5-Minute Rich & Creamy No-Clump Hot Chocolate with 2 Ingredients and A Microwave

When you’re craving homemade hot chocolate while traveling, make this simple recipe with just a microwave in your hotel, ski lodge, or even kitchen if you’re too tired to use the stove. Read on for dozens of topping and mix-in ideas to make your hot chocolate extra indulgent.

This recipe differs from many other 5-minute homemade hot chocolate recipes, even ones with 2 ingredients, because it is made in a microwave and the technique emphasizes how to get the smoothest possible hot chocolate.

I designed this recipe for my friend Benjamin who is traveling in Copenhagen this week and may only have access to a microwave.

You’ll love this hot chocolate recipe if you are staying in a hotel, living in a dorm room in college, or simply don’t want to fuss around with making hot chocolate on a stovetop.

How to Make The Smoothest Hot Chocolate

After making dozens of cups of hot chocolate, I found the two biggest challenges to smooth hot chocolate are accidentally curdling the milk and chocolate clumps because the melted chocolate doesn’t emulsify in the milk. Here are the tips you need to make the smoothest hot chocolate without clumps:

  • Use baking chocolate or a chocolate bar. It is possible to make smooth hot chocolate with cocoa powder but it requires a lot of work.
  • Make a paste by melting the chocolate with a tablespoon of milk and mixing it. Making a chocolate paste is the surest way to guarantee your hot chocolate doesn’t clump.
  • Do not microwave the milk until it is boiling. Once you boil the milk, it denatures the protein. Curdling the milk causes clumps. That’s why the recipe calls for heating the hot chocolate for a minute, stirring, and continuing to heat. It’s also a pain to clean your microwave when the milk overflows out of your mug.
TIP: I find it more efficient to stir back and forth than in circles to evenly mix the hot chocolate and remove clumps.

How Do I Make Hot Chocolate Better?

To make the hot chocolate extra rich and decadent, increase the amount of chocolate and substitute a tablespoon of the milk for heavy whipping cream.

Or follow Alex’s lead and make the hot chocolate with half-and-half and heavy whipping cream.

Use the best quality chocolate you can find. My favorites are Trade Joe’s Pound Plus 72% cacao dark chocolate and Guittard’s dark baking chocolate at 70% cacao. Both are in red packaging.

Spruce up your hot chocolate with the following mix-ins, toppings, and milk steepings. Mix-ins are flavorings that you add after the milk to flavor your hot chocolate. Toppings differ from mix-ins because they are added on top of your hot chocolate before serving rather than dissolved into your hot chocolate. Steeping herbs and spices into your milk can also create different flavored hot chocolate.

Tasty Hot Chocolate Mix-Ins

  • Vanilla
  • Instant coffee
  • Peppermint extract
  • Almond extract
  • Orange extract
  • Maple syrup
  • Honey
  • Nutella
  • Peanut butter
  • Speculoos spread
  • Cointreau/Baileys/Kahlua
  • Ice cream (while any flavors work, I like mint chocolate chip ice cream for this purpose)

Tasty Hot Chocolate Toppings

  • Marshmallows
  • Whipped cream
  • Caramel sauce
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Cayenne
  • Sea salt
  • Chocolate shavings
  • Crushed up candy canes
  • Fudge
  • Sprinkles
  • Cocoa powder

Herbs and Spices to Steep Milk In

Pour warm milk in these herbs and spices and steep for an hour if you don’t mind extra work to add extra flavors

If you have additional ideas for hot chocolate mix-ins, toppings, and steeping herbs and spices, leave a comment in the post to share it with fellow readers.

How to Make Vegan Hot Chocolate

Whether you’re lactose-intolerant or vegan, there might be reasons you want to avoid cow milk in your hot chocolate. To make your hot chocolate vegan, make sure you’re using dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate, which might contain milk solids.

Substitute the cow milk with dairy-free milk, including soy milk, coconut milk, almond milk, or even trendy oat milk.

If you’re vegetarian or vegan, double check your toppings are vegan. For example, make sure your marshmallows don’t contain gelatin.

How to Make Paleo Hot Chocolate

If you don’t consume dairy, substitute with coconut milk, almond milk, cashew milk, or another milk that agrees with your paleo diet.

And definitely drink the hot chocolate in the snow, because that’s probably what cavemen used to do when they made hot chocolate.

How to Make Sugar-Free Hot Chocolate

Use the highest percent of chocolate you can find to reduce the amount of sugar in your hot chocolate. You probably won’t be able to find cooking or baking chocolate with higher than 75% cacao, which means you can use chocolate bars made for eating, which are typically in a different aisle than the baking goods in your grocery store.

You can find 100% cacao chocolate bars at Trader Joe’s. Many other grocery stores, including Safeway and Whole Foods, sell 85% cacao chocolate bars.

If the hot chocolate is too bitter with 100% cacao chocolate bars, you can add maple syrup, honey, or monkfruit (luo han guo) to sweeten your hot chocolate (or stevia, but I’m not a fan of how stevia tastes).

We tried adding cocoa powder to the hot chocolate to reduce the sweetness. It works but it adds gritty texture, and it clumps easily so it’s extra work to make smooth hot chocolate.

5-Minute Homemade Hot Chocolate

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This hot chocolate recipe takes 5 minutes or less, 2 ingredients, and a microwave. It's a no-cook recipe that's perfect for hotel travelers, tiny-house dwellers, students in dorm rooms, and busy working people who don't want to deal with a stove.
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: 10 ingredients or less, 5-minute recipe, comfort, fall, family-friendly, no-cook
Servings: 1 people
Calories: 364kcal
Author: Anna Rider
Cost: $2

Equipment

  • Microwave-safe mug
  • Microwave

Ingredients

  • 1.5 ounces (40 g) Chocolate, About 3 big squares or 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips
  • 1 cup (250 ml) Milk, Use half-and-half, a vegan milk option, or a combination

Instructions

  • Gather the ingredients.
  • Put the chocolate in the microwave-safe mug with 1 tablespoon of milk. Heat the chocolate with the milk in the microwave on high for 1 minute.
  • Use a fork to stir the melted chocolate into the 1 tablespoon of warm milk until it forms a shiny, smooth paste.
  • Add the remaining cold milk to the chocolate paste. If you are adding any hot chocolate mix-ins, like vanilla extract, add them now. Heat in the microwave on high for 1 minute.
  • Remove the hot chocolate from the microwave. Stir the hot chocolate until thoroughly mixed. If you are happy with the hot chocolate, it is ready to drink. If you're finding clumps, chocolate chunks, or undissolved mix-ins, proceed to the next step.
  • Microwave hot chocolate on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Monitor the hot chocolate to prevent the milk from spilling over. Stop heating the hot chocolate if it looks like the hot chocolate is boiling in the mug.
  • Use a spatula to stir the hot chocolate to get rid of last-minute clumps. Add the desired hot chocolate toppings and serve.
  • Enjoy your homemade hot chocolate!

Notes

  • Keep monitoring the hot chocolate in your microwave to ensure the milk does not spill over your mug and that the milk does not curdle. Because of how widely microwaves vary, you may need to zap your hot chocolate for less time than recommended.
  • Double the ingredients and enjoy leftover hot chocolate with instant coffee to make a quick mocha the next morning.

Nutrition

Calories: 364kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 112mg | Potassium: 445mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 395IU | Calcium: 286mg | Iron: 1mg
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What to Eat With Hot Chocolate

Garlic Butter Popcorn
For a twist on the classic popcorn recipe, this buttery popcorn carries a hint of garlic. It’s subtle and sure to delight garlic lovers.  
Get the Recipe
5-Minute Garlic Bread with Fresh Garlic
This is a super quick and easy garlic bread recipe that’s perfect for satisfying my garlic cravings. Scale the recipe up to serve three, four, or even six with the same amount of effort.
Get the Recipe
Robin’s garlic sweet potatoes
My new colleague Robin generously shared his sweet potatoes with garlic recipe with me. Alex and I took his instructions and added our spin on it by pan frying the sweet potatoes to add crispiness. Thanks Robin for the inspiration! 
Get the Recipe

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FAQ About Hot Chocolate

How Long Does The Hot Chocolate Last in The Fridge?

You can put unfinished hot chocolate in the fridge and reheat it in the microwave. We tested hot chocolate left in the fridge of 3 days and it tasted just as good upon reheating.

The “cool” chocolate will separate. Give it a good stir before you put it in the microwave to heat up. If you followed the recipe correctly to make smooth hot chocolate, your drink should be smooth and emulsified once you reheat it. We added instant coffee to the leftover chocolate to make a mocha.

Leftover hot chocolate lasts for 3-5 days in the fridge. It will separate to make sure you stir it before reheating and serving.

How Can I Enjoy Snow with My Hot Chocolate?

Come to visit me in Boulder, Colorado. We’ll sit in the tea-sipping area downstairs from our apartment. You’ll get to enjoy hot chocolate in a range of snowstorms.

A view of the cozy tea table from my apartment where we can enjoy hot chocolate in the snow.
No better way to refrigerate leftover hot chocolate than with a generous helping of snow.
Anna looking down chopping vegetables
About Anna Rider

Hi! I'm Anna, a food writer who documents kitchen experiments on GarlicDelight.com with the help of my physicist and taste-testing husband, Alex. I have an insatiable appetite for noodles 🍜 and believe in "improv cooking".

2 thoughts on “5-Minute Rich & Creamy No-Clump Hot Chocolate with 2 Ingredients and A Microwave”

  1. This sounds yummy. I can’t wait to try it! 🙂
    I don’t have the snow yet but it’s still cold enough to be awesome.
    One (possibly very stupid) question: how do you heat up the milk before putting it in the microwave?

    Reply
    • Hi Benjamin,
      Thank you for the question. I realized it might be unclear in my recipe so I updated it. The milk can start cold from the fridge. When you mix 1 tablespoon of milk with the chocolate and heat it in the microwave the first time, your milk gets warm. After making a paste, you can add the remaining cold milk into the mug and heat the milk again. Then the milk becomes warm. Let me know if my updated recipe is still confusing and I can continue to explain the instructions to clarify.

      Thanks again for the feedback.

      Reply

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