Vegan Life > Recipes > Beverages > Soothing Vegan Hot Cacao with Maca Root

Soothing Vegan Hot Cacao with Maca Root (for Stress and Anxiety Relief!)

August 31, 2020

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Foamy hot cacao with maca root topped with marshmallows, chocolate, and a cinnamon stick

When I quit coffee, I felt so much better after only a few days (if you want more information on that, click here). But I was feeling a little lost without a comforting warm drink to start my day off with. So I started drinking this hot cacao with maca root. (Cacao is just the raw form of cocoa. Personally, it tastes equally chocolatey to me, but feel free to use cocoa if you prefer!)

The term hot cacao (or hot cocoa) is often used interchangeably with "hot chocolate," however they've evolved into slightly different drinks. This hot cacao uses only cacao or cocoa powder for chocolate, similar to the Swiss Miss style drinks most Americans are familiar with. Hot chocolate usually involves melting actual chunks of chocolate into the drink, resulting in a thicker, richer beverage. If that's what you're looking for, I have a vegan hot chocolate recipe, too!

This version of hot cacao has maca root, which is a type of natural stress-reliever known as an adaptogen. I like to drink it in a hot beverage like hot cacao because I personally find the maca root more effective when it's heated slightly.

Of course, if you're just looking for a plain hot cocoa recipe, this recipe tastes just as delicious without the maca root!

Milk frother and pitcher
For the best texture and foam, I recommend using a milk frother and pitcher.

Soothing Vegan Hot Cacao with Maca Root

5.00 stars from 1 reviews

Yield1 cup

Prep Time3 minutes

Cook Time5 minutes

Total Time8 minutes


  • 2 tbsp. cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
  • 1/2 tbsp. maca root powder (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. vegan sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • vegan marshmallows, cinnamon stick, and/or chocolate shavings for garnish (optional)


  1. Heat non-dairy milk in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until hot and steaming. Don’t over-heat the milk!

  2. Sift cacao and maca root into a mug using a small sieve. Add sugar, salt, and cinnamon.

  3. When the milk is hot, pour about 1/4 of it into the mug. Stir with a spoon, then use a small hand mixer or milk frother to eliminate clumps.

  4. If you’d like foamy hot cacao, pour the remaining milk into a milk frothing pitcher. Use your frother to build up some foam in the remaining milk.

  5. Without pouring the foam, pour the remaining milk into the mug and stir. Then top your drink with the foamed milk.

  6. Add marshmallows, chocolate shavings, or a cinnamon stick, if desired.

    Hot cacao and maca root with chocolate and cinnamon, wrapped in a towel
    Hot cacao and maca root with all the toppings!

Notes & Hints

For a more classic, sweeter version, use 2 tbsp. of sugar.

Some non-dairy milks foam better than others. I like the 365 brand organic unsweetened almond milk. I generally get better foam from the shelf-stable milks, but the refrigerated kind produces adequate foam as well.

Nutrition Data

Serving Size: 1 recipe; Calories: 206Fat: 4 g.; Saturated Fat: 0 g.; Cholesterol: 0 mg.; Sodium: 300 mg.; Carbohydrates: 38 g.; Fiber: 8 g.; Sugar: 18 g.; Protein: 5 g.; Vitamin A: 90 mcg. RAE; Vitamin B12: 1 mcg.; Vitamin C: 0 mg.; Vitamin D: 5 mcg.; Calcium: 80 mg.; Iron: 1 mg.; Potassium: 432 mg.; Zinc: 0 mg.

Note: This data should be used only as an estimate. Please see the nutrition section of my terms and conditions for more information on how this data is calculated.

Four vegan dishes: Creme Brulee, Detroit-style pizza, General Tso's Tofu, and Lemon Tart

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Hot cacao and maca root with chocolate and cinnamon, wrapped in a towel

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