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Irresistible Hot Chocolate Recipes for Winter

5 minutes read Dec 13,2022
Irresistible Hot Chocolate Recipes for Winter

After a cold day of sledding, skiing, or shoveling snow, there's nothing better than warming up with a cup of cocoa. While the powdered packets are straightforward, it's surprisingly simple to make hot chocolate from scratch.

Warm up and satisfy your sweet tooth this winter with these six hot cocoa recipes. We hope you enjoy!

6 Simple Hot Cocoa Recipes 


1. Old-Fashioned Hot Chocolate

You simply can't go wrong with an old-fashioned hot chocolate. Rich, creamy, and smooth, the milk and chocolate mixture is ideal for warming up on winter days. Feel free to top as you like with marshmallows, whipped cream, or marshmallow fluff.

Recipe borrowed from The Spruce Eats.


  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. In a two-quart saucepan, stir the chocolate, sugar, milk, and salt together over medium-low heat until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Pour the hot chocolate into mugs and top as desired.


2. Nutella Hot Chocolate

Adding a twist to these traditional hot cocoa recipes is Nutella, the creamy chocolate-hazelnut spread from Italy. In this easy-peasy variant, Nutella entirely takes the place of chocolate, giving you a sweet, nutty hot cocoa.

Recipe borrowed from Martha Stewart.


  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup Nutella
  • Whipped cream, for serving
  1. Combine milk and Nutella in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking until smooth. Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream.
Peppermint Hot Chocolate with Candy Canes

3. Peppermint Hot Chocolate

If you're looking for a proper holiday flavor, peppermint is an essential addition. It adds a cool, sharp flavor that cuts through the rich creaminess of hot cocoa. Peppermint and chocolate is a match made in heaven and this is certainly one of the best hot chocolate recipes.

Recipe borrowed from Food Network.


  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3 drops peppermint oil
  • Whipped cream, for serving
  • Chocolate shavings, for serving
  • Crushed candy canes, for serving
  1. In a saucepan, combine the cream, milk, sugar, and salt, and heat over medium-low heat. When the cream mixture just begins to steam, add the chopped chocolate, and stir until melted.
  2. Stir in the peppermint oil.
  3. Divide hot chocolate among mugs and top as desired.


4. Mexican Hot Chocolate

Experience the ultimate winter warmup with a mug of Mexican hot chocolate. Using fragrant spices like cinnamon and cayenne, Mexican hot chocolate is an excellent drink to sip after shoveling snow. While this large recipe is written for the stovetop, it can also be made in the slow cooker. Simply stir all the ingredients together and cook on low for two to three hours, stirring every 15-20 minutes.

Recipe borrowed from Food Network.


  • 6 (12-ounce) cans evaporated milk
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 24 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • Cocoa powder, for serving
  1. In a large pot, whisk together milk, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and nutmeg over medium heat. Add chocolate chips and stir until chocolate is melted. Cover and turn heat to low for five minutes.
  2. Serve with a dusting of cocoa powder.


5. Dutch Hot Chocolate

With a cool, rainy climate, it should come as no surprise that The Netherlands has one of the highest rates of hot chocolate consumption in the world. What differentiates this Dutch hot chocolate recipe is the addition of Dutch process cocoa for an extra punch. Additionally, the Dutch sometimes add a touch of brandy or rum to make a warm adult beverage.

Recipe borrowed from The Spruce Eats.


  • 1/3 cup (100 grams) dark chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon Dutch process cocoa
  • 1 ¼ cup whole milk
  • Whipped cream, for serving
  • (Optional) Brandy or rum, to taste
  1. In a small saucepan, gently melt the chocolate chips, cocoa, and ¼ cup of the milk over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.
  2. Add the remaining cup of milk and whisk lightly until well mixed and foamy.
  3. Add brandy or rum, if using.
  4. Pour into small cups and top with whipped cream.
White Hot Cocoa with Whipped Cream

6. White Hot Chocolate

If you're not a fan of hot chocolate, alternative hot cocoa recipes exist. This white hot chocolate is one option that's smooth and creamy, perfect for those with a serious sweet tooth. While optional, we highly recommend using nutmeg to have a spicy note run through the rich drink.

Recipe borrowed from The Recipe Critic.


  • 4 cups whole milk or half and half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces white chocolate, chopped
  • Whipped cream or marshmallows, for serving
  • (Optional) Dash of nutmeg, for serving
  1. In a small saucepan, stir together milk, vanilla, and white chocolate over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Bring to a simmer but do not boil.
  2. Once the mixture reaches light simmer, remove from heat, pour into mugs, and top as desired.

As the days grow colder, be sure to stay warm with these irresistible hot chocolate recipes. For an extra challenge, try making them over a campfire for the ultimate winter camping experience!  

Know another cocoa lover? Be sure to share these delicious recipes with them.  

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