Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate

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Peanut butter and hot chocolate aren’t two things one would come up in a conversation very often, but with the allure of the holidays approaching, I decided to break the traditional and step out of my comfort zone to combine the two. Rich, creamy hot cocoa is made from scratch with just three ingredients! Top hot cocoa with mini marshmallows or chocolate chips.

PEANUT BUTTER HOT CHOCOLATE

This Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate Recipe is creamy, chocolatey and bursting with peanut butter flavor! This easy homemade peanut butter hot cocoa is made with 6 ingredients in 10 minutes and is a delicious warm treat to enjoy after playing in the snow! It’s easily made vegan/dairy-free.

a glass mug filled with Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate topped with whipped cream and a drizzle of peanut butter

Answer: A warm mug full of rich, creamy homemade peanut butter hot chocolate.

Because I mean really, why wouldn’t you want to cozy up with a sweet treat that tastes just like a warm, liquid peanut butter cup?! This peanut butter hot chocolate recipe is seriously delicious, and is made with 6 ingredients in less than 10 minutes!

HOW TO MAKE PEANUT BUTTER HOT CHOCOLATE

This recipe really couldn’t get any easier (watch the video)! But I want to give you a few tips and tricks to make sure it turns out perfectly every single time!

Cook over low heat. Cooking this peanut butter hot chocolate recipe in a saucepan over low heat is the best way to ensure that the chocolate melts evenly and the milk doesn’t burn!

Do not add all the ingredients at once. Another way to ensure silky smooth peanut butter hot cocoa is to make sure the first five ingredients are fully combined and smooth before adding the last two ingredients. Cocoa powder can be tricky to incorporate into a mixture that isn’t smooth.

two overhead photos showing How to make Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate

Whisk a lot! It’s important to whisk this peanut butter hot chocolate recipe pretty consistently to avoid lumps, and to prevent the ingredients from sticking to the bottom of the pan!

two overhead photos showing How to make Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate

SERVE

Pour into 2-4 mugs (depending on the amount you’d like to enjoy) and serve. I recommend serving this Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate with a dollop of homemade whipped cream and a drizzle of extra peanut butter.

You can also add chocolate shavings, peanut butter cups, etc. The sky’s the limit!

Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate being poured into a glass mug

STORE

If (and that’s a big ifyou have leftovers after enjoying your fair share of this peanut butter hot chocolate, you can store it in a glass jar with a lid in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Please note: due to the melted chocolate in this recipe, it will very likely become solid in the refrigerator. All you need to do is re-warm it over low heat on the stovetop to return it to a drinkable consistency.

You can also thin it out with a little extra milk if necessary!

a glass mug filled with Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate

RECIPE FAQS

Here are some commonly asked questions about this recipe.

Does peanut butter melt in milk?

Yes, as the milk and peanut butter mixture warms, the peanut butter will melt.

How can I make this without refined sugar?

To make this Peanut Butter Hot Cocoa with no refined sugar there are two simple substitutions you need to make:
1. Use unsweetened chocolate in place of the bittersweet or semisweet chocolate.
2. Replace granulated sugar with coconut sugar.
Also, be mindful of the peanut butter you choose! Make sure to choose a variety that does not have any added sugars.

Can I double this recipe?

Yes, this recipe is easy to double (or triple) to feed a crowd.

a glass mug filled with Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate topped with whipped cream and a drizzle of peanut butter

PEANUT BUTTER HOT CHOCOLATE: INGREDIENTS & SUBSTITUTIONS 

This recipe is fairly versatile. There are a handful of ingredient substitutions that can be made to comply with your dietary needs without compromising taste or texture.

  • Milk. For the creamiest peanut butter hot chocolate, I recommend using full-fat milk like whole milk or even heavy cream. To make this dairy-free I suggest one can of full-fat coconut milk and ¼ cup almond milk to think it out slightly.
  • Semi/Bittersweet Chocolate.  Use your favorite chocolate in this recipe. I prefer 60% dark chocolate, but there’s no restrictions on the type of chocolate you can use, ranging from white to milk to full-on unsweetened chocolate. If you want a refined-sugar free version, then use unsweetened chocolate.
  • Peanut Butter. I recommend using your favorite creamy peanut butter.
  • Sugar. I like to use organic cane sugar, to make a refined-sugar free version you can use coconut sugar instead.
  • Sea Salt. I only recommend adding a touch of sea salt if the peanut butter you use does not contain any salt.

Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate

Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate is easy to make at home and so, so good. 

I have a ton of hot chocolate recipes on the site, Classic Hot Chocolate, Rich and Thick Hot Chocolate, White Hot Chocolate, Pink Hot Chocolate, Baileys Hot Chocolate, so I thought I had pretty much all my hot chocolate bases covered.

But last year someone left me a comment blew my mind. They told me that they had taken my classic hot chocolate and made it into peanut butter hot chocolate.

As a lover of all things peanut butter, obviously I had to give this a try, and friends, I’m so glad I did, because it’s real good.

Adding peanut butter to hot chocolate not only makes your hot chocolate a peanut buttery delight, it also gives it a rich and creamy texture, so it feels 10xs more decadent.

Picture of Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate on a white plate with Nutter Butter Cookies.

Ingredients

  • Sugar, cocoa powder, and water: Instead of using a store-bought chocolate sauce, we’ll use these three ingredients to make a quick chocolate syrup to flavor the hot chocolate base. 
  • Milk: Any percentage milk will work for hot chocolate. The higher fat the milk, the richer and creamier your hot chocolate will be.
  • Peanut butter: I recommend using a processed creamy peanut butter like this so you get the smoothest hot chocolate possible. 

Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate Variations

  • Vegan: Replace the dairy milk with your favorite plant-based milk and you have instant vegan peanut butter hot chocolate. 
  • Extra chocolatey: Add 2 tablespoons of good-quality chocolate chips or chopped chocolate to the chocolate syrup and stir until melted before adding the milk. The extra boost of real chocolate flavor is *so* good. 
  • Extra creamy: Replace 2 tablespoons of the milk with heavy cream (or 1/4 cup with half and half) for an incredibly rich and creamy peanut butter and chocolate experience. 
Picture of Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate being poured into a mug.

How to Make Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate

  1. Stir together sugar, cocoa powder, and water over medium heat until smooth. 
  2. Add milk and peanut butter and heat, stirring occasionally until milk is steaming hot and peanut butter is completely mixed in. Do not allow the milk to come to a boil as it can scald. 
  3. Pour into a mug (if you are feeling a little extra, you can add whipped cream and peanut butter sauce like I did, but that’s totally optional) and enjoy!

FAQ

Can I double this recipe?

Yes, you can scale up the recipe with no preparation changes needed. To change the yield, in the recipe card below, hover over the serving size or click if you’re on mobile, and slide the slider.

Close photo of Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate with peanut butter sauce drizzle.

Can I use natural peanut butter?

I haven’t tested this hot chocolate with natural peanut butter, but I wouldn’t recommend it. I have a feeling even smooth natural peanut butter will have too much texture to stir into a drink unless you use a blender to mix it.

Can I make this in the microwave?

Yes! To make peanut butter hot chocolate in the microwave, combine cocoa powder, sugar, and water in a mug. Stir until well-mixed and microwave for 15 seconds. Add peanut butter and stir until smooth before adding the milk. Microwave 1 to 1 ½ minutes, until steaming. Stir once more, and enjoy!

Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate Recipe

Delicious peanut butter hot chocolate that is super simple to make. The most satisfying hot chocolate to enjoy on a cold day!

Thick, luscious, peanut butter hot chocolate, for those who LOVE PB & chocolate!

A close up of a PB hot chocolate drink

Do I really need to say much to sell you guys this hot chocolate recipe? There’s a reason why peanut butter and chocolate are an incomparable combo. This is easily one of the most satisfying hot chocolate drinks I’ve had or made!

There’s something particularly wonderful about a homemade hot chocolate on a cold wintry day. But adding peanut butter to hot chocolate makes this drink extra irresistible. It’s naturally gluten free and can be made vegan as well.

This peanut butter hot chocolate recipe is almost like liquid reeses peanut butter cup, but even better! That’s because it’s,

  • Made with semisweet chocolate and cocoa powder, so it’s not too sweet.
  • A thick hot chocolate that is so satisfying to drink.
  • Got that lovely flavor of peanut butter, without being overwhelming.
  • Easy to make. You can make it for just one or for many.
  • Easily adaptable to make it vegan or dairy free.

This recipe is super easy to make, so let’s get right to it.

A peanut butter hot chocolate with peanut butter whipped cream

HOW TO MAKE PEANUT BUTTER HOT CHOCOLATE

Place the milk (or plant based milk) in a saucepan (a small saucepan for 1 or 2 servings). Add peanut butter and chocolate, along with the cocoa powder, salt, and honey.

Heat the milk over medium heat, while stirring to dissolve the cocoa powder and chocolate. I prefer not to let the milk come to a boil, so I just whisk the milk until it’s steaming (about 170 – 180 F).

Optional – use a frothing wand to create some froth in the peanut butter hot chocolate.

Pour into a big mug and top it with whatever you like!

Voilà. Very simple and very delicious.

Milk, cocoa powder, salt, peanut butter in a saucepan

TOPPING OPTIONS FOR PEANUT BUTTER HOT CHOCOLATE

Peanut butter whipped cream – Add some peanut butter and powdered sugar to heavy cream and whip. Then top your warm PB hot chocolate with this peanut butter whipped cream.

Peanut butter cups – Add some peanut butter cups on top. They will soften and melt into the drink (unless you get to them before they melt of course).

Chocolate sauce – Double dose of chocolate with extra chocolate sauce on top.

Side on view of the hot drink
Peanut butter hot chocolate served with peanut butter whipped cream

INGREDIENT SUBSTITUTIONS

I use a mix of cocoa powder and semisweet chocolate. This way I don’t need any sugar. The combination of both makes this hot chocolate very chocolatey AND thickens the drink too. But you can make substitutions to make this recipe even easier.

If you’re not feeling like making your own homemade hot chocolate, then you can make a hot chocolate or hot cocoa with a store-bought mix. Add enough mix for 2 cups of milk and the amount of peanut butter in the recipe.

There is no sugar in the recipe because I use semisweet chocolate. But you can use bittersweet chocolate instead as well.

If you want to sweeten your peanut butter hot chocolate, you can use regular sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar or even stevia.

To keep this vegan, use a plant based milk. I love oat milk or cashew milk, but coconut milk, or almond milk will work too. Also make sure to use dairy free dark chocolate.

Use smooth natural peanut butter for best results. If you only have peanut butter with added sugar, you can use that instead but do note the drink will be sweeter.

You can use crunchy peanut butter if that’s all you have. But don’t forget to strain the peanut butter hot chocolate to remove any chunky peanut pieces.

Don’t skip the sea salt. You can reduce it if you like. It helps balance the sweetness.

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