The Best Hot Chocolate Recipe


Safia Khan

I’ve searched pretty much all over the internet to find the perfect, yet simple hot chocolate recipe—but to no avail. In my opinion, hot chocolate should be smooth, piled high with peaks of whipped cream and a mountain of marshmallows, full of luscious chocolate flavor but shouldn’t be so overpowering and overwhelmingly sweet that you can’t have more than a few sips. This recipe is versatile, easy, and best of all, customizable and the flavor combinations one could experiment with are endless!

Simple Hot Chocolate: 

Serves 1


1 cup of milk

A splash of Torani vanilla syrup or vanilla extract

2 ½ TBSP of dark chocolate, chopped

¼ tsp of salt

½ TBSP cocoa powder

Optional – marshmallows, whipped cream, and a bit of salt for garnish. 


  1. In a saucepan, whisk together the milk and vanilla syrup. Cook on medium heat until the mixture reaches a scalding point (bubbles on the edges of the saucepan) and is hot. 
  2. Add the chopped chocolate and salt. Allow the heat of the milk to slightly melt the chocolate for about 30 seconds. Whisk thoroughly to ensure that the chocolate is fully combined with the milk, carefully tilting the pan so there isn’t any chocolate left. 
  3. Add the cocoa powder and whisk vigorously until combined. 
  4. Carefully, pour the mixture into a mug. Top with whipped cream, a sprinkle of salt, and marshmallows, if desired. Enjoy!


  • Using dark chocolate is very important. I find that milk chocolate is way too sweet but if it’s all you have, add a bit extra cocoa powder.
  • Even though dark chocolate is being used and has slightly less sugar when compared to milk chocolate, it’s either really sweet or not packing enough of a chocolate flavor, which is why the addition of the cocoa powder is so important! The cocoa powder mellows the sweetness out a bit and adds to the chocolate flavor. 
  • Make sure to whisk VERY well when adding the chopped chocolate and the cocoa powder to ensure that you have a homogeneous and smooth mixture with no lumps!
  • I find that adding a sprinkle of salt as a finishing touch on top of my whipped cream is such a game changer! The slightly salty notes nicely offsets all of the sweetness and richness of the whipped cream and hot chocolate.