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Starbucks Hot Chocolate Copycat Recipe
Starbucks Hot Chocolate
By Todd Wilbur

Recipe Type: Drink
Calories: 191
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Recipe Rating: 4.6 (98 reviews)
Starbucks makes its hot chocolate with mocha syrup that's used for a variety of other drinks in the store. A barista combines mocha syrup with a couple squirts of vanilla syrup and heated milk, and he then finishes off the drink with a sweet pile of whipped cream. We can duplicate the process by first creating our own chocolate syrup in the microwave with cocoa—Hershey or Nestle brand each works great. After adding milk to the heated chocolate mixture, pop it back into the microwave again until piping hot. Add a little vanilla extract at the end to give the drink vanilla hints like the original. I found that a 2-cup glass measuring cup with a spout works best to heat the drink in the microwave. Then, when it's ready, you can easily pour the hot chocolate into a 16-ounce coffee mug and get on with the sipping.

Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whipped cream

1. Combine the water, cocoa, and sugar in a 16-ounce microwave-safe pitcher, such as a 2-cup glass measuring cup. Zap the mixture on high for 30 seconds, or until hot. Stir well to create chocolate syrup.

2. Add the milk to the chocolate syrup and microwave the mixture for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, or until hot. Add the vanilla and pour the drink into a 16-ounce coffee mug. Serve with whipped cream on top.

Make one 16-ounce (grande size) serving.

Submitted on: 03/12/17
I looked at the ingredients on my Hershey Hot Chocolate can and threw it out! Could not even pronounce the poison in that stuff. I found this recipe. Made it to a "T" with HIGH QUALITY COCOA! Deelish! Will be making it again and again. Going to try raw honey instead of sugar to bring up the health factor a notch. Love this recipe!
Very good!  
Submitted on: 04/12/16
This tastes JUST like the Starbucks hot chocolate! I don't really like Starbucks anyway, but this was pretty good!
Submitted on: 01/25/16
Amazing! I make it way to often...
choclate syrup
Submitted on: 01/01/16
I didn't have any cocoa powder so I used chocolate syrup and wow its good and I don't have whipped cream or vanilla either wow will deniftily try this again!
Sandi G.  
Submitted on: 11/12/15
Was looking for a recipe for when my grandson comes to visit. Made this with Half & Half , added 2 Hershey's peppermint kisses. Need look no further! So, so good.
Works with Splenda too!
Submitted on: 10/04/15
As a diabetic, one of the things I really missed was my starbucks hot chocolate. However I tried this recipe with bourneville unsweetened dark cocoa powder and splenda instead of sugar and it works! It tasted EXACTLY like my local starbucks! Thank you!
Yummy with a Kick
Submitted on: 07/21/15
Since I didn't have cocoa powder, I substituedd the cocoa for dark chili chocolate. It tastes way better than the packaged ones you buy at the store. Plus, it adds a little spice!
Submitted on: 06/08/15
Made this once without vanilla extract and it was delicious! Made it the second time with vanilla extract and it tasted more like perfume for than anything. I suggest leaving it out.
Submitted on: 06/04/15
This was delicious. I made it without the cream and vanilla...it is so gooood, after so many hot chocolate disasters I have finally found something that is just amazing, although, I think the Starbucks one is a little different but I like this one even more.
Submitted on: 05/02/15
Well done very similar with good,quality cocoa powder.
Submitted on: 01/11/15
I was making this hot chocolate and it was delicious but while I was making it I completely forgot about the vanilla extract! it was really good anyway.
Submitted on: 01/02/15
I was sad to discover that my girls drank all of our packaged hot chocolate. I thought back to a couple weeks ago when I got a cup of HC at a Starbucks and thought how much I would love another one of those. After a couple searches I came across this recipe and went for it. SO GOOD! I used some vanilla a friend got me in Mexico and topped it off with some peppermint sprinkles and a big marshmallow. Couldn't be happier! Thanks for sharing!
Danielle Nadeau  
Submitted on: 12/17/14
I had Starbucks hot chocolate yesterday and was really craving it again! The taste from the authentic original Starbucks coffee is fresh in my mind. After reading the reviews, I decided to add a dash of salt and use Dark Chocolate Hersheys Cocoa powder. I didn't have any vanilla extract to add so I went with a sprinkle of cinnamon at the last minute. This may be even BETTER than Starbucks. Just wish I had the whip cream to garnish with. Will be making my hot chocolate like this from now ON!
Submitted on: 11/05/14
I drink Starbucks hot chocolate as habitually as many people drink their coffee, and this recipe is an excellent approximation of the Starbucks' version. The first time I made it, I followed the recipe to the letter using Penzey's high fat unsweetened cocoa and whole milk. The second time I made it I left out the vanilla, but I didn't feel like it made much difference in the flavor. I am planning to try making it a third time with some added salt. Excellent recipe!
Submitted on: 05/30/14
The best hot chocolate I've ever made! It's really realllyy delicious!
Submitted on: 05/01/14
This was delicious! Even better than Starbucks in my opinion!
Just like starbucks
Submitted on: 03/20/14
It was delicious. I changed a few things, did a 1/2 tablespoon of sugar and replaces 1/2 regular milk with chocolate milk. I also added a small pinch of salt. It tasted delicious
Submitted on: 03/03/14
It was great, I added a teaspoon of toffee nut syrup and it was especially good!
Submitted on: 02/23/14
This hot chocolate was wonderful. I added a shot of Salted Caramel Vodka, took care of a very cold day!
Better than the packet stuff
Submitted on: 01/29/14
It was quick and simple. I substituted unsweetened almond milk at 1 cup. I still enjoyed it.
My Boys loved It!
Submitted on: 01/21/14
I have the Starbucks Hot Cocoa powder and the boys hate when I attempt Hot Chocolate with the powder, until this recipe. Both boys (12 and 6) looked up with surprise and a loud Mmmmmm! Thank You,
Needs 1 extra thing.
Submitted on: 01/17/14
I worked at Starbucks for a year and this recipe is missing one thing- salt. Add about 1/8 tsp salt to this recipe and it more closely duplicates Starbucks Hot Chocolate. Also, adding a few squares of white chocolate will add to the mouth-feel, as Starbucks' recipe has more fat than this homemade version.
Spot on
Submitted on: 01/03/14
I drink a lot of Starbucks hot chocolate and I really think this is a super close recipe. I did you half and half though, which made mine creamer. I loved it and will saving it to use again!
Rich and velvety
Submitted on: 01/01/14
I don't care whether it tastes like the starbucks one or not, it was to die for. I subbed the milk with soy milk, added a little more sugar to my taste and I cooked it on the stove since we don't have a microwave but the simplicity of the recipe here is the key and the measurements are perfect. The recipe allows you to alter it to your taste but the liquid to chocolate ratio is what's important. Thank you for this!
Deffinatly not Starbucks but it's still ok
Submitted on: 12/30/13
It's much better if you use one cup of milk rather than a cup and a half. It is also pretty bitter so be prepared to add extra sugar depending on your taste!
My all time favourite!
Submitted on: 12/29/13
Great recipe, easy, quick and tastes good. Hint of vanilla works well. A keeper!
Not Starbucks but it's pretty darn good!
Submitted on: 12/08/13
This recipe is by no means a starbucks dupe but it is still very good. It's super easy and quick to make which earns it bonus points. The vanilla did nothing for it. I have made it once following recipe to a T (minus whip) and a second time with no whip & I added a dash of cinnamon and half a tablespoon melted peanut butter- to die for!
Submitted on: 11/24/13
It is very good. I didnt have any vanilla extract I used almond extract but it was delicious still
its wonderful
sooo good  
Submitted on: 11/21/13
it kinda taste like starbucks
Submitted on: 11/20/13
So good!
Submitted on: 11/14/13
I think it does taste a lot like the Starbucks recipe, super yummy!
Submitted on: 11/10/13
This tastes about as good I remember starbucks chocolate tasting. I have made this at least 10-20 times and I have no reason to switch.
urm vat iz this  
Submitted on: 11/10/13
starbucks? erm NO. that was disgusting! I prefer asda milkshake. don't make up rumours, 'starbucks' look in the mirror :)
Nick P  
Submitted on: 11/05/13
It was good but it was a bit bitter :/ Could use more sugar
Submitted on: 11/05/13
It was great! But I did add 1 1/2 tablespoons of peanut butter in it. Put the peanut Butter in the microwave for 30 seconds then add it after you have completed your creation. Taste just like a Reeses peanut butter cup!!!
Submitted on: 10/30/13
Tastes just like the real thing! Best part is having all the ingredients in the house already. Thanks for such a great recipe :)
Submitted on: 10/28/13
I loved this recipe. It turned out so perfect. Thanks a lot.
Submitted on: 10/26/13
My taste buds are jumping for joy! Love it love it! I forgot to add the vanilla and it was still good! Thank you so much for this recipe. I have to try it with Godiva chocolate.
Love it!!!
Submitted on: 10/23/13
I was looking for a hot chocolate recipe but nothing complicated and found this one. I immediately tried it and yes it is amazing! I love it though I don't have the whipped cream it still is amazing! next time I will make sure to have a whipped cream in it :-)
Hot chocolate
Submitted on: 10/18/13
This was amazing I loved it tasted just like Starbucks I made it for my family and they all loved it too!!!! Thanks
Destini Sheppard  
Submitted on: 10/11/13
Tastes Exactly like Starbucks. Brought me back to times curled up with a book and hot coco, while it snows outside. Never have I been this happy about finding a recipe!
The bomb!
Submitted on: 10/09/13
Made it with heavy cream instead of milk and it's amazing!!!!
This is a great recipe!
Pema Lama  
Submitted on: 10/07/13
I love it! I've never seen an recipe so specific and detailed!
Best hot chocolate ever!!!
Submitted on: 10/04/13
I have never had Starbucks hot chocolate before but this was the best hot chocolate I have ever had. I'm lactose intolerant so I used zero lactose milk and added no whipped cream but I'm sure it tasted just as good as normal. 😊
Sarah Chavez  
Submitted on: 09/09/13
It's the bomb.com y'all!!! I gave it to my brothers an he says it's a 15 out 5. I will totally be making this alot soon!!!
Excellent Hot Chocolate
Patricia Hill  
Submitted on: 05/11/13
I made this for the first time tonight. It tasted just like I remember from Starbucks.
Will R  
Submitted on: 04/29/13
I like the chocolate flavor but it could be a bit thicker, I added some caramel I made earlier today by putting sweetened condensed milk in boiling water for 2 hours. I could barely taste the caramel. Overall I think you could take out the half cup of milk and add 1/2 cup of cream.
A. R.  
Submitted on: 04/03/13
My mom rarely gets me hot chocolate at Starbucks. This tastes even better!!!
Taylor Cross  
Submitted on: 10/02/12
I loved it!!!! I am in Australia so I don't know what star bucks tastes like..but this was probably the best homemade chocolate, instead of cream I put marshmallows in instead! I was craving a hot chocolate as it was cold today and this was the perfect recipe because it was quick and tasted amazing!!!
Richer, better
M Singh  
Submitted on: 09/08/12
This is such an amazing recipe! I just made myself a cup, and honestly it tastes even better than the Starbucks version, and I don't feel it's that 'heavy' a drink. Less guilt, more taste, this honestly could give Starbucks a run for their money. SUPER!
Stewart Smith  
Submitted on: 09/18/11
I think this might put Starbucks out of business. This is an exact copy-cat recipe of their Hot Chocolate! It tastes the same! I guess I'll be making my own instead of shelling out $3.16 per cup now.
Best Ever
patti parrish  
Submitted on: 03/25/11
This is the best hot chocolate recipe ever! Just like my grandma use to make for me!
Submitted on: 06/18/09
I have used this recipe once before, and it is AMAZING! THe Starbucks here is disgusting, using hot water instead of milk. Ugh. 5 stars!
Submitted on: 04/28/09
Excellent. My husband loves hot chocolate and this is such a treat for a 100% disabled person! He can't get out to restaurants anymore and that's why I like to find such wonderful recipes like yours. I have your cookbook and use it a lot. I have been watching you since you first started and have many of your early recipes. Love them! Thank you so much!
Submitted on: 01/11/09
I used to make this all the time and it's fantastic. Now I'm on a low carb diet and easily substituted heavy cream for the milk and Splenda for the sugar.
Submitted on: 12/23/08
I quadrupled the recipe. I added the vanilla into the syrup when it was hot, then poured about 3oz into mugs, added milk and nuked until hot. I had left over syrup to save for later! Delicious!
Submitted on: 10/10/08
This is just like the real thing sipping it at the mo! Didn't think it would be this good. Thanks very much well done.
Submitted on: 08/12/08
Just tried this for my daughter and me. As a frequent hot chocolate drinker this tops the bill, quick and easy, with ingredients that were already in the house.
Submitted on: 06/17/08
This is alot better then Starbucks. The Starbucks where I live doesn't use steamed or hot milk in their hot chocolate they us HOT WATER. I have to say this recipe is soooo much better,
Submitted on: 05/20/08
MMMMM!!! my sister nearly ate the mug!! I recommend serving with a cherry. 5*!!
Submitted on: 03/28/08
I passed up Starbucks on the way home lamenting to my son that even Todd Wilbur probably doesn't know how to make their hot chocolate... went online as soon as we got home and it was here and amazing! We didn't have enough milk (teenage boy) and had to put powdered milk in for about a third of the amount called for and it was still incredibly good! I am thrilled. (I own Top Secret Restaurant Recipes and 2 so I expected no less, thank you.)
Barista Steve  
Submitted on: 01/19/08
The Vanilla goes into the cream before it gets whipped.
Submitted on: 11/21/07
I just made this recipe using Hershey's Special Dark cocoa and Soymilk, as my mother and I are lactose intollerant. Havn't tried the real stuff, but this tastes pretty good! Mum says it's a bit watery, and I think the cocoa is abit strong. I mixed in a splash of blackberry syrup, which is excellent!
Submitted on: 05/15/07
I'm making it right now and already tastes great!! I've always wanted to make my own starbucks hot cocoa. It just finsihed right now and.......... it tastes AWESOME!!! You have to try it if you haven't already!! Totally amazing!
Submitted on: 01/26/07
Very good copycat. I add a tsp of caramel flavoring and hazelnut flavoring to make "Snickers" hot chocolate and top with whipped cream. It's awesome!
Submitted on: 11/25/06
This tastes great!Just like starbucks. I really recommend it.
Yousif Alchalabi  
Submitted on: 09/29/06
I tasted this and i tasted the original and there is no difference!
Submitted on: 08/12/06
I work for at Starbucks in Houston and I must say that I can make better hot chocolate at my starbucks. I will also say that it does come close and if you have a milk steamer at home this will taste better. Its all about the creamy frothy hot milk. The chocolate is easy to copy.
Ashley G  
Submitted on: 03/20/06
Best Hot Chocolate ever!!! We made it last night...Perfect for a cold winter night!
Submitted on: 03/03/06
I have made hot chocolate for years, this recipe is good, but if you really want a richer flavor, use carnation evaporated milk in place of water to mix with your cocoa, super rich and creamy! Thanks
Submitted on: 03/03/06
For everyone who says "skip the vanilla extract" ... As any good pastry chef can tell you, vanilla actually enhances the flavor of chocolate! DO NOT skip the vanilla! You will alter the taste of the product This recipe is great! Tastes just like Starbucks!!!
Submitted on: 03/02/06
YUMMMMM! This is my new favorite recipe to curl up with on a cold Michigan winter night. Thanks!
Submitted on: 02/28/06
Ok, maybe I did something wrong but I thought it was DISCUSTING! Lumpy, lumpy, lumpy and absolutely nothing like Starbucks!
Gramdma Nancy  
Submitted on: 02/28/06
Great taste and it so easy. My grand children will love it!!!!!!!!!!
Amie H.  
Submitted on: 02/27/06
I have to admit I've never had starbucks' hot chocolate, however we made this, found it easy and tasty, yet preferred our old tried and true brand which we actually get from a food storage cannery. I would recommend it to others who perhaps spend a bit of money on hot chocolate and want to cut costs.
Submitted on: 02/27/06
I am a self-proclaimed hot cocoa expert! Every year I get like 10 different kinds of cocoa for Christmas. Starbucks is my favorite and this tastes EXACTLY like it! Thanks for saving me a ton of money!
Submitted on: 02/23/06
YUM YUM YUM!!! This was easy and delish! Soooo reminds me of Starbucks!
Submitted on: 02/23/06
This was sooo good. I used Ghiradelli chocolate, skim milk and the vanilla. I'll never go back to plain old hot chocolate. Thanks.
Submitted on: 02/23/06
Great taste and easy - Thx!
Submitted on: 02/23/06
So yummy! Tastes just like Starbucks!
Submitted on: 02/21/06
I am a Starbucks barista and I have to say that this recipe is as close as it comes to the original.
Submitted on: 02/21/06
Pretty good, could be more chocolatey. I also don't put the vanilla in, instead I like to use flavored coffee creamers (or other extracts) in my hot choco. My faves are hazelnut, amaretto, french vanilla, caramel & coconut.
Submitted on: 02/19/06
Wonderfully good!
Heidi G  
Submitted on: 02/19/06
I have also found that using a Better cocoa powder makes this recipe even better than Starbuck's, hits the spot on a cold Oregon Winter day, thank you.
Submitted on: 02/14/06
The only thing I have changed about this is using Marshmallow Creme instead of whipped cream. It does change the taste just a bit, but I like the Creme better.
Submitted on: 02/14/06
Yum! Yum! Yum! It's the perfect thing for a cold, winter day!
Submitted on: 02/14/06
This recipe reminds me of the hot chocolate my dad used to make. yum yum
Submitted on: 02/14/06
This is good, but find that using regular or lite hot chocolate powder and adding the vanilla gave me the same taste as the original Starbucks also.
jean haimalas  
Submitted on: 02/14/06
I love this recipie, whenever I fly, I always get a hot chocolate at Starbucks. It tastes like the real deal! So easy to make, makes the top of my list.
Submitted on: 02/14/06
This recipe was wonderful. I love hot chocolate and my kids had fun making their own!
Submitted on: 02/14/06
LOVE IT! I used Hershey's cocoa and non fat milk. YUM! Tastes as good as Starbucks!!
The Best Cocoa For the Job  
Submitted on: 02/14/06
This is a great recipe especially when a superior brand of cocoa is used. Maybe discard the vanilla extract?? The very BEST cocoa for making hot chocolate is Droste!! It's much smoother than any other. Droste is more expensive but, as they say, you get what you pay for!
Submitted on: 02/14/06
Great Hot Chocolate. Starbucks makes 2 kinds of Hot Chocolate. The first and cheapest is made with hot milk and their mocha syrup and the second is Godiva Hot Chocolate mix.
Submitted on: 02/13/06
Growing up right after the depression, we often had what we called "Hot Cocoa"- your recipe hasn't changed since then and it's as good now as it was then. Thanks for sharing with the younger generation!
Submitted on: 02/13/06
I've never had Starbucks, I never seem to make it past the coffee, but this is good. I might have wanted a bit more chocolate, but still very good. Will be MUCH easier on my hot chocolate budget.
Submitted on: 02/13/06
Nice and easy - thanks!
Submitted on: 02/13/06
Very easy to make, and tastes wonderful! Easy to make bigger batches too!
Submitted on: 02/13/06
I would recommend using a higher quality cocoa powder product. In my opinion Ghiradelli is superior to Hershey's or Nestle's brand. Now I use only Dagoba brand (which is also organic) as it is the most delicious and potent tasking chocolate flavor than I have ever had! I make mine without the vanilla extract or the whipped cream, and it is still out of this world (even with 1% milk). I use 8 oz of milk to 3 tsp cocoa and 3 tsp sugar.