This Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate is to DIE for! Rich, creamy, with a deep caramelized flavor and a hint of salt, it’s addicting and you just may never go back to regular hot chocolate again. 

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate | From

So if last week’s Lavender Hot Chocolate was all about treating yo’self –well actually, myself—then this Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate is all about treating the entire freakin’ world. Because I’m pretty sure that what the world needs isn’t love, sweet love, but chocolate, sweet chocolate. And if that chocolate is mixed with a based of homemade salted caramel sauce? All the better.

Apologies in advance if you’re a Starbucks groupie and are hoping for a copycat recipe. I’ve actually never had their Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate before, so I can’t tell you how this one compares. However, I’m betting theirs doesn’t start with a pan of caramelized sugar and end with 10 ounces of finely chopped chocolate, so at the risk of tooting my own horn: TOOOOOOOT mine is better TOOOOOOOOOOT!

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate | From

I used my Salted Caramel Milk recipe as the base for this hot chocolate—I already knew it was the perfect balance of dark caramelized sugar with a hint of salt, so why not try adding handfuls of chopped chocolate and see what happens? Turns out, magic happens. This drink is thick and rich, with the background flavor of smoky caramelized sugar and a savory finish from the salt. I usually add whipped cream for photos but often skip it in my own personal mugs of hot chocolate, but for this recipe, I think the whipped cream topping is practically a necessity—otherwise the chocolate is almost too intense and rich. (Did you ever think you would see me write those words?!)

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate | From

Speaking of intense and rich, don’t be fooled by the ginormous mugs you see in the pictures—those are food styling shenanigans! This is a classic sipping chocolate, and you’ll want to serve it in small cups so it’s not overwhelming. It’s true that Jason was able to pound back a full mug, but I’ve also seen him eat big slices of layer cake after having thirds at dinner, so he’s obviously smuggling a second stomach around or something. For the rest of us mere mortals, we’re better off enjoying this drink in more reasonable portions. Besides, the smaller the cups, the more we can justify the whipped cream and caramel on top, right? And, speaking of justification – don’t forget you’ll need something tasty to dip in this deliciousness like Apple Cider Fritters, Creme Brulee Doughnuts or Big Soft Sugar Cookies.

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate | From
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A cup of Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate on a napkin next to cookies.

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

5 from 2 votes
Make your own salted caramel hot chocolate at home! Salted caramel is the base for this thick homemade hot chocolate. It’s incredibly rich and indulgent!
Prep20 minutes
Total20 minutes


  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp lemon juice, fresh
  • 4 1/2 cups milk, room temperature, (I used 1%—any fat percentage you enjoy drinking should work)
  • 8 oz milk chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • Big pinch of salt
  • Whipped cream , to garnish (optional)
  • Caramel sauce, to garnish (optional)


  • In a small bowl, rub together the sugar and the lemon juice, until the sugar is damp and fragrant.
  • Place a medium saucepan over medium heat and let it preheat for several minutes until the pan is hot. Once the saucepan is hot, add the sugar. Begin stirring immediately and continuously. Because the pan was preheated, the sugar will start cooking very quickly. Soon after it liquefies it will start to take on color. Cook, stirring constantly, until it is a medium amber color.
  • Continue to stir while you stream in the milk. The caramel may seize and form small chunks of sugar, but continue to stir and heat the mixture, and by the time the milk is piping hot, the caramel will have melted and you will have a smooth liquid.
  • Once the milk is at a simmer (small bubbles forming along the sides of the pan) remove the pan from the heat. Don’t let the milk come to a boil! Add the chopped chocolates to the pan and whisk until the mixture is smooth and the chocolate is melted. Add a pinch of salt, taste the milk, and add more salt if desired.
  • Serve Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate with whipped cream and caramel sauce. It can be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator for up to a week. Reheat it in the microwave or on the stove top.

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.

Want to learn more about baking measurements and conversion?


Serving: 8g | Calories: 414kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 65mg | Potassium: 314mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 60g | Vitamin A: 220IU | Vitamin C: 0mg | Calcium: 167mg | Iron: 1.7mg
Tried this recipe?Snap a pic and hashtag it #SugarHero. We love to see your creations on our Instagram @elabau.
Four photo collage of hot chocolate pictures.


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Hi, I’m Elizabeth — a trained pastry chef, cookbook author, video instructor, and your new Baking BFF! I’m going to teach you everything you need to know to be a sugar hero. ❤️

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  1. I also am too poor for the Starbucks nonsense. I’m in love with salted caramel though, and honestly? I’m tempted to skip the hot chocolate part, stop midway through step 3 and serve me up some whipped cream and salted caramel sauce in a dainty little espresso cup.
    Let’s start our own company called Shmarbucks. . . do you think there would be copywrite issues??

    1. HA, Shmarbucks! I love it. Can we serve Shubway shandwiches there too? This is a solid business model for sure.

      P.S. Salted caramel sauce + whipped cream is always an option. Always!

  2. I just found your site through A Sweet Baker. I was going through a fudge crisis and she recommended I contact you. Psht, who needs Starbucks when you can have this delicious beverage. Love it. Pinned.

    1. Thanks Jennie! Got your facebook message, will get back to you soon. So glad you stopped by, and am looking forward to checking out your blog as well! xo

  3. I do love Starbucks and Dunkin but I don’t love their prices. So I’m always making fancy coffees at home. This looks deeeeelicious! 🙂

  4. I love chocolate.
    Congratulations on your awesome blog.
    My mouth is melting.
    My cooking blog is in Spanish and has google translation to English and other languages.

  5. Just tried this and it was amazing! This recipe has made my winter, hot chocolate will never be the same again!

  6. I’ve just made this as a belated happy mother’s day to me, and it is glorious!!! Savouring every gulp!! Thanks for another winner!

  7. I’m a huge fan of salted caramel at the moment. I will definitely be trying this over the winter months!

    1. Hey Chris, I am happy you found it! I feel the same way, Thank you so much. If you have any questions let me know!