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 or Hot Cocoa Bombs!

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How to Make Hot Chocolate

The process is so simple! Seriously, once you try this you will never buy powder packets again. (In fact, I also have a homemade chocolate powder you might love.) 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! Serve a cup with love by adding whipped cream hearts on top.

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 whipped cream or 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.

Looking for More Chocolate Treats?

Spanish Hot Chocolate

Homemade Chocolate Syrup

Frozen Hot Chocolate

The Best Homemade Chocolate Milk

Best Homemade Hot Cocoa
4.80 from 10 votes

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!


  • 4 cups milk
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup good quality cocoa
  • cup 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 and I just stirred 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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