Warm, creamy & minty, Slow Cooker Candy Cane White Hot Chocolate is a tasty treat that is perfect for sipping by the fire!
I would consider myself a hot chocolate connoisseur. I love a steaming mug of Homemade Hot Chocolate, hot chocolate with a little Irish cream mixed in, or even the powdered stuff from a packet. I’ve tried it all (and loved it all).
But, there is one type of hot chocolate that I will always choose over anything else – Slow Cooker Candy Cane White Hot Chocolate. Minty peppermint candy combined with sweet, creamy white chocolate makes a beautiful holiday drink that instantly gets you into the holiday spirit! It’s the perfect amount of mint flavor in every sip!
SLOW COOKER CANDY CANE WHITE HOT CHOCOLATE
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Ok, guys, Thanksgiving is done. We can FULLY embrace our holiday spirit without feeling any guilt that we’re forcing turkey day out of the way.
I am absolutely one of those people who binge watches holiday movies nearly every single night of December. I love them all – cheesy Hallmark movies, Christmas classics, even the kid’s movies. If it’s a holiday movie, I’ll watch it and love it.
One of my favorite things to do on a chilly winter night is to curl up under a cozy blanket and watch a holiday movie while sipping on a mug of hot chocolate. My husband and sons don’t particularly share in my affinity for holiday movies, they definitely join me for the sipping of hot chocolate.
Just like holiday movies, I am a lover of all types of hot chocolate. Whether it’s a classic pre-made mix, a spiked hot chocolate, or this delicious candy cane white hot chocolate, there is almost nothing better than that warming feeling you get throughout your entire body when you’re drinking hot chocolate! I especially love this peppermint hot chocolate though – it gives me all the holiday feels and it’s the perfect drink to share with family and friends!
What is White Chocolate?
White chocolate is a sweet treat that (in my humble opinion) tastes almost nothing like milk or dark chocolate…. and there’s a good reason for that. It doesn’t actually contain the cocoa solids that a dark or milk chocolate does, which is the part of those chocolates that give them their distinct flavor. White chocolate is made from cocoa butter, milk products, sugar, and vanilla.
White chocolate has a sweet, unique flavor and is very creamy as it melts. That’s why it makes such delicious hot chocolate, ESPECIALLY peppermint white chocolate! The pairing of peppermint and white chocolate is a holiday treat that no one can turn down!
Is White Chocolate Chocolate?
Ok, so if you ask someone who is a big chocolate fanatic if white chocolate is actually chocolate, they’ll probably tell you that it’s not. Because it’s missing that key component of the chocolate solids, you can’t technically call white chocolate a “chocolate” product.
However, it is made with cocoa butter, another key component of chocolate, so I’d venture to say that the two are very closely related. And really, who cares what you call it?! White chocolate is delicious whether it’s in white chocolate cranberry pistachio fudge or candy cane white hot chocolate.
White Hot Chocolate Ingredients
You only need a few simple ingredients to make this delicious crock pot hot chocolate, so a quick trip to the grocery store and you’ll be on your way to sipping a cozy drink while watching your favorite holiday movies (I’m thinking a good Hallmark movie marathon??)
White Chocolate Baking Bars – one very important thing to note… when making white hot chocolate, working with cheap white chocolate is NOT the way to go. Many generic brands don’t actually use cocoa butter, but instead, rely on palm kernel oil.
I’ve found that for hot chocolate, Ghiradelli white chocolate works best. It’s rich and creamy, melts beautifully, and makes your peppermint hot chocolate SO decadent. I’ve tried white chocolate chips too – as long as it’s a quality white chocolate, you should be okay.
Candy canes – while I’m pretty picky about what type of chocolate I use for my crock pot hot chocolate, I am super UN-picky about my candy cane choices haha. Really any brand of the classic red and white striped peppermint candy will work. If you can’t find candy canes, feel free to use the round starlight peppermints instead!
Whole milk – you definitely want to use whole milk for your white hot chocolate (nobody ever claimed we were making healthy food here….right?). The higher fat content in whole milk makes the hot chocolate creamy and delicious. Believe me, you won’t regret it!
How to make Peppermint Hot Chocolate
Candy cane hot chocolate is one of those holiday staple drinks that I have simmering at almost every holiday gathering. Just make sure you get started on it at least an hour and a half before you want to serve it – it takes a while for the hot chocolate to come up to temperature!
- Before you start warming your hot chocolate, you’ll want your candy canes crushed. My go-to method is always just unwrapping them and throwing them into my food processor or blender. This makes super fine peppermint dust. If you want slightly larger pieces (or you need to get some aggression out…) you can put your unwrapped candy canes into a plastic bag and whack them with a rolling pin or frying pan until they’re crushed!
- Now it’s time to start the peppermint hot chocolate simmering process! Start by adding the milk, white chocolate, crushed candy canes, and vanilla extract to a 5-quart or larger slow cooker.
- Now, cover and cook it on HIGH for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Stir every 15 minutes.
Yes, I know that seems like it’s very often. It helps to prevent any of your candy cane pieces from sticking. It also helps heat the milk so everything melts perfectly into your hot chocolate!
- Pour your peppermint hot chocolate into your favorite festive mugs and top with whipped cream and crushed candy canes for garnish!
Note from a peppermint hot chocolate addict (…me…it’s me.)
The crushed candy canes give this holiday drink a very pale pink color. It’s quite pretty actually. BUT, if you’re looking to really play into the jolly red color with your hot chocolate, go ahead and add in a few drops (up to 1/4 tsp) of liquid red food coloring.
I typically do this because on a scale of slightly red to as red as Rudolph’s nose, I prefer my peppermint hot chocolate to practically sing HO HO HO all on its own.
That yellow layer you’re seeing on top of the hot chocolate is the cocoa butter in the white chocolate. It’s totally okay and mixes in (temporarily) with a quick stir.
If you find that you want a stronger mint flavor for your hot chocolate, add 1/8 teaspoon of peppermint extract. Stir and decide if you want more mint or not.
How to Reheat Hot Chocolate
You can store any leftover homemade white hot chocolate in an airtight container in the fridge. The cocoa butter will solidify on top.
When you’re ready to drink, pour the cold hot chocolate (and cocoa butter layer) into a medium saucepan. Place the pan over medium-low heat and stir occasionally until warmed through and the cocoa butter is completely melted. Then pour into mugs and enjoy!
Try these other tasty holiday drinks!
- Homemade Eggnog
- Warm Pumpkin Spice Cocktail
- Mulled Wine
- Crock Pot Cranberry Apple Cider
- Nutella Hot Chocolate
- more DRINK recipes…
Tools used to make this Slow Cooker Candy Cane White Hot Chocolate recipe
Crock Pot: this thing is definitely one of my most used kitchen appliances. I honestly don’t know where I’d be without it!
Glass mugs: how gorgeous are these?! They’re perfect for serving up all your warm holiday drinks!
*This post originally posted on 12/12/2014.
- 1/2 gallon whole milk
- 8 ounces Ghiradelli white chocolate baking bars broken up into small pieces
- 1/2 cup candy canes crushed (see note)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Whipped cream for garnish
- Crushed candy canes for garnish
- Add the milk, white chocolate, crushed candy canes, and vanilla to a 5-quart or larger slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Stir every 15 minutes.
- Pour hot chocolate into mugs and top with whipped cream and crushed candy canes for garnish. Serve warm.
Made this today for my coworkers and they liked it a lot. I was curious what the yellow liquid that separated was. Something from the white chocolate or milk fat? It wasn’t a bad thing, just unexpected. It was all delicious!
Sherry Compton says
Do you think there’s a way to make this ahead and put it in a decorated jar for gifts? Would the cooling and warming ruin the taste?
Looks amazing. My slow cooker is only 4qt. Can I still make this without adjustments, or should I scale back the recipe?
Sarah O says
I think it will fit Stephanie. I did some math. There is 16 cups in 4 quarts. A half gallon of milk is 8 cups, and the other ingredients wouldn’t be too much. So yes it should fit fine! – Sarah
Could you use white chocolate chips instead? If so how many would you just use the same number of ounces?
Sarah O says
Yes you could! Use about the same amount of ounces 🙂
Thanks!! Can’t wait to try it out at our Christmas party! The pink is so pretty!!
Thanks to a flatmate who eats things designated for other purposes than his belly, I actually had to split the amount of white chocolate between the ghiradelli bar and some white chocolate chips. The chips took a little longer to melt than the ghiradelli did, but it still tasted good!
Any idea if this will work with soy milk? I’m lactose intolerant, but this looks so delicious!
Sarah O says
If you are use to the way soy milk tastes, I’m sure it would turn out fine. 🙂
I was just wondering if someone could tell me if the can’t canes/mints you put in the original recipe melt completely. Any idea?
Sarah O says
Yes they do, they are the last thing to melt. 🙂
the house that never rests says
Oh my, this looks so tasty, this is now on my to make list for a christmas treat. Thank you for sharing. x
This hot chocolate looks amazing and so festive. I can’t wait to give it a try. Thanks for sharing. PINNED!
I enjoy making new recipes
Ingrid Lacap Matubis says
Looks like it’s yummy…
Gotta make this! Does look yummy & pretty!