Hot Chocolate Floats

These Hot Chocolate Floats are the perfect treat to make during the holiday season. This recipe combines two of our favorite things, hot chocolate and ice cream, for a sweet, frothy dessert the whole family will love. 

Indulgent and Festive Hot Chocolate Floats

Glass mug of hot chocolate floats, topped with peppermint ice cream and whipped cream.

Step back into time and make my Hot Chocolate Floats, reminiscent of an old-timey ice cream parlor with red booths and a jukebox in the corner. This dessert is ridiculously easy and simply delicious.

We are big believers in eating ice cream all year round, which is why we have a float recipe for every season: Apple Cider Floats in the fall, Strawberry Rhubarb Floats in the spring, and a whole slew of fun ice cream float ideas for a summer party.

Now, we’re rounding out the year with these irresistible hot chocolate floats. You may think adding frozen ice cream to hot chocolate is a fool’s errand, but trust us when we tell you this combo is magic. 

Do you see that layer of cool, creamy foam pooling on top of the chocolate? That’s the magic stuff! With each sip you’ll get a hit of that frothy melted ice cream followed by the rich dark chocolate. It is divine!

Why We Love Hot Chocolate Floats

  • They’re super easy. Just three steps and less than ten minutes to make!
  • You can customize them. You can try this recipe with different ice cream flavors. If you’re a sucker for cookies and cream, give it a try! The flavor options for these floats are as vast as the flavors of ice cream you can find in your grocery store.
  • They’re festive. There’s something about both hot chocolate and ice cream that makes us want to party. You can bring these Hot Chocolate Floats to your holiday gatherings or birthday parties—they’re sure to be a hit.

Key Ingredients

  • Hot chocolate – We recommend our easy Stovetop Hot Chocolate recipe or your favorite hot chocolate mix. If you have the extra five minutes, homemade is always worth it!
  • Ice cream – Like I said, you can add whatever ice cream you want. Peppermint, black raspberry chip, vanilla, or caramel are great flavors to use.
  • Whipped cream – This is optional, but let’s be honest, it’s the holidays! Now’s not the time to skimp on the whipped cream.
  • Chocolate sauce – You can get creative here. Feel free to use caramel sauce or even Nutella if you’d prefer.

How to Make Hot Chocolate with Ice Cream

  1. Fill a cup about ⅔ of the way full with hot chocolate.
  2. Top with 1-2 scoops of ice cream.
  3. Serve with whipped cream and chocolate sauce if desired. Drink immediately!

Tips and Tasting Notes

  • I prefer to add the ice cream last, because I think it creates a better foam on top, but feel free to add the ice cream to the glass first if you prefer. This option is less messy. If you’re adding the ice cream last, be sure to leave plenty of room in your cup so it doesn’t overflow! The ice cream floating way above the glass looks great in pictures, but is not recommended if you want to avoid a mess.
  • My (Courtney’s) personal favorite float used black raspberry chip ice cream, but the peppermint was also fantastic and very Christmas-y. Caramel would be lovely, as would a chocolate ice cream for those who REALLY love chocolate.
  • You can use ice cream with mix ins, such as butter pecan, as long as you don’t mind some chunky bits in your float. Otherwise, stick to flavors without nuts or cookie pieces.
  • Want a spiked ice cream float? Add a tablespoon of Kahlua or rum to your chocolate floats!

FAQs

Is it better to make hot chocolate with water or milk?

I recommend using milk in your hot chocolate. Water makes the hot chocolate less sweet, while milk makes it creamier and brings out the sweetness.

Should you put sugar in hot chocolate?

My Stovetop Hot Chocolate and any hot chocolate mix you use should have plenty of sugar already, so you don’t need to add any extra.

More Holiday Drink Recipes

Kick off the holiday with Christmas Morning Punch and Cranberry Mimosas.

For something cozy, try making my Tea Lattes, Chai Lattes, or Spiked Irish Coffee.

If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere where Christmas is warm, try this Funky Monkey Frozen Hot Chocolate.

Hot Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream Floats.

Want to dip instead of drink? Try our Hot Chocolate Dip.

Glass mug of hot chocolate floats, topped with peppermint ice cream and whipped cream.

Hot Chocolate Floats

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Rich hot chocolate is paired with ice cream for a hot and cold, creamy and frothy treat!

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe Stovetop Hot Chocolate (or your favorite hot chocolate mix)
  • Ice cream of your choice–such as peppermint, black raspberry chip, vanilla, or caramel
  • Whipped cream, optional
  • Chocolate sauce, optional

Instructions

  1. Fill a cup about ⅔ of the way full with hot chocolate.
  2. Top with 1-2 scoops of ice cream.
  3. Serve with whipped cream and chocolate sauce if desired. Drink immediately!

Notes

If you want to avoid a potential mess, feel free to add the ice cream to the glass first, then top with hot chocolate. I just like the ice cream doesn't melt as fast this way.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 347Total Fat: 10.5gSaturated Fat: 7.5gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 226mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 3gSugar: 36gProtein: 4g

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