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Vegan Frozen Hot Chocolate (Dairy-Free, Paleo)

Vegan Frozen Hot Chocolate – This dairy-free frozen hot chocolate is frosty, creamy, and so delicious with a swirl of whipped cream and some chocolate on top. You won’t want to miss it! 

Front view of a glass of vegan frozen hot chocolate topped with coconut whipped cream and chocolate chips

It’s HOT as blazes here, so on Monday I shared some of our favorite dinners when it’s too hot to cook. Today, I’m sharing one of my other favorite ways to cool down–something cold, frosty, and incredible. We’re talking about FROZEN HOT CHOCOLATE!

If you’ve never had it before, frozen hot chocolate isn’t the same as ice cream or a milkshake. It’s chocolatey, and frosty (kind of like a Wendy’s frosty?), and it’s delightful on a hot day when regular hot chocolate wouldn’t work. It makes a terrific summer treat!

You can make frozen hot chocolate a million different ways, but today we’re making a vegan frozen hot chocolate recipe.

Our version is dairy-free, vegan, paleo, naturally-sweetened, and still REALLY good. Both my kids begged me to make these “chocolate slushies” again after their first taste, and we’ve had them several times this summer already.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started on your dairy-free frozen hot chocolate…

Front view of two glasses of vegan frozen hot chocolate topped with coconut whipped cream and chocolate chips

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE VEGAN FROZEN HOT CHOCOLATE:

  • Almond Milk. Using unsweetened almond milk starts our healthy frozen hot chocolate off on the right foot. I love that it’s light with a fairly neutral flavor. You’ll use this for the chocolate milk mixture (and your ice cubes!).
  • Coconut Milk (or More Almond Milk). I prefer adding a bit of coconut milk to the mix to make our vegan frozen hot chocolate a little creamier without impacting the flavor. If you’re not a coconut fan or have an allergy, feel free to use more almond milk (or your favorite dairy-free milk) instead.
  • Dairy-Free Chocolate Chips. I made several test batches of frozen hot chocolate with cocoa powder, but they really didn’t hold a candle to frozen hot chocolate I made with melted chocolate chips. Making your dairy-free frozen hot chocolate with chocolate chips helps you get that creamy, rich, luscious frosty texture you’re looking for. Feel free to use semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips. (See the box below for our favorites!)
  • Pure Maple Syrup. Our vegan frozen hot chocolate is naturally sweetened with maple syrup. I love that it’s got slightly caramel notes and gives this just the right amount of sweetness.
  • Vanilla Extract. A splash of vanilla gives this a more ice-cream-like taste, which my kids and I LOVE.
  • A Pinch of Salt. I always recommend at least a tiny pinch of salt for chocolate dishes, as I find the *tiny* bit of salt wakes up the flavor without making this taste salty at all. I notice a big difference if I forget.
  • Almond Milk Ice Cubes. Last, but not least is ice. You can use plain ice (made from water), but for the best texture (and a less watered-down flavor), I highly recommend using frozen almond milk cubes.

OUR FAVORITE DAIRY-FREE CHOCOLATE

HU KITCHENThis 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 SIMPLYAnother 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.

Front view of a glass of vegan frozen hot chocolate topped with coconut whipped cream and chocolate chips
Overhead view of a glass of vegan frozen hot chocolate topped with coconut whipped cream and chocolate chips

YUMMY WAYS TO TOP YOUR FROZEN HOT CHOCOLATE:

Once your frosty frozen hot chocolate is blended and ready to go, it’s time to add toppings! Here are a few of our favorite toppings for frozen hot chocolate…

  • 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.
  • Chocolate Shell or Chocolate Syrup. If I’m feeling extra (and I usually am when I make frozen hot chocolate, let’s be honest), I’ll 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.
  • Mini Chocolate Chips. I LOVE a little chocolatey crunch on top, so I usually sprinkle a few mini chocolate chips on top of the whipped cream.
  • Shaved Chocolate. Chocolate shavings are another pretty option. They’ve got a more dramatic look and the variety of shapes and sizes can be really delightful.
  • A Pinch of Flaky Sea Salt. If you like your chocolate with a slightly salty note, add a tiny pinch of flaky sea salt right before serving. It’s yummy!
  • Sprinkles. Or, make your vegan frozen hot chocolate feel special with a few sprinkles on top. Always a hit with my kids!
  • Maraschino Cherries. What isn’t cuter with a little maraschino cherry on top? We like the dye-free ones from Tillen Farms (I get them at Whole Foods or Natural Grocers)
Front view of a glass of vegan frozen hot chocolate topped with coconut whipped cream and chocolate chips

FAQ + TIPS AND TRICKS FOR THE BEST VEGAN FROZEN HOT CHOCOLATE:

HOW TO MAKE ALMOND MILK ICE CUBES: Pour almond milk into your favorite ice cube mold (we like this one). Freeze at least 3-4 hours, or until completely solid. Transfer to a freezer-safe bag to use whenever you like! Great for smoothies, shakes, and frozen hot chocolate!

TRY IT WITH CHOCOLATE MILK. I’m just going to drop this idea and let you do with it what you will: try making your frozen hot chocolate with chocolate almond milk (we love Almond Breeze!). Seriously. It makes for a creamier, more chocolatey flavor. It’s less healthy this way (and does include refined sugar), but is a delight when you’re in the mood for a treat!

TRY SWIRLING YOUR GLASS WITH CHOCOLATE. If you want a pretty presentation, you can swirl the inside of your glasses with our healthy chocolate shell or your favorite chocolate sauce. It looks really pretty!

TRY DIFFERENT FLAVORS! You can totally play with the flavors of this vegan frozen hot chocolate. Try adding peanut butter, a drop or two of peppermint or coconut extract, a pinch of cinnamon, or other goodies!

TRY MAKING PROTEIN FROZEN HOT CHOCOLATE. This is not vegan-approved, but if you’re simply dairy-free or paleo, adding unflavored collagen powder to your dairy-free/paleo frozen hot chocolate can give it a protein boost and a slightly more creamy texture. I like adding it when I can, though it’s not strictly necessary. If you’re vegan, you’re welcome to experiment with your favorite vegan protein powder (or adding a spoonful of chia or flax seeds for a boost!).

Front view of two glasses of vegan frozen hot chocolate topped with coconut whipped cream and chocolate chips

MORE YUMMY DRINKS TO FALL IN LOVE WITH:

SHOP OUR FAVORITE TOOLS & INGREDIENTS FOR VEGAN FROZEN HOT CHOCOLATE:

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Front view of a glass of vegan frozen hot chocolate topped with coconut whipped cream and chocolate chips

Vegan Frozen Hot Chocolate (Dairy-Free, Paleo-Friendly)


  • Author: One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: About 10 minutes
  • Yield: About 4 cups (2 large or 4 small servings) 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This dairy-free frozen hot chocolate is frosty, creamy, and so delicious with a swirl of whipped cream and some chocolate on top. You won’t want to miss it!


Ingredients

Scale

FOR THE VEGAN FROZEN HOT CHOCOLATE:

  • 3 1/2 cups almond milk, divided*
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (I prefer full-fat)
  • 4 oz (2/3) cup chocolate chips (vegan/dairy-free as needed)
  • 1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. (or a tiny pinch) of salt

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS:

  • Dairy-free whipped cream, chocolate sauce, mini chocolate chips, chocolate shavings, sprinkles, maraschino cherries, etc.

Instructions

  1. Pour 2 cups of almond milk into ice cube trays and freeze until solid. (This works best overnight. You’ll end up with about 3 cups of ice cubes.) 
  2. When you’re ready to make the frozen hot chocolate, melt 1/2 cup coconut milk and chocolate chips in a medium bowl in the microwave until smooth and glossy, stirring every 20-30 seconds until the chocolate is melted. Let it cool slightly.
  3. Pour melted chocolate mixture into a blender, pure maple syrup, vanilla, a pinch of salt, 1 1/2 cups almond milk, and the almond milk ice cubes.
  4. Blend until smooth and frosty, scraping down the sides 1-2 times as you go.
  5. Pour into glasses and top with your favorite garnishes, like dairy-free whipped cream + chocolate. 

Notes

*If you’re not using almond milk ice cubes,  you’ll just need to use 3 cups of ice + 1 1/2 cups almond milk in the recipe. 

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Blender
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: healthy frozen hot chocolate, vegan frozen hot chocolate, dairy-free frozen hot chocolate, paleo frozen hot chocolate

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