Home > Beverages > Hot Chocolate Hot Chocolate November 16, 2018 | 7 Comments SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Jump to Recipe This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy. Creamy, dreamy Hot Chocolate — you’ll never go back to buying mixes or packets after trying this recipe and seeing how simple it is to make! Use this Hot Chocolate recipe to warm up on a cold day, as the staple for a hot chocolate bar, or alongside these perfect Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. Hot Chocolate Hands down, this is my favorite cold weather drink. Come fall and winter, I pretty much have my hands wrapped around a mug of hot chocolate at all times. Recently I’ve been going crazy with pairing hot cocoa and creme brûlée (or this tuxedo creme brûlée) together. Probably my favorite go-to treat at the moment! Although hot chocolate packets are easy and convenient, I’m convinced that once you try this recipe, you’ll never want to go back! This drink is so fast to make, uses staple ingredients you probably already have, has so much flavor, and is easy to customize. Read on to learn how to make your own Hot Chocolate and ditch those packets from the store! QUICK TIP Hot cocoa or hot chocolate? Is there a difference? Technically, yes, hot chocolate and hot cocoa are two different beverages. But 99.9% of the time, the names are used interchangeably. But to be precise, hot cocoa contains cocoa powder, sugar, and milk. Think packaged packets from the store and a sweeter, thinner, milder flavored drink. Hot chocolate on the other hand is made with real chocolate, usually chopped or shaved and added to either cream, milk, or water, resulting in a fuller-bodied beverage that’s less sweet and also goes by the name “drinking chocolate”, a term often used with European counterparts. This recipe is a bit of a hybrid, but whatever you call it, this stuff is like drinking liquid happiness! How do you make your own Hot Chocolate? You won’t believe how simple it is to make homemade Hot Chocolate! You’ll start by whisking together cocoa powder, granulated sugar, and just a pinch of salt (to help intensify flavors and balance out the sweetness). Pour in some hot water and bring the mixture to a simmer. Next, pour in milk and/or coffee creamer and bring it to the temperature you like. Finally, remove from heat and enjoy. With a massive mound of whipped cream of course. 🙂 Scroll down to the recipe below for specific quantities and detailed instructions. Is Hot Chocolate made with milk or water? While you can make this beverage with water, it’s much more flavorful and creamy with milk. This recipe calls for milk and I think you’ll agree it’s best this way! One of my FAVORITE parts of making Hot Chocolate is customizing it each time. From mix-ins to toppings, to sauces, the possibilities are endless. I’ve listed some of my favorites below. Topping Ideas: Miniature chocolate chips Crushed toffee (Heath®) bars Miniature peppermint sticks Regular peppermint sticks Lindt® truffles (add one truffle to your cup of hot chocolate for chocolate overload in the best way possible) Pirouette® cookies Miniature white marshmallows or miniature peppermint marshmallows Dehydrated marshmallows, (I’ve found these on the coffee aisle in most grocery stores) Cinnamon sticks Different flavors of coffee creamers Whipped topping Caramel sauce Hot fudge sauce Peppermint stick ice cream (one scoop in a cup of hot cocoa and you’ll never go back to plain!) VARIATIONS The following variations aren’t for everyone, but they’re a fun way to mix things up every once in a while 🙂 Variation Ideas: Flavor your hot chocolate: Use peppermint extract, orange extract, raspberry extract, or coconut extract. Use a different coffee creamer flavor (hazelnut, creme brûlée, or more ideas here (not sponsored)). Make it spicy: (think Mexican Hot Chocolate!): To this batch add about 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon (or to taste) of chili powder. Add some spice: A pinch of cinnamon can totally change your cocoa! Make dark Hot Chocolate: Use Dutch-process powder instead of regular. Last, but not least, since I have a background in health*, I get asked these two questions frequently (whenever I profess my undying love for hot chocolate): Is it bad to drink hot chocolate? You’ll hear different opinions on this, depending on who you ask — some say it’s healthy, some say it’s not. Here are the arguments made by both sides (which are all valid arguments!). Reasons it’s good for you: It’s high in antioxidants, which help prevent cancer, heart disease, etc. as they fight free radicals in the body (yes the same antioxidants you’re getting from an acai bowl!). Hot chocolate also has a lot of flavonoids which increase the blood flow and oxygen to the brain. (These benefits are for homemade hot chocolate using cocoa powder). Reasons it’s not so good for you: high in calories, fat, and sugar, and chocolate contains caffeine. The way I see it, when enjoyed in moderation, hot chocolate is a great treat. 🙂 ENJOY! Disclaimer: *While I have my background in Exercise and Wellness (B.S.), all the content in this post is for informational purposes only. Please consult a doctor or dietician for any specific dietary needs/questions. How to Make A DRY Hot Chocolate Mix: The “mix” is crazy easy — just 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa powder. If you want to make this ahead of time you can. Whisk together and store it in an airtight container in a cool dark place. Scoop out 3/4 cup whenever you want to make this recipe. How to Make A Hot Chocolate Recipe For One: 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder 2 tablespoons granulated sugar Tiny pinch of salt 1 cup whole milk (or 3/4 cup whole milk and 1/4 cup vanilla coffee creamer) 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract In a small pot, whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar, and salt. Add in the hot water and whisk. Bring to a boil and then add in the whole milk. Bring to the temperature you’d like and then remove from heat and stir in the extract. Enjoy while hot. Pair your Hot Chocolate with one of these treats: Tart dried fruits (think dried cranberries or tart cherries) or fresh clementines 7 Layer Bars with a graham cracker crust Carmelitas caramel and chocolate cookie bars Oatmeal Cookies with cinnamon Mexican Wedding Cookies dusted in powdered sugar FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content. Hot Chocolate 5 from 4 votes - Review this recipe Creamy, dreamy Hot Chocolate -- you'll never go back to buying mixes or packets after trying this recipe and seeing how simple it is to make! SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Hot Chocolate 5 from 4 votes - Review this recipe SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Creamy, dreamy Hot Chocolate -- you'll never go back to buying mixes or packets after trying this recipe and seeing how simple it is to make! Course Drinks Cuisine American Keyword hot chocolate Prep Time 5 minutes Cook Time 5 minutes Total Time 10 minutes Servings 4 -6 cups of hot chocolate Calories 224kcal Author Chelsea IngredientsBase Hot Chocolate Recipe▢ 1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder (use a good high quality for the BEST hot chocolate, but Hershey's works great here too; if not using Dutch-process, use 1/3 cup cocoa powder)▢ 1/2 cup white granulated sugar▢ Pinch of sea salt▢ 1/3 cup hot water▢ 3-4 cups whole milk▢ Optional: replace 1/2 cup milk with French vanilla coffee creamer,▢ 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extractAdd-ins▢ whipped cream▢ miniature or dehydrated marshmallows▢ chocolate shavings (using a vegetable peeler, peel a chocolate bar!)Variation Ideas▢ Instead of vanilla extract, try orange extract for an orange hot chocolate or peppermint extract for a minty hot chocolate▢ 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon InstructionsIn a saucepan or pot, whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar, and salt. Pour in the hot water and whisk constantly.Bring to a boil, over medium-high heat, and keep the mixture on a low boil for one minute. Stir in the milk (add to preference -- for stronger hot chocolate add less milk and for a more mild hot chocolate; add more milk. If desired, add coffee creamer in place of 1/2 cup of milk*). Bring the hot chocolate to your desired serving temperature.Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.Pour into cups or mugs and garnish as desired with whatever add-ins you'd like! (See a more comprehensive list in the post.) Recipe Notes*Everyone's preference for hot chocolate is different and a lot of the end result depends on the cocoa powder you use. This is my favorite cocoa powder. I love 3 and 1/2 cups milk with 1/2 cup coffee creamer, but my kids and husband all prefer 4 cups milk with a splash of creamer. So play around with milk and creamer to get to YOUR perfect hot cocoa! Nutrition information does not include whipped cream or coffee creamer. Nutrition FactsCalories: 224kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 81mg | Potassium: 326mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 297IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 216mg | Iron: 1mg We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed. DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.