Recipe: Slow cooker hot cocoa

Nothing beats homemade cocoa on a cold wintry day, but nobody wants to stand over a stove when you could be playing games or watching movies. Let your slow cooker do the work for you with this easy recipe!


  • 10 oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Tip: the mini chips melt faster than full-size ones
  • 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 8 cups chocolate milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Pour all ingredients into a slow cooker and whisk to combine. Cover and cook on low for about 2 hours, or until chocolate is melted. Make sure you whisk every 20 minutes or so to help everything combine. 

Once the chips are melted, give the cocoa another good whisk and serve! Add your favorite festive toppings like whipped cream, marshmallows, and candy canes! 

Take it to-go

Hot cocoa is a great treat for some festive holiday fun in the Black Hills. Try filling up a thermos with cocoa and taking it with you for a fun family adventure or winter picnic.

  • Who doesn’t love looking at holiday decorations around town? Take your thermos and hop in the car to see houses decked out for the season. 
  • Take your cocoa for a stroll around Canyon Lake, or enjoy it on Gazebo Island. The park is decorated for the holidays too, so you can enjoy your cocoa surrounded by festive lights. 
  • Roughlock Falls is beautiful in the winter. The road is closed for cars, but you can take a snowmobile or hike the 1 mile trail (2 miles round-trip) to the falls for a unique winter spectacle.
  • Custer State Park is quiet in the winter, but you’ll still see the wildlife out and about on sunny days. While you’re there, check out the holiday tree display at the visitor center and vote for your favorite.

Looking for more festive recipe ideas? Check out our Reindeer Chow!