This easy homemade hot chocolate mix is perfect to keep on hand all winter long. Hot cocoa mix is an ideal, low-cost holiday gift for friends, neighbors, teachers or anyone who deserves a bit of recognition this holiday season.
A cup of hot cocoa is so warm and comforting. Especially on a cold, snowy evening or after a long hard day of playing in the snow. This truly is the best hot chocolate for cold days, and we go through a lot during the winter months.
Grocery store hot cocoa mix seems convenient, but it's expensive, and the flavor can be mediocre. Enter this homemade hot chocolate mix recipe. It's not only simple, but it's also cost-effective and delicious. With a few simple pantry staples and a cute jar or two, you can whip up a batch of cocoa mix that's perfect for gift-giving and has a long shelf life.
Gather your friends and serve up the best hot chocolate for cold nights. Add an assortment of your favorite toppings and mixins for a fun Hot Cocoa Bar at your next Christmas party or holiday gathering. Hot chocolate is loved by everyone from the young to the old.
- Instant Dry Milk – Look for instant milk that reconstitutes immediately when added to water. This product is typically available in whole milk powder and nonfat dry milk powder varieties.
- Powdered Sugar – Also called icing sugar or confectioner's sugar.
- Cocoa Powder – Use unsweetened cocoa powder. You can also use dark cocoa powder.
- Sugar – Use granulated white sugar or substitute brown sugar or maple sugar for a deeper flavor.
See recipe card for quantities and exact instructions.
Instructions to Make Hot Chocolate Mix
1. Sift the dry ingredients.
2. Whisk together instant dry milk, powdered sugar, cocoa powder and granulated sugar.
3. Pour the dry ingredients into an airtight container for storage and presentation.
4. To make hot cocoa, combine ⅓ cup of the dry mix with 1 cup of warm milk and enjoy.
Hint: This budget-friendly treat is a cost-effective way to give holiday gifts to everyone on your list that deserves a sweet treat this holiday season.
- Adjust Sweetness - Increase or decrease the amount of powdered sugar you use to adjust the sweetness of the hot cocoa mix.
- Dark Chocolate - Use dark chocolate cocoa powder for a richer hot chocolate.
- Add Mix-Ins - Top each jar with some extra goodies such as mini marshmallows, crushed peppermint candy, mini chocolate chips, white chocolate chips or a cinnamon stick. Or make some homemade hot chocolate toppers for another special treat.
- Hot Cocoa Bombs – This cocoa recipe makes the perfect filling for homemade hot chocolate bombs.
Storing Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix
Homemade hot chocolate mix can be stored in any airtight container for about 3 months. I use large mason jars for storage and small 4-ounce mason jars are my favorite to make gift giving a breeze. Simply fill a small mason jar with the dry mix and add a bow and a recipe card.
You can also store the hot cocoa mix in zip-top bags or in a cellophane bag sealed with a twist tie. Any clean, food-safe container makes a fun presentation and a great gift idea. You can gift a big batch or package individual servings.
This is the best project for getting the kids involved. Depending on their age and skill level your child can help clean jars, measure ingredients, mix and scoop. Have your kids make gift tags and wrap each jar with a ribbon for a personalized teacher gift.
DIY Hot Chocolate Mix Gift Ideas
To make this homemade hot cocoa mix a really special gift, place a jar of the dry mix in a basket along with a cute mug, a small bag of marshmallows, cinnamon sticks or candy canes, Christmas sprinkles and a chocolate-dipped spoon.
What to serve with Hot Cocoa
You can't go wrong with a hot cup of cocoa on a cold or snowy day. Make it even more special by serving with Christmas cookies, cake or muffins. Santa also loves cocoa! Set out a mug for him on Christmas Eve along with one of these treats:
Instant milk is made from milk that has been dehydrated to remove all of the water content. It is reconstituted when mixed with water and is great for cooking, baking and making hot cocoa mixes.
No, sifting isn't required but I highly recommend it. You will get better results if you do. The cocoa will look prettier in the jar and will blend with no clumps. You can sift the ingredients with a fine mesh strainer or small sifter.
While you can use either milk or hot water to make hot chocolate, I completely recommend using milk. The result is rich, creamy hot cocoa.
If you like this Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix, please leave a 5-star rating below.
Best Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix
- 2 cups instant dry milk, sifted
- 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- In a large bowl, mix together sifted instant dry milk, powdered sugar, cocoa powder and granulated sugar. Whisk until well combined.
- Store in airtight container or jar for up to 3 months.
- To make a cup of hot cocoa, add ⅓ cup of mix in a large mug. Stir in 1 cup warm milk (I prefer 2 %) and add the toppings of your choice. Enjoy!
- ½ cup chocolate chips, white, milk or semi-sweet
- Mini marshmallows
- Peppermint extract
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