Creamy White Hot Chocolate

One of my favorite things to do in the winter is curl up with a steaming cup of hot cocoa and spend the evening relaxing and this is one of my favorite white hot chocolate recipes.

straight on shot of mug of white hot chocolate with text overlay for facebok


This white hot chocolate makes those evenings feel even more decadent with an easy, but velvety blend of milk, chocolate vanilla and toppings. Perfect for snow days, holidays or a random cold day in the winter season.

My preferred hot beverage of choice? Creamy white hot chocolate! It’s rich and decadent with a subtle chocolate flavor that’s not overpowering and a whole lot cheaper than buying it at the local coffee shop.

close up overhead shot of mug of white hot chocolate

Why You’ll Love This White Hot Chocolate

A hot drink that’s full of vanilla flavor with the perfect creamy consistency- what’s not to love!

  • Great for the holiday season – This delicious drink will warm you to the core, and can certainly be dressed up with peppermint candies to ring in the holiday cheer.
  • Only 3 ingredients – With milk, white chips and vanilla, you have all you need to make this favorite white chocolate recipe.
  • Easy to customize – This is a very basic recipe that can be modified and dressed up to create your own hot white chocolate.

Is White Chocolate Really Chocolate?

Did you know white chocolate doesn’t actually have any chocolate in it? There are no cocoa liquors or chocolate solids in white chocolate, unlike those found in milk and dark chocolate. It is actually made from cocoa butter so it has a very different flavor profile.

Some chocolate lovers like to argue that it’s not “real” chocolate but I say it’s all a technicality and white chocolate hot chocolate is one of the best homemade hot chocolates.

For this easy recipe, all you need is white chocolate (I prefer to splurge on the “fancier” brands), milk and vanilla extract for one of the best hot drinks ever!

angled shot of mug of white hot chocolate


You only need three simple ingredients to make this easy white hot chocolate that is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

  • Milk – Whole milk gives the richest beverage, but any fat content can be used. You can even use a dairy free milk if needed.
  • White chocolate – Use a good quality chocolate which can be white chocolate chips or bar chocolate. It does best when added in smaller pieces.
  • Vanilla extract – I also like to use a good quality vanilla extract. After all, it’s the main flavor of this sweet treat.

How to Make White Hot Chocolate

You are going to love how simple it is to make this easy white hot chocolate recipe.

  1. Heat milk. Heat the milk in a heavy bottom medium saucepan over medium heat, but no higher. It needs to be the right temperature to melt the chocolate, but not create scalded milk. Whole milk gives the richest beverage, but any fat content can be used.
  2. Add chocolate and vanilla. Reduce the milk to low heat and add the white chocolate and vanilla extract, stirring until completely melted. Use a good quality chocolate which can be white chocolate chips or bar chocolate. One cup equals 8 ounces. It does best when added in smaller pieces. Do not let it sit or the chocolate will sink and potentially burn.
  3. Remove from heat and serve. Remove from the heat and ladle into cups while hot.
  4. Add garnishes. Garnish with toppings of choice, peppermint whipped cream or peppermint sticks or homemade hot chocolate sticks.

Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate

You’ll see a lot of recipes out there for slow cooker or crockpot hot chocolate and quite frankly, there is no benefit to actually cooking your hot chocolate in a slow cooker versus on the stove. In fact, it might take longer.

The only pro is the nearly 100% certainty that it won’t scald, but to do that you still need to stir it every so often.

However, if you are serving white hot chocolate at a party and want to keep it at the optimal temperature for a long period of time, feel free to keep it in a slow cooker on the “keep warm” setting.

close up straight on shot of mug of white hot chocolate topped with marshmallows


In my opinion, homemade white chocolate hot chocolate is a great drink to serve around the holidays. It’s family-friendly and kids LOVE it, especially when you add in some hot chocolate stir sticks.

  • Alcohol – And if you want to make it not-so-kid-friendly? Both Kahlua and Irish cream taste AMAZING with white hot chocolate!
  • Change the flavor – Or you can make into a Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate or Almond White Hot Chocolate with just a couple of modifications.
  • Regular hot chocolate – Change the chocolate to milk chocolate, dark chocolate or even a blend of chocolates.
  • Dairy free milk – Swap out dairy milk for non-dairy alternatives like oat milk or almond milk.
  • Hot chocolate bar – Make it into a hot chocolate bar so friends can build their own creation.
  • Toppings – Top your whipped cream with white chocolate mocha sauce, regular white chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, mini marshmallows, a white chocolate bar or fudge.
  • Grinch Style– Make this into a Grinch Hot Chocolate with a little food coloring.
straight on shot of mug of white hot chocolate topped with marshmallows and chocolate

Double Batches, Make Ahead & Storage

Double batch: One thing I love about this recipe is how easy it is to double, triple or even quadruple. This particular recipe makes 4 servings but can easily serve a large group of guests too.

Make ahead: It can be made ahead and simply reheated, but since it really just involves 3 ingredients, it isn’t much of a bother.

Freezer: Homemade hot chocolate can also be frozen in individual freezer bags and thawed for a quick cup.

Commonly Asked Questions

Can I use cocoa powder?

This type of recipe doesn’t lend well to cocoa powder. It won’t disintegrate and will remain grainy. Instead, use real chocolate chips, the same amount.

Can I use heavy cream or whipping cream?

I wouldn’t use all of either. You can use half & half though. Cream will be super heavy and probably give you a massive tummy ache!

collage of white hot chocolate for pinterest

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angled shot of mug of white hot chocolate with text overlay for pinterest
straight on shot of two mugs of white hot chocolate

Homemade White Hot Chocolate Recipe

4.43 from 182 votes
Homemade White Hot Chocolate is the perfect drink for warming up on cold days. White chocolate hot chocolate is delicious, quick and easy to make! 
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 4


  • Heat the milk in a heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat, but do not boil.
  • Reduce to low heat and add the white chocolate chips and vanilla extract, stirring until completely melted.
  • Remove from heat and ladle into cups while hot.
  • Garnish with toppings of choice and whipped cream.
  • If you've tried this recipe, come on back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.



If you want to make this into a white hot chocolate cocktail, stir in 1 ounce kahlua or Irish creme. 


Calories: 394 kcal, Carbohydrates: 38 g, Protein: 10 g, Fat: 22 g, Saturated Fat: 13 g, Cholesterol: 33 mg, Sodium: 145 mg, Potassium: 450 mg, Sugar: 39 g, Vitamin A: 410 IU, Vitamin C: 0.2 mg, Calcium: 365 mg, Iron: 0.2 mg
Author: Chef Jessica Anne
Calories: 394
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade white hot chocolate
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Chef Jessica Anne Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal, Mashed and more!

Read More About Jessica

4.43 from 182 votes (170 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating

Questions and Reviews

    1. Hi Denise, heat the milk in the slow cooker and when warm, whisk in chocolate and vanilla. Make sure you wait until the milk is hot or else the chocolate will just sink to the bottom and burn. Enjoy!

  1. 5 stars
    I made this for a treat tonight using almond milk and some peppermint extract instead of vanilla and it was delicious!! Both me and my husband really enjoyed it! So good 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    I just made this for Christmas Eve. It was a hit. My hubby who isn’t even a fan of hot chocolate even had a second cup. My daughter loved it as well. Thank you. I’m even tempted to try it with almond milk next time for those of us that are lactose intolerant.

  3. 5 stars
    This was an absolutely delicious choice! Best one I’ve tried. Looking forward to many more drinks! Thank You for this recipe! I needed this!!!