How to Make Hot Chocolate Thicker

When temperatures drop, there’s nothing quite like sipping on hot chocolate next to a crackling fireplace. But if your hot chocolate has a chocolate milk consistency rather than a slightly thick and lush texture, you might not get that same cozy feeling. That said, how do you make hot chocolate thicker?

A cornstarch and milk slurry is the best option if you’re still in the process of making your hot cocoa. If you’re starting from scratch, add real chocolate to your mixture. Finally, if your hot chocolate is done and you want to add thickness and sweetness, melt some marshmallows in the mug!

Hey! I’m Michelle, and my kids and I love hot chocolate. Yet, we aren’t big fans of hot cocoa that resembles water. What can I say? We like to indulge. That’s why I’ve come up with a few clever solutions to fight back against thin, lifeless hot chocolate mugs.

Are you ready to transform your hot chocolate?

3 Ways to Make Hot Chocolate Thicker

If you prefer your hot chocolate to have a thicker consistency, I’ve got great news to share with you – there are three great and simple ways to thicken up that cocoa. 

Let’s dive into the three methods of thickening hot chocolate!

1. Cornstarch and Milk

Whether you’re making a soup, sauce, or something similar, cornstarch is one of the go-to for thickening. That’s because cornstarch is a top-tier thickening agent – and yes, it can work wonders at thickening that hot chocolate!

To thicken hot chocolate with cornstarch, simply do the following:

  • Place hot chocolate in a saucepan over medium heat
  • Make a slurry by mixing ¼ teaspoon of cornstarch with one tablespoon of cold milk
  • Pour the slurry into the hot chocolate and stir
  • Continue stirring until the hot chocolate thickens to your desired consistency (1-2 minutes)

Tip: If you don’t have cornstarch, you can also use flour. Double up on the flour, though, as it’s not as strong of a thickening agent as cornstarch. (Ex: use half a teaspoon of flour with a tablespoon of cold milk and mix before adding to the warmed hot cocoa.)

2. Real Chocolate

Did your hot chocolate come out very thin? Then you might consider starting from scratch. To ensure you end up with a delightfully thick result, I recommend swapping half of the cocoa powder for real chocolate. You can use chocolate chunks, chips, shavings – whatever you’d like.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Pour milk, sugar, and cocoa powder into a small saucepan
  • Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently
  • Continue to heat until warm but not boiling
  • Add your preferred chocolate bits
  • Continue whisking until the chocolate has fully melted
  • Add some vanilla extract, if desired

Here is a great recipe to follow along with!

3. Marshmallows

Marshmallows and hot chocolate are a match made in heaven. I mean, really – do you know anyone that indulges in a mug of hot cocoa without a few marshmallows tossed on top?

Marshmallows aren’t just an excellent topping for your hot chocolate; they can also be used to add a bit of thickness to your mug.

Using marshmallows to thicken up hot chocolate is incredibly simple. All you need to do is:

  • Add a couple of marshmallows to your hot mug of hot chocolate. It needs to be hot enough to melt the marshmallows quickly
  • Continue stirring until all of the marshmallows have dissolved 
  • Take a sip and evaluate. If you want more thickness or sweetness, add more marshmallows
  • Don’t forget to top your drink with marshmallows – because you can never have enough marshmallows to go with your hot cocoa!

Aside from being a straightforward solution for thickening hot chocolate, the other perk of using marshmallows is it adds an extra layer of sweetness and lightness to your mug. The result is highly desirable!


See? Thickening hot chocolate isn’t complicated and can be done using a few ingredients you likely have stashed in your pantry. But before you go and make your thickest mug of hot cocoa yet, check out these interesting questions below!

How can I thicken hot chocolate without milk?

If you don’t want to use milk to thicken your hot chocolate, the other option is to make a slurry with cornstarch and water and add it to the pan. You can also try adding cornstarch directly into your mug and mixing thoroughly.

Is it better to make hot chocolate with milk or water?

If you want to enjoy a more creamy and lush experience, you should definitely use milk. If you want the chocolate to be the star of the show and don’t mind a less creamy texture, you can opt for water.

Why is my hot chocolate watery?

The two biggest reasons for watery hot chocolate are low-quality cocoa powder and using too much liquid. So, double-check your ingredients and quantities. Always use high-quality cocoa powder and cut down on the liquid ingredients.

Enjoy the Thickest Hot Chocolate of Your Life!

Thickening hot chocolate is easy. As long as you have cornstarch, real chocolate, or marshmallows on hand, you can easily make your hot chocolate nice and thick. My favorite method is the marshmallow technique simply because I love the added sweetness!

How do you thicken your hot chocolate? Share your tips and tricks with us in the comment section so we can test them out, too!

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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