How to Make Amazing Homemade Hot Chocolate

Colder weather always calls for hot chocolate! So, to ring in the winter weather ahead, our Test Kitchen came up with a couple ways to make hot chocolate fun, festive, and flavorful. Use it as a guide to tailor your next cup of hot chocolate to your tastes or create your own hot chocolate bar when your friends and family get together during the holidays!

Here’s how you can make simple, satisfying hot chocolate with different chocolate, mix-ins, and toppings.

Homemade Hot Chocolate Board

Step 1: Make Homemade Hot Chocolate

While there are many ways to make homemade hot chocolate, we’re sharing our go-to method with a pan and a stovetop.

Hot Chocolate

    • 2 cups (500 mL) whole, 2%, skim, almond, oat, or coconut milk
    • 3 tbsp (45 mL) cocoa powder
    • ¼ cup (60 mL) sugar
    • tsp salt (0.5 mL) salt
    1. Add your choice of milk to the 1-qt. (1-L) Enameled Cast Iron Milk Pan over medium-low heat.
    2. Whisk in the cocoa powder, sugar, and salt. Heat this mixture until it’s nice and thick.

Yield: 2 servings

Hot Chocolate

Step 2: Make It Decadent

Want to make your hot chocolate extra chocolatey? As you’re warming up your milk, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt on the stovetop, add a ¼ cup (60 mL) of chocolate chips to the mixture. The chocolate chips will give your hot chocolate a creamier texture and a sweeter taste.

Not sure what kind of chocolate chips to add? You can choose milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, or mint chocolate chips. And if you want to try something a little bit different, think butterscotch, peanut butter, or even peppermint chips.

Step 3: Make It Grown Up

You can easily make some spiked hot chocolate for your friends and family by adding a shot of bourbon, peppermint schnapps, coffee liqueur, or raspberry cordial to their individual mugs.

Step 4: Top It Off

Here comes the fun part: picking your toppings! Whether you’re making a delicious cup for one or making a beautiful hot chocolate bar, choose toppings that satisfy your taste—or every taste.

For those who like spice, sprinkle Cinnamon Plus® or chili powder on your hot chocolate. Or, you can make hot chocolate even sweeter by adding anything from marshmallows and peppermint pieces to crushed sugar cookies and flavored whipped cream (which we highly recommend).

Here are more toppings you can add to your hot chocolate to make it extra delicious.

  • Chocolate shavings
  • Toffee bits
  • Sprinkles
  • Caramel syrup
  • Candy canes
  • Shortbread
  • Cookie straws
  • Meringues
  • Chocolate syrup
Personalized Hot Chocolate

Favorite Combinations From the Test Kitchen

There is no wrong way to make hot chocolate. You can add whatever you like to personalize it.

Culinary Content Associate Sarah likes the combination of chocolate and coffee so she dresses her hot chocolate up with dark chocolate chips, a shot of coffee liqueur, chocolate whipped cream, toffee bits, and a drizzle of caramel syrup. While Bryan, our Senior Culinary Content Associate, loves peppermint so he adds peppermint chips and peppermint schnapps to his and tops it off with white chocolate whipped cream, a candy cane, and a dusting of cocoa powder.

So, how will you customize your next cup of hot chocolate? Tell us in the comments below.

17 Responses to How to Make Amazing Homemade Hot Chocolate

  1. Cecelia B. October 31, 2021 at 8:29 am #

    All of the hot chocolate recipes sounds so yummy can’t wait to get started. Thanks

  2. Sheri November 7, 2021 at 11:00 pm #

    Love the idea of making homemade hot chocolate!! Sounds delicious!!

  3. Cyndi November 10, 2021 at 9:26 pm #

    I can’t wait to try this!

  4. Susan November 14, 2021 at 12:50 pm #

    Love hot chocolate

  5. Dena November 14, 2021 at 1:50 pm #

    Love homemade hot cocoa. There’s something special about it.

  6. Bonita Moore November 15, 2021 at 4:34 pm #

    I want to see good food to make.

    • Linda Barnes December 6, 2021 at 9:44 am #

      I would add peppermint candy a cane or shavings, mashmalows and will try the toffee bits and mashmallows too. It looks like fun and sounds yummy

  7. Charlene November 18, 2021 at 8:26 pm #

    Love this recipe

  8. Angela Mcguire November 27, 2021 at 3:29 pm #

    Thank you for the recipe,I didn’t know you could even make it homemade..

  9. lynda austin December 5, 2021 at 1:59 pm #

    love this idea, should be fun for Christmas eve

  10. Juanita (Neso') December 7, 2021 at 2:27 pm #

    This is a great recipe! I love it! Go for it!! You will be glad that you did!!

  11. Lori December 7, 2021 at 5:46 pm #

    I love spicy. Would try some ancho powder.

  12. Joyce Hilton December 10, 2021 at 12:09 pm #

    Love the toffee bits!

  13. Nancy Stewart January 7, 2022 at 11:30 am #

    Definitely trying this today. It’s 21° here with 6″ of snow on the ground. Yep…perfect recipe!

  14. Carol Jean Tirey January 14, 2022 at 6:47 am #

    This sounds like a great way to make hot chocolate on a cold day..Will definitely try this!

  15. Bridget Blount February 4, 2022 at 10:03 am #

    Thank you, that looks like a really easy recipe 😊

  16. kelly mathews August 10, 2022 at 10:23 pm #

    I’m not sure what combination I will try, guess I will get creative.

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