Hot chocolate is the ultimate cozy and comforting winter drink. When you make your own homemade hot chocolate powder, you can control the quality of the ingredients and customize the flavor to your taste.
This easy DIY hot cocoa mix also makes a thoughtful homemade food gift for family and friends.
Homemade Hot Chocolate Powder Recipe
Here's a quick rundown of what's involved:
- Dry ingredients - Sugar, cocoa powder, powdered milk, and a pinch of salt get blended into a fine powder.
- Flavor boosters - Grated chocolate, spices, or extracts enhance chocolate taste.
- Storage - Keep the mix in an airtight container for months.
- Preparation - Add mix to hot milk or water and stir until dissolved.
- Toppings - Marshmallows, whipped cream, cinnamon sticks customize your cup.
Follow the simple homemade hot chocolate recipe below for the best-tasting cup every time. Tweak and experiment to find your perfect hot cocoa formula.
Ingredients Needed for Homemade Cocoa Mix
With just a few basic ingredients, it’s easy to put together a big batch of homemade cocoa mix to enjoy all season long. Here’s what you’ll need:
Dry Powder Base
- Sugar - Granulated white sugar or powdered sugar ensures a nicely sweetened cup. Brown sugar brings extra depth.
- Cocoa powder - Use regular unsweetened or Dutch-process for intense chocolate flavor.
- Powdered milk - Adds a rich, creamy component when dissolved in liquid.
- Cornstarch - Just a bit thickens the hot chocolate to perfection.
- Salt - A pinch balances sweetness and makes chocolate taste pop.
Flavor Boosters (Optional)
- Grated chocolate - Finely chopped chocolate chips or grated bars amp up chocolate richness. Semi-sweet or bittersweet work well.
- Extracts - Almond, vanilla, peppermint give subtle flavor nuance without overpowering chocolate.
- Spices - Cinnamon and nutmeg complement chocolate beautifully.
Those simple ingredients are all you need for basic homemade cocoa that beats any mix. But you can also take it up a notch with tasty mix-ins once your hot chocolate is prepared.
Pantry must-haves: Powdered sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, powdered milk, cornstarch, grated chocolate, and salt are the foundation for making your own hot cocoa mix at home.
Best Homemade Hot Chocolate Powder Recipe
Dry Powder Base
- Cocoa powder
- Powdered milk
Flavor Boosters (Optional)
- Grated chocolate
Make the Dry Mix
- Measure out all dry ingredients into a large bowl: sugar, cocoa powder, powdered milk, cornstarch, and salt. Add any extra flavor components like grated chocolate or spices too.
- Thoroughly combine everything with a wire whisk or electric mixer until uniformly blended into a fine powder. Break up any clumps.
- Transfer the mix to an airtight container like a mason jar or sealed plastic tub. Label jar with contents and date.
- Store in a cool dry place for up to 1 year until ready to use.
Make Hot Cocoa from the Mix
- For each serving, spoon 2-3 tablespoons of dry cocoa mix into a mug or heat-proof glass.
- Heat milk or water to piping hot or gently boiling. Pour liquid over mix to fill mug.
- Vigorously stir or whisk the mix into the hot liquid for 30-60 seconds until fully dissolved with no lumps.
- Top off your creation with fun additions like marshmallows, whipped cream, chocolate shavings or your other favorite garnishes.
- Carefully enjoy piping hot, letting the steam warm your face. Be cautious of the hot liquid as you sip.
- For an even richer, more decadent mug, increase the mix to 1 tablespoon per ounce of milk or water. Customize sweetness and chocolate intensity to your preferences.
Once you master basic homemade hot cocoa mix, try these fun flavor twists:
- Peppermint hot chocolate - Crush candy canes into the mix or stir with peppermint sticks
- Spicy Mexican hot chocolate - Add cayenne pepper and cinnamon to the mix
- Pumpkin spice hot chocolate - Flavor mix with pumpkin pie spice blend
- Mocha hot chocolate - Mix 1 tablespoon cocoa mix with 1 tablespoon instant coffee
- White hot chocolate - Use white chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet
- Boozy hot chocolate - Spike your cup with Baileys, Kahlua or peppermint schnapps
Let your imagination run wild coming up with your own signature hot cocoa formulas. Change up mix-ins with each batch.
How to Gift Homemade Hot Cocoa
Whipping up homemade food gifts checks several boxes: thoughtful, meaningful, budget-friendly, and delicious. Packaging up jars or tins of DIY hot chocolate mix makes an easy project that recipients always appreciate.
Here are some tips for gifting homemade cocoa:
- Choose a glass jar, tin or other airtight container to hold 1-2 cups of mix
- Make several batches so you have extras handy for spontaneous gifting later
- Print and attach a cute label with recipe instructions
- Decorate jar with ribbon, fabric, raffia or other embellishments
- Give with fun hot cocoa accessories like mugs, spoons, marshmallows
Your homemade hot chocolate mix makes a lovely edible present for:
- Teachers + school staff
- Friends + family
- Holiday grab bag/secret Santa gift
- Soup kitchen or shelter residents
Any fan of chocolatey comfort drinks will light up receiving your thoughtful homemade food gift.
Is hot chocolate different than hot cocoa?
While often used interchangeably, traditionally hot chocolate uses actual melted chocolate, while hot cocoa uses cocoa powder. So homemade cocoa mix makes hot cocoa.
How long does homemade cocoa mix last?
Stored properly in an airtight container in a cool, dark place, the mix will stay fresh for up to 1 year. The flavor may slowly deteriorate over time but it will still be usable.
What milk should I use to make it?
For best flavor and creamiest consistency, hot whole dairy milk works wonderfully. For non-dairy options, almond, oat or soy milk are all delicious. Water is an option but won't be as rich and creamy.
Can I customize the sweetness?
Yes! Taste the mix before gifting or first use. If not sweet enough for you, gradually add more sugar until desired sweetness is reached. For health reasons or personal taste, you can also reduce sugar in the original recipe.
Homemade hot cocoa mix makes for a fast, easy and affordable way to enjoy rich, delicious hot chocolate all winter long. Making your own mix lets you control quality and customize flavors to your liking.
Whipping up big batches allows you to save money versus store-bought packets. And packaging the dry mix in jars creates thoughtful handmade food gifts for holiday giving.