Italian Hot Chocolate Recipe: Thick & Creamy

Even though this beverage doesn’t contain any coffee, it definitely deserves a dedicated post, as it’s exceptionally delicious.

In this recipe guide, you will find out how to make Italian-style hot chocolate.

Unlike the typical US hot chocolate drink, the Italians’ version is much more viscous and thick – almost like a pudding.

The Italian hot chocolate has an intense and rich chocolate flavor and its creaminess and balanced sweetness make you want more and more.

If you’ve ordered a hot chocolate in an Italian coffee shop, then you know what makes this drink so special.

This special treat is also an essential ingredient in some Italian coffee drinks, such as the Bicerin.

So let’s cut to the chase and focus on the beverage’s ingredients and step-by-step recipe instructions.

How to make an Italian Hot Chocolate at Home?

To make the traditional thick Italian Hot Chocolate at home, you’re going to need the following ingredients:

  • Whole Milk (you can have it substituted with plant-based milk).
  • Chopped Dark Chocolate – at least 70% cocoa. Don’t forget to have your chocolate chopped before you start executing the recipe!

    Doing that in advance makes the whole process easier.
  • Cocoa powder.
  • Corn starch (this is what contributes to the thickness of an Italian hot chocolate).
  • Sugar.
  • Salt.

In the following photo you can see the Italian Hot Chocolate ingredients that I used to prepare this recipe:

And here are the step-by-step instructions on how to make an Italian Hot Chocolate:

  1. Pour a bit of milk into the corn starch bowl and mix well.
    A photo, illustrating step 1 of the Italian Hot Chocolate recipe.

    I usually use a drink mixer to create a nice slurry with no lumps.

    I often use this device for my homemade coffee drinks – it’s quite effective and convenient. If you don’t own one, I recommend checking out this drink mixer by FoodVille on Amazon.

  2. Add the sugar and a pinch of salt to the slurry and mix well.
    A photo, illustrating step 2 of the Italian Hot Chocolate recipe.
  3. Pour the sweetened corn starch slurry into the bowl with cocoa powder and mix well.
    A photo, illustrating step 3 of the Italian Hot Chocolate recipe.
  4. Pour the milk and the cocoa powder mixture into a saucepan and place over medium heat.
    A photo, illustrating step 4 of the Italian Hot Chocolate recipe.
  5. Bring to a simmer while stirring.
    A photo, illustrating step 5 of the Italian Hot Chocolate recipe.
    It’s important to bring the cocoa milk mixture to a simmer, as this will activate the corn starch and it will start to thicken the mixture.

    This is an essential part of the Italian hot chocolate recipe, as the high viscosity of the drink is what makes it truly stand out.

  6. Add the chopped hot dark chocolate to the hot milk and stir it over medium heat until it completely dissolves.
    A photo, illustrating step 6 of the Italian Hot Chocolate recipe.
  7. Pour the Italian hot chocolate into a cup and enjoy!
    A photo, illustrating step 7 of the Italian Hot Chocolate recipe.

This is what your homemade chocolate treat will look like after it’s done:

Thick, creamy, and extremely delicious.

For your convenience, I’ve also included a printable recipe card at the end of this page.

I hope that you found my guide useful and that you’re going to try this creamy, satisfyingly thick, and exceptionally tasty beverage at home.

Feel free to leave me a comment below if you have any questions about this Italian hot chocolate recipe.

Yield: 2 servings

Italian Hot Chocolate Recipe: Thick & Creamy

A photo of the thick Italian hot chocolate

Traditional Italian-style hot chocolate - thick, creamy, and sweet with a rich dark chocolate flavor.

Prep Time 4 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 9 minutes


  • 3.5 oz. (100 g.) chopped dark chocolate
  • 3 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. corn starch
  • 1 pinch of salt (to enhance flavor)
  • 2 cups of milk (16 fl. oz., 480 ml.)


  1. Pour a bit of milk into a bowl and add the corn starch.
  2. Mix until there are no lumps.
  3. Add sugar and salt and mix well.
  4. Add cocoa powder and mix well until there are no lumps and the cocoa mixture is nice and smooth.
  5. Pour the milk into a saucepan and add the cocoa mixture.
  6. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer while stirring.
  7. Add the chopped chocolate.
  8. Stir until the chopped chocolate dissolves completely.
  9. Pour the Italian-style hot chocolate into a cup.
  10. Enjoy!

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