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.
Table of Contents
Why Make Homemade Cocoa
The arrival of winter means one thing: hot chocolate!
This perfect homemade cocoa recipe beats the store bought 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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 a peppermint marshmallow or whipped cream.
- The whipped cream will melt into the cocoa as you sip, for an amazing contrast of warm and cool flavors and temperatures.
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.
- Try our Instant Pot Hot Chocolate recipe next! Same rich and creamy taste!
- Serve with homemade marshmallows for a decadent treat.
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.
No, evaporated milk should not be used. Condensed milk contains added sugars boiled into the milk, which is necessary for this hot chocolate recipe.
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.
More Chocolate Recipes
- Hot Cocoa Bombs
- Birthday Hot Chocolate Bombs
- Chocolate Eclair Cake
- No Bake Chocolate Cookies
- Rocky Road Fudge
- Brownie Recipe
Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe
For the Cocoa:
- 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup whole milk
- 6 cups water
- For the hot cocoa, whisk together the condensed milk and cocoa powder over medium heat.
- Slowly whisk in the vanilla, salt and whole milk. Heat until warm, but do not boil.
- Whisk in water and continue to heat over medium heat until desired temperature. DO NOT BOIL.
- When ready to serve, pour cocoa in a mug with a couple dollops of whipped cream or mini marshmallows. Enjoy!
- 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.
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.