This Keto Hot Chocolate is easy to make on the stovetop or in a crockpot and with just a few basic ingredients. The combination of heavy cream and almond milk makes it so rich and creamy, while also keeping it low carb and sugar-free.
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Hot chocolate, when done right, is an absolute dream. It makes the perfect dessert or sweet drink for cold winter nights.
This recipe is a spin-off of the classic "Favorite Hot Cocoa" recipe found on the back of Hershey's Cocoa. It only required a few tweaks to make it keto-friendly and the flavor is pure perfection. Since this recipe uses heavy cream, it actually is even better than the original in my opinion.
Ingredients and substitutions
The ingredients for this hot chocolate are pretty straightforward, and if you probably have most of them in your fridge or pantry right now!
- Low Carb Sweetener (read below to find suggestions for picking the best sweetener)
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- Hot Water
- Unsweetened Almond Milk or milk of choice
- Heavy Whipping Cream or full fat coconut milk
- Vanilla Extract or vanilla bean paste
- Optional - Homemade Whipped Cream or low carb marshmallows (affiliate) for topping!
See the recipe card for quantities.
Picking the right sweetener
For keto baking, I generally stick with Swerve or Lakanto. While these will both work in this hot chocolate recipe, I prefer to use Whole Earth Stevia and Monk Fruit Blend (affiliate) for hot beverages.
I find that it tastes the most like real sugar and it doesn't have any of the cooling effects that erythritol can have. It also melts easily in hot drinks and does not recrystallize or become gritty.
You can use whichever sweetener you like or happen to have on hand, but if you are using something other than Whole Earth, you may need to adjust the amount added and simply sweeten to taste.
How to make keto hot chocolate
This hot chocolate only takes a few minutes to make and it is not even comparable to mixes or instant hot chocolate.
Start by mixing the sweetener, cocoa, and salt in a saucepan. Slowly stir in the hot water.
Tip: Cocoa powder is hydrophobic so it can take a minute to get it to mix with the water. Just make sure that your water is HOT and keep stirring.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. Allow it to boil for 2 minutes, continuing to stir the entire time.
Next, whisk in the almond milk and heavy whipping cream. Continue to cook over medium heat until heated through. But, do not allow it to boil.
Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla and serve.
Plain hot chocolate is hard to beat, but sometimes it's nice to mix things up. Here are my favorite flavor additions:
The only equipment you will need for making this homemade hot chocolate is a saucepan with a minimum 6 cup capacity, measuring cups and spoons, a wire whisk, a ladle for serving, and of course a mug for serving!
Variations and flavor ideas
- Top with fresh whipped cream. This is nearly a requirement as far as I'm concerned.
- Serve it with Keto Marshmallows for the classic combination and an extra treat!
- Add cinnamon to taste. You can add it during step 1, or sprinkle some on top of the finished product for serving.
- Add flavor extracts. Some of my favorites are peppermint and raspberry. If you are going this route, I recommend adding about 1 teaspoon of extract along with the vanilla in the final step.
- Add a shot of espresso, or better yet add some espresso, peppermint extract, and whipped cream for the perfect peppermint mocha!
- Make it boozy! Check out this article for ideas on making a boozy hot cocoa that will suit your tastebuds.
- Make keto vegan hot chocolate by substituting the heavy cream with full fat coconut milk.
- Keep reading for make ahead and slow cooker instructions!
How to make Hot Chocolate in advance
Making hot chocolate in advance is so easy and also makes it super simple to enjoy a delicious and decadent cup of hot cocoa whenever the mood strikes.
Simply prepare the hot chocolate as directed, then allow it to cool completely. Transfer to a lidded container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
From the fridge, you can heat the hot chocolate by the cup or all at once on the stovetop or in the microwave when you are ready to enjoy it! Just be sure to stir the cooled cocoa before pouring as the cocoa powder may settle to the bottom.
How to make Hot Chocolate in a slow cooker
Making a large batch of hot chocolate in a slow cooker is the perfect way to serve cocoa at holiday parties. You can easily keep the cocoa flowing (and hot!)
To do this, Simply complete steps 1 and 2 as directed in the recipe card, then transfer the chocolate mixture from the saucepan to the crockpot. Set the crockpot to low, and stir in the almond milk and vanilla.
Keep it set to low until the mixture is heated through, about 1-2 hours, then reduce it to 'keep warm until you are finished serving. Depending upon the size of your slow cooker, you may want to double or even triple the recipe.
Cocoa powder has 3 grams of carbohydrates and 2 grams of fiber for a total of 1 net carb per one-tablespoon serving. This makes it a great way to satisfy your chocolate cravings white on a keto diet. Just be sure that you are using unsweetened cocoa powder, as cocoa with sweeteners will have much more carbs.
Most likely yes! Hot chocolate can be easily adapted to work with many different diets. Follow this recipe for keto or low carb diets, or swap the heavy cream with additional unsweetened almond milk for low calorie or low-fat diets.
Be sure to check out these other great recipes:
- Low Carb Eggnog
- Keto Frozen Hot Chocolate
- Low Carb Chocolate Cheesecake
- Low Carb Triple Chocolate and Peppermint Cookies
- Keto Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake
Keto Hot Chocolate | Sugar Free
- Sauce Pan
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Mix the sweetener, cocoa, and salt in a saucepan. Stir in the hot water.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. Allow it to boil for 2 minutes, continuing to stir.
- Stir in the almond milk and heavy whipping cream. Continue to cook over medium heat until heated through. But, do not allow it to boil.
- Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla and serve.
Be sure to read the entire post for tips, tricks, and help troubleshooting.
The nutrition information listed here is only an estimate and is simply provided as a courtesy. It nor any other information within this post should constitute medical or nutritional advice. Be sure to read all packaging and ingredient labels for potential allergens. Optional ingredients are not included unless otherwise specified.