6 Hot Chocolate Recipes to Warm You Up (and 1 to Cool You Down)

Have your hot chocolate with a dose of (optional) spice.

By Leah Sherrell

December 16, 2022

It’s not just for kids. Hot chocolate is an indulgent classic, and an internationally unifying experience. In honor of that, we’ve put together a list of 7 recipes to bring it back to your list of treats! 

When was the last time you had a really good cup of hot chocolate? And what kind of memories come up when you think of it? 

For a lot of us, hot chocolate equals childhood, holiday movies, and family gatherings. You may have left this particular drink in childhood, but I’m here to tell you that it’s a winning treat at every stage of life. 

Read More: What’s the best bakery in NC? Click here to tell us! 

Whether you’re looking for nostalgia in a cup, a recipe for your next gathering, or you’re instilling memories into your own children, these recipes are sure to please. 

Simple Single Serving

This recipe from Joshua Weissman pulls together simple ingredients from your pantry, and blends them all into the perfect – uncomplicated – cup of hot chocolate. 


  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Brown sugar 
  • Cream 
  • Milk 
  • Vanilla extract 
  • Salt 

Italian Hot Chocolate 

This is an intense cup of chocolate. Thick, creamy, and sooo rich. The recipe is from “An Italian in my Kitchen”, an online food blog by Rosemary Molloy, inspired by her time in Italy learning to make authentic Italian dishes.  


  • Dark chocolate
  • Sugar 
  • Unsweetened cocoa 
  • Milk 
  • Cornstarch

Mexican Hot Chocolate 

Isabel Eats started as a way for Isabel Orozco-Moore to write down family recipes and celebrate her Mexican heritage. This recipe is smooth, full of flavor, and adds an (optional) hint of spice for those of us who crave it. 


  • Milk 
  • Unsweetened cocoa
  • Sugar 
  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla extract 
  • Chili powder
  • Ground cayenne (optional) 
  • Bittersweet chocolate 

French Hot Chocolate 

Unhappy with the results of instant hot chocolate, Erin Clarke discovered the “true meaning” of the cold-weather drink after a visit to Paris. There she found the combination of dark chocolate and heavy cream responsible for the perfect recipe every chocolate lover is looking for. 


  • Whole milk 
  • Heavy cream 
  • Powdered sugar 
  • Espresso powder
  • Bittersweet chocolate 
  • Whipped cream 

Baileys Hot Chocolate 

More of a dessert than a drink, Baileys Irish Cream adds a boozy twist and an inordinate amount of toppings in this 21+ hot chocolate recipe


Hot chocolate powder

Baileys Original Irish Cream 


Whipped Cream 



Chocolate fingers 

Chocolate sauce 

White Chocolate Hot Chocolate 

Ina Garten, author of 13 cookbooks, shares this recipe for a version of hot chocolate you may not have tried before. Say you have family members who aren’t so fond of classic dark or milk chocolate, no need to worry because this recipe is all about white chocolate! (and for an extra kick you can add in some orange liqueur)


  • Milk 
  • Half-n-Half
  • White chocolate
  • Vanilla extract 
  • Seeds from vanilla beans 
  • Orange flavored liquor (optional) 

Frozen Hot Chocolate 

Emily, Echo, and Erica started “Favorite Family Recipes” to document family recipes; it quickly grew to a blog with over 1,000 recipes – including this one for Frozen Hot Chocolate. 


  • Chocolate (they recommend Marabou or Ghirardelli) 
  • Hot chocolate powder mix 
  • Sugar 
  • Milk 
  • Ice (or frozen milk for added richness)
  • Whipped cream 
  • Chocolate shavings 


  • Leah Sherrell

    Leah Sherrell is a multimedia reporter for Cardinal & Pine. A graduate of UNC-Wilmington, she's a resident of Kernersville with a background in video production and communication. Leah uses many forms of media to explore the multifaceted lifestyles and cultures present in North Carolina.


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