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Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate Recipe

This Ghirardelli hot chocolate recipe is the perfect anytime treat.

Who doesn’t love hot chocolate, am I right? Especially on a cold winter morning, this luscious, decadent, and warming beverage is the epitome of coziness. 

I’m biased towards hot chocolate. Yes, it’s more commonly consumed during cold seasons, but I just love it so much that I crave it even in summer! 

Close Up Ghiradelli Hot Chocolate in a Glass Mug with Marshmallows and Chocolate Shavings
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I take my cocoa game seriously, which is why I always stick to this recipe whenever my taste buds start to yearn. 

With a combination of cocoa powder and real chocolate, this hot chocolate is seriously rich and indulgent.

One sip of this drink will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside! It’s literally chocolate you can drink.

Feeling a bit under the weather? Ghirardelli hot chocolate will make it all better!

Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate Recipe

The love child of hot chocolate and cocoa, this delicious, lip-smacking drink is the perfect way to start and end a cold day.

When it comes to chocolate brands for cooking, I always rely on Ghirardelli. It’s high-quality, but it’s not as expensive as other brands. 

And the result I get from using both its cocoa mix and chocolate? A mind-blowingly amazing hot chocolate! 

Three Glass Mugs Ghiradelli Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows and Chocolate Shavings on a White Marble Table


  • Ghirardelli Premium Hot Cocoa. The base of the drink. You can also use unsweetened cocoa powder, but don’t forget to add a sweetener such as sugar or maple syrup.
  • Ghirardelli Square. Any kind will do, but I suggest sticking to dark chocolate. That intense flavor makes hot chocolate so decadent. Break it into pieces or chop it finely for easier melting.
  • Water. Because you’ll use a cocoa packet, water will do. But, if you want a richer drink, use milk instead. I highly recommend it!
  • Milk. For a creamier, more decadent drink.

Tips for the Best Drink 

  • The quality of your drink highly depends on the ingredients you use. That said, you’ll want to stick to real, high-quality chocolate and cocoa powder. Obviously, you’ll use Ghirardelli for this recipe, but other brands such as Barry Callebaut, Trader Joe’s, and Scharffen Berger are perfect for hot chocolate, too.
  • Milk chocolate tends to be overly sweet, so unless that’s how you want your cocoa, stick to dark or semi-sweet chocolate. It’s easier to just add more sugar after.
  • For extra richness and creaminess, use milk instead of water. You can even take it a step further by using a blend of milk and cream or half-and-half.
  • For a dairy-free hot chocolate that’s still super-rich and creamy, use coconut or almond milk.
Top View Ghiradelli Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows and Chocolate Shavings

What Makes Hot Chocolate and Hot Cocoa Different 

While they do taste alike, they’re technically different, in that hot chocolate is made with melted real chocolate, while hot cocoa is made with cocoa powder.

However, it’s perfectly acceptable to call the beverage either way, no matter what you used to make it.

This recipe is extra special because it’s a combination of both melted chocolate and cocoa powder! 

Variations and Additions 

What I love about hot chocolate are the many ways you can make it even more indulgent.

Sure, it tastes great as it is, but when I’m feeling nostalgic, I like my hot chocolate loaded with toppings. 

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Hot chocolate is so versatile and easy to customize. The possibilities are endless! You can practically add any topping you can think of, and it will still taste amazing. 

That said, here are some fantastic ways you can dress up and add more flavor to hot chocolate:

  • Espresso Powder. Even if you don’t like the flavor of coffee, I still highly recommend adding espresso powder to your hot chocolate. Coffee brings out the flavor of chocolate even more, so adding a teaspoon to your drink will make it extra chocolatey!
  • Salt. Just a pinch goes a long way. Just like espresso powder, salt enhances the flavor of chocolate. It also balances out the sweetness from the sugar for a well-balanced flavor.
  • Cinnamon. For a cozy Mexican cocoa! The mild heat from cinnamon gives your hot chocolate that extra oomph.
  • Pumpkin Spice. The combination of fall spices adds warmth and comfort. 
  • Cayenne Pepper. You read that right – pepper. Just a little will add that extra kick.
  • Peanut Butter. If you love the peanut butter and chocolate combo, this one’s a must-try. Swirl a tablespoon of creamy peanut butter for every cup of cocoa.
  • Ice Cream. Oh my lord! Ice cream on hot cocoa? Now that’s the stuff. Chocolate, cappuccino, hazelnut, vanilla, peppermint – so many choices!
  • Vanilla Extract. Pick a good quality brand, though. Hot chocolate only has a handful of ingredients, so the flavor from the vanilla will really shine through. A low-grade vanilla extract will only ruin your hot chocolate.
  • Peppermint Extract. It’s especially perfect if you’re having hot chocolate on Christmas morning! Peppermint’s holiday vibe makes everything more festive. Just a few drops, though! Put too much and the flavor will overpower the cocoa.
  • Booze. This one’s a fun treat for the moms and dads! A shot of dark rum, whiskey, or peppermint schnapps will make you extra warm and happy.
  • Toppings: This is where things get exciting. You can go the simple route – just a dollop of whipped cream, or go all the way! I’m talking mini-chocolate chips, crushed candy, peanut butter chips, mini-marshmallows, fudge, caramel syrup, brownie bits – the works! 
Close Up Semi Top View of Glass Mug of Ghiradelli Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows and Chocolate Shavings

More Cozy Drinks You Have To Try

Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate
Starbucks Pistachio Latte
Chai Tea Latte
Starbucks White Chocolate

Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate Recipe



Prep time




  • 1 packet Ghirardelli Premium Hot Cocoa

  • 1 square Ghirardelli Square

  • 6 ounces water

  • Milk, optional


  • Stovetop Method:
  • Heat the water in a saucepan. While waiting, break the chocolate square into small pieces.
  • Pour the hot cocoa into a mug. Add the chocolate chunks.
  • Gradually pour the hot water into the mug. Stir while pouring and until the powder is dissolved and chocolate melted.
  • If using, stir in the milk until combined.
  • Microwave Method:
  • Pour the hot cocoa into a mug. Add the chocolate chunks.
  • Pour the water into the mug and microwave on high for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, or until the water reaches your desired temperature.
  • Stir until the powder is dissolved and chocolate melted.
  • If using, stir in the milk until combined.

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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