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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.


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


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

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.

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