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How to Make Hot Chocolate with Chocolate Chips in Under 2 Minutes

Thirsting for a quick, tasty hot chocolatey drink? Then learn how to make hot chocolate with chocolate chips. It is better than any powdery hot chocolate mix around. On a cold day, satisfy your craving in under 2 minutes.

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The best hot chocolate does not come in a cocoa packet. No. You need a creamy hot chocolate recipe with real chocolate.

To make hot chocolate with chocolate chips, mix 1 cup of milk with 3 heaping tablespoons of chocolate chips. Heat in the microwave for 1½ minutes. Stir until smooth. Garnish with whipped cream, marshmallows, and chocolate chips.

Chocolate chip hot chocolate is one of the many recipes you can make with chocolate chips.

Do you prefer chocolatey hot chocolate or creamier hot chocolate?

This article will explore the ingredients you need to make hot chocolate the way you like it. Discover a variety of spices and extracts to add flavor. Learn the secrets to improve the taste if you use water. Get creative garnish ideas and suggestions on what to serve with hot chocolate.

Ingredients

What Liquid Should You Use?

To make hot chocolate with chocolate chips, you need a hot liquid to melt the chocolate chips. Do not melt the chocolate chips first. Heat the liquid and then add the chocolate chips.

The liquid you choose impacts the taste. These are the most common liquids for hot chocolate:

  • Water. The simplest and easiest liquid to use. You do not need a special trip to the grocery store to use water in hot chocolate.

    Although hot water can intensify the flavor of chocolate in unsweetened cocoa powder, this isn’t true for chocolate chips. When you use hot water for hot chocolate with chocolate chips, it dilutes the chocolate flavor.

    This means you must add more chocolate chips than you add when using milk. Plan on about double the chocolate chips when you use water instead of milk.

    Water also isn’t sweet so be prepared to add a sweetener too.
  • Milk. Use any type and any percentage of milk to make hot chocolate, including chocolate milk. If you are dairy-free, try soy milk, coconut milk, or almond milk.

You may prefer to use milk in your hot chocolate for two reasons.

First, a milk product makes a richer, creamier hot chocolate. The higher the percentage of cream in the milk, the more luscious the hot chocolate will be.

This means that hot chocolate with 2% milk will be more velvety than hot chocolate made with homemade almond milk. And using whole milk will produce a creamier hot chocolate than one made with 2% milk.

I prefer making hot chocolate with whole milk. There is nothing like it. You can also mix half and half with milk. Or if you are after a truly decadent drink, mix milk with heavy cream. The silky hot chocolate will slide down your throat.

If you like a sweeter hot chocolate, try mixing sweetened condensed milk with your milk. This adds sweetness, along with creaminess. Sweetened condensed milk is best used when making a large batch of hot chocolate.

If you just need a quick cup of hot chocolate, stick to one of the other options.

Does the Brand of Chocolate Chips Matter?

Chocolate chips are crucial to the taste when you make chocolate chip hot chocolate.

  • Choose a good brand of chocolate chips.

    Use chocolate chips that taste good on their own. If a chocolate chip tastes waxy or bland when you pop it in your mouth, it will not make a good cup of hot chocolate.

Best Tasting Chocolate Chip Brands to Use in Hot Chocolate

  • Scharffen Berger 70% bittersweet dark chocolate and 62% semi-sweet dark chocolate. Scharffen Berger chocolate chips come in irregularly shaped chunks. They look like you took a chocolate bar and chopped it yourself. Perfect to melt into hot chocolate.

    This is not an easy brand to find in your local grocery store. It is worth buying it online to use in a hot chocolate bar for special occasions, like a wedding or holiday party.
  • Hershey’s (especially milk or dark chocolate)
  • Guittard
  • Ghirardelli
  • Private Selection (Kroger grocery store brand) real white chocolate chips
1-ounce piles of mini, unsweetened cacao, morsel, white chocolate, jumbo, chunk, and wafer chocolate chips
  • Try milk, semi-sweet, dark, or white chocolate chips in hot cocoa. You can use any kind of chocolate chips.

You will love the taste of milk chocolate chips melted in hot milk. It makes a rich and creamy drink, just what you want in hot chocolate. Best of all, it needs no sweetener.

Cheap brands of semi-sweet chocolate chips are slightly bitter in the drink. Plan on using a sweetener if you use semi-sweet chocolate chips. Although you may prefer semi-sweet chocolate chips in cookies, milk chocolate chips are the way to go in hot chocolate

…unless you go dark. Dark chocolate chips are as good as milk chocolate in hot chocolate.

White chocolate chips will give you a nontraditional version of the hot drink. Do not sweeten because white chocolate chips are already sweeter than regular chocolate chips.

Pure white chocolate chips may be hard to find. But white morsels or white baking bits make great hot white chocolate. And all forms of white chocolate melt easily.

How to Flavor Hot Chocolate

An assortment of spices and extracts can add flavor variety to your hot chocolate. Here are the best practices for flavoring.

  • Steep whole spices in the milk when you make hot chocolate on the stove. Conversely, sprinkle spices into the hot chocolate you heat in the microwave.

  • Add extracts to hot chocolate prepared on the stove or the microwave.

The best spices to try in hot chocolate include:

  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Cardamom
  • Chili powder (or try steeping dried chili peppers)

The best extracts to try with hot chocolate include:

  • Vanilla (or steep with a vanilla bean pod)
  • Peppermint extract (best with white or dark chocolate)
  • Orange extract (try with dark chocolate)
  • Coconut extract
  • Raspberry extract
  • Lavender extract

Ideal Sweeteners

If your chocolate chip hot chocolate is not sweet enough, add a sweetener of your choice. Here are some of the best sweeteners to use in homemade hot chocolate.

  • Maple syrup

    Maple syrup infuses the drink with a hint of caramel flavor. This is my favorite sweetener to use in homemade hot chocolate.
  • Brown Sugar

    You might taste caramel using brown sugar, but not as intensely as you would with maple syrup.
  • Honey

    Use mild honey so it doesn’t overpower the taste of the chocolate.
  • White sugar

    White sugar is the most common sweetener used in homemade hot chocolate or hot cocoa.
  • Raw sugar

    Add raw sugar when the hot chocolate is still hot. This helps the big granules dissolve into the liquid easier.
  • Vanilla sugar

    Easily make vanilla sugar by mixing the white sugar with the seeds in the vanilla pod. Pulse in a food processor 6 to 10 times. If you prefer, you can buy vanilla sugar instead. You will find lots of uses for it.
  • Coconut Sugar

    Use coconut sugar as a healthier alternative to regular sugar.

Creative Garnishes

Toppings are the best part of hot chocolate. If you are serving guests, garnish their hot chocolate to make an attractive drink.

You can also set up a hot chocolate bar for a party.

Here are some of the best toppings for hot chocolate.

  • Mini marshmallows
  • Whipped cream
  • Mini candy cane or crushed peppermint candies
  • Caramel sauce
  • Homemade chocolate sauce or Hershey’s chocolate syrup
  • Crushed Oreo cookies
  • Toffee bits
  • Crunchy chocolate chip cookies
  • Peppermint bark
  • Piroulines (rolled wafer cookies)

How to Make Hot Chocolate with Chocolate Chips and Water

Make hot chocolate with chocolate chips and water by heating the water in the microwave or on the stove. Then whisk in the chocolate chips until they melt. Add butter for creaminess. Sweeten, blend, and garnish.

Hot chocolate made with water will not be creamy or very sweet. However, with two secret ingredients, you can add creaminess and a smooth mouthfeel. The most important ingredient is butter. To take it to the next level, add tahini (or cashew butter) in addition to butter.

  • A single teaspoon of butter for a single serving adds just enough fat to give the hot chocolate a hint of creaminess. It will not replicate milk, but it makes the drink better.
  • Add tahini or cashew butter to get the creamy mouthfeel when hot chocolate is made with water. Both butters have mild flavors and will not interfere with the flavor of the hot chocolate.

Add 1 tablespoon of tahini or cashew butter for every 1 cup of water. Heat with the water and then blend with a food processor or an immersion blender. Strain so the hot chocolate is smooth.

Add tahini or cashew butter when you make a large batch of hot chocolate on the stove.

Note: you can also use creamy peanut butter, but it will affect the taste more than the other kinds of butter.

Single Serving

  1. Pour 1 cup of water and 6 tablespoons (approximately 4 ounces) of chocolate chips into a liquid measuring cup. Use a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. When you use a measuring cup, it is easier to whisk the chocolate without spilling down the side of your favorite mug.

  2. Heat in the microwave for 1½ minutes.

  3. Whisk until the chocolate chips melt. Use a spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the measuring cup to incorporate all the chocolate chips.

  4. Add 1 teaspoon of butter to the hot chocolate and whisk until it melts. This step is optional. However, butter is the secret ingredient to creamier water-based hot chocolate.

  5. Sweeten to your desired taste. Start with ½ teaspoon of a sweetener of your choice. Slowly add more until it is sweet enough. I recommend maple syrup, brown sugar, or honey as a sweetener.

  6. Pour into a cocoa mug, garnish, and serve.

Family-Sized Serving

  1. Pour 4 cups of water into a small saucepan. Add any spices you want, such as a cinnamon stick, whole clove, vanilla bean, or dried crushed red pepper. Heat on the stove over medium-low heat until the water is steaming, but not yet boiling.

  2. Optional: Add ¼ cup of tahini or cashew butter. This will give the hot chocolate a smoother and creamier mouthfeel.

  3. Remove from heat, cover, and let it steep for 5 minutes.

  4. Strain out the spices.

  5. If you added tahini or cashew butter, blend with an immersion blender until smooth.

  6. Add the chocolate chips and whisk until they melt and are smooth. If necessary, return the pan to the heat until the chocolate chips melt.

  7. Add the butter (optional) and whisk until smooth.

  8. Ladle into individual serving mugs.

  9. Garnish and serve.

How to Make Hot Chocolate with Chocolate Chips and Milk

To make hot chocolate with chocolate chips and milk, heat 1 cup of the milk of your choice with 3 tablespoons of chocolate chips in the microwave for 1½ minutes. Whisk until smooth. Garnish and drink.

Milk, half and half, or a mixture of cream and milk are the perfect liquids in which to melt chocolate chips for hot chocolate. It will make the drink smooth and creamy. You may not need a sweetener. Or just a small amount, depending on the chocolate chips you use.

The best way to measure chocolate chips in baking is with a kitchen scale. Hot chocolate is more forgiving so you can use a measuring spoon.

Single Serving

  1. Pour 1 cup of milk into a liquid measuring cup (at least a 2-cup capacity to prevent overflow).

  2. Add 3 heaping tablespoons (1½ to 2 ounces) of chocolate chips.

  3. Heat in the microwave for 1½ minutes.

  4. Whisk until the chocolate chips melt.

  5. Pour into your favorite mug.

  6. Garnish and serve.

Family-Sized Serving

  1. Pour 4 cups of milk into a small saucepan. (You can also try a combination of 50% milk + 50% half and half OR 75% milk + 25% light cream.)

  2. Heat on medium-low heat until the milk is steaming and just short of boiling.

  3. Remove from heat and add 12 tablespoons (¾ cup) of chocolate chips to the hot milk.

  4. Whisk until the chocolate melts. Scrape the sides of the pan to get all the chocolate mixed in. If necessary, use an immersion blender to smooth and froth the hot chocolate.

  5. Add a splash of vanilla extract and stir.

  6. Ladle into individual mugs.

  7. Garnish and serve.

How to Make Hot Chocolate with Chocolate Chips in the Microwave

The quickest and easiest way to make a single serving of hot chocolate with chocolate chips is in the microwave.

  • Heat 1 cup of milk and the chocolate chips together in the microwave for 1½ minutes.

  • Then stir until all the chocolate chips have melted.

  • Taste and add sweetener if you want.

  • Garnish with marshmallows, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce.

  • Enjoy with one or two pieces of chocolate chip fudge. Yum!

How to Make Hot Chocolate with Dark Chocolate

measuring cup with jumbo chocolate chips

Good quality dark chocolate makes amazing hot chocolate. Milk or half and half are the best liquids to use with dark chocolate.

You can use water but plan on adding more chocolate than you would with milk.

To make hot chocolate with dark chocolate, heat milk in the microwave or on the stove. Add the dark chocolate and whisk until the chocolate melts. Add flavorings (if desired) and then sweeten. Garnish with whipped cream or marshmallows.

How to Make White Hot Chocolate

Make white hot chocolate the same way as any other hot chocolate.

For a single serving heat 1 cup of milk + 3 tablespoons of white chocolate chips in the microwave for 1½ minutes. Stir, garnish, and serve.

See white vs. milk chocolate and see why both chocolates make great hot chocolate.

Some tips with white hot chocolate:

  • You may enjoy 4 tablespoons of white chocolate chips instead of 3.

  • Do not sweeten.

  • Milk tastes far better than water in white hot chocolate. But if you use water, double the amount of white chocolate. Use between 6 and 8 tablespoons of white chocolate for every cup of water.

Instant Pot Hot Chocolate with Chocolate Chips

It is a breeze to make a large batch of hot chocolate in the Instant Pot. We are talking about enough hot chocolate for a hot chocolate bar at your holiday party. Once the ingredients reach pressure, it only takes 1 minute to pressure cook.

  1. Pour 8 cups of whole milk, 4 cups of half and half, and ½ cup of heavy cream into the Instant Pot.

  2. Add 24 oz. of high-quality milk or dark chocolate chips (two 12-ounce packages).

  3. Bring to pressure and cook for 1 minute.

  4. Manually release the pressure and whisk. Scrape the sides of the pan to get all the chocolate.

How to Make Hot Chocolate with Chocolate Bar

There is less cocoa butter in chocolate chips than in a chocolate bar. That means that a melted chocolate bar will automatically have a richness and creaminess that chocolate chips will never have.

Use a baking chocolate bar, Hershey’s bar, or artisanal chocolate bar (without add-ins like nuts or fruit).

The baking bars can be bittersweet or unsweetened chocolate. If it is unsweetened, use a small amount of sugar (or another sweetener).

If you have a choice between using a chocolate bar or chocolate chips in hot chocolate, always choose the chocolate bar.

Single Serving

  1. Pour 1 cup of milk into a liquid measuring cup.

  2. Break a chocolate bar into small pieces.

  3. Add 2 ounces of the chopped chocolate to the milk.

  4. Heat in the microwave for 1½ minutes.

  5. Whisk until the chocolate melts.

  6. Garnish and serve.

Family-Sized Serving

  1. Pour 4 cups of milk into a small saucepan. (You can also try a combination of 50% milk + 50% half and half OR 75% milk + 25% light cream.)

  2. Heat over medium heat until the milk is steaming and just short of boiling.

  3. Break a chocolate bar into small pieces.

  4. Remove from heat and add 12 tablespoons (¾ cup) of the chopped chocolate pieces.

  5. Whisk until smooth.

  6. If necessary, use an immersion blender to smooth and froth the hot chocolate.

  7. Garnish and Serve

What to Serve with Hot Chocolate

You have made your chocolate chip hot chocolate. Now, what should you serve with it? Sweet, salty, and spicy foods are all good choices.

  • Donuts. You gotta dip those donuts in the hot chocolate. Donuts were made for dipping.
  • Popcorn. Season your popcorn with chili powder for spice. If you want it sweet, try chocolate covered popcorn.
  • Churros. Try dipping churros in cinnamon hot chocolate. You will love it.
  • Tamales. Serve hot chocolate with your family holiday tamale party.
  • Banana pudding. Banana pudding is especially good with dark chocolate hot chocolate. Sweeten your hot chocolate lightly when serving it with banana pudding.
  • Pancakes or waffles. Hot chocolate in the morning? Yes! Pancakes or waffles are perfect with hot chocolate, especially when you are camping.
  • Chili. Hot chocolate, chili, and cornbread. Isn’t this everyone’s Halloween dinner?
  • Easy chocolate chip cake recipe. Make this delicious cake with a box of cake mix and instant pudding. It is delicious with chopped Hershey bar in place of chocolate chips.

How to Make Hot Chocolate Without Cocoa Powder

  • Instead of using cocoa powder, add chocolate chips to steaming milk. Whisk until the chocolate chips melt. Sweeten, then garnish, and your hot chocolate is ready to drink.
  • Hot chocolate bombs (also known as hot cocoa bombs) are chocolate balls filled with hot cocoa mix and marshmallows.

    Make them with a silicone mold and then store them at room temperature in an airtight container. When you drop the chocolate bombs in hot milk, they melt. Whisk to make a creamy hot cocoa.

With so many options for making hot chocolate on a cold winter day, you are sure to stay warm this season.


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Yield: 1 cup

Hot Chocolate with Chocolate Chips

cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows and plate of cookies

Thirsting for a quick, hot chocolatey drink? Learn how to make hot chocolate with chocolate chips. It is better than any powdery hot chocolate mix. On a cold day, satisfy your craving in under 2 minutes.

Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 1 second
Total Time 1 second

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of whole milk (or any percentage of dairy milk, half and half, nondairy milk, or water)
  • 3 tablespoons of chocolate chips (any kind - milk, semi-sweet, dark, or white). Double this amount if using water instead of milk.
  • Optional: Spices (cinnamon, cloves, chili powder) or extracts (vanilla or peppermint). Start with ⅛ teaspoon or less and add to taste.
  • Optional: Sweetener (maple syrup, honey, brown sugar, white sugar, or coconut sugar). Start with ¼ teaspoon and add to taste.
  • Optional when using water: 1 teaspoon of butter and/or 1 tablespoon of tahini or cashew butter

Family-Sized Ingredients

  • 4 cups of whole milk (any percentage of dairy milk, half and half, nondairy milk, or water)
  • 12 tablespoons (¾ cup) of any kind of chocolate chips (any kind - milk, semi-sweet, dark, or white). Double this amount if using water instead of milk.
  • Optional: Spices (cinnamon, cloves, chili powder) or extracts (vanilla or peppermint). Start with ¼ teaspoon and add to taste.
  • Optional: Sweetener (maple syrup, honey, brown sugar, white sugar, or coconut sugar). Start with 1 tablespoon and add to taste.
  • Optional when using water: 4 teaspoons of butter and/or ¼ cup of tahini or cashew butter

Instructions

Single Serving in the Microwave

  1. POUR 1 cup of milk (or you choice of liquid) into a liquid measuring cup (at least a 2-cup capacity to prevent overflow).
  2. ADD 3 heaping tablespoons (1½ to 2 ounces) of chocolate chips.
  3. HEAT in the microwave for 1½ minutes.
  4. WHISK until the chocolate chips melt.
  5. POUR into your favorite mug.
  6. GARNISH and serve.

Family-Sized Serving on the Stove

  1. POUR 4 cups of milk into a small saucepan. (Alternately, try a combination of 2 cups milk + 2 cups half and half.)
  2. HEAT on medium-low heat until the milk is steaming and just short of boiling.
  3. REMOVE FROM HEAT and add 12 tablespoons (¾ cup) of chocolate chips to the hot milk.
  4. WHISK until the chocolate melts. Scrape the sides of the pan to get all the chocolate mixed in. If necessary, use an immersion blender to smooth and froth the hot chocolate.
  5. ADD a splash of vanilla extract and stir.
  6. LADLE into individual mugs.
  7. GARNISH and serve.

Special Instructions for Using Water

  1. When using water, double the amount of chocolate chips.
  2. For added creaminess, add 1 teaspoon of butter per cup of water.
  3. For the ultimate smooth, creamy mouthfeel, add 1 tablespoon of tahini or cashew butter per cup of water. After heating, blend the tahini with an immersion blender and then strain the liquid. Add the chocolate chips and stir until they melt.
  4. Add a sweetener.

Notes

Nutrition information is based on using 1 cup of whole dairy milk.

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Nutrition Information

Serving Size

1 cup

Amount Per Serving Calories 306Total Fat 18gSaturated Fat 10gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 24mgSodium 109mgCarbohydrates 33gFiber 2gSugar 30gProtein 9g

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