Need something to warm you up this winter? It's time to get cosy as we discover the best vegan hot chocolate drinks in the UK and show how to make your own!
Who doesn’t love a comforting hot chocolate in the winter (or any time of year to be honest!). It’s the ultimate sweet treat and feels synonymous with cosiness and pure joy.
However, not all hot chocolate is vegan, so there are some things you need to look out for before indulging.
But don’t panic! We’ve got you covered, simply read on to find out the best vegan hot chocolate drinks in the UK and how to make them yourself at home.
Why are some hot chocolates not vegan?
While you would imagine that all hot chocolate powders would be vegan, some contain pesky ingredients such as milk powder, whey and casein.
These animal derivatives make some hot chocolates in the supermarket non-vegan, so you will need to take a look at the ingredients when browsing the shelves!
But if you don’t have time for that, keep reading to see the best vegan hot chocolate products on the market in 2022.
Vegan hot chocolate toppings
When making a vegan hot chocolate, you don’t have to compromise on all the extra bits that make it extra special – there’s a vegan version of almost everything!
So you don’t have to miss out on cream and marshmallows, quite the opposite!
Our favourite vegan cream is Food Heaven’s Heavenly Whipped Spray Cream which happens to also be soya and gluten-free. But you could also whip up your own cream from Biona Coconut Whipping Cream or Elmlea Plant Double Cream.
And for vegan marshmallows, try Freedom Mallows, Dandies or Free From Fellows – they’re all deliciously animal-free!
Whittards has a huge range of vegan hot chocolate options, including tempting flavours such as Chocolate Orange, Turkish Delight, Rocky Road and even Peanut Butter.
This is in addition to their standard Luxury Hot Chocolate powder, which is delicious in itself.
Alongside its range of vegan chocolate bars, Galaxy has launched a creamy vegan instant hot chocolate that you just add water to make.
Unlike most hot chocolate powders that require you to make them with milk, this one is even more convenient as it doesn’t matter if you don’t have any plant milk in, all you need is a kettle!
What’s more, it’s good news for those looking to cut the calories but still want to get their chocolate fix.
3. Cadbury Drinking Chocolate
Cadbury’s drinking chocolate isn’t a specific vegan product but is actually accidentally dairy-free. It contains zero milk powder, which is a pesky hidden ingredient in a lot of hot chocolate mixes.
Instead, it is designed to be stirred into hot milk (in our case, vegan milk) so is made purely from cocoa and sugar.
It is also widely available at major UK supermarkets, making it a great accessible option for vegans and dairy dodgers.
4. Lindt Hot Chocolate
Swiss chocolatier Lindt recently debuted its first hot chocolate drink and it’s suitable for vegans.
Billed as a “velvety smooth and luxuriously creamy hot chocolate drink” the chocolate drink is made using Lindt chocolate for a rich flavour.
Guaranteed to satisfy your chocolate cravings, it can be stirred into both hot and cold milk for a luxurious drink.
You can find Lindt’s hot chocolate powder at Tesco, Amazon, and Ocado.
6. Hotel Chocolat Nutmilk 45% Hot Chocolate
High-street chocolatiers Hotel Chocolat have become more vegan-friendly in recent years, and now have a full range of dairy-free hot chocolates. Made from dark chocolate, they are truly indulgent and available in several naughty flavours.
Choose from chocolatey mint, hazelnut, salted caramel, chilli and ginger, or opt for the classic 70% dark or 45% nut milk version.
7. Sweet Freedom Choc Shot
For a healthier option, Sweet Freedom Choc Shot is only 13 calories per teaspoon and made from natural fruit extracts (apple and carob) and cocoa.
Moreover, it is available in a variety of sweet flavours including chocolate mint, salted caramel, brownie, orange spice and coconut.
8. Buttermilk Hot Choccy Bomb
For a truly epic hot chocolate experience, look no further than Buttermilk’s Hot Choccy Bomb!
Simply drop the dairy-free hot chocolate ball into warm milk and enjoy an explosion of chocolate and vegan marshmallows.
It’s the most scrumptious treat that kids and grown-ups alike will love!
9. Options Vegan Belgian Hot Chocolate Drink
If you’re looking for a lighter cocoa drink that can be made without milk, try Options’ Vegan Belgian Hot Chocolate Drink.
Unlike many powered hot chocolate drinks, Options is designed to be used with hot water but is still every bit as satisfying chocolatey.
Widely available at supermarkets, it’s ideal for those moments where you need a chocolate hit.
How to make vegan hot chocolate
If you don’t fancy any of those vegan pre-made powders or syrups, you can alternatively make hot chocolate from scratch at home.
Making vegan hot chocolate is not as complicated as you might think!
Here are some of our favourite recipes we like to make when the weather turns cold.
1. Simple Hot Chocolate
This plant-based hot chocolate is rich, creamy, easy to make, and ready in 5 minutes. Enjoy a healthy twist on the classic recipe, made with dairy-free milk and naturally sweetened with maple syrup.
A cosy mug of this homemade healthy hot chocolate is guaranteed to warm you up this winter season!
And if you’re feeling extravagant, you can add in flavourings such as vanilla extract, cinnamon or peppermint extract to take it to the next level!
2. Oat Milk Hot Chocolate
Snuggling up with a cosy, comforting mug of vegan oat milk hot chocolate is one of life’s simple pleasures. This creamy cup is made using oat milk and is packed full of warming cinnamon and rich cacao powder. You’ll be saying “Cadbury who?” in no time!
Top with vegan whipped cream and chocolate shavings for extra indulgence!
3. Gingerbread Hot Chocolate
This rich and lusciously thick vegan hot chocolate with gingerbread spices is the perfect warming winter treat and is surprisingly refined sugar-free.
It is made by blending soaked cashew nuts with water, cocoa (or cacao) powder, Medjool dates and spices, so not only is it delicious but it is pretty good for you too!
Treat yourself this winter!
For more recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth, try these 12 vegan brownies for chocolate lovers!