White Hot Chocolate

To the people in the way back that love white chocolate: I see you, I hear you, and I know you.

Vertical image of three glass mugs filled with a creamy beverage topped with whipped cream and marshmallows.

You’re ridiculed and tormented for this opinion, often mercilessly so.

How many times have you been lectured that “White chocolate is not really chocolate,” before you start questioning whether your taste preference is undignified, shameful… and just plain wrong?

Don’t back yourself in a corner, nibbling on a bar of the stuff like a scared little mouse, hoping not to be noticed.

Your infinite love for this vanilla-scented candy is not just a choice – it’s an attitude.

We know that it’s not technically chocolate, because it doesn’t contain cocoa solids.

We know that it’s considered an inferior product, because of its fatty, substandard blend of ingredients like granulated sugar, cocoa butter, assorted milk products, vanilla flavorings, and emulsifiers.

Vertical image of a light yellow beverage topped with whipped cream and candy shavings in a glass cup.

In the end, though, we also know that it is sweet, creamy, and DELICIOUS. And that we will never stop eating it, enjoying it, and gleefully watching all the haters look at us in disgusted disbelief!

We’ll even go so far as to brazenly incorporate it into as many recipes as possible, like cookies, blondies, truffles, and…

This homemade white hot chocolate drink!

Consider this recipe as the ultimate expression of your adoration for the creamy, dreamy ingredient.

More than just a sprinkling of a few chips here and there in a cookie, or a thin coating around a truffle, this is an entire beverage dedicated to the candy!

Vertical image of two glass mugs with a creamy beverage and assorted candy garnishes on towels.

Although this white version of the classic cold-weather treat contains no actual cocoa, it will most definitely please select family and friends who have an insatiable sweet tooth.

It also serves as a unique option to add to your arsenal of classic hot chocolate recipes. Some may even prefer this version from the traditional options!

The recipe is as simple as it is sweet – heat equal parts whole milk and half-and-half before whisking in candy pieces and a little vanilla extract and salt until everything has melted and combined into a smooth concoction.

Vertical top-down image of a mug of white hot chocolate beverage topped with whipped cream and candy shavings next to gray and checkerboard towels.

Serve the warm and luscious beverage with a dollop of whipped cream and shavings from a whole candy bar on top. Marshmallows, mini or large, would also be a welcome garnish. The store-bought options are completely fine, but try making them from scratch!

This is a beverage to slowly savor – why the rush, anyway?

Make it for when you’re ready to snuggle up on the couch with your pet, a bunch of blankets, and a new episode of a show you’ve been religiously watching.

You can enjoy it throughout the cold months – bring a thermos with you as you go trick-or-treating with the kids on a cold Halloween night, or while you are Christmas caroling door to door around the city.

Vertical image of the garnishes on top of glass mugs filled with a beverage.

And whatever you do, don’t forget to invite your pals who favor the darker varieties of chocolate to give it a sip. This recipe makes a big batch that’s perfect for sharing between two to four people.

You might make a convert out of one of them!

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Horizontal image of three glass mugs filled with a creamy beverage topped with marshmallows next to towels.

White Hot Chocolate

  • Author: Nikki Cervone
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1-cup servings 1x


Our white hot chocolate beverage is a unique option to add to your arsenal of classic cocoa recipes. Learn how to make this sweet and creamy recipe now.


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 12 ounces white chocolate, chopped*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. Heat the whole milk and half-and-half in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the milk reaches a gentle simmer, about 5 minutes.
  2. Whisk in the white chocolate, vanilla extract, and salt. Continue whisking constantly until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth, another 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and distribute between mugs. Serve while still warm, topped with whipped cream and white chocolate shavings if you like.


If using white chocolate chips, chopping is not necessary.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Hot Chocolate
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Beverage

Keywords: white, hot, chocolate

Cooking by the Numbers…

Step 1 – Prep and Measure

Set out a medium saucepan, a whisk, and a ladle. Set out 2 or 4 mugs, depending on how many servings you need. If using candy bars, also set out a cutting board and a sharp chef’s knife.

Horizontal image of chopped candy, flavorings, and milk in bowls.

Measure out the whole milk, half-and-half, vanilla extract, and salt.

If using chips, measure out 12 ounces. If using bars, measure out 12 ounces, then roughly chop them.

The recipe will yield similar results with either chips or bars – use what is available to you! Just note that you will need some leftover bar chocolate and a vegetable peeler to create shavings for serving if you want to top each cup with a garnish.

If using whipped cream, be sure to make it in advance so it’s ready to go, chilling in the refrigerator.

Step 2 – Heat the Dairy

Pour the milk and half-and-half into the saucepan and warm over low heat until the liquid starts to gently simmer without coming to a boil. This will take about 5 minutes.

Horizontal image of heating milk in a pot.

To prevent scorching, whisk the liquid occasionally and watch it carefully so it does not boil. Adjust the heat level as needed.

Step 3 – Whisk in the Chocolate and Flavorings

Add the candy pieces, vanilla, and salt to the saucepan. Whisk constantly to help the pieces melt.

Horizontal image of whisking melted candy into a warm milk base.

Continue to whisk over low heat until all the pieces are completely melted and the mixture is very smooth. This will take about another 5 minutes.

Step 4 – Serve

Remove the pan from the heat. Pour even amounts of liquid into the mugs, using the ladle to help you.

Horizontal image of a beverage divided between four glass mugs.

If garnishing, spoon a dollop of whipped cream on top of the liquid. Over the whipped cream, repeatedly drag a vegetable peeler on the side of a white chocolate bar to create small shavings to decorate the top.

Horizontal top-down image of a mug of a creamy beverage topped with whipped cream and candy shavings next to gray and checkerboard towels.

Serve while still warm – enjoy!

A Sweet Canvas to Customize

White chocolate is just as versatile as other styles and darkness levels! You have many flavor options to consider.

Horizontal image of three glass mugs filled with a creamy beverage topped with marshmallows next to towels.

Here are just a few combinations you can play with the next time you want to add some flair to this basic recipe:

  • Spiced and Spicy: Whisk in 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne pepper along with the vanilla extract
  • Vanilla Peanut Butter Cup: Add 1/4 cup of creamy peanut butter along with the milk
  • Peppermint Cream: Add a drop of peppermint extract along with the vanilla extract, and serve with candy canes hanging from each mug
  • Creamsicle: Add 2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest along with the vanilla extract

How will you customize this recipe? Or will you enjoy it as is, sweet and simple? If you’re a fellow lover of the white candy variety, leave a comment in the section below – solidarity!

In honor of white chocolate, serve your warm beverage with one of our favorite desserts featuring the delectably sweet ingredient:

Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Ashley Martell on December 20, 2014. Last updated on October 8, 2022.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Nikki Cervone

Nikki Cervone is an ACS Certified Cheese Professional and cheesemonger living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she's not nibbling on her favorite cheeses or testing a batch of cupcakes, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga, wine, hiking, singing in the shower, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

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