How Long Do You Microwave Milk for Hot Chocolate?

Hot chocolate is just one of those comforting, warm beverages I crave every winter. While I often make my drink using hot water for convenience, sometimes you just want the creaminess only milk can give you. So, how long do you microwave milk for hot chocolate?

After all, I want to make creating my drink as painless as possible. Instead of standing over a pot and then trying to aim and pour hot milk into a mug, let’s skip all that. I’ll help you learn to successfully microwave your milk without it becoming icky.

how long to microwave milk for hot chocolate dinners done quick featured image

How Long Should You Warm Up Milk in the Microwave for Hot Chocolate?

Microwave Power LevelTotal Heating Time
High40-50 seconds
Medium (60-70%)60-90 seconds
How long to warm 1 cup of milk by microwave power setting

As you can see, how long you should warm up milk in the microwave depends on the power setting you’re using. Medium power level (around 60-70%) is recommended for milk, but not all microwaves offer variable power settings.

If your microwave only offers high, simply reduce the overall cooking time, and it will still work!

Also note that this is based on a 1000W microwave, which is fairly standard. If you have a higher wattage, you’ll need to reduce cooking times. For a lower wattage, plan to increase by 10-15 seconds.

Most pre-packaged hot cocoa mixes call for 8 ounces (or 1 Cup) of liquid. If you plan to double up or make your own, you may need to increase cook time for the extra liquid.

I also wrote an article on how long it takes to microwave milk to 110 degrees in case you want to be sure of your drink temperature.

Can you Microwave Whole Milk for Hot Chocolate?

Yes, you can microwave whole milk for hot chocolate. In fact, your choice in milk fat content is entirely up to you. Skim, 1%, 2%, and whole milk all work fine in the microwave.

Now, the differing fat content may mean that it takes slightly longer or shorter to heat. However, thanks to regular check-ins which we’ll cover shortly, this won’t be too much of an inconvenience at all.

How Long Should You Microwave Milk Alternatives for Hot Chocolate?

Milk TypeHow Long to Microwave for Hot Chocolate
Almond Milk1 Minute
Oat Milk2-3 Minutes
Soy Milk90 Seconds
How Long to Microwave 1 Cup (8 oz) Non-Dairy Milk for Hot Chocolate

If you’ve got a dairy sensitivity or just prefer an alternative milk, you can still microwave it for your hot chocolate! Soy milk is pretty close to regular milk, but you’ll notice that almond takes a bit less time, while oat milk takes more.

You’ll want to follow the same process as outlined below for dairy milk, however. Despite it being non-dairy, nut based milks can still curdle. In fact, soy is often more finicky!

How to Heat Milk in the Microwave for Hot Chocolate

  1. Place 1 Cup (8 ounces) of milk in a microwave safe mug that holds at least 12 ounces
  2. Set the mug in your microwave
  3. Lower the microwave’s power level to 60% if possible
  4. Cook the milk on medium power for 60-90 seconds, stopping every 15 seconds to stir
  5. You’re looking to achieve a temperature between 160-180F for optimal hot chocolate temperature
  6. Once heated, remove the mug from the microwave, add hot chocolate mix, then stir and enjoy!

Stopping every 15 seconds to stir throughout the cook cycle is the key to not scalding or curdling your milk. One (or both) of these phenomena happen when milk is heated too rapidly. By moving the molecules around and giving them a break, you reduce this chance.

It’s even more important if you’re forced to cook on high, since your milk will boil all the quicker.

I should also note that you won’t need to worry about the superheating issue that can occur when you make coffee in the microwave. Since you’ll be stopping to stir the milk regularly, it won’t have a chance to “overboil” like during the water heating process for coffee.

How Long Do You Microwave Milk for Hot Chocolate Bombs?

You should microwave milk for 60-90 seconds on medium power to heat it for hot chocolate bombs. As long as the temperature reaches at least 160F it is sufficient for dissolving the chocolate.

In short, it’s the same process as you’ll follow for regular hot cocoa mix, but it works just the same for the hot cocoa bombs. However, the temperature is slightly more important here, so you may want to double check it.

If you’re not familiar with the concept, a hot chocolate bomb is a chocolate sphere filled with marshmallows and hot cocoa mix. You place it in a mug, and then pour heated milk or water over it to melt through the shell.

Once the shell opens, the rest of the contents float out into your mug, and you can then stir and enjoy.

The only change to process with the hot chocolate bombs is that you’ll need at least two mugs. You don’t want to microwave the bomb itself. Use one mug for the chocolate sphere, and one microwave safe mug to heat the milk.

Then, carefully pour the hot milk into the mug loaded with chocolate!

Learn more about what the microwave safe symbol is and how to identify if your mug is safe for use.

In Conclusion

It doesn’t take very long to microwave milk for hot chocolate, and the creamy, delicious result is totally worth it. Even though you’ll need to stop and stir a few times, it’s much more convenient than the constant stirring over a hot stove method!

Whether you’re starting your morning with a hot cocoa, or enjoying it as a treat, it’s even easier thanks to our favorite quick cooking appliance.

If you love chocolate, you may also enjoy some of these other best microwave dessert recipes! They pair really well with hot chocolate (or coffee) and are super easy to make in the microwave as well. How convenient!

Katie Vine