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Copycat Starbucks White Hot Chocolate

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You can’t go wrong with this copycat recipe for Starbucks white hot chocolate. It’s rich and decadent, just like your favorite Starbucks drink- but even better because it’s made at home with love.

So cozy up by the fire, make a mug of this comforting drink and enjoy all that winter has to offer. And if you’re feeling extra festive, top it off with homemade whipped cream and mini marshmallows.

Two mugs of white hot chocolate with cookies in the background.

Forget the pre-packaged powdered hot chocolate. This homemade white hot chocolate will quickly become a new holiday favorite for your family this year. 

If you love this recipe, try our hot chocolate cupcakes and chocolate chip cookie shots for more festive treats. And if you want more white chocolate recipes, try our white chocolate cake and white chocolate ganache

Why This Recipe Works

  • Quick and easy to make! Just five ingredients. 
  • White chocolate gives the drink a luxuriously rich buttery flavor. 
  • Adding sweetened condensed milk will give it the same rich flavor as Starbucks.
  • When you make your own version of Starbucks white hot chocolate, you don’t get the high fructose corn syrup that gets added at the coffee shop. 

Ingredients Needed 

Here is a list of the ingredients you will need to make our Copycat Starbucks White Hot Chocolate. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details. 

According to the Starbucks website, their white hot chocolate is made with steamed milk and white chocolate mocha sauce. 

White chocolate, milk, salt, vanilla extract, and sweetened condensed milk.
  • Milk. You can use whole milk, nonfat milk, or your favorite milk alternative. 
  • Sweetened condensed milk. This is the main ingredient in Starbucks white chocolate mocha sauce, and it gives the drink an authentic flavor and creamy texture. It also adds enough sweetness that you don’t need extra sugar. 
  • Salt. A pinch of salt will balance the flavors.
  • White chocolate bar (chopped). Try to find white chocolate with cocoa butter on the ingredient label for the most decadent flavor. 
  • Vanilla extract. The vanilla brings out the flavor and richness of white chocolate
  • Optional garnishes. We like topping this white cocoa drink with whipped cream. Some different toppings include mini marshmallows, homemade marshmallow fluff, dark chocolate curls, crushed candy canes, or sprinkles. 

How to Make It 

Here is a brief overview to give you an idea of what to expect when making our Starbucks copycat recipe. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details.

Heating milk and sweetened condensed milk in a saucepan.

Heat the milk, sweetened condensed milk, and salt in a large saucepan. Get it hot, but don’t let it come to a boil.

Adding white chocolate to a saucepan of hot milk.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the white chocolate and vanilla extract.

Pour the white hot chocolate into mugs and top with your favorite garnishes.

More Drink Recipes 

Tips for Success

  • White chocolate burns easily, so remove the saucepan from the stove before you stir in the chocolate. 
  • If you want to use a slow cooker, you can warm all the ingredients on low for six hours. Be sure to stir it frequently during the first hour to prevent the white chocolate from getting stuck to the bottom.
  • Replace one cup of milk with heavy cream if you want an even more decadent white hot chocolate drink.
  • Purchase high-quality white chocolate (the kind that contains cocoa butter) for the best results.
  • You can use vanilla almond bark or white chocolate chips if you’re in a pinch, but we find they can sometimes have a waxy taste. 
  • If you want to make this in the crock pot, just toss everything in the slow cooker and turn it on low.

A mug of white hot chocolate with mini marshmallows and whipped cream on top.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Make it a peppermint white hot chocolate: Add 1/4 to 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract to the mug. Garnish with mint, crushed peppermint candy, or candy canes. 
  • Make it a spiked white hot chocolate: Add about 1-ounces of your favorite liquor to the mug. Some ideas are Bailey’s Irish cream, rum, bourbon, Kahlua, or peppermint schnapps. 
  • Add a splash of raspberry syrup, toasted vanilla syrup, or a drizzle of caramel sauce. 
  • Non-dairy alternatives include replacing the milk with almond milk or coconut milk (or your favorite milk replacement) and using dairy-free sweetened condensed milk. 

Storage and Reheating

You can store leftovers in the fridge for up to three days or in the freezer for two months. 

To reheat, zap it in the microwave in 30-second blasts, stirring between bursts until warm. Optionally reheat it on the stovetop over medium-low heat. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is in white hot chocolate at Starbucks?

Their website shows Starbucks makes white hot chocolate with 2% milk and white chocolate mocha sauce. The main ingredients in the white mocha sauce are sugar, sweetened condensed milk, high fructose corn syrup, coconut oil, and cocoa butter.

Does white hot chocolate have caffeine?

White chocolate is primarily made from cocoa butter, which is naturally caffeine-free.

Is the Starbucks white hot chocolate seasonal?

It is a seasonal drink. However, it is available at Starbucks all year.

This decadent Copycat Starbucks White Hot Chocolate will warm you up on a cold day and make your holiday season even sweeter! Kick back, relax, and pour yourself a cup of this sweet drink. You deserve it!

Two mugs of white hot chocolate topped with whipped cream.

Helpful Tools

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Some Other Recipes We Are Sure You Will Love:

Did I mention ice cream is delicious stirred into this hot chocolate? Try this vanilla lavender ice cream with your cup of hot white cocoa.

Around our house, the holidays are not complete without these cinnamon sugar candied pecans. They are easy to make and guaranteed to make the house smell delicious. 

Serve some cranberry pistachio biscotti or Italian wedding cookies alongside your cup of hot chocolate. Life is complete! 

What could be better than a chocolate cake topped with chocolate buttercream? This chocolate cake is a versatile, everyday cake that will satisfy all your chocolate dessert desires.

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A glass mug filled with white hot chocolate.

Starbucks White Hot Chocolate

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

This white hot chocolate is the perfect drink for when you want something rich and decadent. It tastes just like Starbucks, but it's much cheaper to make at home.

if you want to really get into the holiday spirit, add a splash of peppermint or rum extract to your mug.


  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces white chocolate bar, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • whipped cream
  • chocolate shavings
  • mini marshmallows


  1. Add the milk, sweetened condensed milk, and salt to a large saucepan. Heat over medium-heat until steaming, but don’t let it boil. 
  2. Remove from heat and stir in the white chocolate and vanilla extract. Stir until the chocolate melts. If you need to return the pan to the heat, keep it on low (white chocolate burns). 
  3. Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream, mini marshmallows, and sprinkles or chocolate shavings. 
  4. Taste the white hot chocolate. If you want it to be sweeter, you can stir in more sweetened condensed milk. 

Slow Cooker Instructions

  1. Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker. Heat on low for up to six hours. Stir the mixture several times during the first hour. 


  • For the best flavor, purchase high quality, white chocolate that has cocoa butter on the ingredient label. This recipe will work with vanilla almond bark or white chocolate chips (without cocoa butter) but it will have a better flavor and texture if you use real white chocolate. 
  • If you want a richer, more decadent drink, replace 1 cup of the milk with heavy cream. 
  • Make sure the milk mixture is not too hot when you add the white chocolate. If white chocolate gets too hot it will burn and clump up or seize, creating a grainy drink. 


  • Peppermint white hot chocolate: Add 1/4 to 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract to the milk mixture. Garnish with mint, crushed peppermint candy or candy canes. 
  • Spiked white hot chocolate: Add a splash of Bailey’s Irish cream, rum, bourbon, kailua, or peppermint schnapps. Or choose your favorite liquor. Shoot for about one ounce of liquor per cup of white hot chocolate.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 420Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 255mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 0gSugar: 52gProtein: 13g

Nutrition information is a guideline only. It is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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Dahn Boquist

Dahn is a retired nurse, recipe creator, home cook, baker, and self-proclaimed foodie. She loves creating in the kitchen and cooking for family and friends. She lives in Washington State with her husband and dog. When she isn't cooking or baking, you can usually find her spending time with her grandson or exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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Tuesday 24th of December 2019

Now that's a hot chocolate drink, Dahn! And I love those dang tempting that I NEED to go make one for myself too. Merry Christmas!

Dahn Boquist

Wednesday 25th of December 2019

Thanks Angie! Merry Christmas to you too!

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