Sugar-Free Hot Chocolate Recipe (Dairy Free & Vegan)

This sugar-free hot chocolate can be made quickly with just three pantry ingredients and your choice of milk! Make a big batch to keep in the cabinet, or make by cup whenever the craving strikes.

sugar-free hot chocolate

The Best Sugar-Free Vegan Hot Chocolate

I’ll be honest – I developed this recipe for me. But it was so good, I thought, why not share it? I’m lactose intolerant, and sugar (especially the refined, super-processed stuff) gives me awful migraines. Taking this into consideration then, it’s easy to see why I avoided hot chocolate for years.

There was just nothing available that quite fit the bill of what I was looking for. There’s dairy free hot chocolate mix yes, even vegan ones, but those all had sugar. The sugar-free kind often had dairy.

So, I decided to try making my own. It took a few tries, but I finally found a simple recipe to make delicious diary-free, sugar-free hot chocolate. It’s accidentally vegan too!

The base of this sugar-free hot chocolate mix is a few pantry ingredients:

  • Cocoa Powder – you can spring for the fancy kind, or just use Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder like I do
  • Date Powder – While not a common pantry ingredient, if you or someone in your household is sugar-free, it’s should be a staple!
  • Vanilla Extract – Any kind will do. I prefer the alcohol-free version from Trader Joes.

Once I discovered the components and ratios, it was time for technique. I’ll explain the technique to make this hot chocolate more later in this post, but for now know this:

Technique matters here. Sure, you can make your hot chocolate a different way, but for best results do what’s written in the recipe!

sugar-free hot chocolate

Mixing the ingredients with a bit of hot water before adding your milk of choice helps blend everything together nicely, and get everything dissolved. Date powder has a tendency to be a bit grainy, and combining it well with hot water ahead of time helps!

How to Make Sugar-Free Hot Chocolate

Let’s get into technique. To make a delicious cup of this sugar-free dairy-free hot chocolate, I use a few special tools. By no means do you need to go out and buy anything to make this recipe, but if you have these items at home, they really make a difference!

First is a standard milk frother. I use this to combine the cocoa powder, date powder, vanilla and hot water. Pre-mixing the hot chocolate blend with water before adding the milk makes sure everything incorporates better. Additionally, this makes for a tastier cup of hot chocolate.

If you don’t have a milk frother, use a small wire whisk. A whisk will make sure the cocoa powder and date powder blend more thoroughly than if you were to just use a spoon. If you’ve spent any amount of time with cocoa powder, you know it can have a tendency to clump. Breaking down all those clumps will ensure you get a delicious, smooth cup of hot chocolate!

After mixing the powders and extract with hot water, I then froth my milk. To do this, I use a different milk frother (we like frothy milk in my house) made by nespresso. If you like making fancy coffee at home, I highly recommend splurging on this (not sponsored – just enthusiastic). It froths milk better than any other frother I’ve seen. Even having warm milk to add to tea is really nice!

I’ll add my oat milk into the nespresso frother and let it do its thing. Once it’s done, I slowly pour the frothed milk into my mug with the hot chocolate-hot water mix, stirring to incorporate. Then, simply add the froth on top and enjoy! Take it the extra mile by drizzling some homemade chocolate syrup on top for a tasty treat.

Homemade Chocolate Syrup
This homemade chocolate syrup is free of artificial sweetners. To make it refined sugar free, substitute with monkfruit sugar.
Check out this recipe

Homemade Sugar-Free Hot Chocolate Mix

Typically, I make my hot chocolate by the mug. However, if you are looking for a time-saving short cut, you can make a big batch of mix! That way you can easily whip up a mug whenever the craving strikes.

sugar-free hot chocolate

To do this, simply combine the correct portions of cocoa powder and date powder. Mix well and store in an airtight jar. To serve, add 1.5 tablespoons of the hot chocolate mix to a mug, along with 1 tsp vanilla extract and prepare as directions state.

Below I’ve included the measurements to make enough mix to prepare 8 mugs of hot chocolate.

  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup date powder

If you are making hot chocolate for a crowd, you can easily adjust the amount of mix you’d like to make within the recipe at the bottom of the page. Simply click on the serving size and adjust as needed!

To store your hot chocolate mix, choose a container that is airtight, with a large enough mouth to fit in your measuring spoon. I’d suggest a wide-mouth mason jar. When storing mixes and powders, glass is always preferable to plastic!

What is Date Powder?

Date powder is my favorite non-sugar, non-artificial sweetener, and I’ll tell you why.

First, it’s 100% natural. Unlike aspartame or erythritol, it’s a 100% natural sweetener made with only one thing — dates!

Date powder is made from dates that are sorted, pitted, dried and ground. Because this sweetener is made from dates, and only dates, it also contains other benefits. Dates are high in vitamins and minerals like calcium, iron and Vitamin D. Additionally, dates are high in fiber, which is essential to processing foods efficiently.

date powder
image via

Besides being a nutrient-dense powerhouse, and lacking any artificial gunk, I love date powder because of it’s convenience. Utilizing whole dates can be a great way to add sweetness to many recipes, but you do have to make sure they are cut or blended properly.

One of the advantages of date powder is that it’s already ground up and ready to go. Just sprinkle into or onto anything where you’d add some extra sugar. This means you can use it in anything from cakes to coffee to sprinkling atop a grapefruit!

The one (and only) disadvantage of date powder is that it’s not always easy to find in your local supermarket. However, if you can’t do sugar, or are simply looking to lessen your sugar intake, it’s 100% worth the online buy. My go-to date powder comes from

NOTE: If you prefer not to buy date powder, you can make your own date syrup at home to use in this recipe instead!

The Best Milk for Hot Chocolate

This sugar-free hot chocolate recipe was developed to be dairy-free and made with a milk alternative. That being said, you are more than welcome to use cow milk to make this recipe.

When it comes to milk alternatives, there is always one that I chose when I need frothy milk: oat milk! By far I think that it froths the best, and holds its froth the longest. There are a dozen oat milk brands out there, but I like Oatly the best.

sugar-free hot chocolate

You could also use a “coffee creamer” substitute such as Nutpods in this recipe. Nutpods is typically almond and coconut blended and froths really well.

I also make my own milk alternatives at home with my Almond Cow. For that, I typically combine soaked whole oats along with whatever nuts I have on hand, like almond, hazelnut and cashew.

Feel free to change your milk up and experiment with what you like the best!

Sugar-Free Hot Chocolate Recipe (Dairy Free & Vegan)

This sugar free hot chocolate can be made quickly with just three pantry ingredients and your choice of milk! Make a big batch to keep in the cabinet, or make by cup whenever the craving strikes.
Course: Beverage, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dairy free hot chocolate, homemade hot chocolate mix, hot chocolate, sugar-free hot chocolate
Servings: 1 Mug
Author: Lauren Harvey


  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp date powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup boiling water
  • cup milk of choice


  • Boil water.
  • Add cocoa powder, date powder, and vanilla extract into the mug of your choice. Once water is boiled, add a small amount into the mug and mix well. Use a frother for best results.
  • Warm your choice of milk in a microwave, stovetop or in a milk frother. Add the warm milk to the mug.
  • Stir the milk in with the cocoa mix. Enjoy!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


Hi! I’m Lauren, creator of edible ink. I’m a writer who loves food, travel and dogs. I started edible ink as a way to share recipes, food facts and travel tips for fellow foodies. Learn more.




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