The holidays are quickly approaching, so you will surely need a warm mug of vegan holiday hot chocolate to get you in the celebratory spirit, or just to survive those brutal winter months.

As a little girl, I spent snow days sledding and playing in the snow. My most favorite thing was coming inside (meanwhile resembling a marshmallow in my oversized snow pants and coat) and asking my mom or dad for a steaming mug of hot chocolate. cake, beer
Emma Goll

Feeling nostalgic, I concocted three vegan holiday hot chocolate recipes for you to make and enjoy this holiday season.

Hot Chocolate Base

All three vegan holiday hot chocolate recipes will follow the same format for the chocolate base. Depending on the recipe, some will have slight variations or additions to the base to enhance its individual flavor.  

Ingredients

milk, coffee, tea
Emma Goll

2 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1/2 c. water 

1 1/2 tbsp. pure maple syrup (you can always add more for your own taste preferences)

1 1/2 tbsp. cocoa powder (I used Equal Exchange's Organic Baking Cocoa)

1 tsp. vanilla extract or pure vanilla

Directions

Simply combine all ingredients in a sauce pan, stir regularly, and heat on medium until the mixture begins to simmer.  Once simmering occurs, lower the heat for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare your hot chocolate toppings using the recipes listed below.

coffee, soup
Emma Goll

Caramel Apple Pie Hot Chocolate

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yields: 2 servings

Ingredients

apple, juice
Emma Goll

Additions to the Base:

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Toppings:

Vegan whipped cream (I used So Delicious's Light CocoWhip!)

Chopped pecans or walnuts

1/2 large apple

Ground cinnamon

1 cinnamon stick

2 Medjool dates, pitted

1/2 c. water

1/8 tsp. vanilla extract or pure vanilla

cream, chocolate, milk, sweet, ice, coffee, caramel, sundae
Emma Goll

Directions 

1. Make sure to add 1 tsp. of ground cinnamon to the hot chocolate base and follow directions as listed previously. 

2. Separately, using a food processor or blender, combine 2 pitted Medjool dates, 1/2 c. water, and 1/8 tsp. of vanilla extract. Blend until smooth.

3. Separately, combine the finely chopped, peeled apples in a mixing bowl with 1 tsp. of ground cinnamon and the caramel date sauce. Mix together to make certain all apples are coated evenly.

4. Move the coated apples into a nonstick pan and sauté low heat. Remove from heat when adequately softened. If needed, add water while cooking.

5. Pour the hot chocolate mixture into a mug, and top with vegan whipped cream, caramel date sauce coated apples, and chopped nuts. 

Gingerbread Hot Chocolate

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yields: 2 servings

Ingredients

coffee, milk, chocolate, sweet
Emma Goll

Additions to the base:

1 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice

Toppings:

Vegan whipped cream

Pure maple syrup 

Vegan gingerbread/gingersnap cookies (I used Wholefood's 365 Gingersnap Cookies)

Directions

1. Make sure to include 1 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice in the hot chocolate base and follow directions listed above.

2. Top the hot chocolate base with whipped cream and drizzle on maple syrup or molasses for an extra sweet taste. Complete with a vegan gingersnap cookies for dunking.

chocolate, cream, coffee, sweet, milk
Emma Goll

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yields: 2 servings

Ingredients

beer, blueberry
Emma Goll

Additions to the base:

1 tsp. of peppermint extract

Toppings:

Vegan whipped cream

1 tbsp vegan chocolate (I used Enjoy Life's Dark Chocolate Morsels)

1 vegan candy cane (I used TruJoy's Organic Candy Canes)

1/2 tbsp. water

Directions

1. Be sure to add 1 tsp. of peppermint extract into the hot chocolate base. 

2. Put 1 tbsp. of vegan chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and add 1/2 tbsp. of water. Microwave for about 15-30 seconds on high and stir until smooth. 

3. Top the hot chocolate with...you guessed it...whipped cream! Drizzle on melted chocolate and complete with a candy cane. 

chocolate, cream, milk, candy, sweet
Emma Goll

Hopefully, with these recipes in mind, you can see that just because you're vegan, it doesn't mean you can't enjoy your favorite childhood winter treat. So go ahead, grab your favorite mug, and warm up the season with some vegan holiday hot chocolate.

P.S. You're never too old to go sledding, either.