Viennese Hot Chocolate

Viennese Hot Chocolate in cups

The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Yield: 2 drinks
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
539 Calories
32g Fat
63g Carbs
13g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 539
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 32g 41%
Saturated Fat 18g 89%
Cholesterol 194mg 65%
Sodium 116mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 63g 23%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 55g
Protein 13g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 244mg 19%
Iron 3mg 19%
Potassium 585mg 12%
*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.)

The city of Vienna is famous the world over for its coffee house culture. While coffee is the signature beverage consumed alongside scrumptious Viennese cakes and pastries, it is by far not the only hot beverage that you can get at the city’s famous cafés.

This hot chocolate called Wiener Schokolade or Heiße Schokolade Wiener Art in German is another Viennese signature drink. The special ingredient in this recipe is an egg yolk, which gives the hot chocolate its thick consistency.

Using the right chocolate is important. This recipe calls for semisweet chocolate with 60 to 70 percent cocoa content. Alternatively, you can also use bittersweet chocolate, which contains less sugar and has a higher cocoa content than semisweet chocolate, so the drink is less sweet and has a deeper chocolate flavor.

To prevent the egg yolk from curdling, you start out by mixing it with only a small amount of the hot chocolate to temper it. Once you have mixed everything together and return it to the heat, again be very careful not to overheat it to prevent curdling.

You can serve this wonderful and warming drink at virtually any occasion—for a brunch on a birthday, Mother’s Day, or Valentine’s Day. For Christmas, it is often spiked with a few teaspoons of rum, preferably Austrian rum. Because it’s so rich, it also makes a wonderful dessert on a chilly fall or winter day. 

Whatever the occasion, a generous whipped cream topping is obligatory for Viennese hot chocolate. For a little extra flavor, dust the whipped cream with a pinch of cinnamon or ground cardamom.




  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate (60 to 70 percent cocoa)

  • 1 1/4 cups milk

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • Whipped cream, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Viennese Hot Chocolate ingredients in bowls

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  2. Chop the chocolate into small bits.

    Chopped chocolate on a wood cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  3. Place chopped chocolate in a heavy saucepan with the milk. Heat the milk and chocolate, stirring frequently until small bubbles come to the surface, but do not boil. Stir as needed to keep the milk from burning and the chocolate from sinking to the bottom.

    Chocolate and milk mixture in a pot with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  4. Simmer for 3 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk to create foam. At this point, taste the milk and add sugar if it is not sweet enough for you.

    Chocolate, milk and sugar mixture in a pot, with a whisk

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  5. When the milk looks very smooth, remove from the heat, and cool a little bit.

    Hot chocolate mixture in a pot with a wooden spoon, and an egg yolk in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  6. Whisk together the egg yolk in a small bowl along with 2 tablespoons of the hot chocolate. This acts to temper the egg yolk so that it does not cook when you add it to the larger pot of hot chocolate.

    Hot chocolate mixture in a pot, and added to a small bowl with the egg yolk

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  7. Whisk the egg yolk mixture back into the pot with the hot chocolate mixture. Return to heat, stirring constantly, and whisk to create foam. Do not let this boil or the yolk will curdle. When ready to serve, divide between 2 or more cups and garnish with whipped cream.

    Viennese Hot Chocolate in a pot, with a whisk

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

Raw Egg Warning

Consuming raw and lightly cooked eggs poses a risk of foodborne illness.