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It is now easier than ever to whip up barista-style hot chocolate at home thanks to a new generation of heated milk frothers from the likes of Hotel Chocolat and Aldi.
Demand for fancy coffee machines surged during the pandemic with us all spending more time at home, and now homemade hot chocolate is also getting a glow up.
Standing over the stove stirring a pan filled with milk and cocoa powder is no longer necessary as a hot chocolate maker can warm and aerate milk while blending in chocolate (powder, flakes or even chunks) to make a mug-full of an indulgently rich and creamy treat.
These kettle-like gadgets can be used with dairy, plant milk or water and most also have the option to make cold froth, hot froth or hot milk for cappuccinos, latte macchiatos, lattes or babyccinos.
We've rounded up some of the top rated models on the market, as well as some less high-tech options if you don't want another appliance cluttering up your kitchen countertop.
10 hot chocolate makers
Ambiano Copper Hot Chocolate Maker | £39.99 at Aldi
One of the newest kids on the hot chocolate block, this budget design from Aldi has already sold out once and is even TikTok famous. Available in copper or steel, it is simple to use, just add grated chocolate flakes or powder, pour in the milk, press the button and let the hot chocolate maker take care of the rest. You can also use it with espresso shots or coffee granules to make a cappuccino, cafe latte or frothy coffee.
Sold out already? You may be interested in Aldi's £19.99 Milk Heater and Frother, which customers have said gives them similar results.
The Velvetiser Hot Chocolate Maker | £99.95 at Hotel Chocolat
The machine that revolutionised the market for at-home hot chocolate, Hotel Chocolat's Velvetiser shot to fame for it's aesthetically-pleasing design and ability to create luxuriously rich drinks. Pictured above in copper, it is also available in charcoal or white, and is designed to be used with Hotel Chocolat's real chocolate flakes, which are available in many flavours including: Classic, Milky, Salted Caramel, Hazelnut Praline, Dark, Orange, Chilli, Vanilla White, Ginger and Mint. You can buy the flakes in individual sachets or in larger pouches if you don't mind measuring out the portions yourself. It can also be used to make frothy milk for coffee.
Lakeland Milk Frother and Hot Chocolate Maker | £54.99 at Lakeland
This hot chocolate maker is designed to be used with any chocolate flakes or powder. It is a good choice if you plan to use your hot chocolate maker to prepare a variety of drinks, as the buttons on the base make it easy to select different settings for hot or cold frothy milk and Lakeland claims that "thanks to the non-stick coating there’s no risk of the inside taking on any flavour or taint from the chocolate – just rinse it out and it’s ready to go again".
Severin SM 3585 Induction Milk Frother Spuma 500 | £99.99 at Amazon
This milk foamer is designed to make luxurious hot chocolate using whole chocolate pieces. Equipped with three inserts that can be swapped in to make hot chocolate, milk foam or heated milk, the LED ring on the base lights up red or blue to show if hot or cold milk is being prepared.
The 500ml stainless steel container offers enough space for a large portion of milk foam and the pouring spout is shaped to allow you to make intricate latte art if your talents lie that way. It also features a refill opening that allows you to add chocolate or other ingredients without spilling during foaming.
Bialetti Electric Milk Frother and Hot Chocolate Maker | £80 at Whittard
With four settings for cappuccinos, iced cappuccinos, lattes and hot chocolate, this Bialetti machine promises expertly crafted drinks in a matter of minutes. Cleaning up will be equally as speedy as the stainless steel jug can be popped in the dishwasher, leaving only the mixing component and lid to be washed by hand.
Smeg Milk Frother + Hot Chocolate Maker + free Knoops Chocolate flakes | £149 at Knoops (also available at John Lewis)
If you're a fan of Knoops chocolate flakes, this bundle includes a free tube of either 34% milk, 54% dark or 70% extra dark chocolate.
Available in black and white, the Smeg hot chocolate maker features six preset programmes, plus a manual function, so you can heat or froth your milk as desired. For a bespoke flavour, Knoops suggest adding a pinch of sea salt, some freshly zested orange, or a dash of chilli powder alongside your chocolate flakes before you start the programme.
Krups XL100840 Milk Frother | £54.99 at Amazon
This Krups frother features an all-round pouring rim that allows you to pour from any angle without spilling a drop. It is designed to be used with cocoa powder or "for a truly indulgent treat" the manufacturers recommend you try adding a dash of Irish cream liqueur.
Hot Chocolate Shaker | £25 at The Chocolate Society
Like a cocktail shaker but for your hot choc — this unassuming beaker offers an alternative way to mix up a velvety smooth drink.
The smoothest lump-free hot chocolates are shaken not stirred, according to The Chocolate Society, but try doing that in an ordinary lidded container and you're in for a mess, as when you shake a hot liquid the air inside the container will heat and expand, causing a hot chocolate explosion. So the brand invented a lid that pops to accommodate the increased pressure.
The double-walled beaker can be used with the brand's hot chocolate drops, powdered chocolate or chopped up/grated chocolate mixed with warm milk or water.
Bodum Chocolatiere Chocolate Jug | £26.27 at Amazon
Traditionalists may prefer to mix their hot milk and chocolate in this chic heat-resistant glass jug. Simply add your chocolate powder, hot milk (or water) and use the handle on the lid to turn the propeller, which smoothly mixes the powder, producing a rich froth. A big bonus for this jug over electric hot chocolate makers is that with a one litre capacity, you can make more than one mugful at a time.
La Cafetiere Coco Chocolate Stove | £25 at Amazon
This stove top chocolate pot allows you to heat your milk and chocolate (flakes, powder or buttons) at the same time. Quickly pump the handle on the top for 20 seconds to create froth. It has a heavy bottom to prevent the milk burning and is suitable for all stoves except induction. It is quite large, with a one litre capacity, so can make enough for up to four people in one go.