Creamy Homemade Hot Cocoa


  • ¾ cup white sugar, or to taste

  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 pinch salt

  • ⅓ cup boiling water

  • 3 ½ cups milk

  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ½ cup half-and-half cream


How to Make Homemade Hot Chocolate

Here's a very brief overview of what you can expect when you make homemade hot chocolate:

  1. Put the dry ingredients in a pan, then whisk in the boiling water.
  2. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, for two minutes.
  3. Stir in the milk, remove from the heat, and stir in the vanilla.
  4. Pour the hot cocoa into mugs and finish with half-and-half.

Does Hot Chocolate Have Caffeine?

Hot chocolate contains a small amount of caffeine because chocolate is slightly caffeinated. However, it has much less caffeine than coffee, sodas, and many teas. Unless you are very sensitive to caffeine, hot cocoa is unlikely to keep you up at night.

How to Serve Hot Chocolate

This creamy hot chocolate is decadent enough to sip as-is. You can take it up a notch with traditional toppings like marshmallows, homemade whipped cream, or a drizzle of chocolate sauce. For a festive twist and subtle minty flavor, garnish each mug of hot cocoa with a candy cane. Adults may appreciate a shot of Irish cream, amaretto, or peppermint vodka.