The Best Homemade Hot Cocoa

filed under: Food + Drink on December 23, 2011

Drop everything and make this BEST HOMEMADE HOT COCOA. Check out my tips and tricks for the most flavorful and FUN way to serve hot chocolate! This is quite possibly the richest and creamiest cocoa I have ever made.  And I lurve it.  It’s like a piece of warm chocolate cake in a cup. Looking for the perfect cookie to dunk in your hot cocoa? You might want to try my Snickerdoodles or Sugar Cookies!

PIN this recipe here!

How to Make Hot Chocolate

The process is so simple! Seriously, once you try this you will never buy powder packets again. Simply add all ingredients to a saucepan (following the recipe) and heat. I have doubled and tripled this easy hot chocolate recipe and let it simmer on the lowest heat setting. The kids come in from playing outside on a cold day and can help themselves!

The Best Homemade Hot Cocoa

Easy Hot Cocoa Recipe

I add something special to my homemade hot chocolate and that is marshmallows! Not after it’s made, but during! I add the marshmallows right into the pan when cooking. (Then I added more to my cup.  That’s how I roll.) It creates this amazingly rich and frothy cocoa… the texture is like velvet!


Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe

Tips, Tricks, Variations

Another way to make this recipe even more amazing is using a dutch process or special dark cocoa. All the sweetness of the marshmallows really cuts into any bitterness and just leaves you with a perfect cup!

Homemade hot chocolate is 100x better than anything you can get in a can, and you can totally customize it to fit your tastes. Try adding a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of cinnamon or even a dollop of homemade peppermint whipped cream on top! Sprinkle with more cinnamon or cocoa powder for a decadent hot cocoa experience.

Try using whole milk instead of skim. My family prefers a thick, rich, velvety hot cocoa experience, and the higher fat content in whole milk certainly helps with that.

Easy Hot Chocolate Mix Recipe

Can you make this crockpot hot cocoa?

Absolutely! Just add all ingredients (even the marshmallows) to your crockpot on low for about 1-2 hours. I do recommend doubling it for the best crockpot hot cocoa recipe.

Homemade Hot Cocoa Recipe

Personalized Marshmallows

One thing that has really made my homemade hot cocoa recipe legendary is my personalized marshmallows. The recipe is easy!

You will need:

1 bag large marshmallows (I have used mini and they work great as well)

powdered sugar

non-stick spray

baking pan/cookie sheet

alphabet cookie cutters or any shape you prefer

Heat marshmallows in a microwave-safe bowl for 1 minute. Spray cookie sheet with non-stick spray and do a light coat of powdered sugar. Remove the bowl of hot marshmallows from microwave and stir until smooth.

These customizable marshmallows are SO EASY!!

Immediately pour the marshmallows onto the cookie sheet. Dip your hands in powdered sugar and press the marshmallow down into a flat layer.

Place marshmallows in the freezer for about 4 minutes. Remove and press your cookie cutter into the powdered sugar, then into the marshmallow. Remove your marshmallow shape and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Repeat until you have all the shapes you want. Place the personalized marshmallow into a cup of hot cocoa or place in the freezer until ready to use.

This trick also works with completely homemade marshmallows, I would just try to make the layer a little thinner if using cookie cutters.

5 from 3 votes
Best Homemade Hot Cocoa
Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins

It's the best! Super easy and always delicious!

Course: Dessert, Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: hot chocolate
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Amanda Rettke
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup good quality cocoa
  • 1 1/2 cup miniature marshmallows
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. 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 and I just stirred occasionally)
  2. Remove from the heat and pour into mugs.

Recipe Video

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  • Margie says:

    I’ve done the homemade hot chocolate ❤️❤️❤️ Grandkids enjoyed, if your going through that much effort for marshmallows why not homemade marshmallows ❤️ Js

  • Alycia Henshaw says:

    I watch your baking videos on Facebook all the time you are a great baker..

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Thank you Alycia!

  • Barbara says:

    Will this recipe work with soy milk?

  • Joan Davis says:

    For a slighty nutty variation I sometimes add a 1/2 tsp Almond Flavoring.

  • Toni DePriest says:

    I just adore you so much. Your kids must feel so loved from all of the little special things that you do. I’ll never forget the things my mom did with me while baking when I was a child and here I am 55yo. Those special feelings matter so much and your kids will always hold those feelings for you. You’re a great mom with Blessed kids. Thanks for sharing all of your recipes and joy. Toni

  • Jan says:

    I’m diabetic; used Splenda or equivalent in place of sugar…worked fine!

  • Denise Burns says:

    Can you suggest a couple great cocoas to use? I bought a really good cocoas 3 or 4 years ago. Used it all and then threw the container away. Can’t find it and none I’ve bought since then have compared.

  • Mary Rose Just-Coome says:

    Is there any recipe for the hot chocolate dry mix you could make in large amounts and store until ready to add the milk? Such as (but so much better than) Quik?

  • Phyllis Hendrickson says:

    I made this for my husband and I ! It was awesome never made by scratch before will use this a lot !!!!! Ty Amanda

  • Emily Zhang says:

    This is the best thing ever! We create for cold nights ever cold night. And the marshmallows we shaped into stars and other stuff. (My brother made a dinosaur somehow) Just saying your recipes are the best!