This homemade hot chocolate recipe is the perfect way to enjoy a winter treat. Made with only a few simple ingredients, it’s rich and creamy – and so much better than anything you can buy in a store.
Why not try something different this year and make your own hot chocolate? It’s easy to do, and you can experiment with different flavors to find your perfect cup. Plus, there’s nothing quite like sipping on a steaming mug of homemade hot chocolate on a cold winter’s day.
❤️ Why you’ll love it
- It’s easy to make and takes just minutes to prepare.
- You can also mix in additional ingredients like cinnamon, marshmallows, or chocolate chips for a special twist on an old favorite.
- It’s perfect for cozy winter nights spent curled up with a good book or movie.
🍳 How to Make
Get the full list of ingredients, with measurements, and step-by-step instructions at the bottom of the post in the printable recipe card.
- Add all the ingredients except the milk to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil.
- Add the milk and heat but do not boil.
- Remove from heat and serve.
🥄 Variations and Add ins
- Add extract. There are a lot of flavors of extract that you can add to hot chocolate. Basically, anything that goes with chocolate. Peppermint, almond, vanilla, and raspberry are just some of the flavors that work well.
- Make it Swiss Mocha by adding in 2 teaspoons of instant coffee and a dash of vanilla.
- Make Mexican Hot Chocolate. Add spices such as cinnamon or cardamom for a little extra warmth. A pinch of cayenne is another idea.
- Drizzle with melted dark chocolate or white chocolate for an even more decadent hot cocoa experience.
- Spike it. Add a splash of alcohol to the hot chocolate. Use rum, vodka, tequila, or whiskey. You can also use flavored schnapps. Kahlua or Baileys is also delicious.
Hot Chocolate Toppings:
- Mini marshmallows
- Cocoa powder
- Whipped cream
- Chocolate shavings or chocolate chips
- Caramel sauce or Chocolate syrup
- Peppermint pieces
- Sprinkles and other fun toppings
🍽️ What to Serve With
- Lemon Cake Mix Cookies
- Unicorn Cake Mix Cookies
- Banana Bread
- Cranberry Orange Bread
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites
When we make this, we tend to finish the whole batch since we have a large family. However, sometimes, we do have leftovers. If you have leftovers of the hot chocolate, it will keep for up to 5 days.
Refrigerator Storage: Once it has cooled, transfer the hot chocolate to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator.
Freezer Storage: Transfer the hot chocolate to a freezer-safe bag or container, label it with the date, and freeze it for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
Reheat Directions: Reheat individual servings of leftover hot chocolate in the microwave on high for 1 minute or until hot. Alternatively, you can pour it into a saucepan and heat over medium-low heat, stirring often.
💭Tips for Making the Perfect Homemade Hot Chocolate
- Use quality ingredients. Using quality chocolate and/or cocoa powder makes all the difference in the flavor of this hot chocolate.
- Use whole milk, 2%, or half-and-half for a rich and creamy drink that won’t separate as easily.
- Don’t boil it – simmer it on low heat instead. Boiling can cause the milk to separate.
- Taste and adjust sweetness as needed. Everyone has different preferences when it comes to how sweet they like their hot chocolate, so make sure to taste and add more sugar if desired!
- Add a pinch of salt. A bit of salt helps bring out all the flavors of the chocolate and enhances its sweetness.
- Garnish with fun toppings. Marshmallows, whipped cream, chocolate chips, and a dusting of cocoa powder are all great options.
Yes! You can make this hot chocolate vegan by using oat milk, almond milk, or coconut milk and your favorite vegan sweetener instead of sugar.
Unsweetened cocoa powder naturally contains caffeine, meaning that hot cocoa does give you a mild energy boost. A single serving amounts to about 12 mg of caffeine – for comparison, black coffee has 95mg and black tea 25-50mg.
Yes, you can use any type of sugar substitute that you prefer. We recommend using a granulated sweetener such as Splenda or Stevia. Keep in mind that the sweetness and flavor won’t be quite the same as when using regular sugar.
You can also make this hot chocolate Keto-friendly by using an artificial sweetener such as Swerve or Monk Fruit.
Yes, you can make hot chocolate ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat individual servings in the microwave on high for 1 minute. Alternatively, you can pour it into a saucepan and heat over medium-low heat, stirring often.
If you love convenience store cappuccinos that are thick and frothy, you can mix them with an immersion blender.
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Need to change the number of servings? You can click on the number of servings and change the number. This will adjust the ingredient measurements to what you need.
If you love this recipe, come back and give it 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe
- heavy-bottomed sauce pan
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup cocoa
- Dash salt
- 1/3 cup hot water
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups milk
- Mix the sugar, cocoa, salt, vanilla and water in medium saucepan.
- Bring to boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 2 minutes, making a syrup.
- Add in the milk.
- Heat until it is hot, but do not boil. Be sure to stir.
- Remove from heat.
- Pour into cups.
- Top with marshmallows.
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