Espresso Hot Chocolate

When it’s especially cold out, nothing is better than a steaming cup of Espresso Hot Chocolate. Chopped chocolate is melted into hot milk, heavy cream, espresso, cinnamon and vanilla. This hot cocoa with a caffeine boost is the perfect thing on a chilly winter day.

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I don’t know about you, but I cannot get my mind wrapped around it being Christmas in less than two weeks! I’ve done most of my shopping via the internet (thank you, Amazon Prime and your 2 day shipping!) but I need to find a day to actually go out and get the things that I can’t buy online i.e stocking stuffers. However now that Michigan is finally in the throws of winter, I don’t want to leave the warmth and coziness of my home and drive in the snow. If I do leave, like to grocery shop or something, I always take a travel mug of coffee with me. It’s how I cope with most things. But, BUT! now I have a new BFF —> espresso hot chocolate!

Hot cocoa with some sass.

Haileigh is my tea drinker, while Malloree is my daughter who is obseesed with hot chocolate and also loves coffee. Since Mal was 3 years old  she would drink the last sip or two in my coffee mug. The last cold sip *shudders*. Now she’s 13 and on weekends she makes her own cup of coffee and (in my opinion) proceeds ruin it with way to much creamer, but hey that’s her prerogative. However, just about every school morning she will make herself a cup of hot chocolate [in the Keurig] and takes it to class with her in an insulated travel mug. If she’s at home then she will pile a bunch of whipped cream on top with sprinkles. My girl loves her hot beverages.

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With her in mind, I made this espresso hot chocolate. It’s the best of both her worlds in one mug, topped with marshmallows and homemade chocolate syrup.


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To make this super cozy espresso hot chocolate, you will need; whole milk, heavy cream, instant espresso powder, cinnamon, kosher salt and vanilla extract.

When using semi-sweet chocolate in hot cocoa, you will undoubtedly get a grainy appearance. Like it hasn’t fully melted. I have no idea how to avoid it, but to me it isn’t detectable when I drink it.

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Pour 4 cups of whole milk and 2 cup heavy cream into a pot. Stir and heat on medium until hot but not boiling.

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Meanwhile, chop up 12 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate. Try to use a good quality chocolate, I could only find Baker’s. I was hoping to find Scharffenberger but was out of luck. The hot cocoa was still delicious! I’m just a chocolate snob.

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In a medium bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of instant espresso powder, a few pinches of kosher salt and ground cinnamon.

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Stir and then add in 1 cup of hot water. Stir to dissolve and set aside.

I personally don’t think this hot chocolate has a coffee flavor. Feel free to increase the espresso powder (just not the water) if you’re looking for a coffee flavored hot cocoa.

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Once the milk and cream is hot [but not boiling] whisk in 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and add in all of the chopped chocolate.

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Then stir in the espresso mixture and the 1-1/2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract.

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If the espresso hot chocolate loses some of it’s heat, place it back onto your stove top. Reheat on medium-low until hot. Do not boil.

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Pour or better yet, ladle the warm espresso hot chocolate into mugs and top with whipped cream or marshmallows and chocolate syrup. Add sprinkles, chocolate shavings or even caramel. Choose your own adventure here, the sky is the limit.

Not too thick or too rich, this espresso hot chocolate got 2 thumbs up from me and from Malloree.


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Not pictured are the hot chocolate mustache.

Enjoy! And if you give this Espresso Hot Chocolate recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!

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My cookbook Simply Scratch : 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy is now available! CLICK HERE for details and THANK YOU in advance!

Yield: 4 to 6 depending

Espresso Hot Chocolate

When it's especially cold out, nothing is better than a steaming cup of Espresso Hot Chocolate. Chopped chocolate is melted into hot milk, heavy cream, espresso, cinnamon and vanilla. This hot cocoa with a caffeine boost is the perfect thing on a chilly winter day.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • couple pinches of cinnamon
  • a pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 12 ounces chopped semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • marshmallows
  • chocolate syrup
  • caramel sauce
  • whipped cream
  • sprinkles


Add the milk and heavy cream to a large pot or dutch oven and heat on medium to medium-high heat until hot but not boiling.

Meanwhile in a heat-safe bowl, add the espresso powder, cinnamon and salt. Pour in the hot water and stir to combine. Set off to the side.

Once the milk and cream are hot, stir in the sugar and chocolate. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and the chocolate is melted.Then add in the espresso mixture and vanilla.

If the hot chocolate cools at all, reheat on medium until hot, but not boiling.

Ladle espresso hot chocolate into mugs and top with marshmallows or whipped cream, chocolate sauce, caramel and/or sprinkles.

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4 Responses to “Espresso Hot Chocolate”

  1. #
    Jaimie Logan — December 17, 2017 at 7:42 am

    Hello! This looks delicious! I have s question on the amount of sugar. In the narrative you mention 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of sugar, but in the recipe ingredients lis it is only two tablespoons. can you please clarify? Also, FYI, in the recipe directions, the step to add in the espresso/water mixture is missing.

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — December 17th, 2017 @ 9:19 am

      Hi Jaimie! Sorry about that! It’s 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar. I’ll make these changes and also add the vanilla in there too! I swear, I go crosseyed proofreading and STILL miss things. Thank you for kindly pointing these few things out, I apologize for the inconvenience. Enjoy! ❤️☕️

  2. #
    Eden — December 17, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    As someone who makes hot chocolate with actual chocolate all the time, I’ve solved the problem of the grainy appearance. To avoid the chocolate separating out of the milk, don’t heat the milk en masse and then add chocolate–put the chocolate and just a small amount of the milk into the pot first, then add the rest of the milk in thirds after the chocolate has smoothly melted. Making hot chocolate that way also avoids creating a milk skin.

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — December 21st, 2017 @ 12:18 pm

      OH thank you, Eden! I will definitely give this a try next time. Thank you for stopping by and dropping that knowledge bomb! I appreciate you!

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