Homemade hot chocolate is the perfect treat for a winter night! Make it in single servings or a big batch to give as gifts. Better than Alton Brown’s hot chocolate, you’ll love this recipe. Pair it with candy cane cookies and you’ve got Christmas in your lap.
A cozy evening as a family is not complete without a healthier peanut butter cookie and homemade hot chocolate.
I’ve recreated several of our favorite cookie recipes (candy cane cookies, chocolate chip cookies and sugar cookies) to be healthier than their original version. And so I wanted to make sure the hot chocolate I have on hand is mom approved AND kid loved!
That’s why I keep this homemade hot chocolate mix in my cabinet come Christmas time.
Why make homemade hot chocolate?
Quite some time ago, I went through my kitchen and ditched everything that contained hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup. (Two of the top five ingredients to avoid!)
Can you guess what I found on the packets of Swiss Miss in the back of my cabinet?
corn syrup, sugar, cocoa (processed with alkali), hydrogenated coconut oil, nonfat milk, salt, less than 2% of: dipotassium phosphate, dextrose, mono- and diglycerides, acesulfame potassium, carrageenan, natural and artificial flavor, sucralose.
Gahh! Even hot chocolate is contaminated! It still blows me away that there is so much junk in simple things that I want to enjoy.
So instead, I make a super easy homemade hot chocolate. I can make a batch of it and stash it in my cabinet so it’s ready for the next cozy night.
It also serves as a quick gift to give to teachers and neighbors when I run low on time! I’m sure you’re just as busy as I am during the Christmas season!
4 Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix Ingredients
- Cocoa powder. You can use any type of unsweetened cocoa powder. I like this dutch process cocoa. It’s a dark chocolate and super delicious in hot chocolate!
- Granulated sugar. I use Turbinado sugar. The larger granules means I’ve reduced the sugar ever so slightly and I’m ok with that!
- Salt. It may seem strange to add salt to a sweet drink, but honestly, it balances out the flavor.
- Milk. I don’t add milk to the mix I keep in my pantry, but a cup of warm milk is just what you need for this homemade hot chocolate! You can use almond milk or coconut milk if you need to make this dairy-free.
How to Make Hot Chocolate
Making homemade hot chocolate is so easy. I can’t believe I used to buy the store-bought packets!
- First, mix your dry ingredients in a mason jar and shake well.
- Measure two heaping tablespoons of hot chocolate mix into a mug and set aside. Reserve the rest of your mix for later (or into other mugs if making hot cocoa for all!).
- Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Pour warmed milk into your mug and stir well.
Want to make this OVER THE TOP amazing hot chocolate?
- use a milk frother like this one to make your hot cocoa super creamy
- top with homemade whipped cream, chopped chocolate or mini semi sweet chocolate chips
- add a drop of peppermint essential oil or peppermint extract
- Add a pinch of salt and a teeny splash of homemade vanilla extract
- Drizzle with chocolate sauce or syrup and sprinkle powder sugar
Is this hot chocolate healthy?
Most definitely! Skipping the packets with bad ingredients and using ingredients you already have in your pantry is WAY healthier. Plus you save money. I’m all about that!
How long does homemade hot chocolate last?
The recommended shelf life of opened cocoa powder is one year. Sugar and salt can last much longer when stored dry. You should be safe storing your hot chocolate mix for up to one year in a dry cabinet.
Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix for Gifts
The best part about this instant hot chocolate is that it makes a GREAT homemade gift. Not to be cheap, but it costs less than a dollar to make up a hot cocoa mix gift jar. When you start adding up teachers, neighbors, and extended family, the savings is welcomed!
Use 8oz mason jars like these topped with scraps of red fabric for Christmas gifts. Add a gift tag with instructions and voila! Beautiful gift!
Or you can scoop a single portion of hot chocolate mix into a holiday themed baggie. Tie it off and place into a festive mug. Add a ribbon and instructions and there you go!
Whether you go the jar route or the mug route, it’s an easy gift for a hostess, the mailman or anyone else who enjoys hot chocolate!
More Homemade Holiday Drink Recipes:
- Crock Pot Hot Chocolate
- Pumpkin Spice Apple Cider
- Homemade Peppermint Mocha Latte
- Eggnog Smoothie
- Gingerbread Smoothie
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup milk
- Pour all dry ingredients into an empty glass jar, seal and shake well to thoroughly incorporate all ingredients.
- Scoop 2 tablespoons of the hot cocoa mix into a mug. Set aside.
- Warm milk in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Once the milk is warm, add to the mug and stir well.