A fuzzy blanket, a good book or TV show, and a soothing cup of hot chocolate are all you need when it's freezing out. Instant hot chocolate mixes are readily available in stores, but there's nothing like making your own hot chocolate. Here's how to make a mug of hot chocolate to your tastes.



  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • marshmallows for garnish
  • shaved chocolate for garnish


  1. In a small saucepan, combine the milk, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt over medium-low heat. Bring to a boil.

  2. When the mixture is bubbling, slowly add in your chocolate and stir to melt.

  3. Whisk the mixture before serving.

  4. Top with marshmallows and shaved chocolate or a garnish of your choosing.


  • small saucepan
  • whisk

Additional Ingredients

a mug of hot chocolate

If you've never made hot chocolate before, know that you don't need to use chopped chocolate. If you'd rather use cocoa, that's perfectly fine. Replace the 2 ounces of chocolate with 2-3 teaspoons of cocoa. That might not seem like enough, but cocoa is stronger than you'd think, and balancing it with more sugar will yield the perfect cup.

If you're looking for a richer cup, try using dark chocolate or rimming your cup with peanut butter and crushed graham crackers for a s'mores version.

You can easily alter the garnish to suit your tastes. Use large or small marshmallows (try flavored ones if you'd like), cinnamon sticks, shaved chocolate, or whipped cream to get your hot chocolate just how you like it. If you'd like, drizzle some chocolate sauce over your drink.

Diet-Friendly Options

A Low-Fat or Low-Carb Option

an overhead shot of hot chocolate

Hot chocolate is a rich drink, and when you're on a diet, the classic recipe won't work for you. You can always use fat-free or low-fat milk to lower the fat content and sugar replacements like Stevia to lessen the amount of carbs. You may also want to use cocoa powder instead of chocolate, since you can always use unsweetened cocoa.

A Vegan Option

Making a cup of vegan hot chocolate is much easier than you'd think. All you need to do is substitute almond milk for regular milk and use dairy-free chocolate or cocoa powder. If you're interested in topping it all off with whipped cream, opt for the coconut kind.

Whip up a mugful of this chocolatey goodness the next time you're stuck inside on a frigid winter's day!

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