Indulge in this creamy 4-ingredient Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows for a warm and comforting drink that takes minutes to make, and it's guaranteed to warm you up on a cold day.
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You will feel as though you’re sipping on gourmet hot chocolate once you taste it because this cocoa is simply the best. It is rich, creamy, and boasts a bold chocolate flavor with the perfect level of sweetness.
This is just so good!
- Making this hot chocolate from scratch takes just four ingredients and 10 minutes.
- Skip those bags with the powdered mix that you add water to; this recipe is the real deal and so easy to make.
- Double the recipe for a big batch to serve at parties.
- You can adjust this recipe to add other ingredients; there are so many variations.
- Add a teaspoon of vanilla for a subtle floral flavor or add more cocoa powder if you want a stronger chocolate flavor
- How about hot chocolate coffee? Make a cup of coffee and add the hot chocolate like you would cream.
- Add some spice to your cocoa with cinnamon, or even a little cayenne pepper.
Hot Chocolate Ingredients
Milk - I prefer whole milk because I love the creaminess, but 2% milk will be delicious too!
Sweetened condensed milk- I use full fat, but reduced fat will work. Make sure you are not using evaporated milk. By adding this milk, you don't need to add sugar, and this is what makes this hot chocolate sweet, creamy, and velvety. It's like a magical ingredient.
Unsweetened cocoa powder - There are many brands, so use your favorite.
Marshmallows - Add both big and small ones, and if you can find peppermint marshmallows buy a bag because they add a nice minty flavor.
Variations for Vegan Hot Chocolate
Many of you have asked for options to make this hot chocolate vegan, and I have solutions for you.
- For the milk, you can use any plant-based milk you like.
- Luckily, you can now get Sweetened Condensed Oat Milk, or Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk.
- Try these vegan and gluten-free marshmallows called Dandies, which come in mini or large sizes.
☕How to make Hot Chocolate: Step-By-Step
Step 1. In a small bowl, whisk the condensed milk and cocoa powder until the mixture is smooth.
Step 2. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, add the milk and heat over medium heat to get it warm. Make sure the milk does not boil.
Step 3. Whisk in the chocolate mixture and continue heating the milk over medium-low heat until it's steaming and heated through. Make sure to stir continuously so the milk doesn't scorch.
Step 4. Turn the heat to medium-low and keep whisking until the chocolate and milk are combined. Cook and stir constantly until the desired temperature is reached. Just make sure you do not boil this, as it will scorch the bottom of the pan.
Step 5. Ladle the hot cocoa into mugs and top with marshmallows. Give those marshmallows a few stirs to get them soft and melty. Enjoy!
Add some crushed peppermint candies or even crushed candy canes on top of the marshmallows; you will love the minty flavor.
Christmas Hot Chocolate
There is something about having hot chocolate while wrapping presents, singing carols, or watching the snowfall. Set up a hot chocolate bar with all kinds of toppings and pour the hot chocolate into your crockpot to keep it warm for the evening.
Everyone loves adding their favorite toppings.
- Peppermint sticks
- Crushed peppermint candies
- Chocolate for grating
- Whipped Cream
- Plus, add your favorites
We like to stick the peppermint stick into a big marshmallow and stir it around. The kids love this, and it looks so festive. The marshmallow melts and gets creamy, and the peppermint stick adds, well...pepperminty flavor!
Cookies and hot cocoa
Bake these cookies for a sweet treat with your hot cuppa chocolate.
- For an old-fashioned flavor, bake a batch of these Triple Ginger Cookies.
- These Double Chocolate Cookies are rich and chewy for even more chocolate flavor.
- Try dipping these Jeweled Nut Biscotti into your mug.
- These are Santa's favorites, so bake plenty of these Christmas Sprinkle Cookies, that have a surprise chocolate middle layer.
For this recipe, you have to use condensed milk because it contains sugar, and that is the only sugar added to this recipe. Evaporated milk does not contain sugar.
Pair these recipes with a cup of cocoa
Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows
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- In a small bowl whisk the sweetened condensed milk and the cocoa powder together until thoroughly combined.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat and add the milk.
- Once the milk starts getting warm add the chocolate mixture and whisk until it is totally combined.
- Continue cooking the hot chocolate until it gets steamy and hot over medium-low heat. Stir continuously and do not boil or the mixture will burn the bottom of the pan.
- Ladle the hot chocolate into mugs and top with marshmallows.
- Store any unused hot chocolate in a sealed container and refrigerate for up to two days.
- You can reheat the hot chocolate on the stove or in the microwave.
- Add spices along with the cocoa powder, like cinnamon, vanilla, or cayenne pepper.
- Add peppermint extract for a minty flavor.
- Add espresso powder for a mocha flavor.
First published: Oct. 3, 2022, Last updated: Aug. 24, 2023 for better readability.
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From learning to cook on a farm in Indiana to culinary school in California, my passion for food is never-ending. Turning on my oven to bake something for friends and family is my happy place, and I am glad to be here at One Hot Oven sharing both sweet and savory family-friendly recipes for your cooking and baking inspiration.