Delicious hot chocolate made conveniently in the slow cooker. Perfect for holiday parties—make ahead of time and let simmer until the party begins.
If you’ve never made hot cocoa in the slow cooker, you are in for a real treat. This is our favorite way to make hot chocolate for fall and winter get-togethers. It’s so simple—you can make it hours in advance and keep it on ‘warm’ until the party begins. We love to set out disposable holiday-themed cups with sleeves and lids for a festive touch that also makes for easy cleanup.
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Ingredients for This Hot Cocoa
Here are the simple ingredients for this delicious hot chocolate and detailed recommendations for the best results every time.
- 6 cups milk: we use 2% milk.
- 2 cups heavy cream: this will make your hot chocolate super creamy.
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder: unsweetened cocoa powder.
- 1/2 cup sugar: white granulated sugar.
- 1 tablespoon vanilla: vanilla extract.
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips: we use Ghirardelli milk chocolate. You could also use chocolate bars.
- Mini marshmallows: these are optional but so yummy.
Optional add-ins: mini marshmallows, peppermint candy canes, mint chocolate chips, liquor.
Optional garnish ideas: miniature marshmallows, hot chocolate stir sticks, whipped cream, crushed peppermint, chocolate shavings, sprinkles.
Supplies & Favorite Tools for Hot Chocolate
- Slow cooker: for one batch of this recipe, you can use a 4.5-quart slow cooker or larger. If you are making two batches for a larger group, use at least a 6-quart slow cooker or bigger.
- Measuring cups: liquid and dry cups.
- Whisk: use to mix in the cocoa powder.
- Spoon: to stir occasionally.
- Mugs and ladle: for serving. Glass mugs work well for smaller groups. We like to use decorative disposable cups for larger parties.
How to Make Hot Chocolate in the Slow Cooker
Follow these simple steps to make this easy crock pot hot chocolate.
Add milk and cream.
Pour the milk and heavy cream into a 4.5-quart slow cooker. (You can use a larger slow cooker if needed.)
Add cocoa powder and sugar.
Add the cocoa powder and granulated sugar.
Add vanilla and whisk.
Pour in the vanilla extract and then whisk ingredients together. The cocoa powder won’t thoroughly mix in until it heats up.
Add chocolate chips.
Add the milk chocolate chips and mix the best you can.
Cover and cook.
Cook the mixture on high for 30 minutes, stirring often to mix in the chocolate chips as they melt. Then, turn it to low and cook until the mixture is hot and everything is well mixed. Turn the heat setting to warm.
Add marshmallows (optional).
Right before serving, add mini marshmallows.
Serve and Enjoy.
Using a ladle, scoop the hot chocolate into mugs and enjoy.
This recipe is so easy to customize. Here are a few ideas:
- Types of chocolate: you can change the chocolate chips to your preference. Use milk, semi-sweet, dark chocolate. You can even try flavored varieties like mint chocolate chip.
- Spike with alcohol: many types of liquor pair well with hot cocoa to make a warm and cozy cocktail. Bailey’s Irish cream, dark rum, bourbon, peppermint schnapps, to name a few—just mix in a shot right before serving.
- 6 cups milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
- Optional – mini marshmallows
- Add milk and heavy cream to slow cooker.
- Next, add cocoa powder, sugar, and vanilla. Whisk to mix the best you can. It will fully combine when heated.
- Add the milk chocolate chips.
- Cover and cook on high for the first 30 minutes, stirring often to mix in the chocolate chips as they melt. Then turn to low and cook until hot and fully mixed.
- Turn the heat setting to warm.
- Add mini marshmallows right before serving.
- Ladle into mugs and enjoy.
- You can use chocolate bars instead of chocolate chips.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
- Category: Beverage
- Method: Slow Cooker
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 342
- Sugar: 31.4 g
- Sodium: 96.8 mg
- Fat: 19.6 g
- Saturated Fat: 12.4 g
- Carbohydrates: 35.4 g
- Protein: 8.3 g
- Cholesterol: 44.7 mg
Keywords: hot drink, party drink
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to commonly asked questions about this hot chocolate recipe.
Can I make a large batch for a crowd, and how should I adjust the recipe?
Certainly! To serve a crowd, simply double or triple the ingredients and use a larger slow cooker. Adjust the cooking time accordingly and keep it on the warm setting for continuous enjoyment.
How do I store leftovers? can I reheat the hot chocolate?
Leftover hot chocolate can be refrigerated in an airtight container. To reheat, gently warm it in the slow cooker, on the stove, or in the microwave, stirring occasionally.
Crockpot hot chocolate is perfect for cozy nights and holiday parties. It’s super easy to make in advance, giving you more time to enjoy the festivities. Feel free to try different types of chocolates or add a splash of your favorite liquor.
Have You Tried This Recipe? Please rate it in the comments and let us know your thoughts!
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