When the weather outside is frightful.

By Vanessa Greaves

Mmm chocolate!

Warm up from the inside out with a delicious cup of homemade hot chocolate — the perfect antidote to cold weather. We'll share 18 of our favorite hot chocolate recipes, from simple hot chocolate and spicy hot chocolate to vegan hot chocolate and instant hot chocolate mixes.


Did You Know?

"Food of the gods" is also the literal translation of chocolate's scientific name: Theobroma cacao. Unsweetened chocolate lives up to the translation of its Aztec name, xocolatl, which means "bitter water." That's why you have to add a little sugar to the mix if you're making hot chocolate with unsweetened cocoa powder. #themoreyouknow

Easy, Simple Hot Chocolate

Let's start with the basics. You probably already have the ingredients for these easy hot chocolate recipes in your pantry. Go check!

1. Creamy Hot Cocoa

"Yummy! I made this while we had friends visiting. It was the perfect beverage to get the cold edge off. Very rich, but that's the way I like it!" — Innadired

2. Hot Chocolate

"Hot chocolate made from scratch in the microwave," says recipe creator Steph. "If your kids can use the microwave, they can make this recipe!"


3. Quick Hot Chocolate

No cocoa in the house? How about unsweetened baking chocolate? Just melt it into hot milk and sugar.

Deb C

Hot and Spicy Hot Chocolate

A little extra kick from a pinch of chili powder or cayenne gives these hot chocolate recipes a warmth that keeps on warming.

4. Authentic Mexican Hot Chocolate with Chile

Recipe creator Crema says, "To make this authentic Mexican hot chocolate, you need Mexican hot chocolate tablets or squares which gives it its unique taste. Eat the chile only if you can handle it!"

Buckwheat Queen

5. Easy Mexican Hot Chocolate

Just add cinnamon and chili powder to instant hot chocolate mix, pour in milk and boiling water, and give it a stir.

Buckwheat Queen

Globe-Trotting Hot Chocolate

Give your hot chocolate a taste of far off lands with unexpected flavors.

6. White Hot Chocolate with Cardamom

"If you like Indian-style desserts, you'll love this white hot chocolate!" says recipe creator chefbabz. "Very rich, very yummy!"

Buckwheat Queen

7. Champurrado

This traditional Mexican hot chocolate is flavored with cinnamon, cloves, star anise, Mexican chocolate, Mexican brown sugar (piloncillo), and maize flour.


8. Cioccolata Calda (Hot Chocolate Italian-Style)

"Hot chocolate Italian-style is one of the most amazing treats in the world!" says nikwik. "You have to try this pudding-like chocolate decadence! Add some Irish cream, cinnamon, and whipped cream for a fun variation, or create your own!"

Buckwheat Queen

9. Hawaiian Hot Chocolate

"I created this drink from the memories of a trip to Hawaii, where I met my (now) husband," says recipe creator L Mac. "Surprisingly, it does get chilly in Hawaii, especially at night and in cold, rainy regions. This is a different take on the usual cold and frozen Hawaiian libations."


Holiday Hot Chocolate

Just the holly jolly warm-ups you need for tree-trimming parties, cookie swap parties, and all the festive get-togethers of the season.

10. Candy Cane Cocoa

A double dose of peppermint brings the cheer to this top-rated hot chocolate recipe.

Buckwheat Queen

11. Snow Flake Cocoa

Use your slow cooker to keep a batch of this white hot chocolate nice and warm for your Christmas party.


Evie stevie

Minty Eggnog Hot Chocolate

Eggnog, milk, and chocolate mints go into this cup of holiday cheer.


Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate

Use plant-based milks to make these satisfying cold weather beverages. Just a note: Sugar is not a vegan ingredient unless the label specifies it as vegan. You can use alternative vegan sweeteners such as agave syrup and maple syrup.

13. Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate

Rice milk, vegan chocolate chips, and a touch of vanilla extract get warmed up together to make a satisfying vegan hot chocolate.

Buckwheat Queen

14. Delicious Vegan Hot Chocolate

"Whoa Nelly!" says littlechristine. "Being a self-proclaimed hot chocolate expert, I have to say that this recipe is top-notch. With or without the cayenne pepper, my roommates and I loved this. It's rich, frothy, and very decadent."

Ronald Crabtree

15. Coconut Milk Hot Chocolate

"This delicious vegan hot chocolate is made with coconut milk and dark chocolate and a pinch of curry," says recipe creator Crema. "Plus sugar of course, but you can use other sweeteners as well."

Buckwheat Queen

Hot Chocolate Mixes

Store the dry ingredients in a jar and just add hot water when you're ready, and you'll have hot chocolate at a moment's notice. Jars of cocoa mix make perfect homemade food gifts, too.

16. Homemade Instant Hot Chocolate Mix

"Hot chocolate mix takes just seconds to make, and you may already have everything you need in the pantry," says Chef John. "Just make sure one of those things is a very high quality cocoa powder."

17. Hot Cocoa Mix

Earla Taylor says, "I make this at the beginning of the cold weather, and have it ready all winter. Vary the flavor of your mix by trying flavored nondairy creamer; I like the cinnamon."

My Hot Southern Mess

18. Homemade White Hot Chocolate Mix

"This homemade white hot chocolate mix is creamy, rich, and delicious." — Dana

My Hot Southern Mess


Find more recipes for rich, delicious hot chocolate.