Rich, yet light, chocolatey and sweet, this is the hot cocoa of your dreams, perfect for cozy winter mornings.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Yields: 5 servings
Calories: 140 per serving of the unprepared mix
There were few things better as a kid than tearing off the top of a hot cocoa packet, because what followed—melty marshmallows, hot milk and the chocolate sludge at the bottom of the mug when you slurped down the final dregs—was the stuff happiness was made of. Now you can recapture that joy in no time, at home, with simple ingredients. And (dare I say it?) this recipe is way tastier than any mug of Swiss Miss.
My go-to hot cocoa has been a slightly modified version of the recipe Hershey’s puts on their unsweetened cocoa powder. It’s tasty, but very rich. Sometimes you just want a light, sweet beverage, with a healthy dose of chocolate and nostalgia. But how to go about doing that without resorting to those sometimes mystery ingredient-laden packets?
Luckily, the lovely Stella Parks already has an answer! Today’s recipe is inspired by her mix, though with my modifications. First, I omitted the instant coffee. While that’s a trick I’ve long used in hot chocolate for a richer flavor, for hot cocoa, I wanted something that tasted creamier and lighter. Salt was also an important addition; it mellows out the strong sweetness of the powdered sugar. Powdered sugar would never have occurred to me for use in hot cocoa (I’m not a fan of it in general), but it’s quite brilliant—it dissolves well, so your hot cocoa is oh so smooth. Plus, I added malted milk. Again, more creaminess, and malted chocolate is divine.
As you can tell, this hot cocoa mix is very customizable. Imagine the possibilities! You could do a spicy dark chocolate version or give it a peppermint spin. Or add toasted sugar for caramel hot cocoa. Doing a completely white chocolate version would also be pretty amazing. As long as you use dry ingredients, the sky’s the limit.
You can also win serious awesome person points by gifting this cocoa. One batch fits neatly into a cute little pint jar and who wouldn’t want to get a few mugs’ worth of homemade hot cocoa mix around the holidays? Its long shelf life also makes it ideal for shipping to friends and relatives.
The nutrition info below is just for the mix—tack on your milk of choice for a complete picture. For a decadent experience, go whole milk all the way! Cashew milk is also a tasty and rich choice, but any milk would work well. Note that this recipe isn’t lactose free, though, so if you’re working around lactose intolerance, you’ll need to make some tweaks to the base recipe!
Make the mix
In the bowl of a food processor, combine 60 g (1/2 cup) powdered sugar, 35 g (1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon) malted milk, 20 g (1/4 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, 40 g (1 and ¼ ounces) white chocolate and 20 g (~3/4 ounce) semi-sweet chocolate (both broken into pieces).
Pulse your food processor in 5-second bursts, making sure that your food processor doesn’t get warm (which will melt the chocolate—not good), until no large chunks of chocolate remain.
Make the hot cocoa
Spoon 3 Tablespoons (36 g) of the cocoa into a microwave-proof mug.
Add 240 ml (8 ounces) of milk (any variety works).
Heat to desired temperature (1 minute 30 seconds in the microwave usually does it for me). Stir to mix.
Adapted from Bravetart’s Hot Cocoa Mix.
This hot cocoa is perfect paired with these eminently dippable Crispy Ginger Snaps!