You'd never guess that this intensely rich, chocolaty drink is actually dairy-free. We made this indulgent hot chocolate with creamy unsweetened coconut milk and topped it with whipped coconut cream (made from chilled canned coconut milk). The key to making coconut whipped cream is to make sure that you don't shake or tilt the can. You want the rich coconut cream to remain separated from the watery liquid inside. The solidified cream can be beaten with an electric mixer into soft, fluffy whipped coconut cream. (You can make the coconut whipped cream up to 1 day in advance if kept covered in the refrigerator.) Coconut, chocolate, and cinnamon are a heavenly combination and we love topping this drink with all three: toasted shredded coconut flakes, shaved dark chocolate, and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon. Make someone's day with a cup of this dreamy hot chocolate.

Marian Cooper Cairns


Credit: Greg DuPree

Recipe Summary test

Serves 4


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Without shaking or tilting the can, carefully open 1 (13.66-oz.) can chilled coconut milk. Remove solidified cream from top, reserving liquid, and place in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and beat with an electric mixer until medium peaks form, about 3 minutes. Chill until ready to use.

  • Whisk together remaining coconut milk liquid, 1 quart unsweetened coconut milk (such as So Delicious), 3/4 cup granulated sugar, and 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved and mixture is hot, about 10 minutes.

  • Remove from heat, and whisk in 6 ounces 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate, 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon,1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.

  • Pour into 4 serving cups, and top with whipped coconut cream, a sprinkle of ground cinnamon, toasted coconut, and shaved chocolate