Dairy Free Mexican Hot Chocolate 

Recently, I met up with friends for dinner one Saturday evening and we ducked in to San Churro’s afterwards for chats and something chocolatey. I don’t often drink hot chocolates but really felt like one to warm me up on this cold evening. I was quite pleased to discover that San Churro’s have an almond milk option on the menu so a classic hot chocolate it was. It was delicious! Thick and rich even with the almond milk. They have a variety of hot chocolates on the menu, the raw cacao hot chocolate is the drink I look forward to trying next time.  There was also a chili hot chocolate on the menu. I’m not always a fan of chili dark chocolate so I know I don’t want to spend money on a drink I may end up not enjoying at all. Then I came across this mexican hot chocolate recipe in the I Quit Sugar Chocolate recipe book and figured why not as I had all the ingredients already. Well I had to sub the coconut milk with almond milk.

This hot chocolate has both cayenne pepper and chili added, so it’ll really heat things up with winter. The drink will warm you up from the inside out and also do good things for your metabolism and immune system. Cacao is high in magnesium and other feel good mood boosting nutrients. Exactly what we all need in the middle of winter. This drink is the perfect pick me up.

I’m not sure how it happened but I made a slight mess whilst heating up the mixture on the stove. The drink boiled over the pot, all over my stove top, despite regular stirring and keeping the heat on the lowest. It may have been the almond milk reacting as I heated it or the pot I used, which is designed for brewing chai lattes. We will never know. Luckily there was still enough left for a small mug for me to taste test.

Another sub I made for the drink was honey rather then rice malt syrup  but using that or pure maple syrup would make it vegan and frustose friendly. I reckon using coconut milk like in the recipe would have made it chocolatier and creamier. The drink was a bit cinnamony but that may have been my fault, I left the cinnamon stick in the mug whilst photographing it, so the spice soaked into the milk for a bit too long. The chili was a nice kick at the back of throat, which when it comes to chili that is my preference rather then heat on the lips. No surprise my dad liked the drink. He is a big fan of anything chili and chili dark chocolate. I suggest putting a pice of dark chocolate in the bottom of the mug before pouring the hot chocolate drink into the mug so the chocolate slowly melts and leaves a nice surprise at the end of the drink.


Mexican Hot Chocolate

Serves 2


  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon or 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder or extract, optional
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1 tsp rice malt syrup
  • 2 squares 85% dark chocolate or vegan chocolate


  1. Combine all the ingredients, but the squares of dark chocolate, into a small saucepan over a low heat.
  2. Bring milk to the boil then reduce to a low simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Remove the cinnamon stick and serve in a mug with the dark chocolate.

*Recipe Tested from the IQS Chocolate Recipe Book*

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