Published by PETA.

Are you tired of your same old regular hot cocoa? Does it bother you to know that cows are dosed with recombinant bovine growth hormone to create milk and whipped cream? And doesn’t the fact that marshmallows are made of gelatin, which is a protein procured by boiling animal skin, tendons, cartilage, ligaments, and/or bones, make you cringe?

Fret not, because vegan hot cocoa is super-simple to whip up. If you want to jazz things up a bit, we’ve got some super-easy and delicious ways to do it.

These hot-cocoa–making techniques need to start with a good basic recipe. If you already have a favorite recipe, great! If not, don’t worry. Here’s a really simple one for one cup of hot cocoa:

Vegan Hot Cocoa


Vegan Hot Cocoa

View Recipe


  • 1 cup nondairy milk
  • 1 Tbsp.  unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/3 tsp.  vanilla extract


  • Whisk all the ingredients together in a saucepan over medium heat, avoiding bringing it to a boil, until there are no clumps.
  • If desired, add more cocoa powder and/or sugar and stir until fully combined.

Makes 1 serving

Now that you’ve perfected a basic cup of hot cocoa, let’s take things to a whole new level.

1. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is the perfect addition to ANY hot cocoa! Just mix 1/4 teaspoonful of cinnamon (or however much you like) into your cocoa while heating it. Stir it with a cinnamon stick, if you’re feeling fancy.

2. Peppermint

Peppermint chocolate has to be our favorite of all the holiday-themed flavors, and we know this simple trick will change your life: Add 1 drop of peppermint extract to your cup of hot cocoa to transform it into a chocolaty winter wonderland. (Be careful NOT to go overboard on the extract—it’s SUPER-strong!)

3. Whipped cream

Make your cocoa, then add as much vegan whipped cream as your heart desires. Yum!

4. Chai

If you’ve tried chai, then you know how sweet, spicy, and delicious it is! To add it to your hot cocoa, boil 1/3 cup of water and let 2 chai tea bags steep in the hot water for 3 to 5 minutes. Then use that 1/3 cup of extra-strong chai in place of 1/3 cup of vegan milk when you make your cocoa. If you want it even stronger, you can leave the tea bags in your mug while you sip.

5. Mexican Spice

Mexican spice hot cocoa is absolutely delish! Add 1 pinch of chili powder and about 1/4 teaspoonful of cinnamon to your cocoa while it’s heating for a spicy twist.

6. Marshmallows

Help your hot cocoa dreams come true with this list of vegan marshmallow brands.

If you want to take the simplest route possible, we don’t blame you. Check out these vegan hot chocolate mixes.

Ready to go vegan? Order our free vegan starter kit to help save animals, the environment, and your health.

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