Homemade Sugar-Free Vanilla Cinnamon Hot Chocolate {Dairy Free Option}

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.
5.0 from 1 reviews
Homemade Sugar-Free Hot Chocolate
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 4
  • Serving size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 111
  • Fat: 3.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 12.8g
  • Sugar: 0g
  • Sodium: 126mg
  • Fiber: .4g
  • Protein: 8.8g
  • Cholesterol: 10mg
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 packets powdered stevia
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • dash salt
  • 3 1/2 cups milk, 1%
  • 1/2 cup Half and Half or heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split the long way
  • 4 droppers full vanilla liquid stevia
  1. In a sauce pan combine the water, cocoa powder, powdered stevia, cinnamon and salt. Whisk over medium heat until boiling.
  2. Pour in milk, cream, and add vanilla bean.
  3. Stir constantly, on low heat. do not boil, until heated through, about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and add vanilla stevia.
  5. Enjoy immediately topped with Frozen Whipped Cream!
Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 3*


  1. Bonnie Jinkens says

    I have been craving a hot chocolate drink, but because I am dairy-free, I haven’t been able to find anything. THANK YOU for posting this delicious substitute.

    • Rachel C says

      Anna I suspect it was just an oversight but I’m guessing you’d add the cinnamon in step 1 in order to get it to dissolve thoroughly. Hence all the whisking in step 1 to incorporate everything. How do you typically do it Brenda? I’m typically a little less detailed when I’m not baking. With a stove top hot beverage recipe one probably has a lot more room for improvising right?

  2. says

    I make hot cocoa almost the same way. I don’t add any vanilla bean or extract, but I do use Sweetleaf Stevia. I like my hot cocoa really rich, so I will use heavy whipping cream in place of milk. Sometimes I’ll half it with unsweetened almond milk but it’s not a favorite version of mine.. just a lower calorie alternative. And, def can’t forget the cinnamon!

  3. Mary says

    I made this as directed, except with vanilla extract instead of the bean ( all I had in the house). But I tasted it before adding in the additional liquid stevia and found it to be plenty sweet. Are we really supposed to use 6 packets of stevia and then 4 full droppers of liquid stevia as well, or should it be one or the other? I can’t imagine adding that much stevia. Anyway, awesome recipe. Tastes great, and I love the addition of cinnamon, really does add a “warmth” to it.

    • Brenda says

      Well it really depends on the stevia brand you used. The packets of stevia tend to vary in sweetness as does the liquid stevia. I use the Sweetleaf brand mostly but if you were using the NuNaturals that brand seems sweeter to me when I use it. Tasting it before adding any sweetener is always the best way to work with stevia.

  4. Horsfive says

    Beautiful. Great recipe. Used vanilla bean and omitted second dose of stevia. Wondering how it would taste made on coconut milk and coconut cream- pretty delicious I expect!!!!

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