Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe – NatashasKitchen.com

A rich and creamy homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe that is ready in minutes. Learn how to make real hot cocoa using staple kitchen ingredients.

A cup of hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and cocoa powder next to another cup and marshmallows.

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Hey, hey, Valentina with Valentina’s Corner sharing our favorite classic Hot Cocoa.

Hot Chocolate Recipe:

Just like homemade Apple Cider, This hot chocolate recipe is a favorite during the cooler months. This is the easiest recipe and takes just minutes on the stove. Enjoy your warm mug of hot cocoa, the ULTIMATE cozy drink that everyone will love! 

Ingredients for Hot Chocolate:

There are just 5 ingredients needed for a classic hot chocolate mix.

  • Cocoa powder – be sure it’s unsweetened
  • Sugar – add granulated sugar to your desired sweetness
  • Chocolate – melt in semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips, chunks, or shavings for a rich chocolate flavor
  • Milk – we use whole milk for a creamier consistency and it incorporates chocolate better than skim milk.
  • Vanilla extract – use homemade vanilla for the best taste

For an extra rich and creamy hot cocoa: replace 1 cup of whole milk with a cup of half and half or heavy cream.

Hot chocolate ingredients on platter with sugar, milk and cocoa powder.

How to make Hot Chocolate:

  1. In a saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cocoa powder. Add milk, chocolate chunks, and vanilla.
  2. Place over medium heat until steaming, whisking constantly to avoid burning the chocolate.
  3. Cool to desired serving temperature and serve with your favorite toppings.

Pro Tip: Cocoa and chocolate can settle at the bottom of the pot. Avoid burning your homemade hot cocoa by cooking it over medium heat and stir continuously.

Hot cocoa in a medium saucepan.

Common Questions:

Does hot chocolate have caffeine?

Since unsweetened cocoa powder naturally contains, caffeine, hot cocoa does have some caffeine which can give you a little energy boost. One serving contains about 12 mg caffeine. For reference, a cup of black coffee has 95 mg caffeine and black tea can have 25-50mg caffeine.

Can I make Mexican Hot Chocolate?

To make Mexican hot chocolate, you need additional spices: 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Also, use bittersweet chocolate.

Can I use store-bought hot cocoa mix?

You can omit the cocoa and sugar if using a pre-made cocoa mix. I would suggest using 4 packets or 4 servings according to the package instructions.

A close up of hot chocolate in a glass mug with whipped cream and cocoa powder.

Hot Chocolate Toppings:

The BEST part about homemade hot chocolate is the toppings and added flavors! We love to make a toppings bar, especially for the holidays and parties.

  • Whipped cream
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Crushed peppermint
  • White chocolate
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Sprinkles
  • Peppermint sticks
  • Chocolate shavings
hot chocolate topped with variety of toppings

Nothing beats homemade hot chocolate on a cold day, except maybe hot cocoa and a warm slice of Banana Bread… Mmm.

How to reheat hot cocoa:

  • Stovetop – Reheat in a saucepan over low heat until warm, stirring frequently.
  • Slow Cooker – When serving at a party, we love to keep hot cocoa warm in a slow cooker on the low heat setting.

What to serve with Hot Chocolate:

Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

homemade hot chocolate in mugs with whipped cream

A rich and creamy homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe that is ready in minutes. Learn how to make real hot cocoa using staple kitchen ingredients.

Author: Valentina Ablaev

Skill Level:


Cost to Make:



hot chocolate, hot cocoa





Calories: 338 kcal

Servings: 4 people

  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cocoa powder. Add milk, chocolate chips, and vanilla and whisk together.

  2. Place over medium heat and bring it to a light boil while stirring constantly. Be sure the chocolate is fully melted and incorporated.

  3. Set aside to cool to your desired temperature and serve with your favorite toppings.

*For a richer and creamier hot chocolate, replace 1 cup of milk with 1 cup of heavy cream or half and half. 

Nutrition Facts

Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe

Amount Per Serving

Calories 338
Calories from Fat 153

% Daily Value*

Fat 17g26%

Saturated Fat 10g63%

Cholesterol 26mg9%

Sodium 108mg5%

Potassium 528mg15%

Carbohydrates 39g13%

Fiber 4g17%

Sugar 33g37%

Protein 10g20%

Vitamin A 395IU8%

Calcium 296mg30%

Iron 2mg11%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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