Instant Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate Using Water | Milk Allergy Mom Recipe (2024)

As an adult with more sophisticated taste, I definitely prefer creamy hot cocoa.

But kids don’t bat an eye at this dairy-free hot chocolate made with water.

If you find yourself in a pinch, this coca recipe will work.

I know, hot chocolate with just water sounds a little iffy, doesn’t it?

I agree.

But when you are plum out of dairy-free milk and all the kids on the street are chanting in the snowy front yard for hot cocoa…

you find a way to make it happen.

And when they surprisingly love your emergency hot cocoa?

You pat yourself on the back for pulling this off…

and then make a blog post to brag about it, ha ha.

Plus, maybe you’ll be inspired to cheap out on hot chocolate, too.


I knew making hot chocolate with just water was a gamble.

Google searches pretty much told me this would be disastrous,

who makes hot chocolate without milk?

But I was willing to take my chances.

Kids are easy to please, right?

So after a little trial and error,

I finally secured a decent hot chocolate with basic ingredients from the pantry…and water.

And shoot, this was so inexpensive to make that I’m willing to supply the neighborhood kids all winter long.

Here’s the secret.

Just make sure you add a splash of SOMETHING creamy.

And of course, make sure your “something creamy” is dairy-free if you have milk allergy like us.


To make your water hot chocolate creamy enough to please the kids,

just add a dash of one creamy ingredient.

By dash, I mean about 2 tablespoons.

If you have milk allergy, make sure it’s a dairy-free ingredient.

To give you some ideas, here are some creamy dairy-free ingredients we’ve used in our hot chocolate made with water.


Of course, choose dairy-free versions for milk allergy.

Also be mindful if you’re choosing something sweet or unsweet.

The hot cocoa made with water is already going to be quite sweet.


whipped cream

canned coconut milk

coffee creamer

ice cream


You get the idea.

A little something creamy will make this hot cocoa recipe work,

even though it’s made primarily with water. Just use what you have on hand.

That’s the whole point of this interesting recipe.

My own kids love marshmallows in their hot chocolate.

And marshmallows are your best bet for making this recipe into a pre-made hot chocolate mix…

which I will also explain how to do! See below.


Yes, since that successful day with the chanting neighborhood kids,

I was further inspired to make an on-the-go version of this simple hot chocolate recipe.

Because with milk allergy, it’s so hard to enjoy hot chocolate out and about. Drive through is a no-no for us.

All I have to do to make this ahead of time is leave out the extracts since they are liquid.

And I use two tablespoons of marshmallows for the creamy ingredient since it’s also shelf stable.

Just throw the ingredients into a baggie (cocoa, sugar, chocolate, salt, marshmallows), and you’ve got yourself an easy pre-made hot chocolate mix!

If you want to be extra savvy,

store individual servings of instant hot chocolate mix in coffee-to-go foam cups with lids…

and you’ll be out-the-door-ready for the pumpkin patch or Christmas light drives.

This is especially perfect for milk allergy families who can’t buy hot chocolate at festive events.

Now here’s that crazy recipe that the kids enjoy, and I hope yours enjoy, too.


Makes One Serving


2 Tbs. cocoa powder
2 Tbs. powdered sugar
1 Tbs. dairy-free chocolate chips
2 Tbs. of something creamy (see list above)
dash of salt
Splash of vanilla extract (don’t use if making mix ahead of time) (affiliate)
Splash of peppermint extract (optional, don’t use if making mix ahead of time) (affiliate)
extra marshmallows or whip for garnish.


Heat enough water in your tea kettle (affiliate) for 6 oz. per serving.

Put 2 Tbs. cocoa, 2 Tbs. powdered sugar, 1 Tbs. chocolate chips, and dash of salt in the bottom of each mug(s).

Mix dry ingredients together.

Pour hot water (or hot milk of your choice) over mixture in the mugs and stir vigorously until chocolate chips are melted.

Add 2 Tbs. of one creamy dairy-free ingredient: marshmallows, milk, whipped cream, canned coconut milk, coffee creamer, or ice cream.

Top with extra marshmallows or whip (optional).

Enjoy your simple, instant, homemade hot chocolate using just water.

You may also like our favorite dairy-free hot cocoa packets we’ve found since creating this post!

This post was originally posted in December 2015.

Instant Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate Using Water | Milk Allergy Mom Recipe (2024)
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