DIY Hot Chocolate Mix (without dry milk powder!)

hotcocoamixHere is an awesome, simple and delicious Christmas gift idea!! Creamy, chocolatey homemade hot Cocoa that can be packed into regular jars, or even a mason jar mug. Tie a simple tag on with instructions and wa-lah, a perfectly simple gift.


I have always made my hot cocoa with milk even when using the instant packages. So over the past few years, when I have looked for a homemade ready cocoa mix, I have been put off that they all contain dry milk powder. It is just one of those ingredients I am not too sure about and would rather use real milk if possible. 

So here is a delicious and decadent hot chocolate mix that is not overly sweet and is made with a few simple ingredients, not including dry milk powder. I have included a hint of salt because it really balances the flavor and the cornstarch thickens the hot chocolate a bit making it more creamy. The difference with this vs a store bought mix is that this has to be stirred into and heated in milk instead of water. No complaints here!!! And the combination of the cocoa powder and chocolate really makes  a rich amazing cup of hot cocoa– this is coming from someone who has not always been the biggest hot cocoa fan- until now!


This mix yields about 3 cups when ground fine in a food processor, a bit more if you are doing it by hand. This is enough for a quart size jar or 2 pint size jars, leaving enough room to place a bag of mini marshmallows on the top of the mix if you want to include them. You could also tie a Tablespoon measuring spoon on the jar as another gifting idea.  


DIY Hot Cocoa Mix (without dry milk)
This will yield about 3 cups of mix.
  1. 1 Cup Cocoa Powder, any kind is fine
  2. 1 Cup granulated sugar (I use raw sugar)
  3. 6 oz (about 1 cup) of Semi or bittersweet Chocolate Chips OR chopped semi or bittersweet chocolate
  4. 2 Tablespoons cornstarch (can leave this out but it does make it thicker and creamier)
  5. generous 1/4 tsp of sea salt
To make the mix
  1. Using a food processor; process all the ingredients until well combined and blended into a fine powder. This takes me about a minute.
  2. By hand; Very finely chop or grate the chocolate and mix with remaining ingredients until well blended and evenly combined.
To make hot cocoa
  1. In a saucepan whisk in 2 to 3 Tablespoons of cocoa mix for every 1 cup of milk- (I use about 2 1/2 Tbsp). Heat over medium heat, occasionally whisking or stirring (making sure to scrape bottom of pan), until it reaches a gentle simmer and mix is fully dissolved. Serve plain or with whipped cream or marshmallows. Enjoy!!
  1. I recommend using whole milk for the creaminess of it and it's all we drink but use what you have- you could even substitute some of the milk (especially if using low fat milk) with half and half or heavy cream to amp up the creaminess!!
  2. You can also add some cinnamon, espresso powder, vanilla or mint extract into the milk and cocoa mixture for different variations.
Amy Kay's Kitchen
  This was slightly adapted from Cook’s Illustrated hot cocoa mix in Nov/Dec 2014 issue. I used the ratio of sugar to cocoa powder but omitted the dry milk powder and didn’t use unsweetened chocolate and I have found this mix to be perfectly creamy and delicious !

27 Responses to DIY Hot Chocolate Mix (without dry milk powder!)

  1. This was the messiest most horrible idea. Never again. You should have let us know that the cocoa powder was gonna fly all over even with the food processor top locked. Never again.

    • I appreciate your comment, however, I would never post a recipe that I have not tested, retested and tested more. I have never had an issue with that. It sounds to me like the spout was not covered in the food processor correctly. This is not a recipe error but another error 🙂

      • My food processor is a small size, therefore there is no ‘spout’ in the top. And the motor won’t start if the top isn’t on correctly, which can’t be the case because the motor did indeed go on and mix the ingredients. However, I do want to say that the mix is delicious and I like the idea of giving this as a gift with a spoon and marshmallows. Next time I’ll just use a wire whisk. Thanks for the recipe.

  2. This sounds super easy and tasty… question is, my daughters love frozen hot chocolate and have recently started making it at home with hot cocoa mix, milk, chocolate syrup and ice. Could this mix work or does it really need to be heated to taste the best?

    • The only issue would be that there is unmelted chocolate in it that blends when heated. It may still work- you might have to give it a try and let us know!

  3. Thanks Amy! I made this with a Low Carb sweetener that measures like sugar since our family is on a Keto Diet. I used Lily’s Chocolate which has only stevia and erythritol. I made a double batch with only 1 part of the shaved Lily bar. My kids had it this morning with some peppermint essential oil in whole milk–bullet proof style butter and MTC oil–it was excellent! Thanks so much!!! So many of the recipes out there have dry milk in them but who need that if you’re making it with real whole milk. Yummy!

  4. Thank you for this! It’s the first one I’ve found since being dairy free that I actually like even better than Swiss miss! I add a pinch of cinnamon and use cashew milk! Even my kids prefer this!

  5. Hi Amy,

    Thank you for the recipe. I am planning to do this for some of the Christmas gifts. I had a question though, when you process chocolate chips, don’t they start melting?

    • You could just make it without- the solid chocolate in it has sugar but then you can add any additional diabetic sweetener to it if needed when cooked.

  6. Delicious! Made and enjoyed this today with kiddos. Was motivated to find a more natural hot chocolate after reading the Swiss Miss ingredients. Two days in a row, my kids went berserk after having Swiss Miss, so hoping it was the nutty ingredients because we cannot give up a good cup of cocoa after sledding!

  7. I have been looking for a recipe like this! I have tried another recipe that uses chopped choco chips and when I made it with the milk, the chocolate pieces didn’t mix in at all! They either floated to the top or there was a slurry on the bottom of my mug. Does this recipe do that?

  8. How could I use this for hot water? Rather than a cup of milk could I use hot water and then top with milk?

    • Since there is no milk powder in the mix, I honestly don’t think it would taste very well if not made with milk as directed.

  9. Thank you! I kept trying to find a DIY hot cocoa mix without the powdered milk too. I am trying to make a white hot cocoa though, so I’ll play around and see how it comes out. 🙂

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