Indulge in the ultimate comfort food with this rich and delicious hot chocolate recipe. Made with melted chocolate chips and cooked on the stovetop, every sip of this decadent treat will warm your soul and satisfy your sweet tooth. This indulgent recipe is perfect for cold winter nights, cozy movie nights, or for when you just need a comforting pick-me-up!
Can you make hot chocolate with chocolate chips?
Before we begin, let’s address this question—is it even possible to make hot chocolate with chocolate chips?
The answer is yes, hot chocolate is in fact very delicious when made with chocolate chips! There’s really no reason to spend money on hot chocolate packets if you keep chocolate chips on hand.
The best method for making hot chocolate using chocolate chips is the stovetop (though there are some microwave recipes).
Using the stovetop, you simply warm up the milk, melt the chocolate chips, and then add any other desired flavorings. We’ll get into this more soon!
Here’s what you’ll need to make hot chocolate on the stovetop using chocolate chips!
Milk – I use whole milk in this recipe. You can use whatever milk you have on hand, but if it is “lighter” milk like 2%, your hot chocolate won’t be as rich. You will need 1 cup of milk per serving. (This recipe makes 2 servings so it calls for 2 cups).
Heavy cream – we’re going all in for indulgence! A half cup of heavy cream will make the hot chocolate richer, thicker, and creamier.
Chocolate chips – I used and recommend semisweet. They’re sweet enough that you don’t have to add TOO much extra sugar.
Brown sugar – I used dark brown sugar but light will work too. You can add brown sugar until the hot chocolate reaches your desired sweetness!
Vanilla – a little bit of vanilla will enhance all the other flavors!
Salt – a pinch is just what we need to balance out the sweetness.
How to Make Hot Chocolate Using Chocolate Chips & Heavy Cream
Here is how you can make your own hot chocolate at home using chocolate chips rather than a premade mix!
Step 1: Melt Chocolate
First, take your milk and heavy cream and put it in a small saucepan. Turn the burner onto medium and let the milk heat up for about 2 minutes. Warming up the milk will allow the chocolate to melt much faster!
Reduce the heat to low and add your chocolate chips. Having the heat low is important—we don’t want any boiling!
Stir everything together, and continue stirring as the chocolate chips melt. I recommend using a whisk.
Step 2: Add Other Ingredients
Once the chocolate is melted and nicely incorporated, add the vanilla, salt, and brown sugar.
Whisk everything together and let it cook for 2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. At this point, check for sweetness! You can add more sugar if necessary.
If necessary, continue cooking for a few more minutes until the mixture is nice and hot.
Step 3: Garnish & Serve!
I really love this hot chocolate with whipped cream. Use homemade or store bought and put a good dollop on top if desired!
You can also garnish with more chocolate chips, marshmallows, etc. (See more adjustment ideas below!)
Recipe Tips & Adjustments
Like I mentioned earlier, this hot chocolate is delicious with whipped cream and marshmallows. This is a classic combo, of course.
Here are some more unique suggestions; always feel free to get creative!
- Add caramel sauce or chocolate sauce
- Make it neopolitan with whipped cream and strawberry sauce
- Add chocolate shavings
- Add a few drops of peppermint essential oil for peppermint hot chocolate (and/or add crushed up candy cane)
- Add cinnamon for a Mexican hot chocolate flare
- Add crushed up oreos for an extra unique topping
In addition to toppings, there are also some ways you can adjust the base recipe to get different results.
For example, if you want your hot chocolate less rich, you can use 2 cups milk instead of 1.5 cups plus heavy cream.
Or, if you want to go full on indulgent, use ALL heavy cream (or half and half).
What are the best chocolate chips for hot chocolate?
Another idea is to adjust the chocolate. Any chocolate chips can be used to make hot chocolate. While I prefer semisweet, you can also try using milk chocolate for a different flavor, or even dark chocolate if you’re a fan.
And don’t forget you can adjust the sweetness to your preference! I like sweeter hot chocolate, so I might even add more than 2 tbsp next time I make this recipe.
Does it matter what brand of chocolate chips I use?
To be honest, it doesn’t matter that much which brand you choose. I just used a pack from Trader Joes and it tasted great. However, high quality brands probably taste even better. Hersheys or Ghirardelli are both highly common GREAT brands for hot chocolate.
Can I use a chocolate bar instead of chips?
Yes, you can absolutely use a chocolate bar to make hot chocolate too! In this recipe it works because I have included a measurement for the chocolate in weight. So if you’re using a chocolate bar, just weigh it first!
Can I use water instead of milk?
I would recommend NOT using water in this recipe—though you could cut out the heavy cream and use all milk. All of the richness for this hot chocolate comes from the milk. If you just used water and chocolate chips, it wouldn’t be that good.
What type of sugar should I use?
I use brown sugar in this recipe, and it tastes great. However, you can use a variety of sweeteners in your hot chocolate for different flavors. Think things like honey, maple syrup, regular white sugar, etc.
Can I make hot chocolate with chocolate chips in the microwave?
Yes, it is possible to make hot chocolate in the microwave using chocolate chips and milk. It’s actually really simple—you just mix together milk and chocolate chips, and heat it for about a minute or minute and a half, until the chips are melted.
Again, while this method works, it’s just not quite as foolproof as there is a possibility of scorching the chips. I prefer to do it on the stove keeping the heat low.
More Stovetop Hot Chocolate Recipes
If you love hot chocolate as much as me, you’ll want to check out some other recipes too!
Here is a recipe for classic hot chocolate with marshmallows (uses cocoa powder AND a bit of chocolate chips).
And here is a recipe for pink hot chocolate, which uses white chocolate chips; it’s great for Valentine’s Day!
Hot Chocolate With Chocolate Chips
- 1.5 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (3 oz)
- 1/4 tsp vanilla
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- Put milk and cream into a small saucepan. Warm over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
- Add chocolate chips and reduce heat to low. Whisk together until fully melted. Keep the heat low to prevent boiling.
- Once the chocolate is melted, add vanilla, salt, and 2 tbsp brown sugar. Whisk together and let cook for another 2 minutes until the sugar is dissolved.
- Taste the hot chocolate for sweetness. Add more brown sugar if necessary, to desired sweetness. Let the mixture continue cooking on low till all sugar is dissolved and it is nice and hot, 2-3 minutes.
- Pour into 2 glasses and serve with whipped cream, extra chocolate chips, or desired toppings!
- Feel free to switch out the kind of chocolate you use. Semisweet has a good balance of sweetness and bitterness, but you can try dark or milk if you prefer. If you use a chocolate bar instead of chips, make sure to weigh it!
- If you like thicker, richer hot chocolate, use a full cup of heavy cream and just 1 cup of milk (or just use half and half).
- Do not sub water for milk. This recipe needs the milk for its texture and flavor.
Get ready for a heavenly experience with every mouthful of this velvety smooth hot chocolate made with chocolate chips. I hope you enjoy this recipe. So don’t wait any longer, treat yourself to this indulgent, delicious hot chocolate today!