Thick Italian Vegan Hot Chocolate
I think I might have created a monster. This thick Italian vegan hot chocolate is so rich, creamy, and chocolatey that you will seriously fall in love with it.
It’s between a normal hot chocolate and a chocolate pudding. The thickness slides down your throat so nicely, and the gorgeous creamy whipped coconut cream on top will just take it to another level.
I first came across this style of hot chocolate when Michael and I visited a local chocolate bar that just introduced a new vegan menu. It was on my birthday 18 months ago and it was seriously the perfect way to end the celebrations. We indulged in some churros and a hot chocolate each. I ordered the thick Italian hot chocolate without realising what my tastebuds were about to experience.
Ever since I’ve been craving it. They recently removed it from their menu, and I was devastated. I knew though that the vegan hot chocolate that they had on their menu probably didn’t have the healthiest of ingredients and would be full of emulsifiers.
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So, I have taken it upon myself to recreate this beautiful decadent and luscious drink at home.
It can be dangerous to recreate and make things at home that you’ve fallen in love with, but I think that it would be wrong of me not to do this and share it with you 😉
What plant-based milks can you use in a hot chocolate?
When you go about making a dairy-free hot chocolate, you’ve got to consider what kind of milk you might want to use. I personally like soy milk or coconut milk for this drink. I’ve found that they work great, but you can, of course, use whatever plant-based milk you like!
Some other wonderful options are:
- Cashew milk
- Hazelnut milk (this could be sensational!)
- Oat milk
- Hemp milk
- Almond milk
What’s the difference between cocoa and cacao powder?
I get asked this question all the time. And so many people don’t realise that there is a difference. I didn’t use to. About eight years ago it was really hard to find cacao powder on the shelves or online. But now, you can source it from pretty much anywhere. I love this one by Wildly Organic.
Cacao powder is processed at low temperatures which means it’s raw and keeps its full nutrients, minerals, and enzymes profile intact. It is typically used in raw desserts but can certainly be used in baked desserts as well as drinks like this one. Keep in mind though that it’s a little more bitter than the cocoa powder.
Cacao beans are also rich in nutrients like iron, zinc, magnesium, potassium, calcium, copper, and manganese. They’re a great ingredient to add to your smoothies, breakfast cereals, and desserts.
Cocoa powder, on the other hand, is heat-treated at higher temperatures and loses a lot of its nutritional benefits. I’ve also heard that they typically use the leftovers of the cacao bean processing as the “lower-grade” quality for the cocoa powder. It is usually cheaper as most of the products you’ll find will have some kind of filler which might be sugar, artificial sweeteners, emulsifiers, and dairy products.
This is why I always buy the raw materials and make things from scratch at home. This way I know exactly what’s going into my food and drinks.
Chocolate lovers dream
Thicker and more complex than a normal hot chocolate, this recipe will satisfy all chocolate lovers. The perfect pairing with this drink is my double choc chip cookies to really put you in that chocolate coma you’re after! haha
I love the addition of coconut cream as it melts into the hot chocolate to give it something cooler, even creamier, and refreshing. You can instead add a dollop of coconut ice cream! Oh, I’m drooling just thinking about that.
A couple of tips to keep in mind when making this vegan hot chocolate recipe
- If your cacao powder is a little clumpy, use the back of a spoon to help break up those lumps and make it a nice, even consistency.
- Mix the milk and cornstarch together well so that there aren’t any clumps in it. This will allow for a smooth, creamy hot chocolate.
- If you like drinks to be very sweet, you can add in another tablespoon of coconut sugar or a few more chocolate chips.
Other recipes you’ll love:
- Fluffy Vegan Chocolate Mousse
- Spiced Coconut Chai Tea
- Vegan Chocolate Brownies (Candida Diet Friendly)
- Peanut Butter Caramel & Chocolate Tart
- Vegan Golden Milk (Turmeric Latte)
If you try this recipe, let me know! We’d love for you to leave a comment and rating below. If you want to go that extra mile, tag us on Instagram or share your photo of the recipe on Pinterest.Print
Thick Italian Vegan Hot Chocolate
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 2-3
Rich, creamy, thick chocolatey goodness. You will fall in love with this decadent Italian vegan hot chocolate.
- 2 cups / 500ml + 2 tablespoons soy milk
- ½ teaspoon cornflour*
- 2 tablespoons cacao powder
- 3 tablespoons coconut sugar (or any other granulated sugar)
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup / 90g good-quality vegan dark chocolate or chocolate chips (plus extra for topping, optional)
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Whipped coconut cream (optional)
- In a small saucepan, add the 2 cups / 500ml of soy milk and bring to a boil.
- While you wait for the milk to come to a boil, mix the remainder of the milk with cornflour in a small cup and set it aside.
- In another bowl, combine the cacao powder, coconut sugar, and salt. Set aside.
- Once the milk has been brought to a boil, reduce heat and whisk in the milk and cornflour mixture, followed by the cacao powder mix. Whisk for a minute.
- Add in the dark chocolate and vanilla extract and stir for a couple of minutes. The mixture will have thickened up by now and is ready to serve.
- Enjoy with a dollop of coconut cream and some grated chocolate.
Cornflour: Where I live, cornflour is the name for the white fine powder that is used as a thickener. It may be called corn starch as well.
- Diet: Vegan
Yum yum yum.
What a decadent treat!
I had leftover coconut milk left over from another recipe so did half coconut milk and half oat.
Also had no cocoa powder (unacceptable, i know) so used a chocolate protein powder, but a little less then the recipe called for as its stronger
Dash of cinnamon.
Middle of summer but im loving this!
Can’t wait to try more of your recipes. Also so excited that you’re Australian based!
Hi Ashleigh, so glad you enjoyed it! Would have never thought to use protein powder, how creative 🙂
As soon as I read summer, I had a feeling you’d be here too. Happy new year to you! x
Amazing flavor and really thick…. may also be good on vegan ice cream.
Glad you enjoyed it! Would you mind next time leaving a star rating alongside your review? 🙂 It would be delicious with ice cream.
I tried it today and I must say it has changed how I see my cold winter evenings! I didn’t do the whole recipe (sorry, a bit too lazy to go all the way) and yet it was already super tasty!
What I added in my recipe:
500ml coconut milk
2 tbsp cacao powder
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp cornstarch
And then I dunked a small piece of vegan dark chocolate in it – not too bad at all!
I didn’t add any sugar in it and it tasted good for me as I never add any sugar to my drinks anyway.
What I would change: I guess I would add more cornstarch to make it a bit thicker. Everything else was absolutely perfection and the best thing: plant based and low cal!
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, Maša!
So happy to hear you enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing the changes you made and I’m glad that it’s made your winter evenings just that little bit better 🙂
AMAZING, this is dangerously good! After my first experience of an amazing “sipping chocolate” recently, I wanted more, preferably without the dairy. This was as good, maybe better, incredibly easy to make. I used cashew milk and, the second time, only 2 Tbsp of sugar. I don’t have coconut cream- it sounds good and I thought about a cashew “whipped cream” but didn’t manage to make it before the chocolate was gone. I loved sipping it, my husband ate it with a spoon, it was even good cold. This is a new favorite, just in time for autumn, thank you!
That’s awesome 🙂 So glad you love it!
I’m loving the looks of this but need to ask–I have cornstarch but not “corn flour”. Do you use those interchangeably, or do I need to find corn flour?
Hi! They sure are 🙂 You can use cornstarch for this. It just depends on the terminology used on the packet. Both may go by different names depending on where you live. It’s the white fine powder that is used as a thickener. I hope that helps!
So, I worked at L.A.Burdick’s Hot Chocolates (they’re very well-known for their thick, rich hot chocolate beverages!) and I gotta say….this drink taste definitely comes close to our infamous signature hot chocolate! And it’s VEGAN??? Whew. I LOVE it. I’m bookmarking this! Definitely a hug in a mug. Thank you for this recipe 🙂
Oh wow! What a compliment! I’m SO happy to hear that you love it! 🙂
Hi! That Italian hot chocolate looks amazing! And despite the heatwave here in Northeastern U.S., I’ve been craving hot cocoa! Must be the air-conditioning. Unfortunately,I can’t have corn right now, are there any good substitutes you can recommend? My current options are arrowroot, tigernut, cassava, tapioca, and coconut flour. Thanks! Suz
Hi Suz, I haven’t tried any other, unfortunately, however, out of all those, I’d probably try using the arrowroot or tapioca. You can also try plain flour if you can have wheat or some more of the coconut cream. It won’t be the same thickness with the cream but still better than without it. Report back and let me know how you went 🙂
Hi, I only had arrowroot so gave it a go, might need more then amount given for the cornflour as it didn’t turn out to be as thick as on the photos but creamy ( I did add the coconut cream). Tasted delicious! Thank u for amazing recipe!
Thanks for the feedback 🙂 Glad you enjoyed it!
Amazing! Best hot choc ever, thank you for sharing!