There is nothing better than keeping warm and cozy this holiday season with a mug of homemade peppermint hot chocolate.
Why you'll love it
This is a thick, velvety hot cocoa recipe with the wintry kiss of peppermint throughout. It gives you a delicious balance of chocolate and mint for an utterly delightful mug of hot cocoa.
It celebrates one of the best winter flavor combinations while keeping you cozy and warm.
The best part is that it is so easy to make and only takes a few simple ingredients to put together.
- Chocolate - I recommend using unsweetened cocoa powder and semisweet chocolate for this drink. Milk chocolate can be too sweet, while dark chocolate can taste too bitter. Semisweet gives you a nice balance that works well to complement the peppermint. You can also use a combination of chocolate to create the perfect blend for your tastes.
- Sugar - You can use granulated or brown sugar in this recipe. I tend to reach for brown sugar or a mix of both.
- Cornstarch - This is my secret ingredient for super thick and luscious creamy homemade hot chocolate. You can omit it if you want.
- Peppermint - This is a very important ingredient for this hot chocolate, and there are many great ways to incorporate peppermint flavor. My original recipe calls for peppermint filled chocolate chips which gives the beverage the perfect balance of mint and chocolate flavor, but it can be difficult to find. My next recommendation is to use a high quality pure peppermint extract. It is important to make sure you are using the best quality extract you can find. You can also try making a peppermint syrup. I recommend Torani.
- Milk - Any kind of dairy works well, but I am a fan of using a higher fat milk like heavy cream or whole milk. Skim milk is not a great option because it doesn't lend enough flavor and creaminess. If you want something dairy-free you can try cashew milk, oat milk, or almond milk.
How to make
Making this hot chocolate recipe is pretty fast and simple to do. It is ready to drink in just a few short minutes
- Mix dry ingredients together in a medium saucepan.
- Add in some of the milk and stir.
- Add in the rest of the milk and warm on medium heat.
- Mix in the chocolate, vanilla, and peppermint extract.
- Stir until the melted chocolate fully incorporates into everything.
- Top with your favorite mix-ins and enjoy hot!
How to top your hot cocoa
There are so many ways to finish off your hot chocolate—I always recommend people let their imaginations go wild!
For the rim, I wanted something like peppermint bark. I brushed melted semi-sweet chocolate on the rim, followed by white chocolate. I then sprinkled on a dusting of peppermint. Be warned that if you try to do this at home, you need a mug that keeps insulated well, otherwise the chocolate will just end up melting all down the side of your mug and be a huge mess!
My favorite toppings for peppermint hot chocolate also include:
- Whipped cream
- Toasted marshmallows
- Peppermint candies like candy canes or crushed peppermint
- Marshmallow fluff with peppermint milk chocolate chips
- A dusting of cocoa powder or cinnamon
You can also try adding other things to your hot chocolate like coffee for a peppermint mocha hot chocolate or replace the peppermint extract with peppermint schnapps to make it an adult hot chocolate!
Batch making for a crowd
You can easily multiply the recipe as needed to serve a crowd! Follow the recipe, multiplying the recipe by the number of people you plan on serving. The only change you should make is the amount of peppermint extract.
Peppermint extract can be very potent, so I recommend adding it at the very end and tasting as you add so you don't end up with a mug of peppermint hot chocolate that is overwhelming.
You can also turn this into a slow cooker hot chocolate recipe which makes it even better for making for a crowd while keeping it warm for hours. Simply mix together the dry ingredients into about a third of the liquid until it fully incorporates before adding it to the slow cooker with the remaining ingredients and heating on high for two hours, stirring occasionally.
I love adding a candy cane as a garnish as well as topping it with whipped cream.
Yes! For ease, I recommend making at least 5 servings at once in the slow cooker. Make sure the sugar, corn starch, and cocoa powder dissolve in the milk before adding everything else. Stir the mixture occasionally until the chocolate you add in melts fully.
Peppermint Hot Chocolate
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch optional
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups milk
- 2 ½ ounces semi-sweet chocolate or Tollhouse peppermint baking truffles
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract more or less depending on strength
- Mix together the cocoa powder, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a saucepan.
- Add in a few tablespoons of the milk to the dry ingredients until it forms a smooth paste.
- Put the saucepan over heat and slowly add in the rest of the milk, stirring constantly.
- Allow the mixture to heat until it is almost boiling.
- Turn off the heat and add the chocolate. Allow it to sit for a minute or two, then stir until the chocolate is fully melted and stir well.
- Stir in the vanilla and the peppermint.