Spanish-Style Hot Chocolate


This rich and decadent version of hot chocolate has a silky texture and hint of spice from the garnish of cayenne pepper.

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

Spanish-Style Hot Chocolate – Thinner to Winner


The first time I made Spanish-Style hot chocolate, I made the mistake of using an authentic recipe, and didn’t love the experience. If I’d been craving some type of warm, drinkable chocolate pudding, it would have been amazing, but when I want to savor and sip a cup of “hot chocolate,” I don’t want to have to work that hard to swallow.


So, I cut down on the cornstarch, and used a little less chocolate, and eventually came up with what I think is a perfect formula. This is just thick enough to be decadent, and intensely chocolaty without being overwhelming. Your results may vary. You might enjoy yours thicker, or thinner, so experimentation is always welcomed. If you do want to use this as a dip for churros or toasted bread, then simply double the starch, and up the chocolate to taste.


I love dark, bittersweet chocolate for this, but I know that’s not everyone’s thing, so obviously use what you like. But, just be sure to reduce the sugar accordingly, otherwise it’s easy to make this too sweet. Lastly, be sure to serve this piping hot the second the chocolate melts in, and in warm cups, if at all possible. If you’re a chocolate lover, this is a very special treat, and I really do hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy!


  • 4 ounces dark chocolate (70% cacao), broken or cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 2 1/4 cups whole milk

  • 2 teaspoons white sugar, or to taste

  • 1 pinch of salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

  • cayenne pepper to garnish top


  1. Break up chocolate into small pieces and set aside.

  2. Add milk, sugar, salt, and cornstarch to a saucepan, and whisk thoroughly.

  3. Place over medium to medium-high heat, and cook stirring until the milk just starts to simmer.

  4. Remove milk from heat, and quickly whisk in chocolate until completely melted and emulsified.

  5. Spanish hot chocolate in cup with toasted bread in the background

    Chef John

    Serve immediately in hot cups, garnished with a pinch of cayenne on top if desired.

Cook's Notes:

This is the thinner, drinkable version of Spanish-Style Hot Chocolate. For the thicker, richer version, used for dipping churros, increase the cornstarch from 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon, and increase the chocolate amount from 4 ounces to 6 ounces.

If semi-sweet chocolate is used instead of dark, bittersweet chocolate, the white sugar amount may need to be reduced, according to taste.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

216 Calories
14g Fat
18g Carbs
4g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 216
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 7mg 2%
Sodium 65mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 7%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 90mg 7%
Iron 3mg 19%
Potassium 286mg 6%

* 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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