mugs of peppermint hot chocolate with whipped cream and candy cane sticks

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

This indulgent, festive, minty hot chocolate recipe is perfect for sipping on a cold day or during the holiday season. Don't miss the recipe notes for options and variations.
Course Dessert, Drinks
Cuisine American
Keyword homemade hot chocolate, hot chocolate recipes, peppermint hot chocolate
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1 large or 2 small mugs
Calories 831kcal
Author Amanda Biddle


  • 1 cup milk (whole or 2% are best)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 3 ounces finely chopped semisweet chocolate or chocolate chips (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • whipped cream, marshmallows, and crushed candy canes , for garnish (optional)


  • In a pot, whisk together milk, heavy cream, sugar, vanilla and peppermint extracts, and salt. Heat on the stove on medium-low until bubbles start to form around the side of the pan.
  • Reduce heat to low, add chocolate and extracts, and whisk until melted, glossy, and thickened slightly, 1-2 minutes.
  • Pour into a mug and top with lightly-sweetened whipped cream or marshmallows and a sprinkling of crushed candy canes.



Lighter options:

This hot chocolate is a very rich treat, much like a European drinking chocolate. A small serving is usually perfect for me. If you prefer your hot chocolate a little lighter, decrease chocolate to 2 ounces (about 1/3 cup). You can also omit the heavy cream and use 1-1/4 cups milk. 

Peppermint White Hot Chocolate:

Omit the sugar and substitute 2 ounces (1/3 cup) finely chopped white chocolate or white chocolate chips for the semisweet chocolate.

Spike it for the adults:

Omit the peppermint extract and substitute 2-3 tablespoons peppermint schnapps.


Calories: 831kcal | Carbohydrates: 83g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 49g | Saturated Fat: 30g | Cholesterol: 118mg | Sodium: 185mg | Potassium: 366mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 77g | Vitamin A: 1460IU | Calcium: 413mg | Iron: 1mg