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This Easy Hot Chocolate is made with just two ingredients right on your stovetop and is endlessly customizable. It’s a cozy winter treat!

a mug of Easy Hot Chocolate for one topped with marshmallows and chocolate syrup

Deck the halls with boughs of holly—and a mug of easy hot chocolate— fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la!

To me, there’s nothing more holiday than spending a chilly December or January afternoon watching a Hallmark holiday moving while sipping on a mug of easy hot chocolate.

Trust me, I know How to Make Hot Chocolate.

To date, I have a number of homemade and easy hot chocolate mixes under my belt, such as this Crockpot Hot Chocolate and French Hot Chocolate.

When I need hot chocolate for one or I’m low on ingredients, this easy hot chocolate recipe is ideal.

Easy Hot Chocolate without cocoa powder in a glass mug topped with marshmallows and chocolate sauce

5 Star Review

“This is so yummy! The salt was such a good tip, I tried the hot chocolate before and after I added the salt and it really completes it.”

— Kate —

For years, I was tied to the instant hot chocolate packets in the microwave because they are convenient, but I’ve never been totally comfortable with their ingredients or their lackluster flavor.

Now that I’ve discovered how to make a heavenly, easy hot chocolate with only TWO core ingredients, I’ll never go back to store-bought mixes again.

A saucepan of Easy Hot Chocolate made with chocolate chips and milk

Why I Love This Easy Hot Chocolate

  • It’s just as quick and easy as a mix, but it tastes far, far more wonderful.
  • It’s more affordable than store-bought mixes.
  • I can control the ingredients (read: add more chocolate).
  • No corn syrup or other artificial stuff added.
  • I can make as large or as small a batch as I please (the recipe below is hot chocolate for one cup, but feel free to multiply as needed). Looking for more one-serving chocolatey goodness? Check out my Chocolate Mug Cake.
  • The hot chocolate customization possibilities are endless.
two-ingredient easy hot chocolate without cocoa powder topped with marshmallows

How to Make Easy Hot Chocolate

Are you ready for this easy hot chocolate recipe hack?

All you need is milk (any kind) and chocolate chips.

That’s it!

Melt them together on the stove, and in a few short minutes, you have a homemade, easy hot chocolate that puts the packets to shame.

two ingredients for easy homemade hot chocolate milk and chocolate chips

The Ingredients

  • Milk. Any kind you like. I usually stick with 2% milk to try and make my cocoa healthy…ish, like this Healthy Hot Chocolate, (and milk has protein and calcium after all!). If you prefer whole milk for more creaminess, be my guest!
  • Chocolate Chips. Skip the cocoa powder (save it for these Brownie Bites) and instead reach for the semi-sweet chocolate chips in your pantry. For an even richer homemade hot cocoa mix, choose a 65% or greater bittersweet chocolate—Trader Joe’s and Ghiradelli make some of the BEST chocolate for easy hot cocoa.

Dietary Note

You can make easy vegan or dairy-free hot chocolate by using your favorite almond, oat, soy, or coconut milk in this recipe. Make sure you also check the ingredient list of your chocolate too since some brands include milk-based additives.

mix-in ideas for the best hot cocoa from scratch

Hot Chocolate Additions

  • Kosher Salt: Adding a tiny pinch of salt to homemade hot chocolate helps balance the flavor and keeps it from being overly sweet. Try it and see if you agree.
  • Pure Vanilla Extract: Make sure you use the real deal! Because this easy hot chocolate has so few ingredients, you can truly taste every one, so quality is important. This brand is super high quality, but this bargain buy is pretty darn good too.
  • Espresso Powder: Coffee has a magical way of intensifying taste of taste chocolate. If you are a chocoholic, you’ll love the extra oomph the espresso powder provides. As long as you only add a little, the coffee flavor is imperceptible, but you’ll taste the chocolate more. For another way to use espresso powder in your chocolate desserts, try my Chocolate Fondue.
  • Switch Up the Baking Chips. Use this same recipe for white hot chocolate or do a mix of regular chocolate chips and flavored chips.
  • Booze: A girl needs to stay warm in the winter! Favorites: peppermint schnapps; dark rum; Kahlua; Irish whiskey.
  • For More Ideas. See my best homemade Hot Chocolate for more tasty hot chocolate variations, like Mexican hot chocolate and peppermint hot chocolate.

The Directions

  1. Warm the milk on medium-low heat until steaming.
  2. Stir in the chocolate chips until melted along with any mix-ins. Serve hot with toppings. ENJOY!

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Let cool to room temperature then store in a covered container for up to 1 day in the fridge.
  • To Reheat. Warm in a microwave-safe mug in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stovetop until steaming.

What to Serve with Easy Hot Chocolate

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

  • Small Whisk. SO HANDY. I use this 99.9% more often than my larger whisk.
  • Metal Measuring Cups. I use this set daily for cooking and baking.
  • Festive Mug. Because the best homemade hot cocoa comes served in a holiday mug.
Creamy hot chocolate mix made from two ingredients in a glass mug with marshmallows

Tonight, set the packet aside, put on your fuzzy slippers, and curl up with a steaming mug of this easy homemade hot chocolate.

Holiday lights and sequined tree skirts are optional but encouraged.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Make Homemade Hot Chocolate in the Microwave?

I typically make this recipe on the stovetop but you could also experiment with making this easy homemade hot chocolate in the microwave. Warm the milk in a microwave-safe glass measuring cup until steaming. Then stir in the chocolate chips until melted and fully incorporated. Be careful not to over microwave the chocolate or it may burn.

Is Hot Chocolate Gluten Free?

Yes. Milk and most chocolate chips on the market are gluten free. As always check your labels to be certain.

Can I Freeze Homemade Hot Chocolate?

I have not tried freezing this hot cocoa recipe but I have heard of people freezing hot chocolate in an ice cube tray for later use. If you decide to experiment with freezing this recipe I’d love to hear about your results.

Do I Make Hot Chocolate with Milk or Water?

Milk is an essential ingredient to easy hot chocolate. I do not recommend using water for making hot chocolate as the cocoa will be thin and lacking in body and creaminess.

Easy Hot Chocolate

4.85 from 26 votes
Just two ingredients -milk and chocolate (no cocoa powder)- make one perfect mug with this Easy Hot Chocolate recipe!

Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes

Servings: 1 cup (multiply as needed)


For the Hot Chocolate:

Ideas to Customize:


  • In a small saucepan, heat the milk over medium high heat until steaming and small bubbles form around the edge (do not let the milk boil!).
  • Add the chocolate chips, stirring occasionally with a whisk until smooth and melted. Then add any desired mix-ins or additional flavors.
  • Serve hot with desired toppings.


  • *MILK OPTIONS: I usually use skim milk, but 2% or whole will give the hot chocolate more body and richness. Dairy-free options such as almond milk, soy milk, or oat milk can be used well.
  • **CHOOSING CHOCOLATE: For the best-tasting homemade hot cocoa using chocolate chips or chopped chocolate, I like to use a 65% or greater dark chocolate.
  • TO STORE: Let cool to room temperature then store in a covered container for up to 1 day in the fridge.
  • TO REHEAT: Warm in a microwave-safe mug in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stovetop until steaming.


Serving: 1cup (without additional mix-ins or toppings)Calories: 360kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 11gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 15mgPotassium: 609mgFiber: 4gSugar: 29gVitamin A: 485IUCalcium: 323mgIron: 3mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. This hot chocolate sounds great.  The best I’ve ever been able to find in the way of chocolate chips is 63% chocolate.  I’d love to be able to find 72%.  Strangely enough, I recently found a packet mix that is quite pleasant, and not full of weird ingredients.  But one like this would be much better, because the chocolate is darker.  Now I’m craving hot chocolate…

    1. Susan, I agree that anything above 60% or so is a tougher find! Trader Joe’s makes a GIANT 70% dark bar that I love. Ghirardelli makes a 72% bar that is pretty good too, and you can find it on Amazon: I haven’t found a mix I’m comfortable with yet, but I’m glad you have that as an option if you prefer!

  2. Hi there!
    This is pretty much the recipe I’ve used for years, but one of my favorite additions is freshly ground black pepper, to taste ;) mine is usually a HOT hot chocolate haha!

    Nice Xmas tree!

    Greetings from Portugal*

    1. I LOVE that idea Joana! Totally trying it next time. Thanks for the tip and holiday greetings to you too :)

  3. Margaret Ann, you only need a tiny pinch of espresso powder, maybe an eighth or a fourth of a teaspoon depending on how much of the flavor you want. Unless you’re ultra sensitive to caffeine, it won’t keep you awake at night :-)

  4. Would you be able to estimate the amount of chocolate by weight? I have been making unsweetened hot chocolate with cocoa powder, but I am excited to try melting chopped dark chocolate in warmed milk! It sounds so decadent and perfect for chilly days of winter. 

    1. Hi Amy! I haven’t weighed this out, but I’d estimate around 1.25 ounces. Feel free to just add the chocolate and adjust to your taste!

  5. Exactly what I was looking for because I wanted something simple and not with too many things added.
    It is delicious!5 stars

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for taking the time to leave this nice review!

  6. I made this hot chocolate dessert for the super bowl party and it was a crowd favorite. Thx for sharing recipe, it is different from mine!5 stars

    1. I’m so glad to hear it was a hit, Julia! Thanks so much for giving it a try and reporting back.

  7. Made it been by using chocolate cashew milk and vegan chocolate chips!
    So yummy! Perfect for the first not hot day in Vegas! (It was low 80’s)5 stars

    1. Jeffery, this is definitely a special treat! You could add less chocolate if you’d like to lower the calorie count, but personally I like to indulge every now and then with the recipe as written or pour myself a smaller cup. It’s up to you!

  8. This was delicious, thank you! I actually have been wanting to make homemade coco this holiday season, so I am thrilled it was a hit at home!!!

  9. Our mugs are super huge, so I ended up using more than three cups of 2% milk and almost half a cup of chocolate chips. I like bittersweet and semisweet, but I compromised and threw some milk in for my mother. We loved it! She’s eager to try some of the variations, like peppermint and cinnamon.5 stars

    1. Trina, thanks for leaving a review! I’m happy to hear you enjoyed the hot chocolate, and I hope you love the variations too!

  10. Mmm this hot chocolate dessert looks awesome and so nourishing! Thanks, Erin for sharing recipe5 stars

  11. Wonderful recipe as always, looks so good. I do not think I can make them look this good without help. Thanks so much for sharing.5 stars

    1. Hi Crystal! I haven’t tried it myself, but I think you could store this in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 1 day. I hope this helps!

  12. After finding I was out of cocoa powder for hot cocoa I Googled. So happy I found this recipe! Everyone is asleep and I just wanted a cocoa before bed. I’ll use this recipe over and over.5 stars

  13. This is so yummy! The salt was such a good tip, I tried the hot chocolate before and after I added the salt and it really completes it.5 stars

  14. Simple, delicious. I was also always put off by the ingredients in the packaged stuff and it never really tasted chocolatey. Glad to have an easy way to fill my coco cravings.5 stars

  15. I just made this with oat milk— delicious!! This will now be my go-to recipe for hot chocolate. Thank you so much for sharing! :)5 stars

  16. Well I must say that’s got to be the absolute best Hot Chocolate I’ve ever had and I love hot chocolate wow thanks for the Recipe sweetie amazing 👏👏👏5 stars

    1. I’m sorry to hear that, Bryanna. I have not had this problem myself but I do know we all have different taste. Maybe try to add a little bit of sweetener or quality of chocolate will make a difference as well. Hope this helps.

  17. I tried this in the microwave, heated the milk for about 1 minute in the mug, then whisked in the chocolate chips. They melted right into the milk! It was absolutely delicious, thanks so much for sharing this recipe <35 stars

  18. My son had a friend over and we were decorating my Christmas tree. She asked for hot cocoa, and I realized I hadn’t bought any yet this year, but I had milk chocolate chips. I doubled this recipe and added cinnamon, Mexican vanilla, and a pinch of salt. This is better than any store bought. Thank you so much!5 stars

  19. This literally could not be more simple and I love it so much! I think about it alllllllll the time in the winter and we usually make it at least once a week! It’s amazing topped with homemade whipped cream! :)5 stars

  20. Huge fan. Simple, easy and it at least smells nice. I used some chocolate bar, but I just googled how much chocolate chips weighed and off I went!

    I will say that synthetic vanilla, unlike other synthetic ingredients is the real deal(vanillin) the natural stuff is different because it has a lot of different flavonoids that actually break down near boiling. So I personally don’t know how there would be a difference. I would certainly read an article from you trying the two back-to-back!5 stars

  21. I love how simple this recipe is, however I wish there was straightforward measurements, or at least a part to part ratio like one part chocolate chips two parts milk, if that makes any sense.4 stars

    1. Hi! I think you might of missed the full recipe and directions in the post? There is a “jump to recipe” button that takes you straight to it at the top of the screen.

  22. This is exactly what I was looking for! Just the milk and chocolate ratio combination and it was perfect with whipped cream on top!5 stars

  23. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong, but the chocolate just won’t melt smoothly into the milk. Using whole milk, and I’ve tried 72% 70% 60% and 56%, both bars and chips, and it ends up like there are just little globs of chocolate floating around in the milk. I heat the milk on the stove until the edges bubble a little, like I would for ganache with cream. I’ve tried letting it sit and melt before stirring and stirring right away and same results. Confused what I’m doing wrong.

    I tried the French hot chocolate recipe and that one didn’t have this issue.3 stars

    1. I’m sorry to hear you are having trouble with the recipe, Teagen. It sounds like your milk might be a little too hot if it is bubbling at the edges. Try making sure the milk is around 100-115 degrees and see if that helps. Let me know if you try it!