Best Ever Hot Chocolate Recipe

This easy hot chocolate recipe is made with real chocolate, and tastes rich, delicious and creamy. It’s the perfect treat for kids and adults after a cold day outside.

copper mug filled with hot chocolate

When I shared my hot chocolate toppings charcuterie-inspired dessert board the other day, I got so many comments asking for my homemade hot chocolate recipe. It’s SO easy that I’ve never thought to share it before!

This made-from-scratch hot chocolate is rich and creamy, and perfectly topped with marshmallows

It literally takes only a few minutes to make and requires just chocolate, cocoa powder, milk, sugar, vanilla and salt. I’ve used this recipe for the past ten years and it’s always a hit.

My favorite part is how easy it is to scale. I regularly only make half the batch so that there’s just enough for me and my kids, but if we’re having guests over, I like to double it and keep it warm in a slow cooker.

This rich and creamy hot chocolate recipe only calls for 3 ingredients and is perfect for holiday parties

Sometime I’ll even split it and make two variations – one with peppermint extract added and then just the plain one!

Top a warm mug of this creamy hot chocolate with fluffy marshmallows for a perfect winter drink

Then top it with freshly whipped cream or marshmallows to make it extra special. I’m partial to these cute snowflake ones that I found at my grocery store. So cute, right?!

If you find that the hot cocoa is too sweet for your liking (I think it’s perfect and I don’t like really sweet things) just increase the milk by another quarter to half cup.

This homemade hot chocolate is made with only three ingredients and requires no cocoa powder, just real chocoloate!

Don’t forget to add the salt to the batch – it gives it more depth of flavor instead of just sweet!

So incredibly simply but so much better than any packet mix you’ll ever try, I promise!

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Best Ever Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe

best ever hot chocolate
This easy hot chocolate recipe is made with real chocolate and takes only minutes to make. Top with whipped cream or marshmallows for the perfect warm winter drink!
Jenna Shaughnessy
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Serving Size 5


  • 4 cups whole milk
  • cup sugar
  • cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • cup unsweetened cocoa powder I like extra dark
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch salt


  • Heat the milk in a pot over a low to medium heat
  • Stir in chocolate chips and sugar and whisk until melted.
  • Add the cocoa powder, salt and vanilla.
  • Continue heating until hot.
  • Serve immediately or keep warm in the pot or a slow cooker.

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