X

The BEST Scratch Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate (NO Powder Mix here!)

This post may contain affiliate links meaning if you buy from them, I will make a few pennies, at no cost to you. See disclosure here.

This slow cooker hot chocolate recipe is the absolute BEST! It’s the perfect consistency, right between thin and thick. It’s smooth, rich, and drinks like velvet.

The rich semi-sweet dark chocolate paired with heavy cream and sweetened condensed milk is unlike anything those boxed hot cocoa mixes have to offer!

hot chocolate in a glass mug topped with whipped cream and chocolate sauce

Click HERE to save recipe to Pinterest

Have you ever tried to make hot cocoa from scratch? It’s surprisingly easy and not as time-consuming as you might think, and with the use of your crockpot, it’s a simple as dump, stir and go!

This slow cooker hot cocoa recipe is the BEST! It does not use any hot cocoa powder mix or packets but instead relies on heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, semi-sweet dark chocolate, and cocoa powder for its full-on chocolate in a liquid form flavor.

The result is a rich, creamy drink that will please your taste buds.  The ingredients are combined in a crock pot on low for 3 hours or high for 1 hour. 

You know I’m a fan of making things for scratch, like how I encourage you to use my “better than box mix” brownies? This is one of those cases.

So grab some ingredients and get ready to make this cozy winter treat for you and your family!

ladle scooping hot chocolate from a slow cooker

Why you’ll love this slow cooker hot chocolate

  • It’s easy! With only six ingredients and the help of the slow cooker, it’ll be done in no time.
  • You don’t need any special mixes. If you get a hankering for some hot chocolate but don’t have a mix, there’s a good chance you’ll have these ingredients on hand.
  • It’s delicious! Set up a hot chocolate bar at your next gathering with various toppings to warm up a crowd.

Equipment You’ll Need To Make Your Homemade Hot Chocolate

You only really need two things (okay, maybe three!) to make this crock pot hot chocolate recipe.

  • Whisk – to really incorporate all the ingredients.
  • Slow Cooker or Instant Pot With Slow Cooker Settings – that is the slow cooker I use & love. I have that IP too, but have never used the slow cooker function.
  • Serving ladle – to serve up all that chocolatey goodness.

Ingredients For Your From-Scratch Slow Cooker Hot Cocoa

Below is a list of ingredients, possible substitutions, and helpful tips. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card.

Heavy Cream – Sometimes called heavy whipping cream, heavy cream has a higher fat content that regular milk which makes it extra rich and creamy.
Cocoa Powder – Unsweetened cocoa powder.
Whole Milk – Again, whole milk has higher fat than say 2%, which adds to the creaminess. If you like thinner hot chocolate, you can use 2% or low-fat.
Sweetened Condensed Milk – Sweetened condensed milk is milk in which the water has been removed and sugar has been added. It is thick and rich and comes in a can in the baking aisle.
Chocolate Bar – Use your favorite chocolate baking bar(s) to chop up. You can use chocolate chips, if that is what you have, but I highly recommend using a high quality chocolate. Ghirardelli makes a great baking bar. Semi-sweet, unsweetened, or 70% work well.
Vanilla Extract – I know it is pricey, but whenever possible, please use real vanilla extract instead of imitation. You can make it yourself to save some money.

overhead shot of ingredients laid out to make slow cooker hot chocolate from scratch

How To Make The Perfect Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate With Sweetened Condensed Milk

STEP ONE: First, whisk the cocoa powder into half of the heavy cream in the basin of the slow cooker. This step ensures that the cocoa powder is evenly distributed.

STEP TWO: Next, add the remaining cream, milk, sweetened condensed milk, chopped chocolate, and vanilla, and stir to combine.

STEP THREE: Finally, cover and heat on LOW for 3 hours, stirring every 20 minutes or so. You’ll want the chocolate fully melted and smooth.

Serve and enjoy!

collage of photos showing the process of making hot chocolate from scratch in the crockpot

Tips & Notes For Making This Crock Pot Hot Chocolate Recipe

  • Step 1 may seem unnecessary, but just hear me out. If you add everything into the slow cooker at once, it will take a very long time to mix the cocoa powder in. You want the cocoa powder mixed in, not just sitting on the surface.
  • Make sure you are whisking/stirring every 20 minutes or so to ensure that the chocolate will not burn on the sides.
  • This makes a very thick and creamy hot chocolate, thinner than drinking chocolate but thicker than a classic “swiss miss”. If you want it thinner like a normal hot chocolate, use 2 cups of heavy cream instead of 4, and add 2 cups of milk in its place. You can also use 2% or whatever milk you prefer to thin it out. I personally love it as is, it’s so luscious and decadent, a true treat!!
  • You can use semi-sweet chocolate chips in place of the baking bar. I suggest using higher quality chocolate so it melts nicely.

Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate FAQs

How to serve it

Serve directly from the slow cooker set on WARM for up to 3 hours after the initial cook time. If the hot chocolate gets too thick while it sits, you can stir in more milk to your desired thickness.

Can I use white or milk chocolate in place of the semi-sweet in this hot cocoa recipe?

Yes! If you use white chocolate, you’ll most like want to nix the sweetened condensed milk and replace it with more heavy cream, as white chocolate tends to be very sweet. Something to keep in mind about white chocolate is that it is very temperamental when it comes to melting.  You can also use a combination of both semi-sweet and white chocolate if desired!

If you decide to go with milk chocolate, reduce the sweetened condensed milk by half and replace the other half with heavy whipping cream.

Even though this recipe calls for dark chocolate, it does not have that bitter aftertaste due to the sweetened condensed milk. It tastes like a rich milk chocolate hot cocoa.

How long is this slow cooker hot chocolate good for?

On the off chance that you have any leftovers, you can store the hot chocolate in the fridge for up to 5 days and reheat a cup when the mood strikes.

Do I need crock pot liners?

I personally don’t find them necessary, for any slow cooker recipe, but it’s your kitchen, do you, Boo!

They’ll keep your slow cooker/crock pot clean and free from any burnt-on chocolate in case you forget to stir it, but I highly recommend Dawn Powerwash if that happens.

two clear glass mugs filled with hot chocolate and topped with whipped cream and chocolate sauce

Can I use evaporated milk instead of sweetened condensed milk?

No, evaporated milk will not work in this recipe. They’re not the same and evaporated milk doesn’t have the same sugar content as sweetened condensed milk.

You can replace the sweetened condensed milk with heavy cream if need be, but you will end up with a more true dark chocolate hot cocoa because of the loss of sugar.

Do I have to add vanilla extract, or can I leave it out?

The addition of vanilla is purely optional but highly recommended! The flavor really rounds out the chocolate flavor in this slow cooker hot cocoa recipe.

Can I add red wine to this hot chocolate recipe?

Yes, you sure can! If you’re having an adult-only holiday party, you can add about one cup of red wine to this recipe for a fun twist.

What can I put on top of hot chocolate?

Marshmallows are the obvious choice (mini size are great) but also try mini chocolate chips, crushed candy canes, whipped cream, dark chocolate syrup, caramel sauce, or even flaky sea salt (it’s a great contrast to the sweet),.

Need more chocolate recipes? Try these:

Cosmic Brownie Hot Cocoa Bombs
Hot Chocolate Poke Cake
Sour Cream Chocolate Bundt Cake
Easy Chocolate Brownies
Coconut Oil Brownies

Need more festive drink recipes? Try these:

Cranberry Orange Cider
Medicine Ball Tea
Cranberry Prosecco Spritzer

mug of hot chocolate with text overlay reading "slow cooker hot chocolate"

CONNECT WITH PERSNICKETY PLATES!

Follow along on my social media so you never miss a post!

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

I made a fun group on Facebook for sharing recipes, asking questions, and talking about food. I’d love to have you! Request to join HERE.

Also, sign up to receive an email in your inbox for each new recipe:

FREE EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION & EBOOK

If you MAKE & LOVE this recipe, share it on Instagram and tag me @melissa_pplates and/or #persnicketyplates so I can see it. I LOVE seeing what you make & I’ll share it in my stories!

It is VERY HELPFUL to me and other readers if you leave a review after you make my recipe. Please come back & let me know how it turned out!

hot chocolate in a glass mug topped with whipped cream and chocolate sauce

Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate

Melissa Williams
4.65 from 31 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 5 mins
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings
Calories 602 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet baking bar finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • your favorite toppings

Instructions
 

  • Add half of the heavy cream to the slow cooker. Whisk in the cocoa powder until combined, this might take a while.
  • Add the remaining cream, milk, sweetened condensed milk, chopped chocolate, and vanilla, stir to combine.
  • Place on low for 3 hours, stirring every 20 minutes or so until the chocolate is melted and fully combined. Keep on the warm setting for up to 3 hours for serving. If the hot chocolate gets too thick while it sits, you can stir in more milk to your desired thickness.
  • Serve with your desired toppings such as marshmallows, whipped cream, chocolate syrup, or crushed candy canes!

Video

Notes

Step 1 is so the cocoa powder mixes in easier. If you add everything into the slow cooker at once it will take a very long time to mix the cocoa powder in. It tends to want to just sit on top and not mix in, so I find this step makes it easier.
Make sure you are whisking/stirring every 20 minutes or so so the chocolate will not burn on the sides.
This makes a very thick and creamy hot chocolate, thinner than drinking chocolate but thicker than a classic “swiss miss”. If you want it thinner like a normal hot chocolate, use 2 cups of heavy cream instead of 4, and add 2 cups of milk in its place. You can also use 2% or whatever milk you prefer to thin it out. I personally love it as is, it’s so luscious and decadent, a true treat!!
You can use semi-sweet chocolate chips in place of the baking bar. I suggest using higher quality chocolate so it melts nicely.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 602kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 9gFat: 46gSaturated Fat: 28gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 130mgSodium: 111mgPotassium: 488mgFiber: 3gSugar: 33gVitamin A: 1400IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 258mgIron: 2mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Tried this recipe? Tag me!Mention @melissa_pplates or tag #persnicketyplates!

Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying/pasting and/or screenshots of full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited. Content and photographs are copyright protected.

Reader Interactions

    Share Your Thoughts

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Recipe Rating




    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Karen Reiter says

    .can you replace vanilla with peppermint extract?

  2. Jennie says

    5 stars
    Well this is a family hit. Our son said, “hmm. It’s real.” Sister is only disappointed the whipped cream is melting. Otherwise she loves it. My husband and I are having it mixed with coffee. Delicious!!

  3. Hannah says

    Do you have to put it on low for 3 hours or can you just melt the stuff and get it hot?

    • Melissa Williams says

      Sounds like you want a stovetop recipe, which you can do 🙂 It takes awhile to melt, just don’t scorch it.

  4. Diane williams says

    To me a baking bar is unsweetened. Are you saying these are sweetened? What % of cocoa then?

    • Melissa Williams says

      The recipe states semi-sweet but I like dark chocolate so I usually use 70%.

  5. Veronica says

    5 stars
    I made this last weekend and it was truly amazing! It’s definitely decadent so don’t try to be greedy by getting a big cup hahaha. It reminded me of this hot chocolate that I bought at the premium outlets in Las Vegas. Again, I can’t get over how creamy and delicious this was; don’t think about it and just make it!!!!

    • Melissa Williams says

      Thank you so much! Merry Christmas 🙂

  6. Sydney says

    Are you able to cook on high for a shorter amount of time?

    • Melissa Williams says

      You can, just make sure to stir it often so it doesn’t burn.

  7. Melissa says

    5 stars
    This is the absolute BEST hot chocolate EVER!!! PlN on making this again soon!!!

    • Melissa Williams says

      Yay! I love hearing that, thank you for reporting back =)

  8. Christine Werner says

    5 stars
    Very easy and soooo good!

    • Melissa Williams says

      Happy to hear that – thank you for reporting back!

Melissa Williams/Persnickety Plates is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. For more details, please see my Privacy Policy & Disclosures page.

Simple Share Buttons