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Chai-Spiced Hot Chocolate – Minimalist Baker Recipes

Hands surrounding a mug of our chai hot chocolate recipe

There’s not much that could improve the creamy perfection of hot chocolate, but this chai-spiced twist on the classic drink is hard to beat! This spice-infused treat is warming, oh-so chocolaty, and perfectly sweet. It’s winter comfort in a mug!

Plus, it’s dairy-free, naturally sweetened with dates, and requires just 8 ingredients and 10 minutes to make. Let us show you how it’s done!  

Spices, coconut milk, cacao powder, dates, and salt

Origins of chai

Masala chai is a creamy, spiced tea that’s most popular in India but is now enjoyed around the world. The spices used vary depending on the recipe, but common ones include cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and ginger.

Our chai-spiced hot chocolate takes inspiration from the warming, sweet, and spicy flavors of masala chai and puts a chocolaty twist on it! For a more authentic recipe and to learn more about this delicious Indian tea, see this video from Bhavna’s Kitchen.

How to make chai-spiced hot chocolate

First, let’s get clear on the essentials: creaminess, chocolaty-ness, sweetness, and spiciness.

Light coconut milk is our favorite here for the creamiest results, but any dairy-free milk will do! Next comes cocoa or cacao powder, dates for sweetness, and chai spices like cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom. Black pepper, nutmeg, and cloves are optional but highly recommended!

Blender with water, coconut milk, dates, salt, and spices

Then it’s time to blend before we taste and adjust. Love cinnamon the most? Add a pinch more. Sweet tooth? Us too! Add another date! After adjusting based on your personal preferences, simply warm the hot chocolate on the stovetop and it’s ready to serve.

Stirring a pot of chai hot chocolate

We hope you LOVE this chai-spiced hot chocolate! It’s:

Easy to make
& Perfect for the holidays!

Enjoy it as a cozy morning beverage or afternoon pick-me-up, or pair it with your favorite holiday cookies for a festive weekend treat.

More cozy drinks for the holiday season

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Side view of two mugs of dairy-free hot chocolate topped with coconut whipped cream and chai spices

Prep Time 5 minutes

Cook Time 5 minutes

Total Time 10 minutes

Servings 2 (Mugs)

Course Beverage

Cuisine Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Indian-Inspired, Vegan

Freezer Friendly No

Does it keep? 3-4 Days

  • 1 cup canned light coconut milk (choose a smooth, creamy brand // we like Whole Foods 365 brand // or sub other dairy-free milk)
  • 1 cup water (replace with more dairy-free milk if not using canned coconut milk)
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder (or cacao powder)
  • 3-4 large medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1-1 ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper (optional)
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 pinch ground cloves (optional)
  • Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender (starting with the lesser amounts where ranges are provided) and blend on high until creamy and smooth with no visible pieces of dates remaining — about 1 minute. Taste and adjust, adding another date or two for sweetness if preferred.
  • Transfer the mixture to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until steamy and warmed through. This takes about 3-5 minutes.

  • Serve warm garnished with coconut whipped cream or marshmallows (both optional). Leftovers keep in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with the lesser amount of dates and without optional ingredients.

Serving: 1 mug Calories: 200 Carbohydrates: 33.9 g Protein: 1.8 g Fat: 8.8 g Saturated Fat: 7.4 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 38 mg Potassium: 344 mg Fiber: 5.5 g Sugar: 26.2 g Vitamin A: 9 IU Vitamin C: 0 mg Calcium: 50 mg Iron: 1.3 mg

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