Homemade salted caramel hot chocolate that rivals the coffee chain version. It’s rich and smooth and, if made with almond milk or a similar milk substitute, it comes in at under 200 calories.
I’m not a coffee drinker, but that doesn’t mean I don’t lament the fact that the nearest Starbucks is 80 miles away. EIGHTY. MILES. This is The South, y’all, and we don’t value our heated caffeine like our Northwest-living counterparts. I don’t even know how for I’d have to go to find the nearest drive-through coffee stand, but it’s far.
The reason I feel the need to whine about my lack of access to a beverage that I don’t even consume? Hot chocolate. Even though I’m not interested in coffee, sometimes I’d give my firstborn- most days, really, I’d probably get more for the second one- for a cup of hot, rich, decadent cocoa.
Don’t even get me started on the powdered packet stuff. Guck. I’ve tried a few homemade recipes, but it seemed like the ones that boasted richness called for melted chocolate and specialty syrups. No thanks. Others claimed to be a substitute for the coffeehouse version, but ended up weak, watery, or bitter.
Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate
recipe adapted from Chef in Training
1 1/4 cups milk
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons caramel syrup (I use the Hershey’s kind in the bottle; feel free to get fancy)
dash of salt
Whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan. Add the milk and caramel syrup and turn the burner on to medium heat. Whisk constantly for 3-5 minutes, or until mixture is hot.
I think it’s lovely served on it’s own, but you could add whipped cream, marshmallows or a drizzle of caramel and a sprinkle of kosher salt.
The cocoa powder tends to clump. I’ve found the best way to keep my drink smooth is to sift the sugar, salt, and cocoa powder through a fine mesh sieve straight over the saucepan, then stir vigorously during the heating process. The alternative would be to simply strain the heated cocoa into a mug so the strainer catches the clumps. Both steps are optional but might result in smoother hot chocolate.
I make this with skim milk. You can use whatever you have on hand. I’ve made it several times with almond milk, which makes the whole recipe just under 200 calories, but it does slightly alter the taste.
Can’t get enough copycat restaurant recipes? Try these Frosted Cranberry White Chocolate Cookie Bars that are even better Starbuck’s cranberry bliss bars.
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I love your recipes! Everything looks so good 🙂 I can’t wait to read more from you!
Thank you so much for the kind words! I have many more favorites to share, but I also have a ton of recipes on my old blog, motheronamission.wordpress.com.
Yum! I love hot chocolate. Thanks for the delicious recipe! Gotta have the whipped cream and drizzles! Thanks for the tips about clumping and almond milk. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.
Deanna Middendorf says
Oh WOW does that look amazing! I actually want to try it right now but I don’t have what I need. I guess I’ll be going to the store in the morning. Thanks for sharing.
Kiara Catanzaro says
I love this recipe! As easy as it is to go to Starbucks,–it can get expensive! I’ve been searching for more Starbucks-inspired recipes to make at home simply to save money. I love the recipes you post on your blog. They inspire me to cook more, which I should definitely try because I need new recipes to try.
I can’t believe the closest Starbucks for you is 80 miles! At least you’ve found a way to enjoy your favorite drink at home. Love this post and can’t wait to read more! Maybe try to recreate more holiday drinks from Starbucks (I’ll take any recommendations you have for recipes!)
Thanks, Kiara! You’re right; even if I had a Starbucks close by, I’d still make this at home because it’s so much cheaper.
You should definitely cook more! I like to think most of my recipes are easy and accessible, even to those who don’t cook much. I don’t drink much coffee, so I don’t have a copycat drink recipe to recommend, but you need to check out the frosted cranberry white chocolate cookie bars I posted last week. Yum!
Kylea Johnson says
This looks so yummy! I think I am going to be making these all winter long! Thanks for sharing.
Thanks, Kylea! I definitely make it a couple times a week all through winter. It’s that good!
Clare Speer says
I love hot chocolate – and with your wonderful pics – I want some now! 🙂
Thanks, Clare! You should totally make some!
Angela @ Setting My Intention says
80 miles! Wow…another reason I couldn’t live in the South! 🙂 I make my coffee at home, but I pass a few Starbucks just on my way to work – it’s reassuring knowing they’re close by. This looks scrumptious and I will be making this for my middle son who is a hot cocoa fan. He doesn’t mind the cocoa powder, but I’m sure he’ll like this tons better!
I know, it’s a tough life. But in Oregon, we didn’t have Chick-fil-a, so it’s a trade-off 🙂 You’ll have to let me know what he thinks!
I LOVE salted caramel hot chocolate! We use the Salted Caramel syrup for ours and it is so heavenly!
The Torani kind? I’ve always used that in my iced coffee and I just recently started using it in this hot chocolate. You’re right, it is heavenly!
Erin @ The Speckled Palate says
You absolutely cannot beat a delicious, homemade hot chocolate! When I was pregnant last winter and coffee disgusted me, I drank allll kinds of hot chocolate, and I know I would’ve loved this. In fact, I know I’ll love it now, too, so pinning it for a chilly day!
Angela @ Setting My Intention says
I just made this for the kids after they were out in the snow – they loved it! Thanks for the great recipe!
Thanks for the comment, Angela! I love knowing someone has tried and loved a recipe of mine! And I’m glad you used this hot chocolate to warm up your kids!