Instant Pot Hot Chocolate

Making Instant Pot Hot Chocolate is a quick way to serve warm drinks to a crowd. This easily multipliable recipe is perfect for parties, snow days and nights where you just want to cozy up with a warm cup of cocoa.

a gray mug with hot chocolate and a melted marshmallow next to a gray kitchen towel

There are three things that snow days always make me think of: Sledding with my best friend, making snow cream (and snow cream cocktails) and finishing the day with warm cookies, a cup of hot chocolate and a movie marathon.

It doesn’t snow often here, but when it does those memories always float to the top.

We always used to keep hot cocoa mix on hand, but now that I’ve grown up I know that using real chocolate makes for the best hot chocolate. It’s one of my favorite things!

an instant pot with a ladle resting inside, next to a mug of hot chocolate

Instant Pot Hot Chocolate recipe

This Instant Pot hot chocolate is the best way to make hot chocolate for a crowd. You can also make it in a slow cooker or even on the stovetop. All you need is a low, continuous heat setting.

A few years ago I attended my friend Katie’s holiday party in which she made a big batch of slow cooker hot chocolate. Everyone brought their own mug and Katie had out all the fixings for a hot chocolate party.

I thought it was genius and wanted to try it in the Instant Pot where I could use the slow cooker setting. It works perfectly!

Hot chocolate vs. hot cocoa

Though similar in flavor, hot chocolate and hot cocoa contain different ingredients. Hot chocolate is made with real, melted chocolate, while hot cocoa is made with cocoa powder.

Whatever you want to call it and however you make it, it’s delicious!

This recipe is hot chocolate because it’s made with chocolate chips. You can also use your favorite melting chocolate.

a gray mug containing instant pot hot chocolate with a gray kitchen towel, marshmallows and chocolate chips on a white background

Ingredients

To make this easy hot chocolate in a pressure cooker, you will need to pick up these five real ingredients at the grocery store:

For the chocolate, I usually have chocolate chips on hand so that works for me, but you can use any kind of melting chocolate. Milk chocolate is sweeter and bittersweet chocolate is more bitter, so you should tailor the amount of sugar depending on the type of chocolate you use.

The cream adds a creamier texture which makes for a richer hot chocolate, but you can skip it and just use half-and-half or milk instead. However, know that the high quality will be affected.

I do recommend using whole milk for the same reason. Skim milk, 1% milk and 2% milk will make your hot cocoa thinner.

And don’t forget the toppings! This easy recipe is delicious on its own, but many people enjoy a sprinkle of cinnamon, a few marshmallows or some homemade whipped cream on top.

a teal spatula with chocolate specks on it used for stirring instant pot hot chocolate

How to make perfect hot chocolate in a pressure cooker

You can use any type of electric pressure cooker, such as an Instant Pot. I used a 6-quart Instant Pot to test this recipe, but you can probably get away with another size.

You can also use a slow cooker or make this recipe on the stove.

What’s important is making sure your device has a low heat setting. You won’t even use the low or high-pressure settings on the Instant Pot at all.

Add the milk, heavy cream, sugar, chocolate and vanilla extract to the pressure cooker. Place it on low heat.

Stir often so the chocolate doesn’t burn. The chocolate should be melted and incorporated after 30 or so minutes. Then turn it to the “keep warm” setting to keep the cocoa mixture warm.

Then ladle into mugs and serve with your favorite toppings.

Note: A film may form on top of the chocolate. This happens when milk is warmed because the liquids evaporate leaving behind milk solids. It’s totally normal. If this happens, stir the hot chocolate until reincorporated.

hot chocolate in a gray mug next to an instant pot with marshmallows and chocolate chips

Hot chocolate variations

There are so many ways you can make this recipe your own!

Make it in a big batch! The recipe below serves 4 to 6 people. Multiply the recipe by 2, 3 or 4 to make a lot of hot chocolate. Perfect for parties, family gatherings, snow days and more!

You can make boozy hot chocolate by adding some alcohol to each mug, such as bourbon, Irish cream liqueur or coffee liqueur. Even peppermint vodka would be delicious!

Make it vegan or simply dairy-free by using your favorite non-dairy milk instead of the milk, such as coconut milk, soy milk or almond milk. For the heavy whipping cream, you can use non-dairy creamer or non-dairy. If you are making it vegan, do be sure the chocolate you are using doesn’t contain any milk either. (I like Lily’s chocolate chips.)

Use dark chocolate or bittersweet chocolate for a darker taste. Use white chocolate to make white hot chocolate.

Add 2 cinnamon sticks to the pressure cooker to infuse cinnamon flavor. (Or use cinnamon whiskey!) Perfect for a cold day especially if you make Mexican hot chocolate cookies to go with it.

Add a little freshly-brewed espresso or coffee to add some extra caffeine!

a gray mug containing instant pot hot chocolate next to chocolate chips

Hot chocolate bar toppings

You can set up a hot chocolate bar with many toppings for your guests to customize their cocoa to make their perfect drink. Here are some ideas for toppings for your hot chocolate:

  • mini marshmallows
  • whipped cream (regular or boozy)
  • candy canes
  • cookies
  • chocolate syrup or chocolate sauce
  • more chocolate chips
  • sprinkles
  • marshmallow creme
a gray mug containing instant pot hot chocolate with a gray kitchen towel

More hot beverages

Check out these recipes for more winter warmers to enjoy all season long:

  • Hot apple cider is made on the stove top, and it makes your house smell amazing.
  • Made with pineapple and spices, this Russian tea recipe is a family recipe to share at gatherings.
  • Spiced hot buttered rum is a classic cocktail with a hint of sugary spices.
  • Homemade chai concentrate can be used to make hot or iced chai, any time you’re craving those warm spices.

Let me know if you try this recipe for hot chocolate in the Instant Pot! Leave a recipe review, rating or comment below.

a gray mug with hot chocolate and a melted marshmallow next to a gray kitchen towel

Instant Pot Hot Chocolate

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Make this easy, silky and delicious hot chocolate in your Instant Pot or any slow cooker.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • toppings such as marshmallows, cinnamon or whipped cream

Instructions

  1. Add the milk, cream, sugar, chocolate and vanilla extract to the pressure cooker. Place it on low heat.
  2. Stir often so the chocolate doesn’t burn. The chocolate should be melted and fully incorporated within 15 minutes.
  3. Ladle into mugs and serve with your favorite toppings.
  4. If you have any left over, store in an airtight container for up to five days. Reheat over medium heat and enjoy!

Notes

A film may form on top of the chocolate. This happens when milk is warmed because the liquids evaporate leaving behind milk solids. It’s totally normal. If this happens, stir the hot chocolate until reincorporated.

If using milk chocolate chips, use 1/4 cup sugar. If using bittersweet chocolate chips, use 3/4 cup sugar.

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As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 6 ounces
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 411Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 61mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 0gSugar: 27gProtein: 5g

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