Classic Hot Chocolate Recipe

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Chocolate lovers, get ready to rejoice! Now, you can enjoy one of your favorite cold-weather treats without sacrificing your clean-eating plan. This classic hot chocolate recipe won’t wreak havoc on your waistline, so you can sip it with a smile. We use a combination of cocoa powder and clean-eating dark chocolate chips to create the deepest, richest chocolatey flavor. Toss in a touch of palm sugar for sweetness and vanilla extract to add some depth and you have a winner!

By making smart ingredient choices (like swapping in almond milk for saturated-fat-filled milk), we keep our recipe below 200 calories per serving. All without sacrificing hot chocolate flavors you’ve come to know and love. That means you get to have your cake and eat it, too!

Our Favorite Chocolate Chips

We love using Enjoy Life dark chocolate chips for this recipe for a few reasons. These chocolate chips are not only free of the eight most common food allergy ingredients (including gluten, soy, dairy, and nuts), but they’re certified by the non-GMO project, too. They’re also fully vegan and only feature two ingredients: chocolate and cane sugar. How amazing is that?

You can order these chips on Amazon, or you can use your favorite dark chocolate brand instead. When choosing a chocolate, take a peek at the ingredients list first. Many chocolates use soy lecithin as a stabilizer. The ingredient isn’t bad in and of itself, but many people do have soy allergies.

Holiday Twists on the Classic Favorite

It’s easy to spice-up this classic hot chocolate recipe to make it festive for your favorite winter holiday. We found a few easy ways to modify this recipe without adding any extra sugar, fat, or calories! All you need is some spices, a few extracts, and you’ll be good to go!

Thanksgiving or other fall celebrations: All you need is a cinnamon stick, a clove, and a pinch of ground nutmeg. Simmer the spices with the hot chocolate in the saucepan and strain them out before serving. You could also use a cinnamon stick to stir the hot chocolate in individual cups, or use cinnamon extract instead of vanilla.

Christmas: This one is as easy as substituting peppermint extract for the vanilla extract in the recipe. It will taste minty and cooling while warming you up from the inside out! You could also place a candy cane in each mug and use it as a stirring stick.

Valentines Day: Use white chocolate chips instead of dark chocolate and add a few drops of red food coloring until the hot chocolate is pink or reddish, depending on your preference. You could also use pureed strawberries if you’re looking for a more natural way to achieve that reddish hue. Using this method, you won’t need to add the palm sugar since white chocolate chips are sweeter.

You can also have some fun playing around with other extracts, like cherry, pumpkin, or butterscotch to create your very own hot chocolate recipe. Let us know in the comments what worked for you!

Classic Hot Chocolate Recipe

Classic Hot Chocolate Recipe

Yields: 6 Servings | Serving size: 1 Cup | Calories: 182 | Total Fat: 4 g | Saturated Fat: 3 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 9 mg | Sodium: 90 mg | Carbohydrates: 32 g | Dietary Fiber: 2 g | Sugars: 30 g | Protein: 7 g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 9 |


  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips, (we used Enjoy Life chocolate chips)
  • 4 1/2 cups almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat milk over medium-low heat until steaming. Add cocoa, sweetener, and chocolate chips, stir until cocoa is combined.
  2. Warm over medium-low heat until all ingredients are combined and hot chocolate is to desired temperature. Add vanilla and stir to combine.
  3. Serve in mugs with a ladle and sprinkle a little cocoa or shredded dark chocolate.
  4. Tip: Stir with a cinnamon stick for extra flavor or substitute peppermint extract for the vanilla extract for a holiday twist!

For more delicious and nutritious recipes from SkinnyMs., check out our SkinnyMs. Recipe Collection of 101 Fan Favorites.

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Have you warmed up with our Classic Hot Chocolate? We’d love to hear about it. Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

6 Comments on "Classic Hot Chocolate Recipe"

  1. Laura  September 23, 2012

    serving size 1/2 cup???

    • Skinny Ms.  September 25, 2012

      Laura, I changed it to 1 cup. The coconut milk and chocolate provide healthy fats…keep in mind when reading the nutritional data. 🙂

  2. WilmaNC  September 24, 2012

    I was going to say the same thing as Laura. 1/2 cup?? I was hoping for a 2 cup serving, lol.

    • Skinny Ms.  September 25, 2012

      WilmaNC, I did change it to 1 cup. After all, who can drink just 1/2 cup? lol

  3. Skinny Ms.  December 22, 2012

    Hi Denise, scroll down past the image and you will see the recipe. Thank you

  4. deb deplonty  September 15, 2016

    I would like a bulk dry recipe for
    hot cocoa. Weight Watchers use to have one using Hershey’s Cocoa dry Natural unsweetened mix but I can’t find it. anyone got it?


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