Homemade Hot Chocolate

Learn how to make the BEST homemade hot chocolate! Rich, creamy, and deeply chocolatey, it's the perfect cozy treat for a cold winter night.

Hot chocolate

When the weather outside is frightful, there’s no better way to warm up than with a rich, creamy cup of homemade hot chocolate. Really, take it from us – last winter was a particularly snowy one here in Chicago, and we did a lot of shoveling. When our fingers and toes would start to tingle from the cold, I’d come inside and make this hot chocolate recipe. It’s thick and comforting, the perfect fortifying treat on a chilly winter day.

With the holidays right around the corner, I thought it would be a great time to share this recipe with you. Made with a melted chocolate bar and pure maple syrup, it’s far more flavorful than any hot cocoa mix. I’ll have it on repeat all winter long, and I hope you will too.

Chopping chocolate bar on a cutting board

Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe:

  • Dark chocolate – My #1 tip for making the best hot chocolate? Use a chocolate bar instead of cocoa powder! It gives this recipe a creamy texture and an extra-rich chocolate flavor. I like to use dark chocolate – 70% is my favorite. Choose a vegan chocolate bar to make this recipe vegan!
  • Almond milk – Use store-bought, or make your own.
  • Cinnamon and vanilla extract – For warm depth of flavor.
  • Maple syrup – For sweetness.
  • And a splash of bourbon – Totally optional, but a really fun touch for a cozy grown-up drink.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Adding chopped candy bar to small saucepan of milk

How to Make Hot Chocolate

This recipe is SO simple to make!

All you have to do is warm the almond milk over low heat, add the chopped chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon…

Whisking homemade hot chocolate in small saucepan

…and whisk until smooth and warmed through, about 15 minutes.

Adding maple syrup to homemade hot chocolate

Pour in the maple syrup and bourbon, if using, and stir to combine. That’s it!

Serve in mugs with your favorite hot chocolate toppings. I like coconut whipped cream and dark chocolate shavings, but regular whipped cream or marshmallows would be delicious too.

Best hot chocolate recipe

More Cozy Winter Treats

If you love this recipe, try one of these cozy treats next:

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Homemade Hot Chocolate

rate this recipe:
4.90 from 49 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serves 2
The BEST hot chocolate recipe! Smooth, creamy, and full of rich chocolate flavor, it's comforting and cozy on cold winter nights.


  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 3 ounces dark chocolate, 70% cacao, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons bourbon, optional
  • Whipped cream and chocolate shavings, optional, for serving


  • In a small saucepan, heat the almond milk over low heat. Add the chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon, and whisk for 15 minutes, or until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth and warmed through.
  • Add the maple syrup and bourbon, if using, and stir to combine. Serve hot with whipped cream or chocolate shavings, if desired.


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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Heidi

    Wondering, did you use original or unsweetened almond milk?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I used unsweetened almond milk, but you can do either – you can reduce the maple syrup if using sweetened almond milk.

  2. Janis Pankey

    5 stars
    This was so rich and delicious! I cannot wait to make it when it’s not 71 degrees outside.

  3. April VanDerwerken

    This is my first time making hot chocolate from scratch and it was a breeze. Will be making it myself going forward. Delicious!

  4. Jessica Sollenberger

    Loved this recipe. SO easy and my stomach feels so much better with non dairy milk. I used almond milk, I’d love to try it again with cashew or oat! 🙂

  5. Rebekah

    Delicious! Thank you!

  6. Bridget Cassun

    5 stars
    Delicious; creamy and chocolatey; easy to make; perfect for a snowy evening!! Did add extra bourbon!

  7. Susan Collison

    4 stars
    So dark, rich, & creamy ~ and easy to make! Had to save half of mine for another time! Chocolate never tasted so smoothe! <3

  8. Emily Lancaster

    5 stars
    So yummy and easy! I loved the touch of cinnamon for a little spice. I used very dark chocolate and unsweetened soy milk and it was delicious without being overly sweet.

  9. Steph

    5 stars
    Made for December cooking club… SO GOOD! I’m so glad that I tried this recipe out!

  10. Gillian Bower

    5 stars
    So easy and perfect to make with family over the holidays!

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Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.