Red Velvet Hot Chocolate

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Red Velvet Hot Chocolate is the perfect drink for cold and spooky nights! This Halloween hot chocolate recipe has a not-too-sweet chocolate flavor and luscious rich and creamy texture. 

Red Velvet Hot Chocolate in a clear skull-shaped mug on a white serving platter.

☕ A spooky Halloween drink

This red velvet hot chocolate is the perfect last-minute recipe. You can whip it up in just a few minutes, and enjoy it while watching a scary movie, or warm up with it after a chilly trick or treating session. It goes beautifully with a slice of red velvet spiderweb cake, but it’s also perfect on its own. (Served in a skull mug for maximum spooky factor, of course!)

What makes this red velvet hot chocolate?

To me, the signature characteristics of red velvet cake are the buttermilk and light cocoa flavor of the cake. Without the buttermilk in the batter it’s just a boring, not-very-chocolatey cake, so I wanted to find a way to incorporate the unique buttermilk/cocoa flavor into the drink. Rather than using actual buttermilk (because that sounded iffy) I blended a little cream cheese into the milk before heating it. Voila! The milk was thicker and richer, and it had a flavor that called to mind not only the red velvet cake, but also the signature cream cheese frosting!

The cream cheese isn’t overwhelming—I only use 3 oz for 20 oz of milk—so it’s not like you’re drinking frosting here. But it does add a wonderful texture and just a hint of cream cheese flavor that blends nicely with the semi-sweet chocolate. Overall the hot chocolate’s flavor is complex and not too sweet, perfect for enjoying in small sips throughout the night.

If you’re in the mood for a cold but equally creepy Halloween drink, you’ve got to try our popular Witch’s Brew Halloween Punch! And check out a few other favorite Halloween recipes, like Spiderweb Cupcakes and Chocolate Spiders, Melting Chocolate Skulls, and 3-Ingredient Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Small skull-shaped shot glasses on a black background, holding red velvet hot chocolate.

🧾 What You’ll Need

Overhead shot of ingredients needed to make Red Velvet Hot Chocolate.

Ingredients

One thing that’s NOT scary about this hot chocolate? The ingredient list! Here’s what you need to know: (Links are affiliate links and I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.)

  • Semi-sweet hot chocolate: Whenever possible, I recommend chopping up chocolate bars instead of using chocolate chips. Most chips you get from the grocery store are waxy and don’t have a strong, deep chocolate flavor. Using good-quality bars will give you a better hot chocolate flavor and texture.
  • Milk: you can use any milk you have on hand. As with all things in life, the more fat, the more rich and creamy it will be, but even skim milk will make a decent cup of hot chocolate, if that’s what’s available to you. I typically use 2% milk fat.
  • Cream cheese: The cream cheese is the extra sumthin’ sumthin’ that separates this from typical hot chocolate. I recommend using cream cheese that comes in a block instead of a tub.
  • Brown sugar: I like adding a bit of brown sugar to counteract the tang of cream cheese, and add a bit of caramelized sweetness. You can skip it if you like a less sweet drink.
  • Salt and vanilla: Both contribute to the complexity of flavor!
  • Red food coloring: People have very strong feelings about food coloring, so feel free to skip or modify this recommendation based on personal preference. If you do use food coloring, I recommend a good-quality gel food coloring, because it will take less coloring to give you a strong, vibrant shade. I use Americoler Super Red gel.
Hand holding a finger-shaped cookie, dipping it into a mug of Red Velvet Hot Chocolate.

Equipment

The only equipment you’ll need is a medium (3 or 4 qt) saucepan, a whisk, and some type of blender to mix the milk and cream cheese. I like using a stick blender because it’s faster, easier, and produces fewer dishes, but any type of blender will do.

📋 How to Make Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Red Velvet Hot Chocolate is bloody simple to make! Here’s a quick photo rundown, and you can find full printable instructions in the recipe card down below.

Two photo collage showing how to blend cream cheese and milk to make Red Velvet Hot Chocolate.

Blend milk and cream cheese

  • Pour the milk into a 3 or 4-quart saucepan, and add room temperature cream cheese.
  • Use an immersion blender to mix them together until smooth, creamy, and no lumps remain. (Alternately, you can blend them in a separate blender then pour the liquid into a saucepan and proceed.)
Two photo collage showing adding chocolate and whisking hot chocolate.

Add remaining ingredients

  • Add the chocolate, vanilla, brown sugar, and salt to the saucepan.
  • Place over medium heat and warm the milk, whisking occasionally, until the chocolate is completely melted and your mixture is smooth.
Two photo collage showing how to color and pour Red Velvet Hot Chocolate.

Color and serve!

  • If you are using food coloring, time to add it! Give your pot a few generous squirts of food coloring until you get a red you’re happy with.
  • Serve hot, in spooky skull mugs…if you dare.
Pouring red velvet hot chocolate from above into a clear skull-shaped mug.
Donut Hole Eyeballs
Donut Hole Eyeballs are a cute, creepy Halloween dessert recipe that’s perfect for parties, movie nights, or any spooky occasion. Enjoy them on their own, use them as cake or cupcake decorations, or serve them on lollipop sticks to make eyeball pops!
Get the recipe!
Close-up of Donut Hole Eyeballs.
Bloody Truffles
If you like creepy candies, these Bloody Truffles are for you! They’re soft cake truffles with an optional cherry filling, decorated with candy weapons and a bit of edible “blood.” Perfect for scaring your friends and family! 
This recipe makes about 36 cake truffles, but if you add the optional cherries in the center, you’ll get closer to 42-48 out of the batch.
Get the recipe!
Bloody Truffles | From SugarHero.com
Red Velvet Hot Chocolate in a clear skull-shaped mug on a white serving platter.

Red Velvet Hot Chocolate

5 from 6 votes
Red Velvet Hot Chocolate is the perfect drink for cold and spooky nights! This Halloween hot chocolate recipe has a not-too-sweet chocolate flavor and luscious rich and creamy texture.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Yield 4 servings
Calories 413 kcal

Ingredients
 

CUSTOMIZE: 4 servings

Instructions
 

  • Place the milk and cream cheese in a blender and blend them together until smooth. If you have a stick blender, you can just place them in a saucepan and blend them together right in the pan.
  • Pour the milk-cream cheese mixture into a medium saucepan, and add the chocolate, vanilla, brown sugar, and salt.
  • Place over medium heat and warm the milk, whisking occasionally, until the chocolate is completely melted and your mixture is smooth.
  • Whisk in the red food coloring, adding more until you get a color you like. Serve hot!
  • Red Velvet Hot Chocolate can be made several days in advance and kept in the refrigerator until ready to use. Reheat in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stove.

Recipe Notes

If you’d like a sweeter hot chocolate (or a brighter red color) you can substitute milk chocolate for some or all of the dark chocolate, or replace some of the dark chocolate with white chocolate.

MEASURING TIPS

Our recipes are developed using weight measurements, and we highly recommend using a kitchen scale for baking whenever possible. However, if you prefer to use cups, volume measurements are provided as well. PLEASE NOTE: the adage “8 oz = 1 cup” is NOT true when speaking about weight, so don’t be concerned if the measurements don’t fit this formula.

Click here to learn more about baking measurements and conversion.

Nutrition

Calories: 413 kcal | Carbohydrates: 37 g | Protein: 9 g | Fat: 25 g | Saturated Fat: 15 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7 g | Trans Fat: 0.03 g | Cholesterol: 31 mg | Sodium: 276 mg | Potassium: 515 mg | Fiber: 3 g | Sugar: 30 g | Vitamin A: 596 IU | Calcium: 238 mg | Iron: 3 mg
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Two photo collage of Red Velvet Hot Chocolate with text overlay for Pinterest.

About Elizabeth LaBau

I’m Elizabeth, but you can call me SugarHero! I’m a former pastry chef turned blogger, cookbook author, and baking instructor, and I consider myself sugar’s #1 fan. Learn more from my About page, or connect with me on social media:

What You'll Need
Editor's Note

This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, which is an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.  For more information, see my Disclaimer and Disclosure Policy.

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