Homemade Peppermint Hot Chocolate
This creamy homemade hot chocolate has the perfect hint of peppermint. It’s easy to make and a delicious treat for the holidays.
We drink a lot of hot chocolate (my kids especially) in the month of December. It’s just so cozy to enjoy in the evenings when the house is filled with all the twinkly Christmas lights.
Making your own homemade hot chocolate is likely a much simpler process than you imagine. The ingredients are all staples likely already in your home. The end result is far creamier and more indulgent tasting. This version hands down beats what you’ll get from a store bought powder!
You can use whatever milk you like. The thicker your milk the creamier your finished drink will be. For example, 2% milk is going to produce a creamier hot chocolate than skim milk. Oat milk (especially one that’s not the low fat variety) will give you a creamier hot chocolate than almond milk. All of them will be delicious though.
The sweetness comes from a combination of melted chocolate chips (which also helps the creaminess) and pure maple syrup. You won’t notice any maple flavor and it’s stirs in beautifully.
For this recipe you’ll need (full list of ingredients and instructions are in the recipe card below):
- Pure maple syrup
- Cocoa powder
- Chocolate chips
- Vanilla extract
- Peppermint extract
Hot Chocolate vs Hot Cocoa
While the names are used interchangeably, technically hot cocoa is created with cocoa powder and hot chocolate is created by melting chocolate. This recipe is a hybrid because we’re using both cocoa powder and melted chocolate chips. I call it Hot Chocolate since that’s the phrase that is most often associated with this drink no matter how it’s made.
Tips for the best homemade hot chocolate
- Stir continuously. Otherwise the cocoa powder and chocolate chips will settle on the bottom of the pan where they can burn. This is easily avoided if you stir often.
- Don’t turn up the heat too high. You’ll want to cook on medium to medium-low heat. Keep on eye on the hot chocolate as it cooks so you can reduce the heat if needed. We don’t want that milk to boil!
Can this be vegan and dairy free?
Yes. Simply use vegan chocolate chips and dairy free milk. I recommend oat milk or a combination of oat milk and almond milk.
Can this be made without the peppermint extract?
Of course! For a more classic hot chocolate flavor you can omit the peppermint extract.
Hot Chocolate Toppings
Loading up hot chocolate with lots of festive toppings really makes it feel extra special! Here are some of my favorite hot chocolate toppings you might enjoy too! Use one, two, or more!
- Whipped cream
- Crushed peppermint
- Candy cane or pepper sticks
- Chocolate sprinkles
- Christmas sprinkles
- Chocolate syrup
- White chocolate drizzle
- Mini chocolate chips
- White chocolate bar pieces
- Chocolate shavings
Can you refrigerate leftovers and reheat?
This hot chocolate can be refrigerated and reheated later should you find yourself with leftovers. Reheat on the stovetop on medium to medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until warmed through. Do not let it boil or it will burn.
Homemade Peppermint Hot Chocolate
- 4 cups milk of choice, Whole milk, 2% milk, 1% milk, skim milk, almond milk, and oat milk will all work well. A thicker milk will yield a creamier hot chocolate.
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
- Add milk, pure maple syrup, and cocoa powder in a small pot on the stovetop. Heat over medium to medium-low heat, whisking frequently, until the milk is warmed. (Don't let your milk come to a boil. We're just trying to heat it through.)
- Add the chocolate chips, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract. Whisk until the chocolate chips are melted.
- Pour hot chocolate into mugs and top with whipped cream or marshmallows. For extra fun, garnish with candy canes and/or chocolate sprinkles. Serve immediately.