The Ultimate Homemade Hot Chocolate

This homemade hot chocolate is extra rich and delicious, has two types of chocolate, and you can add other flavor add-ins for fun!

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Fun fact: the number of times people searched the internet for hot chocolate in December 2020 was twice that of previous years. Why? Probably because we all needed that extra comfort after a hard year. I don’t know about you, but I still need the creamy, cozy comfort of a mug full of hot chocolate. 😅 Thankfully, homemade hot cocoa is super fast to make, you can make one mug at a time or in a big batch, and I’ve got a bunch of fun ideas for add-ins so you can make a new flavor every time. :) Keep scrolling for delicious, chocolatey goodness!

overhead view of four mugs of hot chocolate with different toppings

What Makes this Hot Chocolate Extra Good

I went all out with this hot chocolate. To make it extra creamy and extra chocolatey I used a 50/50 mix of milk and half and half, semi-sweet chocolate, and unsweetened cocoa powder for a one-two chocolate punch. I added just enough sugar to keep it sweet, but not so much that it’s hard to finish your mug (you can always add more to taste). The result is a perfectly balanced rich, sweet, and chocolatey mug that will give you all the warm and fuzzy cozy winter vibes.

What Type of Chocolate to Use

I used Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate because that’s what I had on hand, but you can definitely use semi-sweet chocolate chips to make this hot chocolate more affordable. You can also experiment with using either milk chocolate or dark chocolate depending on how sweet or bitter you like your hot cocoa. Semi-sweet is right in the middle, which fits my flavor preferences.

Can I Use a Different Type of Milk?

Technically, you can use different types of milk or non-dairy milk substitutes for your hot chocolate, just keep in mind that the type of milk you use will directly impact the creaminess and sweetness of your hot chocolate. The recipe below is designed for a combination of whole milk and half and half, which I found to be rich and creamy without being too heavy.

Half and half is a 50/50 mix of whole milk and heavy cream, so if you don’t have half and half you can change the ingredients below to be 3 cups whole milk and one cup heavy cream for the same result.

What Else Can I Add to Hot Chocolate?

This is where homemade hot chocolate gets fun. There are so many extra ingredients that you can add to make new flavors. Here are a few things you can add to hot chocolate to give it more flavor:

  • Instant coffee or espresso powder
  • Almond extract
  • Peppermint extract
  • Crushed candy canes or peppermint candies
  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom
  • Cayenne pepper (see my Spicy Hot Cocoa)
  • Nutella
  • Caramel sauce
  • Malted milk powder
  • Maple syrup
  • Almond butter
  • White chocolate
  • Bailey’s Irish cream ;)
Side view of four mugs of hot chocolate with different toppings
close up overhead view of a single mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows and chocolate syrup

The Ultimate Homemade Hot Chocolate

This homemade hot chocolate is extra rich and delicious, has two types of chocolate, and you can add other flavor add-ins for fun!
Course Beverage, Drinks
Cuisine General
Total Cost $3.96 recipe / $0.99 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 1 cup each
Calories 377kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder $0.14
  • 2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate $1.75
  • 1/4 cup sugar $0.04
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.01
  • 2 cups whole milk $0.84
  • 2 cups half and half $0.90
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract $0.28

Instructions

  • Add the cocoa powder, semi-sweet chocolate, sugar, and salt to a medium saucepot. Pour the milk and half and half over top.
  • Place the saucepot over medium heat. Heat the ingredients over medium while whisking until the chocolate has fully melted into the milk and the milk is beginning to steam (but not simmering).
  • Once the chocolate is fully melted into the milk and the milk is has begun to steam, remove it from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Taste and adjust the sugar or chocolate to your liking.
  • Serve hot with your favorite toppings.

Notes

This recipe scales up or down easily. Just change the number in the box next to “servings” at the top of the recipe and the ingredient amounts will adjust for you.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 377kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 24g | Sodium: 178mg | Fiber: 3g
close up overhead view of a single mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows and chocolate syrup

How to Make Homemade Hot Chocolate – Step by Step Photos

Milk being poured into a sauce pot with chocolate sugar and salt

Add ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, ¼ cup sugar, and ⅛ tsp salt to a saucepot. Pour 2 cups whole milk and 2 cups half and half over top.

Finished hot chocolate

Heat the mixture over medium while whisking. The cocoa powder will sit on top at first while the milk is cold, but will begin to incorporate as the milk heats up. The semi-sweet chocolate will begin to melt as you heat, but will not fully incorporate into the milk until the milk gets so hot that it begins to steam. Once steaming, remove it from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

four mugs of hot chocolate with different toppings

Taste the hot chocolate and adjust the sweetness or other ingredients before serving and adding your favorite toppings! If you want it to be extra, EXTRA special, try topping it with some homemade whipped cream!

The post The Ultimate Homemade Hot Chocolate appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Gingerbread Coffee Creamer

This gingerbread coffee creamer will make your morning cup of joe a little extra cozy. It’s creamy, lightly sweet, and full of warm spices!

The post Gingerbread Coffee Creamer appeared first on Budget Bytes.

‘Tis the season for all things cozy and this gingerbread coffee creamer will turn your morning cup of joe into one big warm hug! It’s creamy, lightly sweet, and full of rich warm spices. I’m not going to lie, this creamer is so delicious that I’m tempted to just warm it up in a mug by itself and sip on it as an alternative to hot cocoa! Why not, right??

Overhead view of two cups of coffee with creamer being poured into one

Why I Love This Creamer

Aside from its incredibly warm and cozy flavor, I love this gingerbread coffee creamer because it only takes a few minutes to make and it’s totally customizable. Want it sweeter? Just add some brown sugar. Want it creamier? Substitute cream for the half and half. Need a smaller (or larger) batch? No problem. The recipe scales up or down without issue.

What is Half and Half?

I used “half and half” as the base for my creamer. For those outside the U.S., half and half is a 50/50 mix of whole milk and heavy cream. It’s a common add-in for coffee and can be purchased in pretty much every grocery store in the U.S.

You can make this gingerbread coffee creamer using just cream, or make your own “half and half” by combining equal parts whole milk and cream. Sure, you could probably do it with just whole milk too, but it just wouldn’t be nearly as cozy and creamy. :)

How Long Does it Last?

There isn’t an exact expiration date for homemade creamers like this, so I’d just stick to five days in the refrigerator just to be on the safe side. Luckily, you can make this creamer in very small batches if needed and it only takes minutes to make more when you run out, so there’s no need to risk leftovers going to waste.

How to Use Gingerbread Coffee Creamer

I set the serving size for this creamer at ¼ cup, but it’s totally up to you how much creamer you put in a cup of coffee. I can’t lie, while I was going through testing for this recipe I even drank it like a café au lait (half coffee, half milk) and it was incredible.

Serve your gingerbread coffee alongside a Cinnamon Nut Swirl Mug Cake or a Mini Chocolate Pecan Pie.

I also have plans to try using this gingerbread creamer in an ice cream maker. I’ll keep you posted.

gingerbread coffee creamer in a glass milk bottle with coffee cups and cookies in the background
Two mugs of coffee from above, a bottle of creamer on the side

Gingerbread Coffee Creamer

This gingerbread coffee creamer will make your morning cup of joe little extra cozy. It's creamy, sweet, and full of warm spices!
Total Cost $0.73 recipe / $0.18 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 ¼ cup each
Calories 95kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup half and half $0.45
  • 1 Tbsp molasses $0.15
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract $0.07
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon $0.02

Instructions

  • Add all of the ingredients to a small saucepot. Heat over medium, stirring often, until the half and half is hot and steaming, but not simmering (about five minutes).
  • Serve hot or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25cup | Calories: 95kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Sodium: 27mg | Fiber: 1g
creamer being poured into a cup of coffee

How to Make Gingerbread Coffee Creamer – Step by Step Photos

half and half being poured into a small saucepot

Start by adding one cup of half and half to a small saucepot (or one cup of cream, or any mix of cream and milk that you prefer).

spices being added to half and half in the saucepot

Add 1 Tbsp molasses, ¼ tsp vanilla extract, ¼ tsp ground ginger, ⅛ tsp ground cloves, and ⅛ tsp cinnamon to the half and half.

heated gingerbread creamer in the saucepot

Heat the creamer over medium, stirring often, until the creamer is hot and steaming, but not yet simmering. The spices will clump up while the half and half is still cold, but they’ll begin to mix in as it heats up. Heating the spices in the liquid also helps the flavors bloom and permeate throughout the creamer.

Two mugs of coffee from above, a bottle of creamer on the side

Serve your creamer hot, or refrigerate until ready to use (up to about five days). Enjoy!

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Spinach Quiche

This Spinach Quiche is one of my favorite recipes to make when I am having friends and family over for breakfast or brunch. Everyone loves quiche and this one is exceptional. It has a flaky crust, silky custard egg filling, hearty spinach, garlic, onio…

This Spinach Quiche is one of my favorite recipes to make when I am having friends and family over for breakfast or brunch. Everyone loves quiche and this one is exceptional. It has a flaky crust, silky custard egg filling, hearty spinach, garlic, onion, and melty Gruyere cheese. A few shortcuts, like using store bought…

The post Spinach Quiche appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Broccoli Cheese Soup is a classic and one of my favorites. This creamy, rich, cheesy soup with tender broccoli is made in ONE pot and so comforting. It is made with simple ingredients and only takes about 30 minutes to make. It is better than any brocc…

Broccoli Cheese Soup is a classic and one of my favorites. This creamy, rich, cheesy soup with tender broccoli is made in ONE pot and so comforting. It is made with simple ingredients and only takes about 30 minutes to make. It is better than any broccoli cheese soup you can buy at the store…

The post Broccoli Cheese Soup appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are not only a Thanksgiving staple but a year-round favorite! They have a nostalgic quality that turns any meal into something delicious and special. My version of the perfect mashed potatoes recipe: roasted garlic, half and half, plent…

Mashed potatoes are not only a Thanksgiving staple but a year-round favorite! They have a nostalgic quality that turns any meal into something delicious and special. My version of the perfect mashed potatoes recipe: roasted garlic, half and half, plenty of butter, and a sprinkling of chives. YUM! These mashed potatoes are rich, fluffy, and…

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