Drinks/ Italian Christmas Recipes/ Italian Desserts

Italian Hot Chocolate – Thick and Decadent

December 3, 2017 (Last Updated: September 23, 2020) by Emily

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure.

There’s no hot chocolate quite like Italian hot chocolate, it’s thick, smooth, creamy and so indulgent. If you’re looking for something chocolatey, hot and comforting to curl up on the couch with then this is the very thing for you!

When I think of hot chocolate, I’m always reminded of that powdery stuff that comes in little sachets that smells great but is often watery, thin and disappointing. This Italian hot chocolate is so chocolatey, rich and indulgent, it’s so easy to make at home and it’s ready from start to finish in 5 minutes. There’s no excuse not to make your own hot chocolate from scratch and you definitely won’t be disappointed!

Italian hot chocolate in a white mug with a spoon

Hot chocolate is the ultimate, comforting drink to curl up with on the couch with a cozy blanket, fluffy socks and a good movie. At this time of year, it’s one of my favourite things to do, especially when it’s bitterly cold outside.

I first tried this sweet treat when I was young and on holiday in Milan with my family. We had spent all day walking and sightseeing on a freezing cold day and decided to stop at a cafe for a hot drink.

I ordered hot chocolate and was served a small mug of melted, thick chocolate that was out-of-this-world delicious. It was without a doubt the best hot chocolate I had ever tastedit was a thick, pudding-like drink and it’s so easy to make at home too.

Personally, I love this Italian hot chocolate just the way it is but you could also add marshmallows, cream, caramel sauce or even a shot of Irish cream liqueur for an over the top, decadent dessert. That’s what this time of year is all about, right?

Step by step photos for how to make Italian hot chocolate

How To Make Italian Hot Chocolate

Add milk to a saucepan and then add chopped chocolate, cocoa powder and sugar. Heat the mixture, stirring occasionally until all the chocolate and sugar has melted.

Mix the corn starch with 2 tbsp of milk then add it to the chocolate milk. Stir the hot chocolate until thick and smooth, add a small pinch of salt and serve in mugs.

More festive hot drinks you might enjoy

A close up of Italian hot chocolate

If you’ve tried this or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.

Step By Step Photos AboveMost of our recipes come with step by step photos, helpful tips and tricks to make it perfectly first time and even video!
Print Pin
5 from 10 votes

Italian Hot Chocolate

Thick, smooth and creamy Italian hot chocolate, a decadent and indulgent festive treat.
Course Drinks
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 - 6 people
Calories 164kcal
Author Emily Kemp


  • 3.5 oz (100g) chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder, unsweetend
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 cups (500ml) milk + 2 tbsp
  • 4 tsp corn starch
  • 1 small pinch smoked salt or regular


  • Add the milk to a saucepan and add the chopped chocolate, cocoa powder and sugar. Heat the mixture, stirring occasionally until all the chocolate and sugar has melted.
  • Mix the corn starch with 2 tbsp of milk then add it to the chocolate milk. Stir the hot chocolate until thick and smooth, add a small pinch of salt and serve in mugs.


Calories: 164kcal
Helpful Info for All Recipes
  • I always use extra virgin olive oil in all of my recipes unless stated otherwise
  • When I use canned or jarred tomatoes of any kind I always use this brand for the best results and flavour
  • All vegetables are medium sized unless stated otherwise
  • All recipes are tested and developed using a fan (convection) oven
  • Find out more about how nutrition is calculated here
  • Check out our must have Italian Pantry Staples here
  • You can also find all our Essential Kitchen Tools for Italian Cooking here
Did you try this recipe?Mention @insidetherustickitchen or tag #insidetherustickitchen! We'd love you see what you're getting up to in the kitchen!



  • Reply
    October 15, 2020 at 3:50 am

    Can you use regular white sugar in this!? Dying to try but I can’t find caster sugar at any of my grocery stores

  • Reply
    Pina Bresciani
    December 2, 2019 at 5:46 pm

    LOVE this hot chocolate! Just made it over the weekend and the flavor was incredible. One of the most intense chocolate flavors I’ve ever tasted. It’s so thick and creamy (almost pudding-like), and I didn’t want my cup to end! Will be making again and again this winter.5 stars

    • Reply
      Inside the rustic kitchen
      December 2, 2019 at 8:43 pm

      Thanks so much for your lovely comment, Pina! So happy you enjoyed it, it’s the best time of the year for it that’s for sure!

  • Reply
    November 22, 2019 at 3:39 am

    Thank you for this delicious recipe! The Italian hot chocolate hit the spot tonite during our first snowstorm of the season here in New Mexico!! All your recipes sound wonderful & I look forward to making some.5 stars

  • Reply
    December 22, 2018 at 6:59 pm

    I hardly ever leave comments..but this hot choc is AMAZING. By far the best recipe I’ve tried for this style hot chocolate. Decadent, smooth, chocolately perfection.5 stars

    • Reply
      Inside the rustic kitchen
      December 22, 2018 at 11:04 pm

      Hey Kelsey, thanks so much for your lovely comment. I’m so happy you enjoyed it it’s perfect at this time of year, Merry Christmas!

  • Reply
    Amanda Wren-Grimwood
    December 7, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    This looks so creamy and rich I am going to have to try it and maybe dip a few biscuits in too!5 stars

  • Reply
    Angela @ Allergy Free Angela
    December 6, 2017 at 11:16 pm

    I have never tried Italian hot chocolate, but this looks and sounds amazing! The store bought hot cocoa packets could never compare to this! I can’t wait to try your recipe, Emily. 🙂5 stars

  • Reply
    Elaine @ Dishes Delish
    December 6, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    This Italian hot chocolate looks so decadent and delicious! I can see drinking this many times in my future! Awesome recipe!5 stars

  • Reply
    Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy
    December 6, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    OMG this looks so divine. What a great way to warm up from the cold winter weather. Coming in from snow shoeing would be great to have this waiting to snuggle up to.5 stars

  • Reply
    December 6, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    Oh this looks absolutely perfect! Hot, rich, thick and creamy…I will definitely be making this during the next snow fall!

  • Reply
    December 6, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    It looks so decadent! I need to try this recipe. Loving your photos too.5 stars

  • Reply
    December 6, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    It looks so creamy that I’m going to make it right now!!! Thanks for sharing this recipe!5 stars

  • Reply
    Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry
    December 6, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    Oh my, this looks so warm and comforting! You just can’t beat a cup of hot chocolate whilst curled up on the sofa and indulgent Italian hot chocolate is just the best. Will definitely be giving this a try one night this week when the weather is a little cold to warm us up!5 stars

  • Leave a Reply

    Recipe Rating

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.