This Authentic French Hot Chocolate is a perfect winter treat that will transport you to a cosy French café! It’s rich, thick and made with just a few simple ingredients. This is the best hot chocolate recipe I’ve had a chance to try!

authentic french hot chocolate


Authentic French Hot Chocolate (or Chocolat Chaud in French) is a perfectly rich, thick and velvety drink, traditionally made without cream. This absolutely amazing texture relies solely on a combination of high-quality dark or bittersweet chocolate and whole milk. Inspired by The French Cooking Academy I also added a hint of cinnamon and vanilla to enhance the taste. This is the perfect winter treat that’ll transport you right to a cosy French café!


  • Whole milk: Choose whole milk for the base of your hot chocolate.
  • Cinnamon stick: Infuse your hot chocolate by simmering it with a cinnamon stick.
  • Vanilla essence: A touch of vanilla essence enhances the overall aroma and flavour profile.
  • Pure cocoa powder: Choose high-quality 100% cocoa powder to add depth and intensity to your hot chocolate.
  • Dark chocolate: The star of the show, dark (or bittersweet) chocolate with 70% cocoa content brings amazing richness to the drink.
  • Sugar and salt: Sugar and salt help balance the sweetness and intensify the flavours.
  • Whipped cream: Perfect for serving to balance the intensity of this rich hot chocolate.
authentic french hot chocolate


Please note: This is just an overview – the full ingredients and directions are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Step 1: Infuse flavours. In a saucepan, combine 500 ml of whole milk, a cinnamon stick, and 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla essence. Allow the mixture to gently simmer for about 10 minutes, letting the flavours come together. After the infusion, remove the cinnamon stick from the milk.

Step 2: Whisk in cocoa powder. Add 1 tablespoon of pure cocoa powder to the milk and whisk vigorously until the mixture is smooth.

Step 3: Add chocolate, sugar and salt. Gradually add 100 grams of chopped dark chocolate, 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar, and a pinch of salt. Continue whisking until the chocolate melts, and the sugar dissolves.

Step 4: Simmer. Let the hot chocolate gently simmer while stirring continuously until it thickens to your desired consistency, taking an additional 5-7 minutes.

Step 5: Serve and enjoy! Pour the french hot chocolate into mugs, allowing it to cool slightly. Top with a generous swirl of whipped cream and enjoy.


While this French Hot Chocolate is best enjoyed fresh, you can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat gently on the stove, whisking to restore the smooth texture.

authentic french hot chocolate

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Brie and Cranberry Smashed Potatoes


Can I use a different type of chocolate?

While dark chocolate is traditional, you can experiment with a mixture of dark and milk chocolate (bittersweet and semisweet).

Can I make this without sugar?

Absolutely. Adjust the sweetness to your liking or skip sugar if you prefer a less sweetened version.

Can I use dairy-free milk?

Yes, you can certainly use dairy-free alternatives such as almond milk, soy milk, or oat milk to make a dairy-free version of French Hot Chocolate. Keep in mind that the choice of milk may affect the overall texture and flavour, so feel free to experiment and find the dairy-free option that suits your taste preferences.

Authentic French Hot Chocolate

Recipe by Magda Gonczaruk | Good Food Discoveries
5.0 from 5 votes
Course: Drinks, DessertCuisine: FrenchDifficulty: Easy


Cooking time




Total time



This Authentic French Hot Chocolate is a perfect winter treat that will transport you to a cosy French café! It’s rich, thick and made with just a few simple ingredients. This is the best hot chocolate recipe I’ve had a chance to try!

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  • 500 ml (2 cups) whole milk

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1/4 tsp vanilla essence

  • 1 tbsp pure cocoa powder

  • 100 g (3.5 oz) dark chocolate (70% cocoa), chopped

  • 1 tsp granulated sugar (adjust to taste)

  • Pinch salt

  • Whipped cream, for serving


  • In a saucepan, combine the whole milk, cinnamon stick, and vanilla essence. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over medium heat, allowing the flavours to come together, for about 10 minutes.
  • Remove the cinnamon stick from the milk. Add the cocoa powder and whisk vigorously to ensure that the mixture is completely smooth.
  • Gradually add the chopped dark chocolate, granulated sugar, and a pinch of salt to the milk mixture. Continue whisking to melt the chocolate and dissolve the sugar.
  • Let the mixture simmer gently, stirring continuously, until the hot chocolate thickens to your desired consistency. This might take an additional 5-7 minutes.
  • Pour the hot chocolate into mugs and let it cool down slightly. Top with whipped cream and enjoy!


  • You can store leftovers of this french hot chocolate in a fridge for up to 2 days.
  • Calories per serving. Includes only basic ingredients (without garnish or suggested serving ingredients). The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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  1. This looks amazing! I wondered if you could do it in the slow cooker? Will definitely it ot be trying regardless X

    1. Thank you Hollie! I’ve never made it in the slow cooker, please let me know how it turned out if you try!