how to make hot chocolate: the best hot chocolate recipe

How To Make Hot Chocolate: The Best Hot Chocolate Recipe (With Cocoa Powder)

how to make hot chocolate: the best hot chocolate recipe

Who doesn’t love a good cup of creamy hot chocolate?

Learning how to make hot chocolate the right way can mean coming home to a cup full of steamy goodness for those times when your sweet tooth needs some extra love.

While there are tons of types of chocolate out there, this recipe is made with cocoa powder as its base. You can always experiment and use other chocolate to get a gauge of how you personally like your cup of hot chocolate.

Related: How To Make Flan: A Simple Recipe You Can Follow

This recipe isn’t just a plain old hot cocoa recipe. It’s a lot richer and bolder and has more body than a regular microwaved hot cocoa drink (though those can be pretty good too for a quick chocolate fix!)

What to do if you don’t like dairy/are lactose intolerant

There are lots of us who have an aversion to lactose and can’t really touch milk chocolate. That’s ok! You can always substitute the whole milk and with coconut milk, or almond milk or any other type of milk that you might find fitting. You can also forgo the condensed milk and just sweeten your hot chocolate to taste with the raw/brown sugar.

Types of chocolate you can use in your recipe 

There is not exact science to the perfect mug of hot chocolate, only the main ingredients and the type of chocolate you prefer. Here are some chocolates you can use to give you an idea:

Hershey’s: Love a good old Hershey bar? Add it to your drink! Just lessen the sugar so the sweetness is not too overpowering.

Ghirardelli’s: These chocolates are just so good…especially when they have a caramel core that you can intergrate into your chocolate drink.

Dona Maria: Try some mexican chocolate tablet and see how you like the taste.

Nutella: Want something hot and hazelnutty? Try Using Nutella and forgo the condensed and raw sugar so its not too sweet!


Serves: about 2

Time to make: 8 minutes


  • 2 Tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 Cups of either whole milk/Evaporated milk/Almond milk/Coconut milk
  • 3 oz of your favorite dark chocolate, grated
  • 1 Tablespoon Condensed Milk
  • 1 ½ Tablespoon Raw/Brown Sugar
  • A dollop of butter
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  • Mini marshmallows (optional)
  • Chocolate sprinkles (optional)
  • Hot fudge (optional)



  1. In a small saucepan, mix the cocoa powder, your finely grated dark chocolate (to avoid bits), and raw/brown sugar.
  2. Add your preferred milk along with the condensed milk and mix until well blended as it comes to a slow broil.
  3. You can then add your dollop of butter, which adds a rich buttery taste, and pinch of salt for good measure, along with the vanilla extract.
  4. Let it come to a simmer, then set on low, and you’re ready to serve.
  5. Douse your favorite hot cocoa mug in whipped cream after ladeling in some of your perfectly creamy hot chocolate.


Some extra tips + tricks:

To make serving your hot chocolate to guests extra awesome, wet the rim of your favorite serving mugs and dip the rim in a bowl full of chocolate sprinkles, margarita style. This way your mug is decorated with edible sugary sprinkled.

You can then top off your creation with some whipped cream, hot fudge, and mini marshmallows for good measure. Go ahead and add a minty candy can if it’s the Christmas season!

Add Nutella for an extra hazelnutty taste.

You can always store leftover hot chocolate in the fridge and just bring to a nice simmer the next time you’re ready to serve it.

SIDE NOTE: When you’re cooking you’ll often run into conversion questions that you might not know off the top of your head. Especially when converting liquids. Here’s how to remember your kitchen conversions!

How to Make Unicorn Hot Chocolate

how to make hot chocolate, hot chocolate recipe

To make the beautiful unicorn hot chocolate mugs pictured in our main image (which are having a bit of a moment lately) replace the cocoa powder and the dark chocolate with white finely grated white chocolate.

Add your favorite food coloring drops until you get your desired color, and voila!

You can garnish with Lucky Charms cereal, colorful sprinkles, or even finely ground mint candy!

Related: 53 Quick And Easy Meal Ideas That Are Perfect For Weeknights

Other awesome hot chocolate recipes you should try

There are way too many perfectly sweet and yummy hot chocolate recipes out there to list them all here. Even still, here are some top picks of some of the best recipes out there from around the world. Try some on your free time to add a twist to your classic hot chocolate drink.

Chocolate Hot Buttered Rum

Recipe: The Cookie Rookie

If you’re looking for a festive hot chocolate recipe that includes rum, then this hot chocolate recipe is right up your alley.

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

Recipe: Cooking Classy

Salted caramel goes good with almost anything, why not blend it with your favorite chocolate drink for an explosion of oh-so-good flavor? Try out the recipe from Cooking Classy!

Sweet + Spicy Mayan Hot Chocolate


Recipe: Honey Whats Cooking

If you want to taste something out of the norm and with a kick of just the right amount of spice to it, try this delicious Mayan hot chocolate. A perfectly fun version of the classic hot chocolate great for entertaining guests.

Belgian Hot Chocolate

Recipe: Busy Creating Memories

Try some Belgian hot chocolate. Belgian chocolate is definitely a wide spread favorite which means this particular recipe is bound to be a tasty winner.

Indian Spiced Chai Hot Chocolate

Recipe: Recipes To Nourish

Chai tea on its own is already a delicious treat, especially when paired with some Chicken Tikka Masala. I can’t even imagine what Chai hot chocolate would taste like. The mix of spices definitely makes it a must try.

Learn How To Make Hot Chocolate With These Recipes

A good cup of hot chocolate can be comforting and add some much needed warmth that feeds the soul. When you pair that with good knowledge of what makes a good and hefty cup of hot chocolate, then you’re in for some hot chocolate bliss.

Are there any hot chocolate recipes you know of that are share worthy? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!


One Comment

  1. Chocolate Hot butter Rum – WoW i would like to try 🙂

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