Make a big batch of hot cocoa right in your crock pot, where it will stay warm for hours! This Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate is perfect for parties, and only requires 5 ingredients (not including the toppings, of course). Serve as is, or set up a hot chocolate bar with your favorite flavored liqueurs for a boozy twist.
SLOW COOKER HOT CHOCOLATE
You’ve got the cookies covered and the appetizers locked down, but one thing is still missing from your winter gathering– something delicious to sip. Hello, hot chocolate!
Rich, creamy, warming hot cocoa deserves a spot at every Christmas party and cold-weather get-together, but it’s somehow often overlooked. Maybe it’s because we’re used to the less-than-enthralling powdered stuff, or because it hasn’t clicked that it can be so easy to serve to a big group– all you need is a slow cooker! Either way, make this velvety slow cooker hot chocolate just once and your friends will be begging for more all season long.
HOT CHOCOLATE INGREDIENTS
A lot of people have only ever had hot chocolate from a canister or packet– you know, the sort with the dehydrated mini marshmallows inside– but it’s almost a whole different drink when made from scratch (despite barely requiring any extra effort). Instead of being thin and watery, it’s thick, luscious, and decadent. It tastes like real chocolate because it’s made with real chocolate. And it only requires 5 ingredients.
- Chocolate chips, which give the slow cooker hot chocolate its rich, chocolatey flavor
- Cocoa powder, which adds extra chocolatiness and depth
- Sweetened condensed milk, which sweetens the mixture without any graininess
- Half-and-half, which creates a creamy, milky base (or you can substitute a mixture of milk and cream, as that’s basically what half-and-half is!)
- Vanilla extract, which, believe it or not, helps to amplify the flavor of the chocolate
MAKE A HOT CHOCOLATE BAR
You can individually pour each guest’s cup of hot chocolate and serve it that way, but I prefer to set out a ladle and tons of toppings and let guests go to town. Some of my favorite hot chocolate toppings include:
- Mini marshmallows (a must!)
- Whipped cream
- Chocolate syrup
- Chocolate shavings
- Candy canes (crushed to top, or whole to use as swizzle sticks)
- Toasted nuts
- Mini chocolate chips
- Toffee bits
- Pirouette cookies
- Caramel sauce
… and more
And far out of reach of any kids, I also like to offer a little something extra to kick up the hot chocolate a notch. (Booze, I’m talking about booze.)
My favorite way to turn slow cooker hot chocolate into cocktails is to really put the BAR in “hot chocolate bar” by setting out a variety of flavored liqueurs and a few stronger spirits so guests can add a shot to their glass if they’re so inclined.
Here are some examples of what I typically break out from the liquor cabinet:
- Peppermint schnapps
- Kahlua (or other coffe liqueur)
- Bailey’s (or other Irish creme)
- Chambord (or other raspberry liqueur)
- Cinnamon schnapps
- Creme de cacao
- Coconut rum
- Vanilla vodka
- Frangelico (or other hazelnut liqueur)
- Creme de menthe
HOW TO MAKE HOT COCOA IN YOUR SLOW COOKER
Now that you’ve got all of your materials together, making slow cooker hot chocolate couldn’t be easier. All you have to do is simply mix together the 5 ingredients above, cover the slow cooker, and set to low. 2 hours later, your hot cocoa will be ready to go. Just stir and serve!
Really, watch the video below and see how simple it is!
WATCH THE SLOW COOKER HOT CHOCOLATE VIDEO
- 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder or dutch cocoa powder
- 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 6 cups half-and-half
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Flavored liqueur, to serve (optional)
- Whipped cream, mini marshmallows, chocolate syrup, chocolate shavings, and/or candy canes, to serve (optional)
- Combine the chocolate chips, cocoa powder, condensed milk, half-and-half, and vanilla extract in a slow cooker. Stir to combine.
- Cook, covered, until everything is melted, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours on low.
- Set to warm. Serve with flavored liqueurs and toppings, if desired.