A rich and creamy Keto Hot Chocolate that is guaranteed to impress even the most staunch of hot chocolate aficionados. So good you would never know it was sugar-free!
Who doesn’t love a cup of hot chocolate after a day out in the cold?
I am petrified of heights so skiing isn’t my jam but give me a hill and a sled and I am all in! A day of flying down a hill on a mat with my life in my hands and surviving to be greeted with a mug of hot chocolate topped with whipped cream. Best day ever!
But hot chocolate is typically loaded with sugar or worse yet chemicals if you buy it at the store. And those little store-bought packets always seem to be watery and not rich and creamy like I want.
Recently I have become more comfortable with all the sugar substitutes out on the market and have been making all sorts of stuff with powdered Stevia which even my kids can’t seem to detect. This hot chocolate recipe is no exception.
One thing I never understood is what the difference is between hot chocolate and hot cocoa. I always thought it was a U.S vs. Canadian language thing much like we call Pepsi “pop” wherein the U.S. Pepsi is called “soda”. But turns out I have had it all wrong. They are two totally different things. And most people call Hot Cocoa Hot Chocolate. How is that for confusing!
What is the difference between hot chocolate and hot cocoa?
Hot cocoa is typically made with milk or water, cocoa powder and sugar. Much like this recipe except we have swapped out the sugar for stevia. It is much thinner than Hot Chocolate or drinking chocolate.
Hot chocolate is just that…Melted chocolate thinned with cream with added sugar for sweetness and much thicker than hot cocoa. Where I am from though, and perhaps it is because of our proximity to Quebec, this melted chocolate drink (hot chocolate) is called Drinking Chocolate or in Europe, it is called French Hot Chocolate.
Who knew the world of chocolate that you drink could be so complex. Just like the title for this recipe says though in my mind this recipe will always be a low-carb Hot Chocolate.
Ingredients & substitutions
- Milk – Any dairy milk will do or if you are dairy-free consider unsweetened coconut or almond milk. I personally use 1%.
- Heavy or whipping cream – gives the chocolate a creamy texture that is full of body.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Powdered Stevia Blend – I use President’s Choice Blend and like it. Pyure and Truvia are other well-known brands of the same. Or you can substitute your preferred sweetener like monk fruit or xylitol. If you aren’t following a keto or low-carb lifestyle you can also just use regular sugar in this recipe. It is a straight 1:1 swap.
- Salt – Just a pinch will do. A tiny hint of salt to any dish helps intensify flavours.
- Xanthan gum – This is a thickening agent that gives helps give this hot chocolate recipe a thicker less watery texture. You can substitute arrowroot powder for the xanthan gum.
- Water – Mix cold water in a small cup with the xanthan gum to make a slurry before adding to the hot chocolate mixture. Mixing the xanthan gum into water first reduces the formation of clumps. Much like you would add cornstarch to water before adding to gravy.
How to make keto hot chocolate
- Add the milk, unsweetened cocoa powder, cream, stevia and salt to a small pot on the stove over medium-high heat and whisk well until combined. Continue to heat but do not bring to a boil. Stir often so it does not scald.
- In a small glass add 2 tbsp of cold water and the xanthan gum and mix well until combined and as smooth as possible. Add this mixture to the hot chocolate mixture and mix well. Continue to heat for another minute. The liquid will become slightly thicker.
- Remove from heat and serve in a heat-tolerant mug.
Great hot chocolate topping ideas
- Whipped Cream – Homemade is always best and so easy to make. There is never a reason to buy canned or packaged.
- Marshmallows – Here is a great recipe for Homemade Marshmallows that are low-carb and keto friendly.
- Cocoa powder dusting
- Cinnamon powder dusting
- Chocolate sprinkles (these would be keto)
- A cinnamon stick
- Candy Cane (not keto but delish)
How to make keto whipped cream
Add 1 cup of heavy whipping cream to a large bowl. Using a hand mixer beat the cream o high for about 2 minutes gradually adding in about 3 tbsp of stevia or to taste. Continue beating on high until the cream becomes fluffy and thickened enough to form peaks. Do not over mix or the cream will turn into butter. Not kidding.
Can this hot chocolate be made ahead of time?
Yes but freshly made is always better. If storing keep in a sealed container for up to 3 days. Reheat over the stove in a small pot remembering to just heat to bring to the temperature desired and not to boil or you risk burning the chocolate and cream. Microwaving makes it much more difficult to watch the heat so stovetop is always best.
Can I make Hot Chocolate in a Crock Pot?
Absolutely, but I would double or triple the recipe since most crockpots are much bigger than a small stovetop pot. To make this recipe in a crockpot simply add in all the ingredients as before and then turn the heat down to low. This way it is warm and ready to drink as soon as you get back in from cold but is at a low enough temperature not to scald.
If the liquid has become thicker than desired simply add in a little more milk to thin it out to the desired consistency.
Can I use regular sugar in this recipe?
For sure! If you aren’t worried about sticking to a low-carb or keto lifestyle replace the stevia with sugar. It is a straight substitute.
Keto Hot Chocolate Recipe
- Small Pot
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Heat tolerant mugs
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream or whipping cream
- 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 tbsp stevia blend Presidents Choice, Truvia, Pyure
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
- 2 tbsp cold water
- Add milk, cream, cocoa powder, stevia and salt to a small pot over medium-high heat. Mix well.
- Heat mixing often but do not bring to a boil.
- In a small cup add 2 tbsp of cold water and the xanthan gum. Mix well. Then add to the hot chocolate mixture and stir well. Continue to heat for another minute stirring often.
- Serve in two heat tolerant mugs. Top as you wish!