Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate Guide with Hot Cocoa Brands and Recipes

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It’s National Hot Chocolate Day! Every year I like to update this dairy-free hot chocolate guide with even more store-bought options and recipes. And this seems like the best day to share the latest and greatest. Did you know that there are now over 30 brands of dairy-free and vegan hot cocoa available? Most of them are also gluten-free, soy-free, and nut-free, and some are even paleo friendly!

The Complete Guide to Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate and Hot Cocoa (vegan too!). Includes mixes you can buy and recipes!

Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate Guide with Hot Cocoa Brands and Recipes

This vegan hot cocoa round-up started with a simple request from a reader over a decade ago.

Q: Kris – Thanks so much for providing such a great cookbook/guide book. I have been severely lactose intolerant for the last 2 years, and have had a mild case before that for about 8 years. Do you have any ideas for dairy-free hot chocolate? It is something I just love.

Go Dairy Free - The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance and Casein-Free LivingA: Alisa – For an easy homemade version of dairy-free hot chocolate, I recommend that you use the recipe for Hot Drinking Chocolate in Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook. That recipe includes Spiced, Mocha, and Peppermint options. Plus, there are Classic Hot Cocoa and Toasty Carob Mylk recipes within that book, too! My brand new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free, also has an Almost Instant Hot Cocoa recipe that uses no refined sweeteners.

But the options for dairy-free hot chocolate and hot cocoa don’t stop there. I’ve got more recipes, how-to guidance, and several convenient brands to recommend below.

Keep in mind, this is just a guide, and it should not replace your own due diligence.

Remember to read the ingredient statement before purchasing (they can change!) and speak with the manufacturer directly where severe allergies are a concern. May contain warning labels for potential cross-contamination are completely voluntary for the manufacturer and do not tell the full story. The following options were at least dairy-free by ingredients at our last check. If you see any changes to recommend, please kindly comment on this post.

The Best Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate Mixes (Our Top Picks!)

There are many vegan and dairy-free hot chocolate and hot cocoa brands on the market, so we thought we would start with our favorites, listed alphabetically. Our priorities were taste, availability, and options. We have not tried any of the sugar-free, keto, or functional hot chocolate mixes yet, so they are all in the list that follows this one!

Archer Farms Hot Cocoa Mixes

This popular Target brand has a few dairy-free, kosher parve flavors. They used to have a Malted Milk Chocolate flavor that was made without dairy, but we haven’t seen it in a while.

  • Sweetened with: Sugar
  • No top allergens listed in ingredients
  • Varieties: Dark Chocolate, Cinnamon, Peppermint, Pumpkin Spice (sea salt caramel contains milk)

Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate Guide with Hot Cocoa Brands and Recipes - Vegan-Friendly with Allergy-Friendly, Soy-Free, Sugar-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Paleo, and Keto Options. Pictured: Archer Farms

Cacoco Drinking Chocolate

Touted as “superfood” drinking chocolate, you can bet that this vegan chocolatier makes a rich and relatively nutritious mug of hot cocoa. We have taste-tested this dairy-free hot chocolate, and even reviewed it.

  • Sweetened with: Coconut Sugar; select flavors also use Stevia
  • Coconut
  • Varieties: Pure Dark, Extra Dark, Rich Dark, Golden Dark, Dark Mocha, Spicy Dark, Mint Dark

Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate Guide with Hot Cocoa Brands and Recipes - Vegan-Friendly with Allergy-Friendly, Soy-Free, Sugar-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Paleo, and Keto Options. Pictured: Cacoco Drinking Chocolate

Castle Kitchen Premium Hot Chocolate

This “just add water” mix boasts a dairy-free and vegan label, and it comes in three dark chocolate flavors.

  • Sweetened with: Cane Sugar
  • No top allergens listed in ingredients
  • Varieties: Double Dutch, Classic Caramel, Marvelous Mint

Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate Guide with Hot Cocoa Brands and Recipes - Vegan-Friendly with Allergy-Friendly, Soy-Free, Sugar-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Paleo, and Keto Options. Pictured: Castle Kitchen Hot Chocolate Mix

Coconut Cloud Vegan Hot Cocoa

If you want a creamy “just add hot water” option, then reach for this mix. It’s enriched with powdered coconut cream and MCT oil.

  • Sweetened with: Organic Cane Sugar and Tapioca Syrup
  • Coconut
  • Varieties: Regular, Toasted Marshmallow

Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate Guide with Hot Cocoa Brands and Recipes - Vegan-Friendly with Allergy-Friendly, Soy-Free, Sugar-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Paleo, and Keto Options. Pictured: Coconut Cloud Hot Cocoa

Equal Exchange Organic Hot Chocolate

At last check, they had three organic hot chocolate mixes, but only the Spicy and Dark are dairy free and vegan.

  • Sweetened with: Organic Evaporated Sugar Cane Juice or Organic Cane Sugar
  • No top 8 allergens listed in ingredients
  • Varieties: Dark, Spicy (the Original variety is made with dairy milk)

Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate Guide with Hot Cocoa Brands and Recipes - Vegan-Friendly with Allergy-Friendly, Soy-Free, Sugar-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Paleo, and Keto Options. Pictured: Equal Exchange Organic Dark Hot Cocoa

Ghirardelli Premium Hot Cocoa Mixes

This brand keeps waffling back and forth. They started with an amazing line of canister hot chocolates that were all dairy-free. Those were available for years, until one day they decided to add milk to most of their formulas. But then, as we clamored for dairy-free options to return, they reemerged with some sweet chocolate goodies that are made without milk. But double check the ingredients, they can vary by the type of packaging.

  • Sweetened with: Sugar
  • Soy
  • Varieties: Chocolate Caramel, Double Chocolate, Mocha, Sweet Ground Chocolate & Cocoa

Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate Guide with Hot Cocoa Brands and Recipes - Vegan-Friendly with Allergy-Friendly, Soy-Free, Sugar-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Paleo, and Keto Options. Pictured: Ghirardelli Premium Hot Cocoa Mixes

Nibmor Organic Drinking Chocolate

Nibmor is known for their smooth vegan chocolate, and we expect no less from their dairy-free drinking chocolate.

  • Sweetened with: Organic Cane Sugar and Organic Coconut Palm Sugar
  • Coconut
  • Varieties: Traditional, Spice, Mint

Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate Guide with Hot Cocoa Brands and Recipes - Vegan-Friendly with Allergy-Friendly, Soy-Free, Sugar-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Paleo, and Keto Options. Pictured: Nibmor Drinking Chocolate

Silly Cow Farms Hot Chocoate

Don’t let the dairy image fool you. These adorable little jars of dairy-free hot cocoa may well be within limits for you. They all appear to be made without top allergens, but double check!

  • Sweetened with: Natural Cane Sugar
  • We did not see any top allergens listed
  • Varieties: Marshmallow Swirl, Chocolate Chocolate, Chocolate Truffle, Chocolate Moo-usse, Peppermint Twist, Pumpkin Spice, Coconut Cream, Double Udder, Maple, Sea Salt & Caramel, Java Chocolate Chip, Ginger Snap, Udderley Milk

Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate Guide with Hot Cocoa Brands and Recipes - Vegan-Friendly with Allergy-Friendly, Soy-Free, Sugar-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Paleo, and Keto Options. Pictured: Silly Cow Farms Hot Cocoa

St. Claire’s Organic Hot Cocoa Mix

This allergy-friendly hot cocoa brand has been around for many years. It comes in several lightly-sweetened, nourishing flavors that are soy-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, and nut-free.

  • Sweetened with: Organic Molasses Granules
  • No top allergen ingredients listed
  • Varieties: Traditional, Vanilla, Raspberry, Cherry, Caliente, Ginger, Mandarin, Peppermint

Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate Guide with Hot Cocoa Brands and Recipes - Vegan-Friendly with Allergy-Friendly, Soy-Free, Sugar-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Paleo, and Keto Options. Pictured: St. Claire's Organic Hot Cocoa

More Dairy-Free & Vegan Hot Chocolate Mixes

There are even more to choose from, with keto, paleo, and classic vegan options. I know you will love many of these, too! We obviously haven’t had the chance to try them all. They are listed alphabetically.

Apotheker’s Organic Hot Cocoa Mixes

These mixes are created with simple ingredients by an all-natural chocolatier.

  • Sweetened with: Maple Sugar
  • Most contain no top allergens; Peanut Butter contains peanut and coconut
  • Varieties: Classic, Herbal, Peanut Butter, Mint, Smoke & Spice

Bare Life

This kosher pareve mix is made purely with organic coconut milk powder, coconut sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla beans, and Himalayan salt.

  • Sweetened with: Coconut Sugar
  • Coconut
  • Varieties: Classic / Coconut

Bixby Drinking Chocolate

They make a handful of “European Style” drinking chocolates, but only a few are vegan.

  • Sweetened with: Sugar or Organic Dried Cane Syrup
  • Soy
  • Varieties: Rich Dark, Mayan Style, Peppermint (creamy dark & milk and smooth white contain milk)

Cocoa Cravings Drinking Chocolate

These certified organic, gourmet hot cocoa drinks and drinking chocolates, come in unique flavors and are enriched with Ayurvedic herbal extracts.

  • Sweetened with: Evaporated Cane Juice and Stevia or Coconut Sugar
  • Select flavors contain coconut and/or soy; some are made without top allergens
  • Varieties: Banana, Berry, Pumpkin Pie, Picante, Curried, Orange, Peppermint

Cocoa Felice Hot Cocoa Mix

Boasted as more traditional, this vegan mix uses real European Dutch process cocoa.

  • Sweetened with: Cane Sugar
  • No top allergens listed
  • Varieties: Rich Dark, Mayan Style, Peppermint (creamy dark & milk and smooth white contain milk)

Cocoringa Moringa Cacao Hot Chocolate

If you like to pack in veggies with every sip, then this dairy-free hot chocolate should be tops on your list! It also contains pre and probiotics, and has no added sugar. Consequently, it has less than 2 grams of total sugars!

  • Sweetened with: Oligosaccharide (from chicory root)
  • Coconut
  • Varieties: Classic

Elements Truffles

Yes, this brand is listed in our Healthy Dairy-Free Chocolates Round-up too. They do indeed make dairy-free truffles! But they also have a Healthy Hot Cocoa Mixes.

  • Sweetened with: Coconut Sugar
  • Coconut
  • Varieties: Turmeric, Ashwagandha

Eli’s Earth Drinking Chocolate

This line of organic drinking chocolate mixes by Sjaak’s even comes in

  • Sweetened with: Organic Evaporated Cane Juice
  • Almond
  • Varieties: “Melk,” Dark, Almond, Merry-Mint.

Four Sigmatic Mushroom Hot Cacao Mix

This functional food company makes organic hot cacao with just six ingredients, including mushrooms! It’s touted as not only vegan, but also paleo hot cacao.

  • Sweetened with: Organic Coconut Palm Sugar and Stevia
  • Coconut
  • Varieties: Original with Reishi

Franzese Hot Chocolate

Boasting true Italian tradition, this drinking chocolate just happens to be dairy free.

  • Sweetened with: Sugar; the Salted Caramel also contains Fructose
  • The Salted Caramel contains soy
  • Varieties: Traditional, Salted Caramel

Golden Goddess Chocolate Elixir

They make a chocolate version of their turmeric elixir, complete with adaptogenic herbs and creamy coconut milk powder.

  • Sweetened with: Coconut Sugar and Stevia
  • Coconut
  • Varieties: Original

Godiva Hot Cocoa

This classic gourmet hot cocoa brand makes a dairy-free version by ingredients.

  • Sweetened with: Sugar
  • Soy
  • Varieties: Dark (the Milk version contains milk)

InJoy Organics

This sugar-free, keto-friendly, and dairy-free hot chocolate is made with real dark chocolate and just five ingredients.

  • Sweetened with: Erythritol and Stevia
  • No top allergens listed in ingredients
  • Varieties: Classic, Mint, Orange

Laird Superfood Hot Chocolate

This rich hot cocoa is a superfood blend made with cinnamon powder, the company’s creamy coconut milk powder, and functional mushrooms.

  • Sweetened with: Coconut Sugar
  • Coconut
  • Varieties: Original

Lakanto Sugar-Free Drinking Chocolate

This is one of the few dairy-free hot chocolate options that is low-glycemic, keto-friendly, and sugar-free. It’s also stocked with calcium, magnesium, and probiotics.

  • Sweetened with: Erythritol and Monk Fruit Extract
  • No top allergens listed in ingredients
  • Varieties: Original

Lake Champlain Hot Cocoa Mixes

Though they are a traditional chocolatier, Lake Champlain never forgets their vegan contingency. In fact, it looks like all of their hot cocoa mixes are non-dairy.

  • Sweetened with: Sugar
  • No top allergens listed in ingredients
  • Varieties: Traditional, Spicy Aztec, Mocha, Peppermint, Marshmallow

Maud’s Loco Hot Cocoa K-Cups

These K-cups are Keurig-friendly for a convenient way to enjoy one quick non-dairy cup.

  • Sweetened with: Sugar, Corn Syrup Solids, and Sucralose
  • Coconut
  • Varieties: Original

Mrs. Bryant’s Hot Cocoa

This remarkably simple dairy-free hot cocoa contains just three, everyday, vegan ingredients.

  • Sweetened with: Sugar
  • No top allergens listed in ingredients
  • Varieties: Dutch Colony

Nestle Abuelita Chocolate (NOT Cocoa Mixes)

Their hot cocoa mixes contain dairy, but their drinking chocolate tablets and bars are pure non-dairy chocolate.

  • Sweetened with: Sugar
  • Soy
  • Varieties: Tablillas de Chocolate Caliente, Marqueta Bar

Nomad Drinking Chocolate

This naturally vegan brand wanders between classic and exotic flavors, like Ruby Bliss which is pink from beets!

  • Sweetened with: Cane Sugar or Organic Raw Sugar
  • No top allergens listed in ingredients
  • Varieties: 45% Dark, 55% Dark, Ancient Maya, Ruby Bliss

Penzey’s Hot Chocolate

Thank you to Meg F. for letting us knot that this popular spice brand makes dairy-free hot cocoa. They use their prized ceylon cinnamon in both varieties.

  • Sweetened with: Sugar
  • No top allergens listed in ingredients
  • Varieties: Traditional, Hint of Mint

Starbucks Hot Cocoa Mix

In their packaged line, Starbucks seems to offer a couple of hot cocoa flavors that are made without milk ingredients, including the Classic that’s sold at Costco. But at least one flavor (Caramel) is made with dairy, so read carefully.

  • Sweetened with: Cane Sugar
  • Select varieties contain soy
  • Varieties: Classic, Double Chocolate, Marshmallow (not vegan), Peppermint (Caramel contains milk)

Sweet Cheat Hot Chocolate

This sugar-free, keto-friendly, dairy-free hot chocolate mix has just 1 gram of net carbs.

  • Sweetened with: Inulin Fibre and Monk Fruit
  • No top allergen ingredients listed
  • Varieties: Traditional

Sweet Freedom Liquid Chocolate

Their Choc Shot is a squeezable fruit-sweetened liquid that you add to your milk beverage for lump-free, dairy-free hot chocolate! It’s available in Original, Orange Spice, and Coconut. This is a UK brand, but it can be bought on Amazon in the U.S.

  • Sweetened with: Fruit Extracts
  • No top allergen ingredients listed
  • Varieties: Original, Orange Spice, Coconut

Swiss Miss Non Dairy Hot Cocoa Mix

Their other hot chocolate mixes are still made with dairy, but this popular brand is also launching a non-dairy version (yes, it’s dairy-free). It’s made with coconut milk powder.

  • Sweetened with: Sugar, we assume
  • Haven’t seen yet
  • Varieties: Non-Dairy

Taza Organic Hot Chocolate

This long-time dairy-free chocolatier now makes dairy-free hot chocolate with a base of just organic cacao beans, cane sugar, cocoa butter, and vanilla beans.

  • Sweetened with: Organic Cane Sugar
  • No top allergen ingredients listed
  • Varieties: Classic, Cinnamon, Guajillo Chili

The Chocolate Conspiracy Chocolate Drink Mix

This organic, fair trade mix can be enjoyed hot or cold. It’s made purely with unroasted single-origin Peruvian cacao beans, mesquite powder, and coconut sugar.

  • Sweetened with: Organic Coconut Palm Sugar
  • Coconut
  • Varieties: Original

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Hot Chocolate Sticks

These single-serves are sold in a pack of eight. They are made without dairy, but do have clear notes for potential milk cross-contamination in manufacturing.

  • Sweetened with: Cane Sugar
  • Soy
  • Varieties: Original

Treehouse Originals Coconut Drinking Chocolate

All of their other varieties contain milk, but the Coconut variety is listed as dairy-free. It’s made with coconut milk powder instead of milk.

  • Sweetened with: Coconut Nectar and Cane Sugar
  • Coconut
  • Varieties: Coconut

Whittard Vegan Hot Chocolate

Several varieties from this UK company appear are dairy-free by ingredients, and identified as vegan by the company.

  • Sweetened with: Sugar
  • No top allergens listed in the ingredients of select varieties
  • Varieties: Luxury, Peanut Butter, Salted Caramel, Mocha, 70% Cocoa, Marzipan, Ginger, Orange, Caramel, Cinnamon, Dreamtime, Chilli, Rocky Road

You Wont Believe its Parve

You won’t believe it comes in K-cups! These single-serve beverages are dairy-free and compatible with your coffee maker.

  • Sweetened with: Cane Sugar and Sucralose
  • No top allergens listed in the ingredients of select varieties
  • Varieties: Original


Homemade Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate & Hot Cocoa Recipes

Aside from the easy recipes in Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook and Eat Dairy Free: The Everyday Cookbook, here are some more rich, chocolaty dairy-free sipping formulas:

  • Basic Dairy-Free Hot Cocoa – This simple option can be made with hot water, but it also has Creamy, Gingerbread, Mayan, and Nutty Variations
  • Healthier Hot Chocolate – For a milky finish, this recipe uses brown rice milk powder and includes three flavor variations (pictured below).
  • Mama’s Single-Serve Hot Chocolate – Sarah shared her favorite hot coco recipe for one, topped with marshmallow creme for a twist.
  • Nourishing Spiced Hot Chocolate – I bet you never thought you’d see a hot chocolate recipe with prunes!
  • Hot Chocolate Cubes – These are fun to make, gift, and enjoy. They make a rich drinking chocolate.
  • Crockpot Hot Chocolate – For parties, Sarah makes this easy hot chocolate. It cooks low and slow for steaming hot chocolate on demand.
  • Hot Cocoa Mix – I like to keep this quick dairy-free mix on hand to whip up a batch of hot cocoa any time. It includes Spice, Mocha, and Mint variations.

Fast & Easy DIY Options

Eat Dairy Free - Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and SweetsIn a pinch, keep this basic ratio in mind: roughly 1 tablespoon cocoa powder per 1 cup of liquid, and sweetener to taste. For a light hot cocoa, some prefer to use just water. For something a little richer, use anything from rice milk on up to cashew milk or coconut milk (the fatty kind!). Or consider melting in some dairy-free chocolate chips for a little cocoa buttery luxury.

If you’re feeling lazy, follow my husband Tony’s lead and just heat up your favorite dairy-free chocolate milk beverage.

Classic Hot Cocoa Toppings

Most marshmallows are dairy-free, but there are also tasty vegan (gelatin-free) brands like Dandies. If you’d rather have a coffeehouse-style hot cocoa, use my Dairy-Free Whipped Cream Recipe or buy one of these Vegan Whipped Cream Brands.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

34 Comments

    • Almost all (if not all) of these are made without peanuts and tree nuts. But I couldn’t tell you on potential cross contamination issues. I believe I have noted above if they are an “allergy friendly” type of brand.

  1. “If you’re feeling lazy, follow my husband Tony’s lead and just heat up your favorite dairy-free chocolate milk beverage.”
    —> Yes, it describes how exactly I am right now xD
    I’m in love in every hot chocolate 100%!!!

  2. Best hot chocolate i’ve Ever had is in Colombia. And it’s dairy free. Some months ago I started craving it and googled to see if I could make it here in Hawaii. No luck so far

  3. I have to be soya and egg free too and a lot of replacements contain soya.
    I warm up some rice milk then add Alpro chocolate hazelnut ice cream. Tastes delicious.

  4. Theresa Doyle on

    I am a celiac and also Lactose free Dairy

    I am trying to find Drinking Chocolate and also Cream which I would use in my Garlic Potato recipe

    Can you help please

  5. What about good ole fashioned Hershey’s syrup? Non-dairy and very easy to find if you don’t have access to specialty stores for some of the other products.

  6. Thank you so much for this! I’ve been allergic to dairy for 14 years- my whole life. Every year when we put our Christmas tree up my whole family has hot chocolate, its pretty much a tradition. Now I can enjoy it with them!

  7. Pingback: Caldo Chocolate – Vegan Drinking Chocolate

    • Hi Carolina, you can use Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa to make your own dairy-free hot chocolate as noted in the post. Their chocolate syrup (for drizzling in) is also dairy-free by ingredients, but the ingredients are pretty questionable! I’d recommend a better quality brand if possible.

  8. I just looked up the Ghirardelli ingredients and all of their instant hot cocoa/chocolate have dairy in them. The only thing that doesn’t is the sweet ground cocoa.

    • Hi Darcy, I’m so sorry for this massive delay in responding – it seems your comment was caught in spam and I just found it. It does look like Ghirardelli has changed their hot cocoa line. Thank you for the note! I am updating this post now with new information.

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