This easy homemade hot chocolate is the perfect treat to end your year with! It’s so rich and creamy, you won’t want it any other way!

Looking for more amazing holiday drinks? You’ve got to try white chocolate, pumpkin pie, and cookies, and cream hot chocolate recipes!

Hot chocolate in a large pot being scooped up with a ladle.

Classic Hot Chocolate Recipe

The weather has been so cold in Utah! We even had a snow squall a few days ago. I had no idea what a ‘squall’ even was! It has been blistering cold and windy which makes making homemade hot chocolate a no-brainer. There’s nothing better than coming home and relaxing with a warm cup of chocolatey goodness. I like my hot chocolate to err on the side of milky and creamy. I’m not the biggest fan of overpowering chocolate flavor, but the great thing about this recipe is you can adjust to taste!

In this recipe, I use a mix of milk, sugar, vanilla, cocoa powder, and milk chocolate chips. It’s nice and simple! If you’re looking for a deeper chocolate flavor, you can swap out the milk chocolate chips for dark chocolate! No matter what kind of chocolate you use, you’re going to love how rich and creamy this recipe is. It’s a holiday staple for sure! You can even top your hot chocolate off with homemade marshmallows for more mouthwatering flavor! It’s the perfect combination to get you through these lower temperatures.

Ingredients for Homemade Hot Chocolate

5 super simple ingredients are all you need to make the best hot chocolate ever! This recipe is easy to customize, so I’ve got you covered on substitutes you can use as well! All measurements can be found in the recipe card at the end of the post.

  • Milk: Use your favorite kind here! 2%, whole, half & half, almond, soy, any milk or nut milk works. Just keep in mind that the higher the fat content is, the creamier your homemade hot chocolate will be.
  • Cocoa Powder: I like using Dutch process hot cocoa for a smoother chocolate flavor.
  • Granulated Sugar: A little white sugar is all you need to sweeten up your hot chocolate!
  • Milk Chocolate Chips: I add milk chocolate chips because I love the creaminess they add, but feel free to swap these out for dark or white chocolate chips instead.
  • Vanilla Extract: Vanilla helps to give your hot chocolate more delicious flavor. It’s subtle, but makes all the difference in how it tastes!

Making Your Hot Chocolate

Making hot chocolate from scratch is just as easy as making it from a premade mix! The only difference is, homemade hot chocolate is a million times more creamy and indulgent! Your family is going to go crazy over it this winter.

  1. Combine Ingredients: In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, combine the milk, cocoa powder, granulated sugar, and milk chocolate chips. Whisk to combine.
  2. Whisk: As the mixture heats up, continue to whisk until the chocolate chips melt. Heat for about 5 minutes, or until it reaches a desired temperature.
  3. Add Vanilla and Toppings: Remove from heat, and whisk in the vanilla. Serve immediately, and top with your favorite hot chocolate toppings!
A cup of hot chocolate with 2 marshmallows on top.

Tips and Variations

Toppings and flavor additions are what make hot chocolate great! Here are some of my favorite tips to help you make that perfect cup of creamy goodness. You’ll love how your homemade hot chocolate turns out!

  • Syrups: For double-chocolate, add a little homemade chocolate sauce to your drink. You can also add salted caramel sauce for some sweet and savory flavor!
  • Make it Minty: For mint hot chocolate, add a little peppermint extract or even melt down Andes chocolates into your batch.
  • Spices: For a flavor fit for the holidays, add in a little pumpkin pie spice to your hot chocolate! The cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger gives it a cookie-like flavor. You can also add cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne for Mexican hot chocolate!

Storing Leftover Hot Chocolate

Now that you’ve made the best batch of homemade hot chocolate, here’s how to store and enjoy it later!

  • In the Refrigerator: Once your hot chocolate has cooled, you can keep it in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  • Reheating: I recommend reheating your hot chocolate over the stove since you have a little more control over the temperature than if it’s in the microwave. Only heat it until it’s warmed through- don’t let it boil! You don’t want your milk to burn.

Holding a white mug filled with hot chocolate and marshmallows.

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