Learn how to make the BEST Peppermint Hot Chocolate! This creamy cocoa recipe is super quick and easy to make, plus so delicious ... you'll love the tasty mint flavor. It's the perfect holiday treat!
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'Tis the season for all things comforting and cozy! I can never resist a yummy chocolate and peppermint treat at this time of year (talk about a classic combo), and this scrumptious Hot Cocoa is truly a favorite!
You are going to LOVE this scrumptious Peppermint Hot Chocolate! I've been making this delightful drink for years, and it's a holiday favorite with my family ... and soon it will be for yours, too!
This simple recipe uses just a few basic ingredients, and you probably already have most of them in your pantry. It's also super easy to make, and most importantly, it tastes amazing.
Serve this rich, chocolatey drink for all your holiday occasions (it's extra special at Christmas time), or whenever you get a craving ... the recipe is ready in a snap, so treat yourself anytime. And don't forget the toppings! I love serving it piled high with decadent whipped cream and crushed candy canes, but it's also delish enjoyed plain or topped with marshmallows.
Ready to start sipping? Then keep reading for all the details!
This mouthwatering Mint Hot Chocolate drink uses basic ingredients you can find anywhere! Here's what you'll need:
- Milk - While any kind of milk will work, I recommend using whole milk for the best results. For an extra rich and creamy drink, use a combo of half-and-half (or heavy cream) and whole milk. To make the recipe vegan, simply use your favorite unsweetened non-dairy milk. I recommend choosing one that's thick and creamy, like oat milk or soy milk (which is my fave).
- Cocoa Powder - This recipe calls for unsweetened cocoa powder (both natural and dutch process varieties will work fine). Look for it in your grocery store's baking aisle. Easy-to-find Hershey's works well, but for the best, most decadent results, use a premium cocoa, such as Guittard, Scharffen Berger, or Valrhona.
- Sugar - You'll sweeten the drink with granulated sugar. Other sweeteners (such as brown sugar or sugar-free alternatives) may also be used, however you will need to experiment with the quantity to find the perfect amount.
- Peppermint - This drink's classic minty flavor comes from peppermint extract. In a pinch, mint extract may also be also, but it doesn't have quite the same zing. Tip: If you're planning to make this recipe during the holiday season, purchase the extract a month or two early. Sometimes it's hard to find in December!
- Toppings - Don't forget the best part ... the toppings! Classic whipped cream or marshmallows (these vegan marshmallows are great if you follow a vegetarian / vegan diet) are always a fave, or you can get creative. I'm sharing lots of fun ideas below!
This recipe is naturally vegetarian and gluten free (always check labels if you have an allergy). You can easily make it dairy free / vegan by using plant-based milk and toppings.
You'll Also Need
To prepare the drink, you'll need a medium pot (preferably one with a heavy bottom), measuring cups and spoons, plus a whisk to blend the ingredients together. Of course, you'll also need mugs. I used these rustic white mugs (which come in different colors), and I love them. They look handmade, and they're very generously sized (big enough to hold a large serving with tons of toppings).
How to Make Peppermint Hot Chocolate
This classic, cozy drink couldn't be easier to make! You'll find a detailed recipe card below, but here's an overview of the steps:
- Combine ingredients. Start by adding the milk, cocoa powder, and sugar to a medium pot, then whisk well. It won't be perfectly smooth at first. Just keep whisking, and as the drink heats, the chunks will slowly disappear.
- Cook until hot. Warm the drink over medium heat, whisking frequently, until it's hot.
- Add peppermint + serve. When your cocoa is hot (no need to boil), stir in the peppermint extract, plus any optional extras (like chopped chocolate) that you'd like to use. Whisk until everything is completely combined, then serve with your choice of toppings.
And that's all there is to it ... your homemade Peppermint Hot Chocolate is ready to enjoy! This recipe is so simple and delicious that you'll want to treat yourself to it all winter long.
Tip: This recipe makes two large servings or three small servings. To serve a crowd, simply double, triple, or quadruple the recipe, as needed.
One of the best things about this recipe is that it's so easy to customize! Here are a few ideas to try:
- Sweeter - This recipe is lightly sweetened. If you prefer sweeter Hot Chocolate, add more sugar to taste (one tablespoon at a time).
- Extra Rich - Make your drink even more decadent by stirring chocolate chips or chopped chocolate into the heated cocoa before serving. Replacing half of the milk with heavy cream and using a high-quality cocoa powder, such as Guittard, Scharffen Berger, or Valrhona, will also make the Peppermint Cocoa extra rich-tasting.
- Mint - While peppermint extract works best, you may substitute mint extract if needed. Just keep in mind that the flavor will be more subtle.
- Vegan - To make this recipe vegan, simply use plant based milk (I prefer soy milk, which has a neutral flavor and thick consistency) and toppings.
- Spiked - You can easily turn this cocoa into a cocktail, by substituting peppermint schnapps for the extract ... in fact, it's one of my favorite holiday treats! Check out my delicious Boozy Hot Chocolate recipe for tips.
Time for the best part ... choosing the toppings! Try one of these easy ideas or pair a couple together:
- Whipped Cream - My favorite Hot Cocoa topping! For the most decadent whipped cream, I'd recommend making your own (it's super easy). Check out the recipe card below for instructions.
- Marshmallows - Gooey marshmallows are another classic topper. For an extra fun twist on traditional versions, try these Gourmet Marshmallows, Mini Peppermint Marshmallows (there's even a vegan option!), or these cute Christmas Marshmallows (which are shaped like trees, Santa, and candy canes).
- Candy Canes - Make this Hot Chocolate extra pepperminty by adding a Candy Cane to your drink. I like to add a whole cane for stirring and crushed canes sprinkled over the top. These edible Peppermint Spoons would also be cute! Tip: To crush candy canes, place a few in a zip top bag, then smash them with a rolling pin.
- Shaved Chocolate - For a beautiful finishing touch, grate some high quality chocolate over the whipped cream. A Microplane zester works perfectly for this!
- Sprinkles - Brighten up your drinks by adding some sprinkles ... preferably served over a generous helping of whipped cream. These festive and colorful Holiday Sprinkles and these adorable Mini Candy Cane Sprinkles would both be super fun!
- Cookies - For an extra tasty topping, just add a cookie! I like using long, thin cookies, like fancy Pirouette Cookies (Chocolate Fudge or French Vanilla would be delish) or this Coco Mint Pocky. You could also serve Peppermint Biscotti or Peppermint Milano Cookies on the side.
If you have any leftover cocoa, store it in an airtight container in your refrigerator (a mason jar would work great for this) for up to three days. When you're ready to drink it, rewarm gently in a small pot or in your microwave, making sure to stir well before serving.
Looking for more cozy drink ideas? Try one of these delicious recipes next:
- Homemade Hot Chocolate - A classic cocoa recipe that's super simple to make!
- Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate - An extra decadent version on the traditional recipe.
- Mexican Hot Chocolate - This spiced cocoa is a tasty twist on basic cocoa.
- Hot Chocolate Coffee - Makes a wonderful afternoon pick me up!
- Spiked Hot Chocolate - The perfect way to warm up on a cold day, super fun for a party, and very easy to customize.
- Sweet Cinnamon Milk Tea - This comforting drink has been a fave with Hello Little Home readers for years!
- Easy Chai Tea Mix - Stir this yummy mix into a mug of tea, coffee, or use it to make this delish Dirty Chai Latte.
- Pumpkin Spice Steamer - A cozy drink that tastes like a decadent pumpkin cocoa (minus the chocolate) ... so tasty!
- Cinnamon Brown Sugar Coffee Syrup - This flavored syrup is an easy way to jazz up your morning coffee! Not into cinnamon? Try this Brown Sugar Syrup or this plain Simple Syrup recipe instead.
Peppermint Hot Chocolate
For Hot Chocolate:
- 3 cups whole milk
- 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar (or more to taste)
- ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
For Topping (Optional):
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 crushed candy cane
Prepare Hot Chocolate:
- Pour milk into a small saucepan. Add cocoa powder and sugar, then whisk until mostly combined.
- Warm over medium heat until hot, continuing to whisk. Do not boil.
- Stir in peppermint extract, then divide cocoa between 2 to 3 mugs.
- Serve topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with crushed candy cane bits, or with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!
- While cocoa heats, combine heavy cream and sugar in a stand mixer bowl.
- Using the whisk attachment, mix until cream holds a medium to stiff peak (depending on preference), gradually increasing speed as cream gains more body.