Ultra Creamy Mocha Hot Cocoa

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on December 14, 2012

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Lately, our favourite thing to do at night is go look at Christmas lights. Now that we live in a city again, it’s much easier to find rows and rows of houses all lit up within walking or driving distance. On warmer evenings, we bundle up in our cold-weather gear and head out for a brisk evening walk, trying to find the most decorated houses in the neighbourhood. It always brings me back to my childhood, especially when I see the huge, old-school multi-coloured light bulbs that my dad used to put up every year. It’s amazing how something as simple as Christmas lights can transport me back to when I was four.

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On chillier nights, we jump in the car and explore other neighbourhoods we don’t normally venture to. This usually involves a couple sad-but-true experiences: 1) we eventually get lost in a maze of neighbourhood streets, and 2) Eric drives down streets we’ve been down before and acts like we’re seeing the lights for the first time. I don’t have the heart to tell him he might be senile at the ripe age of 30. It happens.

There is one thing that sucks some of the joy out of this experience though, aside from those ear-piercing modern Christmas songs that make their way onto my holiday music radio station. Our aging car takes a painfully long time to start cranking out the heat, so the first part of the drive is always bone-chilling as we sit there shivering like crazy people, wondering why we thought it was a good idea to leave our warm house. Suddenly, Sketchie’s plan to stay bundled up under his favourite blanket seems like a very good idea.


The other night, I was sick of freezing my buns off so I decided to bring along some of this creamy hot cocoa in a couple thermos mugs. It was the perfect warming drink to sip on while I squealed like a 6 year old girl at all the lights and we fought over which colour and type of lights look the best. It never gets old.

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Ultra Creamy Mocha Hot Cocoa

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Yield = 3 cups


  • 1 cup freshly brewed coffee (use decaf, if preferred)*
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
  • 3 tbsp pure maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • dash of fine grain sea salt


1. Whisk together the coffee and coconut milk in a medium-sized pot. Bring mixture to a simmer and reduce heat to low.

2. Sift in the cocoa powder, whisking quickly to incorporate until no clumps remain. Whisk in maple syrup to taste and a dash of sea salt.

3. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Serve immediately with vegan marshmallows and/or sugar-rimmed glasses or mugs. Store any leftovers in a glass jar in the fridge.

Note: This hot cocoa doesn’t have a super strong coffee flavour, so if you are looking for more coffee flavour, feel free to add more as desired. I used espresso beans and made it in my French Press just like traditional pressed coffee.

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On a very, very sad note today, my thoughts and condolences go out to those lost and their families in the tragic Connecticut school shooting.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

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Gigi December 17, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Just made this for a treat tonight as I finish up some work and OH MY GOODNESS! This is really delicious. It is the perfect blend of chocolate and mocha… and not too bitter or sweet. I’m hoping my husband (who doesn’t like coffee) will love this one too. Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe. It will be my go-to hot chocolate recipe for the season!


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 18, 2012 at 9:12 am

Im so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for letting me know :)


Gigi December 18, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Hubby loved it too… its a keeper!


Patti December 18, 2012 at 1:12 pm

yummy! I was wondering what I would have for hot chocolate this year.


Amber from Slim Pickin's Kitchen December 19, 2012 at 10:12 am

Oh, my gosh! Coconut milk in hot chocolate?!? How *BRILLIANT*!!! Why have I never thought of this before?!? I also just adore driving around looking at Christmas lights! It really is so much fun. Now that I live in the middle of nowhere, it’s really hard for us to just drive around the neighborhood and check them out. Sad, but true. Also, what kind of kittles is Sketchie? He’s so beautiful and snuggly!


Cookie and Kate December 19, 2012 at 6:18 pm

I love how coconut milk makes rich, decadent hot chocolate without the need for cream. Beautiful photos, Angela!


Peter Burke December 20, 2012 at 12:49 pm

This is such a great holiday cocoa recipe. I’m lactose intolerant so I appreciate the use of light coconut milk. Can’t wait to make it!


Sheri December 20, 2012 at 9:05 pm

Very yummy. Tried it with almond milk. Great afternoon pick-me-up!


Jules December 24, 2012 at 1:47 pm

I love hot chocolate, I can’t wait to try this recipe! I’ve been just heating up chocolate Almond Breeze in the microwave as a substitute up until now… it tastes great, for those who are interested in giving it a try :). Merry Christmas and thanks for the great recipes!


Tanya January 1, 2013 at 9:11 am

Wow….that mocha looks delicious! I rarely use coconut milk……do you think it would work with hemp milk, which seems creamier than almond or soy milk?


Cate June 7, 2013 at 1:28 am

I was looking for a dairy-free hot chocolate, as my partner follows paleo (despite my pleading; as a biologist and geneticist, I find most of paleo “science” is utter crap). I was sceptical, because last time I made a drink with coconut milk it was HORRID, and was certain I’d be throwing this down the sink. Was so thrilled when it turned out to be one of the most delicious hot drinks EVER. So happy to have something to drink during Australian winter, cheers!


Dez October 31, 2013 at 5:35 am

What about replacing the coffee? It might seem crazy to some, but I haven’t drank coffee in years. I don’t even keep it stocked in my pantry. If I’m expecting company I will go out and buy just enough fresh grind for my guests. So what can I replace it with in the spur of the moment if I don’t want to run out can buy coffee?


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 31, 2013 at 10:41 am

almond milk or black tea might be nice?


Jen @ The Well Read Fish January 10, 2014 at 6:01 pm

I finally made this! But, my mistake – I used instant espresso powder and stirred that right into the coconut milk…..completely omitting basically 1 cup of water. Let me tell you – you want rich!?!?!?


Caroline March 7, 2014 at 9:19 am

I made this last night but had some left over. I put it in the fridge and this morning added a frozen banana and some hemp seeds, then blended it to make a smoothie. It was awesome! A sweet and healthy morning pick me up!!


Ann September 25, 2014 at 5:01 pm

My mom can’t eat processed sugar so I’m overjoyed I found this recipe!! Was wondering how much almond milk would be good for substituting the coconut milk. I’m so grateful for your website by the way!!!


Munirah February 6, 2018 at 4:06 pm

Hi! I have a question that sounds a bit weird, but can I use whole milk instead?!??


Angela (Oh She Glows) February 7, 2018 at 8:14 am

I haven’t tried it, but I would think any kind of milk should work! :)


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