DIY Hot Chocolate Bar + Creamy Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate Recipe

Hot chocolate is like a hug from the inside. Up until recently I had only ever made “hot chocolate” with the tiny little packets, and I’ll never make that mistake again. This real hot chocolate recipe is made in the slow cooker, which makes it perfect for staying warm throughout all those holiday parties, Christmas eve or Christmas morning.

I recently was invited to co-host an event with Natasha Holland Studio during Downtown Elkhart’s Winterfest. Natasha is an Indiana-based artist who creates art that celebrates the places we love, such as hand drawn maps, landmarks, cartography and custom pieces. She organized ornament decorating for the kids, and we put together an adorable little hot chocolate bar for them. I also served up my Peppermint Martinis for the parents, because we all know they could use one this time of year.

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This real hot chocolate recipe I use makes enough to fill a 7-quart slow cooker, so you can definitely cut it in half if yours is smaller or even if you’re just making it for a smaller group.

Hot Chocolate Ingredients:

  • 12 cups milk
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 -14oz cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups milk chocolate chips (I recommend going with a good quality brand, I used Nestle Tollhouse)

This instructions are super simple, just add everything to the slow cooker and heat on high until hot! I like to add everything but the chocolate chips until the liquid warms up, and then stir in the chips while they melt. This prevents them from sticking to the bottom. Once it’s ready, switch your slow cooker to low or a “keep warm” setting and stir every so often.

Optional Hot Chocolate Bar Toppings:

  • Marshmallows
  • Peppermint candies
  • Chocolate chips
  • Candy canes
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Caramel syrup
  • Whipped Cream

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I used mason jars for all the toppings, and Natasha wrote the names on little signs for it, as well as a “Build your own hot chocolate” one (thankful for her artistic ability!) The straws, gold disposable spoons and gold tray are all from Party City. I also found these perfect paper to-go cups with lids on Amazon Prime.

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