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Starbucks White Hot Chocolate Recipe

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On a cold day you will love this quick and easy recipe on how to make a Starbucks White Hot Chocolate recipe at home. Save time and money during the winter months by making this fast copycat white hot chocolate recipe, it ranks up there with the best things in life. 

When cooler weather settles in, my family is ready for my hot chocolate for two, it is the best hot chocolate or try this Christmas Morning Chai Latte recipe, or this easy Wassail recipe and this seasonal Starbucks Eggnog Latte. My hubby and boys go nuts over it and I modeled this White Hot Chocolate after this recipe.

Starbucks Copycat White Hot Chocolate square image in clear glass teacup mug with whipped cream, white chocolate chips, chocolate curls and mimi marshmallows.

I developed this recipe as part of Chocolate Week this week, be sure to pop down to the end of the post for all the amazing recipes! And be sure to check out my other recipes as part of this week, like Ferrero Rocher Ice Cream and Crockpot Peanut Clusters.

Why You Will Love this White Hot Chocolate Recipe

  • Easy | When I am making hot drinks or any drink for that matter, I want it to be simple and uncomplicated, this fits the bill. If you can heat milk, you can make this drink.
  • High Quality Ingredients | You just need a few ingredients, so splurge for good ones, oh and the higher-quality white chocolate doesn’t not have fillers and is typically gluten-free. No white chocolate sauce in this white chocolate recipes!
  • Versatile | I love recipes that I can make one batch of, then change it up for each person!

Simple Ingredients

Full recipe with measurements are in the printable recipe card at the end of this post. 

Labeled ingredients for Starbucks Copycat White Hot Chocolate.
  • White Chocolate | Since white chocolate is the main ingredient you want to splurge on a high-quality white chocolate bar or chips (I like Guittard, it is non-GMO and Gluten-free, also love Ghirardelli, or Lindt) All of these have a higher percentage of cocoa butter. Technically a white chocolate bar is better, as it’s more pure, however for ease, I use chips, since that’s usually what I have on hand.
  • Vanilla | Use real vanilla extract or try my homemade vanilla extract, I actually used Bourbon Vanilla Extract.
  • Milk | I use whole milk, you could also use half and half or lower percentages of milk, even skim milk if that’s your thing, for this hot cocoa recipe.
  • Salt | Yes! A pinch of salt brings out the flavor immensely! I love using flaky sea salt

What is in a Starbucks White Hot Chocolate?

Are you ready for it? Milk, Fontana White Chocolate Mocha Sauce (which contains Sugar, Condensed Skim Milk, Coconut Oil, Cocoa Butter, Natural Flavor, Salt, Potassium Sorbate, Monoglycerides), Whipped Cream (Cream, Milk, Mono And Diglycerides, Carrageenan), Vanilla Syrup (Sugar, Water, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid).

This White Hot Chocolate is so much better, easier and a decadent drink without all of the unpronounceable ingredients.

How to Make Starbucks White Hot Chocolate

This white hot chocolate recipe could not be easier! Pretend like you are a Starbucks employee and make this coffee shop speciality drink the easy way! Can you heat milk? Throw in a few other ingredients and stir? You’ve got this!

In a small saucepan, pour in milk and heat over medium-low heat until steaming, but not boiling. 

Remove from heat, add white chocolate to the warm milk and let sit for 30 seconds, then whisk into the mixture. Return to low heat, add vanilla and flaky sea salt, stirring until smooth. 

Heat until hot, but not boiling, serve immediately, see below for ways to top this delicious drink. 

Pouring white hot chocolate into a glass mug.
Serve immediately

Fresh Tip

  • If you want a White Chocolate Latte, use a frother to steam and froth the milk, then pour over the white chocolate chips, stirring gently.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Starbucks White Hot Chocolate Made of?

According to the ingredients on their website, White Hot Chocolate is made using white chocolate mocha sauce, 2% milk and foam and topped with whipped cream.
The white chocolate mocha sauce has a LOT of sugar in it, so by using a high-quality white chocolate we reduce the sugar content dramatically. I’ve used whole milk, because it’s what we drink, but you can certainly use 2% if you choose. Instead of steaming the milk, we mimic the process on the stovetop, making our White Hot Chocolate easier and a wee bit healthier for you. Use a frother to whip it up!

Is there coffee in Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha? 

It’s a little misleading since the sauce Starbucks uses contains the word mocha, which typically implies coffee and chocolate combined. However; there is not coffee in Starbucks white hot chocolate mocha syrup and there is none in this hot chocolate. 

Can I add coffee to my Copycat White Hot Chocolate?

You bet! My suggestion would be to pull a 1-2 ounce espresso or brew some really strong coffee pour it into your mug, then pour the white hot chocolate on top. OR make it simpler and add 1 teaspoon of Espresso powder to the milk mixture when adding the white chocolate. 

Starbucks white hot chocolate in pretty glass serving mug.

White Hot Chocolate Toppings

  • Whipped Cream |  from a can, homemade or frozen.
  • Whipped Cream | from a can, homemade or frozen.
  • Marshmallows | the classic way to top white hot chocolate! Make homemade marshmallows <– my friend Tasia’s recipe. Or try mini dried marshmallows
  • Marshmallow Creme or Fluff | A generous dollop of this will make you swoon!
  • Naked | this would be my youngest son’s preference, keep the marshmallows on the side, maybe drizzle a little chocolate syrup on the sides of the glass.
  • Fresh Grated Nutmeg | Nutmeg, like on eggnog, enhances the flavors of white chocolate.
  • Cocoa Powder | Sprinkle with a light dusting of cocoa powder.
  • Chocolate Jimmies | These are my favorite all natural jimmies or try white jimmies
  • White or Dark Chocolate Curls | You can make your own, by using a room temperature bar of good chocolate (white or dark), and using a vegetable peeler, pull towards you on the side of the bar, creating a curl. 
Starbucks White Hot Chocolate in glass mug, top down shot with whipped cream, mini marshmallows, sprinkles and nutmeg.

Variations & Substitutions

Dress your White Hot Chocolate recipe up for any season!

  • Starbucks Peppermint white hot chocolate | Add a ½ teaspoon of peppermint extract to the milk mixture and sprinkle crushed candy canes on top of the whipped cream, definitely serve with a candy cane hooked on the glass.
  • Valentine’s Day White Hot Chocolate | Add a drop or two of all-natural red food coloring to make your white hot chocolate pink, sprinkle pink and red hearts on top. 
  • Godiva White Hot Chocolate | This adult version of white hot chocolate uses Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur (or try making your own, a great gift!). Add 1-2 ounces when adding the white chocolate chips, serve with real whipped cream, white chocolate curls and a dusting of black cocoa for a dramatic drink. 
  • St. Patrick’s Day Hot Chocolate Recipe | Two ideas here; a kid and an adult version:
    • Kid Version | Add a drop or two of all-natural green food coloring to the hot milk mixture. Serve with whipped cream or Fluff and sprinkle with edible gold stars and green sugar or jimmies. 
    • Adult Version | Swirl 2 ounces of Irish Cream Liqueur into the warmed milk when adding the white chocolate pieces; top with whipped cream and a generous sprinkle of fresh nutmeg and green jimmies.
Starbucks white hot chocolate in small glass mug with plate, sprinkled with white and dark chocolate curls, whipped cream and sprinkles.

Crock Pot White Hot Chocolate

White hot chocolate for a crowd!

Increase milk to 6 cups, 9 ounces white chocolate (chopped or chips) and 2-3 teaspoons vanilla extract, plus 2-3 pinches of salt. Add white chocolate chips to the crock pot, pour in the milk, stir in vanilla and salt.

Heat on high for about 1 hour 30 minutes, stirring well after the first 30 minutes. When ready to serve, turn the crock pot to warm, stir or whisk to combine and serve. Serves 6-8, feel free to double for more people.

Be sure to serve with individual bowls of toppings like crushed candy canes, jimmies, whipped cream, marshmallows and your favorite sauces.

Copycat Starbucks White Hot Chocolate Pin with top image of glass mug filled with creamy white hot chocolate and bottom image of simple ingredients.

Storing & Reheating

Store any leftovers in fridge, up to 3 days. To reheat, place in saucepan and heat over low heat until warmed through, stirring occasionally.

More great drink recipes

Copycat Starbucks white hot chocolate with whipped cream and white chocolate chips and jimmies.

I am joining other bloggers for Chocolate Week this week! Be sure to browse through all of the mouthwatering recipes below!

More Chocolate Recipes

Starbucks White Hot Chocolate in a pretty glass tea-cup with saucer.

I hope you loved this Starbucks White Hot Chocolate Recipe — if you did, would you share your creation on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest? And be sure to comment below!

Like this recipe?
Don’t forget to give it a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating and comment below the recipe!

Kathleen Pope, The Fresh Cooky.

About Kathleen Pope

Recipe Innovator | Food Photographer | Food Writer

Hi, I’m Kathleen Pope. Here at The Fresh Cooky you will find easy, mostly from-scratch, trusted recipes for all occasions. From speedy dinners to tasty desserts, with easy step-by-step instructions. I am here to help teach you how to make mouthwatering recipes without spending hours in the kitchen. Read more about Kathleen here.

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  1. 5 stars
    Love this starbucks copycat recipe!! The starbucks white hot chocolate is one of my holiday favorites, but I love that I can now make it at home and it tastes just as good as the original!

  2. 5 stars
    This brought back memories of my University years when I would get a white hot chocolate at the coffee stand before early morning classes on Friday. Love all the real ingredients in this version though – will be making on repeat all winter long!

  3. 5 stars
    I love a good copycat recipe and this was no exception! Turned out smooth, rich and delicious; easily, my new favorite way to warm up on a cool evening, indeed!

  4. I’ve made a white hot chocolate once. It was really good! I didn’t think I’d like it because I’m not a white chocolate fan. But it did open me up to trying others. Like this one. I can’t wait to try it.

  5. We are such peas in a pod Kathleen! Not really a hot chocolate fan myself, but I do love, love, love some white chocolate! So looking forward to making a cup to celebrate life!

  6. This whitt hot chocolate is even better than Starbucks! It’s so easy to make with only 4 ingredinets. We loved it and will be making this all the time from now on, so good! Thank you so much!

  7. My granddaughter loves playing outside regardless of how cold it might be so I always warm her up with hot chocolate. I’m going to surprise her with this version next time. Thanks