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Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe

A rich and creamy homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe that is ready in minutes. Learn how to make real hot cocoa using staple kitchen ingredients.

A cup of hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and cocoa powder next to another cup and marshmallows.

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Hey, hey, Valentina with Valentina’s Corner sharing our favorite classic Hot Cocoa.

Hot Chocolate Recipe:

Just like homemade Apple Cider, This hot chocolate recipe is a favorite during the cooler months. This is the easiest recipe and takes just minutes on the stove. Enjoy your warm mug of hot cocoa, the ULTIMATE cozy drink that everyone will love! 

Ingredients for Hot Chocolate:

There are just 5 ingredients needed for a classic hot chocolate mix.

  • Cocoa powder – be sure it’s unsweetened
  • Sugar – add granulated sugar to your desired sweetness
  • Chocolate – melt in semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips, chunks, or shavings for a rich chocolate flavor
  • Milk – we use whole milk for a creamier consistency and it incorporates chocolate better than skim milk.
  • Vanilla extract – use homemade vanilla for the best taste

For an extra rich and creamy hot cocoa: replace 1 cup of whole milk with a cup of half and half or heavy cream.

Hot chocolate ingredients on platter with sugar, milk and cocoa powder.

How to make Hot Chocolate:

  1. In a saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cocoa powder. Add milk, chocolate chunks, and vanilla.
  2. Place over medium heat until steaming, whisking constantly to avoid burning the chocolate.
  3. Cool to desired serving temperature and serve with your favorite toppings.

Pro Tip: Cocoa and chocolate can settle at the bottom of the pot. Avoid burning your homemade hot cocoa by cooking it over medium heat and stir continuously.

Hot cocoa in a medium saucepan.

Common Questions:

Does hot chocolate have caffeine?

Since unsweetened cocoa powder naturally contains, caffeine, hot cocoa does have some caffeine which can give you a little energy boost. One serving contains about 12 mg caffeine. For reference, a cup of black coffee has 95 mg caffeine and black tea can have 25-50mg caffeine.

Can I make Mexican Hot Chocolate?

To make Mexican hot chocolate, you need additional spices: 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Also, use bittersweet chocolate.

Can I use store-bought hot cocoa mix?

You can omit the cocoa and sugar if using a pre-made cocoa mix. I would suggest using 4 packets or 4 servings according to the package instructions.

A close up of hot chocolate in a glass mug with whipped cream and cocoa powder.

Hot Chocolate Toppings:

The BEST part about homemade hot chocolate is the toppings and added flavors! We love to make a toppings bar, especially for the holidays and parties.

  • Whipped cream
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Crushed peppermint
  • White chocolate
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Sprinkles
  • Peppermint sticks
  • Chocolate shavings
hot chocolate topped with variety of toppings

Nothing beats homemade hot chocolate on a cold day, except maybe hot cocoa and a warm slice of Banana Bread… Mmm.

How to reheat hot cocoa:

  • Stovetop – Reheat in a saucepan over low heat until warm, stirring frequently.
  • Slow Cooker – When serving at a party, we love to keep hot cocoa warm in a slow cooker on the low heat setting.

What to serve with Hot Chocolate:

Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe

5 from 4 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
homemade hot chocolate in mugs with whipped cream

A rich and creamy homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe that is ready in minutes. Learn how to make real hot cocoa using staple kitchen ingredients.

Author: Valentina Ablaev
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $4-$6
Keyword: hot chocolate, hot cocoa
Cuisine: American
Course: Drinks
Calories: 338 kcal
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cocoa powder. Add milk, chocolate chips, and vanilla and whisk together.

  2. Place over medium heat and bring it to a light boil while stirring constantly. Be sure the chocolate is fully melted and incorporated.

  3. Set aside to cool to your desired temperature and serve with your favorite toppings.

Recipe Notes

*For a richer and creamier hot chocolate, replace 1 cup of milk with 1 cup of heavy cream or half and half. 

Nutrition Facts
Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 338 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 10g63%
Cholesterol 26mg9%
Sodium 108mg5%
Potassium 528mg15%
Carbohydrates 39g13%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 33g37%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 395IU8%
Calcium 296mg30%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Valentina Ablaev

I am Valentina, the creator behind the food blog Valentina’s Corner where I share our family’s favorite recipes. When I am not in the kitchen, I enjoy spending quality time with my husband and 5 children. We invite you to join us on our blogging journey!

Read more posts by Valentina

Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Shannon
    December 17, 2020

    Made this for my daughter tonight and she LOVED IT! She said it was fantastic! I cut the recipe in half since it was just her. It worked out great!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 17, 2020

      I’m so happy she enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us!

      Reply

  • Sharron
    December 16, 2020

    Hi Natasha, do you have a recipe for a big batch hot chocolate using powdered milk
    Thanks

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 16, 2020

      Hi Sharron, this is the only hot chocolate recipe we have at this time. Thank you for that suggestion!

      Reply

  • Ana
    December 14, 2020

    Can you please do a traditional Christmas Eve menu
    Also Christmas Day
    Email it to me if you can’t put it on your site
    Thank you
    Chrystos Razdiat Sia

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 14, 2020

      Hi Ana, thank you for that suggestion! One thing we do recommend is typing Christmas into our blog search window and all Christmas posts will appear.

      Reply

  • Nadia
    December 11, 2020

    A pinch of sea salt nakes it so much better

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 11, 2020

      Ooh I love that idea to balance the sweetness. Thank you for sharing!

      Reply

  • Traci
    December 11, 2020

    Natasha I love dark chocolate (at least 70% cacoa). Can I use that instead of semi sweet chocolate?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 11, 2020

      Hi Traci, absolutely! That would be delicious. I’m a fan of dark chocolate also, but the kids like the sweeter version.

      Reply

  • Malak
    December 11, 2020

    Hi

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 11, 2020

      Hi Malak!

      Reply

  • Judy
    December 11, 2020

    Hi natasha I want to try your onion soup but there is a problem that I don’t drink wine and also I don’t have dry vermouth can you say for me how to replace it

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 11, 2020

      Hi Judy, can you comment and ask this question in the comments section of the recipe itself? You posted it in the hot chocolate recipe.

      Reply

  • Adrian
    December 10, 2020

    I used half/half. Delicious!! Just a little too sweet for me. Next time will cut the sugar amount in half

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 11, 2020

      Sounds good, Adrian. Thank you for your wonderful review!

      Reply

  • Sara
    December 10, 2020

    Can you do more pastries video please and also to be easy can you do it in your next video or post

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 10, 2020

      Thanks for your suggestion, Sara. We have the recipes lined up for the whole year but I can take note of this request and add it to our list.

      Reply

  • Jana
    December 10, 2020

    Hi natasha I want to buy your pastry brush so where did you get it from

    Reply

  • Malak
    December 10, 2020

    Hi natasha I hope you are fine

    Reply

  • jana
    December 9, 2020

    i am going to ask a question do you schedule your recipes if yes can you schedule a video about stromboli i will be happy if you do it

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 9, 2020

      Hi Jana! Thank you for that suggestion! We have something very similar. Have you tried our calzones?

      Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 9, 2020

      Hi Jana, I have a new video on YouTube every Friday morning at MST. I’ll take note of your suggestion, thanks!

      Reply

  • Shannon Cottle
    December 8, 2020

    I am so glad you added this! My daughter and I love to make hot chocolate every Christmas Eve and I didn’t want to buy the box kind. I wanted a homemade recipe. I can’t wait to try this!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 8, 2020

      I hope you love this recipe! It came just in time for Christmas!

      Reply

  • Melissa
    December 8, 2020

    My favorite winter treat!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 8, 2020

      I’m so happy you enjoeyd that Melissa! That’s so great!

      Reply

  • Betsy
    December 8, 2020

    Delicious hot chocolate! My kids are HUGE fans! Definitely need to make this a new Saturday night winter tradition! That and a nice fire in the fireplace! 🙂

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 8, 2020

      Isn’t it the best! Sipping on Hot Chocolate by a nice fire sounds so cozy!

      Reply

  • Nev
    December 8, 2020

    Sounds great! How long can leftovers be stored? Or is it better to half the recipe?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 9, 2020

      Hi Nev, you can store leftovers for 3 to 5 days. It’s also easy to cut the recipe in half if you wanted to make a smaller batch. Click on the serving size in the recipe card to scale the ingredient amounts up or down.

      Reply

  • Andrea Thueson
    December 8, 2020

    Nothing is better than hot cocoa from scratch! What a great recipe find.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 8, 2020

      It is so so good! I hope you try this recipe soon!

      Reply

  • Maria
    December 8, 2020

    Can you make it sugar free by using sugar substitute and lactose free milk

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 8, 2020

      Hi Maria, I haven’t tested that but it seems like it would work. I hope you enjoy it.

      Reply

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