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Homemade Hot Chocolate

December 19, 2022

Homemade hot chocolate is a warm hug in a mug. Gather around the people you love most and get out the marshmallows and whip cream for a real chocolatey treat.


2 mugs of homemade hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and chocolate chips served with marshmallows
Photography by Gayle McLeod

Grab a Mug, The Hot Chocolate Is Ready!

This winter, we encourage you to give our homemade hot chocolate recipe a try because it beats the store bought hot chocolate mix in any taste test. It’s extra creamy, and is mug- and marshmallow-ready in less than ten minutes. Don’t wait for National Hot Chocolate Day to make this simple hot chocolate recipe. Next time the temperature dips and cheeks are rosy, be ready with a mug of the best hot chocolate.

whole milk, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla, semi-sweet chocolate chips, whipped cream and marshmallows in bowls

Choose Your Own Hot Chocolate Adventure

There’s so many ways to customize this homemade hot chocolate. If you want to add richness, you can add ½ & ½ or heavy cream. If you prefer your hot cocoa less sweet, cut back on the sugar or substitute dark chocolate chips. If you want to add flavor, sprinkle in peppermint extract, cinnamon, or cayenne. Pour in some espresso, or go for a spiked and boozy hot chocolate with our Spiked Hot Chocolate recipe. You can also make this vegan hot chocolate (or Dairy free hot chocolate) by using vegan milk and dairy free chocolate chips. Any way you make it, we definitely encourage you to top your concoction with crushed candy cane for extra spirit!

homemade hot chocolate in a small pot made with whole milk, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla and semi-sweet chocolate chips

How To Make Hot Chocolate

You were disappointed the last time you opened a packet of premade hot chocolate and were left wondering how do you make simple hot chocolate? We’ve got your creamy homemade hot chocolate recipe covered. An important starting place is the foundation–and in the “Is hot chocolate with milk or water?” conversation, we heavily land in the make it with milk territory (whole milk is our preferred milk, but you can use ½ & ½, heavy cream, or vegan milk). Once you’ve chosen your milk, you’ll combine it with sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and vanilla in a small saucepan and gently heat it until everything is dissolved. Add the chocolate chips and whisk until super rich and melty, about two minutes more. Pour into mugs and add your favorite toppings.

homemade hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and chocolate chips served with marshmallows

Tools You’ll Need

Wrap Your Hands Around A Warm Mug

We’ve got gallons of hot beverage ideas for you to try this season, so get out your favorite mug, and make these recipes!

2 mugs of homemade hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and chocolate chips served with marshmallows

Whipped Cream For Everyone!

Sometimes we make this homemade hot chocolate just for the whipped cream! If you’re like us, snap a picture of your whipped cream topped mugs and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Cheers!

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Homemade Hot Chocolate

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time:  5 min
  • Cook Time:  10 min
  • Calories: 273


  • 4 cups whole milk
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus more for serving
  • Whipped cream, for serving (optional)
  • Marshmallows, for serving (optional)


  1. Combine the milk, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and vanilla in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking, until sugar and salt are dissolved, about 5 minutes. Be careful to not let the milk come to a boil.

  2. Whisk in the chocolate chips until melted and fully incorporated, about 2 minutes.

  3. Divide the hot chocolate between mugs. Top with whipped cream or marshmallows, if using, and remaining chocolate chips (chopping first).

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories273
  • Protein10 g
  • Carbohydrates35 g
  • Total Fat11 g
  • Dietary Fiber3 g
  • Cholesterol24 mg
  • sodium341 mg
  • Total Sugars32 g

Homemade Hot Chocolate

Questions & Reviews

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    Any questions?

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  • Jenn

    This is THE BEST hot chocolate. My kids asked if they can have it everyday!

    YAY! Happy to hear that, thanks Jenn!