This Spiked Butterscotch Homemade Hot Chocolate recipe is a delicious and creamy hot chocolate, spiked with coffee liqueur and butterscotch schnapps to warm you head to toe!
Update Notes:This post was originally published in December 2013, but was republished with tips, step by step photos, and a recipe change in January 2020.
Homemade Hot Cocoa Recipe
You do NOT want to miss this AMAZING hot chocolate recipe! I can't even describe in words how much I love this grown-up version of my favorite childhood winter drink.
It is chocolatey, sweet, steamy, and creamy, and it SOOOO hits the spot on a cold winter afternoon.
When I bought coffee liqueur and butterscotch schnapps, I was disappointed at the time that I had to buy pretty big bottles. I thought they should have smaller ones available!
But, now I am glad that they did not have the small bottles because now I have an excuse to make this adult hot chocolate a few more times this winter season!
I plan to bring the ingredients when we go visiting over the holidays and all winter long, so I can make it for my family and friends as well - I know you'll love it too!
Ingredients for Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe
- milk plus half and half - for richness and creaminess!
- cocoa powder - for chocolatey goodness of course!
- sugar - to sweeten the cocoa
- salt - just a pinch to balance the sweetness
- vanilla - cuts and balances the bitterness of the cocoa.
- coffee liqueur and butterscotch schnapps - this is the grownup version after all!
- whipped cream and butterscotch syrup - optional but it adds sooo much!
FAQs for making Creamy Hot Chocolate
Simply with sugar and vanilla - you can substitute granulated sweetener to cut the calories if you prefer.
I'm a firm believer, there's no such thing as boring hot chocolate! So if you don't have schnapps and coffee liqueur on hand, here are a few more ingredients to mix with your beverage.
- If you love a peanut butter cup, consider adding a couple of dollops of peanut butter as you're heating the chocolate. One word... YUM!!!
- Stir your chocolate with a cinnamon stick and top with mini marshmallows - so warm and comforting!
- A pinch of chili powder and cinnamon will transform your beverage into Mexican Hot Chocolate!
If you love a Caffe Mocha that's really just hot chocolate with a shot espresso. Top it with whipped cream or frothy milk and it's better than a coffee shop beverage.
I have always used the phrases interchangeably, but as it turns out there really is a difference! Hot cocoa is made using cocoa powder, and hot chocolate is made using melted chocolate. So technically, this recipe is for hot cocoa. If you are curious, you can read more about the difference between hot chocolate and hot cocoa here!
Steps to Make This Homemade Hot Cocoa
- Combine the milk, half and half, cocoa, sugar, salt, and vanilla in a saucepan.
- Heat until steaming hot.
- Remove from heat and stir in the liqueurs.
- Pour the hot chocolate into mugs and top with marshmallows, a dollop of whipped cream, a drizzle of butterscotch syrup, or all of the above!
This recipe really is easy to make and doesn't take long at all. Of course, if you are not feeling up to making your own hot chocolate, you can simply use a mix and spike it, but it really is best if you make it from scratch.
I used to be a mix girl myself, but after tasting this recipe, I can never go back to that stuff! It really isn't much more trouble to make it yourself and it uses mostly ingredients that you probably already have!
You can even make a big batch of it and serve some to the kids before doctoring up your own portion!
If you don't have half and half on hand, just use all milk, it will still be delicious! And you can use a granulated sweetener instead of sugar if you prefer.
It is easy to increase the recipe if you want to make hot chocolate for a bunch of people, and, if kids are included, just pour their drinks before you add the alcohol. Then, enjoy the head-to-toe warm and cozy feeling you will get from this delicious drink! 🙂
Spiked Butterscotch Hot Cocoa Recipe
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📋 Recipe Card
Spiked Butterscotch Hot Chocolate
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup fat free half and half
- 4 tablespoons cocoa
- 3 tablespoons sugar or granulated sweetener
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons coffee liqueur
- 3 tablespoons butterscotch schnapps
- Whipped cream or mini marshmallows (optional)
- Butterscotch syrup (optional)
- In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, half and half, cocoa, sugar, and salt.1 cup milk, 1 cup fat free half and half, 4 tablespoons cocoa, 3 tablespoons sugar or granulated sweetener, ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Heat over medium heat until steaming hot.
- Remove from heat, stir in the coffee liqueur and butterscotch schnapps.3 tablespoons coffee liqueur, 3 tablespoons butterscotch schnapps
- Pour the hot chocolate into 2 heat safe mugs.
- Top with whipped cream or mini marshmallows, and drizzle with butterscotch syrup, if desired.Whipped cream or mini marshmallows, Butterscotch syrup
- No half and half? Just use all milk, it will still be delicious!
- Substitute granulated artificial sweetener instead of sugar if you prefer.
- Double, triple, or even quadruple the recipe to serve a crowd.
- Need to keep the hot chocolate heated to serve over time? Pour it in a crock pot and keep it on low.
- Have kids around? Serve their hot chocolate and then add the alcoholic ingredients afterwards. (Just be careful to keep track of the cups so that a child doesn't accidentally pick up one of the spiked ones!)
Nutritional information is an estimate. The nutritional values for your final dish may vary based on measuring differences and products used.