This Instant Pot Hot Chocolate is made rich and creamy with 5 ingredients in 15 minutes. Serve hot with marshmallows, candy canes, whipped cream, and a Holiday Rice Krispie Treats Dessert Board! Enjoy this drink all holiday season long!
📋 About the Recipe
- Perfect for a crowd! This Instant Pot hot chocolate makes 6 servings and is easy to double for a large crowd. Bring it to your gathering and leave it on warm to keep hot for the duration of your party.
- Just 5 ingredients. Making delicious hot chocolate at home doesn’t have to be complicated. All you need is 5 staple ingredients, most of which are probably already in your kitchen right now, just like my pumpkin cream cold foam and iced pumpkin spice latte.
- Dairy free option. If you're sensitive to dairy, making this hot chocolate with dairy free ingredients is very easy.
A few notes about the ingredients:
- Baking cocoa - Baking cocoa or dutch processed cocoa is unsweetened cocoa that is typically used in baking, like Peppermint Death By Chocolate Zucchini Bread. This is very different from hot cocoa mix because baking cocoa does not have any added sugar.
- Sugar - Granulated cane sugar is the best sugar to sweeten your hot chocolate because it is neutral in flavor, affordable, and easy to adjust to taste.
- Salt - Adding salt to your sweet hot chocolate may sound counterintuitive, but just a small pinch of salt really helps to balance the sweetness and adds depth of flavor.
- Milk - I prefer making a lighter tasting hot chocolate, using mostly oat milk with a small amount of full fat canned coconut milk.
⁉️ Substitutions and Alterations
- Make a boozy version! For adults, add a splash of peppermint schnapps for a boozy peppermint hot chocolate!
- Pumpkin spiced hot chocolate version: Slightly reduce the ½ cup of cane sugar in the recipe and replace it with a splash of pumpkin spice simple syrup. Top with Pumpkin Cream Cold Foam instead of whipped cream.
- Milk substitutions: I made this hot chocolate using oat milk and coconut milk for a lighter, healthier hot chocolate recipe. If desired, you can replace the oat milk with any dairy milk or almond milk and replace the coconut milk with heavy cream.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, add cocoa powder, sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine, making a hot cocoa mixture.
- Mix together cocoa and water. Add cocoa mixture and water to the bottom of the Instant Pot. Whisk to combine.
- Simmer the cocoa. Set instant pot to the “sauté” setting. Whisk the cocoa mixture and water together continuously until the mixture thickens and becomes bubbly, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add milk. Add in the oat milk and coconut milk, mixing again until it becomes creamy and warmed throughout.
- Add chocolate chips. Stir until melted. Be careful to prevent the Instant Pot hot chocolate from boiling.
- Serve. Serve the hot chocolate in mugs with mini marshmallows, crushed peppermints or candy canes, chocolate chips, whipped cream, crushed Oreos, or shaved chocolate.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
❄️ How to Store
To store: Hot chocolate is typically served immediately while hot, but if you have leftovers, it will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Do your best to store the hot chocolate and toppings separately.
To reheat: Reheat any hot chocolate leftovers in a microwave safe mug or in the Instant Pot using the “sauté” setting. Using the microwave is best when reheating a single serving, but the Instant Pot is great for reheating several servings at once.
🔍 Recipe FAQs
When making hot chocolate in the Instant Pot, note that you are not using the pressure cooking function. Instead, all you need is to use the “sauté” function.
This is essentially the same as heating a saucepan over heat on the stovetop. Once the milk is warm, the chocolate chips will easily melt into the hot chocolate.
Hot chocolate and hot cocoa are often used interchangeably, but technically hot chocolate is referring to the drink and hot cocoa is referring to the powder.
If you use dairy free chocolate chips, plus oat milk and coconut milk, this hot chocolate is naturally vegan. If you need vegan toppings too, make sure to use almond coconut whipped cream and gelatin-free marshmallows, too!
Yes! For parties or tailgates, use the "keep warm" setting on your instant pot to keep the hot chocolate warm over a period time. Use a ladle to serve hot chocolate right from the pot. I’d suggest setting out various toppings to make a cute hot chocolate bar, too!
💭 One More Tip
Do not bring the hot chocolate to a boil. Depending on your pressure cooker model, it may get too hot and start boiling the hot chocolate mixture. If this happens, turn off the heat and switch the pot to the "keep warm" setting. This will keep it hot, but prevent it from continuing to boil.
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Instant Pot Hot Chocolate
- ½ cup unsweetened baking cocoa NOT hot cocoa mix!
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup water
- 5 cups unsweetened oat milk or milk of choice
- ½ cup coconut milk or heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons semi sweet chocolate chips
- In a medium bowl, add cocoa powder, sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine.
- Add cocoa mixture and water to the instant pot. Whisk to combine.
- Set instant pot to the “sauté” setting. Continue whisking until the mixture thickens and becomes bubbly, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add in the oat milk and coconut milk, mixing again until it becomes creamy and warmed throughout.
- Add chocolate chips and stir until melted. Don’t allow mixture to boil.
- Serve hot chocolate in mugs with your favorite toppings! Toppings may include: mini marshmallows, crushed peppermints or candy canes, chocolate chips, whipped cream, crushed Oreos, or shaved chocolate.
- For parties or tailgates, use the "keep warm" setting on your instant pot to keep the hot chocolate warm over a period time. Use a ladle to serve hot chocolate right from the pot.
- Make sure to use baking cocoa and NOT hot cocoa mix! Hot cocoa mix already has sugar in it and baking cocoa does not.
- This recipe as written is dairy free for a lighter, healthier version of hot chocolate. However, if you prefer, you can use regular milk or almond milk instead of oat milk and heavy cream in place of coconut milk.
- For adults, add a splash of peppermint schnapps for a boozy peppermint hot chocolate! Or, for both adults and kids, you can slightly reduce the sugar in the recipe and use a splash of pumpkin simple syrup for a pumpkin spiced hot chocolate.
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