Slow cookers are one of the hardest working tools in the kitchen. We call on them for making everything from warm winter soups and hearty barbecue pork to party-worthy desserts. They're not only ideal for preparing weeknight dinners but also for whipping up festive beverages like hot chocolate.Take a break from microwavable instant mixes, and treat yourself to a rich homemade version of this winter drink. Everyone will want another cup of this Slow-Cooker Hot Chocolate. Whole milk and half-and-half make it ultracreamy, while the addition of dark chocolate chips amp up the chocolatey richness. Pour yourself a warm mug filled with this delicious treat, and garnish it with pieces of crushed hard peppermint candies and a handful of miniature marshmallows. Kick things up a notch with an optional shot or two of peppermint schnapps.


Credit: Caitlin Bensel

Recipe Summary

2 hrs
15 mins
Serves 14 (serving size: 1 cup)


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Whisk together powdered sugar and cocoa in a 6-quart slow cooker. Turn slow cooker setting to LOW; gradually add milk and half-and-half, whisking constantly to break up lumps. Stir in vanilla and salt; cover and cook until powdered sugar and cocoa are dissolved, about 1 1/2 hours.

  • Uncover slow cooker; add chocolate chips 1/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly, until melted, about 2 minutes. Re-cover; continue cooking until mixture thickens, about 15 minutes.

  • Serve hot chocolate with peppermint candies, marshmallows, and, if desired, schnapps. Turn slow cooker setting to WARM to hold remaining hot chocolate up to 2 hours.