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Create the creamiest, most decadent drink for a crowd with Crock Pot Hot Chocolate. This easy slow cooker recipe will be a hit at your next holiday party or a cozy treat after a day of playing in the snow.

a grey speckled mug of slow cooker hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and cocoa.
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If you can put things in a slow cooker and press start, you can make this incredible hot chocolate. And if you’re serving it up for a party or everyone likes theirs just a little bit different, be a little extra and set up a toppings bar.

Need a faster version of this? Try my Rich and Creamy Instant Pot Hot Chocolate recipe.


milk, cream, chocolate, cinnamon, and vanilla extract on a marbled board.

This recipe uses:

  • Heavy cream – aim for 36-40% milkfat
  • Milk – I recommend 2% or whole milk
  • Evaporated milk – not to be confused with sweetened and condensed milk.
  • Chocolate – I recommend a mix of semi-sweet or dark, and milk chocolate.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon – we’re using it in stick form. Pinkies out, we’re feeling fancy.

Looking for additional recipes that use evaporated milk? Check out fantasy fudge, Instant Pot mac and cheese, ham and potato casserole, smoked gouda mac and cheese, old-fashioned fudge, broccoli mac and cheese, and gluten-free scalloped potatoes.

How to Make Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate

*I’ll walk you through it here with some photos and tips, and you’ll also find a printable recipe card at the bottom of the post with exact measurements, etc. You can also click “jump to recipe” to skip down.

This recipe is ridiculously easy. Start by combining the heavy cream, milk, and evaporated milk in your slow cooker.

Roughly chop the chocolate into small pieces, and add it to the slow cooker along with the vanilla extract and cinnamon sticks.

Cook everything on low for 3-4 hours, or 2 hours on high. Stir it once during the warming process.

2 photos showing the process of making cocoa in a slowcooker.

Just prior to serving, vigorously stir it to incorporate all the chocolate. Top with whipped cream, a sprinkle of cocoa powder, and maybe some ground cinnamon.

How to Store and Reheat

Storing Leftovers: Allow the hot chocolate to fully cool before storing it in an air-tight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Reheating Leftovers: You can reheat it in the slow cooker, or on the stovetop over medium-low heat. If you plan to transport the hot chocolate in the crockpot, I highly recommend getting a slow cooker with lid locks on it.

Freezing Leftovers: Allow the hot chocolate to fully cool before transferring it to freezer-safe storage. I prefer to freeze it in 1-cup or 2-cup Souper Cubes and then transfer it to freezer-safe silicone bags. It will keep in the freezer for 2-3 months.

Freezing it in smaller portions allows you to reheat just a single serving or enough for a crowd. Bonus: it will reheat more quickly if frozen in smaller portions.


  • Set up a toppings bar – think crushed candy canes, chocolate sauce, caramel, cinnamon, marshmallows (related: Homemade Healthy Marshmallows or Dehydrated Marshmallows), whipped cream, sprinkles, etc.
  • Feel free to leave out the cinnamon sticks if you want a basic hot chocolate recipe.
  • Simmer dehydrated orange slices in during the last 1-2 hours of cooking for orange-flavored hot chocolate.
  • Want to make this a spicy/Mexican hot chocolate? Include the cinnamon sticks, add 1/2 tsp nutmeg and 1/8 tsp of cayenne pepper. Taste, and adjust to your preference.
  • Feel free to add 1/4 cup of cocoa powder for an even deeper chocolate taste. You will need to put a bit more effort into mixing it, as the cocoa powder isn’t easily incorporated. If you have an immersion blender, it would be useful here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make it dairy-free?

Heck yes! Use a can of coconut cream in place of the heavy cream, and then your favorite non-dairy milk.

Cashew milk, oat milk, or pea milk would give you the creamiest results, but use whatever you love.

What kind of chocolate is best for homemade hot chocolate?

If you have the choice, I would opt for a mixture of chopped semi-sweet or dark chocolate and some milk chocolate. The mix helps the hot chocolate not become overly sweet.

Different qualities and forms of chocolate will yield different results. Chocolate chips are created to not melt and thus will take a little longer to mix into the hot milk. They are the easiest option for most people, so just know that you’ll need to invest a little extra time in stirring the mixture during the process.

Can I serve this in a coffee urn or carafe?

Absolutely! Create the hot chocolate in the slow cooker or on the stovetop and then transfer it to a coffee serving vessel.

How long can I keep this on warm in the crock pot?

Ideally, you would serve this within two hours of the hot chocolate finishing up the cooking process.

Can I double the recipe? Do I need to adjust the cooking time?

You can absolutely double or triple the recipe, depending on the size of your slow cooker.

Doubling the amount will not require you to adjust the cooking time.

Can I make this on the stovetop if I don’t have a crock pot?

You can totally cook this on a stovetop if you need to speed up the process or don’t have a slow cooker.

Cook over medium-low for about 20 minutes, stirring often and being sure not to scald the milk.

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes:

  • Need to make more or less of this slow cooker hot chocolate recipe? Click and slide the “servings” number on the recipe card and the ingredients will adjust as needed.
  • I used whole milk for this recipe, but use whatever you have/prefer. Non-fat will yield a less creamy result, so you may want to bump up the heavy cream by 1/3 cup.
  • The top of the hot chocolate may develop a “skin” of chocolate on the top. Simply stirring it will return the cocoa to a smooth uniform appearance.
a ladle of hot chocolate being poured into a mug.
5 from 4 ratings

Crock Pot Hot Chocolate

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 3 hours
Total: 3 hours 5 minutes
a grey speckled mug of slow cooker hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and cocoa.
Create the creamiest, most decadent drink for a crowd with crock pot hot chocolate. This easy slow cooker recipe will be a hit at your next holiday party or a cozy treat after a day of playing in the snow.



  • Combine heavy cream, milk, and evaporated milk in a slow cooker.
    1 cup heavy cream, 5 cups milk, 1 can evaporated milk
  • Add chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon sticks. Stir and put the lid on.
    1.5 cups chocolate, 2 tsp pure vanilla extract, 3 cinnamon sticks
  • Cook on low for 3-4 hours, or high for 2 hours. Stir once during the cooking process, and stir vigorously just prior to serving.
  • To serve: (optional) top mugs with whipped cream, some cocoa powder, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.


  1. Once cooked, this hot chocolate will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days or 2 months in the freezer.
  2. The top of the drink may develop a “skin” of chocolate on the top. Simply stirring it will return the cocoa to a smooth uniform appearance.


Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 228kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 5gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 68mgPotassium: 244mgFiber: 1gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 420IUVitamin C: 0.6mgCalcium: 175mgIron: 0.6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @sustainablecooks or tag #sustainablecooks!

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Helping you serve up budget-friendly sustainable recipes with a side of balanced living.
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  1. Perfect recipe for my party this weekend. I paired with peppermint sticks, whipped cream, marshmallows, sprinkles, and adult mix ins on the side to make it both kid and adult friendly.

    It was definitely a hit. I probably should have made at least a double batch. Deep and creamy chocolate flavor that had people coming back for more. 5 stars

  2. So funny seeing this today specifically – we are having hot chocolate day at work tomorrow! But we already assigned everyone ingredients, so we’ll have to use your recipe for next year’s hot chocolate day…looks delicious!

      1. We know how to keep it festive in our office! We had all the fixings too…peppermint stir sticks, marshmallows, mini chocolate chips, whipped cream, cinnamon, even some cayenne in case anyone wanted to try that. We also brewed coffee so some could make “poor man mochas” 🙂5 stars

  3. I’m addicted to hot coco! Pretty much from September to March we drink it almost daily. Having been in the bus and not having a real kitchen, then being in Louisiana where one day is cold and the next is hot and muggy I have not been indulging 🙁 and my slow cooker is back in Washington! I’m going to try your recipe on a stove top in a camper where we are staying for the winter. I’m sure it will get a lot of use. I am no where near a Costco anymore and can’t find the Starbucks hot chocolate I usually buy in those big tins. Ghiradeli is my go to chocolate to use in all recipes. Thankfully I can still find that!5 stars

    1. I’ve never tried the Starbucks cocoa because in general, I think Starbucks stuff is gritty and taste burned. But I suppose it is hard to “burn” cocoa, right?

      I think Ghiradeli would be amazing in this!