Did you know that you can make hot chocolate from scratch? It is incredibly easy and a healthier alternative to other store-bought brands. Store-bought hot chocolate pouches generally contain hydrogenated oils, preservatives, and corn syrup solids—all bad news! In addition to making a tasty hot cocoa powder free of weird gunk, you can give it as a homemade DIY gift in a jar! Making homemade hot cocoa has never been easier—you most likely already have all of the ingredients on hand to make it.
Winter in my house consists of hearty meals like my creamy white bean chili, tasty vegetable pot pie, and vegan curry chickpea soup. I also am continuously making my grandma’s homemade chex mix because it is a tasty snack to have on hand at all times! Seriously, you have to try that chex mix—yum!
I love hot cocoa. Something about sipping on a hot cup of chocolate, watching the marshmallows melt, and the steam rise from the glass is nostalgic. Every winter, I bombard myself with hot cocoa multiple nights a week! This winter, though, I decided to change up my game and make homemade hot chocolate, and it was a game changer! No more yucky preservatives and weird ingredients, only from scratch goodness.
What ingredients are in homemade hot chocolate?
For this recipe, I used powdered milk, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, salt, and chocolate chips.
Powdered milk: I would suggest using powdered whole milk. The whole milk will give an extra creaminess to the hot chocolate that is a definite must. If you use powdered skim milk, you will want to use the homemade hot cocoa mix in milk, not water. Skim milk is just watery.
Powdered sugar: This is the sweetener in the homemade hot chocolate recipe. You can make your own powdered sugar, or you can use store bought. If you don’t like using sugar, you can omit this and add in another sweetener like Stevia or honey at the time of making.
Cocoa powder: Not surprisingly, this provides the cocoa taste to the hot cocoa! You can use dark cocoa if you prefer as well. I use organic cocoa purchased in bulk from Costco. The flavor is great, and that’s what I have stocked in my pantry. You can add more powdered sugar to sweeten up the taste of dark cocoa if you prefer.
Vanilla: This brings a warm flavor to the hot chocolate. Although subtle, it makes the drink feel like you are cozying up next to a fire on a cold, snowy evening.
Cinnamon: I like a little spice to go with my hot chocolate, and cinnamon is the best way to get it. Nothing like spicing your hot chocolate up and reaping the health benefits of cinnamon at the same time.
Salt: Salt brings out the sweetness in recipes like this. If you have ever had salted caramel or salted chocolate then you know what I’m talking about.
Chocolate chips (optional): I feel like chocolate chips bring an extra gooey layer to the hot chocolate along with providing sweetness and making the drink more chocolate-y. You don’t have to add them though, but I thought it was fun to have chunks in my hot cocoa.
How do I make homemade hot cocoa?
Blend all of the ingredients together in a blender. Pour into a mason jar for storage. Heat water or milk (strongly suggest milk!) and mix in 3.5 tablespoons of homemade hot chocolate mix to 1 cup of water or milk. Enjoy!
What are healthy hot chocolate ingredient swaps?
You can swap the sugar for honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar. If you use a liquid sugar like honey or maple syrup, you will want to add them in at the end. When you have combined the hot chocolate powder with the hot water or milk then add in the honey or syrup. For coconut sugar, you can blend that into a powder with the other ingredients.
For a dairy-free hot chocolate, leave out the powdered milk and blend the rest of the ingredients into a hot chocolate powder. Add the hot chocolate powder to warm soy or nut milk.
What are good hot chocolate toppings?
Toppings are my favorite part of hot chocolate! You can use: marshmallows, chocolate chips or shavings, chopped peppermint, whipped cream, caramel sauce, sprinkle of cinnamon, peppermint extract, and more! Whatever you think would delicious, give it a try!
Homemade Hot Cocoa
- 1.5 cups powdered milk
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips optional
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- Combine the powdered milk, sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, salt, and chocolate chips in a blender until powdered.
- Using a funnel, pour the ingredients into a quart-sized mason jar.
- Use 3 and 1/2 tablespoons hot cocoa mix per 1 cup of hot water or milk (preferably milk!) Mix in the vanilla to the hot cocoa. Top with marshmallows, sprinkle with more cinnamon, or add peppermint extract for some tasty additions!