How Long To Microwave Milk For Hot Chocolate 

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If you’re ferociously googling how long to microwave milk for hot chocolate, you must be a parent! Back in the prehistoric ages AKA before kids, I remember coming home after a wintry walk with my hubby, heating up two cups of milk on the stove, and indulging in a luxurious, homemade hot chocolate. 

The process was like a teaser for the delicious hot treat. 

These days… Well, I just don’t trust myself to heat milk on the stove. The chances of me letting the milk burn while my attention is stolen away is pretty much one hundred. But we live out where winters are real winters, and we still get to enjoy the process of making a hot chocolate as much as the final result. We just use a microwave. 

My kids absolutely love playing on snow and ice, and at the end of a long and frosty outing, we reward ourselves with a yummy cup of hot chocolate complete with marshmallows. My kids practice their patience as I microwave the milk, and then watch their delicious treat turn from white to a delicious brown. It’s the ultimate quiet wind-down activity. 

However, microwaving milk is a little bit of an art and a little bit of a science. You don’t want to burn it (because it’s disgusting), you don’t want to make… cold chocolate (because that’s not a thing), you don’t want a chunky hot chocolate (that’s no fun!), and you definitely don’t want warm milk with hot pockets. (Ouch!) 

What you want is a nice, smooth, evenly-heated drink. You have to do it just right. It’s not a one-and-done deal like popcorn. When figuring out how long to microwave milk for hot chocolate, you need a little finesse. 

How long to microwave milk for hot chocolate? 

  • Microwave 1 cup of milk for 40s
  • Add 1-2 tbsp of hot chocolate ingredients and stir (your drink may still be chunky at this stage)
  • Microwave for another 30-45s and stir again. 
  • And don’t forget to add marshmallows at the end! 

That’s how you get a deliciously smooth, even, hot chocolate from the microwave. 

This “how long to microwave milk for hot chocolate” process works for me and for everyone I’ve recommended it to, but like I said – it may require a little finesse. For example, 

  • If your cup of milk is not exactly one cup
  • If your microwave-safe mug blocks the heat a bit
  • If your microwave’s either stronger or weaker than standard
  • If you want your hot chocolate slightly cooler than “hot”

You’ll need to adjust. But in each case, microwave the milk to get it warmed up, stir in your hot chocolate, microwave again, and stir again. 

Why is it such a process to microwave milk for hot chocolate anyway?

Heating milk is not like heating water. If you overheat milk you risk two outcomes. Burning it, which gives it an unpleasant taste and smell. Or developing a film on top – and trust me, your kids will not like it. That’s why you have to be sure to not overdo it, and heat it gradually. 

That’s also the reason you should stir the milk halfway through the heating process. Microwaving milk tends to develop hot pockets, and you don’t want them to overheat ruining the rest of your drink. 

Lastly, it can be a little tricky to stir hot chocolate powder into milk, that’s why it’s smart to do it in stages. Stir it into the warm milk at the halfway point and then finish the job at the end. 

What Do We Use For Hot Chocolate?

Back in the day, we would revel in our gourmet, hand-made cocoa creations. They were truly something to be proud of. 

These days we’re pretty happy with a store-bought hot chocolate mix, or even chocolate syrup, with the occasional hot chocolate bomb when we’re feeling fancy. All of those recipes are below, but please remember this one important rule. Never EVER leave out the marshmallows. 

Did she say chocolate syrup?

Yep, we’ve found that chocolate syrup works as a pretty awesome hot chocolate substitute. Same rules apply to microwaving milk too. 

More Hot Chocolate Recipes

Here’s our favorite hot chocolate recipe for when we have the time:

  • 1 Cup of milk
  • 2 Tbsp of hot cocoa
  • 1 Tbsp of brown sugar (optional)
  • 1 tsp of chocolate chips (optional)
  • ¼ tsp of vanilla extract
  • Marshmallows (not optional!)

Microwave milk like as in the section above, add in the ingredients halfway through (saving the marshmallows.) Stir, and add the marshmallows at the end. 

Hot Chocolate Bombs

This is a super-special treat that we might have on Christmas. 


  • 1 Kinder egg
  • 1 Tbsp of hot cocoa
  • 1 tsp chocolate chips
  • 3-5 Smarties or M&Ms
  • 3-10 small marshmallows
  • Milk
  1. Gently break open the Kinder Egg and place all the ingredients inside. Use a candle to reseal it along the seams. (I know it’s a lot, which is why we don’t do it that often!) 
  1. Microwave the milk, but don’t add the ingredients halfway through. Microwave the milk for 40s, stir it, and microwave again for 30-50s. You want the milk to be nice and hot to melt the chocolate. 
  1. Place the egg inside and break it up with a spoon. You’ll see all the fun ingredients float to the top. Stir it well, allowing for the chocolate to melt in, and enjoy. 

Final Word On Hot Chocolate 

Making hot chocolate can be as fun as drinking it, and will absolutely be one of your family’s central memories or even traditions. How long do you microwave milk for hot chocolate again? Remember, for a cup of milk, microwave for 40s, add in ingredients and stir, microwave for 30-50s, then stir again and enjoy!


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