Spiced Drinking Chocolate with Orange Vanilla Cream (Dairy Free)

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Spiced Hot Chocolate with Orange Vanilla Whipped Cream (Dairy Free)

Drinking chocolate flavored with warm spices and topped with orange vanilla whipped coconut cream is perfect for sipping slowly on a frigid winter day.

I was planning to share a new salad recipe with you today, but the forecast says we’re about to get buried under a ton of snow and I couldn’t do that to you. Or to me – it’s been too cold to even think about eating a salad.

Instead, how about a warm drinking chocolate that’s rich enough to pull double-duty as dessert? Now that’s more like it. Even better, it’s dairy free!

If you love hot, spicy drink recipes be sure to also check out my Gingerbread Hot Chocolate and my Orange-Cardamom Dessert Coffee with Rum. You’ll also love this white hot chocolate starbucks copycat recipe! and, of course, you can’t go wrong with aged eggnog!

Spiced Hot Chocolate with Orange Vanilla Whipped Cream (Dairy Free)

Do you remember back in the early-2000’s when Starbucks had a huge marketing campaign around their chantico drinking chocolate? It was incredibly rich, thick hot chocolate served in an espresso cup. It reminded me of drinking molten brownie batter and it was insanely delicious – and probably had enough calories to last a week but that’s another story. Then one sad day not long after it launched, they pulled it off the menu. Apparently it wasn’t very popular.

Anyway, I took one sip of this spiced drinking chocolate from The Whole Coconut cookbook and was instantly transported back in time. This drink reminds me a lot of chantico, except not as sweet and with cinnamon and cayenne pepper to make it extra cozy. It was love at first sip.

This drinking chocolate is topped with whipped coconut cream that’s flavored with orange and vanilla – two of my favorite flavors to pair with chocolate. (When I was in college I worked at the coffee beanery and we had a drink that was half coffee, half hot chocolate with orange and vanilla extracts – it was to die for and is another coffeeshop drink that’s sadly no longer on the menu.)

Spiced Hot Chocolate with Orange Vanilla Whipped Cream (Dairy Free)

It’s warm and cozy and perfect for a snow day. Save the salad for next week.

Orange Vanilla Drinking Chocolate (Dairy Free)

Orange Vanilla Drinking Chocolate (Dairy Free)

This recipe requires a little pre-planning – the coconut cream, mixing bowl, and beaters need to be very cold – but it’s well worth the wait. Leftover whipped cream will keep for about 1 week in the fridge.
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Prep Time: 8 hours
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 4


For the whipped cream

  • 8 ounces coconut cream
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch sea salt

For the drinking chocolate

  • 3 ½ ounces dark chocolate chopped
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
  • ½ cup coconut water
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • Refrigerate the coconut cream, a metal mixing bowl, and the beaters from a hand mixer (or whisk attachment from a stand mixer) for several hours until thoroughly chilled.
  • Transfer the coconut cream to the chilled mixing bowl. Using a mixer, beat the cream on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Add the orange zest, sugar, vanilla, and salt; beat again. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Gently melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Set aside.
  • Combine the coconut milk, coconut water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a low simmer, whisking continuously. Whisk in the melted chocolate, cinnamon, and cayenne. Serve immediately, topped with 1 heaping tablespoon of the whipped cream.


I buy small cans of coconut cream from Trader Joe’s – they’re perfect for recipes like this one. If you can’t find coconut cream, you can make it by refrigerating a can of full fat coconut milk overnight. Open the can very carefully – the cream will be in a solid mass at the top. Scoop is out and save the coconut water underneath for smoothies or to use in this drinking chocolate recipe.
Tried this recipe?Mention @HealthyDelish or tag #HealthyDelish!

Hi, I'm Lauren!

I'm a certified plant-based cook and enthusiastic omnivore who loves looking for creative ways to make weeknight meals more nutritious. I'm the author of Heathy Eating One Pot Cookbook and Healthy Meal Prep Slow Cooker Cookbook. I also blog at The Busy Foodie. Read more...


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5 thoughts on “Spiced Drinking Chocolate with Orange Vanilla Cream (Dairy Free)”

  1. I am in love with this. From the spices to coconut whipped cream. This is a must make for me. I am glad you are bringing back the trend that failed at Starbucks 🙂

  2. Hi Lauren –
    Yum! The dairy-free version sounds like it will be very creamy! Sounds delicious even in California with our even 65 degree forecasts throughout January 🙂 Alternatively, if you like more chocolate and less other stuff, my daily morning drink is dark chocolate melted in hot water, with a bit of maple syrup (or honey, or…). The chocolate I have is just finely ground/milled cacao, almonds, and cinnamon sticks that I had processed for me when I was in Oaxaca; when it’s gone, I’ll try unsweetened baking chocolate with almond extract and ground cinnamon, or see if I can grind up cacao nibs, etc. with home equipment well enough to make it melt.


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