Starbucks Peppermint Hot Chocolate Copycat Recipe


We absolutely love Starbucks peppermint hot chocolate! It is so delicious; we’d drink it every day if we could. But going to Starbucks regularly would get quite expensive. So, what do you do when there’s something that you like so much, and you want to have it often? Yes, of course, figure out how to make it at home. The results can be healthier, and the item can be made for less. And that’s exactly what we did with this recipe. We’ll show you how to save money and we’ll even share our secrets with you so that you can get the same delicious results for your Starbucks peppermint hot chocolate fix at home.

Starbuck’s peppermint hot chocolate
Starbucks Peppermint Hot Chocolate. Photo by CookThink

Shopping List

Chocolate Chips
Heavy Cream
Peppermint Extract

How To Make Starbucks Peppermint Hot Chocolate

The key to this wonderful peppermint hot chocolate is in the peppermint simple syrup. If you don’t already have some available to use for this recipe, you can make it up in 5 minutes tops, using our recipe here. And even though it takes a few minutes to prepare, you’ll have some leftover to save so that next time you can whip up your hot chocolate using what’s in the refrigerator in no time.

Another thing that you don’t want to overlook is that Starbucks uses real chocolate in their version, and so do we. Our recipe calls for melting chocolate chips to achieve perfection and it also plays a part in giving the drink its smooth and rich flavor. No powdered drink mixes here. Only the real deal.

To make Starbucks Peppermint Hot Chocolate, all you need is a saucepan, whisk and a mug.

We begin by making the peppermint simple syrup. Once the syrup is complete, it’s just a matter of mixing the milk, cream and chocolate until it’s warmed through. When serving, we also love to add a big heap of whipped cream and garnish with a favorite topping.

For a lower fat, lower calorie version, skim milk can be substituted for all or a portion of the heavy cream.

Starbuck’s peppermint hot chocolate
Starbucks Peppermint Hot Chocolate. Photo by CookThink


Makes: 2 mugs
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk (we like whole milk)
1 tbsp peppermint simple syrup


  1. Measure 1 cup of chocolate chips into saucepan, 1 cup heavy cream, 1 cup of milk, and 1 tbsp of peppermint simple syrup. Heat over medium heat, stirring regularly until chocolate chips are completely melted.
  2. Top with whipped cream, if desired and sprinkle with shaved chocolate pieces, crushed peppermint sticks, or sprinkles.
  3. Serve warm and enjoy!

What Kind of Chocolate Can I Use for Starbucks Peppermint Hot Chocolate?

You can use a variety of chocolate for this recipe. However, we have found that rich milk chocolate chips are among our favorites. They melt quite easily because of their surface area. But if you don’t have chocolate chips, you can also use a chocolate bar or chocolate pieces. Any of these will be fine. We do recommend staying away from chocolate powdered mixtures though, to maintain the richness of the recipe.

How To Store Leftover Starbucks Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Our favorite way to store leftover hot chocolate is in a canning jar, with a lid in the refrigerator. But you can store it in any airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Because of the dairy content, and food safety, hot chocolate should not be left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

Recipe Tips:

Peppermint Simple Syrup

When making the peppermint simple syrup, be sure to bring to a boil and then immediately remove from heat. By dissolving sugar and then bringing it to a boil, it creates a suspension for the sugar and turns it into a syrup. This allows the ingredients to be consistent throughout the syrup, rather than having a blob of sugar in the bottom.

Heating Milk

When heating the milk mixture, you should know that milk burns easily. To avoid this, be sure to stir consistently to keep the milk from burning to the bottom of the pan and then coming off in chunks. It would be sad to enjoy your peppermint hot chocolate and then have a chew gob of burned milk suddenly enter your mouth. Also, if overheated or boiled for very long, milk will curdle. For best results, heat milk slowly and steadily over lower heat, rather than quickly on high heat.

Whipped Cream

If you don’t have real whipped cream, don’t sweat it. Whipped cream is optional in this recipe and we realize some people don’t care for it. Also, eliminating the whipped cream will eliminate some calories too. Cool whip or whipped cream from a spray can will work fine as alternative solutions.


We like to use different toppings to change up from time to time. It adds more interest and makes it feel like a brand-new drink. We’ve used crushed peppermint sticks (candy canes), shaved chocolate pieces, mini chocolate chips, and even sprinkles. Experiment and see what garnishes you like best for this Copycat Starbucks Peppermint Hot Chocolate.

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Starbucks Peppermint Hot Chocolate Copycat Recipe_pinterest pin

This is a recipe I came up with to replicate the real thing.

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Sarah is known for her extra fancy yeast breads, melt in your mouth pies, and everything salads. She has won awards as a home cook, and is passionate about helping others feel smarter in the kitchen. Sarah is the cooking genius of the sister duo.

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