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Cinnamon Hot Chocolate (Healthy Recipe)

One sip of this Cinnamon Hot Chocolate, and you’ll never reach for instant hot cocoa again. This quick and easy recipe makes a single serving of rich and creamy homemade healthy hot chocolate enhanced with a festive, warm flavor. Regular and dairy-free/vegan options included.

Healthy cinnamon hot chocolate in a glass mug. Cinnamon sticks in the background.

Cozy up on the couch with a steaming cup of hot chocolate without the guilt!

This healthy cinnamon hot chocolate is made from scratch with wholesome, non-processed ingredients and sweetened naturally with maple syrup. It’s creamy, comforting, and the perfect way to warm up while sipping on something nutritious.

The best part? You can make this delicious hot chocolate with cow’s milk or with your favorite non-dairy milk; they’re equally as rich and creamy.

The key to getting dairy-free hot chocolate extra creamy is letting the milk gently simmer so some of the moisture evaporates.

If you love cheerful, warm winter drinks, don’t miss this homemade apple cider, this German mulled wine, or this Christmas punch but first, let’s make a mug of homemade cinnamon hot cocoa for one!

Why You’ll Love This Cinnamon Hot Chocolate Recipe

  • It’s HEALTHY hot chocolate made with whole food ingredients and natural sweetener.
  • Making hot cocoa from scratch tastes much better than instant, and it’s easy!
  • It can be made with or without dairy. The vegan variation is just as amazing.
  • This recipe yields 1-serving, but it is easy to adjust for more.
  • It’s delicious, creamy, comforting, and perfect for long and dark fall and winter evenings.
  • It will satisfy your sweet tooth without too much added sugar.

Hot chocolate in mugs, chocolate pieces, and cinnamon sticks on white background.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Milk – Using milk instead of water for hot chocolate gives it a lavish, velvety texture. You can use regular whole milk or creamy plant-based milk. Oat milk, coconut milk, and almond milk are great options. I tried it with cashew milk, and the results were AMAZING!
  • Cinnamon stick & whole clove – For cozy, warming flavors. You only need one of each.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder – You can also use unsweetened cacao powder. If possible, use dutch-processed cocoa powder as it has the deepest and bests tasting chocolate flavor.
  • Salt – You will only need a pinch to make every taste just a bit sweeter.
  • Dark chocolate – Use high-quality 70% dark chocolate. A chocolate baking bar or chocolate chunks work best. You can also use milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate, but it’s not as healthy. If vegan, double-check that your dark chocolate is dairy-free.
  • Maple syrup – For a touch of natural sweetness to taste. Omit for sugar-free hot chocolate.

How To Make Cinnamon Hot Chocolate

  1. Simmer the milk: Pour the non-dairy milk into a small saucepan. Add the cinnamon stick and clove, and bring the milk to a simmer. Let it cook uncovered for 10 minutes. If you’re using dairy milk, turn off the heat once it starts to simmer and let it sit, covered, for 10 minutes.
  2. Make the cocoa paste: Meanwhile, combine the cocoa powder and 1-1/2 tablespoons of milk in a small bowl to form a smooth paste.
  3. Whisk: When the milk is ready, add the cocoa paste, salt, and dark chocolate and whisk until the cocoa paste dissolves.
  4. Simmer and serve: Heat the hot chocolate mix to a low simmer and simmer until heated through. Remove the cinnamon stick and clove, sweeten to taste, and serve hot.

Recipe Tips

I don’t typically open a new can of coconut milk for this, but if I already have an open can, I’ll add a tablespoon or two of coconut cream for an even smoother, creamier consistency.

Regular milk is perfectly fine. Just be careful not to let the milk hard boil and bubble over. Once it starts to simmer, turn off the heat and let the whole spices steep.

Do not add the cocoa powder directly to the milk. It will float to the top of the milk instead of blending into it. Be sure to mix the cocoa powder with a small amount of milk to create a paste. It will blend much smoother into the milk.

Dry cocoa powder and dissolved cocoa in small bowls.


This healthy hot chocolate is perfect as is. See below for ways to switch it up:

  • Enhance your hot chocolate with flavor extracts like vanilla, peppermint, hazelnut, or almond.
  • Serve topped with fresh whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon & fresh ground nutmeg.
  • Add a dash of cayenne to make a spicy Mexican hot chocolate (of sorts).
  • Switch up the sweetener. Instead of maple syrup, sweeten your hot chocolate to taste with molasses, coconut syrup, date syrup, or honey.

Storing & Freezing

Storing: This recipe makes enough for one. If you have any extra, let it cool completely, then keep it in the fridge for 2-3 days. Reheat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or in a saucepan over medium-low heat.

Freezing: You can also freeze your leftover hot chocolate and blend it in a high-speed blender for instant frozen hot chocolate!

Hot chocolate in a glass mug on a white plate. Silver spoon to the left.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you add ground cinnamon to hot chocolate?

Technically, yes. You can add ground cinnamon to hot chocolate, but it won’t dissolve, creating a gritty texture. On the other hand, a cinnamon stick will add plenty of cinnamon flavor.

How much cinnamon do you add to hot chocolate?

In a pinch, you can use ground cinnamon instead of cinnamon sticks. Start with 1/4 teaspoon and add more to taste. Remember that ground cinnamon won’t dissolve, and the consistency won’t be nearly as smooth.

More Healthy Recipes with Chocolate

If you have some chocolate left from making this recipe, check out the recipes below:

Cinnamon Hot Chocolate

Cinnamon Hot Chocolate

Yield: 1 serving
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This creamy hot chocolate is super rich and perfect for cold weather. The recipe is very easy to make, and you can use regular milk or make it vegan with non-dairy milk.


  • 2 cups non-dairy milk or 1 1/2 cups cow's milk
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 0.35 oz / 10 g good quality 70% dark chocolate
  • 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup or to taste


For the non-dairy option:

  1. Pour the non-dairy milk into a small saucepan. Add the cinnamon stick and clove. Bring to a simmer and let it cook for 10 minutes. Do not cover as some liquid should evaporate to make the non-dairy milk creamier.

For the dairy option:

  1. Pour the milk into a small saucepan. Add the cinnamon stick and clove. Bring the milk to a simmer. Turn off the heat, cover, and let it sit for 10 minutes.

For the hot chocolate:

  1. In the meantime, place the cocoa powder into a small bowl and add about 1 1/2 tablespoon of milk. Mix to create a smooth paste.
  2. Once the milk is ready, add the cocoa paste, salt, and dark chocolate and mix with a whisk until the cocoa paste is dissolved.
  3. Bring the mixture to a light simmer to heat it through.
  4. Remove the cinnamon stick and clove.
  5. Sweeten to taste and serve hot.


Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 serving of the cinnamon hot chocolate made with cashew milk.

Nutrition Information
Yield 1 Serving Size full recipe
Amount Per Serving Calories 229.4Total Fat 10.5gSaturated Fat 3.1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4.9gCholesterol 0.3mgSodium 501.6mgCarbohydrates 35.5gFiber 5.1gSugar 22.6gProtein 4.5g

Nutrition facts provided on this website are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a qualified health care provider for personalized diet advice and make sure that each of the ingredients is allowed in your diet.

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