White Hot Chocolate

published Dec 13, 2021
White Hot Chocolate Recipe

White hot chocolate is a tasty take on the traditional drink.


Prep5 minutes

Cook5 minutes to 7 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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White hot chocolate in a clear glass mug, with foam on top, and white star shaped pieces of white chocolate for a garnish
Credit: Amanda Gryphon

Sweet, silky, and blissfully caffeine-free, white hot chocolate is a cozy elixir that you can wrap your hands around any time of day. Five simple ingredients and a short simmer on the stovetop make this homemade version far easier than running to a cafe (and a slam-dunk on snow days when you just want to stay warm inside). 

Whole milk is an excellent starting point, but to push this into truly lush territory, we suggest adding heavy cream for rich flavor and velvety texture. Feeling experimental? White hot chocolate serves as a luxurious base for other flavors to build upon, like pumpkin spice, festive peppermint, or a warming splash of rum for the adults. 

What Is White Hot Chocolate Made Of?

  • White chocolate chips 
  • Whole milk
  • Heavy cream
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt

What Does White Hot Chocolate Taste Like?

High-quality white chocolate will contribute a subtle sweetness to your hot chocolate, so use the best version available in your grocery store (such as Ghirardelli). Natural white chocolate is a very pale yellow color, which indicates that it’s made with cocoa butter, so look for that instead of pure white chips to ensure better flavor. A combination of whole milk and heavy cream lends smooth richness, while vanilla extract and a bit of salt provide depth and balance. 

Credit: Amanda Gryphon

What Toppings Pair Well with White Hot Chocolate?

White Hot Chocolate Recipe

White hot chocolate is a tasty take on the traditional drink.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 5 minutes to 7 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 8 ounces

    white chocolate chips (1 1/2 cups)

  • 3 cups

    whole milk

  • 1 cup

    heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

Serving options:

  • Marshmallows

  • Whipped cream

  • Grated nutmeg


  1. Place 8 ounces white chocolate chips, 3 cups whole milk, 1 cup heavy cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth, 5 to 7 minutes.

  2. Pour into mugs. Serve with marshmallows, whipped cream, or a pinch of grated nutmeg, if desired.

Recipe Notes

Ingredients: Use high-quality white chocolate chips and vanilla extract for the best flavor.

Substitutions: For a slightly less rich hot chocolate, substitute half-and-half for heavy cream, or replace heavy cream with another cup of whole milk.

Peppermint variation: Add 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract in Step 1.

Spiked variation: Remove the hot chocolate from the heat, and add 1 to 2 ounces rum, bourbon, or Kahlúa.

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Reheat gently over low heat.