Coconut Milk Hot Chocolate is super simple to make with only four ingredients. A little lighter, but oh so decadent, this Coconut Milk Hot Chocolate Recipe will warm you right up.

Coconut Milk Hot Chocolate Recipe

As soon as the thermometer begins to drop, the leaves fall, and winter creeps in, it means it’s hot chocolate season. And what a wonderful season it is! To celebrate the season, I’m sharing a recipe for Coconut Milk Hot Chocolate Recipe. I’ve been making hot chocolate this way for a while now and cannot believe how incredible it tastes, especially for being a lower carb and lower-calorie version. Every time, every single time, I go back to the refrigerator to check to make sure I’m not reading the coconut milk carton wrong. But no, it does have less carbs and calories than regular milk, and it tastes so luscious in hot cocoa.

Coconut Milk Hot Chocolate Recipe

Why I Like Coconut Milk Hot Chocolate

When Starbucks and several other coffee shops started carrying coconut milk as a dairy-free alternative to regular milk a few years ago, I had to try it. It turned out to be a fabulous substitute in a mocha. I don’t really care for the word “substitute” in this case. It sounds negative as if you’re missing out on something by substituting. In this case, with the coconut milk? Nope. Not at all.

Each time I requested a mocha with coconut milk, I thought they botched my order. Instead of mocha with espresso, I thought I was being served a really expensive hot chocolate. But no. It’s just that the coconut milk adds so much richness, and it cuts the bitterness of the coffee. Once, after leaving the drive-thru at Starbucks, my husband, Randy, actually got out of the car and walked in to make sure they didn’t give us both hot chocolates instead of mochas, but they said the drinks were definitely mochas with espresso. Crazy is what it is. Crazy good.

Coconut Milk Hot Chocolate

How to Make Coconut Milk Hot Chocolate

This Coconut Milk Hot Chocolate Recipe is super easy and quick to make. In about 20 minutes, you’ll be sipping this chocolatey goodness. It really is that easy. 

  1. Begin by warming the coconut milk in a saucepan over medium-low heat, then whisk in cocoa powder (I like to use dark cocoa powder), sugar and cinnamon until thoroughly combined. The cocoa powder needs a bit of persuading to mix in. Be patient it will combine.
  2. Continue to cook until warm throughout.
  3. If desired, top with fresh whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon, or more cocoa powder. That’s it! Grab a mug and enjoy.

Tips and Toppings for Coconut Milk Hot Chocolate 

  • This recipe calls for refrigerated UNSWEETENED coconut milk that comes in a carton, NOT canned coconut milk. 
  • Any other type of milk may be substituted in the same amount for coconut milk.
  • As mentioned before, combining the cocoa powder takes some patience. Just keep whisking, it will eventually combine. You can also put the cocoa powder in a small cup or bowl, then add a bit of the warmed coconut milk and stir to make a paste, then stir that into the pot of warming goodness. 
  • While you do not have to add toppings, it is a simple addition that makes hot chocolate a bit fancy. Some topping ideas you can use for this hot chocolate are regular whipped cream or coconut whipped cream (whipped from the creamy part of the canned coconut milk), with a light dusting of ground cinnamon or cocoa powder, or chocolate shavings. Or even a few candy sprinkles (jimmies, hundreds and thousands) would be great on top of the whipped cream. 
  • Is it warm in your neck of the woods? Serve this Coconut Milk Hot Chocolate over ice or blend it up a make a frozen hot chocolate. Or would that be a frozen cold chocolate? Anyway, whatever you want to call it, I call it good.

More tasty beverages to warm you right up:

Coconut Milk Hot Chocolate Recipe

Coconut Milk Hot Chocolate in mugs

Coconut Milk Hot Chocolate Recipe

Yield: 4 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

A delicious but lighter hot chocolate recipe made with coconut milk.


  • 4 cups unsweetened coconut milk (refrigerated in a carton)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (adjust sweetness to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Warm coconut milk in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
  2. Whisk in remaining ingredients until thoroughly combined. Continue to cook over medium-low heat until warm throughout.
  3. Serve topped with fresh whipped cream and a pinch of cinnamon.


This recipe calls for refrigerated unsweetened coconut milk, the kind that comes in a carton in the milk section. NOT canned coconut milk.

I like to buy coconut milk and almond milk that is Carrageenan-free. I don’t know about all the studies on it, but I can usually find it without it so that’s what I get.

Whisking the cocoa powder is a bit of a pain, but it will definitely eventually combine. Another trick is to add a bit of warmed coconut milk to the cocoa powder and stir to make a paste-like combo, then add that into the warming coconut milk.

Any other milk can be used as a substitute in the same amount.

Did you make this recipe?

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Originally published March 10, 2015.