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. This creamy, dreamy Hot Chocolate is so good that once you try this recipe and see how easy it is to make, you’ll never go back to buying mixes or packets! 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. Homemade Hot Chocolate As autumn leaves start to fall and winter’s chill sets in, there’s one thing I can’t resist – wrapping my hands around a warm mug of hot chocolate! Honestly, it’s my ultimate cold-weather comfort. Lately, I’ve been indulging in a heavenly duo: hot cocoa paired with these chewy chocolate chip cookies. It’s my current dessert obsession! Sure, store-bought packets are quick and handy, but wait till you try this homemade version. Not only is it bursting with rich flavor and made from ingredients you likely already have, but it’s also a breeze to whip up and customize to your liking. Ready to elevate your hot chocolate game? Follow along and discover how to craft the perfect cup, leaving those store packets behind! QUICK TIP Is it hot cocoa or hot chocolate? While the terms are often used interchangeably, they differ. Hot cocoa is a mix of cocoa powder, sugar, and milk, typically found in store packets. It’s sweeter and lighter. Hot chocolate, also known as “drinking chocolate”, is made from real chocolate melted into cream, milk, or water, offering a richer taste. This recipe blends both, but regardless of the name, it’s like sipping on liquid joy! Ingredients In Hot Chocolate Dutch-process cocoa powder: Offers a rich chocolate flavor. White granulated sugar: Adds sweetness, balancing the cocoa’s bitterness. Pinch of sea salt: Enhances and emphasizes the chocolate flavor. Whole milk: Provides a creamy base and enriches taste. Heavy whipping cream: Amplifies the drink’s richness; using more milk offers a lighter version. Pure vanilla extract: Adds depth with a hint of subtle sweetness. Together, these ingredients craft a creamy, flavorful hot chocolate. QUICK TIP Our secret ingredient? Dutch-Process Cocoa Powder. This isn’t your regular cocoa; it’s smoother and less bitter. Plus, we go unsweetened, so you taste that deep chocolatey goodness without extra sugar getting in the way. Its dark look? Pure luxe in a cup. Bottom line: our hot chocolate is next-level, and Dutch-process cocoa is the MVP! Read more about it here. How To Make Hot Chocolate You won’t believe how simple it is to make homemade Hot Chocolate! In a saucepan or pot, whisk together cocoa powder, sugar, and salt. Add milk and cream, then whisk until smooth. Heat to your desired serving temperature. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Pour into cups or mugs. Garnish with desired add-ins. One of my favorite aspects of making hot chocolate is the customization. From mix-ins and toppings to sauces, the possibilities are endless. I’ve listed some of my favorites below. Topping Ideas: Miniature chocolate chips Crushed toffee (Heath®) bars Peppermint sticks or Peppermint Bark Lindt® truffles (add one truffle to your cup for chocolate overload in the best way possible) Pirouette® cookies Homemade Marshmallows Dehydrated marshmallows, (I’ve found these on the coffee aisle in most grocery stores or online) Cinnamon sticks Different flavors of coffee creamers Whipped Cream Caramel sauce Hot Fudge Sauce Peppermint stick ice cream (one scoop in a cup of hot cocoa and you’ll never go back) VARIATIONS Variation Ideas: Flavor your cocoa by using peppermint extract, orange extract, raspberry extract, or coconut extract. You can also try different coffee creamer flavors such as hazelnut or creme brûlée (find more ideas here, not sponsored). For a spicy kick (akin to Mexican Hot Chocolate), add about 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg, and a pinch of cayenne pepper or chili powder if you like the heat! A simple addition: A pinch of cinnamon can completely transform your cocoa! Hot Chocolate FAQs1Is Drinking Hot Chocolate Healthy?While Hot Chocolate is a fun indulgence, opting for homemade hot chocolate gives you control over ingredients, eliminating the additives common in store-bought mixes. This ensures a natural, healthier sip that’s rich in authentic cocoa flavor without the extra sugars and artificial components. 2Does Hot Chocolate Have Caffeine?Yes, hot chocolate contains caffeine, but it’s usually much less than in coffee or tea. An 8-ounce cup of hot chocolate typically has 5 to 15 milligrams of caffeine, whereas the same amount of coffee has around 95 milligrams. 3How to Make A Dry Hot Chocolate Mix?The mix is incredibly simple: combine 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, 1/4 cup of Dutch-process cocoa powder, and a pinch of fine sea salt. If you wish to prepare this in advance, you certainly can. Just whisk the ingredients together and store them in an airtight container. 4How To Make A Hot Chocolate Recipe For One? 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder 2 tablespoons granulated sugar Tiny pinch of salt 1 cup milk 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract In a small pot, whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar, and salt. 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. What To Serve With Hot Chocolate: Apple Coffee Cake with a brown sugar streusel 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 5 votes - Review this recipe This creamy, dreamy Hot Chocolate is so good that once you try this recipe and see how easy it is to make, you'll never go back to buying mixes or packets! SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Hot Chocolate 5 from 5 votes - Review this recipe SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe This creamy, dreamy Hot Chocolate is so good that once you try this recipe and see how easy it is to make, you'll never go back to buying mixes or packets! Course Drinks Cuisine American Keyword hot chocolate Prep Time 5 minutes minutes Cook Time 5 minutes minutes Total Time 10 minutes minutes Servings 4 -6 cups of hot chocolate Chelsea Lords Calories 224kcal Author Chelsea Lords IngredientsBase Hot Chocolate Recipe▢ 1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder (special Dark Hershey's) (Note 1)▢ 1/2 cup white granulated sugar▢ Pinch of sea salt▢ 3 cups whole milk▢ 1 cup heavy whipping cream (or 1 more cup of milk)▢ 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extractOptional Toppings▢ 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. Stir in the milk and cream and whisk until smooth. 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! Recipe NotesCocoa powder: I don't recommend using plain cocoa powder (way less flavor!). Hershey’s® “Special Dark” cocoa powder is a Dutch-process cocoa powder that is readily found at most grocery stores. This is my favorite cocoa powder. Nutrition information does not include whipped cream or toppings. 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.