This easy crockpot hot chocolate is the best hot chocolate you’ll ever sip. It’s creamy, rich, and completely decadent. Make it in your slow cooker for easy hands-off cooking or on the stovetop if you’re running short on time.
I have a ton of hot chocolate recipes on the site, but today I’m sharing my family’s absolute favorite hot chocolate recipe with you. A friend shared this recipe with me when I was in college, and I’ve made it for my family on Christmas Eve every single year since.
We call it our Polar Express Hot Chocolate because it’s so extremely rich and creamy that it tastes just like the sort of thing you’d drink on a magical train on your way to Santa’s workshop.
Why make hot chocolate in a crockpot?
You don’t have to make this hot chocolate in a slow cooker. You can cook it on the stovetop and it will turn out just as well, but using a slow cooker means you can start your hot chocolate and mostly forget about it as it cooks.
Give it a stir once or twice an hour when you walk past the kitchen, but otherwise, no need to babysit it.
And during the holidays, when you’re running around or busy cooking other things, it’s nice to have something low-maintenance.
- Milk: Any percentage milk will work just fine in this recipe. I typically use whole milk.
Sweetened condensed milk: Instead of using sugar, this recipe uses condensed milk. If you don’t regularly buy sweetened condensed milk, you can usually find it in the baking aisle or near the coffee and tea aisle. It’s sold in cans, and be sure to double check to make sure you’ve grabbed sweetened condensed milk and not evaporated milk since they’re typically sold side by side.
- Semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate: All of the chocolate flavor for the hot chocolate comes from real chocolate (there’s no cocoa powder in this recipe) so be sure to use high-quality chocolate you enjoy the taste of. Chopped chocolate from a bar melts a little easier and nicer, but good-quality chips like Ghirardelli or Guittard will also work (and is what we usually use).
- Heavy cream: A generous amount of heavy cream is what makes this recipe so rich and creamy. I do not recommend trying to replace it with milk, though if you really want to make crockpot hot chocolate with no heavy cream, half and half would probably be okay. If you have leftover heavy cream, check out my post What to Do With Leftover Heavy Cream for ideas to use up the extras.
How to Make Crockpot Hot Chocolate
- Combine all ingredients in your crockpot. Cook on high for 2 hours or low for 3 to 4 hours, stirring occasionally.
- The hot chocolate is done when it is piping hot and chocolate is completely melted.
This recipe makes such a rich hot chocolate that it really doesn’t *need* any toppings. But toppings are fun, so feel free to load your glasses up with them. Try:
- Whipped cream
- Candy canes
- Shaved or chopped chocolate
- Chocolate sauce
- Warm milk (to cut the sweetness and richness)
Can I make this without condensed sweetened milk?
No. While you absolutely can make hot chocolate without sweetened condensed milk, you cannot make *this* hot chocolate without it. If you don’t have (or want to buy) any, try one of the other hot chocolate recipes on the site like my Rich and Thick Hot Chocolate.
How to store leftover hot chocolate?
Leftover hot chocolate stores very well. Transfer it to an airtight container like a mason jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 or 3 days.
You can reheat leftovers in the microwave or on the stovetop or drink it chilled.
Leftovers tip: My mom likes to pour leftover hot chocolate into her coffee on Christmas morning and make a homemade mocha.
What to serve with crockpot hot chocolate?
This recipe makes an extremely rich and sweet drink. At home, we always warm a couple cups of milk on the stove right before serving so people who like their hot chocolate a little less decadent can add more milk to theirs and cut the sweetness.
Otherwise, serve this alongside your favorite Christmas cookies. I recommend Chai Sugar Cookies with Eggnog Glaze, Snickerdoodles, and (small-batch) Snowball Cookies.
More Hot Chocolate Recipes
- Hot Chocolate (Classic)
- Pink Hot Chocolate
- White Hot Chocolate
- Chai White Hot Chocolate
- Baileys Hot Chocolate
- Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate
- Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate
- Frozen Hot Chocolate
The Best Crockpot Hot Chocolate
- 6 cups milk any percentage, plus more for serving*
- 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 cups (12oz) chopped semisweet chocolate, high-quality chips are fine
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Whipped cream
- Candy canes
- Combine all hot chocolate ingredients in the slow cooker and stir together.
- Cook on low for 3 to 4 hours or high for about 2 hours. Stir once 15 minutes after starting the hot chocolate and then again every 45 minutes or so.
- Hot chocolate is done when the chocolate is completely melted and mixture is steaming hot.
- Serve and enjoy!
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I wish I could give this recipe more than 5 stars! I served it to teenagers and their eyes said it all! Their comment was it was the best hot chocolate ever. I couldn’t agree more. I did make it in a pot on the stove, however. The left overs were just as good warmed up the next day.