On a chilly winter day, nothing tastes better than a steaming mug of hot chocolate. And this genius slow-cooker recipe makes it easy to enjoy your favorite drink the second you come in from the cold.
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How to Make Crock-Pot Hot Chocolate
This indulgent Truffle Hot Chocolate recipe was developed by the Taste of Home Test Kitchen. It features a rich, mocha taste and tons of chocolate flavor. You’ll enjoy six tasty servings.
For the hot chocolate:
- 4 cups 2% milk
- 6 ounces 70% cacao dark baking chocolate, chopped
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Dash salt
For the coffee whipped cream (optional):
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Chocolate-covered coffee beans, chopped
Step 1: Make the hot chocolate
The beauty of slow-cooker hot chocolate? It’s so easy. For this recipe, simply combine all of the hot chocolate ingredients in a 1-1/2 quart slow cooker. Cook, covered, on low for two hours, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is hot and chocolate is melted. Did you know coffee helps bring out that ultra-chocolaty flavor? Learn more about this dynamic duo here.
Step 2: Whip, whip, whip!
While the hot chocolate is cooking, you can start preparing the garnishes. While it’s completely optional, this coffee whipped cream adds a sophisticated edge to the finished drink. To make, beat together the cream and espresso powder in a small bowl. Once the cream starts to thicken, add the sugar and beat until soft peaks form.
Step 3: Garnish and serve
Once your hot chocolate is, well, hot, it’s time to serve! Ladle servings into mugs and garnish with whipped cream and chopped chocolate-covered espresso beans.
Want more? These chocolate recipes would be tasty on the side.
More Crock-Pot Hot Chocolate Tips
Will the milk curdle in the slow cooker?
There’s always a chance milk will curdle when exposed to heat, but by cooking this Crock-Pot hot chocolate on a low temperature and stirring frequently, it’s unlikely.
Why use chocolate and not just cocoa powder?
Chopped chocolate gives this recipe a luxe, truffle-like texture. The end result is smooth, creamy and oh-so-decadent. If you don’t have chocolate on hand, you can certainly substitute cocoa powder. But the end result will be a little less indulgent.
Can I flavor this hot chocolate with peppermint?
Sure! Feel free to swap out the espresso powder for a teaspoon of peppermint extract (we’re fans of the Nielsen-Massey brand) or a splash of peppermint liqueur. Garnish with crushed peppermint candies. For more fun flavors, check out our best hot chocolate recipes.
Can I make this dairy-free and vegan?
Yes—but you will need to make some substitutions. First, replace the milk with your favorite milk alternative. Then double-check that your baking chocolate is dairy-free. (Some brands may contain milk fat). You can count on these vegan chocolate brands.
For the garnish, swap the heavy whipping cream for coconut cream, or pick up your favorite store-bought whipped cream alternative. If you’re vegan, you’ll also need to pay attention to the sugar you use and buy a brand that does not use bone char. You can find a list of vegan-approved brands here.
Can I add toppings while the hot chocolate is still in the Crock-Pot?
No. Adding the whipped cream or espresso bean pieces to the slow cooker will cause them to melt. Instead, top your drink immediately after pouring it into a mug. If you’re serving this recipe for a party, set out the garnishes in bowls next to the slow cooker and allow guests to help themselves.
Can I freeze homemade hot chocolate?
Yes, but it’s not advisable. There’s a risk that the hot chocolate will separate, and milk tends to get grainy when frozen for longer than a month. You can check out our complete guide to freezing dairy.
After you’ve finished your sweet drink, try one of these slow-cooker recipes next!