Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate – sweet and salty caramel hot chocolate, topped with sweetened whipped cream, salted caramel sauce and homemade salted caramel sugar! This is the perfect drink for warming up during the cold winter months.
Hot chocolate is my favourite drink to enjoy during the cold fall/winter months. I love regular hot chocolate, but jazzing it up with different flavours is my absolute favourite way to enjoy this drink! I’ve already created a few unique hot chocolate variations on here — pumpkin, peanut butter and now salted caramel!
The Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate is super rich, sweet and salty. Instead of adding salted caramel sauce to some regular hot chocolate, I turned a batch of salted caramel sauce into hot chocolate!
To do this, I started by making a batch of my Homemade Caramel Sauce, excluding the cream and butter. Boil the sugar, water and corn syrup on the stove until it becomes a medium amber caramel. Now, if we were making a regular caramel sauce, we’d add the butter and then the heavy cream. Since we’re making hot chocolate, we’re gonna add 4 cups of milk!
You want the milk to be at room temperature so the hot sugar doesn’t clump up due to the cold milk. Although, if it does still clump up you have nothing to worry about. Just keep stirring and the sugar will melt back down and you’ll have delicious caramel milk!
Once the caramel milk is nice and hot, add both dark and milk chocolate to make this drink extra chocolatey. And since this is Salted Caramel hot chocolate, obviously we gotta add some salt!
Start by adding about 1/2 teaspoon, then taste the hot chocolate and add more if you desire. You CAN leave the salt out and just enjoy a caramel hot chocolate. I personally love the addition of the salt, because aside from giving this drink that perfect salty and sweet flavour, it makes the chocolate flavour *pop*! Sort of like adding salt to chocolate milk — which is amazing by the way, you should try it out. Trust me.
A quick little warning, since the base of this hot chocolate is melted sugar, it is VERY sweet. I recommend enjoying a small mug of this rich drink, or else it will be too much. Unless you have a serious sweet tooth, then go ahead and drink a gigantic mug of this stuff!
To finish this sweet, sugary and salty drink off, I topped it with a generous swirl of whipped cream. I always prefer whipped cream as a topping for my hot chocolate, but if you’re a marshmallow lover, feel free to pile them on top of your own mug.
Luckily, I had quite a bit of my Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce leftover from my Salted Caramel Apple Crisp, so I happily drizzled some on top. You can skip this step if you don’t want to go through the trouble of making your own, which is fine since we’ll also be topping it with Salted Caramel Sugar!
What’s Salted Caramel Sugar, you ask? Well, it’s pretty much sugar that’s melted down into caramel. We pour it onto a lined baking sheet, sprinkle with some coarse sea salt, then wait for it to harden.
Once the caramel has hardened, break it into large pieces, then smash it into smaller golden crystals. Sprinkle it onto the hot chocolate, so now you get 3 different types of salted caramel in every sip! YUM!!
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Salted Caramel Sugar:
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Coarse Sea Salt
Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate:
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
- 4 cups whole milk, room temperature
- 4 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 4 oz. milk chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt (more or less to taste)
- Whipped Cream
- Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce
- Salted Caramel Sugar (recipe above)
For the Salted Caramel Sugar:
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat. Set aside. Add the sugar to a large heavy-bottomed non-stick saucepan and heat over medium-high heat, stirring constantly using a heat resistant rubber spatula or a wooden spoon until the sugar is melted and turns a medium amber caramel colour, about 5-6 minutes. Don't worry if the sugar clumps up, just keep stirring and it will melt smoothly. Keep a close eye on the pot as the sugar can easily burn, and you would have to start over again.
- Pour caramel onto the baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Immediately sprinkle the top with coarse sea salt. Allow caramel to cool for a few minutes, until hardened.
- Hit the hardened sugar with the bottom of a heavy pan. Place the large shards in a ziploc bag.
- Using the bottom of the same pan, or a rolling pin, beat the sugar into smaller shards. You can also put it in a food processor and pulse into fine crystals. Set aside.
For the Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate:
- Put the sugar, water and corn syrup in a large heavy-bottomed non-stick saucepan. Stir together with a rubber spatula until combined. Heat mixture over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and begins to bubble, picking up the pot and swirling around occasionally to stir, 3-4 minutes.
- Let sugar boil until it turns a medium amber caramel colour, 8-10 minutes. Keep a close eye on the pot as the sugar can easily burn, and you would have to start over again.
- Remove from heat and slowly pour in the milk while whisking vigorously, it will begin to bubble up furiously.(See notes)
- Return pan to heat and allow milk to reach a simmer, about 3-4 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure everything is combined and smooth.
- Remove from heat and add all of the chopped chocolate. Whisk until chocolate is fully melted and mixture is smooth. Add a pinch of salt; taste and adjust to your liking.
- Pour the hot chocolate into mugs and top with whipped cream, salted caramel sauce and salted caramel sugar. Enjoy!
* Alternative: Instead of starting off with a caramel sauce, then adding the milk and chocolate. You can alternatively make one recipe of my Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce. Heat the milk to a simmer, add chocolate and stir until melted, then add about 1/2 cup (or more to your taste) of the Salted Caramel Sauce and stir over the heat until everything is combined and smooth.
* Extra hot chocolate can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop OR you can leave it cold and enjoy a salted caramel chocolate milk!
* Don't worry if the caramel begins to seize and clump up when stirring in the milk, it will melt back down once mixture is returned to the stove.
* If you don't like your hot chocolate to be too rich, you can decrease the amount of chocolate added.
* I've never halved this recipe before, but if you want less feel free to half it and let me know how it goes.
Caramel Sugar adapted from: here
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Love, Dedra ❤️