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Hot Chocolate: Three Ways

There are specific markers of the onset of winter all over the world. It’s the arrival of snow for some places, and for some, it’s the revisiting coats and jackets that have been tucked away in an attic. As far as I’ve known, winter’s arrival is marked by ceiling fans’ lowered usage for my hometown. And that’s the extent of winter here. In the last couple of weeks, ceiling fans’ use has reduced, and the temperature has dropped to somewhere between 25°C and 28°C. Just because we don’t experience a typical cold winter doesn’t mean that we should shy away from all the delicacies associated with this season.

One of my favorite winter treats is hot chocolate. It’s literally liquid chocolate, and honestly, nothing is more comforting than a piping hot mug of hot chocolate on a particularly cold day. Hot chocolate is exceptionally versatile, and I’ve seen so many variants of it, all the way from instant powders that you mix into milk to slow cooker hot chocolate that cooks for hours on end.

Therefore, to mark the beginning of winter, I have compiled my top three favorite ways to have hot chocolate, and I am sharing it with you guys in this post.

I chose these three types of hot chocolate because they encapsulate the entire spectrum of what hot chocolate is and could be. In this post, you will find recipes for a Three-Ingredient Hot Chocolate, a Classic Hot Chocolate, and lastly, a Spiced Hot Chocolate.

What’s the difference between these three varieties of hot chocolate?

Hot chocolate from scratch is pretty easy, and I feel that no one should rely on the store-bought premix powder. And, I admit that a good cup of classic hot chocolate requires quite a few ingredients that not everyone might have in their pantry when they’re craving hot chocolate. This is why the first variant of hot chocolate in this post is the Three-Ingredient Hot Chocolate.

Just like the name states, you need only three ingredients and maybe 10 minutes to whip yourself some fresh, homemade hot chocolate. The three ingredients are natural cocoa powder, milk, and granulated sugar. Natural cocoa powder is light in color, and it’s what you typically get in stores. I used Hershey’s Natural Cocoa Powder for all the hot chocolate recipes in this post.

The second variety of hot chocolate you’ll see in this post is the Classic Hot Chocolate. It’s incredibly chocolatey, smooth, and creamy.

This variant of hot chocolate requires a few more ingredients than the previous one. You’ll, of course, need natural cocoa powder and some milk, but apart from these two, you’ll be adding water, granulated sugar, a pinch of salt to cut through the sweetness, and finally, the hero of this hot chocolate: dark chocolate chips. The dark chocolate chips are what make this hot chocolate so dark in color and intense in flavor. You can also use a bar of dark chocolate. Again, you can go for milk chocolate chips or bar if you’re going for a milder and sweeter flavor.

The last variant has to be my favorite. It’s the Spiced Hot Chocolate, and it’s absolutely perfect. It has the ideal balance of autumnal flavors and winter flavors.

The Spiced Hot Chocolate calls for whole cinnamon and whole cloves, some ground nutmeg, and vanilla extract. I would’ve used vanilla bean if I had any. This is more similar to the three-ingredient hot chocolate because both of these essentially yield a concentrate of sorts that you then mix with milk before consuming.

What equipment do I need to make any of these hot chocolate variants?

The equipment for all of these recipes is standard kitchen utensils. You’ll need a heavy-bottomed saucepan, a rubber spatula, a whisk, and a sieve. And of course, you’ll need mugs to serve the hot chocolate.

The Recipes for Hot Chocolate: Three Ways

Three-Ingredient Hot Chocolate

Yields: 2 servings

Time: 10 minutes


  • 480 grams (2 cups) milk

  • 50 grams (½ cup) natural cocoa powder

  • 40 grams (⅓ cup) granulated sugar

  • Whipped cream or marshmallows (optional)


  • To a saucepan on medium-low heat, add 240 grams (1 cup) of the milk and cocoa powder and whisk until combined.

  • Let the mixture simmer for 2-3 minutes and add the sugar. Whisk that in until the sugar dissolves.

  • Bring the hot chocolate to a boil before turning off the heat.

  • Pour the hot chocolate up to half of the mugs, pour in the remaining milk, mix it well and top it with whipped cream or marshmallows.

Classic Hot Chocolate

Yields: 2 servings

Time: 15 minutes


  • 120 grams (½ cup) water

  • 30 grams (⅓ cup) natural cocoa powder

  • 200 grams (½ cup + 3 tablespoons) milk

  • 18 grams (1 ½ tablespoon) granulated sugar

  • 80 grams (½ cup) dark chocolate chips

  • A pinch of salt

  • Marshmallows or whipped cream (optional)


  • To a saucepan, add the water and cocoa powder and whisk. Place it on medium-low heat until the cocoa powder has dissolved completely.

  • Add the milk and whisk that into the cocoa mixture.

  • Let the mixture come to a simmer, and then add the sugar and salt. Adjust the quantity of sugar to your liking.

  • Add the chocolate chips and whisk until they’ve melted and dissolved into the hot chocolate mixture.

  • Bring the hot chocolate to a boil and reduce the heat to low, allowing it to simmer for a few more minutes until you have a lovely, dark brown liquid.

  • Pour the hot chocolate into mugs, top it with marshmallows or whipped cream if you’d like to, and serve it hot.

Spiced Hot Chocolate

Yields: 2 servings

Time: 15 minutes


  • 120 grams (½ cup) water

  • 15 grams (1 heaping tablespoon) natural cocoa powder

  • 50 grams (¼ cup) brown sugar

  • 1 inch of cinnamon stick

  • 2 cloves

  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract

  • 200 grams (½ cup + 3 tablespoons) milk


  • To a saucepan, add the water and cocoa powder and whisk. Place it on medium-low heat until the cocoa powder has dissolved completely.

  • Add the brown sugar and combine it with the cocoa mixture.

  • Add the spices and vanilla extract and whisk again.

  • Let the mixture simmer and keep stirring until you have a thick, syrup-like consistency.

  • Pour the syrup through a sieve up to ¼ of your mug. Top it with some milk, and dust with some ground cinnamon.


You can adjust the quantity of sugar in all of the recipes to your liking.

If you liked any of these recipes or tried them, let me know in the comments below or post it to my Instagram and Facebook, I'd love to see your creations!

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