Hot Cocoa Mix

My children have been asking me to buy them some hot cocoa, Swiss Miss, Nestle, whichever, they don’t care. But I feel I am selling them short when I give them that stuff as most of it has extra chemicals and hydrogenated oils. Their poor little hearts don’t have a chance. Back in my Cardiac days I had learned that fatty striations can start in our coronary blood vessels as early as our teen years. Ouch! So I do my best to keep my kids away from the hydrogenated oils and preservatives, although I am not always successful. In my own mix, I know exactly what is in it and can control the amount of sugar and use a better quality cocoa like Penzeys. I would like to experiment later with different natural sweeteners such as steevia, which I do use and like but I need to figure out the amount. Play with this recipe as much as you like, it at least takes you in the right direction.

I like to use a large bucket when I am making my mixes.


The best tool to insure proper and even mixing is a whisk.


I portioned out each serving of dry mix into 2 ounce portion cups with lids. This way my children can make their own cups of Hot Cocoa with ease. They will save each cup so that we can refill them. At least until the cups are squished.


I keep the “pods” in a big plastic bucket with lid in the pantry. I can also place these in every one’s lunch box as they do have access to a microwave at school. Perfect for a cold day. My children’s teachers are very gracious and let them make Hot Cocoa during their lunch break.

Hot Cocoa Mix
1 box Carnation: Instant Nonfat Dry Milk, 25.6 oz
3-3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, depends on your sweet tooth
2 cups good quality cocoa, I used 1/2 Penzeys Dutch Cocoa and 1/2 Nestle’s

In a large bucket mix all the ingredients together using a whisk. Store in lidded container for up to 6 months. To make Hot Cocoa, mix 3 T. Hot Cocoa Mix with 1 cup (8 ounces) hot milk (I prefer milk) or water. Stir. Add marshmallows, cinnamon and cayenne pepper, or a peppermint stick. Top with whipped cream too. Go crazy! Makes about 60 servings.

Note- You may want to make a cup of this cocoa to taste then you can adjust sweetness or add more cocoa to your liking. You may make individual servings by measuring 3 T. mix into 2 ounce portions cups or small 3×5 bead bags found at Michael’s.

Here are some other Hot Cocoa recipes
Mexican Chocolate– Very spicy, I love this stuff! You will find it at the bottom of the post.
Sheila’s Hot Chocolate-Very easy!

25 Comments

  1. EAT!
    Posted January 16, 2009 at 8:13 AM | Permalink

    I wish you were my mom.

  2. bobi
    Posted January 16, 2009 at 9:19 AM | Permalink

    I love the plastic containers for the cocoa. I’m glad my daughter reads your blog! What a time saver in the long run.

  3. Joan Nova
    Posted January 16, 2009 at 9:29 AM | Permalink

    You are just too clever!

  4. HoneyB
    Posted January 16, 2009 at 10:35 AM | Permalink

    Homemade is the only way to make hot cocoa!!

  5. That Girl
    Posted January 16, 2009 at 12:45 PM | Permalink

    Despite the fact I grew up thinking both brownies and mashed potatoes came from a box, I was also surprised to find out that not all cocoa was made by mixing sugar, milk, and cocoa powder!

  6. Vanilla Bean
    Posted January 16, 2009 at 1:04 PM | Permalink

    This looks delicious! I want some right now!

  7. Geri
    Posted January 16, 2009 at 2:09 PM | Permalink

    Homemade cocoa sounds like the best way to go, and I love how you put them in individual containers.

  8. Rain
    Posted January 16, 2009 at 2:13 PM | Permalink

    What a great idea!

  9. Linda
    Posted January 16, 2009 at 4:05 PM | Permalink

    I prefer homemade too and always make it that way for my grandson.
    One time I made it for him and some friends and one of the little guys said to his mom, “This is the best hot chocolate ever. Can you get the recipe, mom?” It did get a few laughs and of course, the mom said no more Swiss Miss apparently! I like your advance packaging!

  10. Nicole
    Posted January 16, 2009 at 4:49 PM | Permalink

    Wow. I would have never thought of making my own chocolate powder!

  11. Joie de vivre
    Posted January 16, 2009 at 5:49 PM | Permalink

    That is so neat. I’d love to see a picture of your pantry.

  12. noble pig
    Posted January 16, 2009 at 7:55 PM | Permalink

    Where do your kids go to school that they can make cocoa…that would never happen here. You are such a good mom with all your pods!

  13. Lucy
    Posted January 17, 2009 at 9:44 AM | Permalink

    Great idea!!! With the current temp at 3 degrees in my area… I should be mixing up a batch of cocoa mix… 😉

  14. grahamstravelblog
    Posted January 17, 2009 at 11:02 AM | Permalink

    I have a great technique for mixing cocoa mixes. Sometimes they can get all clumpy (at least the commercial mixes can) if your mixing procedure is off.

    Add mix to mug.
    Add a tiny amount of hot water/milk.
    Mix so it’s like a paste and there are no dry clumps.
    Add the rest of the liquid and mix well.

    This will eliminate any of the nasty floating bits in your cocoa. It doesn’t look like your mix has this issue though as your drink is smooth looking.

  15. Grace
    Posted January 17, 2009 at 11:24 AM | Permalink

    good for you–nobody needs all that extra swiss miss fluff (although i am a fan of the crunchy little marshmallows…). 🙂

  16. Robin Sue
    Posted January 17, 2009 at 3:32 PM | Permalink

    Joie- A pic of my pantry is on this post…

    http://www.bigredkitchen.com/2008/12/advent-crche-christmas-tree-and-candy.html

    Noble Pig- It is a private school so they have smaller classes so that there is time to make cocoa!

    Graham- No lumps probably because everything dissloves nicely in the hot milk or water. The purchased kinds can clump and like you said a slurry will solve this. I do make a slurry when I have sipping chocolate so that my chili powder and cayenne mix in and not clump.

  17. Anonymous
    Posted January 18, 2009 at 10:46 AM | Permalink

    Thanks to Ma for the chicken fried steak recipie. I’ve tried this dish at diners across the country, but now I have the courage to make it at home!

  18. Amberleigh
    Posted January 18, 2009 at 8:20 PM | Permalink

    Wow! I want you to make sure my mom sees this post. I love the take it to school idea. The other morning I was freezing and badly wanted something warm to drink but I try to stay away from the grocery packet stuff, even if it is Ghiradelli.

  19. grahamstravelblog
    Posted January 19, 2009 at 12:51 AM | Permalink

    Grace: I have to say that the crunchy marshmallows don’t do a thing for me. I’ll take a fresh homemade one any day though. You can get containers of just the crunchy marshmallows in a shaker container. I’ve seen them at my restaurant supply place in the coffee section.

    I suppose you could always just pour a bowl of those, add milk and have the ultimate sugar cereal. I never liked those marshmallows in cereal either. I guess some things don’t change.

  20. Donna-FFW
    Posted January 19, 2009 at 8:41 AM | Permalink

    Awesome idea. I love it. How very creative. What lucky children! I must try this!

  21. j*amy
    Posted January 27, 2009 at 12:50 PM | Permalink

    thanks! i made some of my own before but some of it didn’t mix entirely, even with boiling water…i think it was the granulated sugar instead. it was cocoa, granulated sugar, carnation nondairy milk and a little coffee creamer…my friends got a disgusting mouthful right at their last sips…:(

  22. Robin Sue
    Posted January 27, 2009 at 12:59 PM | Permalink

    j*amy- yeah I hate clumpiness and so far none of this has clumped. I think the powdered sugar helps with this.

  23. Suzanne
    Posted November 3, 2009 at 9:58 AM | Permalink

    Thanks for the recipe! I use to have a homemade hot cocoa recipe from my grandpa but if I remember right it took a bunch of stuff that isn't available in Sweden so never bothered (I had made it in the past before moving here). I did end up adding more powdered milk and cocoa the milk didn't seem strong enough and we thought we would like it more chocolatey. I added 2 tbsp. of vanilla sugar probably could use more next time. I made it half water and half milk and it was great (I am not great with milk hehe). I liked it with cayenne and cinnamon for a bit of a kick too.

    Thanks again!

  24. Maria
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 11:28 AM | Permalink

    You are a great mom! Love the homemade cocoa!

  25. Greg and Donna
    Posted November 18, 2011 at 1:12 PM | Permalink

    I just saw this post….I use a stick blender to get the powdered milk very fine…it helps with stirring into the hot water. Also, I can use 1/2 stevia and 1/2 sugar without my family noticing the difference ~ shhhhh, its a secret!

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