This 3 ingredient homemade hot chocolate tastes even better than the store bought powder, but costs just a fraction of the price. Make it on a cold winter day, or just because! And for an extra special treat, top with whipped cream or marshmallows!
Hot chocolate is the hallmark of winter in my house. I love curling up with a cup and sitting by the fire during a cold winter evening. It’s also a great way to warm up after a chilly afternoon playing in the snow.
Wrapping my hands around that warm mug reminds me of my own childhood, and now that I have kids of my own hot cocoa has become something special we can share together.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. With so many variations of hot chocolate powder out there, you’re probably wondering why you’d make a homemade version at all.
Let me tell you, it’s worth it.
Have you ever had a fancy mug of hot chocolate at a nice restaurant or chocolatier? Even if you haven’t, this hot cocoa recipe is still the closest thing you can get to that at home.
My simple hot chocolate mix is one that you can use anytime. It’s similar to the powders, and super easy to make at home. It’s also a lot cheaper than store bought mixes!
If you haven’t made homemade hot chocolate, you just have to try it at least once.
It actually reminds me of the Polar Express hot chocolate recipe that they talk about in the movie. This recipe is as close as you can get to “as thick as melted chocolate bars”. Yum!
For simple hot cocoa, you only three ingredients: cocoa powder, sugar, and milk. I prefer whole milk for this recipe but you can use any milk.
How to Make Simple Homemade Hot Cocoa – Step by Step
Whisk together the cocoa powder and sugar together in a medium saucepan. Then add in 1 cup of milk. Heat the mixture on low, stirring constantly until the milk is incorporated.
Then add in the other 3 cups of milk and heat until it reaches the desired temperature. Don’t let it boil!
Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream, crushed candy canes, or sprinkles.
Watch your cooking temperature. Careful not to burn your hot chocolate to the pot. You also don’t want to scald the milk for this recipe, so be careful of your cooking temperature.
Extra special topping. Freeze whipped cream into holiday shapes or in pretty little dollops with sprinkles on them. When placed on the hot chocolate, they hold their form for a bit before dissolving into the liquid. Whipped cream also adds to the creamy flavor!
Fun additions. I love is a small candy cane with a marshmallow on the end. Hook the candy cane onto the mug’s rim and dunk the marshmallow into the hot chocolate. This creates a wonderful chocolate-marshmallow flavor!
Minty hot chocolate. To make add in some special mint flavor, add in a handful of chopped up Andes Mints. They dissolve quickly and add a perfect minty flavor to your hot cocoa.
More Recipes for Chocolate Lovers
If you like homemade drink mixes, you have to try this DIY Nesquick recipe. Or satisfy those chocolate cravings with some Chocolate Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread, Chocolate Jumbles, or these Creme De Menthe Brownies. Or just top everything with this Freezer Friendly Hot Fudge Sauce!
I’d love to see how you enjoy your hot chocolate! Tag me in your pictures on Instagram @happymoneysaver and use the hashtag #happymoneysaver!
Homemade Hot Chocolate
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 cup white sugar
- 4 cups milk (any kind but I prefer whole milk)
- Mix the cocoa powder and sugar together with a whisk in a medium saucepan.
- Add in 1 cup of milk. Heat on low while stirring until it is incorporated.
- Then add in the other 3 cups of milk and heat until desired temperature. Pour into cups and get ready to sit by the fire!
- Freeze whipped cream into holiday shapes or in pretty little dollops with sprinkles on them. When placed on the hot chocolate, they hold their form for a bit before dissolving into the liquid. Whipped cream also adds to the creamy flavor!
- I love to add a small candy cane with a marshmallow on the end. Hook the candy cane onto the mug’s rim and dunk the marshmallow into the hot chocolate. This creates a wonderful chocolate-marshmallow flavor!
- If you like minty hot chocolate, add in a handful of chopped up Andes Mints. They dissolve quickly and add a perfect minty flavor to your hot cocoa.
This post was published on December 17th, 2014 and was updated with clearer instructions, tips and pictures on December 16th, 2020.
Food is my love language. But so is saving money. So I like to combine the two a lot and make thrifty make ahead and freeze meals to save time. Because life is busy, and freezer meals can come to the rescue for all of us. And yes, they actually CAN taste good. Read more...