This homemade hot cocoa recipe is the best of the best and will give you the richest and creamiest hot cocoa you’ve ever tasted. It’s sure to become your new go-to recipe for chilly days. With this recipe, you’ll never go back to store-bought powder packets again. I also have a Big Batch of Hot Cocoa Mix you will want to have on hand.

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The Best Homemade Hot Cocoa

Ingredients & Substitutions

Milk: I prefer whole milk when it comes to this recipe. It has a high-fat content that results in a thicker and richer texture. However, you could use other types of milk like skim milk, or even non-dairy milk alternatives. However, the substitutions could change the taste and texture of the hot cocoa.

Cocoa Powder: Look for high-quality unsweetened cocoa powder. Dutch-processed cocoa powder, which you could also use, will give you a slightly different flavor profile and darker color.

Marshmallows: If you don’t have any on hand, make your own homemade mini marshmallows to use. Adding marshmallows directly to the pan while melting results in amazingly rich and frothy cocoa with a velvety texture.

Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe

Can I Make This Crockpot Hot Cocoa?

Absolutely! Just add all ingredients, including the marshmallows to your crockpot. Cook on low for 1-2 hours. I do recommend doubling it for the best crockpot hot cocoa recipe. In fact, this is a great way to serve a big batch of cocoa for guests.

Easy Hot Chocolate Mix Recipe

Can I Make Hot Chocolate Ahead of Time?

Yes! Once you get the hot chocolate made, you can store it in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Store it in an airtight container or glass jar with a lid. When ready to enjoy, reheat it on the stovetop or on low in a slow cooker.

Homemade Hot Cocoa Recipe

How to Serve Hot Chocolate

Yes, this hot chocolate is the best you will ever sip, but you can even add more to it for more flavors.

  • Try it with hazelnut, caramel sauce, cinnamon, or nutmeg.
  • For an adult beverage, add a splash of brandy to your mug of hot chocolate.
  • Of course, a dollop of whipped cream never hurts. Or, personalize the drink by topping it with whipped cream hearts.
These customizable marshmallows are SO EASY!!

Want More Hot Chocolate Options?

Best Homemade Hot Cocoa
4.80 from 10 votes

Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
This homemade hot cocoa recipe is the best of the best and will give you the richest and creamiest hot cocoa you've ever tasted.


  • 4 cups (980 g) whole milk
  • ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (29.5 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ cups (75 g) miniature marshmallows
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • In a saucepan combine all ingredients. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until the marshmallows are melted, about 10 minutes. (I actually had mine on the stove for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.)
  • Remove from the heat and pour into mugs.


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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. love the home made hot chocolate…I dont drink milk but used almond milk. so yummy and the marshmallow idea is great. will have to do that for my grandkids…

  2. We found this hot chocolate way too sweet. I think next time I will cut out the sugar completely and just sweeten with the marshmallows, there is plenty of sugar in all those!

  3. We enjoyed this recipe and your video soooo much that we are sharing it on our website. Thank you so much! Those personalized marshmallows are precious!

  4. I’m so anxious to try this. So many recipes vow to be the best ever but I find them bitter. I’m going to try this in the morning. I don’t drink coffee at all but love to drink hot chocolate in the winter while my husband drinks his coffee! I love all your recipes. Have so many printed and my husband wonders when I’m going to cook!! haha Thanks!!

  5. This really is the perfect recipe. DO NOT use Hershey’s, find a good quality cocoa powder to make this recipe. Even the Simple Truth Organic is a good brand.

    1. This was delicious, although I found it just too sweet (and I am a sweet lover). I doubled the recipe, so I used 1c sugar. Next time I’ll use 2/3c of sugar. All I had was Hershey’s special dark cocoa & it worked fine. I added a little salt to try & cut the sweetness a bit. I loved the simple ingredients. I was looking for a recipe with no sweetened condensed milk or chopped real chocolate, as this was for a school fundraiser for our special needs students and I wanted to keep the cost as low as possible. Will definitely use this one again. 🙂

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