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This colorful Peppermint Hot Chocolate recipe is perfect for the holidays! Creamy, melted white chocolate chips form the base of this festive drink that’s infused with fresh peppermint flavor and finished with, of course, candy canes! Pour some in a mug to sip on while watching the Grinch!
Table of Contents
- Delicious Details at a Glance
- Why You’ll Love This Grinch Hot Chocolate
- What Is White Hot Chocolate?
- What You’ll Need
- How to Make Peppermint White Hot Chocolate
- Tips for the Best White Hot Chocolate
- Can I Make This In The Microwave?
- Proper Storage
- What to Serve with Peppermint Hot Chocolate
- Get the Recipe
- More Cozy Drink Recipes
Delicious Details at a Glance
Cuisine Inspiration: American
Primary Cooking Method: Stovetop
Dietary Info: Gluten-free, Nut-free
Skill Level: Easy
Why You’ll Love This Grinch Hot Chocolate
Special drinks like this peppermint hot chocolate are a must during the holiday season! Otherwise known as grinch hot chocolate, steaming mugs of colorful, whipped cream-topped hot chocolate with a touch of peppermint flavor will delight all ages. The secret ingredient is white chocolate, which is melted into a creamy base that’s easily tinted with food coloring for a fun take on a traditional winter drink. Don’t forget the mini candy canes and sprinkles!
Kids especially love this white hot chocolate recipe! And adults do too – I mean, what’s not to love about a sweet, prettily-colored hot beverage that’s topped with candy canes? Here’s why you’ll love this peppermint hot chocolate:
- Fun and festive. If you’re hosting a holiday brunch or having the neighborhood kids over for the afternoon, surprise them with this cute version of hot chocolate! It’s perfect all throughout the holiday season.
- Easy to adapt. It’s easy to adjust this recipe if needed to be dairy-free. You can substitute non-dairy milk and use vegan white chocolate chips to make it without dairy.
- Goes with everything. You can serve this peppermint hot chocolate with everything from all kinds of cookies to a decadent chocolate cake.
- Different. I love this recipe because it’s a hot chocolate, but it’s a white hot chocolate, meaning that it has a slightly different flavor than a traditional hot chocolate recipe.
What Is White Hot Chocolate?
White hot chocolate is, well, white! Instead of using cocoa powder, with its familiar brown color and classic chocolate taste, to make hot chocolate, you’ll use white chocolate chips instead. This means that your hot chocolate will have a different color – white! – that will easily show the addition of food coloring. White hot chocolate also has a slightly different taste because white chocolate tastes different from traditional chocolate.
What You’ll Need
Here’s an overview of what you’ll need to make this grinch hot chocolate. The full ingredient amounts will be in the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Milk: I prefer whole milk when I make hot chocolate but see my notes below.
- White Chocolate Chips: Make sure yours are gluten free, if needed.
- Peppermint Extract: You can often find this in stores or always online.
- Vanilla Extract
- Green and Yellow Liquid Food Dye: The combination gives it the perfect Grinch green color. But you can skip the food coloring if you prefer.
- Whipped Cream – You can buy premade whipped cream or use heavy cream to make your own whipped cream.
- To Garnish: Christmas sprinkles, heart sprinkles, and small candy canes. Just make sure to check labels to ensure they are gluten free, if needed. See my article Are Sprinkles Gluten Free? for guidance.
How to Make Peppermint White Hot Chocolate
Follow along with my easy method below to make peppermint hot chocolate. I like to portion out the sprinkles and garnish beforehand so it’s all ready to go when the hot chocolate is nice and hot. For detailed instructions, be sure to scroll down to the recipe card.
- Melt the chocolate. Heat the milk in a saucepan and add the chocolate, stirring until it melts.
- Add food coloring. Now stir in the food dye.
- Garnish and Serve. Portion out the hot chocolate and top each mug with whipped cream, sprinkles, and candy canes.
Tips for the Best White Hot Chocolate
- Try different milk. You can swap whole milk for a lower fat content milk, like 2% milk.
- Make this dairy-free. Substitute your favorite non-dairy milk for the milk and use a dairy-free whipped cream, like whipped coconut cream, or omit the whipped cream altogether. If you need to use dairy-free white chocolate chips, look for a vegan brand of chips.
- Use marshmallows instead of the whipped cream. If you like, you can skip the whipped cream and top your peppermint hot chocolate with mini or large marshmallows. Or get festive with Christmas marshmallows.
- Use natural food coloring. If you don’t want to use commercial food coloring, you can pick up a box of more natural food coloring at stores like Whole Foods or online.
- Make frozen hot chocolate. See my storage note below about how to freeze hot chocolate. Then, blend the frozen white hot chocolate with milk to make a frozen hot chocolate!
Can I Make This In The Microwave?
Slow and steady is the way to go for hot chocolate, but yes, you can make it in the microwave! Here’s how to do it: Place the milk, white chocolate chips, peppermint extract, and vanilla extract in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave it in 30-second intervals until the mixture is warm and the chocolate is melted. Then whisk the mixture together until it’s well combined, stir in the food coloring, and serve!
Here’s how to store your leftover peppermint hot chocolate:
- Fridge – Place leftover, cooled hot chocolate in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Freezer – Store peppermint hot chocolate in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can also freeze the hot chocolate in an ice cube tray.
What to Serve with Peppermint Hot Chocolate
Peppermint hot chocolate is the perfect dessert sip on its own, but of course, it’s also very welcome with all sorts of sweet treats. Here are some suggestions for what to serve with grinch hot chocolate:
- Cookies! Hot chocolate is delightful with all kinds of cookies. Some of my favorite gluten-free cookie recipes include Sugar Cookies, Gluten-Free Vanilla Wafers, Ladyfingers, Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies, Gluten-Free Oreos, Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies, and Macadamia White Chocolate Chip Cookies.
- Popcorn. Classic butter-and-salt popcorn is always a hit, or you could serve peppermint hot chocolate with flavored popcorn. Try my Mint Chocolate Chip Flavored Popcorn or Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Popcorn.
- Pretzels. To balance the sweetness of the hot chocolate, a salty bite like pretzels or roasted nuts. Or go sweet and make my Gluten Free Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels.
- Cake. Make a seasonal cake like my Gluten Free Gingerbread Loaf or pair cups of grinch hot chocolate with slices of Gluten Free Chocolate Cake.
- Fresh fruit. Go lighter and add a side of fruit, like sliced strawberries, or make a fresh fruit plate with sliced apples and pears, clementines, grapes, raspberries, and more.
Peppermint White Hot Chocolate
- In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, add milk, white chocolate, peppermint, and vanilla. Stir continuously until the chocolate has melted. Do not allow the hot chocolate to simmer or boil.
- Reduce heat to low and allow the hot chocolate to heat gradually until desired temperature is reached, stirring often (I prefer between about 130-140 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s warm but not scorching hot).
- Remove from heat and stir in food dye.
- Pour hot chocolate into mugs, then place whipped cream into a piping bag with an open startip and pipe the whipped cream on top of each cup. Add Christmas sprinkles and heart shaped sprinkles on top and top with a small candy cane. Serve and enjoy!