This creamy and smooth oat milk hot chocolate is done in less than 10 minutes, and it only needs a handful of ingredients.
Since this winter is not going away anytime soon (at least not here in the Midwest), the perfect drink to warm you up is a comforting mug of hot chocolate with oat milk.
- Oat milk: For this recipe, I used oat milk. My favorite brand is Oatly.
- Cacao powder: I used organic cacao powder. I love Navitas Organics, which is non-GMO, gluten-free, and vegan.
- Sugar: I used brown sugar for this recipe. I love the taste brown sugar adds. Feel free to substitute for a different sweetener of your choice.
- Dark chocolate: As always, use high-quality dark chocolate. My favorite is Lindt Dark Chocolate. This chocolate may contain milk and soy products, so for vegan options, refer to recipe variations and ingredients substitutions.
- Salt: We add a little salt to amplify the chocolate flavor.
- Toppings: I used the mixture of mini marshmallows, regular size marshmallows, dark chocolate shavings/pieces, cinnamon powder, and flaky sea salt.
See recipe card for quantities.
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
- Cozy, warm drink with a rich chocolate flavor.
- Quick and easy to make.
- Not too sweet.
- Smooth and creamy.
- Before pouring oat milk, shake the container well.
- Heat the oat milk, cacao powder, salt, and brown sugar on medium-high heat until well incorporated.
- Lower the temperature to medium and add chocolate. Mix frequently until the chocolate melts and thoroughly combines with the remaining ingredients.
- Pour into a mug and add your favorite toppings.
Substitutions and Variations
- Use different milk: You can substitute oat milk for almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, although please note that the flavor might differ a little.
- Make it vegan: If you use vegan chocolate instead of Lindt chocolate, use maple syrup, and add vegan marshmallows as your toppings, this recipe will be gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, and vegan.
- Spike it up: Add a shot of baileys for an extra creamy and rich taste.
Toppings Ideas and Add-ins
- Add-ins: For additional flavor, add some of the following: peppermint extract, vanilla extract, nutmeg, cinnamon, etc. The possibilities are endless.
- Different toppings: I used the regular mini marshmallows, a few dark chocolate pieces/shavings, a sprinkle of cinnamon powder, and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. But you can substitute those with cacao nibs, crushed peppermint/candy canes, vegan salted caramel.
Expert Tips and Tricks
- Don’t boil the oat milk: you want to heat it, but not boil it. This will change the flavor of the drink.
- Don’t burn the chocolate: don’t walk away when melting the chocolate. You want to mix it often since the chocolate can burn quickly.
- To make it extra thick and creamy: add less milk. I like to add 1 ⅓ cup oat milk per serving, but feel free to add ¾ cup to 1 cup. Start with less and see which consistency you prefer.
Cocoa Powder vs. Cacao Powder
Although they are similar, cocoa powder and cacao powder have a different flavors.
They both have a chocolate taste, but cacao has a more earthy flavor, similar to dark chocolate. Cocoa is sweeter too.
Another significant difference is how the cacao beans are processed. They both start with fermented cacao beans.
Beans are processed at a low temperature before being crushed into a powder for cacao powder.
Beans are roasted at a high temperature and then crushed into pieces to make cocoa powder, called cocoa nibs.
Hot Chocolate vs. Hot Cocoa
The name itself is pretty explanatory. Hot chocolate is prepared using chocolate pieces that we melt using milk or cream. The amount of milk you use will determine how thick it is.
On the other hand, hot cocoa is prepared using cocoa or cacao powder, which people usually make.
This recipe will yield two medium-size servings. If you want to store the other portion (before adding toppings or add-ins), store it in the fridge for a couple of days. Reheat on the stove when ready to drink.
Hot chocolate contains caffeine, approximately 5 mg per 1 cup.
If you use vegan chocolate and vegan toppings, this hot chocolate will be vegan friendly.
Some of the sweetener alternatives are: Stevia, Maple syrup, Dates or date syrup, Brown rice syrup.
This depends on the oat milk brands. As I mentioned before, I use Oatly oat milk, which has no dairy, no nuts, and is gluten-free.
The store-bought hot chocolate mix already has mixed ingredients, like milk powder, sugar, creamer, and cacao powder. Since I like to determine the sweetness of my hot chocolate and milk preference, I use organic and vegan cacao powder.
Other Beverage Recipes You’ll Love
- Butterfly Pea Latte
- Dalgona Latte
- Iced Oat Milk Latte
- Oat Milk Matcha Latte
- Matcha Turmeric Latte
- Matcha Chai Latte
- Rose Chai Latte
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Oat Milk Hot Chocolate
For hot chocolate
- 2 ⅔ cup unsweetened oat milk
- 2 tablespoon unsweetened cacao powder
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar
- 8 cubes dark chocolate
- 2 pinches of salt
- mini marshmallows
- dark chocolate shavings
- cinnamon powder
- flaky sea salt
- Before pouring oat milk, shake the container.
- Add oat milk, sugar, cacao powder, and salt in a medium-sized bowl and heat on medium-high heat for 4 minutes. Mix with a whisk until you blend the cacao powder with milk.
- Lower the heat to medium, and add chocolate. Mix with a spatula often; otherwise, the chocolate might burn. Heat the chocolate for 4-6 minutes until chocolate is completely melted and incorporated with oat milk.
- Pour into a mug and add your favorite toppings. Enjoy!