Mug of cocoa surrounded by sugar cookies

Winter is the season of warmth and comfort, and what better way to embrace it than with a steaming mug of creamy, velvety hot chocolate? Whether you’re hosting a festive gathering or simply want to treat your family to a cozy evening in, look no further than crockpot hot chocolate. This slow-cooked delight is not only a breeze to prepare but also guarantees a creamy, dreamy cup every time.

How do you keep hot chocolate warm for a party?

A Crockpot is your secret weapon! Not only does it keep your hot chocolate at the perfect temperature, but you can also make the drink right in the slow cooker. That means no additional dirty dishes!

Simply pour the ingredients into your slow cooker, turn it on High for an hour, then give it a good stir and move it to the Warm setting. This ensures that your hot chocolate stays warm throughout the entire event without losing any of its rich flavor. Plus, your guests can help themselves whenever the craving strikes.

Enamelware mug of crockpot hot chocolate. Red and white decorated cookies surround the mug.

What is the secret ingredient in gourmet hot chocolate?

This Crockpot hot chocolate is so rich and creamy because it calls for actual chocolate, not cocoa powder. Chocolate chips or chopped chocolate bars give the drink a true chocolate flavor that simply can’t be beat!

In addition to the chocolate, you’ll need:

  • Heavy whipping cream.
  • Sweetened condensed milk.
  • Whole milk. If you’d like your hot chocolate to be a little thinner or a little less rich, you can also use 2% or skim milk.
  • Vanilla extract and salt to bring out the flavor.
  • Your favorite hot chocolate toppings.

Protip: Make it mint!

Add 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract to the Crockpot for peppermint hot chocolate.

Can I make a vegan crockpot hot chocolate?

You sure can! You’ll want to use these plant-based alternatives:

  • Instead of whipping cream: Use full-fat canned coconut milk.
  • Instead of sweetened condensed milk: Use coconut sweetened condensed milk.
  • Instead of whole milk: Use your favorite non-dairy milk. We loved the creamy hot chocolate we got from using Chobani’s Extra Creamy Oatmilk.
  • Instead of semisweet chocolate chips: Use dairy-free chocolate chips, like these from Enjoy Life.

How do you make hot cocoa in a Crock-Pot? 

This is the most hands-off hot chocolate you’ll ever make! Stir all the ingredients together in the basin of the slow cooker, cover, and turn the Crockpot to High for an hour. You’ll want to take the lid off and stir the hot chocolate a few times throughout the hour to make sure it doesn’t burn.

After that, just switch the slow cooker to Warm, and your hot chocolate is ready to serve!

Overhead of a mug of crockpot hot chocolate, surrounded by star and snowflake-shaped cookies

How do you turn crockpot hot chocolate into Christmas hot chocolate?

Transforming your crockpot hot chocolate into a festive delight is as easy as 1-2-3! Try topping your mug with star- or snowflake-shaped marshmallows, crushed candy canes, or even whipped cream and Christmas sprinkles. Mini candy canes make for fun hot chocolate stirrers, too! Serve your Christmas hot chocolate in holiday-themed mugs.

Protip: The Hot Chocolate Bar!

Want to delight your party guests? Set up a hot chocolate bar! Lay out all your most festive hot chocolate toppings in little bowls near the crockpot, and let your guests garnish and flavor their mugs however their hearts desire!

What alcohol works well in hot chocolate?

Add a splash of your favorite spirit to your hot chocolate for a warming adult beverage. Some of our favorite options include:

  • Kahlua for a mocha flavor.
  • Peppermint schnapps for a Christmas hot chocolate.
  • Bailey’s or another Irish cream for a cozy twist.
  • Rum for some warming spice flavor.

Protip: Offer options!

Keep the alcohol off to the side rather than mixing it into the crockpot. That way, each person can make their drink as strong (or not!) as they’d like.

Can you save crock pot hot chocolate?

Sure can! Store any leftover hot chocolate in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. 

Can you reheat slow cooker hot chocolate?

Reheat your crockpot hot chocolate on the stove over low heat, stirring well. Serve warm.

Mug of cocoa surrounded by sugar cookies

Crockpot Hot Chocolate Recipe

Yield: 6 8-ounce servings
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour

If you’re craving chocolate on a cold winter’s day, try this creamy crockpot hot chocolate recipe! It’s a quick, easy recipe, perfect for a chilly night.


  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 5 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped semi-sweet chocolate 
  • Optional Toppings: mini marshmallows, candy canes, whipped cream, and your other favorite hot chocolate toppings


  1. Stir together the whipping cream, sweetened condensed milk, whole milk, vanilla, sea salt, and chocolate chips in a 5-quart or larger crock pot.
  2. Cover and cook on high for one hour, stirring a few times with a whisk to combine.
  3. Once the chocolate is melted, turn your slow cooker to the warm setting until ready to serve.
  4. Stir well before serving into individual mugs. Top with marshmallows, candy canes, whipped cream, or your favorite toppings.


  • Semi-sweet chocolate is usually between 50-60% cocoa. We preferred the rich flavor of more cocoa content, but you could use milk chocolate chips for a lighter flavor.
  • This recipe makes for a very rich and creamy hot cocoa! If you’d like your hot chocolate a touch thinner or lighter, swap in 2% or skim milk in place of the whole milk.
  • For peppermint hot chocolate, add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract—depending on how minty you like it!
  • This recipe is super easy to make dairy-free/vegan! We’ve tested it using the following substitutions to great results: 1. Use full-fat canned coconut milk in place of the whipping cream. Dairy-free whipping cream also works—we’ve used Country Crock Plant Cream with good results. 2. Use coconut sweetened condensed milk—we used Nature’s Charm. 3. Use non-dairy milk—we found the creamiest results from Chobani’s Extra Creamy Oatmilk. 4. Use dairy-free chocolate chips—Enjoy Life is our favorite!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 815Total Fat: 49gSaturated Fat: 30gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 141mgSodium: 306mgCarbohydrates: 81gFiber: 1gSugar: 75gProtein: 17g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

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