk again until smooth.
- Serve immediately in your favorite cup. Option to top with vegan whip cream, marshmallows, or crushed candy cane! For more variations and topping ideas, see the Variation and Topping sections above.