This easy hot chocolate recipe is made with just three simple ingredients. It’s quick and delicious, perfect for those times when you need some hot chocolate NOW.
Have a craving for hot chocolate but don’t have any hot cocoa mix in your cupboard? No worries, I’ve got you covered.
If you have milk in your fridge and cocoa powder and sugar in your baking cupboard, you can make and be sipping a creamy, fabulous cup of hot cocoa in about 5 minutes.
- Milk: Any milk can be used here (plant-based works just fine). The higher fat the milk, the richer your hot chocolate will be. For an extra rich and creamy drink, try substituting half and half or heavy cream for some of the milk.
- Cocoa powder: Both natural and Dutch-process cocoa powder will work for this recipe, but Dutch-process cocoa powder is considered the gold standard for hot chocolate.
How to Make Hot Chocolate
To make hot chocolate on the stovetop, whisk together cocoa powder, sugar, and a bit of water over medium heat to make a chocolate syrup and then whisk in milk and a pinch of salt and heat until steaming.
To make hot chocolate in the microwave, combine cocoa powder, sugar, and water in a mug, microwave for 30 seconds, stir until smooth and then add milk. Microwave 1 to 1 ½ minutes, until steaming, and stir until mixed.
Want a little hot chocolate upgrade? Try…
- Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate: Stir a spoonful of peanut butter into your hot chocolate and top with peanut butter sauce.
- Richer/Creamier Hot Chocolate: Use whole milk or replace ¼ cup of the milk with heavy cream.
- Baileys Hot Chocolate: Replace ¼ cup of the milk with Baileys Irish liqueur.
- Extra Chocolaty Hot Chocolate: Toss in a small handful of chocolate chips or chopped chocolate to melt just before adding the milk.
- Peppermint Hot Chocolate: Crush a candy cane and add it to your hot chocolate when you add the milk.
Can I make a big batch of this?
Yes! As written, this is a hot chocolate recipe for one, but you can scale up the recipe with no preparation changes needed. To change the yield, in the recipe card below, hover over the serving size or click if you’re on mobile, and slide the slider.
What are the best hot chocolate toppings?
Whipped cream and marshmallows are obviously the classic hot chocolate toppings, but you can also add:
- Crushed candy cane
- Chocolate shavings
- A scoop of vanilla ice cream (seriously, so good)
- Fudge sauce or Nutella sauce
- Chopped up candy (like M&Ms and peanut butter cups)
How can I make spiked hot chocolate?
Spiked hot chocolate is really easy to make. Just make your cup of hot chocolate and then add the alcohol of your choice to taste (usually 1 to 2 ounces/2 tablespoons to ¼ cup).
Baileys and other Irish cream liqueurs are my favorite, but other good spiking options are:
- Kahlua and other coffee liqueurs
- Flavored vodkas like marshmallow or whipped cream
- Peppermint schnapps
More Hot Chocolate Recipes to Try
- Rich and Thick Hot Chocolate
- Pink Hot Chocolate
- White Hot Chocolate
- Chai White Hot Chocolate
- Frozen Hot Chocolate
This recipe makes 1 cup of hot chocolate, enough to fill an 8-ounce mug. To fill an oversized mug, 1 ½ or double the recipe.
Easy Hot Chocolate for One
- 2 tablespoons (25g) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon (7g) cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 cup milk any percentage
- Pinch of salt
- Whipped cream optional for topping
- Mini marshmallows optional for topping
- In a small saucepan, over medium heat, combine sugar, cocoa powder, and water. Stir until sugar and cocoa powder dissolve.
- Add milk and salt and stir. Heat until the mixture reaches your desired temperature, stirring occasionally.
- Pour into an 8-ounce mug and top with optional whipped cream or marshmallows if desired. Enjoy!
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