How to Make the Perfect Hot Chocolate at Home

My best creamy hot chocolate recipe

Rich, thick, and luscious, my creamy hot chocolate recipe is like a hug from the inside and central heating for your body on a cold winter’s day.

This creamy hot chocolate recipe is a closely guarded secret. I enjoy my comforting hot chocolate all year round, but during Christmas, I spruce it up and make a festive mint hot chocolate. It is deliciously decadent. Just follow these simple instructions to make the perfect hot chocolate.

First, the key to any great-tasting hot chocolate is great-tasting chocolate. The best chocolate for making hot chocolate is good quality plain chocolate with a minimum of 70% cocoa solids. This gives a lovely, intense, earthy flavour. However, milk chocolate is sweeter and usually a better choice if you are making the drink for children. I think a 2:1 ratio of dark to milk chocolate strikes the perfect balance.

To get a lovely richness, make the hot chocolate with full-fat milk and finish off with some pouring cream stirred through and whipped on top. Hot chocolate is not a healthy drink, so don’t try to make it one. Just indulge and enjoy. Barista oat milk is a great tasting non-dairy milk alternative; however, I’m not too sure how non-dairy chocolate will melt or taste in hot chocolate.

Did you know that hot chocolate started off life as a cold drink and spiced with chillies? Adding some flavours to the hot chocolate brings it to life. Chillies are a great way to give your hot chocolate a spicy kick and you just cut red chillies lengthways, deseed and let infuse in the milk. You could also add a few cardamon pods to the milk for a lovely flavour and grating some fresh nutmeg on top is also rather tasty. However, these spices can be a little strong for young children’s tastebuds.

I love to add a vanilla pod and cinnamon stick to the milk and we always add a pinch of sea salt too. The sea salt makes the chocolate taste more chocolaty. Honestly! I find vanilla, cinnamon and sea salt a winning combo with adults and children.

For a more grown-up, spiked hot chocolate, add a tablespoon or two of dark rum, brandy, Drambuie, chocolate liqueur, Irish cream liqueur, peppermint schnapps, crème de menthe, Cointreau or Kahlúa. Adding whipped Baileys cream is also a great idea.

As for the toppings, classic whipped cream and mini marshmallows look pretty and add a lovely flavour to the hot chocolate. Shavings of milk and dark and white chocolate, sprinkles and coconut look stunning on top. Finish off with a drizzle of salted caramel sauce and decorate with candy canes for a festive flourish.

creamy hot chocolate recipe is a closely guarded secret.

Creamy hot chocolate recipe – makes two big mugs


400ml of full-fat milk

100g of chocolate (I use 70g of dark & 30g of milk chocolate)

75ml of single cream

Pinch of sea salt

Optional (but highly recommended)

1 vanilla pod

1 cinnamon stick (or 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon)


Warm about one-third of the milk in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the chocolate and stir until it has melted. 

Whisk in the remaining milk, cream, and salt. Add the vanilla pod and cinnamon if you are using them now. For the vanilla, use the tip of a knife to slit the vanilla pod down its centre. Then, use the side of the knife to scrape the seeds out of both have. Place seeds and vanilla pods into the mixture.

Keep whisking the mixture and heat until it is hot but not boiling.

If you are adding booze, add it in now.

The hot chocolate is ready to serve now, however, the longer it sits, the richer, thicker and more flavourful it becomes.

Remove the vanilla pods and cinnamon stick before serving.

Pour into big mugs and decorate with your favourite toppings.


So, now you know what it takes to make the best creamy hot chocolate recipe at home. So make it personal and make it special, and you’ll be making it again and again.

Don’t forget to take a photo of your masterpiece and show me in the comments.

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If you are looking for more chocolate goodness, here is my hot chocolate mini cheesecake recipe.

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Lastly, do you like my creamy hot chocolate recipe? If so, please share it with others.

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