There is nothing cozier than a warm cup of hot chocolate when the weather outside is cold. For the best cup of hot chocolate made with chocolate chips, this recipe will hit the spot. A steaming mug of this chocolatey rich beverage will keep you warm & cozy all winter.
There is something about a good homemade hot chocolate recipe compared to a packet you buy in the store and add water or milk to. If you ask me, there is just no competition. Make this easy homemade hot chocolate with rich semi-sweet chocolate chips and you will never buy a powdered mix again.
I make this for all the winter holidays; such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and for New Year's Eve. I was inspired to learn to make hot chocolate on the stovetop when I had extra chips after making a batch of Chocolate Chips with Marshmallow Cookies. I wanted something to pair with my Puff Pastry Cinnamon Twists and to dunk them into. The combination is fantastic.
- Ingredients for Hot Chocolate Using Chocolate Chips
- How to Make Hot Chocolate with Chocolate Chips
- Toppings for Homemade Hot Chocolate
- How to Keep Hot Chocolate Warm
- Substitutions & Variations
- Storing & Reheating Hot Chocolate
- Dunkable Treats for Hot Chocolate
- Best Hot Chocolate with Chocolate Chips
Ingredients for Hot Chocolate Using Chocolate Chips
Here is all you need to make hot chocolate with chocolate chips. This recipe calls for only 4 ingredients and is made without cocoa powder. You probably have everything already in your pantry and refrigerator.
For deep flavor, this hot chocolate recipe uses semi-sweet chocolate. I use Ghiradelli semi-sweet chips. It is one of the best melting chocolates for a smooth & delicious flavor.
This is a thick, rich, & decadent hot chocolate. So it calls for whole milk and cream. Do not use low-fat or fat-free milk or it will be thin, runny, & taste watered-down.
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips - results in a rich flavor that is not too sweet or dark.
- Heavy Cream - use the real deal for a thick velvety texture.
- Whole Milk - combined with heavy cream for the perfect balance so it is not too heavy or has too much fat.
- Vanilla Extract - adds flavor to compliment the chocolate.
See the recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Hot Chocolate with Chocolate Chips
It only takes 10 minutes to make this yummy homemade hot chocolate recipe. In a few steps, you warm up the liquid dairy ingredients on the stove. Then slowly melt the chocolate chips with a bit of vanilla. And that is all it takes - soooo easy!
Here is how you make this easy 4-ingredient hot chocolate recipe. Begin by adding the whole milk and the heavy whipping cream to a medium-sized saucepan.
Over medium-low heat warm the liquids for 3-4 minutes. You want it to be hot but not boiling.
Add the chocolate chips & vanilla. Stir and continue to heat over medium-low.
Once the chocolate has melted it is time to bring all the ingredients together. Whisk to combine over medium-low heat.
When all the chocolate is melted, continue to heat over medium-low heat. When it is hot and the first few bubbles rise up in the pot, it is ready. Do not let it boil or the chocolate will seize up.
Pour or ladle into mugs. Top with mini marshmallows. ENJOY!
Hint: For the easiest way to serve this hot chocolate, use a ladle. Ladle it into your favorite cozy mug. Make sure you only fill it ¾ of the way up so you have room for marshmallows or whipped cream on top!
Toppings for Homemade Hot Chocolate
Who can pass up sprinkling some mini marshmallows on top of your hot chocolate? They float on top and melt into a sweet sticky taste like clouds from sugar heaven. But there are some other fun ideas on how to top hot chocolate made with semi-sweet chocolate chips.
All of these are the best ideas to make hot chocolate even better.
- Colored Marshmallows - pastel ones are so fun for Easter.
- Whipped Cream - A squirt seems to make me feel like a kid again.
- Sprinkles - Add a dash of your favorite sprinkles on top of fresh whipped cream. Chocolate jimmies or rainbow sprinkles are so fun.
- Colored Sugar - Dust on some red & green sugar sprinkles to the whipped cream for a Christmas-colored hot chocolate.
- Flavored Syrups & Sauces - Drizzle in caramel or butterscotch sauce into the cup or on top of the whipped cream or marshmallows.
- Crushed Candy Canes - Sprinkle on peppermint candy pieces.
- Chocolate or other Chips - yep, add some mini chocolate, peanut butter, or white chocolate chips on top of some whipped cream.
How to Keep Hot Chocolate Warm
This recipe is great for parties and holiday gatherings. You can make a large batch and keep it warm for hours. It will last throughout your party or event.
To keep homemade hot chocolate warm, leave it on the stove on your lowest setting. Stir or whisk it every 5-10 minutes.
You can also transfer the hot chocolate to your Crock Pot. Turn your slow cooker to warm. It will keep this beverage warm and ready to serve for hours.
Substitutions & Variations
This quick recipe is only 4 ingredients. Its simplicity is one of the best things about this homemade hot chocolate. Here are a few substitutions and variations to this basic recipe that you can make and enjoy.
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips - instead of semi-sweet, use milk or dark chocolate chips if one of those is your favorite.
- Heavy Cream- use all Whole Milk instead of cream plus milk. It will cut down on the fat content but will up the carbs. Do not use low-fat, fat-free, etc or the hot chocolate will be thin.
This recipe is already gluten-free, vegetarian, nut-free, & grain-free. I have not tried to make it with vegan ingredients or sugar-free chocolate chips. If you wish to try that, please know I am not sure what results from the changes you will get.
Here are some fun ideas on how to change this recipe for holidays. Also, a few ideas to take this hot chocolate to the next level. I even like a pinch of salt in my mug before adding the hot chocolate - wow!
- Spiced - add a sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg, or even cayenne pepper to the mixture.
- Peppermint Mocha- use peppermint extract instead of vanilla extract for a peppermint hot chocolate perfect for Christmas.
- Adults-Only- add a shot of your favorite alcohol to your individual mug; Bailey's, Kahlua, Peppermint Schnapps, Butterscotch Schnapps, Rumchata, brandy, bourbon, whiskey, & rum are some of the best.
No special equipment is needed to make this homemade hot chocolate recipe. However, here are some items to bring your chocolate sipping to the next level. These mugs, toppings, & more are the best products for the hot chocolate fan in all of us.
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Storing & Reheating Hot Chocolate
Leftover hot chocolate stores well in the refrigerator. Place any leftovers in a jar or container with a tight-fitting lid. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
To reheat hot chocolate, pour it into a small saucepan. Over medium-low heat bring it slowly to the desired temperature. Do not bring it to a boil as that alters the chocolate and the consistency.
Dunkable Treats for Hot Chocolate
For something fun, sweet, & tasty, these dunkable desserts are great to serve with this homemade hot chocolate. It is great to serve with hot chocolate for breakfast with a slice of Cinnamon Roll Pie. Or pour a cup and stir with a candy cane for a Christmas treat.
These recipe ideas are great for holidays, cozy nights around the fire, warming up after a day in the snow, or any time you want hot chocolate & dessert. Or grab your favorite rolled wafer, churro, or store-bought cookie for dunking.
If you love making cookies with chocolate chunks, that may be all you have laying around. Semi-sweet chocolate chunks can be used as a substitute for chips in this recipe. It may take a bit longer to melt but it will be just fine.
I have not tried making this with a milk substitute. If you wish to try a dairy-free u0026 vegan hot chocolate recipe, try making Oat Milk Hot Chocolate.
Best Hot Chocolate with Chocolate Chips
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- To a medium-sized saucepan add the milk & cream.
- Over medium-low heat warm the liquids for 3-4 minutes. You want it to be hot but not boiling.
- Add the chocolate chips & vanilla. Whisk to combine over medium-low heat.
- Once all the chocolate is melted, continue to heat over medium-low heat. Once it is hot and the first few bubbles rise up in the pot, it is ready. Do not let it boil or the chocolate will seize up.
- To keep warm, leave it on the stove on low. Stir every few minutes.
- Pour into mugs and top with mini marshmallows. ENJOY!