Polar Express Hot Chocolate is what your childhood dreams are made of! Rich, thick, sweet hot chocolate is made with simple ingredients and just a few easy to follow steps. This is perfect for sipping on while watching the movie with your family! Just keep in mind that you might need to pause so you can get up and make more, as it’s pretty hard to just drink one mug.

Three white mugs filled with hot chocolate are topped with marshmallows.

Polar Express Hot Chocolate

Sometimes, the food and drinks in animated movies just look too good to ever be true. No matter how old or young you are, it’s hard not to crave something delicious when it’s presented so perfectly in cartoon form! When watching Polar Express, it’s impossible not to notice how scrumptious the hot chocolate seems. All the kids love it, and the scene when they all drink it makes you crave a warm mug in the worst way!

As you watch that scene, you may be tempted to hit the pause button and make yourself a mug of that store-bought powder with hot water. I implore you to stop, re-asses the situation, and decidedly tell yourself that you deserve so much better than that!

After all, we both know that the movie hot chocolate looks WAY better than instant mix. So instead of settling, go the extra mile and make some real hot chocolate that’ll transport you to the movie even faster than a train.

While this recipe may require a bit more effort than opening a packet of chemical-ridden instant hot chocolate mix, don’t fret. The steps are wonderfully easy to follow and the ingredients and both simple and inexpensive!

Once you sip on your mug for the first time, you’ll see why the little extra effort is so very worth it. It’s so satisfying to watch Polar Express with a mug of real hot chocolate in your hands! Trust me, your kids will thank you… Right after they ask for a second serving!

A mug that says "let is snow" in red lettering is filled with hot chocolate and marshmallows.

How to Make It

This recipe is so easy to make, you’ll wonder why you ever bought those store-bought cocoa packets in the first place!

Simmer. In a large saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer.

Stir in the other ingredients. Stir in the sweetened condensed milk, heavy cream, chocolate chips, vanilla and salt.

Cook. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the chocolate is melted, approximately 15-20 minutes.

Enjoy! Serve with marshmallows, sprinkles, crushed peppermint or your favorite hot cocoa toppings.

Three Christmas themed mugs are filled with hot chocolate and marshmallows.

Tips and Substitutions for Polar Express Hot Chocolate

  • If someone in your family is lactose intolerant, it might be better to make this recipe with almond or oat milk instead of whole dairy milk. It won’t eliminate all of the milk in this recipe, but it’ll significantly lessen the amount of dairy. The results should still be delicious, rich, and smooth. Just double check that the plant-based milk you’re using is plain and unsweetened.
  • If you want to make things interesting, you could always add a pump of peppermint simple syrup if you have any handy. It goes great in your morning coffee as well as this hot chocolate!
  • Marshmallows are the garnish of my choice when it comes to hot chocolate. However, whipped cream is always a tasty option as well.
  • Make sure you’re stirring the mixture constantly as it cooks. If you walk away from your stove for too long, the hot chocolate mixture could curdle, separate, and burn. You don’t need to stir vigorously, but the mixture does need to be moving around pretty frequently to avoid these things.
Several large and mini marshmallows are placed in a full mug of hot chocolate.

Don’t you just love curling up with something warm and cozy?!

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A mug that says "let is snow" in red lettering is filled with hot chocolate and marshmallows.

Get the Recipe: Polar Express Hot Chocolate

Rich and decadent, Polar Express Hot Chocolate is not like any other hot cocoa you've tried. A real treat for sipping while watching your favorite holiday movies or warming up after a day of sledding.
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Ingredients

  • 6 cups milk
  • 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Marshmallows

Equipment

  • saucepan

Instructions 

  • In a large saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer.
  • Stir in the sweetened condensed milk, heavy cream, chocolate chips, vanilla and salt.
  • Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the chocolate is melted, approximately 15-20 minutes.
  • Serve with marshmallows, sprinkles, crushed peppermint or your favorite hot cocoa toppings.

Notes

Polar Express Hot chocolate can also be made in the slow cooker. Just add all the ingredients to the pot and warm for 2-3 hours on low stirring occasionally.
Calories: 438kcal, Carbohydrates: 39g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 27g, Saturated Fat: 17g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 98mg, Sodium: 236mg, Potassium: 473mg, Sugar: 38g, Vitamin A: 1094IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 387mg, Iron: 1mg