This Hot Chocolate Recipe is rich and chocolaty and perfect for cold weather. This family favorite is so simple to make and tastes much better than the packaged mixes in the store.
If you’re looking for more decadent drinks, try this delicious pumpkin spice latte recipe and caramel frappucino recipe.
Table Of Contents
Hot Chocolate Recipe Details
I love Hot Chocolate after a cold day and this recipe always hits the spot. Kids love this sweet treat and you’ll love that it’s made with simple ingredients you have in the pantry.
- TASTE: It’s rich and bold in chocolate flavor from the cocoa powder and chococlate chips.
- TEXTURE: This hot chocolate is velvety smooth, warm, and super creamy!
- TIME: This recipe comes together in less than 10 minutes, how awesome is that?!
- EASE: There is really nothing complicated here, its such an easy recipe.
What You’ll Need
- Cocoa powder- Make sure to use Unsweetened cocoa powder, and not the sweeted kind.
- Granulated sugar– you can use less or more depedning on how sweet you like your cocoa.
- Semisweet chocolate chips– If you can, please use good quality chocolate chips. It will really take the hot chocoalte to the next level.
Add-ins and Substitutions
- Substitute white or dark chocolate- Try this same hot chocolate recipe with white chocolate or slightly less sweet dark chocolate for a different flavor.
- Add mint- Mint chocolate is a favorite and all you need to do is add some mint extract with the rest of the ingredients and stir until everything is simmering.
- Substitute a lower-fat milk- The fat in the milk adds rich flavor, but for a lighter version of this recipe, substitute Half & Half for the cream, or use 2% milk in place of the whole milk.
- Add coffee- Coffee really enhances the chocolate flavor so you can add some instant coffee to the other ingredients in the saucepan for even more delicious results.
How to Make Hot Chocolate
- Combine ingredients. In a large saucepan, add the cocoa powder, sugar, heavy cream, milk, chocolate chips, vanilla extract, and pinch of salt.
- Melt the chocolate. Cook everything over medium-high heat while stirring constantly until the chocolate chips completely melt and the hot chocolate comes to a simmer. Then, turn the heat off and serve immediately.
- Divide and add toppings. Divide the hot chocolate among mugs and top with whipped cream, chocolate shavings, or marshmallows.
Pro Tip: Make sure to stir constantly to avoid burning the chocolate on the bottom of the saucepan.
- Use unsweetened cocoa powder- This ingredient brings lots of chocolate flavor, but no sweetness. Use unsweetened so you can adjust the level of sweet to your liking by tweaking the sugar added.
- Use higher-fat milk and cream– While you can use dairy products with less fat, your hot chocolate will be thinner, with less of a rich and creamy texture.
- Stir constantly- The chocolate chips are heavier than the other ingredients and will want to sit at the bottom of the pan. Keep stirring to keep them moving and avoid burnt chocolate in your drink.
- Make your own toppings- Shave a chocolate bar and whip your own cream for delicious toppings to add to this Hot Chocolate. Or drizzle some Chocolate Ganache on top.
While you can make this recipe with water instead of cream and milk, it will result in a much thinner and less rich hot chocolate. I suggest using some milk at least to add a creamy note to your drink. You can also use almond milk or coconut milk.
You can make this recipe in the microwave, though you will need to be careful as you melt the chocolate. First, add the milk, cream, and chocolate to a cup or bowl and heat in 10-second intervals, stirring in between. Once the chocolate has melted, add the rest of the ingredients, stir, and heat more if necessary for combining.
This Hot Chocolate recipe can be enjoyed on its own, but adding toppings will take it to the next level! Here are some of our favorite hot cocoa toppings.
- Mini Marshmallows
- Chocolate shavings
- Whipped cream or Chantilly cream
- Crushed peppermint candy
- Toffee bits
Make This Hot Chocolate in Advance
Make ahead: You can make this recipe ahead of time and just warm it on the stovetop or in the microwave when you’re ready to serve.
Storing: Store any leftover Hot Chocolate in an airtight container or lidded jar in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Freeze: You can freeze this hot chocolate, but it will actually take longer to thaw it than make it fresh. But if you really want to, just allow it to cool completely before freezing it in ice cube trays, then place the frozen cubes in a ziplock bag. This way you can defrost only what you need.
More Chocolaty Recipes!
Full Recipe Instructions
Hot Chocolate Recipe
- 3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 4 cups whole milk
- 8 oz semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- whipped cream optional
- marshmallows optional
- In a large saucepan, add 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar, 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream, 4 cups whole milk, 8 oz semisweet chocolate chips, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt.
- Cook on medium-high heat while stirring constantly until the chocolate chips completely melt and the hot chocolate comes to a simmer. Then turn the heat off and serve immediately.
- Divide the hot chocolate among mugs and top with whipped cream, chocolate shaving, or marshmallows. Make sure to take your first sips carefully as it will be pretty hot.
- Make sure to stir constantly to avoid burning the chocolate on the bottom of the saucepan.
- Use good quality chocolate chips. The better the quality of the chocolate, the better your hot chocolate will taste.
- If you don’t like super rich and chocolatey hot cocoa, you can thin it out with a little bit of extra milk.
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