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Homemade Hot Chocolate – Hot Cocoa

Homemade Hot Chocolate ( Hot Cocoa ) made from scratch! This decadent creamy warm beverage is a must have for cold winter months.

Learn to make creamy, rich and delightful Hot Chocolate ( or Hot Cocoa) using real quality ingredients. It is easy, quick and oh.so.delicious ! You will never want to use the package version again !

There is a very subtle difference between Hot Chocolate and Hot Cocoa. So, I am using both these terms throughout. Some folks also call it “drinking chocolate”.

I am including Instant Pot and stove top instructions to make this family favorite drink at home. This 5-ingredients, 10 minutes recipe makes Best Café style Hot Chocolate.

Are you a chocolate fan like me ? Then this creamy dreamy rich chocolate drink is for you. It is loved by kids and adults alike.

A big cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows on top..a cozy blanket..a crackling fireplace..and a good book to read. It is my definition of blissful nirvana evening !

Same goes for family movie night or game watching. Couple of heavy appetizers like Spinach Artichoke Dip and Air-fryer Stuffed Mushrooms along with a couple of warm beverages like Golden Turmeric Milk or Mulled Apple Cider. It sure is our favorite pastime.

A close up of a mug filled with drinking chocolate and topped with marshmallows.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HOT COCOA AND HOT CHOCOLATE?

It is a subtle difference between how both these beverages are made. Hot cocoa contains cocoa powder, sugar, and milk. Hot chocolate is made with chopped or shaved chocolate added to either cream, milk, or water. Hot Cocoa is thinner and lighter compared to Hot Chocolate which is a fuller bodied beverage. Hot Cocoa also tends to be sweeter than hot chocolate.

Why Make Homemade Hot Chocolate – Hot Cocoa in Instant Pot ?

• Can make a big batch for multiple servings.
• Keep it warm until ready to serve.
• Perfect for holidays
• Ideal for parties and family gatherings
• Also great for DIY hot chocolate bar

STARBUCK STYLE HOT CHOCOLATE

Make this easy recipe at home. Save big dollars at Starbucks or cafes. Especially if you are buying it for a family or multiple people, savings are substantial.

overhead shot of 3 glass filled with warm cocoa drink . The cups are on silver tray along with chocolates, cinnamon sticks and marshmallows.

HOMEMADE HOT CHOCOLATE – HOT COCOA MIX

Homemade hot chocolate mix can be stored in airtight glass containers for a few months. It makes beautiful gifts as well.

Make a big batch of the dry powder mix. All you need to do is warm up the milk of your choice and mix it in. Simple and satisfying beverage is ready within minutes !

HOW TO MAKE CREAMY HOT COCOA?

It is a personal preference but if you like creamy and rich hot cocoa or hot chocolate,  use whole milk or full-fat milk. You can also add heavy cream to make it richer.

On the other hand, for lighter fare and low calorie guilt free version, use fat free or skim milk.

VARIETY OF TOPPINGS:

By adding a variety of different toppings , you can further personalize this drink. A splash of whipped cream and a handful of mini Marshmallows is my favorite.

Some other ideas include Sprinkles,  Coconut Shavings, chocolate chips,  chocolate syrup or caramel drizzle. A few sea salt flakes taste awesome too.

Peppermint extract or candy canes , crushed peanut butter or oreo cookies taste great too.

A glass mug filled with chocolate milk. it is garnished with chocolate syrup and mini marshmallows.

HOW TO SET UP DIY HOT COCOA BAR?

1. Make a big batch of Hot Chocolate/ Cocoa Drink
2. Set it up in Crock-Pot or Instant Pot to keep warm
3. Arrange cups, spoons and napkins for all.
4. Keep a variety of toppings in open containers ( marshmallows, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, sprinkles, peppermint candies, chocolate syrup, caramel sauce, whipping cream etc.)
5. Serve some desserts and cookies to munch along.

HOW TO MAKE KETO HOT CHOCOLATE ?

This recipe can be easily converted to make it Keto / low carb. Just use keto friendly sweetener instead of regular sugar. Stevia or monk fruit work best.

A hand holding a mug filled Homemade Hot Chocolate. It shows creamy and rich colors of the drink.

IS HOT COCOA RECIPE VEGAN ?

Yes ! I prefer to use almond milk to make my rich and creamy hot cocoa. You can make it with any plant based milk including coconut milk or soy milk to make it vegan.

IS HOT COCOA RECIPE GLUTEN FREE?

Yes. All the ingredients used in making this recipe are gluten free.

Homemade hot chocolate drink served in three glass mugs along with chocolate bites and marshmallows served on silver tray. The whole set up is served on cozy blanket.

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups milk – I used almond milk
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup raw sugar or sweetener of your choice
1/4 cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate bar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt – optional but helps enhance the flavors.
Optional garnishes : Marshmallows, chocolate sauce, cinnamon powder

Ingredients used to make this recipe at home from scratch.

HOW TO MAKE :

Place milk, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and sugar in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat until warm. Whisk constantly.

Add chocolate chips and whisk constantly until the chocolate chips melt and distribute evenly into the milk.

Serve warm in the cup. Top with marshmallows or your favorite toppings. Serve immediately.

HOW TO MAKE HOT CHOCOLATE / HOT COCOA IN INSTANT POT ?

Press SAUTE on the Instant Pot. Add all the ingredients in main steel insert. Stir well.

Heat mixture until warm, but not boiling, and then press CANCEL.

Press KEEP WARM. It will keep the drink warm till you are ready to serve. Stir well again before serving.

Using a ladle, pour in the cup. Garnish with marshmallows or your favorite toppings. Serve warm.

If you want to make this recipe in a crock pot, combine the same ingredients but cook on low for two hours. Make sure to stir occasionally to make sure the chocolate chips don’t stick.

Process shot collage showing different steps involved in making this recipe.

OUR FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD RECIPES PERFECT FOR WINTER MONTHS:

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If you make this Keto Vegan Instant Pot Hot Chocolate Recipe do let us know how you like it by star rating it and leaving a comment below.

Homemade hot chocolate drink served in three glass mugs along with chocolate bites and marshmallows served on silver tray. The whole set up is served on cozy blanket.

Homemade Hot Chocolate - Hot Cocoa

Yield: 2 cups
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Hot Chocolate is warm, creamy hot cocoa drink full of rich chocolate flavors. This recipe makes the best vegan and gluten free hot chocolate in just 5 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk - I used Light Almond Milk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup sweetener - I used raw sugar
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate bar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt - optional 
  • Optional Garnishes - marshmallows, chocolate syrup, cinnamon powder

Instructions

    STOVE TOP INSTRUCTIONS :

    Place milk, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and sugar in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat until warm. Whisk constantly.

    Add chocolate chips and whisk constantly until the chocolate chips melt and distribute evenly into the milk.

    Serve warm in the cup. Top with marshmallows or your favorite toppings. 

    INSTANT POT INSTRUCTIONS :

    Press SAUTE on the Instant Pot.  Add all the ingredients in main steel insert. Stir well. Heat mixture until warm, but not boiling, and then press CANCEL.

    Press KEEP WARM. It will keep the drink warm til you are ready to serve. Stir well again before serving.

    Using a ladle, pour in the cup. Garnish with marshmallows or your favorite toppings.  Serve warm.

    CROCK POT INSTRUCTIONS :

    If you want to make this recipe in a crock pot, combine the same ingredients but cook on low for two hours. Make sure to stir occasionally to make sure the chocolate chips don’t stick.

Notes

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HOT COCOA AND HOT CHOCOLATE?

It is a subtle difference between how both these beverages are made. Hot cocoa contains cocoa powder, sugar, and milk. Hot chocolate is made with chopped or shaved chocolate added to either cream, milk, or water. Hot Cocoa is thinner and lighter compared to Hot Chocolate which is a fuller bodied beverage. Hot Cocoa also tends to be sweeter than hot chocolate. 

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 207Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 25mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 6gSugar: 43gProtein: 14g

Nutritional values are provided as a courtesy and the values are approximate. The values will change depending on the exact ingredients, measurements and brands used. As always, for specific health issues and dietary requirements please consult medical professional.

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