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Sea Salt and Vanilla Stovetop Hot Chocolate

Happy Valentine's Day, lovelies! Whether it's February 14th, March 2nd, December 28th or any day in between, chocolate is always a good idea. Homemade hot chocolate is one of my favorite warm beverages and this Sea Salt and Vanilla Stovetop Hot Chocolate recipe is the only one I use! It's rich, super chocolatey without being overly sweet, and just a tad bit savory. One you make this stovetop hot chocolate recipe you will never look back.

Two Ways to Make this Delicious Hot Chocolate

I LOVE hot chocolate. Like, I really love hot chocolate so I'm picky about it. I've made this Sea Salt and Vanilla Stovetop Hot Chocolate recipe two different ways and I truly love both of them! Often times I make this hot chocolate mix all from scratch (jump to recipe!) and sometimes I use a combination of a pre-made hot chocolate mix and cocoa powder - it just depends on what I have on hand!

The "From Scratch" Way

  • If you choose to make this hot chocolate recipe completely from scratch, just follow the recipe exactly as it's shared below. It's super easy and delicious!

The "Pre-Made" Way

  • **If you have some pre-made hot chocolate mix on hand and choose to use it to make this hot chocolate recipe, add in 3 tbsp. pre-made hot chocolate powder (with or without milk), decrease the cocoa powder from 4 tbsp. to 2 tbsp., and omit the chocolate chips and sugar.

Must-try chocolate recipes:

What Makes This Hot Chocolate Recipe Stand Out?

Whichever way you choose to make this recipe - the "From Scratch" or "Pre-made" way - you can't go wrong! This Sea Salt and Vanilla Stovetop Hot Chocolate is my go-to recipe. So what is it about this this hot chocolate recipe that makes it stand out?

  1. First off, this recipe calls for whole milk rather than water am dried milk powder. Using whole milk in this hot chocolate recipe gives it a a richness and fullness that microwavable hot chocolate packets mixed with water can never have.

  2. Second, the addition of vanilla extract enhances the flavor and makes it feel totally fancy!

  3. Third, the ratio of cocoa powder, mini chocolate chips, and granulated sugar is more chocolate heavy than sugar heavy and gives this hot chocolate recipe a rich, rich chocolatey flavor that's not overly sweet.

  4. Fourth (and lastly), sea salt may not seem like something you should add to hot chocolate, but adding just a pinch brings out the sweetness in this recipe as well as a touch of savoriness that you never knew you needed!

This Sea Salt and Vanilla Stovetop Hot Chocolate recipe takes more time and effort to prepare than microwave hot chocolate, but it's so rich and delicious - the time and effort to make this hot chocolate recipe is worth it 100% and then some!

What’s in This Recipe?

  • Whole milk – cow's milk contains protein, calcium, and vitamin D for strong bones and muscle recovery

  • Vanilla extract – adds flavor

  • Cocoa powder – contains magnesium, manganese, antioxidants, and iron

  • Semi sweet chocolate chips – contains magnesium, manganese, and iron

  • Granulated sugar – happiness in powder form

  • Sea salt – brings out the sweetness in this recipe

Notes: This recipe is naturally gluten free and can easily be made dairy free* by replacing the whole milk with a 1:1 ratio of almond milk and full fat canned coconut milk. **If you choose to use pre-made hot chocolate mix in this recipe, follow the directions from this section.

Sea Salt and Vanilla Stovetop Hot Chocolate

Prep time: 0 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Total time: 10 minutes

Servings: 2


  • 2 cups whole milk*

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 4 tbsp. high quality cocoa powder**

  • 2 tbsp. mini semi sweet chocolate chips**

  • 4 tsp. granulated sugar**

  • Pinch of sea salt

Topping Suggestions:

  • Whipped cream

  • Mini marshmallows

  • Crushed peppermint

  • Mini chocolate chips

  • Sprinkles


  1. Heat the milk and vanilla extract in a saucepan on low heat (around 4). Cover with the lid, stirring occasionally, until warmed but not boiling.

  2. While the milk heats, in a small bowl whisk together the cocoa powder, semi sweet chocolate chips, sugar, and salt.

  3. Once the milk is warm, whisk in the hot cocoa mixture until fully combined. Remove from the heat.

  4. Divide the hot chocolate into 2 mugs and garnish with the toppings of your choice.


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. When you make this Sea Salt and Vanilla Stovetop Hot Chocolate recipe or any Hope For Balance recipe, tag me at @hope.for.balance and use the hashtag #hopeforbalance for a chance to be featured in my Facebook or Instagram stories. It brings me so much joy to see you re-create my recipes!


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