It’s the time of year for a steaming mug cradled in your hands, bearing a rich and creamy drink that comforts both inside and out. A time to swap your daily coffee or tea for something a little more special.
Really, cold winter days beg for one thing: hot chocolate.
If that drink is also keto-friendly? Even better.
That was the thinking behind our new recipe for Keto-Friendly Hot Chocolate: a decadent drink with no added sugar and plenty of chocolate cheer.
Make this the ultimate cold-weather drink
Everyone deserves an amazing wintry treat, whether they’re following a keto diet or not, so our test kitchen wanted to make a drink that would appeal to everybody. They set out to create the ultimate keto hot chocolate, one that features hot chocolate mix, chocolate stirring sticks, vanilla and chocolate whipped cream, and keto-friendly marshmallows to top the whole thing off.
It’s a multi-layered drink that’s the height of comfort — all while staying within the low-carb, low-sugar guidelines of the keto diet.
The sweet secret to success
A treat like this hot chocolate is all thanks to our Baking Sugar Alternative (BSA), a 1:1 replacement for sugar that looks, acts, and tastes like real sugar — all with zero net carbs.
Most sugar substitutes on the market have a distinct “cooling” sensation and noticeable aftertaste, which is particularly evident in unbaked applications. That aftertaste isn't present in BSA, making it the best product for keto hot chocolate.
Make this the richest, creamiest of drinks
One defining element of this hot chocolate is its rich mouthfeel. That’s due to a touch of xanthan gum in the dry mix — it’s a small amount of a somewhat niche ingredient, but important to include for the best consistency. Xanthan gum is a common food additive typically used in gluten-free baking that functions as a thickening agent or stabilizer. When mixed with liquid, it becomes viscous and almost turns gel-like, lending a smooth, creamy feel to this hot chocolate.
For an even more luxurious drink, be sure to make the optional chocolate stirring sticks called for in the recipe. Made with butter, chocolate, and heavy cream (how could you go wrong with that trio?), these sticks dissolve in the hot drink to transform it into an ultra-creamy, indulgent experience.
Take it over the top with whipped cream and marshmallows
Some people might argue that hot chocolate is really just a vessel for toppings like whipped cream and marshmallows. For all those folks — and anyone else who simply wants a truly maxed out treat — the test kitchen has dreamed up several keto-friendly topping options.
First, make some no-sugar-added whipped cream with Baking Sugar Alternative, then choose to flavor it with either chocolate or vanilla. Or go beyond the recipe page and try adding spice blends such as Gingerbread Spice or Yuletide Cheer Spice.
You can also make a batch of Keto-Friendly Marshmallows to top your drink. Also made with Baking Sugar Alternative, these are light and spongy, and they melt wonderfully into a hot drink. Similar to the whipped cream, you can customize them with the flavors and spices of your choosing. (Peppermint marshmallows, anyone?)
A giftable treat
Perhaps one of the best parts of this recipe is that most of the components can be made ahead of time, then gifted to a loved one to enjoy throughout the season (or stashed in the back of the pantry for your own drinking pleasure). If you go that route — whether the gift’s for someone you love or simply a gift for yourself — consider pairing it with another indulgent but no-sugar-added treat: our Keto-Friendly Peanut Butter Cookies.
Cover photo by Rick Holbrook.