Easy Crockpot Hot Chocolate (rich, creamy cocoa!)

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This Easy Crockpot Hot Chocolate recipe is as decadent and delicious as it gets! It’s made with simple ingredients (including real chocolate!) and only takes 5 minutes to get started.

Cup of hot chocolate on saucer with slow cooker in the background.

If you grew up with hot chocolate recipes from hot chocolate packets like Swiss Miss mixed with water like me, this Crockpot Hot Chocolate will blow you away. This is such a simple recipe, but has the best chocolate flavor, decadent and rich, is not too sweet and warms your soul on the coldest winter days!

And while I love my Ultra Healthy Blender Hot Chocolate, sometimes I crave something a little more indulgent and classic. This hot chocolate recipe is one of my all-time favorite slow cooker dessert recipes! It will definitely be your new go-to for snowy days or any cold winter day that might call for a warm cup of something sweet!

If you’re looking for more non-alcoholic Crockpot drinks that you can make for Christmas Eve or other holiday parties, be sure to check out these ideas: Non-Alcoholic Mulled Wine and Mulled Apple Cider.

Why you’ll love Crockpot Hot Chocolate

  • This is sufficient for accommodation. I love my 3 ingredient hot chocolate, but it’s only enough for one. If I’m having friends over for movie night, a Christmas party, or making cocoa for the family to enjoy all day, this slow cooker recipe is my favorite because it will stay hot all by itself!
  • It’s hands-free! There are many ways to make homemade hot chocolate, but it’s hard to beat throwing the ingredients in a slow cooker, stirring, and walking away until it’s ready. No risk of burning, no overflowing pan and no fuss. Perfect for Christmas morning or any time during the holiday season when you want to be present with your loved ones.
  • Suitable for people who are dairy free, vegan or lactose intolerant. All my recipes are written to be naturally plant-based because they are generally less expensive. And with a lactose intolerant husband, I’ll always share ways to make dairy-free hot chocolate that rivals the real thing. Read on for ingredients and substitutions!

Notes on ingredients

Ingredients you need for slow cooker hot chocolate, measured and labeled.Ingredients you need for slow cooker hot chocolate, measured and labeled.
  • Milk: For better hot chocolate, use milk higher in fat. I usually use homemade cashew milk or almond milk because I can make it as creamy as I want, but regular whole milk works if you’re not dairy-free.
  • Cocoa powder: Use unsweetened cocoa powder or cocoa powder. If you find cocoa powder to taste bitter, use alkalized cocoa powder processed in the Netherlands. Just make sure you use plain cocoa powder, not hot chocolate mix.
  • Chocolate chips: My favorite vegan chocolate chips to buy are Kirkland bags in bulk at Costco. Feel free to use the milk chocolate chips of your choice. You can also use chopped chocolate bars, if you like. Use what you have.
  • Sugar: Plain granulated sugar is best.
  • Vanilla: ​A touch of vanilla extract makes the best hot chocolate!
  • Salt: A small pinch of sea salt helps balance the sweetness and create depth of flavor.

Hot Chocolate Variations

  • Mint hot chocolate: ​If you like peppermint hot chocolate, add 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract with the rest of the ingredients. Serve with candy canes or peppermint sticks.
  • Enriched hot chocolate: Stir 8 to 12 ounces of bourbon, dark rum, Baileys, or peppermint schnapps into the slow cooker just before serving. Don’t add any at first, otherwise the alcohol will cook off.
  • Zebra hot chocolate: Use 4 ounces each dark chocolate chips and white chocolate chips.

How to Make Crockpot Hot Chocolate

4 images showing the step-by-step process of combining ingredients in a slow cooker.4 images showing the step-by-step process of combining ingredients in a slow cooker.
  1. Add the ingredients to the slow cooker. In a 6 quart slow cooker, combine the milk, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, granulated sugar, vanilla and sea salt. Mix well to combine.
  2. Cook over low heat for 2 hours. Once finished, whisk everything again until smooth and creamy.
  3. Serve. Serve warm with whipped cream, marshmallows and/or additional toppings of your choice. Appreciate!
Final hot chocolate ladle with marshmallows.Final hot chocolate ladle with marshmallows.

Recipe FAQs

How many servings does this batch of Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate make?

As written, this recipe will make approximately 8 servings.

Can I make this hot chocolate in a small slow cooker?

Yes! If you are making this hot chocolate for yourself or a small group, you can prepare this recipe in a smaller 2 quart slow cooker. Measurements for this smaller version can be found below in the full recipe card.

How do you keep hot chocolate hot for a crowd?

Once the recipe is finished, leave the slow cooker warm. This will stop the cooking cycle, but will keep the inner pot of the slow cooker warm for hours.

How do you stop milk from curdling in the slow cooker?

Make sure to cook this hot chocolate over low heat. At higher temperatures, milk may curdle. One of the benefits of dairy-free milks is that they are much less likely to curdle. Personally, this has never happened to me.

Hot chocolate with mini candy canes.Hot chocolate with mini candy canes.

Hot Chocolate Toppings

Besides whipped cream (obligatory) and mini marshmallows, here are some of the best hot chocolate toppings. Choose a few or make an assortment of toppings for a hot chocolate bar at home!

  • Extra chocolate shavings or chocolate chips
  • Mini candy canes
  • Cocoa powder powder
  • A drizzle of chocolate syrup or caramel sauce
  • Sprinkles (really fun for the holidays!)

Storage Instructions

Leftover hot chocolate will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container like a large mason jar in the refrigerator. Reheat in individual mugs in the microwave or return the hot chocolate to the slow cooker and let it heat up.

Recipe Tips

  • Avoid using homemade oat milk. Conventional store-bought oat milks are made with additives that help break down soluble fiber and prevent it from being slimy. When heated, homemade oat milk often becomes viscous and unpleasant.
  • The chocolate you use will affect the flavor. Dark chocolate contains less sugar than milk chocolate. If you use dark chocolate (like me), this hot chocolate will have a richer chocolate flavor. If you’re used to sweeter chocolates, you’ll want to use lighter chocolates like milk chocolate (dairy-free or regular).
  • Make a richer hot chocolate. You can substitute 1 cup of milk for heavy cream, half-and-half, or full-fat coconut milk to make the hot chocolate recipe as rich as possible.
Close-up of a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows and mini chocolate chips.Close-up of a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows and mini chocolate chips.

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Crockpot Hot Chocolate Recipe

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Preparation time 5 minutes

Cooking time 2 hours

Total time 2 hours 5 minutes

This Easy Crockpot Hot Chocolate recipe is as decadent and delicious as it gets! It’s made with simple ingredients (including real chocolate!) and only takes 5 minutes to get started.

  • Add all ingredients to a slow cooker. Cook over low heat for 2 hours.

  • Once finished, whisk everything together until smooth. Serve warm with whipped cream, marshmallows and additional toppings of your choice. Appreciate!

  • Milk: I use homemade cashew milk or almond milk because I can make it as creamy as I want. Regular whole milk works if you’re not dairy-free or vegan. If you want to make an extra creamy hot chocolate, replace 1 cup of milk with half-and-half coconut milk or heavy cream.
  • Chocolate chips: Both dark chocolate chips and milk chocolate chips work. You can also use chopped chocolate.

  • Nutrition information is an estimate based on the use of cashew milk and dark chocolate chips. Changing the milk and chocolate chips will change the nutrition.

Hot Chocolate Variations

  • Mint hot chocolate: ​If you like peppermint hot chocolate, add 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract with the rest of the ingredients. Serve with candy canes or peppermint sticks.
  • Enriched hot chocolate: Stir 8 to 12 ounces of bourbon, dark rum, Baileys, or peppermint schnapps into the slow cooker just before serving. Don’t add any at first, otherwise the alcohol will cook off.
  • Zebra hot chocolate: Use 4 ounces each dark chocolate chips and white chocolate chips.

2 liter slow cooker version
Follow the recipe instructions with the following measurements:

  • 2 cups of milk
  • 5.5 teaspoons of cocoa powder
  • 2.5 ounces chocolate chips
  • 5.5 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon
  • Pinch of salt

Calories: 214kilocalories | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 0.3mg | Sodium: 224mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 18g

Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided for this recipe is an estimate only. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.

Course Drinks

Kitchen American

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