When it’s freezing outside, cozy up with a cup of rich and velvety Thick Hot Chocolate made with only 2 ingredients including real chocolate (not cocoa powder). Also known as Italian Hot Chocolate, this hot chocolate for one can easily be multiplied to make several servings.

Woman in turquoise sweater holding mug of thick hot chocolate

Now that Christmas is around the corner, let’s talk about hot chocolate!

I’m not talking about those cocoa mixes made with water. I’m talking about real hot chocolate. Thick Hot Chocolate.

It’s Italian hot chocolate that’s rich, thick, and creamy because it’s made with melting chocolate and not cocoa.

As much as I love hot chocolate, I’m tired of ordering it then getting hot cocoa instead.

The worst offender is a local amusement park where they made it with water.

I understand it’s cheaper, but if you’re not going to offer real hot chocolate, at least use milk. I couldn’t even finish my overpriced flavored water.

Real hot chocolate is rich, thick, and creamy. It’s almost like you’re drinking a liquid chocolate bar or ganache.

It also reminds me of the molten chocolate found in Mini Lava Cakes.

On occasion when it’s late at night I’ll do a hot cocoa mix made with milk, but when I want a special treat you can’t beat this thick hot chocolate recipe.

Making this Italian hot chocolate at home means you can customize it to your taste. Want it thinner? Add more milk. Want it darker? Use dark chocolate. Want it lighter? Use semisweet chocolate.

The best part? It only requires 2 ingredients!

Although this is a single serving hot chocolate recipe, it can easily be doubled or even tripled to serve your loved ones.

I wanted to make homemade hot chocolate for one person in case you wanted a special treat for yourself without sharing.

Pouring chocolate for Thick Hot Chocolate For One

What is the difference between hot chocolate and hot cocoa?

The difference between hot chocolate and hot cocoa is in the name.

Hot chocolate is made with real chocolate which you then melt into milk (sometimes referred to as drinking chocolate).

Hot cocoa is made with cocoa powder, sugar, and milk (or hot water).

Two mugs of Italian Hot Chocolate

Ingredients For Thick Hot Chocolate

In order to make the best hot chocolate, you only need two ingredients:

  • Whole milk: To make your hot chocolate rich and creamy, you want the fat from whole milk. Do not use skim or low fat.
  • Chocolate: You want the best high-quality chocolate you can afford as you’ll taste the difference. Use melting chocolate between 60% and 80% cocoa range. Under 60% and it may be too sweet. Over 80% and it may be too bitter.

Thick hot chocolate with heart shaped marshmallow

How To Make Thick Hot Chocolate

Here’s how to make the best hot chocolate:

  1. Heat milk in a medium saucepan until hot and bubbly but not boiling. You want your milk warm enough to melt chocolate but not too hot it’ll scald and possibly even curdle.
  2. Add chopped chocolate and whisk often until melted then bring to a boil.
  3. Cook for about 30 seconds or until thick. If you don’t want it too thick, you can pull it off the heat sooner. If it’s not thick enough, keep cooking until it’s to your liking.

Transfer to your mug then top with whipped cream or marshmallows.

How To Thin Out Hot Chocolate

Italian hot chocolate is meant to be thick and rich at 1/2 cup milk per serving. If you want it thinner and less rich, use 3/4 cup milk.

Thick hot chocolate with heart shaped marshmallow

How To Serve Hot Chocolate For One

Now the next question – serve your thick hot chocolate with whipped cream or marshmallows?

I love homemade whipped cream on mine! And since this is a hot chocolate recipe for 1, I made small batch homemade whipped cream to go with it.

Or get creative with Peanut Butter Whipped Cream, Chocolate Whipped Cream, or Strawberry Whipped Cream.

If I don’t have any whipped cream on hand, I have no problem plopping a handful of marshmallows on top.

I also pour it over vanilla bean ice cream. Not only does it cool down your chocolate, it helps thin it out as it melts.

Two mugs of Italian Hot Chocolate

Thick Hot Chocolate FAQ

Can you substitute heavy cream for milk in hot chocolate?

Using heavy cream will actually make it too thick, almost like a pudding. However if that’s all you have, thin it out with some water until your desired drinking consistency.

Can you double hot chocolate for one?

Yes, you can easily double or even triple it! Your cooking time may be a little bit longer with more ingredients, but the concept is the same.

Can you make Italian hot chocolate vegan?

You can use a dairy-free milk option. However, it may not be as thick due to the fat content. You can also check out my coconut milk hot chocolate for a vegan option.

More Hot Chocolate Recipes

Italian hot chocolate is great, but sometimes you want more flavor in life. Check out these other recipes for hot chocolate (or hot cocoa):

Woman in turquoise sweater holding mug of thick hot chocolate

Thick Hot Chocolate

Yield: 1 drink
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

When it’s freezing outside, stay inside and cozy up with a mug of Thick Hot Chocolate For One made with melting chocolate and not cocoa powder.


  • 1/2 cup whole milk plus more if needed (do not substitute skim or low fat)*
  • 2 ounces high-quality chocolate, chopped (60%-80% cacao range)
  • Homemade Whipped Cream, for garnish


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat milk until hot and bubbly but not boiling.
  2. Stir in the chocolate until melted, whisking often.
  3. Bring to a boil then cook until thickened, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat.
  4. Cool 5 minutes. At this point if it's too thick, you can add an additional 1/4 cup milk. Transfer to a mug then top with whipped cream or marshmallows.


Did you make this recipe?

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First published December 18, 2017