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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 takes just 5 minutes to get started.

Mug of hot chocolate on saucer with crockpot in background.

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If you grew up with hot chocolate recipes that came from hot cocoa packets like Swiss Miss mixed with water like I did, this Crockpot Hot Chocolate will blow your mind. It's such a simple recipe, yet has the best, decadent and rich chocolate flavor, isn't overly sweet, and warm your soul during the coldest winter days! 

And while I absolutely love my Ultra Healthy Blender Hot Chocolate, sometimes I'm craving something a bit more indulgent and classic. This hot chocolate recipe is one of my favorite crockpot dessert recipes of all time! It's guaranteed to be your new go-to for snow days or any cold winter day that could use a warm mug of something sweet! 

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

Why You'll Love Crockpot Hot Chocolate

  • Makes enough for hosting. I love my 3-Ingredient Hot Chocolate, but it only makes enough for one. If I am having friends for a movie night, holiday party, or making cocoa for the family to enjoy all day long, this crockpot recipe is my go-to because it will stay warm on its own!
  • It's hands-free! There are tons of ways to make homemade hot chocolate, but it's hard to beat dumping the ingredients in a crockpot, stirring, and walking away until it's ready. No risk of burning, no pot boiling over, and no fuss. Ideal for Christmas morning or any time during the holiday season when you want to be present with loved ones.
  • Suitable for dairy-free, vegan, or lactose intolerant. All of my recipes are written to be naturally plant-based because in general they are cheaper. And with a husband who is lactose intolerant, I'll always share ways for you to make dairy-free hot chocolate that rivals the real thing. Read on for ingredients and substitutions! 

Ingredient Notes

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

Hot Chocolate Variations

  • Peppermint Hot Chocolate: ​If you love peppermint hot chocolate, add 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract along with the rest of the ingredients. Serve with candy canes or peppermint sticks. 
  • Spiked Hot Chocolate: Stir 8-12 ounces of bourbon, dark rum, Baileys, or peppermint schnapps into the crockpot right before serving. Don't add this at the beginning or the alcohol will cook off. 
  • Zebra Hot Chocolate: Use 4 ounces of dark chocolate chips and white chocolate chips. 

How to Make Crockpot Hot Chocolate

4 images showing step by step process of combining ingredients in crockpot.
  1. Add ingredients in slow cooker. In a 6 quart crockpot, pour in the milk, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, granulated sugar, vanilla, and sea salt. Stir well to combine. 
  2. Cook on low for 2 hours. ​Once done, whisk everything together once more until smooth and creamy. 
  3. Serve. Serve while hot with whipped cream, marshmallows, and/or additional toppings of choice. Enjoy!
Ladle of final hot chocolate with marshmallows.

Recipe FAQs

How many servings does this batch of slow cooker hot chocolate make?

As written, this recipe will make about 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 smaller group, you can make this recipe in a smaller 2 qt crockpot. The measurements for this smaller version are down below in the complete recipe card. 

How do you keep hot chocolate warm for a crowd?

Once the recipe is done cooking, keep the crockpot on the warm setting. This will stop the cooking cycle, but keep the inner pot of the crockpot warm for hours. 

How do I keep milk from curdling in the slow cooker?

Make sure to cook this hot chocolate on low. With higher temperatures, milk is likely to curdle. One benefit of dairy-free milks is they are much less likely to curdle. I personally have never had it happen. 

Hot chocolate with mini candy canes.

Hot Chocolate Toppings

Aside from the (mandatory) whipped cream and mini marshmallows, here are some of the best hot chocolate toppings. Choose a few, or set out an assortment of toppings for an at-home hot chocolate bar! 

  • Chocolate shavings or extra chocolate chips
  • Mini candy canes
  • Dust of cocoa powder
  • Drizzle of chocolate syrup or caramel sauce
  • Sprinkles (really fun for 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 place the hot chocolate back in the crockpot and set to warm to heat through. 

Recipe Tips 

  • Avoid using homemade oat milk. Store-bought, conventional oat milks are made with additives that help to break down the soluble fibers and keep it from being slimy. When heated, homemade oat milk often gets slimy and is unpleasant. 
  • The chocolate you use will effect flavor. Dark chocolate contains less sugar compared to milk chocolate. If you are using all dark chocolate (like I do), this hot chocolate will have a richer chocolate flavor. If you are used to sweeter chocolates, you will want to use lighter chocolates like milk chocolate (dairy-free or regular). 
  • Make a richer hot chocolate. You can replace 1 cup of the milk with heavy cream, half and half, or full-fat coconut milk to make the hot cocoa recipe as rich as possible.
Closeup of mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows and mini chocolate chips.
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Crockpot Hot Chocolate Recipe

5 from 2 votes

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Cost: $5.94 per recipe / $0.74 per serving
This Easy Crockpot Hot Chocolate recipe is as decadent and delicious as it gets! It's made with simple ingredients (including real chocolate!) and takes just 5 minutes to get started. 

Equipment

  • 6 qt. crockpot

Ingredients
 

  • 6 cups whole milk (dairy or non-dairy) ($3.60)
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder ($0.30)
  • 8 ounces chocolate chips ($1.39)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar ($0.16)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ($0.48)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt ($0.01)

Instructions

  • Add all the ingredients to a slow cooker. Cook on low for 2 hours.
  • Once done, whisk everything together until smooth. Serve hot with whipped cream, marshmallows, and additional toppings of choice. Enjoy!

Storage Instructions

  • Leftover hot chocolate will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container like a large mason jar in the refrigerator. 
Last step!Please consider Leaving a review + commenting letting me know how you liked this recipe!
  • Milk: I use homemade cashew milk or almond milk because I can made it as creamy as I'd like. Regular whole milk works if you are not dairy-free or vegan. If you want to make an extra-creamy hot chocolate, replace 1 cup of milk with coconut milk, half and half, or heavy cream. 
  • Chocolate chips: Dark chocolate chips and milk chocolate chips work. You can also use chopped chocolate. 

Notes

  • The nutritional information is an estimate and based on using cashew milk and dark chocolate chips. Changing the milk and chocolate chips will change the nutrition. 
Hot Chocolate Variations
  • Peppermint Hot Chocolate: ​If you love peppermint hot chocolate, add 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract along with the rest of the ingredients. Serve with candy canes or peppermint sticks. 
  • Spiked Hot Chocolate: Stir 8-12 ounces of bourbon, dark rum, Baileys, or peppermint schnapps into the crockpot right before serving. Don't add this at the beginning or the alcohol will cook off. 
  • Zebra Hot Chocolate: Use 4 ounces of dark chocolate chips and white chocolate chips. 
2-quart crockpot version 
Follow the recipe instructions with the following measurements: 
  • 2 cups milk
  • 5.5 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 2.5 ounces chocolate chips
  • 5.5 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon
  • Pinch salt

Nutrition

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

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

Course Drinks
Cuisine American

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5 from 2 votes

Photography by: Your Home, Made Healthy

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5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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