Delicious Vegan Peppermint Hot Chocolate perfect for the holiday season! It's super easy to make and sweetened with only a touch of maple syrup! Enjoy this decadent cup of joy with extra whipped cream on top this Christmas.
What Makes This Recipe Special
- Perfect for Christmas - Hot chocolate is one of my favorite drinks to make during winter and especially during the holidays. This recipe is special because it adds that minty flavor we connect to Christmas. It's just like dark peppermint chocolate but in a drink form!
- Better than Starbucks - I've made a good amount of Starbucks copycat recipes and knew I had to make at least one from their Christmas lineup too. It has all the delicious flavors the original has but way less sugar. Starbucks uses sweetened mocha syrup but this recipe uses real cacao powder. Check out my favorite Rooibos Rose Tea Latte.
- Almond milk - I find almond milk makes this hot chocolate extra creamy and decadent but any milk you like works here. Cashew milk is my second favorite.
- Chocolate - cacao powder and chocolate chips
- Maple syrup - This is the only sweetener that goes into this drink besides the chocolate chips if you add them. I find this to be enough for the drink but add as much as you'd like! If you're adding whipped cream on top, this will also add some sugar. You can substitute this for any sweetener you like.
- Peppermint extract - This is what makes the recipe! Remember a little goes a long way with this extract, you really don't want it to taste like toothpaste. This will depend on how strong your peppermint extract is but mine is by Simply Organic and I use only ¼ teaspoon for a single serving.
- First you warm up the milk in a small saucepan.
- Just when it starts simmering, take it off the heat and add the maple syrup, cacao powder, chocolate chips, and peppermint extract.
- Whisk or stir until the chocolate chips dissolve and the cacao is well mixed in.
- Bring it back to a simmer for just a minute. This will help thicken the drink slightly.
- Take it off the heat and use a milk frother to froth the hot chocolate. This is an optional step but I highly recommend it. It makes the drink really decadent and helps to blend everything well together. I have a little handheld milk frother I got for less than $20 and it's perfect for this.
Storing and Serving
- This drink is best served right away while it's still hot.
- I like to add vegan coconut whipped cream and some crushed-up candy cane on top for serving. You can crush the candy canes using a wooden cutting board, a ziplock bag, and a kitchen mallet, or a small hammer. Be careful when doing this, it won't take much force to crush them.
- You can also serve it with some marshmallows or these gluten-free gingerbread cookies on the side.
- I don't recommend storing this drink at all. It's really easy to make right before serving, and it won't be the same if you refrigerate and reheat it.
In short, yes. It's not a healthy drink per se but it's only sweetened with a small amount of maple syrup instead of regular sugar and if you skip the coconut whipped cream, you know exactly how much sugar goes in!
Very small amounts, but yes, the recipe uses raw cacao powder which naturally contains caffeine. All cacao has caffeine so if you're trying to avoid it, I recommend using carob powder instead.
The one I use is made with coconut milk and I got it at Wholefoods. I'd look at a health food store near you that usually carries healthier or vegan products.
A delicious cup of warming creamy hot chocolate with vegan whipped cream and crushed candy cane.
- 1 cup almond milk (sub cashew or oat milk)
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 1 tbsp dark chocolate chips
- ¼ tsp peppermint extract
- vegan whipped cream (optional, for serving)
- 1 candy cane, crushed or chopped (optional, for serving)
- Pour the almond milk into a small pot and bring to a soft boil over medium-high heat. As soon as it begins to boil, take it off the heat. Add the maple syrup, cacao powder, chocolate chips, and peppermint extract. Whisk or stir until it’s all combined and the chocolate chips are melted.
- Bring back to a simmer for 1 minute. This will thicken it slightly. Take off heat and use a handheld milk frother to froth the hot chocolate. Alternatively, you can pour it into a blender and blend for a few seconds to froth (be very careful as it’s very hot).
- Pour into a cup, top with whipped cream and crushed candy cane if desired. Enjoy!
Crushed candy cane: Place your candy canes in a ziplock bag and close letting all the air out. Place it on a wooden cutting board and carefully crush it using a kitchen mallet or a small hammer. Be careful, it doesn't take much strength to do this.
Substitutes for maple syrup: coconut sugar, date sugar, agave, stevia, or erythritol
Other optional toppings: vegan marshmallows, cinnamon, chocolate sauce, or whipped cream with chocolate shavings
Keywords: hot chocolate, christmas, hot drink