Velvety smooth and rich hot chocolate from chocolate chips. This recipe uses only 3 ingredients to make the perfect cozy drink.
Nothing says ‘cozy’ quite like hot chocolate on a cold day. Extra creamy, velvety smooth and ultra-chocolatey, hot cocoa is an all-time crowd favourite.
Although hot cocoas of all shapes and sizes are delicious, nothing compares to using real chocolate. This recipe will teach you how to make hot chocolate with chocolate chips at home, using only 3 ingredients.
You will be amazed at how such a simple recipe can make the best hot cocoa you’ll ever taste. So, goodbye Starbucks and hello homemade hot chocolate recipe! This easy hot chocolate recipe is perfect for cold winter days, cozy weekends in or Christmas holidays.
Why this is the best hot chocolate recipe
- Rich and smooth: Using real chocolate turns a regular hot chocolate into the creamiest, most velvety smooth drink ever. With a dash of heavy cream added to the mix, this delicious recipe gives you richness for days!
- Only 3 ingredients: This creamy hot chocolate recipe only uses milk, heavy cream and chocolate chips. So simple, yet so delicious when combined!
- Easy to make: Whipping up this recipe takes only minutes. The downside is you might want to have it all the time!
- Customisable: This chocolate chip hot chocolate is so easy to customise. All you need to do is add your favourite flavouring like spices, peppermint, chilli flakes and more!
Chocolate Chips vs Cocoa Powder
Most coffee shops like Starbucks tend to use cocoa powder when making hot chocolate. Although delicious and super quick to make, cocoa powder is inferior to real chocolate chips. Here’s why chocolate chips are the best for making hot chocolate:
- Amazing flavour: Real chocolate will always have a more natural and intense flavour than cocoa powder. Chocolate contains a higher percentage of cocoa solids, which gives an incredible flavour. Go for dark chocolate for the ultimate chocolate experience!
- Creamy texture: Cocoa powder contains less fat than chocolate, so it makes for a more liquid drink. On the other hand, real chocolate has that cocoa butter goodness that makes the hot cocoa extra velvety and creamy.
- Easier to mix: I’m sure we’ve all made a mess before trying to mix cocoa powder into hot milk. Real chocolate does all the work for you, as it melts on its own in hot milk. Simply give it a good mix afterwards and voila – all done!
On the downside, real chocolate can be more expensive than cocoa powder. But if quality is your main priority, real chocolate is hands down the winner!
All ingredients needed for this chocolate chip hot chocolate are simple and very easy to find. You only need 3 ingredients to make this recipe:
- Milk – I recommend using whole milk or full fat milk, because it’s much creamier than lower fat milks. However, if you’re watching your calories, lower fat milk can be used too. You can also use lactose free milk or plant-based alternatives like soy milk or almond milk. I like making this recipe with hazelnut milk, because it makes it taste like Nutella!
- Heavy cream – Makes the chocolate drink even creamier and ultra-decadent. Any type of heavy cream can be used. Alternatively, replace it with milk for a lighter drink.
- Chocolate chips – As the star of the show, they are really important. Make sure you choose high quality chocolate for the best flavour. You can use any types of chocolate you like, including dark, semi-sweet, milk or white chocolate.
- Salt – A pinch of salt goes a long way with chocolate! Salt helps bring out the chocolate flavour and balance out the sweetness.
- Instant coffee powder – Adding the tiniest bit of instant coffee into your hot cocoa will make the chocolate flavour pop and feel nutty and roasted. Don’t worry though, if you only add a tiny bit the coffee flavour will go unnoticed.
- Sugar – Depending on which type of chocolate chips you use, you might need to add extra sweetness. Any type of sugar or sweetener works, including granulate sugar, brown sugar, dark sugar, honey, maple syrup and more!
Types of chocolate chips
You can use any types of chocolate chips, as long as they’re of good quality. Here are some of my recommendations:
- Dark chocolate chips: dark unsweetened chocolate gives the most intense and rich flavor. If you love a dark, roasted flavour these are the ones for you! Dark chocolate doesn’t contain a lot of sugar, so you might need to use some type of sweetener for this option. I recommend Guittard Extra Dark Chocolate Chips with 63% cocoa solids.
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips: the best of both worlds, they’re very chocolatey but also a little sweet. You might also find it easier to find them in shops, as they’re widely available. I recommend using my all-time favourite Callebaut Belgian Semisweet Dark Chocolate Callets with 54% cocoa solids.
- Milk chocolate: everyone’s all-time favourite. Milk chocolate is a total crowd pleaser for both kids and adults. I recommend using Callebaut Belgian Milk Chocolate Chips 33% cocoa solids.
- White chocolate chips: are ideal if you like a milkier drink. Although slightly on the sweeter side, it’s still an amazing option. I recommend Guittard Baking au lait chips or Callebaut White Chocolate Callets 28% cocoa solids.
- Ruby chocolate: the newest kid on the block, runy chocolate is entirely natural and tastes like berries. Plus, did I mention that it’s naturally pink?! I absolutely love this one because of its unusual, yet delicious fruity flavour. My go to ruby chocolate is Callebaut Ruby Chocolate Gourmet Callets with 33% cocoa solids.
- Dairy-free chocolate: You can make this recipe entirely dairy free by using dairy-free chips. I recommend the Ghirardelli Non-Dairy Dark Chocolate Chips.
If you don’t have any chocolate chips on hand, don’t worry! You can use chocolate bars as well. Simply chop it into small pieces, then continue this recipe as instructed.
How to make hot chocolate with chocolate chips
Describe briefly how to make the recipe, keep it concise.
1. Heat milk and heavy cream on the stove over medium-low heat or in the microwave until hot, but not boiling.
2. Add chocolate chips into a mixing cup or jug. Pour hot milk on top, then let sit until the chocolate melts.
3. Stir well to combine the melted chocolate and milk with a spoon.
4. Use an electric whisk for extra smooth texture. Top with whipped cream, marshmallows and chocolate sauce. Serve immediately, whilst hot.
The beauty of this hot chocolate from chocolate chips recipe is that it’s highly customisable. You can add in your favourite syrups or spices to create a fun and exciting hot cocoa. Here are some of my favourite additions:
- Spices: Add ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger or allspice for a spiced kick. This is perfect for really cold days or around the holidays, so the hot chocolate tastes like gingerbread. Serve it with a side of Gingerbread Cookies or Grandma’s Soft Molasses Cookies.
- Hazelnut: Use hazelnut milk or add in a little hazelnut syrup or liqueur for a roasted, nutty flavour.
- Caramel: Nothing adds a more caramelised flavour than brown sugar syrup. Add a teaspoon of it into the hot milk to a wonderful caramel taste.
- Mexican hot chocolate: A sprinkle of chilli powder or cayenne pepper will turn your hot cocoa into a spicy hot drink. Perfect for extra cold days!
- Irish cocoa: Pour in a small shot of Irish liqueur or Bailey’s Irish Cream for a lightly boozy and highly delicious kick!
- Peanut butter: Add in a teaspoon of peanut butter at the same time as the chocolate. Let it melt into the hot milk for a superb peanut flavour, which also adds creaminess!
- Peppermint: Get your festive groove on with a peppermint kick. Add 1-2 drops of peppermint extract or crush some peppermint candy or candy cane and mix it into your hot chocolate.
- Orange: If you’re a fan of Jaffa Cakes, you will definitely love chocolate and orange together. Finely grate some orange zest or add 1-2 drops of orange extract into your hot cocoa for a lovely citrussy flavour.
Not going to lie, I probably love toppings more than the drink itself! Tasty toppings will take your easy homemade hot chocolate from good to amazing. Here are some of my favourites:
- Whipped cream: no hot cocoa is complete without it. Whether you’re using store bought or homemade, simply pipe it on top.
- Marshmallows: I recommend using mini marshmallows, because they melt beautifully into your hot chocolate from chocolate chips!
- Chocolate sauce: drizzle a generous helping of chocolate sauce on top of whipped cream or marshmallows for an extra decadent finish. You can also use caramel or butterscotch sauce.
- Sprinkles: this one is perfect for the little ones! Sprinkle some of your favourite sprinkles on top of whipped cream for a colourful and fun finish. They also add a good crunch too!
- Spices: keep it simple and dust the hot chocolate or whipped cream with your favourite spices. You can use anything from cinnamon, to nutmeg, ginger, cardamom or allspice.
Serving & Storing
If you have leftover hot chocolate from chocolate chips, don’t worry. You can easily store it, here’s how:
Storage – Place plain hot cocoa in an airtight bottle and store in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. The chocolate might slightly separate from the milk, but this can be easily fixed.
Reheating – Transfer hot cocoa to a saucepan and heat it over low heat, whilst stirring constantly until hot. Alternatively, microwave in bursts of 30-40 seconds, mixing in between until hot. Do not overheat, as this can cause the chocolate to become grainy.
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If you’ve tried this recipe out, please don’t forget to rate and comment on this post. I love hearing from you, so feel free to reach out to me on social media as well and tag me in your posts!
Hot Chocolate from Chocolate Chips Recipe
- electric whisk, optional
- ¾ cup whole milk *
- ¼ cup heavy cream *
- ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips *
- pinch of salt
- ¼ teaspoon instant coffee
- whipped cream, for topping
- mini marshmallows, for topping
- chocolate sauce, for topping
- In a small saucepan, heat up the milk and heavy cream over medium-low heat. Once the milk starts foaming slightly (but not boiling), remove off heat.
- Place chocolate chips into a mug and pour hot milk over them. Alternatively, add the chocolate chips into the saucepan.
- Let the mixture sit for 4-5 minutes, then mix everything together with a spoon. Use en electric whisk for a perfectly smooth texture.
- Serve immediately, topped with whipped cream, marshmallows and other desired toppings.
- Milk: you can use any type of milk, including plant-based.
- Heavy cream can be replaced with more milk.
- Any type of chocolate chips can be used: extra dark, dark, semi-sweet, milk, white or ruby chocolate.
- Nutrition information is estimative only and is calculated per serving, without any additional toppings.