★★★★★

Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe

The best Homemade Hot Chocolate to warm you from head to toe! A dollop of peppermint whipped cream adds the finishing touch to the creamy hot cocoa.

If you love hot chocolate, take that same flavor and make a batch of Hot Cocoa Muddy Buddies. Such a fun treat!

Homemade hot cocoa in a mug with marshmallows.

Why Make Homemade Cocoa

The arrival of winter means one thing: hot chocolate!

This perfect homemade cocoa recipe beats the storebought mixes by a mile.

When it’s so easy to grab a packet of powdered mix from the supermarket, why bother making hot chocolate from scratch?

  • It tastes SO. MUCH. BETTER. Creamy and sweet with rich cocoa flavor from real chocolate, this cocoa recipe is worth the teensy bit of extra effort.
  • It’s simple to make and requires only a few ingredients. The difference in flavor between this cocoa and the watery stuff made from a packet is astounding.
  • Another benefit of homemade hot chocolate? You can adjust it to your liking! Once you learn how to make hot chocolate from scratch, you can adjust the amount of sugar or cocoa to your taste.

Top your hot cocoa with whipped cream or mini marshmallows for a delicious treat!

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed for homemade hot chocolate.
  • Sweetened condensed milk. This is the secret for the ultimate creamy hot cocoa.
  • Vanilla extract. Store bought is great and Homemade Vanilla Extract is even better.
  • Milk. The higher fat content of milk you use, results in a creamier cocoa. Whole milk would be delicious, 2% is amazing…it gets less creamy the lower fat you choose.
  • Cocoa Powder. Choose your favorite UNSWEETENED cocoa powder for this hot chocolate recipe.

Easy Instructions

First, make the frozen whipped cream.

Use my frozen whipped cream recipe to make delicious toppings for your hot cocoa! Or use homemade whipped cream or mini marshmallows to top your hot chocolate.

Step by step photos showing how to make homemade hot chocolate.

Make the hot cocoa.

Whisk the condensed milk and cocoa powder in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in the salt, whole milk and vanilla.

Whisk in water and continue heating until thoroughly warmed. Be careful not to let the mixture boil.

Serving.

Pour the hot cocoa into mugs. Use round cookie cutter to slice the frozen whipped cream into pieces.

Top each mug of cocoa with the frozen peppermint whipped cream and enjoy!

The whipped cream will melt into the cocoa as you sip, for an amazing contrast of warm and cool flavors and temperatures.

Homemade hot cocoa in saucepan with a ladle for serving.

Tips and Tricks

  • To keep the cocoa warm, transfer it to a slow cooker. Leave it on the “keep warm” setting until ready to serve. This is a great idea for serving at parties!
  • Substitute vanilla extract for the peppermint to make a classic vanilla whipped cream if you prefer.
  • Be careful to NOT let the cocoa come to a boil. Keep an eye on it as you whisk and adjust the heat lower as needed.
Homemade hot cocoa in a ceramic mug topped with whipped cream.

Recipe FAQs

What kind of cocoa powder is best for hot chocolate?

Any unsweetened cocoa powder will work. I use regular Dutch processed cocoa (the same kind I use for baking). Do not use the powders labeled “drinking chocolate” as those are usually sweetened.

Can you use evaporated milk instead of condensed milk in this cocoa?

No, evaporated milk should not be used. Condensed milk contains added sugars boiled into the milk, which is necessary for this hot chocolate recipe.

Why do you freeze the whipped cream?

Freezing the whipped cream adds a lovely dimension to the hot cocoa. It will melt more slowly into the hot chocolate than regular whipped cream, so the creamy peppermint flavor seeps into every sip.

Hot chocolate with whipped cream in a ceramic white mug.

More Chocolate Recipes

Yield: 8 servings

Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Chill Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes

Rich homemade hot chocolate with a sweet peppermint whipped cream topping!

Ingredients

For the Cocoa:

  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 6 cup water

Instructions

  1. For the hot cocoa, whisk together the condensed milk and cocoa powder over medium heat.
  2. Slowly whisk in the vanilla, salt and whole milk. Heat until warm, but do not boil.
  3. Whisk in water and continue to heat over medium heat until desired temperature. DO NOT BOIL.
  4. When ready to serve, pour cocoa in a mug with a couple dollops of whipped cream or mini marshmallows. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Keep your hot chocolate warm in the slow cooker on low or warm setting.
  • What kind of cocoa powder is best for hot chocolate? Any unsweetened cocoa powder will work. I use regular Dutch processed cocoa (the same kind I use for baking). Do not use the powders labeled "drinking chocolate" as those are usually sweetened.
  • Can you use evaporated milk instead of condensed milk in this cocoa? No, evaporated milk should not be used. Condensed milk contains added sugars boiled into the milk, which is necessary for this hot chocolate recipe.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 257Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 178mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 1gSugar: 38gProtein: 7g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Say goodbye to powdered hot cocoa mixes and hello to the best cocoa you’ve ever tasted! This Homemade Hot Chocolate recipe with peppermint whipped cream is simply unbeatable.

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on February 5, 2021

Comments & Reviews

  1. Oh my goodness! My kids are definitely going to love this recipe! I can’t wait to give this a try especially since we’ve been getting snow here!

  2. THIS….genius idea!…I’m already thinking of making coffee drinks with cut-out whipped-cream shapes using a bit of cinnamon & almond extract (or Amaretto)…or nutmeg & Frangelico…Thanks for such an amazing tip on what to do with left-over whipped cream!

  3. Oh My this sounds absolutely delicious!!! Definitely bookmarking this recipe and when I move back to freezing Utah in March I am so making this!!!

  4. Great idea. Cold weather is supposed to hit us later this week. Right now it’s 65 degrees though. Anyway, I found your blog last week, and have been stalking it mercilessly for recipes. Thank you. Great blog.

  5. I love the idea of cutting out the frozen shapes. Thanks for the inspiration! I started a link party at my blog and I’d love for you to link this up. If you’re interested it’s http://caribbeanmissionarywife.blogspot.com/ Have a lovely day, Maria

  6. Goodness, how cute is this!! Not to mention yummy! I love the heart whipped cream idea SO much, too. 🙂
    Blessings,
    Leslie

  7. I have never made hot chocolate from scratch either, but I should. I normally stick to my Swiss Miss, it’s quick easy and oh so good!

  8. I would love to have a bag full of frozen whipped yumminess lurking in my freezer!!! What a fun treat to prepare while the kids are outside playing in the snow!!!

  9. Oh yum. That looks terrific! I would definitely add the peppermint too! Come visit. We have a wonderful chili recipe today!

  10. I’ve been seeing tutorials for this frozen whipped cream around the Internet, but have yet to try it for myself. I love your peppermint version!

  11. Frozen whipped cream is such a cool idea 🙂 For myself, I would omit the peppermint, bu this sounds fantastic otherwise! 🙂

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