Easy and creamy crockpot hot chocolate without sweetened condensed milk! No need for instant mix packets – all you need is chocolate, sugar, cocoa, and milk! This recipe is perfect for special occasions. You could even double the recipe for a large crowd – perfect for when you’re on a budget!
Since making cookies is an “event” of sorts for us (as in, we block off an afternoon and spend it ONLY decorating), I thought it would only be fitting to make a pot full of hot chocolate to go with the cookies that get eaten along the way.
Instead of making hot chocolate on the stove-top, we made it in the crockpot!
Why Make Hot Chocolate in the Crockpot?
Simply put, I want to make crockpot hot chocolate instead of stove-top hot chocolate so I’m not multitasking as we were making and decorating cookies.
When it comes to cookies, I’m a big kid at heart. I’m sitting alongside my little ones decorating my own set of cookies too!
I want to treat us all to hot chocolate, but not worry about possibly scorching the milk or having it boil over and make a big mess on the stove. For our cookie decorating day, it really needs to be hands-off.
But also, what about holiday parties?!
Crockpot hot chocolate is PERFECT for a Christmas party. You can mingle with guests and not be concerned with what is on the stove.
Sure, we COULD make hot chocolate on the stove and turn it off, but then it would cool down… and isn’t the whole point of hot chocolate is to drink it hot?
Ingredients for this Homemade Crockpot Hot Chocolate Recipe
I’ve (happily!) tested several variations of slow cooker hot chocolate and came up with a few guidelines to help you pull this off, regardless of what you have in the kitchen. (PS: this is the slow cooker I use and it’s lasted us a LONG time!)
- Milk. I highly recommend using whole milk, simply because whole milk is the least processed milk you can buy. It also makes for a perfectly delicious and rich hot chocolate! Low-fat, fat-free or dairy-free milk will all work well too.
- Heavy Cream. For every 3 cups of milk, you need 1 cup of heavy cream. This ratio gives the hot cocoa a perfect consistency – not too thick, not too thin. Coconut cream would be a good non-dairy substitute.
- Chocolate. This recipe uses two types: chocolate and cocoa powder. You can use dark chocolate or milk chocolate, chips or bars – whatever you have! We liked a 50/50 split of dark and milk chocolate.
- Sugar. I use Turbinado sugar in this recipe and thought the amount was perfect. Again, if your family is used to eating minimally sweetened things, you could easily cut back on the sugar. I’d start with 1/4 cup at first, adding more as needed.**
- Toppings. Toppings are 100% optional, but what kid (big or small!) doesn’t want marshmallows on their hot chocolate?! I served crockpot hot chocolate for a crowd with sides of mini-marshmallows and candy canes. Other ideas include chocolate syrup, caramel sauce, whipped cream (here’s how to make homemade whipped cream and homemade CHOCOLATE whipped cream), sprinkles… the options are endless!
** Remember that the type of chocolate you use will play a part in how sweet the crockpot hot chocolate turns out… so you have some wiggle room here to play with.
How to Make Hot Chocolate Not Too Sweet
Even though you’ll find some sugar in this homemade hot chocolate recipe, you won’t find a lot of it and you won’t find sweetened condensed milk or vanilla extract.
I know that many slow cooker hot chocolate recipes call for sweetened condensed milk, but I like being able to better control how much sugar is added to the recipe. Unless you make your own sweetened condensed milk, you don’t really know how much sugar is in there NOR the quality of sugar.
Since living the real food journey is all about taking one step at a time – one meal at a time – I chose to create a recipe that didn’t use sweetened condensed milk AND one that didn’t sacrifice taste. I think I did it!
I also tried a batch with vanilla extract and didn’t notice much difference. With the high price of vanilla, I didn’t want to give up my precious supply of homemade vanilla extract!
PS – This recipe obviously makes a big batch of hot chocolate, so if you’re looking for a single serving recipe, here’s my version of healthy hot chocolate!
Here are some other holiday beverages to enjoy:
- Homemade Gingerbread Latte
- Homemade Peppermint Mocha
- 10 Minute Pumpkin Apple Cider
- Gingerbread Smoothies
- Pumpkin Smoothies
- 6 cups whole milk (can use low-fat, fat-free or dairy-free milk)
- 2 cups heavy cream (Coconut cream for non-dairy)
- ½ cup granulated sugar (I used Turbinado)
- 8 oz chocolate (I used 50/50 dark chocolate and milk chocolate)
- ¼ cup cocoa
- toppings as desired (mini-marshmallows, crushed candy canes, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, caramel syrup, sprinkles, etc.)
- Place all ingredients, except toppings, in a slow cooker (I have this 6-quart slow cooker).
- Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes. Whisk the ingredients together really well.
- Cover and cook again for 30 minutes. Whisk the ingredients together really well.
- At this point, the hot chocolate is ready to serve with toppings as desired.
- If you're not ready to serve, turn the heat down to as low as it will go (I use the "warm" function on my slow cooker). Whisk well before serving throughout your event!