It’s warm, comforting, and incredibly satisfying – hot chocolate is basically a hug in a cup.

If you’re already satisfied with your instant cocoa powder mix, then homemade hot chocolate will be a whole new gastronomic experience for you. Learning how to make will be definitely worth the effort!

You don’t have to be a culinary genius to make a great cup of hot chocolate. All it takes is a few ingredients, a little patience, and much love for choco.

Here are the three best hot chocolate recipe ideas any chocoholic should learn to master.

Basic Hot Chocolate From Scratch

This recipe from Fifteen Spatulas makes a rich and creamy cup of hot chocolate. This warm drink features a perfect combination of chopped chocolate and milk and is best topped with whipped cream and marshmallows. This cold-weather treat is worth every calorie!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tbsp sugar (could be reduced or eliminated depending on the sweetness of the chocolate used)
  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate chopped
  • Splash of vanilla extract optional
  • Whipped cream optional
  • Marshmallows optional

Instructions:

Heat milk and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. While waiting for the milk to reach a scalding point, heat the chopped chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir the chocolate and heat in the microwave again for another 30 seconds. Continue this procedure until the chocolate melts. Once the milk scalds (be careful not to boil), turn off the heat and stir in the melted chocolate. Whisk well to combine. Add vanilla extract, if using. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle with marshmallows on top

French Hot Chocolate

Also called Chocolat Chaud, French hot chocolate is thick, rich, and silky – a luxurious treat that would make you feel like you’re cruising down the Seine. One of the most popular shops that serve hot chocolate in France is Angelina, known for decadent pastries and treats since 1903. Ironically though, their main cacao-based drink is called “African” hot chocolate because it’s made from African cocoa sourced from Niger, Ghana, and Côte d’Ivoire.

You don’t have to book a flight to the City of Light to taste this delicious drink. Well Plated by Erin has a French hot choco recipe that owes its creaminess and European flair from heavy cream and espresso powder. The recipe author, Erin Clarke, advises readers to use good quality chocolate instead of standard chocolate chips for this recipe.

Ingredients:

  •  1 1/2 cups whole milk
  •  1/2 cup heavy cream
  •  2 teaspoons powdered sugar
  •  1/2 teaspoon espresso powder (optional, but delicious for intensifying chocolate flavor)
  •  8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (at least 70%, chopped)
  •  Giant bowl of whipped cream (for serving)

Instructions:

Over medium heat, whisk milk, heavy cream, powdered sugar, and espresso powder in a saucepan. Turn off the heat once you see small bubbles around the edges. Be careful not to boil the mixture. Stir in chopped chocolate and blend well until all the chocolate is melted. If the heat of the milk mixture isn’t enough to melt the chocolate, you can put it back on low heat until it’s smooth and silky. Serve with lots of whipped cream on top. 

Mexican Hot Chocolate

Chiliheads would best appreciate Mexican chocolate. This traditional drink that dates back to Mayan and Aztec civilizations boasts of semi-bitter flavors of cocoa, mixed with spicy notes from cinnamon and chiles. Some variations also feature other spices such as cardamom, nutmeg, pink peppercorn, and anise.

This best hot chocolate recipe from The Chunky Chef features the spicy flavors of traditional Mexican hot cocoa, without being too tedious to make. A combination of chopped bittersweet chocolate and cocoa powder gives this drink a rich chocolate flavor complemented by vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 7 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Optional Toppings:
  • Marshmallows (regular or mini)
  • Whipped cream
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Drizzle of chocolate sauce
  • Grated chocolate

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk all ingredients until smooth. Bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Serve warm with desired toppings.

Boozy Hot Chocolate Recipes

Who says hot chocolate is always wholesome? Here are bonus best hot chocolate recipe ideas made special with a spike of booze.

Black Cherry Bourbon Hot Chocolate

Though some people would assume that Whiskey is too strong a liquor for a creamy drink, Bourbon’s flavor profile goes very well with chocolate. With hints of vanilla, custard, caramel, butterscotch, marzipan, honey, maple, and chocolate, it’s a great alcoholic ingredient to wake up the flavors of a regular cup of cocoa.

Sugar & Soul has an awesome recipe that uses Red Stag Black Cherry Bourbon by Jim Beam and Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Hot Chocolate Mix. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups Milk
  • 5 tbsp Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Hot Chocolate Mix Or a mix of your choice
  • 2 oz. Red Stag Black Cherry Bourbon by Jim Beam
  • Whipped Cream I like homemade
  • Chocolate Shavings

Instructions:

Combine milk and hot chocolate mix in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently and be careful not to let the mixture boil. Pour 1 oz. of black cherry bourbon into each cup. Divide the hot chocolate between the two cups. Put a dollop of whipped cream on top and garnish with chocolate shavings. 

Stout Hot Chocolate with Ice Cream 

English Stout’s dark, roasted flavor goes well with chocolate. Stout’s flavor profile features notes of coffee, bittersweet chocolate, and caramel.

Floating Kitchen’sbest hot chocolate recipe features a combination of chopped dark chocolate and unsweetened cocoa powder, with vanilla ice cream cutting through the bitterness and lending a smooth, subtly sweet taste.

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces chocolate stout beer
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Two large scoops of vanilla ice cream

Instructions:

Over medium-high heat, heat chocolate stout and simmer until it’s reduced to about 3/4 of a cup. Turn off heat. In a separate saucepan, warm the milk and whisk cocoa powder, chocolate, and sugar until smooth. Whisk in reduced beer. Turn off heat. Scoop ice cream into mugs. Pour the stout hot chocolate over the ice cream.