10 Hot Chocolate Recipes to Keep You Warm All Winter Long
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 10 recipes that strike a perfect balance between the warm, rich notes of chocolate and the creamy smoothness of whole milk. And if you don't drink milk, don't worry! We've also included recipes that use other non-dairy or alt 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, whereas those who prefer sweeter cup of cocoa should choose a recipe 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.
Test Kitchen's Favorite Hot Chocolate
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.
Three Basic Approaches
The hardest part of making these decadent mugs is choosing a flavor. Dark-Chocolate Hot Cocoa infuses a bittersweet base with a whisper of nutmeg, while White-Chocolate Hot Cocoa calls on coconut milk and rum to temper the sweet. Then there's Milk Chocolate and Peanut Butter Hot Cocoa, which speaks for itself. That's our kind of peanut butter cup.
Nutella Hot Chocolate
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.
Spiced Hot Dark Chocolate
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.
Mexican Hot Chocolate
For less spice with just as much south-of-the-border flair, use Mexican chocolate, which is flavored with cinnamon, almonds, and vanilla. Don't forget the cinnamon swizzle stick.
Peppermint Hot Chocolate
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?
Rich Frozen Hot Chocolate
Hot Chocolate with Marshmallow Hearts
Homemade Hot Chocolate
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).
Golden Hot Chocolate
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.