Homemade Sugar-Free Hot Chocolate with the hint of cinnamon and vanilla make for a dessert like beverage for a cold winters day!
Does the thought of making homemade hot chocolate turn you off? It’s not an easy task to make it just as creamy and delicious for children who are used to the store bought packaged kind, but it can be done and done well with the right ratio of chocolate, milk and flavorings. This recipe has been a work in progress since literally last winter for my family. For some reason my kids are super picky when it comes to hot chocolate and whenever I tried tweaking certain ingredients or changed one little thing they were not keen on it at all. Of course they would drink it but they weren’t in love with my version and I have been on a mission to get them to love it for quite some time. Finally success has been met and the recipe you have here today is the one that has won all 3 of my kiddies over!
Adding a vanilla bean while warming the mixture makes for a creamy warm flavor that just can’t be beat using vanilla extract. Of course if you don’t have the vanilla bean use the extract. If your family isn’t a fan of cinnamon you can leave that out too, but again it provides a warm, soothing deep flavor that just can’t compare to boxed hot chocolate.
I’ve made this recipe using baking chocolate and cocoa powder but the cocoa powder is actually easier to whisk together and faster than waiting for the baking chocolate to melt.
Top with some Frozen Whipped Cream for an even more decadent hot chocolate!
Notes on substitutions:
- You can use all milk instead of adding the half and half or cream, but I find a little of it goes a long way and really adds a bit of thickness to the hot chocolate. Half and Half is a combination of equal parts half whole milk and heavy cream.
- If you do not have a vanilla bean, use a teaspoon of extract.
- If you don’t have powdered stevia packets use 2 1/2 teaspoons.
- Vanilla stevia is the perfect one to use here but plain could also be used.
- If you choose to use a different sweetener, just add a small amount then taste and adjust as needed.
- TO MAKE THIS DAIRY FREE: Use unsweetened vanilla almond milk in place of the 1% and use coconut whipped”cream” in place of the Half and Half. Follow recipe as follows.
- In a sauce pan combine the water, cocoa powder, powdered stevia, cinnamon and salt. Whisk over medium heat until boiling.
- Pour in milk, cream, and add vanilla bean.
- Stir constantly, on low heat. do not boil, until heated through, about 5-10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add vanilla stevia.
- Enjoy immediately topped with Frozen Whipped Cream!