Old-Fashioned Hot Chocolate With Variations

Old-Fashioned Hot Chocolate With Variations

The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 4 drinks
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
310 Calories
15g Fat
34g Carbs
10g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 310
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 20%
Saturated Fat 9g 46%
Cholesterol 25mg 8%
Sodium 143mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 34g 12%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 30g
Protein 10g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 290mg 22%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 441mg 9%
*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.)

Old-fashioned hot chocolate is a delicious drink for the chilly days of fall and winter. This homemade version is creamy, delicious, and surprisingly easy to make. All you need is unsweetened chocolate, milk, sugar, and vanilla.

A steaming cup of hot chocolate is not complete without an indulgent finishing touch. Classic toppings include regular or mini marshmallows or a big spoonful of marshmallow creme or fluff. You can also 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. The most popular variations can make it richer, add some spice, or spike it with mint and chocolate liqueurs.


Click Play to See These Old-Fashioned Hot Chocolate Variations Come Together

"During the winter at our house, hot chocolate is a staple. The kids think it's festive, fun and a real treat. I was happy to try a new recipe for this classic drink; it was fun, easy and, I love buying those boxes of Baker's chocolate. The hot chocolate was rich, creamy, and very satisfying." —Carrie Parente

Old Fashioned Hot Chocolate Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate

  • 1/3 cup white granulated sugar

  • 4 cups whole milk

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • Marshmallow creme or fluff, or whipped cream, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Old-Fashioned Hot Chocolate With Variations ingredients

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

  2. In a 2-quart saucepan, place the chocolate, sugar, milk, and salt. Over medium-low heat, stir gently with whisk until the chocolate melts and the mixture is well blended.

    place the chocolate, sugar, milk, and salt in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

    add vanilla extract to the hot chocolate in the saucepan

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

  4. Pour the hot chocolate into mugs and top with a spoonful of marshmallow creme or whipped cream, if desired.

    Old-Fashioned Hot Chocolate With Variations

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram


  • Keep your hot chocolate warm longer by serving it in preheated mugs. Either fill each cup with hot water while you're making the drink or heat water-filled cups in the microwave for 10 seconds. Dump out the water before pouring the hot chocolate.
  • Adjust the amount of sugar to suit your taste. For instance, 1/4 cup is good if you prefer a drink that's less sweet.
  • If you only have semi-sweet or sweetened chocolate available, you may not need to add any sugar. Melt the chocolate and milk mixture first, taste it, then decide if it needs a tablespoon or two of sugar.


  • Create a richer hot chocolate by replacing 1 to 1 1/2 cups of the whole milk with half-and-half or light cream.
  • Transform the drink into a grown-up grasshopper by adding 2 ounces of crème de menthe and 1/2 ounce of crème de cacao. A shot of peppermint schnapps creates an adult hot chocolate, while the midnight snowstorm recipe adds a drizzle of green crème de menthe on top.
  • Make spiced Mexican hot chocolate with the addition of 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.
  • For cinnamon hot chocolate, stir in 1 scant teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of instant espresso powder to the saucepan along with the chocolate, sugar, milk, and salt to create mocha hot chocolate.