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White Hot Chocolate

Baby, it’s cold outside.

I’m going to stay inside, wrapped in a blanket, drinking this albino take on a wintertime favorite. Would you believe me if I told you practically tastes like liquid birthday cake? Because it does.

Especially with whipped cream and sprinkles.

This recipe will give you two small mugs (or one big one – no judgement here) of thick, creamy, and oh-so-steamy white hot chocolate. It’s cooked with a bit of tapioca starch (use cornstarch if you can’t find it), and some non-fat milk powder for an extra thick and creamy consistency without any heavy cream. Not that I’m claiming it’s healthy or anything, but, you know, it could be worse. Just saying.

Stir a little amaretto or Irish cream into this and I’ll see you in the morning.

White Hot Chocolate

Not all white chocolate is created equal. When purchasing it, the mark of a good quality white chocolate is cocoa butter listed as one of the first ingredients. No cocoa butter? It’s not really white chocolate. Save those white baking chips for some cookies, and go for the good stuff here.

I chose to use a local product, Olive & Sinclair buttermilk white chocolate, the best white chocolate I’ve ever had. It’d convert even the most adamant white chocolate naysayer. Because it is not sickeningly sweet like most white chocolates are, and the buttermilk gives it a bit of a tang. And, like Taylor (a self-declared white chocolate hater) said, it actually tastes like chocolate. Vanilla chocolate.

And all is right with the world.

White Hot Chocolate


  • 3 ounces good quality white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon tapioca starch* or cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup non-fat dry milk powder
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles, for serving


  1. Place chopped chocolate in a medium, heat-proof bowl and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, whisk together starch and milk powder. Slowly pour in milk, whisking until smooth and no lumps remain. Heat over medium heat until mixture just starts to steam. Pour over white chocolate. Let sit for 30 seconds, then stir until smooth and melted.
  3. Return mixture to saucepan and stir over medium heat until thickened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Divide among mugs, top with whipped cream and sprinkles, and serve.

*Look for tapioca starch (not to be confused with the granules/pearls or pudding) in the baking isle of specialty grocers (I used the Let’s Do Organic brand from Whole Foods), online, or at asian food stores. I liked it because it thickens just as effectively as cornstarch but with a creamier texture and no starchy aftertaste.

All images and text © Lindsay Landis /

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