Healthy Hot Chocolate in a Slow Cooker and DIY Toppings Bar



Delicious, Easy & Healthy Hot Chocolate in a Slow Cooker and DIY Toppings Bar

This Hot Chocolate for a group recipe is soooo easy and budget friendly – it’s almost a Christmas Miracle! 

To get started all you need is real milk, chocolate and a slow cooker. From there you can build a Hot Chocolate Toppings Bar if you’re making this for a party. 

Creating a Hot Chocolate Bar for a party is a fun and low-cost dessert bar – great for a big group and a delicious way to get essential vitamins and minerals from California dairy! And making the hot cocoa in a slow cooker keeps it warm, easy to serve and easy to make.

easy healthy hot chocolate for group

First, I’ll share a delicious Hot Chocolate Recipe. You can fancy it up with a few extras for a variety of flavors.

Then, there’s a list of tips for making your own Hot Chocolate Bar.

healthy hot chocolate recipe

Making Hot Chocolate for a group is super easy and low cost. For the base you only need 2 ingredients!

And this recipe is healthier than most because we use California whole milk, which is packed with nutrition, and makes it extra creamy. Plus, it’s full of high-quality protein, calcium and vitamin D – which are essential nutrients for kids and adults.

(Bonus – This article from US News shares 5 Reasons to Start Eating Full Fat Dairy)

Hot Chocolate Recipe for a Group


  • 8 cups Real California whole milk
  • 2 cups chocolate chips (use less for a lighter cocoa)


Pour milk into slow cooker. Add chocolate chips and turn it on ‘High’.

Stir every 5 minutes until the chocolate chips are melted and it’s hot.

It should take about 20 to 30 minutes – so make sure to put this together about that long before the party starts.

Then, lower the temperature to warm or low – depending on how hot you want it.

Serve it up along with California whipped cream, for added dairy-goodness, and a variety of toppings.

Try a variation of the original with a holiday twist:

  • Mexican Hot Cocoa – Milk, chocolate chips, vanilla extract, cinnamon 
  • Peppermint Hot Cocoa – Milk, chocolate chips, peppermint extract
  • Vanilla Hot Cocoa – Milk, vanilla chips, vanilla extract 
  • Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa – Milk, chocolate chips, caramel extract, sea salt


How to Make a Hot Chocolate Bar:

  1. Get the ingredients for the Hot Chocolate and make sure you have a large slow cooker.
  2. Plan your Hot Chocolate Bar taking into consideration… Space, Number of People, Allergies, Budget, Taste Preferences, etc. 
  3. Prepare an area for the bar where you can have the slow cooker plugged in and a space for the toppings.
  4. Get toppings & any serving tools you need.
  5. Set up the bar & label your toppings and directions if necessary.

The great thing about a DIY Hot Chocolate Bar is your guests can make their own to their taste preferences. It’s up to you how wild you want to get with the toppings.

And the base of your mug will be whole California milk, so the toppings add a bit of indulgence – but there’s not a lot of room to pile them on so it’s instant portion control.

easy hot chocolate for a group recipe

Here’s a list of Hot Chocolate Bar Topping Ideas to help inspire you. At the top is the classic and must have – California Whipped Cream.

Whether you make fresh whipped cream or a can – look for the Real California Milk seal when shopping for your ingredients. And keep the whipped cream on the table in a bowl of ice to keep it cool.

Hot Chocolate Bar Topping Ideas:

  1. California Whipped Cream (Keep the whipped cream on the table in a bowl of ice to keep it cool)
  2. Strawberries
  3. Cranberries
  4. Nuts
  5. Cereal – (Healthy to indulgent choices)
  6. Coconut
  7. Pretzel Sticks
  8. Chocolate Chips
  9. Caramel Sauce
  10. Sprinkles
  11. Mini-M&Ms
  12. Cinnamon (or other holiday spices)


easy hot cocoa in a crockpot recipe

Do you have a fun topping idea to add?

Let me know!

Remember to look for the Real California Milk seal the next time you’re grocery shopping and use the product locator to find Real California Milk products near you here.

The seal means it’s been made with 100% Real California Milk from dairy farm families.


This post is sponsored by Real California Milk. For more information you can read our disclosure policy here.


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