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Sugar Free Hot Chocolate

The secret to really good sugar free hot chocolate is to make it so good that it doesn’t even need sweetener!

White demitasse cup and saucer with sugar free hot chocolate

Sugar Free Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate is one of those recipes with so few ingredients that every ingredient counts, in terms of flavor. 

So we’re going to explore each and every ingredient to make sure that your hot chocolate is better than anything you’ve ever tasted—even though it’s sugar free—and we’ll go over technique so that your hot chocolate is smooth and tasty. 

I drink this hot chocolate frequently, without adding any sweetener at all, as a pleasant alternative to coffee.  It’s a rich French-style hot cocoa, thick and luscious enough to coat a spoon.

What kind of cocoa should I use?

My favorite cocoa, hands down, is Guittard Cocoa Rouge.  It is a Dutch process cocoa, which means it has a slightly more mellow flavor suitable for drinking, but it’s still robust and intense enough to satisfy the pickiest chocoholic. 

I buy it at Cost Plus / World Market, but it can be found in grocery stores and online, too.

Spoonful of Guittard Cocoa Rouge cocoa powder on a plate

Guittard Cocoa Rouge

Can’t find it?  Ghirardelli’s cocoa is pretty good, too.

What kind of milk should I use?

Organic whole milk is the most indulgent milk, but if you need less fat, go with 2%, 1%, or skim organic milk. 

I’ve used cow’s milk, coconut milk beverage, and almond milk successfully.  This recipe will work with any milk you have on hand, but the better the milk, the better the finished beverage.

What vanilla extract is best?

Penzey’s Mexican Vanilla will change your life.  I can’t live without it, but if you can’t wait for a bottle or three to be shipped to you, go with the classic: McCormick’s Pure Vanilla Extract.

What salt is best?

Sea salt.  But, truthfully, any salt is fine.  Salt accents the chocolate flavor and balances the sweetness, so try not to omit it if you can.

How many carbs are in sugar free hot chocolate?

There are approximately 12 carbs in a 1/2 cup serving, but it will vary slightly depending on what type of milk you use. 

Personally, I use unsweetened coconut milk beverage when I make it for myself, but I use cow’s milk when I make it for the kids.

Is sugar free hot chocolate good for diabetics?

Depending on your nutritional needs, this sugar free hot chocolate should be fine for diabetics as long as you keep track of your carbs and other factors as directed by your doctor or nutritionist. 

There are some encouraging studies on the benefits of chocolate.  A 1/2 cup serving of this hot chocolate has approximately 12 carbs.

Can’t you just buy sugar free hot chocolate?

You can buy some made by Swiss Miss and Nestle.  It’s not as good as homemade, however. 

Swiss Miss and Nestle use fillers, stabilizers, artificial flavors, and cocoa that’s not very high-quality.  You’re better off making it yourself.  It’ll taste better, and you’ll know exactly what’s in it.

White demitasse cup and saucer with sugar free hot chocolate
5 from 8 votes

Sugar Free Hot Chocolate

The secret to really good sugar free hot chocolate is to make it so good it doesn't even need sweetener! The trick is to use the very best ingredients.

Course Beverage
Cuisine French
Keyword chocolate, cocoa
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 100 kcal
Author Katie Moseman


  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup milk any kind, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • salt
  • sugar free sweetener to taste, if desired


  1. Add the cocoa powder and water to a small pot. Heat over medium heat for a minute or two, whisking continuously, until the mixture forms a thick, smooth, and glossy paste.

  2. Add 1/4 cup of milk and whisk until the mixture is completely smooth again. Add another 1/4 cup of milk and whisk again until smooth. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of milk and whisk until smooth.

  3. Stir in the vanilla and a generous pinch of salt. Heat the hot chocolate until is is just barely steaming, but do not let it simmer or boil. Add sugar free sweetener to taste, if desired. Makes two 1/2 cup servings, or the equivalent of four demitasse cups.

Nutrition Facts
Sugar Free Hot Chocolate
Amount Per Serving
Calories 100 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 12mg4%
Sodium 56mg2%
Potassium 325mg9%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 198IU4%
Calcium 152mg15%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Recipe Rating

Anita Faulkner - Writer

Monday 6th of April 2020

Ooh - and even more exciting, it can be dairy free if you choose the right milk. Love it! Will be trying this out soon. Xx

Mama Maggie's Kitchen

Thursday 2nd of April 2020

Hmmm tasty! This Sugar Free Hot Chocolate looks really delicious and perfect for my family! I am definitely going to try this at home.

Melanie Walsh

Thursday 2nd of April 2020

I totally agree. The recipes that have the fewest ingredients require the best products. Your hot chocolate sounds divine and a great way to unwind with a good book.

Amy H

Wednesday 1st of April 2020

We love Hot Chocolate! This recipe is going to be great for the kids as well!

Bethel C Esmillarin

Wednesday 1st of April 2020

I always love salty chocolate over sweet chocolate. So this yay for me