Hot Cocoa Mix· GF (10 servings)

In my family, the phrase, "Who wants hot chocolate?" has come to mean, “Oh holy night, someone shoot me, I won’t survive another bite.” As a result, after a holiday meal, we turn to something a little…lighter (heaven forbid we actually skip dessert).

You should never confuse hot cocoa with hot chocolate. The later can go toe to toe with dessert any day. Rich, luxurious, thick enough to warrant a spoon. Meanwhile, this cocoa has a light body and flavor mild enough to pair with anything from cinnamon rolls to a bowl of oatmeal. The kind of thing you can drink, mug after mug, all afternoon while the snow comes down. Hot chocolate indulges. Hot cocoa soothes.

I use this as my everyday, go-to cocoa mix. A jar of it would make an especially rad Christmas present, if you can bear to part with it. Make a batch of crispy marhsmallows to chop up and add to the mix to complete the “instant cocoa” motif, or serve with the fluffy sort instead (whether vanilla, peppermint, or whatever flavor you choose to make).

homemade hot cocoa mix

Hot Cocoa Mix

5 ounces powdered sugar
2 3/4 ounces white chocolate, broken into pieces
1 1/2 ounces cocoa powder
1 1/4 ounces dark chocolate, broken into pieces
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee

garnish: marshmallows, crispy or otherwise

In the bowl of a food processor, combine all of the ingredients. Pulse until the mixture is finely ground. If the processor starts to get warm, take a break for a minute to let it cool. Continue pulsing until no large bits of chocolate remain.

Don’t run the processor continuously, as this will cause the machine to warm and will start to melt the chocolate a bit, creating a weird clumpy mixture.

Transfer the ground cocoa mix to an airtight container. The mixture will store indefinitely at room temperature.

To prepare the cocoa

Whisk 3 tablespoons (about one ounce) of cocoa mix into 6 ounces of boiling milk, soy milk, or coconut milk. Adjust with more cocoa mix, or thin with milk, to taste. Add marshmallows.

When serving a crowd, prepare all of the cocoa at once by whisking it into a half gallon of boiling hot milk (along with the reserved vanilla pod, if you like). Serve immediately, or transfer to a thermos.


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Any questions?

Dec 10, 2011 ·  1:28 PM

Is the recipe yield approx. 1/2 pound of cocoa mix? This is a great holiday gift idea!!

 · amanda · 

Dec 10, 2011 ·  7:34 PM

This sounds really tasty. Way better than any of the powdered stuff! I think I’m going to go make some now..

 · BigFatBaker ·

Dec 11, 2011 ·  5:11 AM

Ok, I got violently ill a couple of weeks ago after consuming hot cocoa… so it’ll be awhile before I can enjoy it again without getting gag-gy. But as soon as I can, you know I’ll be making this!

 · Cathy @ Savory Notes ·

Dec 11, 2011 ·  8:12 AM

This would be great as a hostess gift for a holiday party. Just put it in a pretty jar with a ribbon. Thanks for the idea and the recipe!

 · Mom de Cuisine ·

Dec 11, 2011 · 10:34 AM

For a friend, I added two dried hot chili peppers to the mix. Then I kept some for myself!

 · char · 

Dec 11, 2011 ·  1:48 PM

@Amanda, I can make as much as a quadruple batch in my food processor at work (though it’s just a standard size one like you’d have at home) if you need to make a bunch for gift giving. You can also toss in a few candy canes to give it a hint of peppermint.

@BigFatBaker, yeah, I had some of the packet stuff recently at an event I attended recently. It was so awful, I couldn’t believe that I grew up drinking it all the time…

@Cathy, oh that is the worst! I had a truffle burger once and got super sick afterwards, I still can’t handle truffles. Hope the bad cocoa memories leave you soon!! (But at least it doesn’t get too chilly in LA…

@Mom de Cuisine, I’ve given a few jars away this year. I tied the jars with a ribbon and a Christmas ornament. They were pretty dang cute.

@char, such a good add in! I love having cocoa with a kick! I’m sure your friend was thrilled; way to get into the Christmas spirit.


Dec 11, 2011 ·  3:01 PM

Perfect! Sounds great and I am sure it’s so much better than the bought stuff

 · Kiri W. ·

Dec 12, 2011 · 10:10 AM

Whoa, that list of ingredients is AWESOME! I made some hot cocoa this weekend, from the standard: powdered milk, cocoa powder, blah blah blah. This puts that to SHAME! I need to make this, STAT!

 · Julia ·

Dec 12, 2011 · 12:22 PM

@Kiri, much, much better.

@Julia, milk powder will certainly get the job done when it comes to giving the mix some body, but white chocolate gives sweetness and a nice milky vanilla note, so yeah. It’s my go to base for cocoas. Hope you give it a shot!


Dec 16, 2011 ·  7:23 PM

If someone gave me this for a gift I would love them forever. For sure.
I’m giving out espresso caramels and English toffee this year, but I may need to add this to my roster!

 · Terris @ Free Eats ·

Dec 17, 2011 ·  4:12 PM

@Terris, I just love homemade gifts. The world is filled with so much mass produced stuff that giving something you actually made seems really special to me. Happy holidays!



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