Homemade hot cocoa mix is the perfect easy recipe for anyone that loves chocolate. Make a big batch to give as gifts for the holidays or just to have on hand during the cooler months!
This girl is seriously obsessed with hot chocolate recipes. So, of course I love to make homemade hot cocoa. You learn to embrace hot beverages when you grow up in Canada.
I made this homemade hot cocoa mix recipe awhile back for Food Fanatic.
Back in the day, I used to work the midnight shift at a local store. I would experiment by adding things to hot chocolate.
Since I had an endless supply of chocolate bars and candy in the store I could be wildly creative. I came up with some amazing hot chocolate recipes back then. Plus some bad ones.
My family caught on that I had mastered the art of hot chocolate. Any time we had a snowstorm or spent too much time at the ice rink I would make hot chocolate. If you ask my oldest brother he will tell you I make the best homemade hot chocolate in the world.
When I had kids of my own I started making it for them too. When the kids were young we spent a crazy amount of time in hockey arenas and horseback riding barns so we made hot cocoa when we got home.
One of my favourite things to do during the holiday season is make homemade gifts. I love making edible gifts for our family and friends.
If you love making your own homemade gifts for your family and friends this hot cocoa mix is perfect. Make a batch for everyone you know!
- Confectioners' Sugar - Any brand will do but using good quality is a good idea. Be sure to sift multiple time for this mix.
- Cocoa Powder - Use Dutch process cocoa powder for this recipe.
- Salt - Do not skip this ingredient. Salt enhances sweetness and will take your cocoa mix to the next level.
How to Make Hot Cocoa Mix:
- First, you want to sift your confectioners' sugar in a bowl. Use a sifter, strainer or sieve to do this.
- Then, in another bowl, sift the cocoa powder.
- Next, combine the sifted confectioners' sugar and sifted cocoa powder in a bowl. Mix really well with a spoon or spatula.
- Sift the cocoa mix again.
- Then, you can store it in an airtight container for when you need it.
- Be sure to shake the jar before each use.
- Use to make hot chocolate any time you get a craving for a hot mug of cocoa.
Tips for making hot cocoa mix:
- Be sure to sift the ingredients really well. This is an important step. Don't skip it.
- Adding salt is also incredibly important to this recipe. Salt is perfect for enhancing the sweetness of recipes and helps to block any bitter taste.
- Dutch process cocoa powder is a must for this recipe. Try to find it, if possible.
- Use good quality ingredients so the flavour is perfection.
- Mix well and always shake before use.
- I like to make a slurry with the hot cocoa mix and a little bit of hot water first before making the hot cocoa. This helps it mix in better and have less chance of clumps in your drink.
- Personally, I love using milk and heating my hot cocoa on the stovetop. Just be sure to watch the temperature and continue to stir as needed.
Can I use a food processor to blend hot cocoa mix:
- For this recipe, I did not use a food processor. If I was using a recipe with powdered milk, or chocolate chips I likely would have.
- Sifting is sufficient for this particular recipe but any recipes with larger chunks of ingredients I would recommend pulsing in the food processor to break larger pieces.
Tips for Storing:
- The dry mix should be stored in an airtight container. Personally, I love mason jars but any good storage container will work.
- Store in a cool dry place. A pantry or cupboard works perfectly for storing hot cocoa mix.
- Do NOT store in the fridge or freezer. The humidity is not good for the mix. Avoid storing it that way.
How long will hot cocoa mix last:
- Hot cocoa POWDER will last 6 to 8 months, if stored correctly. See above notes for storing it correctly.
- Once it is mixed with water or milk and turned into hot chocolate, also known as hot cocoa, it will only last for 2 to 3 days in the fridge.
Is hot cocoa mix the same as cocoa powder:
- No, it is not the same at all.
- Cocoa powder is made from cocoa beans and is generally used for baking.
- Hot cocoa mix, also known as hot cocoa powder, is made from confectioner's sugar, dutch processed cocoa powder and salt, in most cases.
- These two are not interchangeable. Do not substitute one for the other in recipes!
What is the difference between hot cocoa mix and hot chocolate:
- Hot cocoa mix typically uses cocoa powder and powdered sugar. It's stored and used year round.
- Hot chocolate mix typically uses chocolate in it. You can either pulse chocolate in a food processor if making a mix, or just make it fresh with good quality chocolate.
Tips for Making Hot Chocolate:
- One little tip I learned a long time ago is to mix the dry cocoa mix with a little bit of water or milk first, almost similar to making a slurry for savoury recipes. Then mix in the rest of your liquids.
- Using heavy cream to make hot chocolate is a great way to ensure a thick, creamy mug of cocoa. Heavy cream is also known as whipping cream. The higher fat content is great for hot cocoa.
- If you don't want to use heavy cream then use milk. It just makes a superior hot chocolate, if you ask me. I'm not a fan of using water unless I don't have any other option.
- That said, if using water there are ways to elevate your mug of cocoa. Try adding a bit of granulated sugar to the mug. You can also drop in a few squares of a nice creamy chocolate bar.
- Personally, I love making mine on the stovetop. Cooking it on the stovetop slowly just makes all the difference in the world. Don't rush the process. The microwave is reserved for hot cocoa emergencies only.
- Use a whisk when stirring your hot chocolate. It just makes it so much smoother.
- Top it with whipped cream if you really want a creamy mug of hot chocolate. Then, grate some fresh chocolate over top.
Hot Chocolate Add In Ideas:
- Mini Marshmallows - They are a classic for a reason, Marshmallows are amazing in hot cocoa but so are homemade marshmallows if you feel creative.
- Whipped Cream - Adding whipped cream just takes it to a whole other level.
- Shaved Chocolate - Grate some fresh chocolate over top. This just makes it taste so much better and makes it look so festive.
- Caramel - Whether it's store bought or homemade, caramel is a great addition to any hot chocolate recipe.
- Extracts - We have used peppermint extract, chocolate extract and vanilla extract in ours. It adds another level of depth to the cocoa.
- Spices - I love adding a little cinnamon or nutmeg to mine occasionally. Add a little chili powder or cayenne for a bit of heat.
- Chocolate Bars - This is something I learned as a teenager when I worked night shifts. Add little pieces of your favourite candy bar into the mug. You will not be sorry.
- Peppermints - Honestly, nothing screams holidays like peppermint hot chocolate. Use broken peppermints or candy canes for the holiday season.
- Booze - I mean, this is great for the adults. Am I right?! Add Bailey's, Rum, Irish Cream, Creme de Menthe, Vodka, Kahlua, Red Wine, or even whiskey to your mug. Even a bit of rich stout is nice.
- Spreads - Adding a little Biscoff, cookie butter of any sort, or Nutella will add a great flavour to your drink.
- Syrups - Chocolate syrup is an amazing addition. Torani makes some great flavoured syrups. If you love Buddy the Elf as much as I do, you know he would recommend maple syrup!
- Cinnamon Sticks - They are great for mixing your drink and they add a great taste.
- Sprinkles - These are nice for the kids. I'm not a huge fan of adding them for adults though.
More great hot chocolate recipes:
- Red Velvet Hot Chocolate
- Peppermint Hot Chocolate
- Nutella Hot Chocolate
- Coconut Hot Chocolate
- Slow Cooker Confetti Cake Batter and White Chocolate Hot Chocolate
- More Hot Chocolate Recipes
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Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix
- 2 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 cup Dutch Processed Cocoa
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Grab a large mixing bowl and sift the confectioners' sugar into it.
- Grab another large mixing bowl and sift the cocoa powder into it.
- Next, combine the confectioners' sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl then add the salt. Mix well.
- Then, sift the hot cocoa mixture again in a large bowl.
- Store the hot cocoa mix in an air tight container. I love using mason jars for cocoa mix.
- Be sure to shake before using, each and every time you use it.
- Mix with hot milk, water, or even coconut milk to make hot chocolate. Personally, I use milk then add a little drop of honey in mine.
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Micah | Home Faith Family
I can't believe how easy this recipe is. I especially loved the idea for red velvet hot chocolate. Yummm! I'm definitely pinning and saving this for later. Thanks for linking up =)
Thanks so much Micah. I appreciate it.
Great and easy recipe that we use year round. #hotchocolatelovers
Thanks so much.
This would definitely make a fun, not to mention yummy, gift!! It's so easy---making enough for my book club would be a breeze!!!
Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes
Homemade is always the best! Love your photos here.
Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet
I love how easy this and it makes such a perfect gift!
Paula - bell'alimento
Your photos are always so inviting! This is just loverly!
Kayle (The Cooking Actress)
This recipe is a total classic and necessary for those of us with cold winters!
Hi Kim 😁Can you use any brand of Dutch cocoa or is there a brand you prefer
Hi Kate. Any brand will do. Let me know how it turns out.
It's cool but would have been nice to actually see the recipe....
The recipe is inside the post. There is a recipe card with the instructions. Hope that helps.
Have you ever used water instead of milk, just to see if it works? We have a small cafe at church we need hot chocolate to serve, but can't find any nut safe hot chocolate packets so I'm looking into making homemade mix but we need to be able to mix it with water not milk. Or do you have any suggestions as to a recipe that would work with water instead of milk? Thanks.
Hi Cherrye. It works great with water. I'm just a fan of thicker hot chocolate so I use milk. I've made it quite often with water when we have huge groups of people over. I usually just add some marshmallows or whipped cream for a bit of added creaminess.
Let me know what you think of it.
John / Kitchen Riffs
I haven't had hot chocolate in ages! This looks terrific -- mighty tasty. Hope you have a wonderful holiday season!
Hi John. I'm a hot chocolate fanatic. Probably from growing up in Canada. I make it a lot when we get home from the barn. It's so freaking cold out there.
Hope you had a happy holiday season and Happy New Year.
Yes, thank you)) I it was best
Thanks so much. So happy to hear that.
Easy to make and has a nice creamy flavor. It's especially good with mini marshmallows.
Thank you so much.
Tastes Great!! Thanks for the Christmas Idea
Thanks so much Callie.
This is fabulous. I gave my friends a cup after our walk this morning and it passed the taste test. Can’t wait to give this as gifts.
That is so good to hear. Thanks so much.
So good…we have a hard time using the store bought stuff now, this is so much more creamy & rich & has much better chocolate flavor
Thanks so much. I love homemade hot cocoa so much. It is so fun to experiment with. I add different types of chocolate to the hot mug often too. Just crumble some in and mix. It's takes it to a whole other level.
Hope you are staying safe right now.
Yes, please! Super simple and so easy to make too!!
Thanks so much.