12 Hot Chocolate Recipes to Keep You Warm All Winter Long


Minty or nutty, spicy or spiked, extra-creamy or dairy-free—no matter how you like your hot chocolate, we've got a version to please your palate and chase away every chill.

01 of 12
Johnny Miller

After a day of fun in the snow—when it's so cold that it seems like your fingers are made from frost themselves—there's nothing better than wrapping your hands around a steaming mug of hot chocolate. We know that homemade hot chocolate provides so much more flavor than boxed varieties, and it's surprisingly easy (and well worth the effort) to whip up this comforting wintertime treat from scratch, especially with our tried-and-true recipes.

We've rounded up a dozen recipes that strike a perfect balance between the warm, rich notes of chocolate and the creamy smoothness of milk. And if you don't drink milk, don't worry! We've also included recipes that use alternative milks. No matter which liquid you use as a base, one thing's guaranteed: All of these hot chocolate recipes are decadent in the best way possible. There's also something for every type of hot chocolate drinker. Those who adore dark chocolate will want to make our Spiced Hot Dark Chocolate, pictured here; if you prefer a sweeter cup of cocoa, try one of our recipes with milk chocolate base instead.

Part of what makes a mug of hot chocolate so appealing is what goes on top. In fact, some might say a cup of hot chocolate is as much about the fun toppings as it is about the actual cocoa itself. A touch of whipped cream and a few marshmallows are much needed (like the snowflake ones shown here!), but the ideas don't stop there; we've thought of other fun ways to customize marshmallows and hot chocolate, and ingenious ways to incorporate seasonal flavors like cinnamon and peppermint, too. Our favorite hot chocolate recipes prove just how easy creating a perfect cup of cocoa is.

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champurrado hot drink served with cinnamon sticks
Lennart Weibull

Just when we thought hot chocolate couldn't get any better, Martha Stewart Living photo editor Joanna García introduced us to champurrado, a Mexican treat that ups the sweetness with granular Mexican chocolate and piloncillo (a raw form of sugar), and the richness with masa harina (dried corn flour). Served on the holiday of Epiphany (January 6) and enjoyed all winter, it's traditionally prepared with a wooden whisk, or molinillo, but wire works, too.

03 of 12

Test Kitchen's Favorite Hot Chocolate

Yunhee Kim

The intense chocolate flavor of cocoa plus the richness of melted chocolate combine with whole milk and a touch of heavy cream in this decadent recipe. Our food editors say this warming drink is divine made with bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, depending on your preference.

04 of 12

Milk Chocolate and Peanut Butter Hot Cocoa


It's like a certain kind of chocolate candy in liquid form, this drink is altogether decadent and just our kind of peanut butter cup. Should you prefer your hot chocolate in solid form, this recipe can also be made into Hot-Cocoa Ice Pops.

05 of 12

Nutella Hot Chocolate

mugs of Nutella Hot Chocolate
Burcu Avsar

If you've ever longed to attack the Nutella jar with a spoon, try this two-ingredient hot chocolate instead. It'll go down smoother and stretch your jar of chocolate-hazelnut sweetness further.

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Candy Cane Hot Cocoa

candy-cane hot cocoa
Lennart Weibull

Chocolate and peppermint are the holidays' hottest couple, but we think they're a perfect match year-round. What were you going to do with those leftover candy canes, anyway? (Our Candy Cane Hot Cocoa shares the silver tray in the photo with our Honey Buttered Hot Toddy.)

07 of 12

Spiced Hot Dark Chocolate

Johnny Miller

Made with almond or soy milk and dark chocolate plus cinnamon, cardamom, and a touch of cayenne, this dairy-free chocolate is warming inside and out.

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White Hot Chocolate

White Hot Chocolate

White chocolate is simply mixed with milk and vanilla for a creamy take on everyone's favorite wintertime treat.

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Rich Frozen Hot Chocolate

Rich Frozen Hot Chocolate
Emily Kate Roemer

All the wonderful flavor and creamy texture of our ultimate chocolate drink, but it's served chilled instead of hot! Some of the mixture is frozen, some is refrigerated, then the two are combined with whipped heavy cream.

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Hot Chocolate with Marshmallow Hearts


Unlike our marshmallow snowflakes, these hearts aren't made from scratch. Instead, they're cut from supersize store-bought puffs. The chocolaty base, though, is all homemade—and the message says "made with love."

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Homemade Hot Chocolate

homemade hot chocolate
Sang An

We sometimes wax nostalgic for the days when those packets of powder made our favorite drink, so we came up with our own take on a powdered mix. It won't make you choose between taste and convenience (and makes great gifts when portioned into decorative jars).

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Golden Hot Chocolate

golden hot chocolate in thermos
Peter Ardito

White chocolate fans will love this warming, spicy take on hot chocolate made with whole milk, chopped white chocolate, cinnamon, and turmeric. Those anti-inflammatory spices make this hot chocolate a veritable health drink.

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