Starbucks Hot Chocolate

Starbucks Hot Chocolate is rich, creamy, and perfect for a cold winter day. Save money and make delicious hot cocoa at home instead of going to the coffee shop.

homemade Starbucks hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and chocolate syrup.

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Homemade Hot Chocolate

Sure, you drank drinking hot chocolate growing up, but unless you were one extremely fortunate kid, it probably wasn’t anything like this Starbucks Hot Chocolate recipe. This unbelievably rich and creamy hot chocolate recipe calls for real chunks of semi-sweet chocolate, heavy cream, and milk.

Although it may not be the healthiest drink in the world, it’s hard to beat for pure decadence. Anyone looking for a delicious chocolate fix will love this version of hot chocolate.

What Makes This Starbucks Hot Chocolate Recipe So Good

Chocoholics rejoice! This hot chocolate uses real dark chocolate ganache and heavy cream in the traditional European style. You will find that it is far superior to instant hot chocolate mix or even homemade hot cocoa!

What does Starbucks Hot Chocolate taste like?

This hot chocolate is so thick and rich that it tastes like drinking pure melted chocolate!

Starbucks Hot Chocolate Ingredients

To make this copycat Starbucks Hot Chocolate recipe, you will need:

  • Semi-sweet chocolate – bars or chips 
  • Heavy cream
  • Milk
  • Whipped cream, optional topping
  • Chocolate syrup, optional topping
Starbucks hot chocolate ingredients.

Ingredient Substitutions and Variations

While the recipe doesn’t call for semi-sweet chocolate with a specific cocoa solids content, look for something in the neighborhood of 35 to 65 percent. The higher the number, the less sweet and more bitter the chocolate becomes.

While you use semi-sweet chocolate chips, specialty chocolate bars are usually much higher quality. The quality of the chocolate matters in this recipe, so buy the best you can find.

A drop of peppermint extract is a great way to bring an even more festival flavor to your copycat Starbucks Hot Chocolate.

Slip an ounce of your favorite alcohol into each serving to really brighten everyone’s spirits. Chocolate liqueur, Kahlua, Irish cream, and amaretto are particularly good.

There’s really no need to garnish this hot chocolate with anything, but go ahead and add a dollop of whipped cream or a few gourmet marshmallows if you want.

For a fancy presentation, rim the mug with extra chocolate ganache and dip it into crushed nuts or peppermint sticks.

Hot to Make Starbucks Hot Chocolate

Part 1: Ganache for Hot Chocolate

There are two methods for making chocolate ganache. The easiest one is using the microwave:

  1. If using chocolate bars instead of chips, break up the chocolate into small pieces.
  2. Put the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl.
  3. Pour in the heavy cream.
heavy cream and chocolate chips in a bowl.
  1. Heat on high for 15 seconds.
  2. Remove and stir.
  3. Continue heating in 15-second bursts and stirring the chocolate until it melts entirely and the ganache is smooth.
chocolate ganache in a bowl.

Part 2: Steamed Milk for Hot Chocolate

The quickest way to steam the milk is with an espresso machine or frother, but stovetop or microwave methods work pretty well if you don’t have a machine or frother.

Stovetop Method: Heat the milk in a saucepan over medium heat until hot. Stir frequently and reduce the heat to prevent the milk from simmering.

Microwave Method:

  1. Pour the milk into a microwave-safe jar.
milk in a glass jar.
  1. Microwave the milk until it is hot but not boiling.
  2. Seal and shake well until the milk foams. Careful when you open the jar because the milk may splatter.
shaken frothed hot milk in a jar.

Part 3: Making the Hot Chocolate

  1. Add chocolate ganache to the steamed frothed hot milk.
  2. Add a drop of peppermint oil or an ounce of alcohol if you are using it.
steamed milk and chocolate ganache in a glass jar.
  1. Stir until well blended.
chocolate ganache and milk mixture in a glass jar.
  1. Pour the hot chocolate into a mug.
homemade Starbucks hot chocolate in a glass mug.
  1. If desired, top the hot chocolate with whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup.
homemade Starbucks hot chocolate with whipped cream and chocolate syrup on top.

Can you store hot chocolate?

While it is not a good idea to store prepared hot chocolate, you can keep any extra chocolate ganache in the fridge for up to two weeks or up to three months in the freezer.

To store the ganache in the fridge, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and press it onto the surface of the ganache to prevent any air from coming in contact with it. Bring the ganache to room temperature before using it.

To store the ganache in the freezer, pour the ganache into a freezer-safe container. Press plastic wrap onto the surface of the chocolate and seal with a lid. Defrost the ganache overnight in the refrigerator and leave it on the counter to bring it to room temperature before using it. Do not refreeze.

Want to make their seasonal peppermint hot chocolate?

Add a tablespoon or two of peppermint syrup to this cocoa before you add the whipped cream, and you are going to have a drink that will make your local barista proud.

homemade Starbucks hot chocolate in a glass mug on a wood board.

I hope you give this recipe a try. This rich cocoa is so much better than a hot cocoa mix. When you start with rich decadent bits of real dark chocolate pieces you are going to get a rich flavor that will make your next cozy holiday special.

More Copycat Starbucks Hot Drinks

Favorite Hot Chocolate Recipes

Check out more of my easy drink recipes and the best Starbucks recipes here on CopyKat!

homemade Starbucks hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and chocolate syrup.

Starbucks Hot Chocolate

You can make rich and delicious Starbucks Hot Chocolate at home with this easy copycat recipe.
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Hot chocolate, Starbucks Recipes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 633kcal


Chocolate Ganache

  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 4 ounces heavy cream

Hot Chocolate

  • 4 ounces milk
  • 2 tablespoons whipped cream optional topping
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup optional topping


Chocolate Ganache

  • Heat the chocolate and heavy cream in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir.
  • If needed, microwave the mixture for another 10 to 15 seconds and stir again to ensure the chocolate is fully melted. Stir until it is smooth.
  • Store the ganache in your refrigerator when not using. Bring it to room temperature before using it to make hot chocolate.

Hot Chocolate

  • Steam milk by heating it in the microwave until hot (180°F). Do not let it boil.
  • Pour the hot steamed milk into a jar, seal the jar with a lid, and shake the jar vigorously until the milk has increased in size.
  • Add 4 ounces of chocolate ganache and stir until well blended.
  • Top with whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup if desired.


You can use semi-sweet chocolate bars or chips for this recipe.


Calories: 633kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 84mg | Potassium: 543mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 1076IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 206mg | Iron: 4mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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