Creamy Homemade Hot Cocoa


A hot chocolate recipe that's old-fashioned and comforting. It makes the kitchen smell wonderful and it's good for the soul.

Prep Time:
5 mins
Cook Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
10 mins

Cozy up with a hot mug of hot chocolate this winter. This hot chocolate recipe is incredibly rich, creamy, and oh-so satisfying.

a high angle view on three clear mugs of creamy homemade hot cocoa each topped with mini marshmallows.

Allrecipes/Preethi Venkatram

How to Make Hot Chocolate

You'll find a detailed ingredient list and step-by-step instructions in the recipe below, but let's go over the basics:

Hot Chocolate Ingredients

These are the simple ingredients you'll need to make the best hot chocolate of your entire life:

· Sugar and cocoa powder: This sweet and creamy hot cocoa starts with white sugar and unsweetened cocoa powder.
· Salt: A pinch of salt enhances the chocolatey flavor, but it won't make your hot cocoa taste salty.
· Water: Pour boiling water over the sugar, cocoa powder, and salt.
· Milk: You can use whole, 2 percent, or the alternative milk of your choice.
· Vanilla: A dash of vanilla takes the decadent flavor over the top.
· Half-and-half: Half-and-half is added after the hot chocolate is poured into the mugs, creating a rich texture and cooling the cocoa to a drinkable temperature.

How to Make Homemade Hot Chocolate

Here's a very brief overview of what you can expect when you make homemade hot chocolate:

1. Put the dry ingredients in a pan, then whisk in the boiling water.
2. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, for two minutes.
3. Stir in the milk, remove from the heat, and stir in the vanilla.
4. Pour the hot cocoa into mugs and finish with half-and-half.

Does Hot Chocolate Have Caffeine?

Hot chocolate contains a small amount of caffeine because chocolate is slightly caffeinated. However, it has much less caffeine than coffee, sodas, and many teas. Unless you are very sensitive to caffeine, hot cocoa is unlikely to keep you up at night.

How to Serve Hot Chocolate

This creamy hot chocolate is decadent enough to sip as-is. You can take it up a notch with traditional toppings like marshmallows, homemade whipped cream, or a drizzle of chocolate sauce. For a festive twist and subtle minty flavor, garnish each mug of hot cocoa with a candy cane. Adults may appreciate a shot of Irish cream, amaretto, or peppermint vodka.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"The perfect amount of richness and it would be so easy to double the recipe for more people," according to Danielle K. "I topped mine with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. My kids love marshmallows. Make it your own!"

"Most AMAZING hot cocoa I've ever had," raves Becky. "I substituted half-and-half with a shot of Irish Cream."

"Seriously LOVE this recipe," says Oddessa Shanell Martin. "Good until the very last drop. Kids love it. We add mini marshmallows before we fill our cups and I add whipped cream and sprinkle cinnamon on top."

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams


  • ¾ cup white sugar

  • cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 pinch salt

  • cup boiling water

  • 3 ½ cups milk

  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ½ cup half-and-half cream


  1. Combine sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a saucepan. Add boiling water and whisk until smooth. Bring mixture to a simmer, stirring continuously to prevent scorching, and cook for 2 minutes.

    a top down view of sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a small saucepan.

    Allrecipes/Preethi Venkatram

    a top down view of sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a small saucepan coming to a boil while being stirred.

    Allrecipes/Preethi Venkatram

  2. Stir in milk and heat until very hot without boiling.

    a top down view of milk being whisked into warm chocolate mixture in a small saucepan.

    Allrecipes/Preethi Venkatram

  3. Remove from heat; add vanilla.

    an into view of a small sauce pan of chocolate and milk, off the heat, with vanilla being added in.

    Allrecipes/Preethi Venkatram

  4. Add cream to each mug to help cool cocoa to drinking temperature then divide hot cocoa between 4 mugs.

    a high angle view of 3 clear glass mugs having cold cream poured into them.

    Allrecipes/Preethi Venkatram

    a high angle view of creamy homemade hot cocoa in glass mugs and topped with mini marshmallows.

    Allrecipes/Preethi Venkatram

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

310 Calories
9g Fat
53g Carbs
9g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 310
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g 11%
Saturated Fat 5g 27%
Cholesterol 28mg 9%
Sodium 102mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 53g 19%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Total Sugars 48g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 1mg 4%
Calcium 292mg 22%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 471mg 10%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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