Hot Cocoa


Customize this big-batch Hot Cocoa recipe with your favorite mix-ins. For adults, try Irish cream liqueur or instant espresso. For kids, opt for cinnamon or peppermint extract.

Hot Cocoa with Marshmallows
Photo: Andy Lyons
Total Time:
20 mins


  • cup sugar

  • cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 4 cup half-and-half, light cream, or whole milk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • Tiny marshmallows (optional)


  1. In a medium saucepan combine sugar and cocoa powder. Gradually whisk in 1 cup of the half-and-half. Cook and stir over medium-low heat just until mixture comes to boiling.

  2. Gradually whisk in the remaining 3 cups half-and-half. Heat through but do not boil. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. If desired, top with marshmallows.

Spiced Mexican Hot Cocoa:

Prepare as directed, except stir 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon into the sugar mixture. Add 1/2 teaspoon almond extract with the vanilla.

Mocha Hot Cocoa:

Prepare as directed, except stir 1 tablespoon instant espresso coffee powder or instant coffee crystals into the sugar mixture.

Irish Hot Cocoa:

Prepare as directed, except add 1/4 cup Irish cream liqueur with the vanilla.

Minted Hot Cocoa:

Prepare as directed, except add 1/4 cup peppermint schnapps or 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract with the vanilla.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

456 Calories
29g Fat
37g Carbs
14g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 456
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 29g 37%
Saturated Fat 17g 85%
Cholesterol 89mg 30%
Sodium 98mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 13%
Protein 14g
Calcium 333.2mg 26%
Iron 1.1mg 6%
Potassium 314mg 7%

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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