Raise your hand if you’ve only ever had hot chocolate from a packet. That was me up until several years ago when I decided to try out making my own. How hard could it be? Just mix cocoa powder, sugar, and milk, right? It turns out it actually IS that simple. After adjusting my recipe several times over the years, I’ve finally landed on THE ONE. It’s a snap to make, not too sweet, never watery, and not too chocolatey (ok, that last one isn’t really true because when someone says hot chocolate, it better taste like CHOCOLATE 😉 ). Once you’ve tried this, you will never go back to packets again!
This special hot cocoa would be perfect for a family movie night, Christmas eve night, or double the recipe, place it in a mason jar, and gift it! I also love that you can customize this with all of your favorite toppings! My personal favorites are fresh whipped cream with a drizzle of caramel sauce and course sea salt or fresh whipped cream with crushed candy canes, mini chocolate chips, and a sprinkle of course sea salt. Other ideas: Andes mints, Marshmallows (have fun with different flavored marshmallows!), or sprinkles.
Have fun with it and make it your own!
Homemade Hot Chocolate
makes two large 8 oz cups of cocoa
- 1 1/2 Cups 2% milk or dairy free milk* see my notes for recommendations
- 1/2 Cup heavy cream or dairy free milk
- 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder – my go to >>> HERSHEY’S Natural Unsweetened 100% Cocoa, Baking supplies and Beverage Mix Gluten Free, 8 Ounce Can (Pack of 6)
- 3 Tablespoons mini chocolate chips (you can use regular sized, but they will not melt as quickly) (Or dairy free chocolate chips)
- 4 Tablespoons powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons corn starch (you can leave this out if needed, but it brings a thick creaminess to the cocoa that makes it special.)
- Whisk together 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder, 3 Tablespoons mini chocolate chips, 4 Tablespoons powdered sugar, and 2 teaspoons cornstarch.
- Warm 1 1/2 Cups 2% milk and 1/2 Cup heavy cream in a small saucepan over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring often. Do not let the mixture boil.
- Whisk in the cocoa powder mixture over low heat. Keep whisking for one minute or just until chocolate chips are fully melted and mixture is fully incorporated.
- Pour into your favorite mugs and serve with your favorite hot cocoa toppings.
Dairy free version: to make this dairy free, just change out the milk and heavy cream for your favorite dairy free milk alternative. I highly recommend Chobani Extra Creamy Oat Milk as a replacement for both the milk and the cream in this recipe because it is thicker and will make for a richer hot chocolate that mimics the dairy version of this recipe so well. Use any dairy free chocolate chip you’d like as a replacement for the chips in the recipe.
Dairy free whipped topping: I recommend Coco Whip which is found in the freezer section of the grocery or to make your own: Chill your beaters and a mixing bowl for 10 minutes in the freezer, spoon out the coconut cream from a can of full fat coconut milk leaving behind the liquid, and with a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer, whip with 1-2 tablespoons powdered sugar until thickened. If it’s not thick enough, place in the fridge (or freezer if you want it quicker) until it is to your liking. Chilling the can of coconut milk overnight guarantees the best result, but I understand we don’t all think ahead when we want hot chocolate 🙂