The best homemade hot chocolate recipe is fast, simple, and decadent. This is the perfect drink to take the chill off of a cold day!
Fast and Simple Hot Chocolate Recipe
After a cold day of playing in the snow, the kids always ask for this homemade hot chocolate recipe! It’s super easy and fast to make, which is just what you need when you’re cold and need something to warm you up!
Simple Hot Chocolate Recipe Ingredients
- Heavy cream
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Milk chocolate chips
- Vanilla extract
For the exact amounts needed, please see the recipe card below.
How to make Homemade Hot Chocolate with Chocolate Chips
- Slowly heat the milk, cream, and chocolate chips together in a medium saucepan.
- Continuously mix until the chocolate chips are completely melted.
- Stir until the mixture is homogenous and heated through. There’s no need to boil the hot chocolate.
- Take your hot chocolate off the heat and add the vanilla extract.
- Serve your homemade hot chocolate in a mug and top with your favorite toppings!
How to heat milk for Hot Chocolate
Did you know you can burn milk if you’re not careful? The key is to heat it slowly and continuously stir. This ensures the milk doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan and scorch.
To heat milk for hot chocolate, you should:
- Use a medium heat setting on your stovetop.
- Pour the milk into a saucepan and add the other ingredients, like cream or chocolate chips – as shown in this hot cocoa recipe!
- Stir continuously to prevent the milk from sticking to the pan.
- Keep an eye on the temperature using a thermometer if you have one – you don’t want it to go above 160°F (71°C).
Hot Chocolate Toppings
There’s nothing better than a hot cup of homemade hot chocolate on a cold day. But why not make it even more indulgent by adding some toppings? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Whipped cream
- Mini marshmallows
- Caramel sauce
- Peppermint candy canes
- Chocolate shavings
- Marshmallow whip
- Crushed cookies – try Oreos or graham crackers for a fun twist!
It’s always best to use something like whipped cream to hold other toppings in place. And you don’t have to stick with just one topping – mix and match to create something out of this world amazing!
Tips for making Homemade Hot Chocolate with Chocolate Chips
- The trick to getting a smooth homemade hot chocolate recipe is to stir, stir, and stir some more. I like to bring the liquids and chocolate up to temperature together in the pan, I think this helps everything combine and smooth out.
- It’s also not necessary to boil your homemade hot chocolate. Just stir it consistently while it’s heating up and when the chocolate is completely melted and evenly dissolved and it’s as hot as you’d like it to be, you can remove it from the heat.
- This hot cocoa recipe is pretty rich, so if you’d like to tone that down a bit you can replace the cream with half and half or even use a little more milk or half and half to suit your taste. Usually, I stick an ice cube in the kid’s cups so it will cool down faster, which also knocks down the richness a little bit 🙂 .
- The last tip for this homemade hot chocolate recipe is the vanilla. It adds a little extra punch of flavor to the hot cocoa, but you can also switch it up and add different flavorings to suit your likes. We love a little bit of powdered cinnamon, or a drop of almond extract, even orange zest is delicious!
Just look at how much these cuties love their hot chocolate! They were patiently waiting while I took these pictures of their hot chocolate filled cups. Poor little Abram was sick when I took these photos, but he and Aspen kept begging me to snap their pictures in between shots of the homemade hot chocolate.
Their positive attitudes are always inspiring to me. He answered, “I’m doing good!” every single time I asked how he was feeling that day and at night when we talked about our “happy and sad” parts of the day, he said he didn’t have any sad parts. Cue all the tears!! What a little trooper. Being their mom is the best.
I hope you and your loved ones enjoy the best hot chocolate recipe as much as we do! Let me know in the comments if you have any particular treat you like in or with your hot chocolate. My kids love marshmallows but I’m a whipped cream gal myself.
Easy Homemade Hot Chocolate FAQs
Yes, but it’s a very small amount when compared to coffee or tea! Chocolate is made from cacao beans, which naturally contain caffeine. This means anything made with chocolate, like hot chocolate, will contain a small amount of caffeine.
But don’t worry, this small amount won’t keep you up all night. But if you’re sensitive to caffeine, try using chocolate with a lower percentage of cacao.
The perfect temperature for hot chocolate is between 140°F to 160°F (60°C to 71°C). This range is hot enough to warm you up but not enough to burn your tongue!
Hot chocolate can be made with either milk or water; it all depends on your personal preference. Milk will give the hot chocolate a creamier and richer texture, while water will make it lighter and less filling.
Although, I think most people will agree hot chocolate made with milk is the tastiest option!
Easy Hot Chocolate Recipe
- 3 cups milk whole milk works best
- 1 cup heavy cream see note
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips see note
- 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips see note
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a medium saucepan, slowly heat the milk, cream and chocolate chips.
- Stir consistently while heating, until the chocolate chips are melted and dissolved into the liquid.
- Stir until the mixture is homogenous and heated through. It isn’t necessary to boil the hot chocolate unless you need it that hot.
- Off of the heat, add the vanilla.
- Serve with your favorite toppings!