Halloween hot chocolate is proof that the notion of necessity being the mother of invention is phooey. We all know moms are the actual mothers of invention–at least uber savvy inventions such as this Halloween hot chocolate, which is a hot chocolate recipe for the morning after Halloween brouhaha’d up by Elizabeth Mayhew, a Manhattan mom of two, contributing editor to the Today Show, and former editor-in-chief of Woman’s Day Magazine.

Mayhew just sort of conjured the sweet notion early one November morning maybe six or so Halloweens ago. “I’d always done different things with the leftover Halloween candy, like chop it up and put it in cookies. But this was a sneaky way to get them to drink milk,” she explains.

Sneaky, indeed. It couldn’t be easier. She just warmed some milk, poured it into mugs, let the kids plop their chosen trick-or-treating candy in, and dubbed it something irresistible to kids.

Hershey’s Miniatures work really well, notes Mayhew. She’s also found that Kit Kat and Twix bars make really excellent stirrers for the hot chocolate. (There’s that mother of invention again.) And if you have some ghost-shaped Peeps or a few of these adorable ghost meringues hanging around, definitely plop one on top of your witches’ brew.

While Mom Mayhew is partial to peppermint patties in her mug, her kids are a little less discerning. “My son would put everything in there and it would be a disgusting mess,” she adds, with an audible grimace. Though it doesn’t sound so terrible to us, actually. Anyone else wish they were a kid again?

Recipe FAQs

What else can I do with leftover Halloween candy?

We’re so glad you asked. Here are a few ideas:
– Tear the wrappers off those miniature chocolate bars and make these Candy Bar S’mores.
– Plonk any assortment of candies on top of these Halloween Candy Cupcakes.
– Chop up leftover candy and make this easy Leftover Halloween Candy Bark.

Does it matter what type of milk I use?

Nope. Whatever milk you have on hand will work for this Halloween hot cocoa, whether dairy or non-dairy, skim or full-fat.

Write a Review

If you make this recipe, or any dish on LC, consider leaving a review, a star rating, and your best photo in the comments below. I love hearing from you.–David

A white mug of hot chocolate on a white sauce with two pieces of chocolate nut bark beside it.

Halloween Hot Chocolate

5 from 1 vote
Halloween hot chocolate is simply leftover Halloween candy and milk melted in a saucepan. Sorta genius, yes?!
David Leite
Servings1 servings
Calories330 kcal
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes


  • 3/4 to 1 cup milk
  • Leftover chocolate Halloween candy, unwrapped and, if large, chopped into chunks


  • Gently heat the milk in a saucepan over medium-low heat or in a heatproof mug in the microwave until pretty warm but not boiling.
  • Pour the milk into a mug. Let your kids add the chocolate candy and stir with a spoon or, ideally, a Kit Kat or Twix bar, until the chocolate melts. [Editor’s Note: If you’re making this for toddlers, be safe and strain your baby’s brew before letting anyone take a sip.]
  • Let the slurping begin.


Serving: 1 mugCalories: 330 kcalCarbohydrates: 39 gProtein: 8 gFat: 19 gSaturated Fat: 11 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 6 gCholesterol: 9 mgSodium: 77 mgPotassium: 426 mgFiber: 3 gSugar: 35 gVitamin A: 347 IUCalcium: 235 mgIron: 1 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2017 Elizabeth Mayhew. Photo © 2017 Ehaurylik/Adobe. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I made the Halloween hot chocolate today and it came out great. As my roommate said, “Oh my god, this is the best hot chocolate ever!”

To convert the stovetop recipe to dorm-style, I just microwaved the milk in a microwave-safe mug for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Then I added the candy and stirred until combined. I used one whole normal-size candy bar per mug of milk, so 3/4 to 1 cup milk per candy bar.

The end result won’t look as dark as typical hot chocolate. I thought the leftover cookie crumbs on the bottom of the mug from the Twix and Kit Kat were the best part.

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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  1. I used to live in Argentina and they do this all the time! They’re called submarinos (I guess ’cause you get to submerge chocolate goodness in your glass) and you can get them at almost any cafe. Typically they make it with 1/2 of the chocolate bar and serve it the other half of the chocolate bar in case you want it to be extra chocolatey!