It is time to skip the mix! Learn how to make the best hot chocolate you have ever tasted. This decadent recipe is as easy as it is delicious.
Rich Hot Chocolate Recipe photo by Taste of Home

What would winter be without a steaming cup of hot chocolate to keep you warm at night? When you’re craving the real deal, skip the powder packets and rely on the best hot chocolate recipe: one that uses milk (never water!), dark chocolate and a whole heap of whipped cream.

The result is supremely rich and satisfying—the perfect complement to a cozy night in. The best part though: It’s super easy to make and only takes minutes.

Hot Chocolate Ingredients

Taste of Home

  • 2% milk
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Dark chocolate (or sub milk chocolate)
  • Sugar
  • Whipped cream or the garnish of your choosing


Step 1: Combine ingredients

To make, start by chopping four ounces of chocolate. We used a very dark chocolate, but you can use milk if you prefer—just be sure to use a chocolate that you’d be happy to eat on its own. Once it’s chopped, add it to a small saucepan with the whipping cream, milk and sugar.

Step 2: Heat and stir

Heat just until mixture comes to a simmer, stirring constantly. Once you’ve got it to a nice simmer (not a boil—here’s the difference), remove from the heat and stir until smooth.

Step 3: Serve and garnish

Pour into two mugs; top with sweetened whipped cream and garnish with your favorite toppings.

Hot Chocolate Tips

Taste of Home

Can I use water instead of dairy?

This recipe makes an exceptionally decadent hot chocolate. That’s thanks to the dark chocolate the recipe calls for, not to mention the milk and cream! This hot cocoa definitely proves that the best hot chocolate is always made with milk. It’s what gives it such a silky texture.

If you’re dairy-free, go ahead and use your favorite alternative milk. Just be sure the chocolate and garnishes are also dairy-free.

What can I garnish hot chocolate with?

Looking to fancy up your hot chocolate? Go with the classics: mini marshmallows or whipped cream. And there are a lot of other fun garnishes and mix-ins to consider from Nutella and orange zest to coffee and crushed peppermint. Here’s our full list of hot chocolate garnishes.

Rich Hot Chocolate

Each winter in early February my friends and I gather for an outdoor show called Mittenfest. We skip the Bloody Marys and fill our thermoses with these hot cocoas instead.
Rich Hot Chocolate Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time

Prep/Total Time: 15 min.


2 servings


  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate candy bar, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • Vanilla rum, optional
  • Sweetened heavy whipping cream, whipped


  1. In a small saucepan, heat heavy whipping cream, milk, chocolate and sugar over medium heat just until mixture comes to a simmer, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir until smooth. If desired, add rum. Pour into 2 mugs; top with sweetened whipped cream.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 653 calories, 49g fat (32g saturated fat), 107mg cholesterol, 79mg sodium, 60g carbohydrate (56g sugars, 4g fiber), 9g protein.