Italian Hot Chocolate Recipe - Thick and Decadent! (2024)

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Published: by Wajeeha Nadeem · This post may contain affiliate links.

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Italian Hot Chocolate is a thick, decadent drink made from real chocolate. Instead of using only cocoa, this heavenly beverage is made with Lindt chocolate.

This Lindt hot chocolate recipe is similar to French Hot Chocolate, but the method is different. One thing's for sure, both are super delicious, warming drinks that are perfect for the winter!

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Myhot chocolate recipe collectionis growing fast and furiously thanks to the awesome Hot Chocolate Extravaganza that I’m running on my blog these days. Whether it’s thisThree-Ingredient Creamy Homemade White Hot Chocolate, or this citrusyOrange Hot Chocolatethat you first choose to make, I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

About this Recipe

What is hot chocolate called in Italy? Picture this: You're walking down a cobbled street in a small Italian town at dusk. The wind is cold and blustery. You come across a small cafe and ask for coffee, but your Italian is poor and the barista asks, “Cioccolata Calda?”

You have no idea what it is, but nod your head in agreement, hoping it's warm and comforting. The barista soon hands you a big, warm mug of liquid chocolate.

And then you take a sip, and you die and go to chocolate heaven.

Ciccolata Calda is the creamy, thick Italian hot chocolate made from real chocolate, cocoa, milk and sugar. If you’ve never tried to make hot chocolate this way before, well, your life is about to change!

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Why this Recipe Works

  • Real Chocolate: While using just cocoa powder yields a pretty good result, when we use high quality chocolate for this recipe, the results are simply amazing. The flavor is rich and you can taste the chocolate in each sip.
  • Secret ingredient: For this recipe we use just a bit of cornstarch to make the consistency of the hot chocolate thick and decadent. This makes a big difference in how indulgent the drink turns out.

Ingredients You’ll Need

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  • Chocolate: Use high quality such as Lindt. For an intense flavor I recommend using dark chocolate, but you can also use milk chocolate for a sweeter result.
  • Milk: For the best results, I recommend using whole milk. It makes the hot chocolate so luxurious and indulgent.
  • Cocoa Powder: We need only a bit, to further intensify the chocolate flavor.
  • Sugar: Adjust the amount according to your taste. You will need to use less if using milk chocolate, as that is already sweetened.
  • Corn starch: This is the magic ingredient that helps thicken up the hot chocolate to give it an almost pudding-like consistency.

How to Make Italian Hot Chocolate

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  1. In a saucepan, melt the chocolate with two tablespoons of milk, on low heat.
  2. Now add the remaining milk, and mix continuously, until well incorporated.
  3. Add the cocoa powder and sugar, and stir until combined.
  4. Mix the cornstarch with milk to create a slurry. Slowly pour it into the hot chocolate, while whisking continuously.
  5. Mix until the hot chocolate has thickened and it coats the back of a wooden spoon.
  6. Top with whipped cream or marshmallows, and enjoy!

Topping Suggestions:

You can enjoy this Lindt hot cocoa as is, or use as many toppings as you like! Here are some suggestions:

  • Whipped cream
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Peppermint candies
  • Sprinkles, for the little ones!
  • A sprinkle of sea salt
  • Candied ginger
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Recipe Tips

Sift the cocoa: To ensure a lump free Italian hot chocolate, I recommend that you sift the cocoa powder before adding it.

Cornstarch: Also known as cornflour, be sure to mix it with a bit of milk to make a slurry. When you add this to the hot chocolate, keep whisking, for a smooth and silky texture.

Storage: As the hot chocolate cools down, it will thicken. You can store it in the fridge for 1-2 days, and slowly warm it in a saucepan on the stove. If it’s thickened too much, add a splash of milk and whisk to thin it out a bit.

Cook on low heat: It’s easy to scald milk, so I highly recommend that you make this recipe using medium-low heat.

Recipe FAQs

What is the difference between Italian and American hot chocolate?

Italian hot chocolate is thicker and creamier than the American version. It’s typically made with real chocolate, while American hot cocoa is made with cocoa powder and has a thinner consistency.

Can you make Italian hot chocolate with chocolate chips?

Yes, the process is the same. I suggest using dark chocolate chips.

How do you reheat hot chocolate?

You can either slowly reheat it on the stovetop or warm it in the slow cooker on the low heat setting.

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Lindt Italian Hot Chocolate - Cioccolata Calda

Italian Hot Chocolate is a thick decadent hot chocolate that is perfect for all chocolate lovers – it’s made from real chocolate after all! Ready in five minutes, using only five ingredients!

5 from 5 votes

Print Pin Rate

Course: Drinks

Cuisine: Italian

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Servings: 2

Calories: 487kcal

Author: Wajeeha Nadeem


  • 4 oz milk or dark chocolate I used Lindt Milk Chocolate, but you can use your favorite brand
  • 1 1/2 cups full fat milk 3 tablespoons of milk separated
  • 1-2 tablespoons cocoa powder See notes
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch


  • In a medium saucepan, melt the chocolate with two tablespoons of milk on medium heat.

  • Slowly add in the milk, continuously mixing with a wooden spoon.

  • Add in the cocoa powder and sugar, mixing until fully incorporated.

  • In a separate bowl mix the corn starch with one tablespoon of milk, and pour this mixture to the saucepan and mix until the hot chocolate has become thick and coats the back of your spoon.

  • Top with cocoa powder, mini marshmallows or even sea salt.


I used 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder because the milk chocolate itself is very sweet. If you are making this hot chocolate with dark chocolate then you may add less cocoa powder, depending on your taste.


Calories: 487kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 91mg | Potassium: 685mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 296IU | Calcium: 248mg | Iron: 7mg

Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @ikneadtoeat or tag #ikneadtoeat!

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Recipe Inspired by Bell'Alimento

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Reader Interactions


  1. Italian Hot Chocolate Recipe - Thick and Decadent! (8)Becky

    Can you make this in a crock pot?


  2. Italian Hot Chocolate Recipe - Thick and Decadent! (9)Crystal Odegard

    Italian Hot Chocolate Recipe - Thick and Decadent! (10)
    This recipe tastes exactly like the hot chocolate we had at the Lindt chocolate factory next to the Duomo in Florence. I've been dreaming about it for two years now so thank you!!


  3. Italian Hot Chocolate Recipe - Thick and Decadent! (11)Diana

    I can’t wait to try this! Can this be done with white chocolate? ???


    • Italian Hot Chocolate Recipe - Thick and Decadent! (12)

      Yes I think so, but white chocolate does not melt as easily as regular chocolate. Also, you might need to reduce the quantity too as white chocolate is very sweet. Hope this helps 🙂


  4. Italian Hot Chocolate Recipe - Thick and Decadent! (13)sara

    Hi, I'm sorry but i just have to say italian it's ciOccolata!!! With an O! Quite different meaning 😉
    And as an italian, I was shocked to discover that the rest of the world thinks that 'hot chocolate' is basically chocolate-scented water (in comparison to ours), sooo disappointed!


  5. Italian Hot Chocolate Recipe - Thick and Decadent! (14)NuGuy

    I have to try this recipe. Its perfect to start the day with the hot chocolate like this.


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