Lovers of chocolate and orange, you are going to love this easy orange hot chocolate recipe.

Perfect for sipping around the fireplace or Christmas tree, you may even want to leave a mug out for Santa along with some sugar cookies.

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More chocolate and/or orange recipes to enjoy: chocolate orange truffle cake, orange spiced eggnog, and chocolate Halloween cake.

3 holiday mugs of hot chocolate on a platter with a Christmas tree in the background.

Why This Recipe?

I’m sure there are plenty of orange hot chocolate recipes out there. This one takes the cake though.

Here’s why:

  • The perfect amount of chocolate: I tested this recipe using all different ratios of milk to chocolate, and these measurements give the most bang for their buck.
  • It’s a perfect seasonal drink because chocolate oranges are always available around the holidays
  • The jaunty garnish: I love the little candy orange section perched on the rim of the mug. Is it strictly necessary? Nope. But it does add a festive touch for the holidays.
  • It’s easy to change the flavors. If chocolate and orange is not your thing. you can use any flavored dark chocolate candy bar or bars. Just remember that this recipe is by weight, so make sure you’re using the same amount for your drink. For reference, chocolate oranges weigh about 5 1/2 ounces.

If this sounds like your kind of holiday beverage, you can jump straight to the recipe and get started.

If you do make some orange hot chocolate for yourself, I have a favor to ask:

When you do make this recipe, it will help me and other readers if you:
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Close up of creamy, frothy hot chocolate in a peppermint-striped mug.
Rich drinking chocolate is only about 7 minutes away as long as you have a chocolate orange and some milk!

How to Make Orange Hot Chocolate

It is literally as easy as whisking chocolate and hot milk together.

To make it super creamy, I recommend combining your ingredients in a blender.

You could also use an immersion blender right in your saucepan.

Or consider going old school, taking a tip from Mexico, the original home of chocolate, and frothing your cup with a molinillo, or Mexican hot chocolate frother.

PRO TIP: Do choose a dark chocolate orange (or bar) to melt into your milk. If you want to use one of the milk chocolate versions, reinforce the chocolaty-ness with a spoonful or two of cocoa powder. Milk chocolate alone won’t give you enough chocolate flavor.

Jenni's Pick
Terry's Chocolate Orange - Dark Chocolate - 5.53oz - Pack of 2
$12.99 $11.95 ($1.08 / Ounce)

Tasty for eating outright, chocolate oranges also great when removed from the box and stuck down in the toe of a Christmas stocking. And don't discount their deliciousness in a big old cup of orange hot chocolate.

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03/10/2024 05:27 pm GMT

How to Garnish with a Slice of Chocolate Orange

A mug of orange hot chocolate by a Christmas tree, garnished with a wheel of chocolate candy.

All you have to do is take a sharp knife, and run it under very hot water.

Dry off the blade and then make a notch through the thin side of a wedge of orange chocolate that is wide enough to accommodate the rim of your mug.

You may have to repeat running the blade under hot water a couple of times so you don’t end up cracking the wedge. Make sure you dry your blade each time.

Then, fill your mug, fit the chocolate orange wedge onto the edge. Tada!


As delicious as I think this orange hot chocolate is, I know some of you might like yours a bit different from the way I like mine.

Here are a few ideas for changing up the flavor and richness.

  • Stir in a teaspoon or two (to taste) of good quality instant coffee per cup to make a flavored mocha.
  • To make a richer drink, use half and half in place of some or all of the whole milk.
  • Use a bit more milk (up to 30 ounces) to stretch the chocolate and cut the richness/sweetness a bit. Don’t leave out the salt, though.
  • For adults, add a splash of liquor or liqueur. Frangelico, Kahlua, and Grand Marnier would all work well. A shot of rum or bourbon instead would not be a bad plan, either.
  • Use your very favorite chocolate. Since this is a milk-based drink, I would recommend using dark chocolate for the best flavor. But there are tons of flavored chocolate bars that you probably have said “wow, this is good enough to drink!” And now you can.
  • Use a vegan bar and a dairy substitute such as almond milk, oat milk, or cashew milk for a vegan version.

Serving Suggestions

Of course, you can just drink this without any accompaniments, but let’s say you’re going to leave some of this out for Santa. He’ll want cookies too!

My all-time favorite Christmas cookies are angel slices. Delicious pecan-coconut filling on top of shortbread with a tart lemon glaze. Trust me, these are The Best.

If you like your chocolate with a side of chocolate, then these chocolate peppermint crinkle cookies are calling your name. You can always leave out the mint and candy pieces for straight-up crinkle goodness.

Oh, and don’t forget to leave a note for Santa!


Since I’m a fan of the orange chocolate drink, I’ll share the recipe for that version, but please know you can make your drinking chocolate any flavor you prefer.

A Note About Measurements

Best for Home Use
Escali Primo Digital Food Scale

Don't let its small price and small size fool you. The Escali Primo is an accurate and easy-to-use food scale that I have used for years. It's easy to store, easy to use, has a tare function, and easily switches between grams and ounces/pounds for accurate measurements.

Purchase Now How & Why to Use a Kitchen Scale
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03/07/2024 05:03 pm GMT
5 golden stars for rating recipes

Easy Orange Hot Chocolate

Jennifer Field
This easy orange hot chocolate is rich and sweet and perfect. Hot chocolate fans, you're going to love this recipe. All ounce measurements are by weight and not volume.
5 from 2 votes
Tried this recipe?Please give it a star rating!
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes
Course Beverages
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 287 kcal


  • 1 Dark Chocolate Orange (“core” and all), broken into segments
  • 21 ounces whole milk (2 2/3 cups)
  • heavy pinch of salt


  • Heat the milk to a high simmer, whisking frequently.
  • Pour the hot milk and the chocolate pieces into your blender and blend to combine and make it frothy.
  • Pour into 4 6-8 oz mugs.
  • Top with mini marshmallows, whipped cream, or a spoonful of marshmallow cream, if desired.
  • Enjoy!

Did You Make Any Changes?


Serving: 6ozCalories: 287kcalCarbohydrates: 30.3gProtein: 5.7gFat: 16.1gSaturated Fat: 9.4gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 212mgFiber: 2.8gSugar: 27.6g
Keyword drinking chocolate, hot chocolate, orange hot chocolate
Did you make this recipe?Please tell us what you loved!

Enjoy your orange hot chocolate, and your holiday.

Take care, and have a lovely day.

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  1. I remember drinking chocolate once, and it is super rich and delish. Chocolate and orange?! YUMMO! But my kids get the hot cocoa. If they try this, there’s no going back to cheap cocoa! LOL!

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