Espresso Hot Chocolate is your regular hot chocolate with a shot of espresso coffee. Make this comforting drink this winter for some holiday cheer and a caffeine boost (vegetarian, gluten-free).
About Espresso Hot Chocolate
Espresso Hot Chocolate is nothing but your regular hot chocolate perked up with shots of espresso (or strongly brewed coffee).
It is chocolaty, thick, rich, creamy, comforting, and perfectly sweet and if you are a coffee lover, then this is just the perfect winter drink for you.
This mocha hot chocolate comes together in just 10 minutes using simple ingredients and can be made in a pot over the stovetop, in an instant pot, or in a slow cooker. I am sharing all the 3 recipes in the post below.
So make it this holiday season for some holiday cheer!
My recipe serves 2 but it can be easily doubled or tripled.
Milk – Use whole milk (full-fat milk) to make the best hot chocolate. Having said that, you can definitely use skim, low-fat, or plant-based milk.
Heavy Cream – Add some heavy cream to make the hot chocolate very rich and creamy.
Cocoa Powder – Unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder is the best to make hot chocolate. I used Hershey’s but you can use any brand that you like.
Dark Chocolate Chips – Add dark chocolate chips to make the drink very chocolaty and indulgent. You can replace dark chocolate chips with semi-sweet chocolate chips too.
Espresso – Use freshly made espresso shots for the best taste. If you don’t have an espresso machine, then you can use the strongly brewed coffee in its place.
Brown Sugar – It gives a nice color and caramelized flavor to the hot chocolate along with making it sweet. You can replace it with other alternatives such as white sugar, maple syrup, honey, or sugar-free substitutes like stevia or monk fruit.
Vanilla Extract – Choose a good quality extract.
How To Make Espresso Hot Chocolate
Pour 4 cups of whole milk, ¼ cup heavy cream, ½ cup brown sugar, and ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder into a pan and mix well to combine.
Cook on medium heat until the milk comes to a boil. Keep stirring frequently to avoid scorching at the bottom of the pan.
Add ½ cup dark chocolate chips, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, and 3-4 shots of espresso (or ½ cup strongly brewed coffee) and cook until the chocolate chips dissolve and the hot chocolate is thick and creamy. Stir frequently.
Pour the hot chocolate into serving mugs.
Note – You can pass the hot chocolate through a fine-mesh strainer if it has a few fat globules.
Garnish with whipped cream, marshmallows, and a sprinkling of instant coffee powder, and serve immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions
To make it in an instant pot, press the SAUTE button. Add milk, cream, brown sugar, and cocoa powder to the inner pot. Mix it well and let it cook until the milk comes to a boil.
Add in dark chocolate chips, vanilla extract, and espresso shots, and cook until the chocolate chips dissolve. Garnish and serve.
To make it in a slow cooker, dump all the ingredients into the pot of the slow cooker. Cover the lid and cook on low for 4 hours. Garnish and serve.
To make it vegan, replace dairy milk with dairy-free milk options such as almond milk, soy milk, oat milk, coconut milk, or cashew milk. Chocolate is vegan but still make sure to check the label as some brands may add dairy to their products. Skip adding heavy cream to the recipe.
Peppermint extract, cinnamon powder, caramel sauce, or a splash of bourbon, dark rum, or Kahlua are some options that can be added to this recipe.
To make this even more drink chocolaty, you can replace regular milk with chocolate milk or add some chocolate syrup, chocolate powder, or hot cocoa mix.
Serve it hot, steaming hot! (fresh and right out from the pan).
Top the hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows for this holiday season. It is a perfect beverage to serve for your breakfast with a flaky croissant on the side or to sip on cold winter nights, just before bed.
It can also be topped with caramel syrup, pretzel sticks, chocolate shavings, sprinkles, or just a sprinkle of cinnamon powder.
Leftovers can be stored in a covered container for about 4 days in the fridge.
While serving heat the hot chocolate, top it with your favorite toppings, and serve immediately.
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Espresso Hot Chocolate Recipe
- 4 cups whole milk (full-fat milk) (or you can use skim,-low fat, or plant-based milk)
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup brown sugar (or you can use any other sweetener that you like)
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips (or semi-sweet chocolate chips)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3-4 shots espresso (or ½ cup strongly brewed coffee)
- Pour milk, heavy cream, brown sugar, and cocoa powder into a pan and mix well to combine.
- Cook on medium heat until the milk comes to a boil. Keep stirring frequently to avoid scorching at the bottom of the pan.
- Add chocolate chips, vanilla extract, and espresso, and cook until the chocolate chips dissolve and the hot chocolate is thick and creamy. Stir frequently.
- Pour the hot chocolate into serving mugs.
- Note – You can pass the hot chocolate through a fine-mesh strainer if it has a few fat globules.
- Garnish with whipped cream, marshmallows, and a sprinkling of instant coffee powder, and serve immediately.