Winter is coming. And with that chilly weather just around the corner, it can only mean one thing: Christmas. It’s time to snuggle up with the bf (boyfriend/best friend, conveniently interchangeable), turn on your favorite Christmas movie, and sip on some decadent hot chocolate. The Polar Express, whose iconic hot chocolate scene was the inspo for this recipe, has been one of my favorite Christmas movies, especially since I grew up reading this classic book in elementary school.

With finals coming around the corner, use this recipe to take a study break to unwind, or treat yoself afterwards.


Gif courtesy of

Hot Chocolate from the Polar Express

  • Prep Time:20 minutes
  • Cook Time:5 minutes
  • Total Time:25 minutes
  • Servings:4 mugs
  • Easy


  • 2 cup half and half
  • 2½ cup milk
  • ½ cup milk chocolate
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  • Crushed candy cane (optional)
Photo by Taylor Choi
  • Step 1

    Combine your milk and half-and-half in a pot and bring to a simmer on med-high heat.

    #SpoonTip: If you don’t have half and half, use equal parts milk and heavy cream and voilà.

  • Step 2

    Once your liquid is simmering (almost boiling, but not bubbling), take it off the heat and add in your chocolate, stirring occasionally.

    #SpoonTip: If your chocolate gets clumpy and won’t dissolve, use a whisk to help break up the clumps.

  • Step 3

    Once your chocolate is melted, put it back on med-high heat and add the sugar, vanilla, and instant espresso (so you can stay up all night watching Christmas movies).

  • Step 4

    Ladle your hot chocolate into your most festive mug, top it with whipped cream and candy cane sprinkles. Enjoy.

    Photo by Taylor Choi