Easy Hot Chocolate Recipe (with lactose-free option!) (2024)

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By: Rachel GurkPosted: 02/19/2016

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

This easy hot chocolate recipe will have you sipping on rich and comforting cocoa in less than 10 minutes. You can make it using ingredients you probably already have at home!

Easy Hot Chocolate Recipe (with lactose-free option!) (1)

This post is part of my partnership with Milk Means More.

February isthe perfect time of year to drink lots and lots of hot chocolate. Don’t you think? My kids just adore hot chocolate (can you blame them?).

For me, this orange hot chocolate is good motivation to go out and shovel snow. Or pull the kids around on a sled for awhile.

Hot chocolate always makes me think of super crisp fall evenings at football games. A cup of warm cocoa in a styrofoam cup always works wonders at warming you up from the inside out as you watch the game. I know the cocoa at the football games is likely made from powder and hot water, but it always hits the spot on those cold nights.

However, it doesn’t hold a candle to the real thing if you’re looking for a decadent, satisfying cup of cocoa. Nothing beats real milk and real chocolate.

Easy Hot Chocolate Recipe (with lactose-free option!) (2)

February isLactose Intolerance Awareness Month and if you happen to be lactose intolerant, you don’t have to miss out on this easy hot chocolate recipe. While you could easily make this with regular milk, I make it with lactose-free milk and it works perfectly. It’s still just as rich and chocolatey as you’d expect and want it to be.

If you’re anything like me, the term “lactose intolerant” can be a little confusing. Initially, I thought people who were lactose intolerant couldn’t have any dairy products. Fortunately, I was wrong! The graphic below sums up important details to know about lactose intolerance.

If you are lactose-intolerant and are worried about the milk ingredientsin the chocolate in this hot chocolate, here is some helpful information to use when choosing the right chocolate for you:

  • The amount of lactose present in chocolate chips depends on the type of chip (unsweetened, semi-sweet, milk chocolate, dark, etc). While milk chocolate must contain at least 12% milk and/or cream, other types of chocolate may contain less or no milk/milk ingredients.
  • Since milk ingredients can vary from brand to brand as well,check the label of the package to see if milk or milk ingredients are present.
  • If there’s a concern, choose pure chocolate (no lactose because no milk solids have been added).
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder plus sugar could be used as an alternative. Try this recipe and replace the milk with any milk substitute.

Change it up with add-ins like cinnamon or ginger, or add a little spice with a pinch of cayenne powder. Try adding apple pie spice blend or pumpkin pie spice blend for rich delicious flavor.

If you’re looking for a hot chocolate recipe for grown-ups, make sure to check out hot white Russians.

Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @rachelcooksblog on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest!

Easy Hot Chocolate Recipe (with lactose-free option!) (4)


Get the Recipe: Easy Hot Chocolate Recipe (with lactose-free option!)

4.15 from 7 votes

Prep Time: 2 minutes mins

Cook Time: 5 minutes mins

Total Time: 7 minutes mins

1 serving

Print Rate Recipe

This easy hot chocolate recipe will have you sipping on rich and comforting cocoa in less than 10 minutes. Lactose-free instructions included!


  • 1 cup 2% lactose-free milk
  • 3 tablespoons dark chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
  • optional toppings: marshmallows, whipped cream, or chocolate syrup


  • In a small saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat, stirring frequently.

  • When milk is steaming, reduce heat to low, add chocolate chips, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar and continue to whisk until smooth and melted.

  • Pour into a mug and serve immediately with desired toppings or as is.


  • You could also use regular milk, either whole, 2%, or low fat.
  • Choose a lactose-free variety of chocolate chips for lactose-free hot chocolate.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1cup, Calories: 465kcal, Carbohydrates: 66g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 27mg, Sodium: 169mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 42g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.

© Author: Rachel Gurk

**Disclosure: I am thrilled to be a dairy ambassador for Milk Means More. I have been compensated by Milk Means More for my time to develop this recipe and write this post. All opinions are as always, my own. Find out more about why Milk Means More on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, InstagramandPinterest.

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Reader Interactions

Leave a Review

  1. Kristi says

    Thank you for this very easy recipe! You might add lactose free chocolate chips as an option since some people with lactose intolerance can’t eat regular chocolate or even dark chocolate without issues. Our kids like the Enjoy Life brand choc. chips :)


    • Rachel Gurk says

      Great tip, thanks! My kids are allergic to nuts so we love Enjoy Life as well.


  2. Gina @ Running to the Kitchen says

    Let’s talk about the “optional” next to marshmallows and chocolate syrup…not in my world! Those are musts! :D


    • Rachel Gurk says

      Ha! I like the way you think.


  3. Amanda says

    Love the lactose free options… thank you!!


  4. Brianne @ Cupcakes & Kale Chips says

    This is definitely perfect for warming me up on a cold winter night!


  5. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts says

    Looks incredible! I hardly ever have hot chocolate, but when I do I want it rich, creamy, and piled high with marshmallows!


  6. Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet says

    It’s great to have options for different dietary needs when it comes to desserts and treats. This hot chocolate looks incredible!


  7. Peabody (Culinary Concoctions by Peabody) says

    My lactose intolerant husband would love me if I made him this! Looks insanely good.


  8. denise says

    sounds decadent


Easy Hot Chocolate Recipe (with lactose-free option!) (2024)


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