This is the authentic Italian hot chocolate recipe, the thick drink you will savor in any “bar” (cafe) in Italy.

It is the basic recipe to get a medium-dense hot chocolate: a delicious treat for cold winter days.

the authentic Italian hot chocolate recipe in a Christmas mug


The authentic Italian hot chocolate, the one you order at cafès, is thick and creamy, so thick you end up savoring it with a spoon. 

The recipe to get the same thick hot chocolate combines a dark chocolate bar, cow milk, cocoa powder, sugar, and a hint of cornstarch, which is the secret to densify liquids. I add a pinch of salt to exalt sweetness.


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thick Italian hot chocolate recipe


Depending on your taste, you can make Italian hot chocolate super dense or make it a bit more drinkable. You’ll get the desired consistency by adding or completely cutting cornstarch. One teaspoon per serving will give you a medium-dense texture.

But cornstarch is tricky: it might clump into unpleasant lumps. To avoid it, you must stir the hot chocolate constantly until perfectly done. Don’t worry, it doesn’t take that long.

Devote a little of your time to making this delicious wintery treat: it’s slow things and long moments that make life a bit more special.

Italian style hot chocolate recipe

authentic Italian hot chocolate

Course Drinks
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 1 cup
Author Claudia Rinaldi


  • 3/4 cup of cow milk
  • 2.6 oz 75 gr of dark chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon of cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt


  1. Break the chocolate into small pieces and set it aside.

  2. Place the milk, cornstarch, and cocoa powder in a pot. Whisk well.

  3. Heat over medium/low heat for a minute or so. Add the sugar and salt, and mix well.

  4. Add the chocolate and melt, continually stirring with a wooden spoon. Bring to a boil and cook a minute or two.

  5. Pour into a cute mug and serve hot!

Recipe Notes

You can use brown sugar instead of white, but the flavor will change slightly.

hot chocolate recipe

Enjoy your thick and delicious Italian hot chocolate!