Whether it's a hot chocolate craving, a sudden holiday guest, or your family wants a cup right now, this satisfying, creamy hot chocolate recipe is ready in three, yes three, minutes.
It's been cold this week consistently! I'm estatic!
For those who think living in South Florida is the dream...well, we are constantly bombarded with humid over-eighty-degree weather year round. In the summer, it can get into the triple digits for weeks, along with hurricane worries from April to November and raining like we're in Forks, Washington for weeks on end from May to August.
So please know that my excitement for weather below 70 degrees (aka non-humid, sunny, winter weather) is not to be taken lightly. Might as well tell me I'm in winter wonderland right now.
So usually I try to keep candy out of the house. Chocolate bars are no match for my five year old, no matter how well I hide them and no matter what I need them for, they will be eaten if found.
But cocoa powder is a different story.
When we got our Christmas tree this year, the next day South Florida froze over (to South Florida standards, a high of 63 degrees!) and hot chocolate was asked for. Of course, there were no chocolate bars in sight, but in my pantry there is always a pot of cocoa powder.
This hot chocolate recipe has been around in this house since 2012, when Brian and I moved to D.C. from San Antonio. My first year dealing with real snow and real cold weather, and our first Christmas as a married couple and living together, I wanted to bust out all the June Cleaver stops for my new-ish groom.
Tree trimming that year (and every year since!) came with decadent, fluffy cinnamon rolls and this quick and easy hot chocolate using cocoa powder. This was before I really knew much about cooking, so tempering chocolate and melting it down safely without burning it up wasn't my forte and this was also the time before the food blog blow up so 'looking up the recipe' meant going on Allrecipes or Food Network.
I found the original recipes on Allrecipes back then, but I tweaked it so many times that it has become a family favorite recipe, especially for how fast and delicious it is. Literally from start to stomach in three minutes, this hot chocolate is rich, creamy, and so chocolate-y that you will not be disappointed.
Tips on making the best hot chocolate:
Use the right cocoa powder and make sure it's from a brand you really enjoy. Dutch processed or regular cocoa powder can be used, but my favorite is Dutch because the acidity is neutralized and makes it less sharp tasting, perfect for kids.
You can use a milk substitute. Nut milks, soy, banana (that sounds really good!) are perfect to substitute if you're vegan or lactose intolerant. Just don't use 100% water. Please, for the love of Christmas, don't do it.
You can customize your hot chocolate any way you want! Adding a little peppermint extract with the vanilla or making a flavored simple syrup can change your hot chocolate into whatever masterpiece you want.
Finally...Top it with whatever you like! Fluffy clouds of homemade marshmallows that slowly melt into your drink, pile it high with sweetened whipped cream, add festive candy canes, pour a little booze in there, whatever you like. Have fun with it!
Wanting more winter comforts? Check out:
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- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup cold water
- 4 cups milk of choice
- ½ cup heavy cream, optional
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- In a medium sized saucepan, whisk together cocoa, sugar, and water until combined. Bring mixture to a gentle boil over medium heat, then turn temperature down to medium low and whisk in milk and cream, if using. Let the hot chocolate come to a hot yet drinkable temperature, for about a minute or two, then add vanilla extract.
- Serve with marshmallows, whipped cream, and/or toppings of choice.
Click here for my foolproof easy homemade marshmallow recipe.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 123
Eden Westbrook is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Sweet Tea and Thyme. A classically trained chef, Eden has inspired home cooks into the kitchen with cultural comfort foods, easy family-friendly eats and sweets, and glorious spreads for date night and entertaining since 2015.