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Hot Chocolate Oatmeal Recipe (Rich & Creamy)

This Hot Chocolate Oatmeal is basically homemade hot cocoa infused with nourishing old-fashioned oats resulting in a healthy bowl of filling oatmeal that simultaneously satisfies a sweet tooth.

Revamp your breakfast routine with this rich, smooth, and oh-so-creamy chocolate oatmeal, and you won’t be disappointed!

Close-up side view of the hot chocolate oatmeal in a grey bowl.

In the name of recipe testing 😉, I treated myself to quite a few of these Raspberry Hot Chocolates (until it was perfect).

So naturally, I was pretty bummed when the recipe was finally published, and I no longer had a reason (read: excuse) to drink hot chocolate every. single. evening.

Fortunately, I only needed a few days to come up with another excuse to enjoy hot chocolate daily, which brings us to this chocolate oatmeal recipe.

In short, you’ll cook old-fashioned oats in your choice of dairy or dairy-free milk until soft and creamy. From there, you’ll flavor the cooked oats with cocoa, dark chocolate, vanilla, and a pinch of salt.

As a result, this healthy chocolate oatmeal honestly tastes like the oats cooked directly in a cozy mug of hot cocoa!

Of course, oatmeal is a popular breakfast food, but there is no reason not to enjoy chocolate in oatmeal for any small meal of the day.

These chocolate oats are delightful as is, and you can also add your favorite topping.

This chocolate oatmeal landed on the list of my favorite breakfast recipes, and I’m confident it will end up on yours as well.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Here are five reasons why this recipe is a keeper:

  • This creamy oatmeal is quick to make from scratch with a shortlist of real food ingredients.
  • You can use dairy milk or a dairy-free alternative. Either way, this oatmeal is very creamy.
  • This chocolate oatmeal is refined sugar-free, gluten-free, and vegan (made with gluten-free oats and plant-based milk).
  • The oatmeal has the perfect amount of chocolate without being too sweet.
  • The topping options go beyond marshmallows. Keep reading for the delicious possibilities.

Top view of the hot chocolate oatmeal in a grey bowl with a spoon in the oatmeal.

Ingredient Notes

Here is a snapshot of what you will need to make homemade chocolate oatmeal. For the complete list of ingredients and instructions, scroll down to the recipe card.

  • Milk – You can use any type of milk to cook the oats, including regular whole milk or any non-dairy milk. Cashew milk is my absolute favorite non-dairy milk to make creamy vegan chocolate oatmeal. Oat milk and coconut milk are also great in this recipe.
  • Oats – I make my morning oatmeal with regular old-fashioned oats (or at least 5-minute oats). Personally, I’m not fond of instant, 1-minute, or 2-minute oats. If that’s all you have, you can use them, but you’ll need to modify the recipe. See the FAQs below for tips.
  • Cocoa powder – Look for “unsweetened cocoa powder” or “pure cocoa powder” in the baking section. You can also use Dutch process cocoa powder or cacao powder. Just know that they’re typically more expensive, and the bitter dark chocolate undertones aren’t the same.
  • Dark chocolate – Cocoa powder is a good start, but a good quality 70% dark chocolate bar or baker’s chocolate is the key to making chocolate oatmeal so decadent it’s practically dessert!
  • Vanilla extract – This adds depth and dimension while intensifying the chocolate’s sweetness. If you use real vanilla extract (none of that artificial stuff), you’ll find that this chocolate oatmeal has just the right amount of sweetness.
  • Optional sweeteners – I love that this isn’t a super sweet oatmeal recipe, but if you have a taste for something sweeter, feel free to drizzle in maple syrup, date syrup, agave nectar, coconut sugar, or honey.
  • Salt – This may seem strange, but stick with me! Salt magically makes everything sweet taste sweeter! It intensifies the chocolate flavor and the naturally nutty and toasted taste of oats. You’ll only need a pinch, so don’t add too much!

How to Make Chocolate Oatmeal

Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to make this recipe:

  1. Cook the oats in milk: Pour the milk into a small saucepan. Add the oats and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
  2. Make a cocoa paste: In the meantime, mix the cocoa powder and 1½ tablespoons of milk in a small bowl, creating a smooth cocoa paste.
  3. Heat the cooked oats with the flavoring agents: Returning to the saucepan of cooked oats, add the cocoa paste, dark chocolate, vanilla extract, maple syrup, and a pinch of salt. Mix to combine. Heat the mixture to a light simmer before removing the saucepan from the burner.
  4. Let the cooked oatmeal thicken and serve: At this point, if you like the consistency, you can enjoy the oatmeal as is. However, if you want your oatmeal extra thick and creamy, place a lid on the saucepan and let it stand until the oats absorb more milk and swell.

Recipe Tips

This recipe makes one bowl of oatmeal, but you can also make a big batch for meal prep or family breakfasts. Simply multiply the ingredients by the number of servings you need.

Pure oats are gluten-free, but unfortunately, they’re often processed along with gluten-containing grains and thus contaminated. If there are any gluten allergies, please use a box of rolled oats labeled gluten-free.

You want to use a quality dark chocolate bar or baking bar for the dark chocolate. Do not use chocolate chips. They won’t melt nearly as smoothly.

A close-up side view of the hot chocolate oatmeal in a grey bowl with a spoon in the oatmeal.

Topping Ideas

This oatmeal is excellent as is, but you can also garnish it with a tasty topping or two and take it over the top. Here are some tasty toppings to try:

  • toasted coconut flakes;
  • cacao nibs;
  • fresh or frozen berries like raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, or strawberries;
  • fruit salad;
  • baked fruit;
  • baked persimmons;
  • cherries (fresh or dried);
  • sliced banana;
  • raspberry sauce;
  • chopped nuts like walnuts, almonds, pecans, cashews, pistachios, macadamia nuts, etc.;
  • nut or seed butters like almond butter, cashew butter, peanut butter, hazelnut spread, sunflower seed butter, etc.;
  • seeds like sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or chia seeds;
  • and more!

Storing & Freezing

Storing: Keep leftover oatmeal in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Freezing: You can also freeze hot chocolate oatmeal in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight or defrost it in the microwave.

Reheating: Reheat leftover oatmeal in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, or in a saucepan over medium-low heat. If needed, add a splash of milk to help the oats return to their original rich and creamy consistency.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few related questions about making chocolate oatmeal:

Can I make this chocolate oatmeal with steel-cut oats?

Yes. To make chocolate oats with steel-cut oats, bring the oats and milk to a boil in a small pot.

Reduce the heat and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the remaining ingredients, and let it stand, covered, for a few minutes or until it’s thickened to your liking.

Can I make this with instant oatmeal?

I’m not a fan of the texture, but if you’re okay with it, you can use instant oats.

To do so, combine the quick-cooking oats and milk in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Then add the rest of the ingredients and stir.

Can I make overnight oats instead?

To make this stovetop chocolate oatmeal recipe into an overnight oats recipe, melt the dark chocolate in the microwave or a double-boiler and let it cool slightly.

Then, combine the uncooked oats, cocoa paste, melted dark chocolate, vanilla, and a pinch of salt in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate overnight, and the following morning you’ll have perfect chocolate oatmeal.

More Recipes with Chocolate

If you are a chocolate lover like myself, check out these healthy recipes:

Close-up side view of the hot chocolate oatmeal in a grey bowl.

Hot Chocolate Oatmeal Recipe

Yield: 1 serving
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes

This hot chocolate oatmeal is a perfect mix of a hot chocolate and morning oatmeal. It's very rich, creamy and comforting and will fill you up and satisfy your chocolate craving at the same time.


  • 1 1/2 cup non-dairy or cow's milk (I prefer unsweetened cashew milk)
  • 1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (use gluten-free oats if needed)
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 0.35 oz / 10 g dark 70% chocolate
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp maple syrup or to taste


  1. Pour the milk into a saucepan. Add the oats and bring the milk to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, add the cocoa powder and 1 1/2 tablespoon of milk in a small bowl and mix to create a smooth paste.
  3. Add the cocoa paste, salt, dark chocolate, vanilla extract, and maple syrup to the oats. Mix well to combine and bring it to a light simmer. Take off the heat.
  4. If you like your oats to be creamy, you can cover the saucepan and let the oats swell for about 5 minutes or you can serve them as is.


1. The recipe is for one serving. Just multiply the ingredients to make more.

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

Nutrition Information
Yield 1 portion Serving Size full recipe
Amount Per Serving Calories 262.6Total Fat 12gSaturated Fat 34gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1.67gCholesterol 0.3mgSodium 284.6mgCarbohydrates 33.7gFiber 6.7gSugar 4.8gProtein 5.5g

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.

Did you make this recipe?

If you tried this recipe, please give it a 5-star rating! To do this, click on the stars above. You can also leave a review or comment below. And don't forget to tag me if you share a picture on Instagram!

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Sunday 20th of September 2020

I’m not sure what specific dark chocolate you mean; powder (not likely), chips, or bar? Do you melt it first? I’m really anxious to try but don’t want to mess up!

Maria Ushakova

Sunday 20th of September 2020

70% dark chocolate in a bar or baker's chocolate. There is an example linked under the recommended products in the recipe card. Small chocolate chips are not recommended.


Thursday 18th of April 2019

I made this with cashew milk and it was excellent! This is the first time I tried making oatmeal with cashew milk and it works so well. Very creamy.

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