Caramel Hot Chocolate


A cup of heart-warming Caramel Hot Chocolate will make you forget winter exists. Almost.

Caramel Hot Chocolate

I’m so sick of winter, probably as much as you are tired of hearing everyone complain about the weather on Facebook, Twitter, and other blogs you may read, but seriously – not one but TWO polar vortexes are enough for me to wish winter away. Last week my car decided to shut off while sitting at the red light for no reason. I’ve had several knowledgeable guys look at it, but nobody can figure out why. I think my poor car just wants to thaw in a garage for 24 hours. I will say one of the best decisions I’ve made since moving here was living on the same side of the mountain as where I work. Even though there’s less civilization and the major stores are roughly 40 minutes away, I drive to work five times a week where as I may travel over the mountain every other weekend. Mountains are scary in inclement weather. One time I was driving back to work from our Maryland office (which is on the other side of the mountain), I GOT STUCK. When I realized I wasn’t making it back to work, I turned around and sat in a parking lot for about a half hour until I tried again. I couldn’t even go home.

With winter I need comfort. Hot soul-warming drink kind of comfort. Caramel Hot Chocolate kind of comfort. Whether you are trying to warm up after shoveling four inches of snow or cuddled up on the couch for the night, you need this drink in your hands. No argument.

Caramel Hot Chocolate

The idea came from the caramel hot chocolate drink at Starbucks. This recipe isn’t quite the copycat, but I bet it’s pretty darn close. Use the best quality cocoa powder you have as it really does make a difference. It’s also very quick to throw together, assuming you already have caramel sauce in the fridge (homemade recipe found here).

Caramel Hot Chocolate

Yields 2

Caramel Hot Chocolate
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2 cups milk
1/4 cup Dutch cocoa powder (see note)
1/4 cup + 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
1/4 cup caramel sauce (homemade or store bought)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Caramel sauce, for drizzling


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk until hot but not boiling (you’ll start to see steam). Whisk in the cocoa, 1/4 cup sugar, and caramel until smooth. Turn off the heat. Pour into two mugs.
  2. In a cold medium bowl, beat the cream until it starts to thicken. Gradually beat in the remaining 1 teaspoon sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form (when you pull the beaters straight up, peaks form without falling over). Pipe on top of hot chocolate then drizzle for caramel sauce.


Dutch process cocoa is highly recommended because it adds a little more depth to the drink. However, you can substitute natural cocoa in a pinch.


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  1. oh oh oh…I could drink this all day long!

  2. I’d say that living closer to work beats driving over a mountain in the snow and ice. This hot beverage looks warm and comforting.

  3. oh my gosh you poor thing!! Yeah I am OVERRRR winter! ugh.

    this hot chocolate is JUST the thing we all neeeeeed!

  4. This looks so absolutely delicious!! I love the overhead shot of the cup makes me want to dive right in and drink it!

  5. I wouldn’t want to live in a household where I DIDN’T always have caramel in the fridge ;) Carla, you’re the queen of hot chocolate. All of your drinks look fabulous and this one is no exception. I can’t believe the insane weather you’re getting over there. I hope spring comes asap!

  6. Carlaaaaaa <3 You need to make honeycomb hot chocolate, it was a winter special at a local coffee house and omg I am missing it so much since it's gone! I think they just used honeycomb syrup but it tasted like a crunchie (do you have those bars over there?).

    • Ohhhh honeycomb? Is that pretty much honey in hot chocolate? I once had a honey latte at Starbucks. It was a unique taste but I liked it. Unfortunately it didn’t last long at all. We don’t have the crunchie bars here, and I can’t remember if I had one to give you a US equivalent.

  7. Ooh I love this! I’m a huge fan of the caramel hot chocolate at Starbucks and I’m excited for a homemade version. Pinning!

  8. Every time I’ve caught myself complaining about the cold, I remind myself, “At least you don’t have to ride your bike in this weather!” and that usually shuts me up. When I biked two miles to work and back (or even had to wait for the never-reliable bus), the wind would whip at my face and my skin would get so chapped! And, by comparison, now I complain about having to walk across the street to the parking lot. Sigh. Count your blessings, I guess, right? And, if that doesn’t warm you up, there’s always caramel hot chocolate! Stay warm!

    • I try to remind myself that there are homeless people living out in the cold weather, then when I am feeling grateful, the wind picks up and I’m like NOPE I’M SO COLD. So glad there are warm drinks out there to take a bit of the winter sting off.

  9. Oh caramel is hot chocolate. Such a wonderful thing. Never thought to mix in actual caramel sauce.

  10. Ugh, I’m totally ok with still talking about being sick of winter. This hot chocolate looks like a perfect antidote though, especially with all that whipped cream :)

  11. Personally, I plan to continue complaining bitterly about winter for at least another month…possibly two. This drink would help. And I need a spoon for some extra caramel sauce nips on the side. ;)

  12. SO true! I need some comfort too :)
    Love the drippy caramel you have on top!! Beautiful!

  13. Oh my goodness – I could go for this any time of the year! It’s comfort in a cup. Pinned!!

  14. mmm this looks so good for the weather now!

  15. nothing like chocolate in caramel to wash away those winter doldrums. hope you’re feelin better soon.

  16. Yum! Starbucks’ salted caramel hot chocolate was the only justifiable reason I had for going there. But, then it seemed they were either out of caramel or gave me the wrong thing. :-( I’m excited to try this!

  17. Let’s just stay at home and drink this until winter passes m’kay? I’m over winter and there is still one more storm to come this week.

  18. Wow, this looks great, and I JUST made a batch of caramel sauce two days ago! I love the white mugs in your photo, too, can you tell me the name of the china? Thanks!

  19. Christina says:

    This looks SOOOO YUMMY!! For some reason I’m totally craving hot chocolate in July LOL! Also, I LOVE gorgeous mug you used for the shoot. May I ask where you got that pattern?

    • Thanks! I bet you can take this recipe but instead of cooking it on the stove, blend it up with some ice for a frozen hot chocolate. I haven’t actually tried it, but it could be an idea! As for the mugs, I got them at a thrift store. I don’t see any name or stamp on the bottom to see who made them.

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