Hot Cocoa Mix

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This Hot Cocoa Mix recipe makes hot cocoa so easy! Creamy and comforting hot cocoa is the perfect hot drink for lounging by the backyard bonfire, camping in chilly weather, or simply cozying up at home. But it can take some work to make good homemade hot cocoa–until now, that is! With just a few simple ingredients, you’ll have a powdered mix at the ready for hot cocoa whenever the craving strikes.

A close-up of two mugs of marshmallow-topped hot cocoa.

We love having this hot cocoa mix on hand for quick mugs of hot cocoa anytime we want it. Sure, we could use the packaged mix found in stores, but we prefer this homemade hot cocoa recipe’s deep chocolatey taste and ultra-creaminess. Better yet, if we want to replicate the cocoa packet marshmallow experience (but better), we have these dehydrated marshmallows, which are the ultimate crunchy sugar bombs to top cocoa with!

This hot cocoa mix recipe is so simple and easy. There’s no need for special equipment like a food processor–just a whisk, a bowl, a few simple ingredients, and a container to store it in. That’s it! 

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A mason jar with hot cocoa and a ¼ cup scoop inside. The label reads “hot cocoa, use ¼ cup hot cocoa per cup hot water.”

This one is perfect for gifting, too. Just package it up in pretty jars or ribbon-tied cellophane bags, add a cute label, and give friends and family the gift of cozy vibes. 

Are you ready to chase the chill away? Let’s make DIY hot cocoa mix! 

A top view of ingredients for DIY hot cocoa mix which are granulated sugar, dry milk (milk powder), unsweetened cocoa powder, cornstarch, and fine salt. Dehydrated marshmallows are also on display for topping the hot cocoa.


Sugar: Granulated white sugar is what we use here, but powdered sugar works too. The recipe, as written, makes hot cocoa that’s not overly sweet, but if you prefer it sweeter, add more sugar until it’s just how you like it. 

Cocoa Powder: Either Dutch process cocoa or regular unsweetened cocoa; both work well.

Dry Milk: Also known as powdered milk, this one is crucial for hot cocoa made with water instead of milk–plus, it makes it so creamy! If you prefer a vegan option or dairy-free hot cocoa mix, sub coconut milk powder.

Cornstarch: A bit of cornstarch thickens the hot cocoa just enough, adding a luxurious creamy texture. It also helps prevent clumping when combining the mix with hot water or milk. If you’re using powdered sugar, which already contains some cornstarch, you can use half the amount of cornstarch that the recipe calls for. 

Fine salt: A little bit of salt helps balance the sweetness and brings out the chocolate flavor. 

Steps for making hot cocoa mix: 1) place ingredients in a bowl, 2) whisk together ingredients until 3) totally combined 4) place in a jar and label.

How to Make DIY Hot Cocoa Mix — Step by Step

To make the mix, add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix them together until thoroughly combined. That’s all there is to it–you have your hot cocoa mix!

Then, transfer the mix to an airtight container such as a mason jar.

To make a cup of hot cocoa, add 1/4 cup of hot cocoa mix to a mug and stir in 1 cup of hot water or hot milk until combined. Top with marshmallows or whipped cream, if desired. 

A top view of a mason jar full of hot cocoa mix with a ¼ cup measure scooping the mix out for homemade hot cocoa.

Tips for Making

  • Storage options: We like to use a good old-fashioned Mason jar to store our hot cocoa mix, but if you’re taking yours camping, you might prefer a more lightweight (and less breakable!) option. In that case, we recommend using a Ziploc Twist & Loc container
  • Where to store it: Keep your hot cocoa mix in a cool, dry place like your pantry. It should last up to a year–if it lasts that long!
  • Packaging for gift-giving: If you’re making DIY hot cocoa mix for gifts, transfer it to a lidded Mason jar or cellophane bag, tie it with a ribbon or string, and add a label. 
  • Labeling tip: When labeling, be sure to include the amount of mix to use for each cup of hot cocoa. This makes it easier to prepare without guessing or remembering the recipe and also helps recipients know how much to use if you’re giving it as a gift. 
  • Use water or milk: This hot cocoa mix is super convenient (especially for camping) because it can make a nice, creamy cup of hot cocoa with just hot water. It’s okay to use warm milk, too–the result is extra creamy!
Two mugs of marshmallow-topped hot cocoa, one in a blue mug and one in a red mug, on a yellow tray with a jar of hot cocoa mix and more marshmallows.


  • Go with a bigger batch: Double, triple, or even quadruple this hot cocoa recipe for gift-giving, or if you and your family just love hot cocoa (and who doesn’t?!). It’s easy to increase the batch size–no special instructions, just make sure you start with a large enough bowl! 
  • Make it dairy-free/vegan: Use powdered coconut milk in place of the dry dairy milk for a dairy-free and vegan hot cocoa mix. 
  • Nix the sugar: Use a powdered sweetener like Swerve instead of the sugar. Just check for cornstarch–if the ingredients have cornstarch (like traditional powdered sugar does), reduce the amount of cornstarch in your mix by half.   

Serve It With…

Serve this hot cocoa recipe with chocolate chip pancakes or French toast sticks for the ultimate kid-friendly breakfast! Or make it a full-on dessert with a dippable chocolate chunk cookie served alongside.

A red mug full of hot cocoa made with DIY hot cocoa mix and topped with crunchy dehydrated marshmallows.
A mason jar with hot cocoa mix inside. The label reads “hot cocoa, use ¼ cup hot cocoa per cup hot water.”

DIY Hot Cocoa Mix

For easy hot cocoa anytime, whip up this hot cocoa mix! With a simple ingredient list & no special equipment needed, it’s so easy to make.
Author: Fresh Off The Grid
5 from 3 ratings
Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
8 cups of hot cocoa


  • 1 cup dry milk
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt


  • In a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients–dry milk, cocoa powder, sugar, cornstarch, and salt–until thoroughly mixed.
  • Store your hot cocoa mix in an airtight container. It should keep well for several months.

To Make Hot Cocoa

  • Add about ¼ cup of the hot cocoa mix to a mug.
  • Pour in 1 cup of hot water. Stir well until the mix is completely dissolved.


Hot milk works in place of water for the hot cocoa.
Store your hot cocoa mix in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
To double the recipe, simply double the quantities. Just make sure you start with a large bowl!

Nutrition (Per Serving)

Calories: 63kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Sugar: 10g

*Nutrition is an estimate based on information provided by a third-party nutrition calculator

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One Comment

  1. Jim Kottinger.Sr says:

    This is fantastic great Coco mix and love it add a shot of brandy and it makes it even better5 stars