Decadent Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate

glass mug of hot chocolate topped with marshmallows, chocolate sauce, and a Hershey's kiss

Hello hello! Happy day-after-the-biggest-meal-ever. Are we full? Tired? Headed out to shop soon?

Tell me about your Thanksgiving. What did you bake? What was the best dish you ate? I got an early start on Tuesday with pie crust, then baked a few pies on Wednesday, and finished up stuffing on Thursday. We had Thanksgiving at my in-law’s then visited with some friends for a 2nd meal. I’d say my favorite was between a sweet potato casserole and salted caramel apple pie.

So to answer my first question. YES, we are full over here.

hot chocolate in a slow cooker with marshmallows

But here’s hoping we all saved room for some chocolate this weekend. And I’m not just talking about the truffles you need to try out, but something warm and decadent to sip on in between shopping and holiday decorating. (Have you started? I haven’t!)

Eat your chocolate and drink it too.

This hot chocolate is made in the slow cooker. It’s mega creamy and so undeniably chocolate-y and rich that it should come with a warning label. It honestly tastes like pure melted chocolate with a creamy, frothy texture. Because guess what? It’s made with pure melted chocolate! HEAVENS YES.

ingredients for slow cooker hot chocolate in glass bowls and measuring cups

pouring chocolate chunks into slow cooker with other hot chocolate ingredients

Ingredients for you real quick: milk and cream. Use whole milk and heavy cream for the creamiest texture. 1% or 2% milk would be excellent as well, as long as you’ve got that heavy cream in there. That’s where most of the decadence comes from!

Also: cocoa powder and pure chocolate. Just a little cocoa. I used natural unsweetened but you can use dutch-process here. There’s no baking involved, so it can be an easy switch. (Remember the difference between them? Good to know for baking!) Make sure you don’t use chocolate chips. They don’t melt down very easily and will separate from the liquid. But pure chocolate melts down beautifully. And tastes better as a drink, too!

Sugar for sweetness and vanilla for a little extra flavor. That’s it.

hot chocolate in a slow cooker with a metal whisk

Just throw it into the slow cooker, whisk every now and then, and it’s done. Takes 5 minutes of prep and either 6 hours on low or 4 hours on high. Make this decadent slow cooker hot chocolate for all the baking you have on your calendar in December! And have it warming in the slow cooker for all your cookie exchange parties, gift exchange parties, work holiday parties, and cookie baking marathon days.

Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate Video

glass mugs of hot chocolate topped with marshmallows

Required: extra marshmallows.

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glass mug of hot chocolate topped with marshmallows, chocolate sauce, and a Hershey's kiss

Decadent Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Total Time: 6 hours, 5 minutes
  • Yield: about 9-10 cups
  • Category: Beverage
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American


Creamy, rich, and decadent slow cooker hot chocolate made in the crockpot!


  • 6 cups (1440ml) whole milk (1% or 2% are OK)
  • 2 cups (480ml) heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 8 ounces (226g) semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup (21g) unsweetened natural or dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • toppings: marshmallows, chocolate candies, candy canes, chocolate syrup, salted caramel, etc


  1. Place all of the ingredients into a large slow cooker. (Here’s one I own and love!) Vigorously whisk to get the cocoa powder as mixed in as possible– you don’t want it all floating on the top. Keep whisking for a minute or 2 until it’s all combined.
  2. Cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 4 hours. Make sure you whisk it every 45 minutes – 1 hour to make sure the chocolate isn’t burning on the bottom.
  3. Serve warm with marshmallows or other optional toppings. Store leftovers in the refrigerator and warm up on the stove or in the microwave.


  1. Special Tools: Large Crock Pot | Clear Glass Mugs (I love these mugs!)
  2. No slow cooker? No problem! Cook in a large dutch oven or pot until warmed through and chocolate is melted, about 20 minutes. Keep the heat on low/simmer and whisk every now and then to make sure that chocolate does not burn.

Keywords: slow cooker hot chocolate, hot chocolate

overhead image of 2 glass mugs of hot chocolate topped with marshmallows, chocolate sauce, and a Hershey's kiss


  1. This looks fabulous; it’s going straight into my recipe binder. I’m definitely going to have to give this hot chocolate a go. Who doesn’t love hot chocolate, but HOMEMADE hot chocolate…? 😉

    Quick question about your truffles… Of course, as Christmas comes around, I’ve been doing some baking. Your mint truffles from your cookbook are on the top of my list to make. The recipe calls for 3 to 4 hours in the fridge for the ganache filling to firm; however, I realized I cannot finish the recipe at the time being, so I’m not sure whether to leave the ganache chilling or at room temp. to complete later. I don’t want it to be dry or cracked obviously. But you’re the expert, so what should I do? 🙂

    1. Hi Hope! Great question about the truffles. Let it hang out at room temperature until you can chill it.

  2. My hubby bribed me into making this by promising to make your soft brown sugar cookies as my reward at the end of the week… We’re going to settle down and watch Gilmore Girls tonight with mugs of slow cooker hot chocolate, and enjoy ourselves! Just put it in the slow cooker, and waiting for it to start doing its thing now… 🙂

  3. I made this for our Ugly Sweater Party this weekend!!! It is the best Hot Chocolate I have ever had!!!

  4. Hi Sally, If i use milk chocolate chips instead of semi sweet, should i omit the sugar?

    1. I wouldn’t omit it completely, I’d reduce it maybe down to 1/4 cup.

  5. My husband asked me to make homemade hot chocolate for Christmas morning so after reading lots of recipes I decided to make this. It was really good but it was REALLY rich and dense. After a couple of sips it became overwhelming to drink by itself ( I mixed it with coffee and it was wonderful).

    1. That’s a GREAT idea to stir into coffee.

  6. Is it possible to make this with almond or cashew milk if we still use the heavy cream? I will be making this for our family Christmas cookie baking session next weekend!

    1. In place of the whole milk? Definitely. I imagine it would be so good with cashew milk.

  7. This is so good! I’ve made it a couple of times most recently today for a cookie decorating party. Everyone loved it. It’s easy to make and so delicious. Thank you for your great recipes Sally,  Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  8. To make it less rich and dense, could I put one less cup of heavy cream, and replace that with an extra cup of milk?

    1. Definitely!

  9. Instead of chopped semi sweet chocolate, would dark bittersweet chopped chocolate work in this recipe? Sometimes semi sweet chocolate can be too sweet in an All chocolate recipe.

    1. If you love dark chocolate, go for it!

  10. Hi Sally
    What about making a white hot chocolate? Other than chopping up and adding white chocolate, should the other ingredients be adjusted at all? Two of my family cant have caffeine in any form, so we have a lot of white chocolate in the house!

    1. I bet white hot chocolate would be so delicious! I haven’t tried it yet but might need to add it to my list!

  11. Can this be made the night before and then just warmed up for breakfast? If so, how would you recommend doing this? Thanks!!

    1. Absolutely! You can warm this hot chocolate up in the slow cooker again or on the stove for about 10 minutes on medium heat.

  12. BEST. HOT. CHOCOLATE. EVER!!! Hosted Thanksgiving brunch for 25 people yesterday, and stumbled upon this recipe the night before. I never even got seconds because everyone loved it. Soooo chocolatey and amazing. Thanks so much for posting. I’m so happy I found it. No other way to make hot chocolate now!

  13. Your recipes always keep me coming back. I made this for the office today and it is already gone after just a couple of hours! I will admit to upping the chocolate by just a few ounces and it is similar to the European drinking chocolate. SO GOOD!

  14. I made a small batch of this hot chocolate using the stovetop option and it was the best hot chocolate I have ever made. It definitely puts the powdered mixes to shame. I used 2% milk and was still plenty decadent. Thanks for the recipe!

  15. I made this to take to my daughter and grandchildren last Christmas. I used 7 cups of milk, 1 cup of cream, dark chocolate and added a half a bag of Andes baking chips (my family is mint crazy) and a pinch of salt. Oh my! This was the best hot chocolate I ever made and my grandchildren are still talking about it!

  16. Lori Ann Mancini says:

    Making this for a school function. I need to double it. I think it might be hard to get that volume of liquid up to temp in the crock pot. Would you just put it on high longer, or would you warm the dairy on the stove a bit before putting in crockpot? Thank you!

    1. Either way would be fine– warming for longer because of the added volume works well for me or you can try warming the dairy up before adding to the slow cooker.

  17. Melissa Downie says:

    Wow! Just made this for the family after the Santa Clause Parade while we decorated the Christmas Tree! I made 1/3 of the recipe for the three of us which was a small mug each. I added freshly whipped cream with vanilla and some icing sugar and drizzled with your salted caramel. It was so rich and amazing! This will definitely be made often this winter! Once again, you’ve outdone yourself Sally! Thanks for a great recipe!

  18. If I could give this recipe a thousand stars, I would. Believe me when I say that I am a hot chocolate type of gal. I loved hot chocolate at Angelina’s in Paris and saad in London, but this my friends is the real deal. I made mine in the instant pot… followed the directions exactly and used the slow cook mode. This recipe single handedly destroyed my need to ever go out for hot chocolate. Thank you sally for making me a rockstar hot chocolate maker!!!

  19. AMAZING!!! I’ve made this twice now. Once as written (crockpot) and yesterday (stovetop) with almond milk in place of the regular milk and canned coconut milk in place of the cream (one of my friends wanted dairy-free). I even made whipped cream with coconut milk! This hot chocolate is rich and creamy and so so good! Thanks, Sally!

  20. Can I make this a day ahead of time and warm up the next morning?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Patty, absolutely. Store in the refrigerator overnight and warm up on the stove, in the microwave, or in your slow cooker the next morning. Enjoy!

  21. So rich and so creamy. Hands down best homemade cocoa. Followed recipe exactly, and in my 2nd mug… added a shot of baileys!

    My sister found it a little too rich … she said it reminded her of dark chocolate and wanted to dilute with milk.

    As a dark chocolate lover, that was no issue for me!

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