Homemade Best Hot Chocolate | How to Make Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate is a delightful and indulgent beverage, known for its rich, creamy, and full-bodied flavor. It can be prepared in just a matter of minutes, making it the ideal choice to warm you up during chilly weather.

Introducing the ultimate hot chocolate recipe – undoubtedly the finest you’ll ever taste! This hot cocoa is incredibly indulgent, boasting a rich and creamy texture with an intense chocolate flavor that will make you bid farewell to powdered mixes forever.

The best part? It’s a breeze to make! In just 5 minutes and with only 5 simple ingredients (including two forms of chocolate), you can prepare this delightful homemade hot chocolate on your stovetop. So, whether you’ve been out skiing or sledding and need a quick way to warm up, or simply want to enjoy a comforting treat alongside some cookies, this recipe has got you covered!


Indulge in the delightful flavors of a rich and scrumptious drink, made by melting shaved chocolate or chocolate chips together with cocoa powder in either water or milk. To enhance its sweetness, you have the freedom to choose your preferred sweetener, such as sugar, honey, maple syrup, or stevia. For an even more luscious experience, consider adding a touch of cream to make the beverage even richer.


Hot chocolate, also known as drinking chocolate, is made by melting actual chocolate (milk, dark, or white) into a hot liquid, which can be water, milk, or cream. The chocolate is finely chopped or shaved and then stirred into the warm liquid until fully melted and combined. This results in a rich and indulgent drink with a dense chocolate flavor.

On the other hand, hot cocoa is made with cocoa powder, sugar, and milk. The cocoa powder is mixed with sugar and then combined with milk to create a sweet beverage that is lighter in texture compared to hot chocolate. Hot cocoa is the type of drink you might remember from packets of instant hot cocoa mix like Swiss Miss, where the flavor is still chocolatey but not as intense as hot chocolate.


If you’re craving a luscious, indulgent beverage, opt for the richness of full-fat whole milk combined with some heavy cream. Of course, you have the freedom to try it with low-fat or skim milk if you prefer.

For those following a vegan lifestyle, there’s a delightful plant-based version. Just use dairy-free unsweetened soy, cashew, or almond milk as a delicious alternative.

Alternatively, you can even make this drink with water – a method I personally favor, especially during those late winter nights. Though the flavor will retain its unique chocolatey goodness, it won’t have the same creamy texture as the milk-based versions.


  • Whole milk – 2 ½ cups
  • Granulated sugar – ¼ cup
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder – 2 tbsp
  • Bittersweet chocolate (or semisweet, milk, etc.) – 6 oz (1 cup) 
  • Pure vanilla extract – 1 tsp
  • Homemade whipped cream for serving


Many individuals often ponder, “What’s the secret to make homemade hot chocolate?” Let me share a simple and delightful hot cocoa recipe that will make you forget all about those store-bought mixes. You’ll be amazed at how quick it is – just 5 minutes – and I’ll guide you through the entire process. Together, we’ll create the perfect cup of hot chocolate from scratch.

Combine milk, sugar & cocoa powder

Combine milk, sugar, and cocoa powder in a medium-sized saucepan.

Heat the mixture over a medium flame, whisking it occasionally, until you see small bubbles forming, but make sure it doesn’t reach a boiling point.

Add Chocolate & Vanilla 

As soon as the mixture starts to bubble, simply switch off the heat and introduce the chocolate and vanilla. Whisk the ingredients together until the chocolate completely melts, and the mixture becomes smooth.

Pour into mugs & Serve

This delightful hot cocoa recipe yields 2-4 servings, depending on your desired portion size. Given its luxurious richness, I often opt to divide it into 4 mugs, which proves to be more than enough for all of us! Enjoy the cozy indulgence of this warm treat.

Add toppings

This hot chocolate is absolutely delightful even when enjoyed on its own. However, if you’re in the mood to add a little flair and excitement, I’ve got some fantastic suggestions for fun toppings:

  • Homemade whipped cream (obviously)
  • Marshmallows 
  • Shaved chocolate
  • A dusting of cocoa powder
  • Holiday sprinkles
  • Crushed candy canes
  • Chopped peppermint bark


In a separate bowl, combine cold heavy cream and sugar. Use a hand-held beater to whisk the mixture for about a minute. Next, add the vanilla extract and continue whisking until soft peaks form.

Now, take a serving glass and pour in the hot chocolate. To make it even more delightful, add a dollop of the whipped cream on top, followed by a sprinkle of cocoa powder and some shaved chocolate.

Serve the hot and delicious drink immediately, and savor the delightful flavors! Enjoy!


Is dark or milk chocolate better for hot chocolate?

Dark chocolate surpasses milk chocolate in both quality and flavor. Its taste is intricately tied to its bitterness, creating a multi-dimensional experience. Savoring a dark chocolate chunk as it slowly melts on your tongue is an exquisite delight. The flavor evolves and dances from a non-sweet sensation to a satisfying sweetness, reminiscent of a harmonious chord progression finding its resolution.

Why hot chocolate with milk is better?

Incorporating milk as an essential component in hot chocolate imparts a delightful creamy texture, which is highly appreciated by many. Additionally, it enriches the beverage with an array of beneficial elements such as fat, protein, calcium, and various vitamins, surpassing what water alone can offer.

How many scoops of hot chocolate?

If you want a really sweet hot chocolate, you might only need 2 tablespoons of mix per cup. If you want it to be really chocolatey, you might need 3-4 tablespoons of mix per cup. And if you want it to be really thick, you might need 4-5 tablespoons of mix per cup.

Recipe Card

Hot Chocolate

Homemade Best Hot Chocolate | How to Make Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate is a delightful and indulgent beverage, known for its rich, creamy, and full-bodied flavor. It can be prepared in just a matter of minutes, making it the ideal choice to warm you up during chilly weather.
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes
Course beverage, Dessert, Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 397 kcal


  • Saucepan
  • Whisk
  • Measuring Spoon
  • Measuring Cup


  • 2 ½ cup Whole milk
  • ¼ cup Granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup Bittersweet chocolate (or semisweet, milk, etc.)
  • 1 tsp Pure vanilla extract
  • Homemade whipped cream for serving


  • Combine milk, sugar, and cocoa powder in a medium saucepan.
  • Warm the mixture over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until it starts to bubble slightly, being careful not to let it come to a boil.
  • Next, add the chocolate and vanilla to the saucepan and continue whisking until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture becomes smooth.
  • Finally, transfer the delightful concoction into four small mugs and serve it with a dollop of homemade whipped cream. Enjoy this scrumptious treat!


  1. Milk: You can use any type of milk, whether it’s dairy-based or non-dairy. The creaminess of your final product will depend on the percentage of fat in the milk you choose. I recommend whole or 2% milk for a rich and creamy taste. For a dairy-free or vegan version, coconut milk works great.
  2. Cocoa Powder: Opt for pure, unsweetened cocoa powder. If you prefer a darker hot chocolate, use dark cocoa powder.
  3. Granulated Sugar: Granulated sugar will work well in this recipe. Personally, I like to use organic cane sugar. However, if you want a refined-sugar-free option, you can substitute granulated sugar with coconut sugar.
  4. Chocolate: I suggest using semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate for a balanced flavor. Feel free to use milk chocolate or white chocolate, but remember that the result will be sweeter. For those following a dairy-free or vegan diet, consider using dairy-free chocolate. Another option is baker chocolate (100% cocoa), but you may need to adjust the amount of sugar to suit your taste.
  5. Vanilla Extract: For the best flavor, always use pure vanilla extract.


If you happen to have leftovers, store them in an airtight container like a glass jar. You can keep it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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