White Hot Chocolate – Cooking Classy

Homemade White Hot Chocolate – This dreamy and decadent drink is rich and creamy, brimming with white chocolate and vanilla flavor, it has the perfect balance of sweetness, and it’s a fancy drink for the holidays with it’s bright and billowy presentation.

Love white chocolate vanilla bean treats? Also try my triple layer Vanilla Bean Cheesecake (with Mousse!). It’s easily one of my all time favorite desserts!

Three servings of white hot chocolate in clear glass mugs.

The BEST White Hot Chocolate

I’d dare say this velvety drink is the BEST white hot chocolate! Far better than any mix you’ll by, better than what you’ll get at a local shop, and yes even better than Starbucks white hot chocolate.

It’s company-worthy and loved by people of all ages. And you wouldn’t believe how easy it is to make.

Plus it only requires 4 ingredients (along with a pinch of salt), and it’s perfectly customizable (see some fun ideas below).

It’s also an unexpected and welcome change from the classic chocolate flavored hot chocolate.

You can also double or triple the recipe for a bigger crowd, just use a pot instead of a saucepan.

What more could you want on a chilly winter day than this warm, inviting, vanilla bean flecked white hot chocolate?

Three cups of white hot chocolate topped with marshmallows and a peppermint candy cane hanging on each mug.Ingredients needed to make homemade white hot chocolate.

White Hot Chocolate Recipe Ingredients

  • Whole milk
  • Vanilla bean
  • Salt
  • Cornstarch
  • White chocolate chips or white chocolate baking bars

Collage of six photos showing steps of making white hot chocolate in a saucepan.

How to Make White Hot Chocolate

  1. In a medium saucepan heat 3 1/2 cups milk, seeds of the vanilla bean and vanilla bean pod and pinch of salt over medium heat. Bring to a simmer.
  2. Meanwhile whisk together remaining 1/2 cup milk and the cornstarch until well blended.
  3. Once milk mixture just simmers add the cornstarch mixture and let simmer 1 minute whisking constantly until lightly thickened (if needed reduce burner temperature if milk is bubbling up vigorously, you just want a light simmer).
  4. Remove from heat. Immediately add white chocolate chips and whisk to melt. Remove vanilla bean pod.
  5. Let cool slightly then serve with desired toppings.

Best Toppings to Use

  • Sweetened whipped cream
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Candy canes for swirling
  • Shaved white chocolate
  • Cinnamon or nutmeg
  • Salted caramel

Close up photo of tall glass of white hot chocolate topped with whipped cream, cranberries and mint.

Variations for White Hot Chocolate

  • Peppermint flavor: Use 1/4 tsp peppermint extract and  serve with peppermint candy canes.
  • Cinnamon: Simmer with a cinnamon stick or ground cinnamon to taste. Garnish servings with more cinnamon.
  • Nutmeg: Grate fresh nutmeg in to taste (using a zester).
  • Spice blend: Mix in 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, chai spice or apple pie spice.
  • Fresh orange flavor: Simmer with the shaved rind of an orange (avoiding the white pith as this will make the hot chocolate bitter).
  • Cheaper alternative to vanilla bean: You can use vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste in place of the vanilla bean (use 2 tsp). Add at the end. (I buy great quality vanilla beans in bulk at Costco for $1.70 per bean around the holidays).
  • Almond flavor: Add 1/4 tsp almond extract along with the chocolate chips.
  • Make it extra creamy: Replace 1/2 cup of the milk with 1/2 cup heavy cream (add it at the beginning don’t mix this with cornstarch).
  • More white chocolate flavor: You can easily add up to 1/2 cup more white chocolate chips for more white chocolatey flavor, just keep in mind this will also increase the sweetness.

Three mugs of white hot chocolate on a wooden tray with Christmas lights in the background.

How to Store and Reheat White Hot Chocolate

  • Don’t keep at room temperature longer than 2 hours after making.
  • Store an left over in the fridge in an airtight container (once it’s cooled slightly).
  • It should keep well for 3 days.
  • Reheat on the stovetop over medium-low heat stirring frequently or reheat individual servings in a microwave safe mug until heated through.

Close up photo of glass mug with white hot chocolate, marshmallows and candy cane.

More Tempting Hot Chocolate Recipes to Try

Three mugs of white hot chocolate on a wooden tray with Christmas lights in the background.

White Hot Chocolate

This dreamy and decadent drink is rich and creamy, brimming with white chocolate and vanilla flavor, it has the perfect balance of sweetness, and it’s a fancy drink for the holidays with it’s bright and billowy presentation.

Servings: 4 (1-cup servings)

Prep5 minutes

Cook10 minutes

Ready in: 15 minutes

  • 4 cups whole milk, divided
  • 1 vanilla bean*
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 4 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup (6 oz) white chocolate chips or 6 oz white chocolate baking bars, finely chopped
  • In a medium saucepan heat 3 1/2 cups milk, seeds of vanilla bean and the vanilla bean pod and pinch of salt over medium heat. Bring to a simmer.

  • Meanwhile whisk together remaining 1/2 cup milk and the cornstarch until well blended.

  • Once milk mixture just simmers add the cornstarch mixture and let simmer 1 minute whisking constantly until lightly thickened (if needed reduce burner temperature if milk is bubbling up vigorously, you just want a light simmer).

  • Remove from heat. Immediately add white chocolate chips and whisk to melt. Remove vanilla bean pod.

  • Let cool slightly then serve with desired toppings (see notes).

  • Delicious toppings include sweetened whipped cream, marshmallows, candy canes for swirling, shaved white chocolate, cinnamon, fresh grated nutmeg, or salted caramel.
  • Note that toppings are not included in nutrition estimate.

Nutrition Facts

White Hot Chocolate

Amount Per Serving

Calories 386
Calories from Fat 198

% Daily Value*

Fat 22g34%

Saturated Fat 13g81%

Polyunsaturated Fat 1g

Monounsaturated Fat 6g

Cholesterol 38mg13%

Sodium 141mg6%

Potassium 488mg14%

Carbohydrates 39g13%

Fiber 0.1g0%

Sugar 37g41%

Protein 11g22%

Vitamin A 408IU8%

Vitamin C 0.2mg0%

Calcium 385mg39%

Iron 0.1mg1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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