Can you make hot chocolate in a coffee machine?

Beautiful transparent glass with splashing frothy cocoa drink stands on table. Blurred coffee machine in background
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If you’re a hot beverage fanatic like me, you’ve probably wondered whether you can make hot chocolate with your coffee machine at home. Let’s face it – with the convenience of an instant coffee maker at your fingertips, it’s fun and easy to try new recipes and explore the possibilities of beverage making from the comfort of your own kitchen.

After all, coffee machines are designed to make brewing a special experience. Is it actually possible to create a gourmet-quality cup of hot cocoa using only a coffee machine at home?

The short answer is: Yes! Not only is it possible to brew hot chocolate with your at-home coffee maker, but there are also lots of ways to do it, and it can be significantly better quality than what you usually buy at the supermarket.

I’ll be walking you through every step along the way, ensuring you get that perfect cup of cocoa. The process of making hot chocolate in a coffee machine is a fun experience that will leave you feeling cozy and comfortable in no time.

Brewing Hot Chocolate vs. Using Instant Mix

Although hot chocolate is widely available in the form of instant mix, convenience isn’t everything. There is just something uniquely special about a freshly brewed cup of cocoa made at home with love.

I’ve made hot chocolate both with instant mix and through a coffee machine, and believe me, it’s worth it. Below I’ve compared some of the pros and cons of both options so you can get a feel for their differences and similarities.

Instant Hot Chocolate Mix


  • Convenient and easy to prepare
  • Available in most supermarkets
  • Inexpensive


  • Quality is hit or miss depending on the price
  • Generally thinner in texture
  • Limited flavors and garnishes available

Hot Chocolate Brewed in a Coffee Machine


  • Thick and creamy
  • More choices for flavors and garnishes
  • Can be infused with caffeine


  • Takes more time to prepare
  • Requires coffee machine
  • Generally more expensive

Instant mix may be affordable and convenient, but it lacks in quality compared to the cocoa brewed in a coffee machine, much like how a reheated cup of stale coffee compares to a fresh latte from your local barista. You’ll also save yourself the hassle of cleaning up a chocolate sludge mess in your microwave, as well as the time it takes to boil water on the stove.

Which Coffee Machines Can Make Hot Chocolate?

The great news about home-brewed hot chocolate is that you can make it with virtually any coffee machine. First, decide whether you want a water or milk base for your hot chocolate. A milk base will give you a creamier, richer cup of cocoa, while a water base will be lighter and thinner, but also a better choice for those of us who are lactose intolerant.

If you’re using a water base, just fill your coffee maker’s reservoir with water to start. If you’re using a milk base, you’ll need an espresso machine to froth the milk.

TIP: Don’t put milk in your traditional or Keurig brand coffee machines! Its consistency makes it difficult to heat evenly, which means lumps and cold spots in your cocoa. It’s also much more likely to grow bacteria and potentially mold. Gross!

Ways You Can Create Coffee Machine Hot Chocolate

  1. The easiest and quickest way to do this is using a traditional-style coffee pot. Just brew a pitcher of hot water by running your machine without coffee beans. Simply fill an empty cup with the boiling water and add your cocoa mix and other ingredients afterward.
  2. Keurig brand coffee machines offer individual coffee pods filled with cocoa mix instead of coffee, which are widely available at grocery stores. Grabbing some of these on your next grocery run can be a real time saver!
  3. If you have an espresso machine with a milk frother, fill the milk jug about halfway. Steam the milk, then stir in 2-3 tablespoons of chocolate flakes or hot chocolate powder to taste. Alternatively, you can also choose to add the chocolate ingredients into the cup first and then add the milk later. The latter method will allow you to create some beautiful foam art on top of your drink.

TIP: If you don’t have chocolate flakes available, you can also use hot coffee to melt down chocolate chips or chocolate bar shavings. Make sure the liquid is hot enough to fully liquify the ingredients so that you don’t have any unwanted lumps in your cup. You can use a spoon to help stir and mash up the chocolate pieces.

Once you’ve finished your delightful chocolate creation, I recommend adding some creative toppings to really bring the flavor to its full potential. Here’s what I suggest based on my own personal experience:

  • Whipped Cream
  • Chocolate or Caramel Drizzle
  • Cinnamon
  • Marshmallows (of course!)
  • Espresso
  • Chocolate Sprinkles

If you’re still feeling a little overwhelmed by all the options out there, this short video may help. The clip below is under 2 minutes long and provides step-by-step instructions on how to brew the perfect hot chocolate using your espresso machine.

Is Hot Chocolate Brewed in a Coffee Machine Worth it?

Although at first it may seem like a lot of work, only a few extra steps are needed to take your hot chocolate brewing skills to the next level. You can use these recipes to impress your friends and family during the colder months or you can serve it as a treat to guests during the holidays. It’s all about finding joy in the small things in life – and that includes your favorite winter beverage.

Personally, once I discovered that hot chocolate could be made in my coffee machine at home, I ditched the instant mix and have never looked back. It can be a fun and creative cooking experience to try something new, even something as simple and classic as a cup of hot cocoa.

Brew gourmet hot chocolate at home with loved ones to create an even more special experience. After all, there’s no one better to share a cup of hot chocolate with than friends and family.