Hot Chocolate Floats

Three words: Hot. Chocolate. Floats. Did I just blow your mind, or what?

Hot Chocolate Floats |

Maybe the rest of the world has been enjoying hot chocolate floats for years, but for some reason this concept had literally never occurred to me before. I don’t know why not—I like ice cream, I love hot chocolate, and I adore anything that I can put in a cute mug and douse in fudge sauce. This is obviously my culinary soul mate.

But I had never heard of hot chocolate floats until my friend Jane threw a party last week. I arrived, she handed me a mug filled with peppermint ice cream and rich, steaming hot chocolate, and then the heavens opened and a choir of angels sang. That Jane, she knows what’s up.

Hot Chocolate Floats |


You know how, when you add marshmallows or whipped cream to hot chocolate, they melt and create a sweet, rich foam on top of the chocolate that you can scoop up and slurp with a spoon? And if you’re really lucky, the marshmallows or cream will keep producing that foam and you can get a good half-mug’s worth before it’s gone and you’re left to drink the chocolate? Well, hot chocolate floats are like that, but are so much better because the frothy foamy goodness is actually melted ice cream, which is 65% more delicious than anything else.


Obviously, the idea behind hot chocolate floats is so simple that you don’t really need a recipe. Ice cream + hot chocolate = done. A reasonably competent monkey could make them, provided they had the ingredients and the wherewithal to work an ice cream scoop. I’m sure you can figure out the logistics yourselves.

But I am sharing a recipe for a good, thick cup of hot chocolate, because I do think that they’re much improved by using a homemade version. You’re turning these into a dessert extravaganza, for crying out loud, now is not the time to use that sorry powdered stuff! If you have a favorite hot chocolate of your own, feel free to substitute it, or make it with the powdered stuff and thumb your nose in my direction. It’s cool. As long as I can enjoy another hot chocolate float of my own, all’s right in the world.

Hot Chocolate Floats |

Psssst, my Lemonade cookbook giveaway is almost over. Have you entered yet? Click here to comment and you just might win!

Lemonade Cookbook Giveaway |

Hot Chocolate Floats
Prep time
Total time
Hot chocolate has never tasted so good! Regular hot chocolate gets an upgrade by adding ice cream, hot fudge sauce, and other gourmet toppings. I love making these hot chocolate floats with rich, creamy hot chocolate made from scratch, but if you prefer, you can substitute 4 cups of prepared hot chocolate instead.
Recipe type: Beverage
Serves: 4-8
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 cups milk (I used whole milk)
  • 2-3 tbsp brown sugar, to taste
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • 6 oz good-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 4 oz good-quality milk chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 quart ice cream (vanilla, peppermint, and coffee all work well!)
  • Hot fudge sauce
  • Chocolate shavings or other decorations (optional)
  1. Whisk together the cream, milk, 2 tbsp brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a medium saucepan. Place the pan over medium heat and cook it, whisking occasionally, until it starts to simmer. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the chopped chocolates, stirring until they’re melted. Carefully taste the mixture and add more sugar, if desired.
  2. Place 2-3 scoops of ice cream into mugs. Pour hot chocolate on top of the ice cream, and garnish with whipped cream, fudge sauce, chocolate shavings, or other toppings. Serve with spoons for maximum slurping.


If you don’t want to miss a SugarHero recipe, you can subscribe to get new posts by email, subscribe to the SugarHero RSS feed, become a fan on Facebook, or follow on Twitter. Ooh, and let’s not forget Pinterest. (I love Pinterest.) Thank you!
48 Responses to Hot Chocolate Floats
  1. You blew my mind, and now my mind is everywhere, and I have to go clean it up. But don’t worry, coz I packed up some ice cream, and I’m on a plane to your house already, so it’s fine. Floats ahoy.

  2. mmmm my kids would love this! I think I’ll make it for snack today! Thank you!

  3. Mind = totally blown. I mean the concept of a hot chocolate float totally never crossed my mind. I mean it makes complete sense so how has this not happened before?! These little treats will be perfect for NYE!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Right?! It seems so obvious now! And YES, they’re totally a perfect NYE treat! Add some booze, if you like that sort of thing, and you’re set! Thanks Emily!

  4. m i n d b l o w i n g
    I couldn’t be craving one of these floats more than I am now… seriously, they look too good!

  5. Jill says:

    I never heard of this before, but now I wish I was having one for dessert tonight. Actually, I wish I was having three, because vanilla, peppermint, and coffee ice cream all sound delicious!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Haha, you have the right idea! Better try each of them to figure out which one you like best… you gotta do what you gotta do!

  6. Emily says:

    OMG these sound amazing. You are a brilliant woman.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks Emily! I wish I could take credit, but all I did was ask my friend for permission to use her genius idea. :) That’s almost as good, right?

  7. Mind. Blown. I’m totally making this with salted caramel ice cream. And bourbon.

  8. You DID blow my mind! Hot and cold together?! I’m loving this. Although I suppose it’s not hot chocolate for very long. The thick kind of hot cocoa is totally my fave. I need this in my life!!!

  9. You just made my day with this hot chocolate float! OH MY GOD! I AM SO EXCITED TO DRINK IT!

  10. Danguole says:

    Oh my goodness. Too good! The combinations going through my head are too much to keep up with. World of possibilities = opened. And because I’m me, you know I would add either espresso or booze… Or both… Ermahgerd.

    • Elizabeth says:

      My prediction? You add espresso, booze, fresh herbs, and turn it into a whole different ice cream flava! Can’t wait to see what you come up with. :)

  11. This is so great!!! Ice cream added to hot chocolate??!!!

  12. Sara says:

    So… I am generally not an ice cream gal. BUT I have a special weakness for peppermint ice cream. I also happen to be as smart as a reasonably competent monkey. Therefore: I will try. ;)

    • Elizabeth says:

      Ha! Would that we all could say that we are as smart as a reasonably competent monkey. :) And I’m with you, peppermint ice cream is the best! Let me know what you think if you give it a try!

  13. Johlene says:

    Hey! This looks delicious.. what a good idea!! I too like hot choc & floats so this seems perfectly normal to me & I can imagine it tasting really good :-) Love the special effects of photo nr 2!! Xx

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks Johlene! It does seem like a natural idea, right? And so easy! And I have a weakness for animated gifs–glad you enjoyed it!

  14. This looks incredible. Boozing it up and making it sometime soon!

  15. I love your hot chocolate with cream, it looks great! Where i live (Italy) i never found an hot chocolate like your recipe when i go out in a pub and i ask for hot chocolate! i’ll try your’s a nice idea! (i’m sorry for my english, but i don’t speak it very good..:(

  16. […] hot chocolate float looks amazing… float me right up to cloud […]

  17. Tanya says:

    If making this for dessert for company could you make the hot chocolate in advance?

  18. Isaac McGinnis says:


  19. Carla says:

    Great idea..I’m so excited…do you think I could do a version using coconut milk hot chocolate, with coconut milk mint chip ice cream made with stevia in the raw…how about bakers chocolate sweetened with stevia and .5 raw sugar( fresh from the plant) or xylitol? Xylitol is hard to find, but can be ordered online…heres a sweetener that’s natural, sweet, and even good for you? We all know that chocolate has lots of antioxidents, so maybe the coconut milk could be blended with the heavy regular cream…for my chips, I prefer to bake chocolate chip double chocolate cookies…using the half n half method to sweeten, and coconut oil rather than margarine….or blend the oil with the butter…by crumbling the dark cookie into the frozen coconut cream,….I add real peppermint oil to the mixture….for fun, use a peppermint candy cane to be as a stirrer!! That is a hit, with the hot coco, and mint chip ice cream…now I m experimenting with coconut cream pie and Graham crust…or other cookie variation, for crust…moistening the crumbs with coconut oil and butter

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hi Carla, this recipe is very flexible, and I absolutely think you could try a coconut milk hot chocolate version. I love all of your variations and modifications–they sound great!

  20. […] Hot Chocolate Floats. Whoever posted this recipe is now officially my hero. Hot. Chocolate. Floats. There are no words… […]

  21. Carol says:

    Oh my goodness! I just found your site and I think you are my new best friend! I seriously am about to go make the Hot Chocolate Ice Cream Float!

  22. Natural Handcrafted Soap says:

    I add on my pinterest and thanks for the recipes

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

Oh Hello There
Don't Be A Stranger
Take Me Home Tonight
Hey sugar heroes!
My candy cookbook is available now from:

Barnes & Noble
Easter Desserts