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Rich, delicious hot chocolate made dairy-free, grain-free, and refined-sugar-free in this paleo recipe! Top with whipped coconut cream for the perfect sweet beverage each winter and holiday season.

A glass coffee mug holding deep, rich paleo hot chocolate topped with whipped coconut cream and chocolate shavings.

☕️ What Makes This Recipe So Good

  • Rich and luxurious. Warm and cozy. Free from dairy, grains, gluten, and refined sugar. I’m in! This homemade paleo hot chocolate is one of my very favorite winter recipes, whether or not I’m “paleo” at the time. I’m certainly not one to deprive myself of all the treats and goodies of the holidays. Honestly, that makes me love this hot cocoa recipe even more! I can indulge in a mug of classic hot chocolate while also giving my body a small break from all the super sweet, super heavy, super decadent foods of the season.
  • Making paleo hot chocolate is ridiculously easy and quick. If you’ve ever made stovetop hot chocolate from scratch before, the process is exactly the same. You’ll be able to settle in with a cozy mug in roughly 15 minutes!
  • I haven’t tested it yet, BUT! I have a feeling you could turn this into a Crockpot paleo hot chocolate recipe if you wanted to. Here’s what I’m thinking: add everything at the same time and whisk to incorporate. Set the slow cooker for 2 hours on LOW heat and whisk often so nothing sticks or scalds. Again, I haven’t tested it yet, so no guarantees on the results. If you try it out, leave a comment below and let me know how it goes!

👩🏼‍🍳 Chef’s Tips

  • Whipped coconut cream is the perfect finishing-touch for paleo hot chocolate, and making it could NOT be easier. All you need to do is put an unopened can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight! As the canned coconut milk chills, it separates into two parts. One is a thick, white, somewhat-solid layer of coconut cream. Beneath that is a layer of water. It’s not coconut water, though. It’s just water that was used to soak the coconut flesh and create the coconut milk. You’re welcome to use it in other recipes, drinks, or smoothies if you’d like, but there’s nothing particularly special or nutritious about it. Scoop out the thick coconut cream, though. That’s the part you’ll need to use for whipped coconut cream!
  • Speaking of the coconut milk, make sure you use unsweetened, full-fat, canned coconut milk. Why so specific? Well! 1) Most sweetened coconut milks aren’t paleo. They can also make your hot chocolate too sweet, since the recipe doesn’t account for using sweetened milk. 2) Full-fat coconut milk will make your hot chocolate creamier and richer than lighter versions. 3) Carton coconut milks are usually diluted with water, which means canned coconut milks are typically thicker and less liquidy. Basically, for the best results, use unsweetened, full-fat, canned coconut milk.
  • If you use a chocolate that’s made with paleo-compatible sweeteners, start out with just 1 tablespoon of maple syrup instead of 2. You can always add more if you taste the hot cocoa mixture and think it’s needed!
Top-down photo of a glass coffee mug holding deep, rich paleo hot chocolate topped with whipped coconut cream and chocolate shavings.

🥘 Paleo Recipes You’ll Make on Repeat

Recipe By: Cheryl Malik

Paleo Hot Chocolate

Prep 10 minutes
Cook 5 minutes
Total 15 minutes
Classic rich hot chocolate, free from dairy, grains, gluten, and refined sugar but perfectly sweet and creamy.
4 servings


  • medium saucepan
  • stovetop
  • whisk
  • 4 serving mugs
  • Small bowl optional, for whipped coconut cream
  • Large spoon optional, for whipped coconut cream
  • small whisk optional, for whipped coconut cream


For the Paleo Hot Chocolate

  • 1 13.5-ounce can unsweetened full-fat coconut milk at room temperature, see Notes
  • cup unsweetened almond milk at room temperature
  • 2 ounces paleo-friendly 100% dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate bar, see Notes
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup to taste, see Notes
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Whipped Coconut Cream (Optional)

  • 1 13.5-ounce can unsweetened full-fat coconut milk refrigerated overnight, see Notes

Serving Suggestions (All Optional)

  • 1 dash chili powder per mug, or coarse sea salt
  • 100% dark chocolate shavings


For the Paleo Hot Chocolate

  • Add 1 13.5-ounce can unsweetened full-fat coconut milk, ⅓ cup unsweetened almond milk, and 2 ounces paleo-friendly 100% dark chocolate to medium saucepan and place saucepan on stovetop over medium-low heat.
  • Whisk ingredients together gently, whisking constantly until chocolate begins to melt. Once chocolate begins to melt, increase heat under saucepan to medium. Continue whisking until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
  • Add 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup and ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract to saucepan. Whisk to incorporate, then taste mixture and adjust maple syrup as needed.
  • Let mixture simmer over medium heat until liquid is very hot but not actually boiling. Whisk mixture occasionally to prevent sticking or scalding.
  • Before mixture begins to boil, remove saucepan from heat and let mixture cool slightly. While mixture cools, prepare whipped coconut cream if desired.

For the Whipped Coconut Cream (Optional)

  • Remove 1 13.5-ounce can unsweetened full-fat coconut milk from refrigerator, being careful not to shake can or agitate contents.
  • Carefully open can. Use large spoon to scoop out thick, white layer of cream that formed at top of can, leaving separated water in can. Transfer coconut cream to small mixing bowl. Discard water or reserve to use later if desired.
  • Gently whisk coconut cream until smooth.

To Serve the Paleo Hot Chocolate

  • Once hot chocolate mixture has cooled slightly, carefully portion hot chocolate into serving mugs.
  • If desired, dollop whipped coconut cream on top of each mug of hot chocolate, then garnish hot chocolate with 1 dash chili powder or coarse sea salt and 100% dark chocolate shavings.
  • Serve hot chocolate immediately.
  • Coconut Milk: Use coconut milk in a can, not in a carton, and make sure it is completely unsweetened. For the creamiest hot chocolate and whipped coconut cream, use full-fat coconut milk. You can also use unsweetened, full-fat canned coconut cream instead of milk if you prefer a thicker, richer, creamier cocoa. Note that coconut creamer, coco lopez, cream of coconut, and carton coconut milk are not the same as canned coconut milk (or cream) and will not work in this recipe.
  • Chocolate: I use Ghirardelli 100% cacao unsweetened chocolate which is dairy free, sweetener free, and lists “unsweetened chocolate” as the only ingredient. You can use chocolate chips, chocolate wafers (the button-shaped chocolates for melting, NOT the cookies!), or chocolate bars that you chop or shave into smaller pieces for easier melting.
  • Maple Syrup: Use 2 tablespoons for a lightly-sweetened hot chocolate, up to 3 tablespoons for a sweeter hot chocolate. If you use a chocolate made with paleo-friendly sweeteners, use less maple syrup to account for the sweeteners in the chocolate.
  • Make it Keto: Replace the maple syrup with a keto-friendly maple-flavored liquid sweetener.

Approximate Information for One Serving

Serving Size: 1 serving (without whipped cream)Calories: 324calProtein: 4gFat: 31gSaturated Fat: 25gSodium: 42mgPotassium: 425mgTotal Carbs: 17gFiber: 5gSugar: 9gNet Carbs: 12gVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 66mgIron: 2mg
Nutrition Disclaimers
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.

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