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This easy-to-make, hot chocolate mix has no unwanted chemicals or preservatives and keeps great in your pantry!
Preparing your own hot chocolate mix can be both quick and easy. Hot chocolate mixes are a great homemade gift for family, friends, and co-workers. Here’s how to make it quickly and easily!”
Hot cocoa mix is typically a mixture of 3 ingredients (when made at home). Powdered milk, cocoa powder, and sugar. You then add water to it to reconstitute everything.
Hot Chocolate Vs. Hot Cocoa….Are They The Same?
Not really. I mean, it’s all chocolatey, but there is a pretty significant difference.
For a true hot chocolate mix, you would want to add whole milk powder. Hot chocolate contains copious amounts of dairy and tends to be higher in fat than hot cocoa. It is thicker and creamier. However, powdered milk in any form is highly processed. So if you are trying to eat clean, you’ll want to avoid it.
Hot cocoa is typically made with water and tends to be on the thinner side. Still a delicious drink, just not as rich and creamy as hot chocolate.
Dairy-Free Or Vegan Hot Chocolate Mix
This recipe is both dairy-free and vegan on its own. So the only thing you’ll need to do is use a dairy-free or vegan milk of your choosing. I highly recommend unsweetened oat milk or unsweetened cashew milk. They tend to taste the best. But any non-dairy milk will work well here.
Is Hot Chocolate Mix Better Made With Milk Or Water?
If you prefer thinner hot cocoa, use water. If you prefer a creamier, thicker, hot chocolate, use milk. You can even add in a little shaved dark chocolate or use a splash of cream to really thicken things.
Can I Use Hot Chocolate Mix With Coffee To Make A Mocha?
Absolutely! You may want to up the amount of mix you use simply because coffee has a stronger flavor than milk. Start with 2 tbsp. and move up from there, to taste. It should give your coffee a nice chocolate flavor.
Can You Make Coffee Creamer With This?
You actually can, if you use it as a flavoring. Simply use as much cream or other thickened milk and whisk in some of this hot chocolate mix. It makes an easy mocha in the morning!
Can You Use Instant Hot Chocolate With Milk?
But I just don’t see the point in all that. First of all, there’s nothing clean about powdered milk. And second, I’ve honestly never liked “watering down” my hot chocolate. I much prefer the richness that comes when making it with real milk, so I avoid anything that involves water like the plague when it comes to my hot chocolate. So does Mini Chef.
I highly recommend Sucanat for this, but if you can’t find it or don’t like it, your best options are either coconut sugar or monk fruit used in the same amounts.
Hot Cocoa Ingredients
Unsweetened cocoa powder – It’s important that this is pure cocoa powder. It should have nothing else added. No sugar and no flavoring of any kind.
Sucanat – If you don’t have access to this, you can also try coconut sugar or monk fruit. Any unprocessed, granular sweetener will work well here.
How To Make Hot Chocolate Mix From Scratch?
Put both ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk to blend well.
Do your best to smash larger clumps. You want the pieces to be as small and as close to a powder consistency as possible. Larger clumps will change the flavor of your hot chocolate and make it slightly more bitter. So break them up the best you can. This may take a minute or two.
You can also put the ingredients in a plastic, Ziploc bag and mash it with your hands until the larger clumps are gone.
To make chocolate milk, simply combine 1 tbsp. mix with 1 cup of milk (any kind).
Can You Make This In A Food Processor?
You can! In fact, it can sometimes give you a better consistency because it breaks down some of the sugar grains into something that is more similar to dry milk powder or cocoa powder.
Alternatively, you can also use powdered sugar. Some unprocessed sugars offer this option, while others don’t. So if you can’t find it, you can easily blend whatever sweetener you have in a blender until it becomes powdered.
NOTE: This mix is purposefully not overly sweet. If you want a sweeter hot chocolate, I recommend adding more Sucanat to your hot chocolate AFTER making it and pouring it into mugs or cups. That way, each person can sweeten it to their own tastes.
How to Make Homemade Hot Cocoa With This Mix?
The average rule of thumb is:
1 tbsp. mix + 1 cup milk
This can be adjusted to taste, but it’s a good place to start. Simply mix in more milk or more hot chocolate mix as needed.
How To Store Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix
Keep this in an airtight container. Something with a tight-fitting lid, and keep it in a cool, dark pantry.
Hot Chocolate Topping And Flavoring Ideas
- You obviously can’t go wrong with some delicious marshmallows. So be sure to have some on hand. If you want marshmallows made without corn syrup, you can make your own healthy marshmallows at home. They are fun to package for gifts as well!
- Add a few drops of peppermint extract to your mug.
- Add ½ teaspoon vanilla extract to your mug.
- Add some whipped cream on top. You can easily make it at home with honey, or make coconut whipped cream if you have dairy sensitivities.
- Sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon and/or nutmeg.
- Sprinkle a little cayenne pepper over the top for a little kick!
- Add a pinch of salt to compliment the sweetness.
- Sprinkle a few dark, mini chocolate chips over your whipped cream.
Does Hot Chocolate Mix Go Bad?
Like any food, yes, it can go bad. That being said, it has a relatively long shelf life. If unopened, a store-bought package can stay good for up to three years. But homemade cocoa mix without all the added preservatives will last about 6 months to 1 year, depending on how you store it.
How Do You Know If Hot Cocoa Mix Is Bad?
The best way to tell if your hot cocoa mix is bad is to smell it. If it smells off, toss it. And I hope it goes without saying that if you open it and find any bugs inside, you should absolutely toss it. Bugs happen when the container isn’t truly airtight.
Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix Gift
If you will be giving this as gifts, you can find all sorts of festive containers. I like to use food-safe gift bags that are clear. You can also use canning jars or other, easily-closed containers. And if you need a label, you can print out the ones below.
Making Larger Amounts
If you are giving this as gifts, you may want a larger yield for multiple gifts. You can either make this in batches, or you can simply double or triple the recipe. It’s up to you. I tend to prefer batches so that I ensure that each batch has the correct amount of ingredients. Sometimes, when you double or triple a batch, the heavier sugar can settle to the bottom.
Just for fun, I created this free, printable gift tag to go with any package of this mix you might want to give as a gift this season. There are 4 tags per page. Just print, cut, punch a hole in the corner and slip it onto the ribbon you attach to your gift. Click here for your labels.
How To Package Hot Chocolate Mix For Gifts
I often use food-safe, clear, plastic, gift bags. You can find them online from many sources. But you can also gift your gifts a bit more of a rustic look by packaging them in mason jars. Otherwise, you can purchase all kinds of fancy jars or containers. Below are two examples.
More Healthy Hot Chocolate Recipes
Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix Recipe Card
Easy Hot Chocolate Mix
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup Sucanat (or other unprocessed sweetener)
- Put both ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk to blend well.
- Do your best to smash larger clumps. You want the pieces to be as small and as close to a powder consistency as possible. Larger clumps will change the flavor of your hot chocolate and make it slightly more bitter. So break them up the best you can. This may take a minute or two.
- You can also put the ingredients in a plastic, Ziploc bag and mash it with your hands until the larger clumps are gone.
- To make chocolate milk, simply combine 1 tbsp. mix with 1 cup of milk (any kind).
- NOTE: This mix is purposefully not overly sweet. If you want a sweeter hot chocolate, I recommend adding more sucanat to your hot chocolate AFTER making it and pouring into mugs or cups. That way, each person can sweeten it to their own tastes.
The recipe from the Gracious Pantry® archives, originally posted on 12/16/13.