5 from 1 vote
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Is it starting to get chilly outside? Sounds like you need the ultimate cup of gourmet hot cocoa for everyone in the family. This homemade hot chocolate recipe is what I make for my family on chilly nights. Everyone loves it because it’s rich, chocolaty, and just tastes like heaven in a mug!

Best hot chocolate recipe

Best Hot Chocolate Recipe

I stopped buying those powdered hot chocolate mixes ages ago when I saw what was in them. And you will too when you see it’s just as easy to make the best hot chocolate from scratch. Making your hot cocoa recipe is so much better and more wholesome this way!

Homemade hot chocolate ingredients

Homemade Hot Chocolate Ingredients

  • Whole milk – Do not go low-fat here, I beg you.
  • Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa powder – The key ingredient when making hot chocolate with cocoa powder. I prefer Ghirardelli because it’s amazing for hot chocolate, though any unsweetened cocoa powder will also work.
  • Sugar – The granulated kind, because you need to add sweetness in.
  • Bittersweet chocolate chips – This brings a rounded-out chocolate flavor and richness to your hot chocolate.
  • Vanilla extract – It cuts through the chocolate for balance of sweetness.
  • Half and half – The partial cream of this lends that thicker, richer texture than you deserve in your mug.

Easy hot chocolate recipe

Hot chocolate is like a warm hug from the inside.

Easy Hot Cocoa Recipe

Sure, maybe it takes a smidge longer to make this than that boxed stuff you buy, but it’s so simple to make this easy hot chocolate recipe you can make it with the kids. And it tastes so much better you’ll be glad you did!

How to make homemade hot chocolate

How to Make Homemade Hot Chocolate from Scratch

Making this homemade hot cocoa recipe is easy! Grab a medium saucepan and heat the milk, cocoa powder, and sugar over medium heat. Whisk it often until it becomes warm, then add in those chocolate chips. Whisk until those melt completely, then add in the vanilla extract. Now you’re ready to serve with your favorite things on top like whipped cream, chocolate sauce, crushed peppermint, sprinkles, chopped chocolate, mini marshmallows, or whatever you like. Hot chocolate with marshmallows is my kids favorite combo!

Homemade hot cocoa

Expert Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Hot Chocolate Every Time

  • The milk is important. When learning how to make hot cocoa, you’ll find the more fat your milk has the creamier your gourmet hot chocolate will be.
  • Don’t boil it! Milk-based drinks need to be heated slowly and evenly. If you boil it, you can ruin the consistency.
  • Use a whisk. A spoon or fork won’t help you here. Just be sure you use a plastic or silicone whisk when you’re using a non-stick saucepan or else you’ll damage the metal.

How do you make a simple hot chocolate

What is the difference between hot chocolate and hot cocoa?

Most people use the terms interchangeably, but there is a difference. Hot cocoa is usually thinner, creamier, and sweeter but real hot chocolate is dense and rich.

What is the best cocoa powder for hot chocolate?

I think Ghirardelli has the best cocoa powder for hot chocolate which is why I use it in this hot chocolate recipe. However, you can choose your favorite quality unsweetened cocoa powder for your hot chocolate.

How do you make hot chocolate in 5 steps

Can you use baking cocoa to make hot chocolate?

Yes, you can. The better the quality cocoa, the better your hot chocolate though!

Is hot chocolate better with milk or water?

It is always better with milk. It adds richness to the flavors and texture.

How do I make hot chocolate better

How do you make a simple hot chocolate?

This hot chocolate recipe is very simple. It only requires a few ingredients that you combine together and slowly heat on your stovetop.

How do you make hot chocolate in 5 steps?

Heat milk, cocoa powder, and sugar in a saucepan on medium heat. Whisk often. Add in chocolate chips once warm and whisk until they melt. Then add the vanilla extract, whisk, and serve.

What is the difference between hot chocolate and hot cocoa

How do I make hot chocolate better?

There are a few things to do here. Use full-fat milk. Buy quality unsweetened cocoa powder. Measure your sugar accordingly so it’s not bitter. Melt chocolate into it. All these things will make your hot chocolate better.

How do you make the best hot chocolate mix?

If you have hot chocolate mix that needs to be used up, try making it with milk instead of water. Also, add toppings like whipped cream, sprinkles, chocolate sauce, marshmallows, and whatever you like to make it more fun.

What goes well with Hot Chocolate?

Hot chocolate goes well with any desserts you’ve got. Cakes, cookies, cupcakes, brownies, or anything you like. And of course, it goes best with toppings on top including whipped cream, sprinkles, shaved chocolate, chocolate sauce, and more.

Can you use baking cocoa to make hot chocolate

How to Store Homemade Hot Cocoa

Put it in a mason jar in your fridge. That’s the best way to keep any leftover hot chocolate.

How Long Does Homemade Hot Chocolate Last?

It will last up to 4 days in your fridge. As for my family, we’ve never had this problem. It’s always gone immediately.

Can You Freeze Hot Chocolate?

Meh, better not. The milk and cream in there won’t freeze well. Besides, it’s so easy to make, it’s better to do it fresh.

How to Reheat Hot Chocolate?

Simply pour it into your saucepan and heat low and slow until warmed through, stirring frequently.

Watch How To Make Hot Chocolate (Video)

The BEST Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 7 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 433
Hands down the BEST homemade hot chocolate recipe! This easy recipe takes only 5 simple ingredients and comes out rich and creamy every time!



  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1/4 cup Ghiradelli unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • In a medium saucepan on medium heat, add in the milk, cocoa powder, and sugar. Whisk the mixture frequently until warm. Once warm, add in the chocolate chips and whisk until they are fully melted. Whisk in the vanilla extract, serve immediately with optional toppings such as: whipped cream, chocolate sauce, peppermint pieces, sprinkles, mini marshmallows, or chopped chocolate bar.
Calories: 433kcal
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American


Calories: 433kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 128mg | Potassium: 544mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 628IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 340mg | Iron: 1mg

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I’m a mom of two, food and wine lover, and recipe creation enthusiast. Good food brings families together. Which is why I’m devoted to sharing my best recipes that are simple enough for even the beginner cook that your family will love!

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