Annika Eats

Homemade Hot Chocolate

The simplest recipe you will make and hands down the tastiest hot chocolate. Filled with cocoa, dark chocolate, milk and a few other pantry staples with 3 variations.

If there was a drink that defined the onset of winter or the festive season it has to be Hot Chocolate or Hot Cocoa for me. I remember making this from the packets when I was younger and thought it couldn’t get any better than that. Then I grew up and learned a thing or two on how to make hot chocolate at home. 

I have to be honest, there have been some serious disasters along the way. I’ve burned the milk, spilt the the milk, had lumps, wasn’t sweet enough, was too thick and not drinkable, etc. So when I say this is the ONLY recipe you need, I have tried and tested so many variations. I have been making this recipe for so many years now but it doesn’t tire me or the family out, rather we aren’t bored from it as I serve it up differently every time. 

In this recipe you will learn how to serve it 3 different ways, the variations are endless depending on you. The flavors can be mixed up as well, you can add some booze into the mixture if you want to kick it up a notch. I have kept this one pretty basic with flavors but the presentation and garnish can be customized as per your liking.

What ingredients do you need to make Hot Chocolate?

This recipe calls for milk, cocoa powder, dark chocolate, sugar, vanilla, salt, and a little cornflour. The cornflour here thickens the entire drink making for a luscious consistency. You can use a mixture of milk and dark chocolate however I like using only dark chocolate chunks here. The cocoa must be unsweetened and it shouldn’t be hot chocolate powder/mix. I use regular full fat milk here, you can use any dairy free milk however it should be barista quality so it can be steamed without splitting. I have used coconut milk to make this recipe and it work fine. I used white sugar here but any sugar works as well as honey. 

What equipment do you need?

I used a sauce pan with a whisk and spatula. You need a whisk to remove any of the lumps in your hot chocolate mix. If the lumps are dissolving you can strain the mixture to ensure a smooth consistency.

What kind of flavors can you use?

I have used vanilla extract however there are many flavor options for this recipe. Cinnamon powder, all spice powder, grated nutmeg, orange zest, mint, chili, candy canes, peanut butter, caramel sauce, a little coffee powder to make a mocha hot cocoa. If you are feeling a little extravagant creme de cacao is a great option or any liqueur of your choice. I’ve added brandy, dark rum or even some coffee liqueur to the mix. I would add the alcohol after heating and stir it in. 

Some serving/presentation options?

I have served the Hot Chocolate 3 ways in this recipe:

  1. On its own with a biscotti on the side
  2. With a chocolate syrup, shredded coconut, whipped cream and cinnamon powder dusting. 
  3. This has to be my favourite, hot cocoa, whipped cream, marshmallows that are blow torched. 

How long can you store Hot Chocolate?

Once it has been served with the trimmings I couldn’t recommend storing it. However, directly from the pot it can be stored in a glass bottle for up to 2 weeks in the fridge. You can also pour the liquid in ice cube trays and freeze them for up to 3 months, when ready to drink, warm the cubes in a microwave until hot. 

Food Pairing ideas?

I would recommend stay sweet on this one, croissants, pastries, tarts, cakes, cheeseboards, mezze platters, cupcakes, cookies, biscuits and pies and crackers. These would be my go to serving options. 

You can watch how I made it here. Happy Drinking Ninjas!

Homemade Hot Chocolate

The simplest recipe you will make and hands down the tastiest hot chocolate. Filled with cocoa, dark chocolate, milk and a few other pantry staples with 3 variations.
Cook Time 10 minutes
Presentation Time 5 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Drinks, High Tea, Party, Sweet tooth, tea time
Cuisine American, French
Servings 4 People


  • Sauce pot
  • Whisk
  • Spatula
  • Blow torch (optional)


  • 1 litre Milk
  • 3 tbsp Cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup Dark chocolate chunks
  • 3 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Cornflour
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • Pinch of Salt


  • Chocolate syrup
  • Desiccated coconut
  • Marshmallows
  • Whipped cream
  • Cinnamon powder
  • Biscotti


  • In a sauce pan on medium heat add the milk and let it come to a simmer.
  • Once it is steaming and small bubbles appear add the a few table spoons of the hot milk into the cocoa powder and add the corn flour as well. Stir until not lumps. Pour back into the sauce pan and reduce the heat.
  • Add the chocolate chunks, sugar, vanilla and salt. Stir together reduce the heat. Let the chocolate melt into the liquid. Should take 5 mins.
  • Once it has thickened a little and there are no lumps of chocolate etc turn off the heat and serve.
  • One way is, pour it into a cup and serve with a biscotti on the side.
  • Second way is, rim a glass with chocolate syrup and the desiccated coconut, pour the hot cocoa and top with whipped cream and cinnamon powder.
  • Third way is, pour the hot cocoa into a cup, top with cream, marshmallows and torch them until blistered and browned.
  • Serve them hot.


  • Don’t boil the milk in the beginning we need it simmering.
  • It is important to mix the cocoa power, corn flour and hot milk together before as this will avoid any lumps.
  • If you have lumps strain the hot cocoa before serving.
  • Ensure the heat is low once you’ve added the chocolate chunks as you want it to melt gently and not burn.

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