Our Top 5 Favorite Hot Cocoa Recipes

 Picture this: you’re wrapped in a cozy red flannel blanket, snuggled into an overstuffed leather chair, and snow is gently falling outside the window nearby. The only thing that could make this setting better is a cup of delectable hot cocoa. We’ll let you find the blanket and chair (and allow mother nature to provide the snow), but we’ll provide the hot cocoa recipe.

Here are five of our favorite hot cocoa recipes. We’ve provided three traditional recipes, one cold recipe, and one “grown-up” recipe. This is the recipe to make holiday gift wrapping a little more enjoyable. 

The Best Hot Chocolate from Scratch by 15 Spatulas

Fifteen Spatulas hot cocoa recipe


It’s rich, it’s creamy, and the flavor is intense! One thing is for sure: Joanne of 15 Spatulas knows how to make a delicious cup of hot chocolate.

2 cups whole milk
2 tbsp sugar *
4 oz bittersweet chocolate chopped (just under 1 cup measured)
splash of vanilla extract optional
whipped cream optional
marshmallows optional

Combine milk and sugar in a small saucepan and place on the stovetop over medium heat.
While the milk is heating place the chopped chocolate in the microwave and heat for 30 seconds.

Take the chocolate out and stir it. Return to microwave and heat for another thirty seconds, remove and stir.

Continue to heat and stir the chocolate in 30-second intervals until just melted.

When the milk reaches the scalding point (180 degrees F, with bubbles on the side), turn off the heat and add the melted chocolate, whisking to combine.

Add the vanilla extract now, if desired. Top with whipped cream or marshmallows if using, and enjoy!

*If you use a sweeter chocolate such as semisweet or milk chocolate, you may want to reduce or eliminate the sugar altogether. You can always sweeten to taste at the end.

Recipe and photo credit: Fifteen Spatulas

If you'd prefer to watch Joanne walk you through the step-by-step process, then check out her video below.


The World’s Best Hot Chocolate by Ashlee Marie

hot cocoa recipe

It’s world famous! But we’ll let you decide whether Ashlee Marie’s hot cocoa is the best in the world.

1/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 C granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 C water
4 C whole milk
1 tsp vanilla

In a saucepan mix the dry ingredients.
Add the water and bring to a boil, keep boiling for one min.
Then add the milk.
Heat until it's the temp you like.
Take off the heat and add the vanilla, stir and serve

Recipe and photo credit: Ashlee Marie 

Perfect Hot Chocolate by Food 52

Food 52 hot cocoa recipe


If you’re a dark chocolate fan, this hot cocoa recipe is a must!


1 ounce semisweet or dark chocolate
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar (optional, to taste)
1 pinch salt

In a small saucepan, mix the chocolate, cocoa powder and 1/2 cup of the milk over low heat. Stir continuously until the chocolate is completely melted.

Add the rest of the milk and the salt. Stir, then allow to heat the rest of the way through.

Stir in sugar to taste. Pour into a mug and top with marshmallows or whipped cream, if desired.

Recipe and photo credit: Food 52

Frozen Hot Chocolate by Tastes Better from Scratch

Tastes Better from Scratch cold cocoa recipe


Maybe you find yourself in a warmer climate this time of year. If that’s the case, a cup of piping hot chocolate might not sound appealing. But don’t worry, we didn’t forget about you. Lauren’s Frozen Hot Chocolate provides the chocolaty goodness of hot cocoa without the heat.


4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, or milk chocolate (your favorite kind)
1 Tablespoon store-bought hot chocolate powder
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
3-4 cups Ice cubes
Whipped Cream for topping, optional


Chop the chocolate into small pieces and melt in the microwave on half power, stirring every 20 seconds.
Once melted, add hot chocolate powder and sugar, stirring until well blended. Slowly stir in 1/2 cup milk, stirring until smooth.

Cool to room temperature.
In a blender, add the remaining 1 cup milk, chocolate mixture and ice.

Blend well until smooth.

Taste and add more ice if you want it thicker, and another spoonful of hot chocolate mix if you'd like it sweeter.

Serve immediately, topped with sweetened whipped cream and chocolate curls, if desired.

Recipe and photo credit: Tastes Better from Scratch

 Grown-Up Hot Chocolate with Homemade Baileys Marshmallows by How Sweet Eats 

How Sweet Eats hot cocoa recipe


The kids are tucked away for the night and the living room is lit by the magical glow of the Christmas tree. It’s time to kick up your feet and turn on a holiday classic.

Make your silent night a little more festive with a cup of Grown-Up Hot Chocolate.


3 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups cream or half and half
1/4 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Special Dark)
4 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
4-6 ounces of marshmallow (or vanilla, cake, whipped cream) vodka


In a large bowl, mix together cocoa powder, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add milk and cream.

Bring to a simmer, stirring every few minutes.

Add 2-3 tablespoons of the milk to the cocoa and sugar, mixing thoroughly to create a paste.

Once the entire thing is wet, use a spatula to add it to the milk and turn the heat down to low. Whisk continuously until smooth (do not let it boil), then whisk in chopped chocolate and vanilla extract.

Remove from heat and whisk in vodka, or add to each glass right before serving. Top with marshmallows and whipped cream.

For the Bailey’s marshmallows, use this exact recipe for beer marshmallows, substituting Bailey’s for beer.

Recipe and photo credit: How Sweet Eats


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