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hot chocolate with the cream topping

Vegan Orange Hot Chocolate

Enjoy this delicious plant based zesty orange hot chocolate during the winter months - vegan, paleo, gluten free
Course Drinks
Cuisine American, British
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Calories 246kcal
Author Charla


  • 3 cups of almond milk 600ml
  • 2 tablespoon cacao
  • ¼ cup agave nectar 60ml
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • The juice of an orange squeezed (see notes and tips, the amount added is optional)
  • The rind/peel of a whole orange


  • Pour the almond milk into a medium sized saucepan on medium heat.
  • Add the cacao powder, agave nectar, vanilla,  half the juice from the orange (reserve the rest) and use a whisk to evenly combined everything together.
  • Toss the peel of the orange into the saucepan and bring the saucepan to the boil while stirring.
  • Once boiled reduce the saucepan to a low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove the saucepan from the stove and pour the remaining orange juice into the saucepan (do a taste test to determine how much additional orange you want to any if any), stir and allow the hot chocolate to steep for 5 minutes
  • Remove the peel with a slotted spoon or strain the contents in a sieve
  • Serve in heatproof glasses


  • Don't be alarmed if the drink separates, this may happen and it's normal, just give it a good stir.
  • To eliminate the pith (the white flesh from the skin, which is bitter) sit the orange peel in hot water for 15 minutes, then use a teaspoon to scoop and discard the white part.
  • I prefer to use a more neutral tasting plant based milk for this recipe. However, you are more than welcome to use cashew or hazelnut which is creamier. I wouldn't suggest using coconut or pistachio because they will inhibit the taste and counteract the orange flavour.
  • Double up by removing the peel from an orange, cut it in half then extract the juice and add it to your drink.
  • You can add fresh orange juice instead about ¼ cup in two stages (during simmering and when steeping) instead if you wish. This is optional as the orange juice will make the flavour very strong.
  • The longer the orange is left to seep the more intense the flavour becomes. I personally only remove the peel before I'm serving. It's okay to leave the peel in for several hours or overnight if you want to.
  • If you don't care for a strong orange flavour only use the peel and omit the juice. This will yield a very mild taste of orange.
  • You can make this recipe in a blender such as a vitamix but do make sure to pour out the hot chocolate before steeping with the rind.


Calories: 246kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 489mg | Potassium: 237mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 295IU | Vitamin C: 70mg | Calcium: 502mg