Rich, luxurious, and wonderfully festive, this easy recipe turns classic peppermint hot chocolate into a cozy paleo treat. No dairy, no grain, and no refined sugar in sight! It’s perfectly minty, made with just a handful of pantry staple ingredients, and ready in roughly 15 minutes.
☕️ What Makes This Recipe So Good
- A festive twist on our paleo hot chocolate, this recipe adds a touch of peppermint extract for the perfect minty flavor. That, combined with rich dark chocolate and thick, creamy coconut milk makes this quite possibly the best dairy-free peppermint hot chocolate you’ll ever make.
- The process is super quick and easy. Just add everything to a saucepan and whisk over medium heat until combined and velvety smooth! It takes maybe 15 minutes tops (and honestly, more like 5).
- A dollop of dairy-free whipped cream really puts a mug of paleo peppermint hot chocolate over the top. It’s totally optional, of course, but it’s one of those small things that makes this hot cocoa feel even more like a traditional hot cocoa. I included my “recipe” (really, it’s so simple I can’t even call it that) for easy whipped coconut cream below!
👩🏼🍳 Chef’s Tips
- If you don’t enjoy a strong peppermint taste, start out using just ⅛-¼ teaspoon of the peppermint extract. Taste the hot chocolate and add more peppermint only if you feel like it’s needed. You can always add more but you can’t take it back out if it’s too much!
- I love a sprinkle of crushed candy cane on top of my peppermint hot chocolate. Unfortunately, most candy canes aren’t paleo-friendly. If you’re not super strict, though, there are some versions that might work for you! YumEarth brand organic candy canes are free from dairy and artificial dyes, vegan, kosher, allergy-friendly, and made with organic cane sugar. Not technically paleo, but a good option if you can use them!
- Be sure to use unsweetened, full-fat, canned coconut milk for your paleo hot chocolate. Carton coconut milk won’t give you the same consistency and creaminess, and sweetened coconut milk will make your hot chocolate too sweet. Plus, their ingredients may not be paleo-friendly, so.
🍫 Other Paleo & Dairy-Free Treats You’ll Love
- Paleo Pecan Pie
- Turtle Bars Recipe (Paleo, Vegan)
- Paleo Cranberry Bliss Bars
- Rich & Fudgy Dairy-Free Brownies
- Paleo Gluten-Free Crinkle Cookies (Peppermint Chocolate)
- Vegan Coconut Cream Pie (Dairy Free)
- Perfect Paleo Brownies (Fudgy, Crackly Top, Gluten Free)
- Paleo Cranberry Orange Pound Cake
- Instant Pot Caramel Sauce (Vegan, Paleo, Dairy Free)
For the Paleo Hot Chocolate
- 1 13.5-ounce can unsweetened full-fat coconut milk at room temperature, see Notes
- ⅓ 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
- ½ teaspoon peppermint extract more or less to taste
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
- crushed paleo-friendly candy canes see Notes
- medium saucepan
- 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
- Add 1 13.5-ounce can unsweetened full-fat coconut milk, ⅓ cup unsweetened almond milk, and 2 ounces paleo-friendly 100% dark chocolate chips to medium saucepan. 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 ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract, and ½ teaspoon peppermint extract to saucepan. Whisk to incorporate, then taste mixture and adjust maple syrup and peppermint extract 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 or crushed paleo-friendly candy canes.
- 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.
- Candy Canes: Most candy canes aren’t compatible with strict paleo diets. If you’re able or willing to be a little lax during the holidays, you can use any diet-friendly candy canes (like these from YumEarth) or peppermints that work for you.
- Make it Keto: Replace the maple syrup with a keto-friendly maple-flavored liquid sweetener.
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.