French Hot Chocolate Recipe (2024)

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4.92 stars (24 reviews)

12 minutes mins

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This simple 5-ingredient French Hot Chocolate Recipe, AKA Drinking Chocolate, is a Parisian favorite and a must-make for the holidays!

French Hot Chocolate Recipe (1)

Why You’ll Love This French Hot Chocolate Recipe

Several months ago I had the opportunity to spend a week in Paris with a few friends. Traveling with a group ofsweet-tooths, andnoticed that hot chocolate is a thing in Paris.

It’s everywhere.

Cafes. Bakeries. Sandwich shops. Chocolatiers. Tea shops. If you need a warm luxurious mug of French Hot Chocolate while in Paris, you can find one within a block or two, no doubt.

And if you have ever had a cup of hot chocolate from France, you are in luck. It will change your whole perspective on what good hot chocolate is. Good hot chocolate is made with real, quality chocolate, cream, and a little brown sugar for good measure. This hot chocolate recipe is for real chocolate lovers only!

French Hot Chocolate Recipe (2)

Drinking Chocolate

Luxury is the prominent feeling when experiencing French Hot Chocolate for the first time.

It’s not thin andcocoa powder based, like most American hot chocolates.

The Parisian variation, known as Chocolat Chaud, is most definitely a dense Drinking Chocolate. Thinner than chocolate fondue or liquid ganache… Yet not by much.

French Hot Chocolate Recipe (3)

Ingredients You Need

My French Hot Chocolate Recipe requires only five simple ingredients:

  • Good quality semisweet (or bittersweet) chocolate
  • Milk
  • Cream
  • Brown sugar
  • A little vanilla extract

I tried using only milk, only half & half, and then only heavy cream, but found this combination of both whole milk and heavy cream provides just the right consistency to rival any mugful I tasted in Paris.

French Hot Chocolate Recipe (4)

The key is to gently simmer and stir the ingredients until not a single unmelted speck of chocolate is present. The mixture must simmer until entirely smooth. Then it will thicken just a touch to the perfect velvety texture.

French Hot Chocolate Recipe (5)

This French Hot Chocolate Recipe is the perfect after-dinner drink for your holiday feast.

Sip it by the fire for a romantic ending of a day (hopefully) filled with love and laughter.

French Hot Chocolate Recipe (6)

Looking for More Decadent Drinks? Be Sure to Also Try:

  • Drinking Caramel
  • Toffee Caramel Latte
  • Best Chai Tea
  • Horchata Recipe
  • Hot Chocolate Bombs

French Hot Chocolate Recipe (7)

Print Recipe

4.92 stars (24 reviews)

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French Hot Chocolate Recipe

Prep Time: 2 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes minutes

Total Time: 12 minutes minutes

French Hot Chocolate Recipe (Chocolat Chaud) Rich, dark, and silky, this Parisian style Drinking Chocolate is a thick, gourmet hot chocolate that is hard to put down!

Servings: 6


US CustomaryMetric

  • 8 ounces quality chocolate bars, semisweet or bittersweet
  • 1 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a sauce pot. Set the pot over medium-low heat and add the milk, cream, brown sugar, and vanilla extract.

  • Stir until the chocolate comes to a low simmer and the drinking chocolate is completely smooth and slightly thickened.

  • The drinking chocolate should be substantially thicker than classic hot chocolate, but not as thick as chocolate fondue. If it is too thin, simmer a little longer. If it is too thick, add another 1/4 cup milk. Ladle into mugs and enjoy immediately.



Serving: 4ounces, Calories: 346kcal, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Cholesterol: 36mg, Sodium: 43mg, Potassium: 323mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 21g, Vitamin A: 425IU, Calcium: 120mg, Iron: 2.4mg

Course: Drinks

Cuisine: French

Author: Sommer Collier

Making this recipe?Follow us on Instagram and tag @ASpicyPerspective so we can share what you’re cooking!

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Beverages Christmas Holiday Valentines DayChocolate cream milk

posted by Sommer Collier on Dec 9, 2017 (last updated Jan 20, 2024)

62 comments Leave a comment »

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62 comments on “French Hot Chocolate Recipe”

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  1. Pingback: 30 Individual Desserts in a Cup - Insanely Good

  2. Lisa G Reply

    My 17 year old granddaughter made this for us for Christmas this year. Oh my goodness! It is soooo…. good! I’m adding it my family recipe collection. I’d give it ten stars if I could. Thank you for sharing the t3cipe.❤️

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  4. Sophia Reply

    What brand of chocolate do you use?

    • Sommer Collier Reply

      Hi Sophia,

      There’s not one specific brand I buy, but I do buy the good chocolate bars in the candy section rather than buying “bakers chocolate”.

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  7. Juan Vilella Reply

    Outstanding. Reminds me of the Chocolat Chaud I had when I visited France. I added to the pan all the ingredients except the chocolate. Also added 2 sticks of cinnamon. Brought to a light boil and then simmered for 10 mins for the cinnamon to infuse the milk. After this the chocolate went in and stirred until lightly thickened. Wow, this is absolutely delicious.
    If you want you can make the full recipe and store the hot chocolate you will not consume immediately in the refrigerator. Just reheat when you are ready. Taste just as good as just made.

  8. Linda T Reply

    This was delicious, and as close as I’ll get to the hot chocolate I had at Angelina’s and Lauderee without actually boarding a plane to Paris. I paired it with freshly made whipped cream. Magnifique!

  9. Criestiano Reply

    Thank you

    And you recipe is good and yummy

  10. Vanessa Reply

    Thanks for sharing! Does it separate very quickly?

    • Sommer Collier Reply

      Hi Vanessa,

      No, if you follow the directions it will not separate at all. :)

  11. Suzanne Reply

    This looks so good! What a fun drink to make when you are trying to get cozy at home!

  12. Linda Reply

    Will this recipe work with almond milk, coconut milk.

    • Sommer Collier Reply

      Hi Linda,

      Coconut milk would be a good choice! :)

      • みゆ

        So i’m deathly allergic to coconut would the almond milk work?

      • Sommer Collier

        It won’t be as thick, but should still taste delicious!

  13. Marcia Formica Reply

    This. Is. Spectacular. I have been trying to find a drinking chocolate like this for, literally, YEARS. I made it with Ghirardeli bittersweet chocolate chips. It was perfect. Thank you so much!!!

  14. Dana Shaw Reply

    You can do this same thing but much easier if you have a French press. Just process good quality chocolate in a small food processor I told fine and pour a little hot water over it to melt, then add the other ingredients into a mug.

  15. PineBoughCottage Reply

    I happened to have all of the ingredient when researching this recipe. ABSOLUTE PERFECTION. Keep you eye on the pan at all times. It can boil over very quickly. It is VERY RICH and a teacup even a demitasse would suffice as a serving rather than a mug.
    Will definitely be making this one again and again.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Colleen Reply

      I noticed the serving size was only 4oz but made sense since it’s so richm

  16. Nicole Tune Reply

    Great hot chocolate! I used semi sweet morsels instead of bars. Was still wonderful!

  17. Hollis Ramsey Reply

    i read the comments till i found what i wanted — an addition of 1/2 tsp. espresso powder is what i’ll be adding. most of the recipes i’ve seen use only milk, but i’m the kind of person who’s more likely to have heavy cream in the fridge than milk, so …

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  21. Constance Reply

    I just stumbled upon this recipe, I tried it immediately and as a French person… I loved it!
    I rarely had such nice hot chocolate before! I usually make hot chocolate with only chocolate, milk and sugar but the cream definitely adds a little something.
    I’ll make some again, for sure!

  22. mou eskimo Reply

    I appreciate the effort you made to share the post. The topic here i found was really effective to the topic which i was researching for a long time. Thank you for sharing.

  23. Shirley L Taylor Reply

    Hi, I was just hoping for some clarification as I’m dying to try this. Higher up you say what’s needed and it says ‘good quality semi-sweet chocolate’ and then in the actual recipe you call for ‘bittersweet chocolate’…which is it actually, as they are rather different things. Thanks!

    • Sommer Collier Reply

      Hi Shirley,

      Honestly, you can use either. Go with bittersweet chocolate, if you don’t have a huge sweet tooth, as it will cut down on the sugar. :)

    • Heba Reply

      It was definitely too sweet for me next time I’ll use dark chocolate and cut back on the sugar. But I loved it!! Perfect for this time of the year!

  24. Diane Reply

    What chocolate do you recommend? I don’t normally buy it fir baking so I’ve no idea what yo buy.

    • Sommer Collier Reply

      Hi Diane,

      Just buy good quality bars, whatever brand you prefer. :)

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  26. Sharon Reply

    I would only want to be making enough for one serving but I’m not sure I could successfully reduce the ingredient quantities so that it would taste good. If I made the full batch, or maybe even half a batch, could the rest be refrigerated and then heated?

    • Sommer Reply

      Hi Sharon,

      Absolutely! We reheat it all the time. :)

  27. Beverly Reply

    Delicious….just a bit too sweet for me and I love sweet. Next time, I’ll either cut the amount of sugar or add more chocolate.

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  30. SEO7R Reply

    Ah this looks so delicious and the mugs are so cute!

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  32. Leslie Sheppard Reply

    This is amazing! I’m wondering…would you suggest some appetizers to go with this super rich treat? I was looking at your Spiced Apple meatballs that looked delish, but wasn’t sure if they would play well together ; )

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  34. ellie jones Reply

    I have being look for a long time for a hot cocoa that its creamy and amazing like the one of your recipe, so when I founded the pictures at Pinterest, holly cow! I finally made this hot cocoa and it is DI-VI-NE. Thank you SO much!!

    • Sommer Reply

      Hi Ellie,

      YAY! I’m so happy you liked it. We make it more than we should this time of year. ;)

  35. Kala Reply

    This looks amazing! Would it work the same with white chocolate?

    • Sommer Reply

      Hi Kala,

      The consistency would be slightly different, but I don’t see why not. Let me know how it turns out if you try it!

  36. Siyan Reply

    Thank You for this delicious recipe. I also added 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder along with Giant bowl of whipped cream, for serving to it and it was a lip smacking one.

    I have tried your mini banana cream pie and it was too good that my daughter Miya ask me to make it often.

    Last week I tried a chocolate brownie, and everyone loved it. I am sharing the link here if you wish to try the chocolate brownie:

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  39. Kristin Reply

    AMAZING! Smooth, silky, delicious! Perfect treat on a cold day by the fireplace.

  40. Patty K Reply

    So incredibly silky!

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  42. Nutmeg Nanny Reply

    This looks like pure chocolate deliciousness! Pass a glass my way!

  43. Emily @ Life on Food Reply

    Hot chocolate is a must have most days for me in the winter. It keeps me sane. This looks amazing!!

  44. Gaby Dalkin Reply

    Melted chocolate is my weakness! This looks SO delicious!

  45. Maria Reply

    Wow, so decadent!

  46. Marla Meridith Reply

    I’m all about everything French! Bring on the hot chocolate!

  47. Kevin @ Closet Cooking Reply

    That looks so nice and thick and chocolaty and good! I want a cup right now!

  48. Naomi Reply

    There is nothing like a good cup of hot chocolate like this one!

  49. Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain Reply

    Sounds like the perfect treat to make for your Valentine! So gorgeous!

  50. Nadia@maisontravers Reply

    I make this all the time but leave out the vanilla essence and heat cream for daily use. I do top it with a dollop of cream sometimes. It is absolutely delicious! Be sure to use a very good quality dark chocolate for the most authentic taste.

French Hot Chocolate Recipe (2024)


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