Have you ever made hot cocoa in your pressure cooker? You're going to be so surprised you haven't tried this easy instant pot before! It's so nice to whip up a batch for guests, and then keep it warm until it's time to serve. This recipe is incredibly easy to double, tripe and beyond for serving a crowd.
We eat a refined sugar free diet, but it's incredibly simple to make a traditional version of this drink too. Skip the pre-mixed hot cocoa powder, and mix up a batch of this homemade hot chocolate from scratch. It's so luscious! You can put out a variety of toppings for a hot cocoa bar to please everyone!
Feel free to skip the recipe card to get right into it, but make sure to read the whole post through if you have questions. We include information about substitutions, process shots, tips and tricks in the post below. This Instant Pot Hot Cocoa recipe post is also available as a Google Web Story.
- Milk & heavy cream - You can use any milk you prefer. We prefer whole milk for extra creaminess. The heavy cream is optional, but makes the hot cocoa nice and rich. Any milk you like will work, whether that's skim or your favorite nut milk.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder - We used Dutch process cocoa (Amazon affiliate link) for a super rich color and flavor with very little bitterness. You can use whatever type of cocoa powder you prefer.
- Sweetener of choice - We used Swerve granular, which is zero calories and totally sugar free. We love it because it measures 1:1 for a cup granular sugar. You can use whatever sweetener you want, including sugar if you're not watching your carb or sugar intake!
- Chocolate chips - You can use anything you prefer. We generally opt for semi sweet chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips (Lily's brand, sugar free), although milk chocolate chips are also perfect if that's what you prefer. You could also cut up a chocolate bar into small pieces so that it melts easily in the hot milk.
- Vanilla extract - Adds a lovely subtle sweetness.
- Kosher salt - Technically optional, but rounds out the sweetness and enhances the flavor.
- Ground cinnamon - Also optional, but adds such a nice flavor to this drink!
- Garnish with: whipped cream, cinnamon sticks, shaved chocolate or chocolate chips, marshmallows, peppermint sticks, melted chocolate sauce/drizzle (optional and to taste!) If eating a low carb/keto diet, try this brand of marshmallows. We plan to work on a sugar free marshmallow recipe for the new year, so stay tuned for that.
How To Make Sugar Free Instant Pot Hot Cocoa:
Step 1: Warm the Milk & Cream
Start by setting your Instant Pot to sauté mode on low. Pour in the milk and heavy cream.
Step 2: Add Hot Cocoa Ingredients
Add cocoa powder and whisk vigorously to combine.
Add in optional cinnamon and kosher salt while whisking continuously.
Add in the chocolate chips while whisking non-stop until completely melted. Taste the hot chocolate before moving on to adding sweetener.
Step 3: Sweeten & Add Finishing Touches
After chocolate chips have dissolved, sweeten to taste, whisking as you go to dissolve the sweetener. Finally, stir in the vanilla extract, then set the Instant Pot to keep warm until time to serve.
TIP: Make sure to whisk the hot cocoa every so often after it's ready to prevent the filmy layer of milk that forms on top of milk when warmed.
Step 4: Garnish & Serve!
When it's time to serve, ladle into glasses, then top with your favorite toppings. You could set up a hot chocolate bar if serving guests, so everyone can make their glass to their own personal taste.
Tips For The Best Instant Pot Hot Chocolate:
- You can easily make a large batch for a crowd in your Instant Pot. We have the 8-quart Duo Plus, and we love it! There's plenty of room to make a large batch.
- While you can certainly use hot cocoa packets for this hot chocolate, the flavor just doesn't even compare! We highly recommend making this hot chocolate from scratch for best results.
- Whisk frequently, and turn the Instant Pot to keep warm mode right away after everything is incorporated. That way, you will avoid scorching the milk.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Film or "milk skin" forms on top of milk as it heats up, because proteins are released from the milk. This also happens as the heated milk cools down. Don't worry, this isn't harmful, though the texture can be a bit off putting.
To avoid this, make sure to stir or whisk the hot chocolate very often as it heats up and cools down.
Yes, you can!
To make this hot cocoa in a slow cooker, add all of the ingredients to the slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 2 hours, stirring every so often until completely combined. Set slow cooker to keep warm once fully incorporated.
We prefer to use the Instant Pot as it's much faster, but if you need to use the Instant Pot for something else, you do have this as an alternative!
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Until Next Time,
Briana & Chamere
Instant Pot Hot Chocolate (Sugar Free Option)
- 28 ounces whole milk (3.5 cups)
- 4 ounces heavy whipping cream
- 24 grams cocoa powder
- 2.5 ounces sugar free dark chocolate chips (or any chocolate chip you prefer)
- 96 grams granular erythritol (sweeten to taste with your preferred sweetener)
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Start by setting your Instant Pot to sauté mode on low. Pour in the milk and heavy cream.
- Whisk in cocoa powder, cinnamon, salt, and chocolate chips until chips are melted completely. Whisk frequently.
- Taste the hot chocolate, then add sweetener to taste, whisking constantly to dissolve. Stir in the vanilla extract, and then immediately turn the Instant pot to keep warm mode until time to serve. When ready to serve, ladle into mugs and garnish with whipped cream, marshmallows, chocolate shavings, candy canes, cinnamon sticks, or whatever you like and enjoy!
- This will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop, in the Instant Pot or slow cooker, or the microwave on low power. We don't recommend freezing the hot chocolate.
- We made our hot chocolate a sugar free version, so the nutrition facts will reflect this. Feel free to use regular sugar and chocolate chips, just know that this will impact the carbs, sugar and calories.
- You can also make this recipe vegan or dairy free by using nut milk in place of cream and regular milk.
- Nutrition facts do not include any additional garnishes.
- Cinnamon and salt are flavor enhancers, but are totally optional.
- Immediately after hot chocolate is totally incorporated, set Instant Pot to keep warm to avoid scorching the milk.
- Keep whisking frequently as the hot chocolate heats up or cools to avoid a filmy layer on top. The film isn't harmful, but can be off-putting texturally.
- We don't recommend freezing this hot chocolate.
These nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy and are only estimates. We cannot guarantee the accuracy.