Rich and creamy crockpot hot chocolate…so easy to make, and perfect for cozy fall and winter days, holiday parties, and guests.
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Homemade hot chocolate is one of our very favorite things, and I love to make a big crockpot full on the weekend. If I’m lucky, it will last Saturday and Sunday. This recipe is also the one I make on the stovetop (adapted for the crock pot), and I’ve been making it for years. I got it from my mama, so I grew up drinking it. It’s an absolute favorite at our house, and the taste is out of this world!
Rich and creamy, this hot chocolate will warm you from head to toe! It’s definitely our go to on snow days, and after skiing or sledding with Candy Cane Marshmallow Dippers and a slice of Chocolate Peppermint Roll. But it’s also wonderful on any cold day, just to warm up. The crockpot just makes it so easy, and it’s so nice to have it just sitting on the countertop, ready whenever we need it. It’s also ready to drink once it’s heated through, so it’s an easy crockpot recipe that doesn’t need to be warmed for hours beforehand.
Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day…all of these holidays are also perfect for Crockpot Hot Chocolate, and really the entire winter season. Make a big batch, and then people come and serve themselves whenever they want to. It’s super easy, cozy, SO yummy, and perfect for a crowd.
Table of contents
- Whole Milk
- Half and Half
- Evaporated Milk
- Heavy Cream
- Chocolate chips
- Vanilla extract
This recipe utilizes chocolate chips instead of cocoa powder, which lends to its creaminess. You don’t need sweetened condensed milk either–just these basic ingredients!
You’ll need a crockpot for this recipe. You can also adapt for the stovetop (directions below), using a large pot or stockpot (love this blue speckled one!). Wooden Spoons and Hot Chocolate Mugs are also great to have!
How to make
Mix all the ingredients together in a 6 quart crockpot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours, stirring often the first hour, to make sure the chocolate incorporates and doesn’t burn on the bottom.
In the 30 minutes before serving, add large and mini marshmallows to the crockpot. They’ll get all melty and yummy! Use a ladle to serve hot chocolate into mugs, then top with all of your favorite hot chocolate toppings.
This recipe fills a 6 quart crockpot or slow cooker, so if you need more or less, you can adjust the recipe. It’s an easy one to cut in half if needed. There is also some versatility to the recipe as well—changing up the ratios of milk to heavy cream is just fine, depending on personal preference. If you like it a little thinner, and not quite as rich, add less cream and more milk. For a richer chocolate flavor, make the recipe as is, or even more cream and mess milk if you like.
When it comes to the chocolate, I use a mix of milk chocolate chips and semi-sweet chocolate chips, and sometimes all milk chocolate. But again, that’s a preference. If you like darker chocolate, you can use it!
If you’ve ever wondered, there is a difference between hot chocolate and hot cocoa. Hot cocoa is made with cocoa powder, and typically lighter and more mild. Hot chocolate is made with real chocolate and cream, making it richer and thicker. Some hot chocolate recipes may use sweetened condensed milk, but this one doesn’t need it!
You also have an option when adding the chocolate. You can either put all the other ingredients in the crockpot and heat until warm, then stir in the chocolate after melting it in the microwave. Or you can add the chocolate chips from the beginning, then making sure to stir often the first hour or so they don’t burn on the bottom. I’ve done it both ways, and both work well–it just depends on what you want to do.
Tip: If you don’t like marshmallows, you can skip that step and use whipped cream instead…or in addition to! I usually like to have peppermint sticks or crushed candy cane to sprinkle on top.
Hot Chocolate Party Ideas
I love to host a Hot Chocolate party every holiday season, and this is the most important recipe of the event! A crockpot of hot chocolate with all the toppings is the highlight, including peppermint, mini chocolate chips, caramel sauce, sprinkles, whipped cream, and extra marshmallows. Christmas breakfast is another hot chocolate must-have at our house, and then we have it all during the day for our family, and anyone who stops by.
No! The good news is that the types of milk or cream are forgiving, and you can switch them around as needed. For example, if you want to use less heavy cream and more milk, you can do that. It won’t taste as rich, but you can certainly adjust to your taste.
Yes, you can. This is an easy recipe to adjust for amounts, and if you need to make or less you can. I’ve often done this for different sizes of crockpots or slow cookers
Good news! If you don’t have a crockpot, don’t worry. You can use this recipe on your stove too!! Place all the ingredients on a large stock pot. Keep on low, stirring often until all the chocolate is melted. Simmer with lid on, stirring occasionally.
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The Best Ever Crockpot Hot Chocolate
- Mix all the ingredients together in a 6 quart crockpot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours, stirring often the first hour, to make sure the chocolate incorporates and doesn't burn on the bottom.
- In the 30 minutes before serving, add large and mini marshmallows to the crockpot. They'll get all melty and yummy! Use a ladle to serve hot chocolate into mugs, then top with all of your favorite hot chocolate toppings.
Don’t forget to check out my book, Simply Tradition: 70 Fun & Easy Holiday Ideas for Families. It’s chock full of holiday traditions, ideas, and recipes for every family–and it makes a great gift!