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Four of the Best Hot Cocoa Recipes

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There is a saying about Michigan’s seasons: “The four seasons are winter, still winter, almost winter, and construction.” And it is very true that the weather here is bipolar and we can experience winter, fall, summer, and spring all in one day. Before you ask, yes, I do in fact break out the flip flops and short sleeves when it hits about 45 degrees, and yes I know we don’t have it as bad as other places (my husband tells me Minnesota is worse!). Either way, cold weather always meant playing in the snow and my momma making homemade hot chocolate when we came back inside. YUM!

I love love love hot chocolate. I don’t drink coffee or tea, so when the cool weather comes around, hot apple cider and hot chocolate are my drinks. However, sometimes this gets boring as the same drink over and over again just loses its umph. I have been scouring the internet for the yummiest hot cocoa recipes around and THESE my good people, THESE are good. And there is a BONUS homemade marshmallow recipe at the bottom! Just an FYI though, it takes about 5 hours total for those to set so you may want to make them ahead of time. You could even gift one of these recipes with the marshmallows and a cute mug for someone who needs some warming up this winter!

Without further ado, here are 4 amazing hot chocolate recipes you’ll definitely want to try this winter:

black bottom hot chocolate
Photo Source: Live Love Pasta

Black Bottom Hot Chocolate

Okay so whoever thought of adding hot fudge in the bottom…thanks for adding a good 15 pounds on me this winter!

Fudge Ingredients (Though if you’re like me, you’d rather buy premade!)

  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 11/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fleur de sel
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla paste
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter

Hot Chocolate Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 6 ounces milk chocolate chips
  • whipped cream for topping

Instructions for Fudge

  1. In a saucepan over medium high heat combine the heavy cream and sugar.
  2. Heat until the sugar dissolves, stirring often.
  3. Add the corn syrup and stir.
  4. Add the chocolate and stir.
  5. Once the mixture reaches a boil lower the heat.
  6. Once the mixture begins to separate add the vanilla and butter and stir.
  7. Add the salt.
  8. Pour the liquid into small mugs or teacups about 1 inch high.
  9. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Instructions for Cocoa

  1. Heat the milk, cream, and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium low heat.
  2. Bring to a boil and add the chocolate.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 1 minute.
  4. Stir until the chocolate is melted.
  5. Pour the hot chocolate over the fudge layer.
  6. Top with whipped cream.
  7. Serve immediately.
hot cocoa
Photo Source: House Vegan

Cinnamon Hot Chocolate

I don’t know what it is about cinnamon and chocolate but it seems to give this an added kick. To me it turns hot cocoa into a comfort food. And I use regular milk, not nondairy. I think it says that because the recipe is from a vegan website.


  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons + 3/4 cup nondairy milk (something a bit thicker like almond) measured separately


  1. In your favorite mug combine the cocoa powder, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and 2 tablespoons of milk. Mix thoroughly with a fork until you’re left with a thick chocolatey syrup. Set aside.
  2. Warm the 3/4 cup of milk over medium heat until it reaches your desired temperature.
  3. Pour the warm milk into the chocolate syrup and give it a good stir.
  4. Drink up while it’s still hot!
Photo Source: Martha Stewart
Photo Source: Martha Stewart

Nutella Hot Chocolate

You read that right. For all of you Nutella lovers out there, this one is for you. It’s actually very very very good even if you’re on the fence about Nutella-give it a try!


  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup Nutella
  • Unsweetened whipped cream, for serving


  1. Combine milk and Nutella in a small saucepan.
  2. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, whisking until smooth.
  3. Divide between 2 teacups; serve with dollops of whipped cream.
Photo Source: Hershey's
Photo Source: Hershey’s

Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Hot Chocolate

For those of you who wondered, this is the hot cocoa we would drink when my mom made it for us. So so good, and very traditional. Though if you click the link, Hershey’s does offer a few variations as well. Still good. (P.S. Try the mint one with melted Andes mints!!)


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
  • Dash salt
  • 1/3 cup hot water
  • 4 cups (1 qt.) milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Miniature marshmallows or sweetened whipped cream (optional)


  1. Stir together sugar, cocoa and salt in medium saucepan; stir in water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil.
  2. Boil and stir 2 minutes.
  3. Add milk; stirring constantly, heat to serving temperature. Do Not Boil.
  4. Remove from heat; add vanilla.
  5. Beat with rotary beater or whisk until foamy.
  6. Serve topped with marshmallows or whipped cream, if desired. Five 8-oz. servings.

Homemade Marshmallows

Here is the homemade marshmallow recipe I promised. If you have the extra time, or think about it the day before, definitely give this a try! It’s not as hard as you think!


  • 3 packages unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup ice cold water, divided
  • 12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • Nonstick spray


  1. Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water. Have the whisk attachment standing by.
  2.  In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.
  3.  Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.
  4. Combine the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.
  5. When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
  6. Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel dusted with the confectioners’ sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

I hope this helps you all stay a little warmer this winter!

Let us know below which hot chocolate recipe will you try this winter!

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