This dairy-free Oat Milk Hot Chocolate is creamy, indulgent, and so easy to make. Coming together in just 5 minutes, you'll be snuggling up by the fireplace with a big mug of homemade hot chocolate every chance you get this snowy winter season. It's made with both cocoa powder and chocolate chips to create the richest, creamiest, most decadent hot chocolate ever.
When the snow begins to fall on a chilly winter day, there's nothing I crave more than a warm, cozy, comforting mug of hot chocolate topped with lots of marshmallows or whipped cream.
Since dairy sometimes bothers me (thanks, lactose), I often find myself reaching for oat milk to make hot chocolate with instead. It's creamy, slightly sweet, and tastes somewhat similar to cow's milk. Additionally, I like using a combination of cocoa powder and chocolate chips to achieve a homemade hot cocoa that is rich, creamy, and deeply chocolate flavored.
This homemade oat milk hot chocolate recipe is easily my favorite hot drink during the cooler-weather season. It's the perfect amount of sweet and chocolatey to satisfy my sweet tooth. Plus, it comes together so quickly that I can whip it up whenever a chocolate craving strikes.
So, if you're looking for a tasty, dairy-free hot beverage to share with family and friends this holiday season, keep reading to learn how to make this delicious oat milk hot chocolate.
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Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Rich & Chocolatey- Made with both cocoa powder and chocolate chips, this oat milk hot chocolate is rich and deeply chocolate flavored. The cocoa powder gives the hot chocolate that classic hot cocoa taste. At the same time, the chocolate chips create a smooth, creamy, luscious cup of hot chocolate.
- Dairy-Free- Creamy oat milk makes for a wonderful substitute for cow's milk and provides the perfect base for a dairy-free hot chocolate recipe.
- Made in 5 Minutes- Homemade hot chocolate is so simple and easy to make. Just add the four ingredients to a saucepan, whisk, heat, and you're done! No more disappointing packets of hot chocolate ever again.
Here are some notes on key ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Unsweetened Oat Milk- I like being able to control the sweetness level of my hot chocolate when I make it at home. Therefore, I use unsweetened oat milk so I can add sugar to taste. Both original and vanilla flavors work well for this recipe. I wouldn't use chocolate oat milk as that would likely be too chocolatey.
- Sugar- In the recipe card below, I call for a range of 2-4 tablespoons of sugar. I know that some people prefer their hot chocolate sweeter than others, which is why I used a range. Try starting with 2 tablespoons and add more sugar to taste.
- Cocoa Powder- Adding a little cocoa powder gives this hot chocolate a deep, rich, chocolatey flavor. Be sure to whisk vigorously as it can take a few seconds to incorporate into liquid.
- Dairy-Free Chocolate Chips- My go-to dairy-free chocolate chips are the Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips (affiliate link). I especially like using mini chocolate chips because they melt quickly and easily.
Step by Step Instructions
Here is how to make this oat milk hot chocolate.
Step 1: Make the hot chocolate. Add the oat milk, sugar, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, and vanilla extract (if using) to a small saucepan and place over low to medium-low heat on the stovetop. Whisk continuously until the cocoa powder is thoroughly mixed with the milk and the chocolate chips have melted. Continue heating the hot chocolate, whisking occasionally, until steaming hot, but not boiling. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
Here are a few ways you can customize this oat milk hot chocolate to fit your diet and taste preferences.
- Oat Milk- You can use almond milk, soy milk, or any dairy-free milk in place of the oat milk. Don't need it to be dairy-free? Use whole milk, half and half, or reduced-fat milk instead.
- Granulated Sugar- You can swap the granulated sugar for an equal amount of maple syrup, brown sugar, or coconut sugar.
- Cocoa Powder- Don't have any cocoa powder on hand? Leave it out and add an additional tablespoon of chocolate chips instead.
- Chocolate Chips- All out of chocolate chips? Chop up your favorite vegan chocolate bar to use instead. Or replace the chocolate chips with an additional 4 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder.
- Vanilla Extract- An equal amount of vanilla bean paste, peppermint extract, or maple extract can be used in place of the vanilla. If using vanilla-flavored oat milk, you can omit the vanilla entirely.
- Gluten-Free- Depending on the brands you use, this oat milk hot cocoa can be made gluten-free. Both Planet Oat Unsweetened Oatmilk and Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips state they are gluten-free on their packages. Cocoa powder and sugar are naturally gluten-free.
Mix-Ins and Toppings
Half the fun of making hot chocolate at home is adding topping after topping until your heart is content. Here are a few of my favorite hot chocolate toppings. Opt for the dairy-free version of these, if necessary.
- Marshmallows or Mini Marshmallow
- Whipped Cream, Coconut Whipped Cream, or Vegan Whipped Cream
- Chocolate Shavings or Mini Chocolate Chips
- Chocolate Sauce or Caramel Sauce
- Toffee Bits
- Crushed Peppermint
- Peppermint Extract
- Cinnamon and Nutmeg
- Cayenne Pepper
- Flaky Sea Salt
- Liquor or Liqueur (for spiked hot chocolate)
Storage and Reheating
While homemade hot chocolate with oat milk is best served fresh, you can easily make and store a large batch ahead of time for a holiday party (hot chocolate bar, anyone?) Here are a few tips and tricks for storing this oat milk hot chocolate.
How to Store
- Refrigerator- Store leftover hot chocolate in the refrigerator in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid or in an airtight container for 3-5 days.
- Freezer- For longer storage, hot chocolate actually freezes quite well. Place the hot chocolate in a freezer-safe storage container and freeze for up to 3 months. Alternately, you can freeze hot chocolate in an ice cube tray and store the frozen hot chocolate cubes in a freeze-safe plastic bag. Tip: Use the frozen hot chocolate cubes to make frozen hot chocolate in a blender.
How to Reheat
- Stovetop- Add leftover hot chocolate to a small saucepan and heat until steaming over low heat.
- Slow Cooker- If you have a large quantity of hot chocolate that you want to reheat, a slow cooker comes in very handy. It's especially great if you're planning a hot chocolate bar for a Christmas party or holiday gathering. Simply add your leftover hot chocolate to the slow cooker, set it to low, and allow it to warm up for approximately 2 hours.
- Microwave- Reheating hot chocolate in the microwave is a quick and convenient way to get your hot cocoa fix. Fill a microwave-safe mug or cup with hot chocolate and microwave on high in 30-second intervals, stirring in between each to ensure even heating. You want the beverage to be piping hot, but not scalding.
Frequently Asked Questions
Oat milk hot chocolate isn't necessarily healthier than regular hot chocolate. The best part about making hot chocolate from scratch is that you can control the amount of sugar that you put in it.
Definitely milk. Hot chocolate that's made using water is thinner and lacks the creaminess that milk-based hot chocolate has. I love using oat milk in hot chocolate to replace dairy-based milk because I think it mimics the creaminess and richness of milk quite well.
Yes! To make oat milk hot chocolate in the microwave, fill a microwave-safe mug or cup with oat milk. Heat for approximately one minute or until steaming hot. Add in the sugar, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips, whisking vigorously until well combined. For the slow cooker method, add everything into the slow cooker and heat over low for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Often used interchangeably, hot chocolate and hot cocoa are actually different beverages. Hot chocolate is a thick, rich, and creamy chocolate drink made from melted chocolate. On the other hand, hot cocoa is made using cocoa powder, sugar, and other flavorings. This oat milk hot chocolate uses both to get the best of both worlds.
More Recipes You May Enjoy
Oat Milk Hot Chocolate
- 3 cups unsweetened oat milk original or vanilla flavor
- 2-4 tablespoons granulated sugar to taste
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ cup dairy-free chocolate chips
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract optional
- Add the oat milk, sugar, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, and vanilla extract (if using) to a small saucepan and place over low to medium-low heat on the stovetop. Whisk continuously until the cocoa powder is thoroughly mixed with the milk and the chocolate chips have melted. Continue heating the hot chocolate, whisking occasionally, until steaming hot, but not boiling. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
- Store leftovers for 3-5 days in the refrigerator or for up to 3 months in the freezer.
- Large Batch: This recipe can be multiplied quite easily to be served at fall or winter parties. Can be made up to 3 days ahead and heated just before serving.
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