Vegan Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate – This dairy-free pumpkin spice hot chocolate is the perfect drink to cozy up with during cold weather. You’ll love the rich, chocolatey flavor and warm kiss of spice. (Paleo-Friendly)
I accidentally started a tradition when my kids were tiny that started with a rainy day.
We live in the middle of the desert, so it rarely rains, and on the days it does, we started making hot chocolate and reading books at snack time. I didn’t even realize it had become a pattern, until they both came bounding in one morning to announce “It’s raining! Hot chocolate and books for snack today!!!”
Even all these years later, both kids still ask for hot chocolate on a rainy day, and this Dairy-Free Pumpkin Spice hot chocolate recipe is perfect when you need a little coziness in your life.
Warm, cozy and creamy, with a kiss of spice, our vegan pumpkin spice hot chocolate is AMAZING as the weather turns colder. It’s just what you need when it’s rainy, or chilly, or snowy.
Grab a book and a mug & let’s dive in!
Here’s What You Need To Make Vegan Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate:
- Coconut Milk (For Creaminess). For our dairy-free pumpkin spice hot chocolate recipe, I use a blend of dairy-free milks to get the best of creaminess and taste. Coconut milk adds a luscious, creamy texture that’s divine with melted chocolate!
- Almond Milk. Unsweetened almond milk cuts the creaminess so it’s not *too* rich, and helps keep the flavor neutral so the chocolate and spices shine.
- Chopped Chocolate or Chocolate Chips. Next up, you’ll need some melted semi-sweet or dark chocolate or chocolate chips. (See the blue box below for our favorite dairy-free, vegan, and paleo brands of chocolate!)
- Pure Maple Syrup. I find a little pure maple syrup adds just the right amount of sweetness.
- Vanilla. A splash of vanilla gives this such a lovely, creamy flavor.
- Pumpkin Spice. The star of the show! Some homemade or store-bought pumpkin pie spice adds rich notes of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.
- Teeny Tiny Pinch of Salt. It balances the flavors and really wakes up the chocolate and spices. I pinky promise it won’t taste salty!
OUR FAVORITE DAIRY-FREE CHOCOLATE
- HU KITCHEN – This vegan & paleo chocolate is naturally-sweetened & allergy-friendly. It’s got great flavor and works well if you want to make vegan or paleo frozen hot chocolate! (I get it at Sprouts or Whole Foods)
- GUITTARD CHOCOLATE CHIPS – Guittard’s semi-sweet and dark chocolate chips contain no dairy ingredients, though they aren’t vegan certified. I love their flavor and how beautifully they melt.
- ENJOY LIFE – Allergen-friendly chocolate chips that come in semi-sweet and dark chocolate varieties. Pretty easy to find these days in the US!
- TOLL HOUSE SIMPLY – Another allergy-friendly brand that’s getting easier and easier to find.
- LILY’S STEVIA-SWEETENED – If you’re avoiding refined sugar and Hu Kitchen chocolate isn’t in your price range, you may love Lily’s stevia-sweetened chocolate chips.
Make It Pretty! Here Are Some Fun Ways To Serve This Dairy-Free Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate:
- Add Dairy-Free Whipped Cream! Our go-to topping for vegan frozen hot chocolate is definitely dairy-free whipped cream. You can make your own, or buy store-bought varieties, like SoDelicious CoCoWhip (our favorite, pictured in this post), ReddiWip Almond Milk Whipped or Coconut Milk Whipped Cream, or TruWhip.
- Add Some Vegan Marshmallows!
- Sprinkle With Shaved Chocolate. A bit of shaved chocolate looks so pretty and inviting! I love the variety of shapes and sizes of the shavings.
- Garnish With Mini Chocolate Chips. For a little chocolatey crunch on top, try a sprinkle of mini chocolate chips on top of the whipped cream.
- Drizzle With Chocolate Sauce. For a fancy look, add some of our vegan chocolate shell or a dairy-free chocolate sauce. Santa Cruz Organic Chocolate Syrup , Torani Dark Chocolate Syrup, and even Hershey’s Simply 5-Ingredient Chocolate Sauce are all dairy-free and made without corn syrup.
- Add A Pinch Of Pumpkin Spice On Top. There’s a saying that we eat with our eyes first, so adding a sprinkle of pumpkin spice helps you already have the suggestion of that warm, spiced flavor even before you’ve taken a sip!
FAQ + Tips and Tricks For the Best Vegan Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate:
Can I Use Cocoa Powder Instead? Only if you adapt the recipe. Cocoa powder has a much more intense flavor, and is unsweetened, so you’ll need to compensate by adding additional maple syrup. Also, cocoa powder has a lower fat content, so the hot chocolate will be less creamy. You can offset this by using a higher ratio of coconut milk, if you like. Overall, the melted chocolate gives a better flavor and texture, in my opinion.
Can I Use A Chocolate Bar Instead Of Chocolate Chips? Absolutely. I find chocolate chips easier for most people to manage, but chocolate bars work great for dairy-free hot chocolate. You’ll just need 2 oz. of quality chocolate.
Make It A Protein Drink! You can stir in 1/2-1 scoop of your favorite vegan protein powder into this vegan pumpkin spice hot chocolate for a little boost, if you like. I recommend something neutral-tasting like this powder from Simple Green Smoothies. (It just has chia, flax, and hemp) or this almond protein powder from Bob’s Red Mill. If you’re paleo (not vegan), you can stir in a scoop of collagen!
Turn It Into Frozen Hot Chocolate! If you’ve got the craving for fall flavors but the weather hasn’t quite caught up yet (hiii, it’s me!), you can absolutely make this into Pumpkin Spice Frozen Hot Chocolate instead! Just like our classic frozen hot chocolate, you’ll blend this mixture with frozen almond milk ice cubes. Melt the chocolate with the coconut milk gently in the microwave or on the stovetop, then transfer to the blender with the almond milk, syrup, vanilla, pumpkin spice, and salt. Then add 1 1/2 cups frozen milk ice cubes and blend till frosty and delicious!