Old-Fashioned Hot Chocolate With Variations

Homemade Hot Chocolate
Diana Rattray
  • Total: 16 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 6 mins
  • Yield: 4 Servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
299 Calories
14g Fat
35g Carbs
9g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 Servings
Amount per serving
Calories 299
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 25mg 8%
Sodium 183mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Dietary Fiber 2g 5%
Protein 9g
Calcium 286mg 22%
*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.)

This is a classic old-fashioned hot chocolate, a delicious drink for fall or winter. This version is made with unsweetened chocolate, milk, sugar, and vanilla. This hot chocolate is the perfect drink for a chilly fall or winter day!

Some classic toppings include regular or mini marshmallows or a big spoonful of Marshmallow Creme or Fluff. Or top it off with freshly whipped cream or whipped topping. 

Hot chocolate is also quite versatile and there are lots of ways to make it your own or take it over the top. Check out the variations below the basic recipe. Make it richer, add some spices, or add some mint liqueurs to the grown-up grasshopper version.


  • 2 ounces (2 squares) unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/3 cup sugar (granulated)
  • 4 cups milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Optional: marshmallow creme, Fluff or whipped cream

Steps to Make It

  1. Place chocolate, sugar, milk, and salt in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-low heat. Heat, stirring, until chocolate melts and the mixture is well blended.

  2. Stir in the vanilla; pour the hot chocolate into mugs and top with a spoonful of marshmallow or whipped cream, if desired.


  • Rich Hot Chocolate: replace 1 to 1 1/2 cups of the whole milk with half-and-half or light cream.
  • Grown Up Grasshopper Hot Chocolate: add 4 tablespoons of creme de menthe and 1 tablespoon of creme de cacao, or to taste.
  • Spiced Mexican Hot Chocolate: add 3/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and a dash of ancho chili powder. Add a cinnamon stick to each cup and top with a dollop of whipped cream.
  • Cinnamon Hot Chocolate: add 1 scant teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the hot chocolate mixture.
  • Mocha Hot Chocolate: add 2 tablespoons of instant espresso powder to the saucepan along with the chocolate, sugar, milk, and salt.