Mug of dairy free chai hot chocolate styled with spices and linens |

Chai Hot Chocolate (Dairy Free, Paleo)

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Let’s get COZY with a warm mug of dairy free Chai Hot Chocolate!

Entirely homemade, this warming cup of dark chocolate and warm chai spices glams up your usual winter night in.

Mugs of dairy free chai hot chocolate styled with spices |

Easy hot chocolate with chai spices

Until I actually made homemade hot chocolate, I had no idea what I was missing.

I grew up in a family that leaned on pre-made whenever possible. We bought the big tubs of hot chocolate mix and rolled with that.

But as I get older, I find that most things are better when they’re homemade. Hot chocolate included.

And when you’re in the heart of winter in the frozen tundra that’s North Dakota, you want to HYGGE THE SHIT out of every single day. That’s how we survive out here… it’s not apathy or complacency. It’s death-gripping anything that hints of comfort and warmth when the temperatures outside dip below zero.

Mugs of dairy free chai hot chocolate styled with spices |

How to make homemade hot chocolate

Homemade chai hot chocolate is pretty simple, if we’re being honest. (And I always strive to be.)

Here’s the basics of what you need:

  • Good quality solid chocolate (usually found in the baking aisle)
  • Milk (dairy free works just fine)
  • Sweetener
Person adding coconut whipped cream to mugs of dairy free chai hot chocolate |

Yeah, the basics are — you guessed it — basic.

But the thing that usually scares people away is the preparation. See, with homemade hot chocolate, the name of the game is low and slow. 

Mugs of dairy free chai hot chocolate styled with spices |

To make a truly smooth and rich hot chocolate, you have to chop up the chocolate and let it completely melt in the milk over low heat. No boiling or anything like that. Yes, it takes a while… But as I usually say about these things, it’s worth the wait.

More winter recipes

Mugs of dairy free chai hot chocolate styled with spices |
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Dairy Free Chai Hot Chocolate

  • Author: Chelsea at
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x
  • Category: Beverages
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


Creamy, dark hot chocolate with chai spices? I can’t think of a better way to keep warm in the winter!


  • 1.5 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 cups cashew milk (or dairy free milk of your choice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons raw honey, plus more to taste


  1. In a small saucepan, mix the chocolate, cocoa powder, and 1 cup of cashew milk over low heat. Stir continuously for about 10 minutes or until the chocolate has completely melted.
  2. Add the remaining milk, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, cloves, and sea salt. Stir and allow to heat all the way through.
  3. Stir in honey. Taste and add more honey as desired. Pour into two mugs and top with marshmallows or coconut whipped cream.

Keywords: chai hot chocolate


Paleo and Dairy Free Chai Hot Chocolate Recipe |
Paleo and Dairy Free Chai Hot Chocolate Recipe |


I'm Chelsea, the author behind Chelsea Joy Eats! I believe life should be full of flavor. I enjoy creating recipes that are nourishing, flavorful, and satisfying. When not experimenting in the kitchen, I usually have a camera, barbell, or mug of coffee in hand. My posts may include affiliate links, which means if you click through a purchase something, I make a small commission at no cost to you. It helps me fuel my coffee habit and pay rent!

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