Rich, creamy, and full of cozy chocolate goodness … that’s this hot chocolate for one, a single mug of hot cocoa made with chocolate chips, milk, and just a couple other ingredients.

Hot chocolate in a clear mug with marshmallows on top and chocolate chip cookies.

Table of Contents

The Story Behind the Recipe

January 6, 2014: I hear it’s a bit cold outside for quite a few of you right now. The “Polar Vortex,” they’re calling it? Even just reading those frigid words makes me shiver. Brrrrrrr.

So even though it’s often considered the time of year for detoxes and smoothies, I thought I’d quickly share my super-simple formula for Hot Chocolate for One.

No packets or powder, here … just milk, chocolate, brown sugar, vanilla, and a tiny magic-making pinch of salt. A little heating, a little stirring, and a lot of comfort-in-a-mug.

When cold weather hits, I’m all about creamy, comforting, uber-chocolaty sips of pure hot chocolate heaven. So cozy and comforting.

Super easy, two-minute, from-scratch hot chocolate by the mug from

Hot Chocolate for One Ingredients

  • Milk – use your favorite milk. I prefer full-fat oat milk, but dairy milk and almond milk are great too.
  • Chocolate chips – semi-sweet are just right.
  • Brown sugar – light or dark, they both add rich sweetness. You can sub white granulated sugar if you prefer.
  • Pure vanilla extract – highlights the sweetness of the chocolate and just SO GOOD in hot cocoa!
  • Salt – just a little pinch! Salt brings out the chocolate flavor and tames the sweetness, just a little.
A top view of hot chocolate in a clear mug with marshmallows on top and chocolate chip cookies.

How to Make Single Serving Hot Chocolate

This is so, so easy that I feel like I shouldn’t even call it a recipe.

Here’s what you do. You heat up some milk. Then you stir in the other stuff. Then you drink it. So complex, right? 😊

Okay, so a little more detail, because you can make this two ways – either in the microwave or on the stovetop.

When you make it in the microwave, you heat up your milk first, right in your mug. Then, stir in the remaining ingredients until the chocolate chips are melted thoroughly.

On the stovetop, add all of the ingredients except for the vanilla extract to a very small pot (I like to use a butter warmer, actually!) Warm on low, gently, stirring frequently, just until steaming and heated through and the chocolate chips have melted. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla. Pour into your mug and away you go into cozy land! Grab a book and maybe a couple of cookies. You’ll be so glad you did.

Hot chocolate in a clear mug with marshmallows on top and chocolate chip cookies.

Recipe Variations & Additions

  • Add a couple of pinches of cayenne pepper for a spicy Mexican hot chocolate spin.
  • To make it vegan, just use a plant-based milk (I’m partial to oat milk) and make sure your sugar is vegan.
  • Add a couple of drops of peppermint extract for a chocolate mint situation.
  • Add a splash of rum or Baileys if you’re looking for a boozier rendition. (or try my Boozy Hot Chocolate!)

What to Serve with Hot Chocolate for One

More Single Serving Recipes

Hot chocolate in a clear mug with marshmallows on top and chocolate chip cookies.
4.67 from 3 votes

Hot Chocolate for One

Prep: 1 minute
Cook: 1 minute
Total: 2 minutes
Author: Kare
Yield: 1
Sometimes you just want one steaming, comforting, rich mug of hot chocolate from scratch. This recipe makes it happen – in about two minutes!


  • 1 cup milk (whole milk, oat milk, and almond milk are all great)
  • 2 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar (can sub dark brown sugar or granulated sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt


To make in the microwave:

  • Pour milk into a microwave-safe mug and heat on high for about 1 minutes 30 seconds, or until milk is steaming but not boiling.
  • Add chocolate chips, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and pinch salt. Stir until chocolate has completely melted, about 30 seconds.
  • Top with whipped cream or marshmallows, if desired, and serve.

To make on the stovetop:

  • Place all ingredients except for the vanilla in a small saucepan over low heat. Warm the ingredients, stirring frequently, just until piping hot but not boiling and the chocolate chips are melted. Remove from stove and stir in vanilla. Pour into a mug and serve.


1/29/2024 recipe update: Added stovetop instructions. 

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 348kcal, Carbohydrates: 43g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 29mg, Sodium: 96mg, Potassium: 471mg, Sugar: 41g, Vitamin A: 395IU, Calcium: 332mg, Iron: 0.1mg

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