This vegan peppermint hot chocolate is creamy and delicious with a smooth chocolate peppermint flavor. The best part is that it is dairy-free! Made with your favorite plant milk and coconut milk. Make it in the Instant Pot for an easy, tasty, minty, hot chocolate drink you can surprise your loved ones with.
Top with vegan marshmallows, mini chocolate chips or shaved chocolate, and crushed peppermint candies for a festive hot chocolate drink.
It’s cold outside which means that YAY! It’s hot chocolate season! Who wouldn’t love a pepperminty rich chocolate drink or peppermint mocha to greet them in the morning….or when sitting in front of a toasty fire…
There are lots of recipes out there for peppermint hot chocolate, but not too many recipes for a dairy-free version that is as rich and creamy as the original. Substituting coconut milk for dairy heavy cream is the best way to get the rich creamy finish for your creamy vegan beverages!
Holidays are a special time to share food and drink with family! It’s easy to enjoy delicious family favorites – made vegan- when you serve the BEST vegan eggnog, apple cider made with fresh apples, or drinks made with vegan chocolate liqueur like a yummy peppermint martini or classic chocolate martini!
This peppermint vegan hot chocolate recipe is an adaptation of my classic vegan hot chocolate and was developed along with a delicious peppermint mocha latte with a caffeine kick – just for this holiday season!
Reasons you’ll love this vegan peppermint Instant Pot hot cocoa
- because it’s vegan, it’s naturally dairy free
- rich and chocolatey with a spark of peppermint
- made easy in the Instant Pot – no standing over the stovetop and stirring
- AND made fun in the Instant Pot – who doesn’t like opening that lid to find a special tasty surprise:)
Ingredients needed to make dairy-free peppermint hot chocolate recipe in the Instant Pot
- plant milk, see my preference below
- canned full-fat coconut milk, you will only be using the top coconut cream part
- unsweetened cocoa powder
- vanilla extract
- peppermint extract
- pinch of salt
- optional toppings such as mini chocolate chips, marshmallows, and crushed peppermint candies or canes
- and of course an Instant Pot – I developed this recipe in a 6-quart pot
A special note about the vegan ingredients
If you are here because you are looking for a delicious peppermint dairy-free hot chocolate then you can use any brand of marshmallows you’d like (just make sure to read the ingredients on the back of the packaging to ensure it meets your dietary restrictions.)
If you are here because you are looking for a VEGAN peppermint hot chocolate drink, then you probably know that most marshmallows are not vegan because of the gelatin used. My favorite vegan brand of marshmallows – Dandies Marshmallows can be purchased on Amazon. I also understand that Trader Joe’s has a brand of vegan marshmallows and that some grocery stores carry vegan marshmallows as well. (Mine doesn’t – but then, I live in a small town.) Again, read the ingredients on the packaging!
Peppermint candies are, for the most part, vegan. They don’t contain animal product. And the red dye used in most brands nowadays is vegan-safe.. However, be aware that if you don’t know the sugar source, the sugar might be processed through bone char. If this is not within your ethics then shop for organic candy canes.
Some brands of dark chocolate chips are dairy-free. Be aware though that many aren’t. Read your labels. My favorite brand of vegan chocolate chips is Enjoy Life. There are many options out there. The mini chips work particularly well to sprinkle on top!
You could also use bits of shaved chocolate from a dairy-free dark chocolate bar. Like the semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips, not all brands are dairy free – even if it is dark chocolate. Hu is my favorite vegan brand.
How to make dairy-free peppermint hot chocolate in the Instant Pot
Step 1: The coconut cream
Separate the coconut cream from the coconut water. I use full-fat coconut milk for this recipe. It’s the holidays and so yes, I go full flavor and full creamy goodness for this recipe!
Do not shake the can before opening it. When opened, you should see the top layer of thick creamy coconut cream. Scoop that out to use, leaving the water behind. Either discard the coconut water or freeze it to use in smoothies.
Step 2: the plant milk – and a safety note!
Add the plant milk and coconut cream to the inner liner of the Instant Pot. My preference for this recipe is unsweetened extra creamy oat milk. Use any dairy-free milk of your choice. But I do think unsweetened is best. You will be adding in plenty of sugar later.
An important safety note!
I’ve also used cashew milk and almond milk. If you do use dairy-free milk that contains nuts, make sure to disclose it to anyone enjoying this homemade hot chocolate drink because of nut allergies. It’s also best to disclose the use of coconut milk as some people are allergic to that too.
Step 3: the sugar and cocoa powder
For a creamy lump-free hot cocoa it is important to go into it with a lump-free sugar/cocoa mixture. I stir the sugar and cocoa powder together with a fork and then sieve the mixture directly into my instant pot inner liner.
Even after doing that, I’m often left with little balls of cocoa powder. Just push them through with a spoon.
Step 4 Mix, mix, mix
Add the pinch of salt and whisk together the ingredients. Do NOT add the vanilla or peppermint extract till the hot chocolate has fully cooked in the Instant Pot.
With a whisk mix well until all of the lumps are gone. This will ensure a smooth finish to your Instant Pot homemade hot chocolate drink. When you are not stirring on the stove top, you aren’t able to stir out the lumps as you go.
Step 5: Cooking the Peppermint Instant Pot hot chocolate
Close the lid and vent and pressure cook for 2 minutes on high pressure. It might take up to ten minutes to come to pressure.
After the peppermint Instant Pot hot cocoa counts down the two minutes, allow for a five-minute natural release. Then turn off the pressure cooker and carefully do a quick release.
Open the lid and stir in the peppermint and vanilla extract. Your vegan hot chocolate with peppermint should look as smooth and creamy as melted chocolate sauce.
This peppermint dairy-free hot chocolate is best served hot and when freshly made! Take caution when handling the hot pot. Use a ladle to scoop and silicone mitts if you need to lift out the hot pot.
The recipe for peppermint vegan hot chocolate drink will serve four one-cup servings. I like to put mine in a larger 15 ounce serving mug and so can get about three solid generous servings.
Top with your choice of:
- shaved chocolate from a dairy-free dark chocolate bar
- mini marshmallows
- mini dairy-free chocolate chips
- smashed peppermint candies
- dairy-free whipped cream (try my homemade coconut milk whipped topping)
The recipe for peppermint dairy-free hot chocolate in the Instant Pot
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Instant Pot Hot Peppermint Chocolate, Dairy-Free
- Pressure Cooker
- 14 ounces coconut milk use the coconut cream from the top of the can only
- 3 cups oat milk extra creamy
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
- Do not stir or mix the can of coconut milk. Remove the top creamy portion to use. Discard the rest.
- Add the coconut cream and oat milk to the inner liner of an Instant Pot.
- Mix together the cocoa powder and sugar. Sift into the milk/cream mixture, making sure all of the little balls of cocoa powder have been broken up. Add the pinch of salt.
- Close the Instant Pot lid and set the vent to closed or sealed.
- Set the Instant Pot to 2 minutes at high pressure. It will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure.
- After the pressure cooker has come to pressure and counted down, allow for a 5 minute natural relase.
- Turn of the Intstant pot and continue carefully doing a quick release until the pressure cooker has fully released it's pressure and the pin has dropped.
- Carefully open and stir in the vanilla and peppermint.
- You may need to whisk a bit to remove any lumps of cocoa. If you have properly sifted and stirred the dry ingredients, you should not have to whisk much.
- Ladle into cups or mugs. Top with optional marshmallows, chocolate chips or shaved chocolate, coconut whipped cream, and peppermint candies.