It’s the perfect time to start curling up with a good book and a cup of hot cocoa. Finding the right easy hot cocoa recipe when you’re trying to avoid dairy and refined sugar isn’t that simple. I crafted this 4-ingredient recipe to make it a little easier for all the mamas out there.
Take a peek at all the fun mugs we found too! You’ll find those just after the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
Easy Hot Cocoa Recipe for Kids
It doesn’t have to be complicated to make homemade hot cocoa. In fact, my easy hot cocoa recipe for kids is so simple to make, it’s almost as quick as the store-bought packets! And this recipe is healthy too; there’s no refined sugar and has simple wholesome ingredients you can feel good about giving your kids (and yourself!)
In fact, this version is dairy-free and Paleo-friendly too. (I bet the kids won’t even notice!)
A warm mug of hot cocoa is pretty much a necessity this time of year. Especially for kids. Because hot cocoa is a very good motivator to stay outside longer. You know when they want to come in after 10 minutes and you’ve spent 15 minutes bundling them up? Just offer them hot cocoa if they stay outside a little longer. It works (almost) every time.
Hot Cocoa and Food Sensitivities
I have to be careful about what I feed my kids (and myself) because we all have food sensitivities. That means we can’t buy the store-bought hot cocoa packets, which are loaded with high fructose corn syrup and other ingredients I can’t pronounce.
So this year, when my children started asking for hot cocoa, I decided to create our own homemade hot cocoa recipe. I’ve come up with a few variations, but this particular version is a favorite with my kids. In fact, they’ve told me it tastes just as good, if not better than the old “store stuff.” (Score!)
There are four simple ingredients in this homemade hot cocoa recipe – almond milk, cocoa powder, honey, and vanilla extract. So simple and so good!
Cacao Powder vs Baking Cocoa for Hot Cocoa
I use cacao powder myself, but you can use baking cocoa too. Cacao powder is more bitter, so you may need to increase the sweetener slightly if you go this route.
Now when my kids come in from playing out in the cold snow, it’s no problem to whip up a batch or two of this easy hot cocoa recipe!
The Healthy Easy Hot Cocoa Recipe for Kids
- Prep Time: 2 mins
- Cook Time: 5 mins
- Total Time: 7 mins
- Yield: 2 servings 1x
- Category: beverage
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
- 2 cups almond milk (or your milk of choice)
- 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 Tbsp honey or maple syrup*
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Warm the almond milk in a small saucepan, then whisk in the cocoa powder, honey, and vanilla extract. Whisk well to remove any lumps from the cocoa.
- Optional: place in your blender (make sure the cocoa isn’t too hot – you don’t want to get burned) and blend until frothy.
- Serve warm.
*add more or less honey, depending on how sweet your kids like it
Keywords: homemade hot cocoa, healthy hot chocolate, vegan, dairy-free
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only by an online calculator. Actual numbers may vary depending on multiple factors such as brand, measurement and portion accuracy, etc.
Just pin it below to find the recipe for later!
Love that you’re making it healthier! I usually just make a ganache and add more milk, but this is WAY healthier! Love it!
Jennifer Sikora says
I find that I love almond milk so much more in hot cocoa than I do regular milk. This is a great recipe and I cannot wait to make a batch for my family.
Mama to 5 BLessings says
What a great recipe. We use almond milk is a healthy creamy option. Your kids look happy with their tasty drink!
valmg @ From Val's Kitchen says
We love hot cocoa. I have a container of it in my kitchen all year round. Are you saying the honey is optional, if you want it sweeter?
That sounds so good! I love to use almond milk in place of regular milk whenever I can.
Hi Erick, I’ll be sure to head over to have a cup 🙂
That should of said Erika! LOL
I knew what you meant. 🙂
This looks great! Thanks for the idea – my daughter LOVES coming in from playing in the snow to a warm cup of cocoa. I would love to give her something better than the packets 😉
I gotta ask- where’d the white embossed mug come from?
Kelly Spears says
I was looking up healthy recipes for my toddler when I came across your hot coco. I enjoy this myself as do my children it’s yummy my eleven year old said..
That’s great to hear, Kelly!
THIS IS THE BEST. THING. EVER. THANKS SO MUCH!!! Still using this recipe in April 2017. It’s not even wintertime, but I don’t care. I’m more of a hot-cocoa-year-round kind of girl 😉
It’s super good but I recommend adding a some splenda (maybe around 3 packets) because otherwise it’s way too bitter
Funny how taste buds are.We (me and the kids) think this is way too sweet.This probably because we don’t eat any sugary,processed foods.Please be careful with splenda,as it has quite a few side effect being an artificial sweetner.
Thank you for this!! It hit the spot perfectly! And it’s something my 4 year old can have and my hubby just might try, bonus!
Jahaira Luzzi says
This looks great. I’m wondering…doesn’t the cocoa powder have a significant amount of caffeine? Like too much for a child??
I’ve never noticed any issues with my kids drinking this cocoa. If you’re concerned about the caffeine levels, decrease the amount of cocoa powder in this recipe and/or don’t give it to them right before bedtime.
My kids sometimes drink this in the evening and they have no difficulty going to bed.
Now me? I’m SUPER sensitive to caffeine and don’t drink or consume any coffee, cocoa or chocolate after 3pm, otherwise, I am kept awake.
Chelsea Green says
Loved this recipe!! Was fantastic.
Aww yay! Thanks for letting me know, Chelsea!
Do you use regular almond milk or unsweetened ?
We typically use unsweetened almond milk, but regular almond milk would work well for this recipe too.
I dont taste the difference between this and regular hot cocoa. I use whole milk for my toddler. Keeping this recipe since I like to keep sugar low!
This cocoa is so easy to make and yummy too!
My kids loved this cocoa recipe – it’s easy and so delicious! Thank you!
Thanks for the recipe and tips. My kids will love this too.