December 14, 2021

Best Homemade 5-Ingredient Oat Milk Hot Chocolate

A warm, cozy beverage can be a wonderful way to practice self-care and find a moment of relaxation for yourself. Given it’s the holiday season, let us present to you this super easy Oat Milk Hot Chocolate. 

There is something about a warm beverage that just hits the spot sometimes. I love this recipe particularly when I’m craving something chocolate. Since you can sip it slowly, it’s a great way to savor something sweet. Plus, we’ll take the nitric oxide and antioxidant boost from the cacao powder every day please and thank you. 

Ingredients for Oat Milk Hot Chocolate

ingredients laid out for oat milk hot chocolate on a red reindeer potholder

Oat Milk

There are many options on the market these days. Some have a bit of added sugar, others do not. This is good to pay attention to when making your hot chocolate, as it will affect the taste and how much or little sugar you whisk in. 

Many brands make both a sweetened and unsweetened version. For example, Chobani has a Plain Oatmilk with 7 grams of added sugar per cup, as well as a Zero-Sugar Plain version. Planet Oat has an Original version with 4 grams of added sugar per cup, as well as an unsweetened version.

Oatly oatmilks do not use added sweeteners (except in the chocolate version), but you will see added sugar on the Nutrition Facts Label. Their website has a great explanation of why this is. Basically the sugar is produced from the breakdown of the oats in the production process, and the FDA requires manufacturers to list any sugars created in the production process as added sugars.

See notes below recipe for suggestions on sugar to add based on which oat milk you buy.

Cacao Powder

Great option to add that chocolate flavor plus some antioxidants (don’t miss out on our free downloadable Anti-Inflammatory guide on our home page for more info on antioxidants!). 

If you don’t have or can’t find cacao powder, you may use cocoa powder. See FAQ below for more information on the difference between these two.


The amount you use will depend on if you have unsweetened or sweetened oat milk, as well as your taste preferences. See notes below recipe. 

Vanilla Extract

Adds a subtle richness and complexity.


Just a pinch brings the flavors together in the best way.


How to Make Oat Milk Hot Chocolate

  1. Pour milk into a small saucepan over medium low heat. Heat through and stir occasionally until milk is scalding and giving off a bit of steam (NOT boiling!). 

milk heating in saucepan for oat milk hot chocolate

2. Add remaining ingredients to milk and whisk to combine. 

milk in saucepan with cacao powder, sugar, salt, vanilla extract whisked in

3. Enjoy! Some toppings I love adding are marshmallows if I have them on hand, and I love using a microplane grater to grate some dark chocolate over the top. 

oat milk hot chocolate in mug with marshmallows and grated chocolate on top

Oat Milk Hot Chocolate

Quick and easy hot chocolate made made with pantry staples
Total Time5 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: oat milk hot chocolate
Servings: 1 cup
Calories: 121kcal
Author: Kelly Wagner, MS, RD, LDN


  • 1 cup oat milk
  • 2 teaspoon cacao powder
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract or a splash


  • Pour milk into a small saucepan over medium low heat. Heat through and stir occasionally until milk is scalding and giving off a bit of steam (NOT boiling!).
  • Add remaining ingredients to milk and whisk to combine.
  • Enjoy! Feel free to add toppings like marshmallows, chocolate syrup and/or grated chocolate on top.


  • This recipe is written using slightly sweetened oat milk (7g added sugar per cup). If you use unsweetened oat milk, I recommend starting by adding 1 teaspoon of sugar and tasting. If you desire a sweeter taste, gradually add more. 


Can I make this with regular milk? 

Yes! This recipe was written with oat milk as many people are experimenting with alternative milks these days and looking for recipes. However, it is wonderful with regular milk as well! This gives it a bit of a protein boost too since cow’s milk has more protein than the majority of alternative milks. For reference, a cup of cow’s milk provides about 8 grams of protein. A cup of most oatmilks comes in around 2 grams of protein. 


Is this recipe lactose-free? 

If made with oat milk as written, yes! If you are lactose-intolerant or very sensitive to lactose, it never hurts to double-check the label of the oat milk you buy to ensure it is lactose free. 


Cacao powder vs cocoa powder — what’s the difference?

Cacao powder and cocoa powder are similar. You can use either in this recipe. The difference lies in how they are made. The cacao plant yields pods that contain cacao beans. The cacao beans are fermented to develop color and flavor. 

Cacao powder is made by cold-pressing the cacao beans until the cacao butter separates. Once the fat is separated, the beans are milled into a fine, dark, semi-sweet powder. Cocoa powder is made from cacao beans that are roasted and processed at a higher temperature. 

As a result of these differences in processing, cacao powder tastes slightly more bitter and retains a bit more nutritional value as compared to cocoa powder. Cacao powder has higher levels of antioxidants as well as some minerals such as calcium, potassium and copper (USDA Database). 


Can I make this in the microwave?

Yes, but doing so on the stovetop gives more control over the heat. If you use a microwave, you’ll want to check on it frequently to be sure the milk isn’t boiling. 


If you try this Oat Milk Hot Chocolate, we’d love for you to leave a comment and a review of the recipe below to let us know how you liked it :)


Enjoyed this resource? Share it!

About the Author: Kelly Wagner, MS, RD, LDN

I'm a Registered Dietitian (RD) based in Chicago, IL. I have worked in both inpatient and outpatient settings, including dialysis, ICU, as well as one-on-one nutrition counseling and groups.