Hot chocolate isn’t just for kids. In fact, when spiked with hazelnut liqueur, Nutella and vanilla beans, the comforting Christmas drink becomes downright decadent. If you’ve been searching for a delicious, adults-only hot chocolate recipe, this is it. And though the process is definitely more complex than cracking open an envelope, heating up some milk in the microwave and stirring—we promise the end result is well worth it.
Without further ado, here’s how to make Nutella hot chocolate. Enjoy!
What You Need:
- 3 vanilla beans
- 9 cups whole milk
- 2-3/4 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
- 16 ounces bittersweet chocolate, divided
- 1/2 cup Nutella
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup hazelnut liqueur
- 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted
- Cinnamon sticks, optional
Step 1: Prep Vanilla
Start by preparing the vanilla beans. If you’ve never worked with the whole beans before, don’t worry, it’s quite easy. You’ll want to use a sharp knife to split the beans in half lengthwise. Then, with the tip of your knife, scrape out the inner seeds of the bean and set them aside. Toss the remaining bean shells.
Step 2: Melt Chocolate
Every good hot chocolate requires (you guessed it!) hot chocolate. For this recipe, we found that the best method is to heat the milk and ¾ cup of the cream in a large saucepan over medium heat until the mixture comes to a simmer. Then, chop up 15 ounces of the chocolate and mix it with the Nutella, sugars, salt and vanilla seeds in a large heat-proof bowl. Pour the warm milk mixture over the chocolate mixture and let it stand for a minute or two.
Step 3: Spike It
Now here comes the fun part: Whisk the chocolate mixture until smooth, then stir in the liqueur. Keep the mixture warm while you prep the garnishes.
Editor’s Tip: Hazelnut liqueur helps to take this hot chocolate to the next level, but if you’re serving to younger guests, feel free to leave it out.
Step 4: Garnish and Serve
Before serving, whip the remaining cream and shave the remaining chocolate. Pour a serving of the hot chocolate into a mug, then top with cream, chocolate and chopped hazelnuts. If desired, serve with a cinnamon stick.
Other Methods for Making Nutella Hot Chocolate:
Though the above recipe is our preferred and Test Kitchen-approved method for Nutella hot chocolate, there are other ways to achieve delicious results:
How do you make hot chocolate with Nutella in the microwave?
For a oh-so-easy treat, follow package directions to prepare an envelope of microwave hot chocolate mix. Then, add a dollop (or two!) of Nutella. Stir until melted and well-combined. Garnish with whipped cream and a drizzle of warmed Nutella.
Can I mix Nutella with milk?
If you’re feeling really lazy, you can also mix plain milk with Nutella. Just heat a serving of milk in a small saucepan, then add in a few spoonfuls of Nutella until the desired chocolate taste is reached. The end results will be sweet, but not quite as decadent as traditional hot chocolate.