How to Make Hot Cocoa Mix

February 14, 2014

It's always more fun to DIY. Every week, we'll spare you a trip to the grocery store and show you how to make small batches of great foods at home.

Today: Make a batch of Izy Hossack from Top With Cinnamon's hot cocoa mix and you can have rich, homemade hot chocolate made from real ingredients in a matter of minutes.

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There are certain times when I'll get a strong craving for a mug of hot, chocolatey milk instead of my usual afternoon coffee or tea. On those days when I've been caught in the rain and end up completely soaked and in need of something comforting to warm me up, I don’t want to chop up chocolate for a fancy drink. Inevitably, I turn to store-bought hot cocoa mix and try to ignore the slightly questionable ingredients on the label. After drinking my fair share of watery, super-sweet cocoa, I got to thinking that there must be a way to make a more delicious homemade version. 

Turns out my inkling was right! The mixture I made was tastier than any store-bought cocoa mix I've ever tried. It has a deep chocolate flavor thanks to the addition of finely blended chocolate, which I added along with the cocoa. On a whim, I mixed in some coconut milk powder for extra flavor and creaminess, but if you can't find it or don't like coconut, milk powder or malted milk powder should have the same effect. I also put in a smidge of cornstarch to help thicken the liquid when it cooks, to mimic the texture of cream. 

More: Top your homemade hot chocolate with DIY marshmallows.

This basic hot chocolate mix can be customized to your liking. Add a little espresso powder or some ground cinnamon for extra depth of flavor, then top it all off with a few marshmallows and you'll have the perfect winter treat.

Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix

Serves 10 to 12

3 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup coconut milk powder, powdered milk, or malted milk powder
1 pinch salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch 


Break the chocolate into large chunks and blend in a food processor until mealy.

Add the cocoa, sugar, powdered milk (whichever kind you're using), salt, and cornstarch, and blend until combined. 

Scoop the mixture into a jar, making sure to scrape around the edges of the food processor bowl to dislodge any chocolate that may be stuck there, and screw on the lid.

To make one serving of hot cocoa:

In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of milk with 2 heaping tablespoons of the hot cocoa mix. 


Whisk everything together gently over medium heat until it's well mixed and steaming. Pour into a mug and serve. 

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Izy Hossack

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Steve Finley
    Steve Finley
  • Adam Joseph Settingsgaard
    Adam Joseph Settingsgaard
  • choclinda
  • Katie @ Produce On Parade
    Katie @ Produce On Parade
  • Sophia Del Gigante
    Sophia Del Gigante
Passionate about cakes, roasted vegetables and anything involving Maldon salt or maple syrup. Izy is a student living in London, UK who spends her spare time blogging and rambling on topwithcinnamon.com


Steve F. June 29, 2014
Tried grinding the chocolate bar. Doesn't work. It starts to melt and leaves a lot of chunks. I'm not sure chocolate bars are suppose to be ground down in a blender.
AJD8129 December 5, 2015
This probably works better in a food processor. Try breaking into chunks (or buying as chunks/chips) so your processor has to do less work. Also helpful to chill the chocolate for a few hours in the fridge before processing. Less likely to melt.
Adam J. February 28, 2014
Has anyone tried this with normal cocoa? I live in a rural area and don't have ready access to Dutch process cocoa and I was winding iff it was worth the ingredients or if I should find Dutch process somewhere and save the chocolate and other ingredients until I have it.
Izy H. February 28, 2014
I think that normal, unsweetened cocoa powder will be fine!
choclinda February 24, 2014
I make my own using high quality dark chocolate about 70% cacao, a heaping teaspoon of high quality cocoa, I melt and mix with a little boiling water, then add warm milk or more hot water. You can add a little cinnamon or a tiny bit of Cardamom. That's it. don't need any of the other stuff, certainly not more sugar or cornstarch! If you let it stand for a few minutes, it'll thicken on it's own. I am a retired chocolatier.
Katie @. February 24, 2014
What a fabulous recipe. I love Top With Cinnamon! :)
Sophia D. February 21, 2014
This is an amazing recipe!! How did you figure this out? Where can you find coconut milk powder?
Izy H. February 22, 2014
Thanks Sophia! I just scaled up how I usually make hot cocoa and added a few extra ingredients to make it extra awesome! You can buy coconut milk powder online (I use the Maggi brand) or get it in Asian food stores
Marsha February 16, 2014
Is it possible to make this mix diabetic friendly? I use stevia regularly. Would that work?
Izy H. February 18, 2014
If you're using stevia regularly I guess you're used the taste! In which case I think that stevia would work fine in this recipe
beckbjj February 16, 2014
If the main concern with using cornstarch is the potential for GMOs, note that Rumford brand cornstarch is non-GMO.
Izy H. February 18, 2014
thanks for the tip!
FlowBlue February 16, 2014
Thanks, so much, for this recipe; it sounds delicious and so easy! It would be a great hostess gift. For those people who don't want to use cornstarch, maybe arrowroot powder instead?
Izy H. February 16, 2014
No problem! I'm not sure about arrowroot powder (having never used it before, myself) but from what I've read I agree that it would probably work in place of the cornstarch
Alicia February 16, 2014
I'm not a fan of corn-anything, so I just substitute half a cup of milk for half a cup of heavy cream, which thickens naturally.
Izy H. February 16, 2014
sounds good!
JEAN February 16, 2014
This is something to look forward to on a snowy day, both to make and consume.
Cynthia C. February 15, 2014
This sounds amaaazing, Izy. And absolutely gorgeous photos!
LK February 15, 2014
great idea. easy to do! and cheaper than buying from the market.
yet what's the use of the cornstarch? is it for texture or taste?

Izy H. February 15, 2014
thanks Loulwa! The cornstarch thickens when cooked giving the hot chocolate a more 'creamy' texture
LK February 15, 2014
aha! I think that's the trick in the recipe!
I always did my own premixes but something was missing....esp in the texture.