Vegan Hot Cacao

 It truly isn’t winter without curling up to a cozy fire with a cup of hot cocoa. Since this is my first Christmas being plant-based (3rd being vegetarian), I knew I had to figure out a way to get some of dat hot chocolate-y goodness. Almost all of the recipes I found online were using cocoa powder, but I opted to try to figure out a way to use cacao powder. For those of you wondering if there is even difference between cocoa powder and cacao powder.. there certainly is!

Cocoa Powder

  • More processed than cacao

  • Commonly contains added sugars and dairy products

  • Has been heat processed, therefore some nutrients have been lost

  • Often less expensive than cacao powder

  • Still has many antioxidants like cacao, but likely not as many due to processing

  • If you are looking for a good brand of cocoa powder, here is one without added sugars or dairy products and is strictly organic cocoa powder: Anthony’s Organic Cocoa Powder

Cacao Powder

  • Cacao is the purest, least processed form of chocolate you can consume

  • Less processed than cocoa powder

  • Highest source of antioxidants and magnesium for weight

  • More protein and fiber per tablespoon

  • Cholesterol-free & vegan

  • Good source of monounsaturated fats

  • Excellent for your heart, skin, blood pressure, and stress

  • May be a tad more bitter than cocoa powder

  • My favorite brand: Navitas Naturals Organic Cacao Powder

Vegan Hot Cacao

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 105kcal


  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1.5 tbsp organic cacao powder
  • 1.5 tbsp sweetener of choice maple syrup, agave syrup, coconut palm sugar, or raw sugar- I used maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon


  • Pour two cups of almond milk into a medium sized sauce pan and heat on medium-low until warm
  • Once warm, add cacao powder, maple syrup, and cinnamon and stir until dissolved (you may still see little specks of cacao- this is totally normal)
  • Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer for ~2 minutes
  • If you'd like to top it with some whipped cream, my favorite recipe is Minimalist Baker's Coconut Whipped Cream and top it with a pinch of nutmeg!
  • Enjoy!!


Other tasty ideas to add: dash of cardamom, nutmeg, or add in peppermint extract for an extra holiday minty treat

In comparison to an 8 oz hot chocolate from starbucks… Calories: 230 | Protein: 7 g | Fiber: 2 g | Carbs: 28 g | Fat: 10 g | Sugar: 24 g |

 S/O to Jack for being my forever model S/O to Jack for being my forever model