Slow-Cooker Hot Chocolate

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.

Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate
Photo: Caitlin Bensel
Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs
Serves 14 (serving size: 1 cup)


  • 3 cups (about 12 oz.) powdered sugar, sifted

  • 2 cups (about 6 1/2 oz.) unsweetened cocoa

  • 6 cups (1 1/2 qt.) whole milk

  • 6 cups (1 1/2 qt.) half-and-half

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 (10-oz.) pkg. dark chocolate chips (about 1 1/2 cups)

  • Toppings: Crushed hard peppermint candies, miniature marshmallows

  • Peppermint schnapps (optional)


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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