This healthy oat milk hot cocoa is so creamy and easy to make. It is made with simple, plant-based ingredients which make it vegan, dairy-free, and naturally gluten-free. Adding vegan marshmallows, coconut whipped cream, and a dash of cinnamon on top make it such a delicious treat. You can make this cozy hot chocolate on the stove or in the microwave in less than 5 minutes! It tastes like chocolate cake donuts.
This hot chocolate makes the perfect drink for Christmas and the winter months. There is nothing better than warming up with a delicous, chocolate treat on a chilly day, but of course this hot cocoa can be enjoyed all year round.
Another cozy drink you might love is this pumpkin spice iced latte which is perfect for fall. This almond milk latte is another great choice to enjoy all year round. Try them all and see which one you like best! One of them could be your new favorite drink.
Why You'll Love This Drink
- It's Vegan - Since this hot cocoa is made with oat milk, it is dairy-free and vegan! It's also naturally gluten-free and safe for those with allergies or dietary restrictions.
- Easy to Make - This hot cocoa takes only 5 minutes to make. It's SO easy!
- Naturally Sweetened - Maple syrup is used as a natural sweetener in the hot chocolate, which makes the drink refined sugar free.
- Rich Chocolate Flavor - Using organic cacao powder gives the hot cocoa such a rich chocolate flavor that is irresistible.
- Microwave or Stovetop - You can make the hot cocoa on the stove or in the microwave. Both options are super easy and quick.
You only need a few simple, plant-based ingredients to make this healthy hot cocoa.
Here are some notes on the ingredients, including recommendations for substitutions you can make if needed:
- Oat Milk - I recommend using unsweetened oat milk like Planet Oat Milk or Oatly, but any unsweetened oat milk works just fine. If you're using a sweetened oat milk, consider reducing the amount of maple syrup you use to avoid the hot cocoa becoming too sweet.
- Pure Maple Syrup - Instead of using sugar, pure maple syrup is a flavorful natural sweetener in the hot cocoa. You can use coconut sugar instead, or use honey if you're not vegan.
- Cacao Powder - Be sure to use unsweetened cacao powder for this recipe for the best health benefits and strong chocolate flavor.
- Cinnamon - Adding cinnamon gives the hot cocoa such a cozy, well-rounded flavor. It's not overpowering in the hot cocoa, but you can omit it if desired. You can use nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice instead, too!
- Salt - A sprinkle of salt can balance the flavors, but this is optional.
Is Oat Milk Gluten-Free?
Yes! Usually. Oats are naturally gluten-free, which means most oat milk options should be gluten-free, too. However, not all oat milk options are manufactured in a gluten-free facility, so this is something to look out for. Be sure to use a certified gluten-free oat milk (like Oatly) if you want to be sure this oat milk hot cocoa is gluten-free.
Can You Froth Oat Milk?
One way to top your oat milk hot cocoa is with creamy, frothed oat milk.
Oat milk is great for frothing! When compared to other plant-based milks like almond milk, oat milk is far superior for frothing and easily becomes creamy and light. Oat milk has a higher fat and protein content than almond milk, which makes it easier to froth. You can froth oat milk with an electric milk frother or a steam wand.
How To Make Oat Milk Hot Cocoa
This hot cocoa only takes 5 minutes to make on the stove or in the microwave. Below are step-by-step instructions for making the hot cocoa on the stove.
STEP 1: Heat oat milk. Add the oat milk to a small to medium saucepan over medium heat. You don't want it to boil, but it should become hot after 3-4 minutes.
STEP 2: Add remaining ingredients. Once the oat milk is warm, add the cacao powder, pure maple syrup, cinnamon, and pinch of salt.
STEP 3: Stir thoroughly. Over low to medium heat, continuously stir the ingredients until completely dissolved and you have a smooth, creamy hot cocoa mixture.
STEP 4: Transfer to mug. Remove the hot cocoa from the heat and pour it into a 16-ounce mug or glass of choice. Be careful, it will be hot!
STEP 5: Add toppings. Now is the fun part! Add vegan marshmallows, coconut whipped cream, frothed oat milk, or a dash of cinnamon to your hot cocoa if desired.
Microwave Hot Chocolate
If you don't want to make the oat milk hot chocolate on the stove, you can microwave the oat milk for the hot chocolate and then mix in the cacao powder, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt. Just be sure to use a big enough mug for easy stirring.
How Long to Microwave Milk
I recommend you warm milk in the microwave for 3-4 minutes so it becomes hot. Since the oat milk is cold from the fridge, it will need time to warm in the microwave properly. You want to ensure the milk is hot before adding in the cacao powder, or it can be clumpy and hard to mix. If the cacao powder is hard to combine, microwave the oat milk longer and then mix it again until the hot cocoa is smooth and creamy.
Flavor Variations & Toppings
Some great hot cocoa toppings are vegan marshmallows, coconut whipped cream, frothy oat milk, or a dash of cinnamon. Feel free to get creative! Here are some fun hot cocoa flavor variations you can try sometime:
- Soy Milk Hot Cocoa - You can replace the oat milk with soy milk for an equally creamy and delicious vegan hot cocoa option.
- Iced Oat Milk Latte - Add a shot of espresso to the mixture and place it in the fridge to chill. Then pour it over ice for a rich and creamy iced oat milk latte.
- Iced Honey Oat Milk Latte - Use honey in place of maple syrup in this recipe, and add a shot of espresso. Let the mixture cool in the fridge before pouring it over ice and enjoying a delicious honey oat milk latte.
- Peppermint Hot Cocoa - Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of peppermint extract to the oat milk hot cocoa for a peppermint flavored hot chocolate, perfect for Christmas!
- Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate - Use pumpkin pie spice in place of the cinnamon and sprinkle more pumpkin pie spice on top. You can also give this pumpkin spiced iced latte a try.
Frequently Asked Questions
Oats are naturally gluten-free, which means most oat milk is gluten-free, too. You just need to be sure the oat milk was manufactured in a gluten-free facility to avoid cross-contamination.
Microwave oat milk for 2-4 minutes on high before stirring in the hot chocolate ingredients like cacao powder. The oat milk needs to be hot enough for the cacao powder to dissolve easily.
Yes! This oat milk hot chocolate is vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and made with plant-based ingredients. It is much healthier than store-bought versions that contain a lot of added sugars and preservatives.
There are approximately 245 calories in one serving of oat milk hot cocoa, depending on what brand of oat milk you use.
Yes, cocoa is vegan. Organic cacao powder is minimally processed and contains healthy antioxidants and flavonoids. Be wary of "hot cocoa mixes" that may contain milk solids.
Oat milk and soy milk are great plant-based milk alternatives for hot chocolate because they are super creamy. Almond milk and coconut milk are great options too, but they are not quite as creamy as soy milk or oat milk hot chocolate.
No, oat milk is plant-based milk made from oats. It does not contain lactose. It is vegan and dairy-free.
Storing And Freezing
This hot cocoa is best enjoyed immediately, but you can keep it in the fridge for 2-3 days if necessary. Be sure to reheat it in the microwave before enjoying.
Does oat milk need to be refrigerated?
Yes, oat milk should generally be refrigerated. There are some shelf-stable oat milk varieties that can be stored at room temperature as long as the seal is intact, but you need to refrigerate them after opening. It's best practice to keep your oat milk in the fridge regardless, so it does not spoil.
Can you freeze oat milk?
Yes, you can freeze oat milk, but it can become grainy in the freezer. It's best to use frozen oat milk in baked goods rather than drinking it or using it for hot chocolate since the texture may be different after being frozen.
It is recommended you do not freeze oat milk more than once.
More Drink Recipes
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Oat Milk Hot Cocoa
- 1 Small Saucepan
- 1 16-ounce Mug
- 2 cups unsweetened oat milk
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cacao powder
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon or nutmeg
- pinch of salt optional
- vegan marshmallows
- coconut whipped cream
- frothed oat milk
- dash of cinnamon
- Add the oat milk to a small saucepan over low to medium heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes to heat the milk, but do not let it boil.2 cups unsweetened oat milk
- Add the cacao powder, maple syrup, ground cinnamon, and pinch of salt. Stir continuously until dissolved, about 2-3 minutes.3 tablespoons unsweetened cacao powder, 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, pinch of salt
- Remove from the heat and pour the hot cocoa into a mug. Top with dairy-free coconut whipped cream, vegan marshmallows, or a dash of cinnamon if desired.coconut whipped cream, vegan marshmallows, dash of cinnamon
- If you'd like sweeter hot cocoa, stir in an additional tablespoon of maple syrup.