Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix
Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix

Swap out our homemade hot cocoa mix to make this hot cocoa recipe your own. Choose between plain, peppermint and Mexican chocolate versions. Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix makes easy, thoughtful gifts!

In this recipe

  • The perfect homemade gift
  • So many recipe options
  • Try this cooking trick
  • packaging and gifting
  • Enjoy something yourself
  • How long does it take?
  • Fun Hot Cocoa upgrades

do you hate crowds Are you afraid of giving? I do.

Homemade hot cocoa mix makes the perfect gift

Now, I’ve gotten a few Doozies from friends in the past who were similarly inclined to giving edible gifts. So I try to make food gifts that appeal to as many people as possible. No broad beans. No “What’s in it?” unidentifiable candies. nope I play it safe.

A cocoa blend like this is universally loved and goes a long way in relieving my Christmas shopping anxiety. The prep time is ridiculously fast. The result is ridiculously charming.

Hot Cocoa Recipes: So Many Options!

I tried many versions before deciding that a simple approach really is the best – no fancy chocolate chunks to melt, just cocoa powder, sugar and flavorings. Dutch process cocoa is more alkaline and darker than natural cocoa powder and therefore a bit more appealing in a hot cocoa. But you could really use both ways.

I’ve also included variations for Mexican Hot Chocolate and Peppermint Hot Chocolate just in case you want to mix it up!

Try this trick for a homemade hot cocoa mix

A confectioner’s trick I use: Mix pure extracts or finely grated citrus peel into the sugar to make the sugar perfume. I made this for this recipe, but the trick is good enough that you should consider using it in other sugary situations as well. For example, try combining sugar and lemon zest the next time you bake a lemon Bundt cake.

Packaging and gifting homemade hot cocoa mix

When shopping for ingredients, pick out some pretty jars, wrapping paper, ribbon and some baubles to wrap your gift in. Print out the mixing instructions and tape them onto oak labels or write them by hand. Check out your local office supply stores for ideas and supplies.

Don’t forget to enjoy yourself!

A homemade gift is truly a gift of love. Love yourself too and stow a jar in the cupboard for yourself. You’ll be glad you did when the four o’clock break-in meets a cool, gray day.

How long does hot cocoa mix last?

Once prepared in jars with airtight lids, the homemade hot chocolate mix will keep in the pantry for around 3 to 6 months. It keeps even longer in the freezer.

Fun Hot Cocoa upgrades

For added fun, here are some other flavors and add-ins to stir into the mix before pouring into your jars and sealing.

  • Mini marshmallows
  • chocolate chips
  • candy cane pieces
  • Some cayenne pepper or other chilli powder
  • Cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom or other spices
  • Cinnamon sticks for stirring
  • Instant coffee for a mocha blend

Cozy recipes to enjoy with your hot cocoa

  • Ginger Almond Biscotti
  • Mini chocolate and olive oil cakes without flour
  • Peppermint Marshmallows
  • whipped cream
  • Cinnamon Schnapps Cookies

From the editors of Simply Recipes

Homemade hot cocoa mix

preparation time
10 mins

total time
10 mins

1 cup cocoa

2 cups mix (about 24 servings)

Cornstarch gives the cocoa a smooth and creamy texture that doesn’t affect the taste.


BASE RECIPE: Simple hot cocoa mix

  • 1 Cup sugar

  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 Cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt

VARIATION: Mexican chocolate and cocoa mix

  • 1 Cup sugar

  • 1 teaspoon Finely grated Orange peel

  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 Cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt

  • 1 tablespoon Cinammonor to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder

VARIATION: Peppermint Hot Cocoa Mix

  • 1 Cup sugar

  • 1 tablespoon pure mint extract

  • 1 Cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt

To prepare a cup of hot cocoa:

  • 4 teaspoon hot cocoa mix

  • 3/4 Cup milk (any milk of your choice)

  • cinnamon sticksOptional

  • Peppermint SticksOptional

  • Mini marshmallowsOptional

  • whipped creamOptional


  1. Combine the extract with the sugar:

    Place the sugar in a bowl and sprinkle the extract on top (along with the orange zest if making the Mexican hot chocolate variation). Using a whisk or your fingers, work the extract into the sugar until well combined.

    (Note: adding extract to the sugar will make it slightly moist, but the moisture will disperse when you mix it with the cocoa and cornstarch.)

  2. Add the remaining ingredients to the mixture:

    Add the cocoa powder, cornstarch, salt, and cinnamon (if using) to the bowl and whisk together. Can be kept in jars for up to three months.

To prepare a cup of hot cocoa:

  1. Make a paste of the cocoa mixture and cold milk:

    In a microwave-safe mug, stir together 4 teaspoons hot chocolate mixture and 1 tablespoon milk until combined.

  2. Stir in remaining milk:

    Pour in the remaining milk and stir until the paste has dissolved in the milk.

  3. Heat cocoa:

    Heat in a small saucepan on the stovetop until steaming, or in the microwave for about 1 minute.

    Serve immediately with optional toppings of your choice.

nutritional information (per serving)
240 calories
5g Fat
40g carbohydrates
9g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!