Yield: 4-6 servings

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

photo of salted caramel hot chocolate in a clear mug with caramel being drizzled on the top

Homemade Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate is so decadent! Homemade hot chocolate is infused with vanilla salted caramel sauce, topped with vanilla whipped cream, and drizzled with extra caramel sauce.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


For the Salted Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste
  • 6 tablespoons Salted Butter
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Fleur de Sel, or to taste

For the Hot Chocolate Base

  • 2 teaspoons Cornstarch
  • 3 1/2 cups Whole Milk
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 Vanilla Bean
  • 6 ounces Dark Chocolate (at least 70% cacao), chopped
  • 4 tablespoons Granulated Sugar

For the Vanilla Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste
  • 1 teaspoon Powdered Sugar


  • Dark Chocolate Shavings


Making the Salted Caramel Sauce

  1. Add the granulated super to a medium sized saucepan (3 quart size works well).
  2. Place it over medium-high heat and cook, watching the entire time and stirring occasionally, until the sugar is golden brown and completely melted.
  3. Carefully add the butter and the vanilla bean paste. Whisk the ingredients vigorously until the butter is completely melted. The contents of the saucepan will bubble up, so caution should be used.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and very carefully and slowly pour in the heavy cream while whisking.
  5. The caramel sauce will bubble, but keep whisking until the mixture is completely incorporated. Stir in the sea salt.

Safety Tip: Do NOT lick the spoon immediately as the caramel sauce will be very hot and can burn your mouth quite badly.

Making the Hot Chocolate Base

  1. Add the cornstarch and milk to a medium saucepan. Whisk until completely combined and no lumps remain.
  2. Then, add the vanilla bean to the milk mixture. Slowly bring the milk to a simmer over medium heat, stirring periodically.
  3. Then, reduce the heat to low and and let the vanilla bean steep in the milk mixture for 15 minutes.
  4. After the vanilla has infused the milk, remove the vanilla bean and add the dark chocolate and sugar. 
  5. Stir using a wooden spoon while still using low heat, until the sugar has dissolved completely, the dark chocolate has melted, and the hot chocolate drink is completely heated through.
  6. Stir in 4 tablespoons of the caramel sauce. Reserve the remaining for garnish and/or for another use.

Making the Vanilla Whipped Cream

  1. Combine the cold heavy cream and vanilla or vanilla paste in a chilled non-reactive bowl.
  2. Whisk by hand or using an electric mixture until the cream holds a loose peak.
  3. Then, sprinkle the sugar on top of the whipped cream and continue beating until soft peaks are formed. A soft peak will hold a lazy curve when the beater or whisk is held upside down.

Serving the Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

  1. Once the homemade hot chocolate is warmed through, pour into glasses. 
  2. Top with whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce.
  3. Serve.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 568Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 23gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 88mgSodium: 128mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 2gSugar: 48gProtein: 7g

GoodLifeEats.com offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

Did you make this?

I’d love it if you let me know what you think! Snap a photo and tag me on Instagram at @goodlifeeats with the hashtag #goodlifeeatsrecipes so I can see what you’re cooking up in your kitchen!