This Easy Instant Pot Hot Chocolate recipe is rich, creamy, thick, and made from scratch using just 6 ingredients. It is the best holiday drink recipe you will ever need and is perfect for parties, holidays, and family gatherings! Serve it topped with some marshmallows or whipped cream, or create a Hot Chocolate Bar.
I am sharing how to make the best hot chocolate in an Instant Pot, crock pot, slow cooker, and on the stovetop.
Winter is all about cozy blankets, snuggles, and a mug full of hot chocolate, isn't it? You can now make the best hot chocolate recipe in your Instant Pot!
My family loves hot chocolate, so it is now a tradition to start Holidays with one.
I make it quite often and after many trials, I am excited to share the perfect recipe that turns out delicious every time and can be easily made for a crowd.
I prefer it thick, rich, and full of chocolate flavor, not the runny powder kind. So if you are like me, here is the only recipe that you will ever need that is better than any restaurant or cafe!
Here is another favorite cozy winter drink loaded with the goodness of nuts - Masala Milk
What is Hot Chocolate?
Hot chocolate is a delicious and comforting beverage made with melted chocolate, sugar, and milk. Some variations might include additions like cinnamon, vanilla, or a pinch of salt to enhance the flavor.
It is also known as drinking chocolate and is often served hot topped with whipped cream, marshmallows, chocolate shavings, or a sprinkle of cocoa powder.
It can vary in richness and flavor depending on the type and quality of chocolate used, the ratio of ingredients, and any additional flavors or toppings added.
It's a popular drink enjoyed during the colder months or the holidays and Christmas as a comforting treat.
Hot chocolate and hot cocoa are used interchangeably but are not the same. Hot cocoa is usually cocoa powder in hot milk or water, sweetened with sugar. It is usually sweeter and lighter. The store-bought Instant hot cocoa mix is hot cocoa and not hot chocolate.
Today I am sharing a true hot chocolate recipe made with real ingredients like milk, cream, sugar, condensed milk, chocolate chips, and flavored with vanilla and we will not be using any cocoa powder.
You can make it on a stovetop, slow cooker, crock pot, or even in the Instant Pot which is my preferred method.
Why make Hot Chocolate in the Instant Pot?
Making hot chocolate in the Instant Pot has been my go-to method for years now. I highly recommend you try it if you haven't already.
It makes it so easy and allows you to make homemade hot chocolate for a crowd or family without babysitting or stirring it. Just add all the ingredients, set the Instant Pot, and enjoy your favorite movie or activity with your family and friends while it's being made.
It turns out perfect every single time and the best part is it will stay warm until ready to serve. It is perfect to make ahead of time and host family gatherings, parties, and holidays!
Why you'll love this recipe
- It is easy and delicious
- Turns out thick, creamy, and smooth
- Made with real ingredients
- Requires no cocoa powder
- Is Vegetarian and gluten-free
- Requires no babysitting
- Keeps warm until served
- Cozy and comforting
Milk and heavy cream - I use whole milk and heavy cream in a 3:1 ratio. Heavy cream can be replaced with half and half (1:1) or milk if you prefer to keep it lighter and not too thick. But the original ratio is what I recommend.
Chocolate - This is the key ingredient. I use the semi-sweet chocolate chips as I usually have those in stock. You can also use bittersweet, dark, or milk chocolate chips, chocolate chunks, or a chopped chocolate bar.
Sugar - Highly recommend the combination of sugar and sweetened condensed milk. But you can use either of them as well.
Flavor - I like to keep it simple and classic with vanilla flavor. You can also add cinnamon or nutmeg for more flavor.
How To Make Hot Chocolate in the Instant Pot (Stepwise photos)
Sanitize the Instant Pot steel insert, lid, and sealing ring thoroughly. Preferably use an extra sealing ring for sweet foods.
1 to 6 - While the Instant Pot is switched off, add the 2 tablespoons water, milk, cream, chocolate chips, sugar, vanilla, and condensed milk to the stainless steel insert of the Instant Pot.
7 and 8 - Mix well and close the lid with the vent in the sealing position. Cook on manual or pressure cook mode at High pressure for 2 minutes. Once the cooking completes, allow a natural pressure release.
Note: Avoid quick-release as that will cause the milk to splatter through the vent. It's messy.
9 - Open the lid once the pin drops (steam has been released).
10 - There may be a milk layer (cream/malai) formed on top, mix well until well combined. You can serve it right away or if you prefer it silky smooth go ahead and strain it.
11 - Using a sieve, strain the hot chocolate into another clean container or the serving cup directly.
12 - Delicious, decadent, creamy, and Best Instant Pot hot chocolate is ready!! Enjoy!!
To Make Hot Chocolate on a Stovetop
Combine milk, cream, sugar, and condensed milk in a thick-bottomed pan and bring it to a near boil (scald but don't boil it).
Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave in 30-second intervals until completely melted. Do not recommend adding the chocolate chips directly to the hot milk as that results in a grainy texture.
Stir in the melted chocolate and vanilla in the hot milk and mix until smooth and creamy.
This hot chocolate is delicious on its own but to make it even more enjoyable top it with mini marshmallows, whipped cream, chocolate shavings, sprinkles, or a dusting of cocoa powder or cinnamon.
During Holidays, to make it even more fun and festive, for a movie night or when entertaining, I set up a hot chocolate bar so everyone can customize their hot chocolate to their taste.
Make a Hot Chocolate Bar
For the hot chocolate bar, keep the hot chocolate on a warm setting in the Instant Pot or in a Thermos, or slow cooker to keep it warm.
Set out mugs or cups, napkins, spoons, and small serving dishes or bowls of a few of the favorite toppings or fun mix-ins:
- Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream
- Wafer rolls, candy cane (regular and crushed),
- Chocolate, butterscotch chips, M&M's, sprinkles
- Ground cinnamon, nutmeg, or cocoa powder to dust.
- Chocolate or butterscotch syrup to drizzle on.
With a variety of toppings and flavors, everyone can enjoy their ideal cup of hot chocolate.
Sanitize the instant pot steel insert, lid, and sealing ring thoroughly. Preferably use an extra sealing ring for making desserts and sweets.
Use good-quality milk, cream, and chocolate. Higher-quality chocolate can significantly impact the flavor of your hot chocolate.
For a creamier and richer hot chocolate, use a combination of milk and heavy cream. The cream can be replaced with half and half or just whole milk for a lighter texture. You can use 1% or 2% milk, but the fattier the milk the creamier your drinking chocolate will be.
For a dairy-free version, almond milk, oat milk, or coconut milk can be great alternatives.
You can use other types of chocolate than the semi-sweet, such as milk, white chocolate, or bittersweet. Adjust the sugar based on chocolate used like bittersweet may need slightly more.
Condensed milk acts as a sweetener and also helps make the chocolate thicker and creamier. So highly recommend adding it along with sugar.
Adjust the sweetness level according to your preference. You can use more or less sugar accordingly.
For variation, you can swap vanilla extract with peppermint extract for a minty hot chocolate or cinnamon for a spiced version.
This recipe can be easily doubled.
Adding some water before adding the ingredients prevents the burn sign as some models are prone to it.
Don't try the quick release with Instant Pot, learned it the hard way. The milk will splatter all over and is a huge mess.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, Hot chocolate and hot cocoa are NOT the same. Hot cocoa is made with cocoa powder, milk, and sugar while hot chocolate is made with melted chocolate, milk, cream, and (lesser) sugar. Hot chocolate is richer, and thicker compared to hot cocoa.
Allow to cool completely and store covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. It will get even thicker as it sits but will loosen up when reheated
To reheat, microwave for 30-60 seconds or on the stovetop until it's heated through (not boiling).
To make it vegan, use plant-based milk like almond milk, soy, oat or coconut milk, non-dairy chocolate chips, or bars. Skip the condensed milk and use sugar or replace it with condensed coconut milk. The rest of the recipe remains the same.
You can easily double or maybe triple this recipe if your pressure cooker allows it or is big enough. Make it ahead of time and keep it on Warm mode until serving time.
More Beverage Recipes
I hope you enjoy this Easy Instant Pot Hot Chocolate Recipe !! If you try this recipe, please rate it by clicking stars ⭐️ on the recipe card. Thank you ❤️! You can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram to see what’s cooking in my kitchen!!
Easy Instant Pot Hot Chocolate
Hot Chocolate Ingredients
- Marshmallows, whipped cream, ground cinnamon, chocolate shavings, candy cane, chocolate chips, Butterscotch chips, and Chocolate Straws (optional)
Instant Pot Method:
- Sanitize the instant pot steel insert, lid, and sealing ring thoroughly. Preferably use an extra sealing ring for sweet foods.
- While the Instant Pot is switched off, add water (2 tablespoons), milk, cream, chocolate chips, sugar, vanilla, and condensed milk to the stainless steel insert of the Instant Pot.
- Mix well and close the lid with the vent in the sealing position. Cook on manual or pressure cook mode at High pressure for 2 minutes. Once the cooking completes, allow a natural pressure release. Do not do quick-release.
- Open the lid once the steam has settled and the valve has dropped.
- There may be a milk layer (cream/malai) formed on top, mix well until well combined. You can serve it right away or if you prefer it silky smooth go ahead and strain it.
- You can strain it using a sieve into another clean container or directly into the serving cups.
- Delicious, creamy and Best Instant Pot hot chocolate is ready!! Enjoy!!
- Combine milk, cream, sugar, and condensed milk in a thick bottomed pan and bring it to a near boil (scald but don't boil it).
- Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 seconds intervals until completely melted. Do not recommend adding the chocolate chips directly to the hot milk as that results in a grainy texture.
- Stir in the melted chocolate and vanilla in the hot milk and mix until smooth and creamy.
Crockpot or slow cooker method.
- Add all the ingredients - milk, cream, chocolate chips, sugar, vanilla, and condensed milk to the crockpot. Mix well.
- Cover and cook on low for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is hot and chocolate chips are melted.
- Once it is heated through and chocolate is melted, switch the slow cooker to the warm setting. Stir before serving.