Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix

Hot cocoa is a winter staple that I look forward to each year. I’ll admit that I’ve tried my fair share of hot chocolate recipes (you know, research for the blog and all), but this is my favorite recipe for creating a large batch of homemade hot cocoa mix that can be ready in an instant!

homemade hot cocoa mix pinterest image

While I was decking my halls, I decided to set up a hot cocoa station in my dining room. That inspired me to whip up a big batch of this delicious homemade hot cocoa mix.

I also found this super cute vintage metal thermos on eBay, and it was begging to be a part of a hot chocolate display. Mission accomplished.

By the way, that thermos made the cut of my all-time FAVORITE vintage Christmas decor items. I really love it!

decorated tabletop for the holidays with large container of hot cocoa mix

If memory serves me correctly, this recipe came from my sister-in-law, who used to make it for my nephews and niece. Now you can skip the store-bought hot chocolate pouches and just whip up a big container of this. It’s great to have on hand for when the mood strikes or company arrives over the holidays.

There are so many reasons that you’ll love this recipe. This hot cocoa mix is the perfect thing to have in your pantry when the weather gets super cold. It has the richest flavors and doesn’t have the same stale taste as boxed cocoa mix.

You can even save it and give it as a gift to people. I’ll share my entire recipe (and answer your biggest questions) in this recipe.

make your own hot cocoa mix

Frequently Asked Questions about Hot Cocoa Mix

Before we get to the hot chocolate mix recipe, here are some questions people often ask about it. If you don’t see your question in this list, please leave it in the comments.

What is the difference between hot cocoa and hot chocolate?

People use these two words interchangeably, but there are some actual differences between them.

Hot cocoa is thinner and tends to be creamier and sweeter. It’s usually made from a dry mix and has lots of different additives (like things that prevent the ingredients from caking together).

True hot chocolate is richer and denser, usually made by melting chocolate and adding milk to it. Some types of hot chocolate might taste bittersweet because of the amount of pure cacao used as the base.

How do you make hot chocolate without mix?

You can use my recipe to make even one individual cup of hot cocoa. If you don’t have any of the ingredients, you can still have hot chocolate. Just melt your favorite chocolate bar and stir in some warm milk. Keep adding milk until it is as thick as you like.

How do you make hot cocoa without cocoa powder?

The best way to make hot chocolate without cocoa powder is to use real chocolate bars. Melt your favorite type of chocolate in a saucepan and add milk until it is a drinkable consistency.

The best thing about this method is that you can make dark chocolate or make it light and sweet with milk chocolate.

However, it’s not necessarily the easiest method as chocolate can burn easily, as can milk. So I suggest you make this hot chocolate mix!

What are the best toppings for hot chocolate?

This is the fun part! I love to add whipped cream on top and then drizzle some more chocolate sauce on top of that. Then, either add sprinkles or some cookie crumbs. If you like caramel, crush some caramel candies and add them on top.

glass jar filled with homemade hot chocolate powder


The secret to a really good hot cocoa mix is the ingredients. I have lots of special things that I put in my homemade hot cocoa mix recipe.

  • Non-Dairy Powdered Creamer: This not only adds rich flavor to it but also makes it creamier too. You can use French Vanilla flavored creamer, but unflavored is the best in my opinion.
  • Dry Powdered Milk: This adds creaminess and richness to the hot cocoa.
  • Chocolate Chips: Use dark chocolate chips for a really luxurious taste.
  • Cocoa Powder: Any type of cocoa powder will work.
  • White Granulated Sugar: Regular white sugar is best in this recipe.
powdered creamer being added into jar

How do you make hot cocoa mix?

It’s simple. Combine non-dairy powdered coffee creamer, dry powdered milk, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk together.

ingredients for homemade hot cocoa layered in a container

You can also put all of the ingredients in your storage container and just shake well to combine.

hot chocolate homemade mixture as a gift

And that’s it, my friends! Your homemade hot cocoa mix is ready!

How to Serve Homemade Hot Cocoa

To serve, place 1/4 to 1/3 cup cocoa mix in a mug. Pour in warm milk. (You can also use hot water, but I think the warm milk adds to the creaminess.) Stir until well blended. Top with mini marshmallows or whatever other toppings you’d like.

jarred chocolate mixture and marshmallows for homemade hot cocoa

That’s a wrap on homemade hot cocoa!

It truly is that easy to make your own mix from scratch.

This hot cocoa mix also makes a great gift. I would double the batch and portion it out in small mason jars. Tie a pretty ribbon around each jar, add a candy cane, and you’re good to go.

You could even include a set of my DIY Bottle Brush Tree Drink Stirrers. They would make the perfect combination. Get the tutorial HERE.

DIY Bottle Brush Drink Stirrers in Santa mugs

I hope you love this hot cocoa mix recipe as much as I do. Here’s to many a hot cocoa mustache!

Looking for more cold weather treats? Try these:

containers of cocoa mix and marshmallows on a decorated table

Enjoy this festive recipe and want more?

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a large jar of hot cocoa mix tied with a ribbon

The Best Hot Cocoa Mix Recipe:

Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix

Did you make this recipe? Leave a review!

Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: christmas, cocoa, holiday, hot chocolate, hot cocoa
Servings: 18
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
This is my favorite recipe for creating a large batch of Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix that can be ready in an instant!


  • 1 cup non-dairy powdered coffee creamer
  • 1 cup nonfat dry powdered milk
  • 1 cup milk chocolate morsels
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Miniature marshmallows


  • Combine the ingredients, except for the marshmallows, in a large bowl. Whisk thoroughly to combine. 
  • Place in a sealed container or divide into individual servings. One serving is 1/3 cup cocoa mix plus milk. Garnish with mini marshmallows.
  • To prepare the hot cocoa, place 1/4 to 1/3 cup cocoa mix in a mug. Pour in warm milk. Stir until well blended. Top with mini marshmallows.


Nutrition Facts

Calories: 160kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 2gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 27mgPotassium: 181mgFiber: 1gSugar: 22gVitamin A: 66IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 78mgIron: 0.5mg
Made it? Share it!Tag @inspiredbycharm on Instagram and use the tag #myIBC so we can see what you’re cooking in the kitchen!

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  • Audrey at

    I want to add the mini freeze dried marshmallows to the mix… how much should I add per batch?

  • Ardeth Brodie at

    Everything sounds SO delicious! I belong to an organization where we bring an appetizer or a desert to our monthly meetings. I’ll be set for the whole year! Thank you so much!!!

  • Susan K at

    I must say your website is absolutely lovely. I have never joined one until yours. Your recipes are honest and turn out perfect……unlike so many websites where everything is altered and nothing turns out….It is very difficult to find anything honest that works anymore, and your website is a wonderful delight and I am filled with ease when trying any of your ideas/recipes.

  • Mary at

    I just made this for a friend who loves hot chocolate but needs to limit her sugar intake. So instead of the cup of sugar, i used 1/2 cup of Stevia. I also used dark chocolate morsels instead of the milk chocolate. I had to do a quality check before giving as a gift! I used 1/3 cup of the mix with 10 oz. of hot milk! It was the right amount sweetness and so chocolaty! I can’t wait for my friend to try it!
    Thank you for this great recipe!

    • Mary at

      I forgot to give this recipe 5 stars!

  • Meredith at

    Made your recipe to give in jars to family and friends as Christmas gifts. It is absolutely delicious! So creamy and rich! Thank you for sharing the recipe and adorable idea!

  • Leanne S. at

    I wondered how the chocolate morsels would work in this homemade cocoa mix. I thought they would all settle to the top of the mix or become unevenly distributed in some way. I love all of your recipes and decor, so I should have known–it came out perfectly and this is a favorite recipe now! It is delicious! I pour boiling water in half the cup to melt everything then top it off with a little milk. This is the tastiest cocoa mix. Thank you!

  • Robin Werner at

    This is truly the BEST hot cocoa mix, and I’ve made several! Thanks so much for sharing. Delicious with homemade marshmallows!!!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Thank you!!

      xo Michael

  • Lady Lovely at

    Hi, I know this is like a year too late, but how much does this actually make?

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      I’ve never portioned it out to determine how much it makes. Sorry!

      xo Michael

  • Robin Werner at

    Looks like such a yummy recipe. Michael, I was wondering, do you know how many chocolate chips are best per serving? Sounds dumb, I know, but do the chocolate chips get in every serving when you scoop it out into the mugs?

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      I suppose it varies slightly from cup to cup, but they stay well disturbed in the mix. Yes, you’ll get some in every cup.

      xo Michael

  • Barbara Warner at

    I’ve been using this recipe for hot chocolate mix for years and put it in quart jars to give as Christmas or winter gifts.
    Thanks you for bringing this recipe to light – I’ve had it for over 30 yrs!

  • Debra Ruffing at

    Michael, I did a cocoa bar too for my grandchildren!
    If you look back you will see the story about the chef being in the house…I am sure you know what that means in an upscale restaurant! My 13 year old granddaughter wants to be a chef. She believes she works in an upscale restaurant right here at home-ha! I showed her your recipes and she is going to sign up for your blog! She was impressed! She is writing her own cook book so it is hard to share publicly on facebook until she is published…but she wants to share a dessert with you soon for your own purposes. She makes the MOST fabulous chocolate cake…Isabella’s Chocolate Birthday Cake. No mixes for this girl. Tonight she is making a recipe from Paula Deen that is a red velvet cookie. LOL! Thank you for your recipe. Isabella is tree nut, peanut, coconut and sesame nut allergic. In fact that is what prompted her to become a chef. She can make her own food and it is safe.

  • Denise at

    This hit cocoa recipe looks so delish! The whole chocolate morsels are a nice addition to the recipe! Can’t wait to try it this winter! Thanks!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      You’re so welcome! Enjoy!!

      xo Michael

  • Sabrina at

    what a nice all in one cocoa recipe, great little gift idea too, kudos to you and your sister in law for the inspiration of it and for sharing this, thank you!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      You’re so welcome! Enjoy!

      xo Michael

  • Lynn Connor at

    It is easy to see how much you are loving your new digs. Love your wonderful decorations. So great to see people bringing red and green back into their holiday decor. And that cheeky little brass mouse in your hallway is also enjoying the season. Thanks for the inspiration!

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