How to Make the Ultimate Crockpot Hot Chocolate

Truffle Hot Chocolate Recipe photo by Taste of Home

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.

Crockpot Hot Chocolate Ingredients

Hot chocolate:

  • 2% milk
  • Cacao dark baking chocolate
  • Brown sugar
  • Instant espresso powder
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt

Coffee whipped cream (optional):

  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Instant espresso powder
  • Sugar
  • Chocolate-covered coffee beans


Step 1: Make the hot chocolate

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. Coffee helps bring out that ultra-chocolaty flavor.

Step 2: Prepare the garnishes

While the hot chocolate is warming up in the slow cooker, 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.

Editor’s Tip: Wait to add garnishes until the hot chocolate is served up; they’d melt if added right to the slow cooker. If you’re serving this recipe for a party, set out the garnishes in bowls next to the Crockpot and allow guests to help themselves.

Can you freeze Crockpot 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. Instead, learn how to make frozen hot chocolate.

Crockpot 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 Crockpot hot chocolate on a low temperature and stirring frequently, it’ll be just fine.

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 you 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.

Can you flavor this hot chocolate with peppermint?

Sure! Feel free to swap out the espresso powder for a teaspoon of peppermint extract or a splash of peppermint liqueur. Garnish with crushed peppermint candies. For more fun flavors, check out our best hot chocolate recipes.

Crockpot Hot Chocolate

Greet holiday guests at the door with steaming mugs of rich hot chocolate. As the crowning touch, offer a selection of flavored whipped creams.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen
Truffle Hot Chocolate Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time

Prep/Total Time: 25 min.


6 servings (about 1 quart)


  • 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
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Chocolate-covered coffee beans, chopped, optional


  1. In a large saucepan, heat milk over medium heat until bubbles form around sides of pan (do not boil). Remove from the heat; whisk in the chocolate, brown sugar, espresso powder, vanilla and salt until smooth. Return to the heat; cook and stir until heated through. Pour into mugs.
  2. In a small bowl, beat cream and espresso powder until it begins to thicken. Add sugar; beat until soft peaks form. If desired, garnish with coffee beans.
  3. To prepare in a slow cooker: In a 1-1/2-qt. slow cooker, combine the first 6 ingredients. Cook, covered, on low 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until mixture is hot and chocolate is melted.

Nutrition Facts

3/4 cup: 267 calories, 15g fat (9g saturated fat), 16mg cholesterol, 92mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate (26g sugars, 2g fiber), 7g protein.