How to Make Homemade Hot Chocolate

How to Make Homemade Hot Cocoa

When it’s cold outside there isn’t anything nicer than sitting next to the fireplace with a good book and a steaming cup of hot chocolate. Not the kind you buy in a can, but good ole’ homemade hot chocolate.

There are so many things you can do to make this treat your own. Using different kinds of chocolate, adding spices, and even ways to make it creamier if you’d like.

Choosing the Chocolate

You can use the traditional milk chocolate, or go rich with some semi-sweet. Either way, using chocolate chips from your grocer’s baking isle is a quick and easy way to start your homemade hot chocolate.

Other fun ways to mix it up include adding mint, butterscotch, or even white chocolate chips. Using bars of chocolate also works as long as you chop it up. Big chunks of chocolate won’t melt completely.

The key point to remember is that you can use any chocolate you enjoy eating. If you don’t enjoy eating it, you probably won’t enjoy drinking it.

NOTE: High quality chocolate works better every time.

The Milk

The milk is really up to whatever you prefer. It’s okay to use skim, 1%, 2%, or whole milk. If you would rather not have “heavy” hot chocolate, substitute the sweetened condensed milk with evaporated milk, or simply add a little extra regular milk.

TIP: If you’re feeling really creative, add ½ cup coconut milk.

The Garnish

Many people think about miniature marshmallows when they think about hot chocolate. This is a great option, but also consider these other fun ideas.

  • Try stirring your hot chocolate with a candy cane to add a minty flavor
  • Adding a pinch of cayenne pepper definitely gives it a kick
  • Sprinkle in other spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or even orange zest
  • Add 2-3 teaspoons of maraschino cherry juice to your cup of hot cocoa, and include a cherry as garnish
  • Dip shortbread or gingerbread cookies in your hot chocolate

Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe

Yields about 6 servings


  • 6 cups milk
  • 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 ounce)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups chocolate chips


Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally with a whisk. Enjoy in a mug with your favorite garnish.