Peppermint White Hot Chocolate

5 from 1 vote
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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!

A glass of peppermint hot chocolate colored green and topped with whipped cream, sprinkles, and a candy cane.

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.

Looking down in a hot chocolate mug to see the whipped cream, sprinkles, and candy cane on top.

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.
Ingredients to make peppermint hot chocolate are shown on a white background: vanilla, peppermint extract, white chocolate chips, milk, whipped cream, food coloring, sprinkles, and candy canes.

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

Here are a few tips and variations you can try when making peppermint 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!
A closeup of a glass mug of green hot chocolate topped with whipped cream, festive sprinkles, and a candy cane.

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!

Proper Storage

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.
Green-colored peppermint white hot chocolate in a glass mug topped with whipped cream, sprinkles, and a candy cane.

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:

A green glass of peppermint hot chocolate topped with whipped cream, sprinkles, and a candy cane.
5 from 1 vote

Peppermint White Hot Chocolate

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!
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6-7 drops green liquid food dye
  • 9-10 drops yellow liquid food dye
  • 2 cups whipped cream
  • Christmas sprinkles
  • Heart sprinkles
  • Small candy canes


  • 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!
Nutrition Facts
Peppermint White Hot Chocolate
Amount Per Serving
Calories 470 Calories from Fat 261
% Daily Value*
Fat 29g45%
Saturated Fat 17g85%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 8g
Cholesterol 62mg21%
Sodium 136mg6%
Potassium 541mg15%
Carbohydrates 42g14%
Fiber 0.1g0%
Sugar 41g46%
Protein 12g24%
Vitamin A 614IU12%
Vitamin C 0.2mg0%
Calcium 420mg42%
Iron 0.1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Disclaimers: Please discuss your individual dietary needs (i.e. gluten free) with a physician. Even when not specified, be sure to verify all ingredients are gluten free, if needed, by reading labels on all packaging and/or confirming with the manufacturer this varies by brand and can change at any time. Nutrition information shown is an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.


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