Classic Dutch Hot Chocolate (Warme Chocolademelk)

Classic Dutch Hot Chocolate (Warme Chocolademelk) in mugs

The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 3 mins
Total: 8 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
259 Calories
14g Fat
26g Carbs
7g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 259
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 8g 42%
Cholesterol 20mg 7%
Sodium 73mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 9%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 21g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 197mg 15%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 363mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

In the Netherlands, ordering a cup of steaming hot chocolate is just as easy as getting coffee or tea. While the drink is most popular as a fall and winter treat, hot cocoa with whipped cream is certainly enjoyed on rainy days year-round.

Because there's nothing like hot chocolate made with good quality dark chocolate and whole milk topped with real whipped cream, the Dutch like to make their own from scratch. They always use the finest dark chocolate chips but also add a teaspoon of Dutch process cocoa for extra oomph. Classic Dutch cocoa comes with a generous dollop of whipped cream on top, dusted with cocoa or cinnamon (they prefer the latter) and sometimes a bit of brandy or rum for the adults. They don't usually sweeten the cream but sometimes add a flavoring such as vanilla extract or almond essence.

“I definitely recommend making this recipe two times since anyone you serve it to will surely ask for seconds. This recipe isn’t as overly-sweet as most hot chocolate recipes are so it’s easier to appreciate the flavor without it being cloying.” —Noah Velush-Rogers

Classic Dutch Hot Chocolate (Warme Chocolademelk)/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1/3 cup (100 grams) dark chocolate chips

  • 1 teaspoon Dutch process cocoa powder

  • 1 1/4 cups (300 milliliters) whole milk

  • 1 shot brandy, or rum, to taste, optional

  • Granulated sugar, or sweetener to taste, optional

  • Whipped cream, for garnish

  • Cocoa powder, for dusting

  • Ground cinnamon, for dusting

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Classic Dutch Hot Chocolate (Warme Chocolademelk) ingredients in bowls

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  2. Put the chocolate chips, cocoa, and 1/4 cup of the milk (about 60 ml) in a small saucepan over a medium heat.

    Milk, chocolate chips, and cocoa in a pot

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  3. Allow the chocolate to melt into the milk while stirring with a wooden spoon.

    Hot chocolate in a pot with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  4. Add the remaining 1 cup of milk and whisk lightly until foamy and very hot (not boiling).

    Hot chocolate with milk in a pot with a whisk

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  5. Add the brandy and sweetener, if using.

    Hot chocolate with rum in a pot with a whisk

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  6. Divide the mixture between 2 small cups, top with whipped cream, dust with cocoa powder and cinnamon, and serve piping hot.

    Classic Dutch Hot Chocolate (Warme Chocolademelk) in a mug

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

Dutch Hot Chocolate History

Drinking hot chocolate dates from the Mayans and Aztecs whose cacao bean beverage was bitter, unsweetened, and included spicy chili peppers. Imported to Spain by the Conquistadores, it was a luxury beverage among the nobility. By the 17th century, it began to be sweetened. However, it was still made by grinding whole cacao beans, which include the fat in the central nibs. Even though it was served at chocolate houses (like coffee houses) as well as in private mansions, it was still expensive and exclusive to those who could afford it.

Dutch process cocoa, or cocoa powder, was invented in 1828 by Coenradd Johannes van Houton using a press that separated the fat from roasted cacao beans. This allowed the caked cocoa to be powdered. In the process now called Dutching, he treated the powder with alkaline and produced Dutch chocolate with a dark color and mild flavor. Dutch process cocoa mixes well with water or milk. The cocoa butter that was separated during the Dutching process could then be added back in, along with sugar and other ingredients, to make solid chocolate bars, chips, and other shapes.

This invention transformed hot chocolate from a luxury enjoyed only by those with spare income to something everyone could afford to make and enjoy at home. Today, the Dutch are still a major force in the chocolate world, with a 25 percent share of the cocoa powder and cocoa butter export business. So, no matter where in the world you are enjoying your hot chocolate, there is a little Dutch in it.