Instant Pot Hot Chocolate is a rich, creamy, sweet hot cocoa recipe made in minutes. If you’ve ever made hot chocolate from scratch, you will love this recipe.
Cold, winter weather makes me think of snow, warm hearty meals like shepherd’s pie and cheesy pasta bake, and of course, hot chocolate! As a kid, hot chocolate came from a little packet filled with sweetened cocoa powder and tiny dehydrated marshmallows mixed in a cup of hot water.
As time passed, homemade hot chocolate mix made on the stove top became a staple. Then that transformed into flavored drinks like hazelnut hot cocoa, white hot chocolate, and spiked pumpkin spice hot chocolate.
Naturally, Instant Pot hot cocoa would come next. In all honestly, I didn’t know if it could be done.
So many people, myself included, shy away from putting dairy into the pressure cooker for fear of it curdling. I thought about this recipe for a couple of months before actually testing it.
Then it got tested.
And tested again. And again.
I feel completely comfortable sharing this Instant Pot hot cocoa recipe with you. In fact, after making it numerous times now, I think it’s the best hot chocolate recipe we’ve made so far.
How to Make Hot Chocolate in the Instant Pot:
Add the milk, heavy cream, cocoa powder, sugar, and vanilla to the liner of the Instant Pot. Whisk the ingredients until the sugar is completely dissolved and the cocoa powder is thoroughly incorporated.
Close the lid, and close the valve making sure it is set “sealing.” Use the manual/pressure cook button, and adjust the time to 2 minutes.
After the time is up, turn off the Instant Pot and allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes before opening the valve to release the remaining pressure.
Carefully remove the lid. The mixture will have expanded and risen some in the liner and may still be bubbly when the lid is removed.
Using a whisk, mix the hot chocolate again. At this point, the it can be served immediately or strained.
I prefer to strain the hot cocoa to remove any pieces of cocoa powder that may not have dissolved. If you decide to strain it, a mesh sieve like this one works great!
Whether you strain the hot chocolate or not, remove it from the Instant Pot as soon as possible. The heavier parts of the drink will begin to settle to the bottom of the liner and can stick.
This only happened to me once during testing, but it is worth noting.
Top your homemade hot chocolate with marshmallows, fresh ground cinnamon, chocolate sauce, marshmallow creme, or chocolate shavings. Serve immediately!
Tips for How to Make the Instant Pot Hot Chocolate:
- Don’t skip the heavy cream. It adds richness and creaminess that milk alone can’t do.
- Sift the cocoa powder prior to adding it to the Instant Pot. This breaks up any lumps and helps the cocoa powder mix into the liquids easier.
- If you are worried the sugar may burn while the pot pressurizes, add it afterwards. The sugar can be added after the lid is removed and the hot cocoa is being stirred.
- Strain the hot chocolate more than once to get it silky smooth.
- As with the stove top version, this hot cocoa gets a thin film (skin) as it cools. Serve it immediately or stir frequently to avoid this issue.
- Turn off the Instant Pot after the cooking period is over. Leaving the Instant Pot on or on the “Keep Warm” phase allows the heating element to stay warm.
- That will continue to heat the bottom of the liner. Any contents touching the bottom of the liner will begin to stick and potentially burn if left long enough.
- We’ve only made this recipe with the ingredients listed in the recipe. If you substitute with dairy-free, milk alternatives (soy, almond, coconut, or cashew milk) or use a lower fat milk, we’d love to know how it goes. Please leave a comment to let us know!
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Optional Hot Cocoa Toppings
- Marshmallows, optional
- marshmallow crème, optional
- Chocolate shavings, optional
- Ground cinnamon, optional
- Add the milk, cream, sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla to the liner of the Instant Pot. Use to whisk to combine the ingredients until well mixed.3 cups whole milk1 cup heavy cream½ cup granulated sugar¼ cup cocoa powder1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Close the lid, and set the valve to sealing. Use the manual/pressure cook button to adjust the time to 2 minutes.
- After the time is up, press “Cancel” on the Instant Pot to turn it off. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes before opening the valve to release the remaining pressure.
- Carefully remove the lid, and stir the hot cocoa. Strain through a mesh sieve if desired.
- Top with optional garnishes and serve immediately.