How To Make The Most Amazing Hot Cocoa

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I have a wonderful recipe to share with you. This post is all about how to make the most amazing hot cocoa!

Today, we’re diving into the world of hot cocoa, but not just any hot cocoa – we’re crafting the most amazing hot cocoa you have ever tasted. This isn’t your average hot chocolate packet mix; this is a decadent, rich, and flavorful concoction that will warm your soul from the inside out.

It is a recipe from my childhood that my mother made for us. A good recipe and fun toppings make a cup of this hot cocoa amazing!

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So, what is the actual difference between Hot Cocoa and Hot Chocolate?

Hot Cocoa is made from cocoa powder, sugar, and milk. It tends to be sweet and consistency lighter when using cocoa powder.

Hot Chocolate on the other hand is made with melted chocolate added to hot milk. It has a tendency to be richer and denser. Instead of cocoa powder, you would use melted chocolate with hot milk. It’s a personal preference. I have made both over the years.

Hot Cocoa Station with Santa Mugs, a red tray with candy canes, chocolates and marshmallows.
Hot Cocoa Station with Santa Mugs, a red tray with candy canes, chocolates, and marshmallows.

Over the years, I have perfected this recipe for my family. It is creamy, rich in flavor and pure delightful. Plus, it is not too sweet.

This jar does not contain instant hot chocolate mix. It holds my homemade hot cocoa mix ready to go minus the wet ingredients (milk, cream, and good quality pure vanilla extract).

I love creating a Hot Cocoa Bar every year during the holiday season. My grandchildren love all of the options available for their toppings. Every year, I will change it up with a few new items. You can read about my Hot Cocoa Bar from last year here.

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Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark from Heritage Chocolates

This year I have Peppermint Bark from Heritage Chocolates at the local store to us in Leonardtown Square. They make the most amazing candies. I also have some homemade marshmallow squares purchased in Leesburg, VA over the weekend.

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Nonpareils from Heritage Chocolates

My favorites are either candy canes or Nonpareils in my Hot Cocoa and always marshmallows and topped with whipped cream.

There is nothing like a great cup of amazing hot cocoa on a chilly day. It just warms you up!

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The rich aroma fills the air, the creamy cocoa warms your hands, and the first sip takes you to a place of pure comfort and bliss. This deliciousness is a warm hug in a mug and a reminder of simpler times.

Amazing Hot Cocoa recipe with whipped cream served in a beautiful red and white Santa Mug.

How To Make The Most Amazing Hot Cocoa

5 from 2 votes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 4 Mugs

Ingredients
  

  • 1/3 cup Unsweetened Hershey Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 cup White Granulated Sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups Milk
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Whipping Cream Option Substitute for Half-and-Half
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract Use a good vanilla extract not imitation.
  • 2-3 dashes Ground Cinnamon
  • A pinch of Cayenne Pepper (optional – does not make it spicy, it enhances the chocolate)

Toppings

  • 1 Can Whip Cream
  • Marshmallows
  • Peppermint Candy Canes or Sticks
  • Nonpariels, Cookies, Shaved Chocolate, Peppermint Bark, Sprinkles, etc.

Instructions
 

  • Combine coca powder, sugar, milk, heavy whipping cream, vanilla, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper in a saucepan. Stir well to blend all ingredients.
  • Cook over med to low heat and simmer to bring to a slow boil. You will need to stir constantly so you do not scorch your milk.
  • Makes 4 large mugs of Hot Cocoa. Top with Whip Cream and your favorite toppings.
Keyword Hot Chocolate, Hot Cocoa

Delicious Chocolate No Bake Cookies called Chinese New Year Cookies on a white plate with a snowman glass filled with milk and a beautiful Christmas Tree with sparkling lights.

    Excuse me while I sit by the fire and enjoy a yummy cup of hot cocoa. Have a wonderful day, friend!

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    16 Comments

    1. As a self-professed connoisseur and daily drinker of hot cocoa, I’m all about this post! Hot chocolate … with real, meltel chocolate! Oh my … how decadently wonderful. I love your hot chocolate bar and I really should do this at our house. Earlier this year our littles moved to another state, so I’d be the one doing all the cocoa consuming. Obviously, we can’t have that! I’m pinning and printing your hot cocoa recipe to give it a try. Love those mugs … so much nostalgia. Happy Thanksgiving, friend! xo

      1. A couple of years ago, my sister-in-law loved my Santa mugs so much she got some for her grandchildren. She gave it to them to take home. I wish my mug from my childhood did not get broken. My mother brought them out every year for us to use during the holiday. We drank hot cocoa or cider out of them while decorating the Christmas tree and on Christmas Eve. Such great childhood memories.

    2. This sounds heavenly! I love a good homemade mix better anytime…and whipped cream and milk added are a must! Can’t wait to try your recipe. Happy Thanksgiving, sweet friend!

    3. Adding the spice sounds so interesting! I will have to give this a try. Confession: my hot chocolate is usually microwaved milk with a couple of scoops of Ovaltine 😂

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