Italian Vegan Hot Chocolate

Italian vegan hot chocolate

Thick as a pudding but served as a drink, here is my recipe for Italian hot chocolate – all plant-based. If you love chocolate, this one is for you. Winter nights have never been warmer.

Hot chocolate is a time machine for me, it immediately brings me back to childhood. My mum patiently stirred it on the stoves and left it on the table with biscuits and a glass of water after I came back home late from athletic training.

I could see it steaming in the dark kitchen as soon as I came in. Home.

I was around ten – fourteen years old and I probably didn’t understand the infinite love behind my mum’s gesture, but I felt it all.

Too late for a proper dinner, this was for me the most fantastic meal. Sitting on my own at the kitchen table in silence, while the house was already sleeping, I broke the firm top layer of the hot chocolate with a plain biscuit. I let the biscuit stand in there for a whole minute and devour it when it was completely soaked in chocolate. No spoons were needed, biscuits were enough.

Italian hot chocolate is something special. It is completely different from what they serve abroad – just saying, you guys are missing out but can easily make it at home!

It is so thick that your spoon (or biscuit) could stand upright if you dip it in. It is also less sugary and much more chocolatey. The traditional version is made with a 70% chocolate bar only. Every Italian café serves it and you have at least twenty options to choose from. I guess while Americans got creative with their latte, Italians were busy adding all sorts of stuff to hot chocolate. Caramel, coconut, chilli, white chocolate, cinnamon, ginger, and so and so forth. There is even a grown-up version with a spoon of rum.

It is also officially served with a glass of water so you can fully taste it. This drink is so intense that you definitely need water to counter-balance it.

To eat it properly, you should also add whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder on top.

I used to import a few bags of store-bought hot chocolate mix every time I was travelling to Italy, till one day I run out and discovered how easy it is to make at home. And of course, it is more delicious as you can customise it with whatever you like, more milk, more cocoa, and more sugar.

My secret ingredient is a spoon of Nutella because you only live once.

A fun fact for our next pub quiz: Hot chocolate was brought to our tables by Mayans who invented this magic drink as early as 500 B.C. Spanish conquistadores brought it to Europe, but the British, and in particular Londoners, were the first ones to add milk to it.

I hope you’ll try my recipe at home, it takes 10 minutes max, and it’s the perfect winter cuddle.

Italian vegan hot chocolate

Course: DrinksDifficulty: Easy


Cooking time



Thick as a pudding but served as a drink, here is my recipe for Italian hot chocolate – all plant-based. If you love chocolate, this one is for you. Winter nights have never been warmer.


  • 15 g corn starch or flour

  • 15 g cocoa powder

  • a pinch of salt

  • 1 tbsp sugar

  • 400 ml plant-based milk (I use oat milk)

  • 25 g chocolate

  • 1 tbsp of hazelnut chocolate spread (optional but highly recommended)


  • Sift all the dry ingredients (don’t skip this step as you don’t want any lumps!)
  • Pour the milk in and whisk on a medium heat till it thickens – this will take around 10 minutes. Now add the chocolate and the spoon of hazelnut chocolate spread (if using) and stir for 5 more minutes.
  • Serve with biscuits and a glass of water.


  • Add more milk if you prefer your hot chocolate more fluid.
  • You can also add ground cinnamon, ground ginger, or a spoon of rum for extra flavour!

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