Peppermint Hot Chocolate

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This peppermint hot chocolate is the perfect winter treat! It’s made with just a couple simple ingredients, all of which you probably have at home right now! Did you know that there’s actually a difference between hot chocolate and hot cocoa? Hot chocolate is made using chocolate, whereas hot cocoa is made using cocoa powder! You can make this recipe with chocolate or cocoa powder, whatever you prefer.

Should I use cocoa powder or chocolate?

This totally depends on what ingredients you have on hand and how rich you like your hot chocolate! If you use chocolate you will have a richer, more decadent beverage. If you use cocoa powder you will have a lighter beverage. Both are delicious, but I personally prefer using chocolate!

peppermint hot chocolate angle shot
What ingredients will I need to make this peppermint hot chocolate?

You’ll need just a couple simple ingredients to make this hot chocolate. They are:

  • water or dairy free milk
  • vanilla extract
  • peppermint extract (for peppermint hot chocolate)
  • pure maple syrup (or other sweetener, see below)
  • pinch of salt
  • cocoa powder or chocolate
  • dairy free whipped cream (optional)
  • crushed candy cane (optional)
What other sweeteners can I use?

If you don’t want to use pure maple syrup to sweeten the hot chocolate, you can use raw honey or date syrup instead! Coconut sugar should also work.

How can I make this peppermint hot chocolate sugar free?

This recipe calls for pure maple syrup as the sweetener, but you can use monk fruit to keep the recipe sugar free. You can also use stevia if you want, just use a little bit because it is so sweet! Another option is to use a sugar free chocolate like Lily’s stevia sweetened chocolate.

peppermint hot chocolate straight on shot
Where do I find dairy free whipped cream?

I like to make my own dairy free whipped cream using coconut cream. For a store bought version try So Delicious dairy free whipped topping.

What if I don’t like peppermint?

If you don’t like the peppermint flavor, simply omit the peppermint extract and crushed candy cane. You’ll be left with a delicious regular hot chocolate!

What kind of liquid is best for this hot chocolate?

I personally like to use a creamy non-dairy milk like homemade almond milk or oat milk. The creamier the milk, the creamier the hot chocolate! But any non-dairy milk will work, or you can simply use water.

Looking for more decadent chocolate recipes?

Try some of my other chocolate recipes!

Ready to make this hot chocolate? Get this recipe below!

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Servings 1
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes


  • 1 cup dairy free milk or water
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tbsp pure maple syrup (or other sweetener)
  • 2-3 tbsp cocoa powder (or 1 oz chocolate – sweetened or unsweetened)
  • 1 tiny drop of peppermint extract (optional, for peppermint hot chocolate)
  • 1 pinch of salt


  • Heat the milk/water in the microwave or on the stovetop until hot.
  • Once heated stir in vanilla extract, peppermint extract, cocoa powder or chocolate, maple syrup, and salt. The more cocoa powder you add, the richer it will be. The more maple syrup you add, the sweeter it will be. If you use a sweetened chocolate, omit the maple syrup.
  • Whisk/mix well until the hot chocolate is smooth and creamy. You can also froth the mixture if you want to make it extra creamy. I froth it using my hand frother.
  • Pour the hot chocolate into a mug and top with dairy free whipped cream and crushed candy canes!



  • Start with the smallest amount of peppermint extract (it is so strong!). If you add too much, simply double or triple the rest of the recipe to dilute it.
  • If using sweetened chocolate, omit the maple syrup!
Course: Drinks
Diet: Sugar Free Friendly, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Keto Friendly, Refined Sugar Free, Nut Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Vegan, Paleo
Keyword: Dairy Free Hot Chocolate, Dairy Free Hot Cocoa, Healthy Peppermint Hot Chocolate Recipe, Homemade Hot Chocolate, Homemade Peppermint Hot Chocolate

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