The 19 Best Vegan Hot Chocolate Mixes, Ranked

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Hot cocoa is, without a doubt, the go-to beverage for the winter season. Although hot chocolate and hot cocoa are used synonymously, there are important distinctions between the two. Hot cocoa usually comes in powdered form while hot chocolate just combines the two main ingredients: melted chocolate and a liquid of choice. Hot chocolate is typically denser than hot cocoa and must be prepared fresh.

Since hot cocoa contains sweetened cocoa powder, there is the possibility to omit dairy-based emulsifiers and stabilizers, like whey and non-fat milk powder, to make the beverage vegan. Once you have a vegan powder mix, you can combine the powder with your favorite non-dairy milk of choice, warmed in a saucepan or microwave. But some milk substitutes are better than others; almond milk, albeit popular, tends to scald easily and taste bitter if overheated. Oat milk is our favorite to use for vegan hot chocolate because it is creamy, earthy in flavor, and pairs well with the sweetness of hot cocoa.

We've already ranked our favorite hot cocoa mixes, so now we've researched and reviewed some of the best vegan hot cocoa mixes you can buy. Some of the most relevant factors we've considered when comparing these vegan hot chocolate mixes include price per serving, flavor, and creaminess. You'll just need to bring the vegan marshmallows.

18. Theo drinking chocolate

Theo Drinking Chocolate was the most expensive vegan drinking chocolate we examined. The brand recommends using three tablespoons per each half-cup of milk. In turn, this means a $9.99 package yields three cups, which comes out to roughly $3.33 per cup. The brand also makes seasonal peppermint drinking chocolate for the same price; this product is flavored with a scant amount of peppermint oil.

In buying Theo, you're paying for the organic, Fair for Life, and vegan labels more than anything. According to some reviewers on the website, the texture of the powder is thick and clogs frothers easily. Plus, this brand is elusive to find; Amazon, Target, or Whole Foods were not listed as retailers for the hot cocoa mix, although these brands do carry Theo's chocolate bars.

17. Bare Life Coconut Hot Cocoa Mix

Bare Life offers many of the same perks of other vegan hot cocoa products — it's gluten-free and USDA-certified organic. Each package comes with 10 servings and is priced at about $1.50 per serving. The first ingredient is coconut milk, and many Amazon reviewers note that it's the first flavor to shine through. So if you're looking for a coconut beverage with a hint of chocolate and sweetness, this is a go-to brand. For many reviewers, though, the coconut flavor is borderline artificial.

If you want a strong, cacao-rich hot chocolate, you should probably look elsewhere. Amazon reviewers found the chocolate flavor lacking, and some had to resort to adding supplemental hot cocoa mixes to bolster the flavor of the beverage.

16. Moonstruck Chocolate Co. Dark Chocolate Cocoa

Moonstruck Chocolate Company doesn't skimp on the design of its hot cocoa containers. The dreamy dark chocolate flavor is the only vegan cocoa mix in its lineup and is available on World Market's website for $12.99 at the time of publication. The dreamy dark chocolate mix comes out to around $1.62 per serving.

Although we love the design of the canister, we can't say we love the flavor of this product. Each serving contains 22 grams of sugar and several reviewers note that the sweetness easily overpowers any chocolate notes while others note a distinct aftertaste. While the aroma of this powder might smell sweet and enticing, the flavor is not as unadulterated as you would expect. We also had to search high and low to find this hot cocoa mix, so it might be tough to find a retailer in your area that carries it. 

15. Good & Gather Hot Cocoa Mix

Good & Gather, Target's in-house brand, offers several types of hot cocoa mix to warm up with including pumpkin spice, peppermint, salted caramel, and double chocolate. For the sake of comparison, we stuck to examining the double chocolate variety but should note that each of these four flavors is vegan. Each box of the double cocoa flavor is priced at $5.79 for eight packets, which comes out to about $0.72 per serving at the time of publication. 

The cocoa flavor on these packets isn't overtly rich or flavorful, but it is cheap. We couldn't taste much of the sweetness or any rich chocolate flavor. The powder was especially thin and did not create the same unctuous mouthfeel of low-end hot cocoa mixes like Swiss Miss.

14. Whittard of Chelsea Luxury Hot Cocoa Mix

The manufacturers of this hot cocoa mix didn't skimp on the luxurious design of the container, or the flavorful powder containing close to 39% cocoa. Whittard of Chelsea is both vegetarian and vegan-friendly and can be made with your choice of alternative milk. Alternatively, you can use Whittard of Chelsea as a flavoring in milkshakes or for a mocha-infused hot coffee. Each container of hot cocoa contains enough powder for 17 mugs of hot chocolate, which comes out to $0.57 per serving at the time of publication.

Some Amazon reviewers note that Whittard of Chelsea's hot chocolate is average in flavor and the orange variety seems to have a chemical undertone. Plus, numerous customers note that they had to add an extra scoop of powder to taste the chocolate flavor.

13. NOMU Vegan Hot Chocolate

NOMU Vegan Hot Chocolate is a New-Zealand based vegan hot chocolate made with cocoa powder, coconut fat, and organic dark chocolate pieces interspersed. The product title and vegan emblem on the front of the container give the impression that this product is vegan, but the label clearly indicates NOMU was made in a factory with cow's milk (via Amazon). Thus, this product may not be suitable for folks with dairy allergies.

Overall, the flavor of this beverage is very smooth, creamy, and chocolatey. We give bonus points for including the pieces of chocolate in the powder, as well as the addition of coconut fat and emulsifiers to keep the beverage smooth and unctuous. This vegan product only comes in one flavor and rounds out to around $0.91 per serving at the time of publication. 

12. Lake Champlain Chocolates Hot Cocoa Mix

We're a fan of everything Lake Champlain Chocolates, including its traditional hot chocolate mix (priced at $0.81 per serving), which is made with fair-trade chocolate and sugar.  The mocha hot chocolate is another popular option flavored with fair-trade coffee; it's a subtle coffee flavor flavored with the warmth of the chocolate and mild sweetness. And if you're solely looking for heat in your hot chocolate, you should look at the spicy Aztec flavor, made with ancho chili powder, chipotle pepper, and cinnamon.

If you plan to purchase Lake Champlain Chocolates' mixes, you should know that the flavor of the powder is not as sweet as other mixes and is a little bit drier in flavor. There is no coconut milk to help smooth out the texture, so you may notice a chalky, powdery texture that doesn't roll off the tongue.

11. NibMor Organic Hot Chocolate

NibMor offers several vegan hot chocolate varieties including traditional, mint, and extra creamy. The extra creamy has the same chocolatey flavor as the original hot chocolate, but with the addition of organic coconut milk and emulsifiers like tapioca maltodextrin and organic acacia gum for a smoother and more rich texture. 

The traditional mix is sold on Amazon in packs of six for $17.59 at the time of publication, which comes out to around $2.93 per serving. This makes NibMor one of the more expensive mixes per serving, but is it worth the extra cost? You'll get the same chocolate flavor and sweetness as other vegan hot cocoa brands, along with the peace of mind of purchasing an organic hot chocolate mix. But we don't think it's worth paying double to get the same flavor as another cheaper hot cocoa mix.

10. Coconut Cloud Vegan Cocoa

Coconut Cloud is a pioneer for vegan hot cocoa mixes. The mix comes in several flavors including original, toasted marshmallow, peppermint, salted caramel, and even birthday cake. Their original mix contains coconut milk as its first ingredient — which can not be said for other vegan hot cocoa mixes — so you know it's going to be creamy. Each 12-ounce bag of the mix is available on the website for $23.39, which comes out to around $1.95 per serving at the time of publication.

While this brand is certainly one of the more expensive varieties of vegan cocoa you can purchase, customers love its creaminess and its inclusion of a marshmallow variety, which is vegan because the tiny marshmallows do not contain gelatin. However, since coconut milk is one of the primary ingredients in this mix, you might find the mix greasy and void of cocoa flavor, per some Amazon reviewers.

9. Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Premium Hot Cocoa

Ghirardelli is a recognizable name for chocolatiers, but did you know its double chocolate hot chocolate mix is vegan? This mix contains soy lecithin so it is not suitable for folks with soy allergies, but it is a viable alternative for folks who avoid the other major allergens, including dairy. Each packet is individually sealed for easy access and portioning; the price on Amazon is about $1 per serving.

Each packet of this hot cocoa mix contains 19 grams of added sugar, so we can ensure that this is a good choice in hot cocoa for lovers of confections and kids alike. The cocoa used for the recipe is a bit more flavorful than a cheaper Swiss Miss, but the sweetness of the mix can easily overpower the flavor of the rest of the mix.

8. Joy Craft Cocoa

Joy Craft Cocoa is a robust, full-flavored hot cocoa mix made with four different kinds of cocoa powders. The flavor of this mix is almost fudge-like, according to the Marshmallow of the Month Club, and is made with 100% vegan beet sugar. This cocoa is priced on the more expensive end of cocoa powders at about $2 a serving at the time of publication.

Outside of the signature hot cocoa flavor, Joy Craft Cocoa also makes several other flavor varieties. The apple-spiced hot cocoa contains flavor notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger while the hot chocolate chai contains a hybrid of flavors from your favorite cup of spicy chai. For a bit of heat, you can purchase Mexican hot chocolate with cinnamon and chipotle. All of these varieties are vegan and make us reconsider how we think about vegan cocoa.

7. Swiss Miss Non-Dairy Hot Cocoa Mix

Swiss Miss is one of the most well-known brands in the hot chocolate universe. The Swiss Miss Non-Dairy hot cocoa mix is made with non-fat dried coconut milk for an added boost of creaminess. Each box of this hot cocoa powder includes six individual packets, which are roughly priced at $0.83 per serving at the time of publication.

This mix receives high accolades for its low price and smooth, creamy flavor. The coconut milk in this powder is nearly undetectable, so you won't taste any coconut undertones in your hot chocolate. The sweetness of this hot cocoa is on the higher end of things, but not too overwhelming that you can't taste the chocolate. Plus, this mix is easily accessible and can be purchased from Target, local grocery stores, or online retailers.

6. Treehouse Originals Drinking Chocolate

TreeHouse Originals is the brand of vegan hot cocoa you want if you prioritize chocolatey flavor above aesthetics. Each bag contains 72% cacao sourced from the Northern Peruvian Oro Verde — a farmer-owned cooperative. The mix is made with coconut milk for creaminess and coconut nectar for sweetness. Each "bulk" bag contains six servings, priced at $2 each. Unlike other brands, this chocolate mix is mild in sweetness and contains a mere 14 grams of added sugar. The chocolate flavors are strong, but not akin to the "American" hot chocolate palate of sweetness above all else. This mix would be best for someone looking to feel like they're drinking a mild, bittersweet chocolate bar.

For more adventurous hot cocoa enthusiasts, TreeHouse Originals also makes individually-packaged mocha drinking chocolate, smoked sea salt drinking chocolate, spiced drinking chocolate, and coconut drinking chocolate. On Amazon, these individual packages retail for about $2.63 each.

5. Starbucks Double Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix

The Starbucks double chocolate mix is accidentally vegan. When you purchase this brand, you'll get all of the showy benefits of Starbucks products — "ethically sourced cocoa," "real vanilla," and chocolate bits interspersed in the powder. Each serving of the mix is priced at around $0.97 per serving at the time of publication.

The flavor of this hot cocoa is stronger on the chocolate end than other brands but doesn't have the same level of creaminess, according to some Target reviewers. This hot chocolate mix is less sweet than other brands, so it is a good option for folks looking for a mild-tasting, yet simple hot cocoa mix. The lack of sweetness in this powder and its strong chocolate flavor makes it a good option for adding to lattes and espresso for a mocha undertone — all without the dairy. 

4. Equal Exchange Dark Chocolate Cocoa Mix

Equal Exchange dark hot chocolate cocoa mix and spicy hot cocoa mix are both vegan; the original hot cocoa mix is not vegan because it is made with non-fat milk dry powder. Equal Exchange's products are the antithesis of equity. Each of its hot cocoa mixes is made with chocolate from the CONACADO co-op in the Dominican Republic and sugar from the Manduvira co-op in Paraguay. Each cup of cocoa you enjoy from Equal Exchange insures that more money is placed in the hands of farmers and co-ops. Additionally, both of these products are USDA-certified organic. 

Purchasing the dark hot chocolate mix from Amazon comes out to around $1.06 per serving, while the spicy variety comes in at slightly pricier at $1.18. The flavors of this chocolate are more bitter and full than a cheaper, and more sugar-ladened mix. Although it is more expensive than other varieties, you're paying for a strong chocolate flavor made with chocolate liquor and cocoa powder. 

3. Public Goods Hot Cocoa Mix

Public Goods does not skimp on the aesthetic design of its container. According to its website, all of Public Goods' products are made with sugarcane bottles and tree-free paper, and the brand donates a portion of its sales to fund restoration efforts. All of its products are organic, vegan, and cruelty-free — so it's the brand even the most cynical of eco-conscious consumers can feel good about.

Each 12-ounce container of Public Goods hot cocoa mix contains only two ingredients: non-alkalized cocoa powder and raw cane sugar. We noticed each serving of this mix has 20 grams of sugar, making it one of the more sugar-ladened varieties of hot cocoa we reviewed. Per serving, the cost for this mix comes out to about $1.10 at the time of publication, which isn't unreasonable for an organic mix. We would have liked to see a creamier texture on this variety with the inclusion of coconut milk or a similar agent, but overall are impressed with the design, quality, and story of Public Goods.

2. Castle Kitchen Hot Chocolate

Castle Kitchen makes four vegan and major allergen-free hot chocolate flavors: double dutch dark chocolate, memorable maple, caramel dark chocolate, and marvelous mint. Each 14-ounce canister contains about 15 servings of hot cocoa; this comes out to around $0.86 per serving. 

Castle Kitchen is one of our favorite brands of vegan hot cocoa mix — and it's among customers' favorites as well. The average score for the entire Castle Kitchen lineup is around 4.5 on Amazon. The fine powder mixes in seamlessly with your choice of milk or water. For the fullest flavor, Amazon reviewers note that you shouldn't skimp on the powder. Overall, the flavors of the hot chocolate are unctuous and reviewers note that the flavors outside of the dark chocolate varieties are strong without crossing the threshold into "artificial" territory.

1. Divine Drinking Chocolate

Divine Drinking Chocolate is a thrifty variety of cocoa with similar flavors and quality akin to products twice its price. Each serving costs about $0.41 at the time of publication. This product contains a minimum of 25% cacao from Ghana and is certified fair-trade.

You won't skimp out on flavor when it comes to this hot cocoa mix. Each serving contains 12 grams of sugar, so it's clear the sweetness is not overpowering. If you desire a deeper chocolate flavor, you can mix this hot chocolate powder with unsweetened cocoa powder. With its price and its flexibility to suit a range of palates, we placed Divine's hot cocoa mix at the top of our ranking of hot cocoa varieties — you'll just need to add the marshmallows.