Salted caramel hot chocolate is a delicious twist on classic hot chocolate. Make it with just a handful of ingredients on the stovetop or in the microwave.
I have a ton of hot chocolate recipes on the site, classic hot chocolate, rich and thick hot chocolate, white hot chocolate, but this is the hot chocolate I’ve been making the most this year.
Salted caramel and chocolate are just such a perfect pair, and when you mix them together in the form of a piping hot cup of salted caramel hot cocoa, it’s irresistibly good.
- Cocoa powder, sugar, and water: The hot chocolate base is a homemade syrup of cocoa powder, a little sugar, and water. Feel free to use natural or Dutched cocoa powder depending on your personal preference.
- Salted caramel sauce: Either store-bought or homemade sauce will work great here. If using regular caramel sauce, add a generous pinch of salt to the mix for that salted caramel flavor.
Milk: Use whatever milk you have on hand, including non-dairy milks. The higher fat the milk, the richer and creamier your drink will be. For an extra rich drink, replace some of the milk with half and half or heavy cream.
How to Make a Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate
- Chocolate sauce: Stir together cocoa powder, sugar, and water over medium heat in a small pot until smooth.
- Caramel sauce: Stir in caramel sauce until completely incorporated into the chocolate sauce.
- Heat milk: Add milk and heat until piping hot. Don’t let the mixture come to a boil as this can cause the milk to curdle.
- Enjoy: Pour into a mug, top with toppings, and enjoy!
Does this taste like Starbucks’ Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate?
While not an exact replica of the Starbucks drink, if you’re craving their salted caramel hot chocolate, this will definitely satisfy those cravings.
I don’t have caramel sauce. What can I use instead?
The bad news is that you need caramel sauce or syrup to make this drink. The good news is that you can buy premade caramel sauce at almost every grocery store OR you can make it yourself with just a few ingredients. Use my shortcut caramel sauce if you’re in a hurry or give the real thing a try.
Can I double this recipe?
Yes! Double or triple this recipe with no preparation changes needed. To double the recipe ingredients, hover over the serving size in the recipe card below or click if you’re on mobile, and slide the slider.
Can I make this with coffee?
Sure. Make a salted caramel mocha by replacing 1/2 cup of the milk with hot coffee. (It’s so good!!)
Can I make this hot chocolate in the microwave?
Yes. To make your hot chocolate in the microwave, combine cocoa powder, sugar, and water in a mug and stir until smooth. Microwave for 15 seconds and stir, making sure the everything is completely mixed.
Stir in caramel sauce until smooth. Stir in milk and microwave until steaming hot, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Stir once more to make sure everything is well mixed. Top with toppings and enjoy!
More Hot Chocolate Recipes
More Starbucks Copycat Recipes
A Note on Serving Size
This recipe makes one cup of hot chocolate, enough to fill an 8-ounce mug. If you’d like to fill an oversized mug, 1 1/2 or double the recipe.
Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate
- 2 teaspoons (8g) granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon (3g) cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 heaping tablespoon salted caramel sauce * plus optional more for topping
- 1 cup milk any percentage
- Marshmallows optional for topping
- Whipped cream optional for topping
- In a small saucepan, stir together sugar and cocoa powder. Add water and heat over medium heat, stirring continuously until well-combined and smooth.
- Stir in caramel sauce followed by milk. Heat, stirring often, until milk is steaming hot. Do not let your hot chocolate come to a boil.
- Pour into an 8-ounce mug, top with whipped cream or marshmallows and optional extra caramel sauce, and enjoy!
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