A Homemade Hot Chocolate Tradition

Hot Chocolate

For many of us, Christmas is a blend of past and present experiences. The sights, sounds, smells and memories of the season often trigger an avalanche of emotions that take you back to the Christmases of yesteryear.

For some it’s the aroma of those special cookies baking, you know the recipe I mean, the one that’s been part of your holiday since childhood! For others, it may be the smell of freshly cut cedar or the careful unwrapping of that special ornament that has been in your family for generations.

We recall decorating that “beautiful” tree, whispered holiday secrets, and hanging the stockings by the chimney with care…or when I was little, clothespinning the stockings to the kitchen drawer handles with care!

There is no doubt that tradition has played a huge role in my family’s holiday celebration. One of my favourite traditions began on Christmas Eve when our kids were just tiny. This tradition is so special, that even though my kids are no longer little, we still continue it to this day!

Hot Chocolate

Every Christmas Eve, just before bedtime, we gather around the tree with steaming mugs of delicious homemade hot chocolate and recite from memory, (okay…I recite and they listen and occasionally join in…lol) Clement Clark Moore’s, The Night Before Christmas.

For me, snuggled with my family, sipping homemade hot chocolate while reciting this epic story, is by far, the best gift ever given or received. For me this is Christmas!

Be sure to check out this super cute Christmas video from Dairy Farmers of Canada!

I am including my old-fashioned recipe for homemade hot chocolate. It’s really easy to whip up! What makes it so unbelievably good is lots and lots of fresh Canadian Quality Milk which is delicious and refreshing, and a delectable part of the holiday season.

Hot Chocolate

I love how this recipe for hot chocolate contains only wholesome ingredients — delicious and nutritious!

We all know Canadians love the taste of milk—whether it’s to start their day, for lunch, to enjoy with their evening meal or with some cookies as they wait for Santa to arrive, milk is a versatile drink that deserves to play a leading role over the holidays.

5.0 from 8 reviews
Delicious Homemade Hot Chocolate
Serves: 4
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ⅓ cup boiling water
  • 3½ cups whole milk
  • ¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup coffee cream (18% Milk Fat)
  • ½ cup of whipping (heavy) cream (35% Milk Fat)
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • GARNISH (optional)
  • shaved semisweet chocolate
  2. Combine the cocoa, sugar, and pinch of salt in a saucepan.
  3. Stir in the boiling water and continue stirring to thoroughly combine.
  4. Bring this mixture to a light boil while you stir.
  5. Simmer and stir continually for about 2 minutes. (Chocolate burns easily, so adjust the heat and watch that it doesn’t scorch)
  6. Stir in the 3½ cups of milk and heat until very hot, but do not boil!
  7. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Divide between 4 mugs.
  8. Add the coffee cream to the mugs of cocoa to cool it and top with a dollop of real whipped cream.
  10. Place mixer bowl and whisk in the freezer for at least 20 minutes to chill.
  11. Pour heavy whipping cream, sugar and vanilla into the cold bowl and whisk on high speed until medium to stiff peaks form — about 1 minute. (You can also do this with a hand mixer or a hand whisk...it may just take a couple minutes instead of one minute)
  13. Top whipped cream with a sprinkle of shaved semisweet chocolate

Hot Chocolate

PIN IT — This homemade hot chocolate is nutritious and delicious!

While I was writing this post, I was thinking a lot about family traditions. What I realized was, although customs may vary from one family to another, milk is often a central part of the Christmas season. From leaving a glass of cold milk for Santa to using milk as a staple ingredient in holiday baking, Canadian quality milk plays a meaningful role for many Canadians throughout the holiday season!

Be sure to visit the Dairy Farmers of Canada YouTube page to learn more about their commitment to making milk so delicious and refreshing, and for new ideas on how to incorporate milk throughout the holidays.

To keep up to date with all the great things happening with Dairy Farmers of Canada, be sure to follow along on their social media channels:



Disclosure: This post is sponsored in partnership with Dairy Farmers of Canada. As always, all opinions are our own.



  1. Oh my goodness, this sounds SO GOOD. I’m putting that on my list of must-do things for December! I really want to make this!

  2. Homemade hot chocolate sounds like a great tradition! I’ve really been craving a great cup of hot chocolate lately. This weekend is going to be pretty laid back for me, so I’m thibking hot chocolate and Christmas movies!

  3. Oh YUM! I’ve stubbornly tried to make homemade hot chocolate on my own (no Googling, lol) without much success. I LOVE this recipe though and can’t wait to test it out once I have all the ingredients. I like cinnamon in my hot chocolate, but can’t decide if I want to add it to the drink itself, or sprinkle it on top of the whipped cream. OR BOTH. #ToughDecisions

    Thanks for the inspiration! :)

  4. My kids thing hot cocoa only comes from packets. I need to prove them wrong with this recipe

  5. I love a good homemade hot chocolate. My kids would have it all week if it was up to them. I tend to to make it in the weekends only. Now I want to go make some.

  6. We ran out of the pre-made hot chocolate powder and I have unsweetened cocoa powder, so I tried to make it “from scratch.” I missed the vanilla!

  7. NJ Nowoselski @njnowski says

    I remember my dad making us kids homemade hot chocolate! So good! Have to tell you I just said “darn” I keep forgetting that I am out of Cocoa haha Great reminder

  8. That is an amazing hot chocolate recipe! I will need to try this one time this year! I agree with you dairy and Canadian milk is a big part of the holiday season.

  9. I love homemade hot chocolate! This recipe looks insanely delicious, can’t wait to try it.

  10. Without hot chocolate Christmas is not happening in our tiny home it’s our tradition! This is great hot chocolate recipe that I would love to try. I do believe also quality milk is big important ingredient for super delicious hot chocolate!

  11. Ooh this is something I need to make soon. I love homemade hot chocolate.

  12. Is it really Christmas if there’s no hot chocolate? It’s always been a personal favorite. Some baked goods and a hot cup of cocoa makes me melt during the cooler months.

  13. I love hot chocolate! and i love it even more when it has whipped cream! i love it when we are all watching a movie together and having a cuppa. Such a nice tradition

  14. Hot chocolate is so amazing when it’s chilly outside. This looks like it would be so amazing!

  15. Claudia Krusch says

    Homemade hot chocolate is so delicious. It is my favorite way to warm up after a day outside in the winter. I will have to give this recipe a try.

  16. This hot chocolate looks amazing! I would love to make my own instead of buying it from the grocery store.

  17. This is exactly how I make hot chocolate. Milk is a must! Yum!

  18. I am not a coffee lover and my Mom is not allowed to drink coffee so our morning drink is hot chocolate. This will be perfect for us, looks so delicious!

  19. OMG this looks amazing. Pile on the whipped cream! I make mine with whole milk too – it just tastes better.

  20. I love a good hot chocolate recipe. This one sounds amazing. I never make my hot chocolate with anything other than milk. So delicious.

  21. Hot chocolate with whip cream is perfect especially on a cold weather of holidays! Kids loved this and they enjoyed the whip cream so much!

  22. Nothing better than hot chocolate on a cold day!!! This looks like such a good recipe

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