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How to make Hot Chocolate Mix - it's inexpensive to make and works as a great Holiday gift.

How to Make Hot Chocolate Mix (Bold Baking Basics)

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Hi Bold Bakers!

I loved making hot chocolate as a kid but I never knew you could actually make your own Hot Chocolate Mix. My recipe is inexpensive to make and works as a great Holiday gift.

All you do is  place a large sieve over a bowl and sieve together all of the ingredients. Now, the better the ingredients you use, the better the result you get out. Use a good quality unsweetened cocoa powder. The better the cocoa, the richer your hot chocolate.

Next is a little sugar for sweetness to cut the richness of the cocoa powder. I also add in cornstarch which will help thicken your hot chocolate. When cornstarch heats, it activates and thickens. Lastly, to make our Hot Chocolate creamy we add dry milk powder. Lots of different brands make milk powder and it is widely available in most supermarkets. I put links above the recipe so you can buy it with a click of a button.

To make a mug of homemade Hot Chocolate, place a couple of tablespoons of the Hot Chocolate Mix in a pot with a mug of milk. Bring this mixture to a simmer and pour into a mug. Enjoy with marshmallows.

Place my Peppermint Candy Spoons on the side of your mug and use it as a stirrer and you get a lovely hint of mint as it melts, which is a perfect combination with the chocolate.

Get my NEW Best-Ever Hot Chocolate and Holiday Cookies, Desserts and baking tips and tricks at my Holiday Baking Headquarters page.

Can I use hot chocolate powder instead of cocoa powder?

Great question! NO, no you can not! Do you know how I know that you were thinking of doing that? because when I was young I used to use hot chocolate powder in my baking when I had used all of my mums cocoa powder. Although hot chocolate powder does contain cocoa powder it also has extra sugar and other ingredients that you just don’t want in your baked goods.

Do you make hot chocolate with water or milk?

For a creamy mug of hot chocolate my preference would be to use milk instead of water to make your hot chocolate. However there is dried milk in the mix so if you do use water it will still be ‘milky’.

Does hot chocolate mix go bad? 

Not at all. Store it in an air-tight container out of the direct sun indefinitely. There is nothing in there that will go bad or rancid. So if you were thinking of maybe giving it as a gift or making it early to have for the holiday season then feel free to mix it up early and have it ready to go.

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4.3 from 133 votes
How to make Hot Chocolate Mix - it's inexpensive to make and works as a great Holiday gift.
Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
2 mins
Total Time
7 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 15 mugs
Calories: 56 kcal
Author: Gemma Stafford
  • 1 1/2 cups (7 1/2oz/212g) dry milk powder
  • 1/2 cup (4oz/115g) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (2oz/57g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  1. Sieve all the ingredients into a bowl
  2. Keep in an air-tight container indefinitely. 

To make a mug of hot chocolate :
  1. Add 3 tablespoons of the Hot Chocolate mix to 8 oz milk or water into a saucepan and stir. Simmer on medium/low heat for 2 minutes.

  2. Pour into a mug and serve with marshmallows.
Nutrition Facts
Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix
Amount Per Serving (2 tablespoons)
Calories 56
% Daily Value*
Sodium 41mg2%
Potassium 44mg1%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 150IU3%
Vitamin C 0.8mg1%
Calcium 20mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


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Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

Have you made a recipe? Share photos on my website or across social media with the hashtag #boldbaker.

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  1. Veronica on June 19, 2019 at 10:39 pm

    Would this be fine with just adding hot water? I’m afraid I don’t have access to a microwave at the office.

    • Gemma Stafford on June 20, 2019 at 2:00 am

      Hi Veronica,
      sure it would! A good stir and there you go. I would blend the mix with a little of the hot water first, use a little whisk if you have one, then top up with the rest of the water, I think that will be very good,
      Gemma 🙂

  2. Izzy on March 5, 2019 at 3:41 pm

    There’s no youtube video

    • Gemma Stafford on March 7, 2019 at 2:24 am

      Hi there,
      No, that would not be necessary for this type of guide. We have other guides here too for which there is no video.
      I hope you can make it. Thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

  3. Caroline Gauthier on February 16, 2019 at 7:24 am

    At the moment I just made your recipe! very good, but I taste a little cornstarch. Is it normal? I cooked it in the microwave twice 1:30 to 80%. With hot chocolate I like making mocha! I add a mixture of cinnamon, vanilla and sugar on top!

    • Gemma Stafford on February 16, 2019 at 4:52 pm

      Hi Caroline,

      I’m really surprised to hear that because there is such a small amount of cornstarch. I drink this myself and didn’t notice.

      If you want in the future you can just leave it out. It is just to thicken the hot chocolate.


  4. S on January 9, 2019 at 4:38 am

    Hi Gemma,
    Can I skip the dry milk powder if you are using normal skimmed milk? What is it’s use?
    The recipe as always looks delicious.


    • Gemma Stafford on January 11, 2019 at 10:36 am

      Hi there, you can yes, but the mix might not make quite as rich of a hot chocolate.

  5. SueC53 on January 3, 2019 at 6:27 am

    Hi Gemma! I made this recipe for the hot chocolate & was quite impressed! I worked at a chocolate factory & we tried making our own hot chocolate mix & no matter what we did, it never tasted right. Yours is spot on! I even made 3 batches & gave them to my boys & their families for Christmas then I made a batch for myself & being diabetic, I used Truvia for the sweetner,,,, this mix is better than any I’ve bought in the stores! For anyone using Truvia, if you go to their site, on-line they will give you a chart,,,how much Truvia to use inplace of how much sugar.
    Love your site

    • Gemma Stafford on January 3, 2019 at 4:42 pm

      Hi there, tuvia is much sweeter than sugar so if i was using that i would use a blend of half sugar half truvia, great idea!

  6. TONYA on December 19, 2018 at 7:14 am

    Hello. I tried reading through the other posts before asking this…
    If I use regular cocoa powder (not unsweetened), would I use the same measurement for it but cut out the sugar?
    or will it change the flavor completely? thanks!

    • Gemma Stafford on December 20, 2018 at 2:06 am

      Hi Tonya,
      I cannot answer this as I do not know what that is! If it is cocoa, just sweetened than you can balance out the sugars. If it is actually a drinking chocolate, then you would just use it as it is, you would not use it for this recipe, it will have additional ingredients.
      Generally COCOA is sold here in the US either unsweetened or dutch processed, neither one will have added sugar.
      I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

      • TONYA WARE on December 20, 2018 at 8:00 am

        Thanks for the response. I have Nestle Cocoa. ( I just thought since it did not say unsweetened that it was the “sweetened” kind 🙂 I can just try it out and see if I need to “tweak” the sugar more or less.

  7. Emily Hoornstra on December 17, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    Gemma, can this be made with whole milk powder? I probably should have asked before I mixed up a batch…I made a cup and it doesn’t seem right at all!

    • Gemma Stafford on December 18, 2018 at 3:01 am

      Hi Emily,
      Yes! I would use a full fat milk powder. Are you saying you tasted it? I do not know why this would not be good for you.
      Do let me know, I am mystified,
      Gemma 🙂

  8. Tammi on December 17, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    Where can I find the jars that you show here? Thanks.

    • Gemma Stafford on December 18, 2018 at 2:50 am

      Hi there Tammi,
      Here you go ( This type of jar can also be found in any store, such as Walmart here in the US, or even in Dollar stores. Take a look where you live. Re-use jam jars too, a great way to recycle.
      Thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

  9. Komal on December 10, 2018 at 2:22 am

    Hie gemma,i drank chocolate milk at a cafe was really delicious..dey told me dat dey didn’t add sugar in d hot chocolate..but still it was tasty …it was rich creamy,without any vidible cream and it was not overly bitter int it healthy to drink hot chocolate eithout sugar everyday …how to make it..which coca to use..i use hersheys now..but it isnt helping..kindly help me out

    • Gemma Stafford on December 10, 2018 at 4:31 am

      Hi komal,
      That drink was possible made with chocolate, rather than cocoa! A 50% cocoa solids chocolate may not need additional sugar. Alternatively a dutch processed cocoa is de-alkalized and is not bitter, if you can find that one. ( you can try this method! it is pretty delicious,
      Gemma 🙂

  10. Zoan Stokes on December 9, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    Can I make this without the dry milk powder is there a non dairy substitute?

    • Gemma Stafford on December 10, 2018 at 3:39 am

      Hi there,
      There are non dairy powdered milks available, you can research them here, and you may find them in a store close to you. ( without the powdered milk this is not too much different to plain cocoa, with a few additions.
      I hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂

  11. Diana Foggia on December 9, 2018 at 6:19 am

    Thank you for your he quick response!!! We don’t carry non fat dry milk powder here in Toronto Canada!! I don’t know why, and , well the price is killer!!!
    Merry Christmas and continued success to you and your family!!!

    • Gemma Stafford on December 10, 2018 at 1:41 am

      Thank you Diana, Happy Christmas to you and yours too.
      Interesting that! In the store this is not an expensive thing, perhaps it is to do with extra processing, a different method or such. Ah well, carry on, the fat content is little enough in any case. Full fat milk will be 3.5% fat content, reducing to 0%, but little enough, and more nutritious I believe.
      Thank you for being with us in Canada,
      Gemma 🙂

    • Michelle Rajca on January 8, 2019 at 6:46 am

      Diana, No Frills carries instant skim milk powder – they have a no-name brand and I think carnation brand. It’s what I use – the large $16 bag goes a long way. Up here in the Kawartha’s I buy the compliments brand from Sobey’s.

  12. Diana Foggia on December 8, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    Hello Gemma,
    I would love to make the hot chocolate mix, but before I do so, I wanted to ask if I can use whole milk powder as opposed to the non fat powder?
    Thank you and keep up the great work!!!

    • Gemma Stafford on December 9, 2018 at 3:35 am

      Hi Diana,
      you are a woman after my own heart! Yes, full fat is great, and will add richness to the mix.
      Use it too in your baking, even your bread baking, it is a great store cupboard staple,
      Gemma 🙂

  13. Taylor on December 8, 2018 at 2:28 am

    How do I make only one mug hot chocolate I mean with the hot chocolate mix ingredients of a mug size only

    • Gemma Stafford on December 8, 2018 at 4:56 am

      Hi Taylor,
      this is the mix for the full batch:
      1 1/2 cups (7 1/2oz/212g) dry milk powder
      1/2 cup (4oz/115g) sugar
      1/2 cup (2oz/57g) unsweetened cocoa powder
      2 teaspoons cornstarch
      You will need to divide this down by a lot to get one mug recipe. I would need to know how you measure to make it easy for me to do it for you. I think if you divide it by 8 you will get a reasonable measurement for one large mug.
      This is math for you! write it out as it is, then divide each ingredient by 8, as closely as you can. If you read the powdered milk as 8 ozs it will make it easier if this is how you measure,
      Gemma 🙂

  14. Farooq on December 5, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    I am looking for hot chocolate powder recipe that would work in Vending Machine please suggest if this recipe could be used

    • Gemma Stafford on December 5, 2018 at 7:32 pm

      Hi! This recipe isn’t made for vending machines so it’s hard to say if it works.

      • Farooq on December 6, 2018 at 10:13 pm

        Good day,
        Gemma please guide what should I try for Vending Machine.

        • Gemma Stafford on December 8, 2018 at 3:13 am

          Hi there,
          I am sorry, I cannot advise on this. You need to get advice local to you. food for sale and supply is heavily regulated here in the US and in other places, the advice needs to be local,
          Gemma 🙂

  15. Karen on December 2, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    I am a diabetic and I would like to make a pint jar of hot chocolate mix. How much would I use to make that jar and what all do I use for ingredients have to buy. THANKS KAREN

    • Gemma Stafford on December 5, 2018 at 10:05 am

      Hi Karen,
      I think two times this recipe will fit a pint jar well. It is not normally how we measure dry ingredients, but it should be almost perfect.
      Olivia, who is our alternative baker here at BBB has a lovely fudge recipe, which may also suit you. The new age alternative sweeteners, like Lakanto and Swerve will be of great help to you too. Do a bit of research into these. Lakanto is zero on the glycemic index, that is great news for people with diabetes.
      I hope you enjoy this recipe,
      Gemma 🙂

  16. Mary on December 1, 2018 at 12:17 am

    I’d really love to try this, but I don’t have cornstarch here… would I be able to substitute flour or something similar?

    • Gemma Stafford on December 1, 2018 at 2:29 am

      Hi Mary,
      Arrowroot will do it if that is a thing where you live. cornstarch/cornflour are the same thing, perhaps called something else too where you are. What you mix it with matters too, a rich full fat milk will help, but not thicken as such.
      for savory dishes you would have more choice as wheat flour/cassava/rice flour can be used, but these need cooking out.
      I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

  17. Wendy C. on November 29, 2018 at 6:30 am

    Hi Gemma,
    Happy holidays! Thank you so much for sharing all that you do, especially back to the basics. Quite a few of my family members are diabetic, so I was wondering if Stevia would work instead of sugar, and if the ratio would be the same? Thanks again! Looking forward to the recipe book. xx

  18. Diane on November 28, 2018 at 7:56 am

    What brand do you recommend for the dry milk powder? I checked on Amazon and so many have bad reviews.

    • Gemma Stafford on December 1, 2018 at 3:55 am

      Hi Diane,
      I tend to buy it in my local store and then it is usually Carnation. I have not taken too much notice of the brand, must take a look next time I am in the store. Peak, full fat powdered milk is also suggested, though I am not too sure that I have used it.
      There are also some non dairy brands, soy etc.
      Powdered milk can be a lovely addition to yeast bread too, so if you buy it, use it! Store own brands here in the US are also a good buy and good value too.
      I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

  19. Katrina on November 27, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    Haven’t tried it yet ,but I’m excited too. Instead of throwing away all those envelopes of premade. I feel that this would be a better alternative.Thank you

    • Gemma Stafford on November 28, 2018 at 3:37 pm

      I’m delighted to hear that 😀 Enjoy!

  20. Lauren on November 23, 2018 at 8:21 am

    Hi Gemma!

    Thanks for the recipe. I want to make this to give as gifts for the holidays.

    But I’m wondering if I can add flavouring to the mixture to personalize them, if so how much should I add?

    • Gemma Stafford on November 23, 2018 at 2:01 pm

      That’s a great idea, Lauren. You can add little bottles of extracts with the hot chocolate like mint extract, orange or Bailey’s.


  21. Emilie on November 19, 2018 at 11:52 am

    Thank you for the nutritionals facts, I will try it 🙂

    • Gemma Stafford on November 19, 2018 at 2:12 pm

      I’m delighted to hear that!

  22. Isha on November 11, 2018 at 11:58 pm

    Can I skip cornstarch?

    • Gemma Stafford on November 12, 2018 at 7:38 pm

      Yes Isha, you can. It just makes the hot chocolate a little thicker.


  23. Vicki McClurg on November 11, 2018 at 11:06 pm

    Hi Gemma
    I was wandering if you could use organic cacao powder instead of cocoa powder.

    • Gemma Stafford on November 12, 2018 at 10:43 am

      Yes, they are the same thing 🙂 great question!

  24. Julie Heiskala on November 11, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    i used to make things fron scratch but got away from it when my life got way too busy. i am getting back there. Thanks for teaching the basics!!

  25. Linda O on November 7, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    I can’t wait to,try the hot chocolate,I want to make enough to share with friends.
    I love your site!!!!

    • Gemma Stafford on November 8, 2018 at 3:09 am

      Hi Linda,
      Yes! That is the idea, a pretty jar, a nice ribbon and you have a great gift idea!
      Thank you for your kind comment,
      Gemma 🙂

  26. Wendy on October 25, 2018 at 9:27 pm

    Can you make this without the dry milk if its made with milk or cream during preparation?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 27, 2018 at 3:15 pm

      Yes you can skip the dry milk Wendy if you are making it on real milk.


  27. AB on October 18, 2018 at 6:49 am

    Hi Gemma,
    This recipe looks perfect, but I do have a question. I see you said in other comments that it should be fine to use boiling water from the kettle, but would this not result in a raw cornstarch taste? Would you recommend leaving the cornstarch out if planning to use kettle water?

    Thank you.

    • Gemma Stafford on October 18, 2018 at 7:37 am

      Hi AB.
      Really cornstarch requires very little cooking as such. It thickens instantly in hot water, I think it will be good. Of course you could omit it, but then you will have a different thing, thinner.
      It can of course also be microwaved or prepared on the stove.
      Gemma 🙂

  28. Lisa Chattin on October 17, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    I made this tonight. So yummy. Thank you for another great recipe Gemma!!

    • Gemma Stafford on October 18, 2018 at 7:10 am

      Hi Lisa,
      Thank you, I am delighted to have oyur very kind review of this recipe.
      Gemma 🙂

  29. Leila on October 17, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    Hi Gemma, I made a batch of this but doubled the amount. I can’t thank you enough at how much money you saved me . I kept buying hot choc every week .

    • Gemma Stafford on October 18, 2018 at 7:54 am

      Lelia, you are too good to yourself!
      Haha! and I know for sure you deserve you little hot chocolate treats, I am delighted you like this recipe, sounds like you are a connoisseur!
      Gemma 🙂

  30. Maria Riaz Yousafzai on October 17, 2018 at 7:52 am

    Hi Gemma
    I am wondering whether I could make it in microwave as I don’t have access to stove at my workplace? If yes, then how could I make it in a microwave.

    • Gemma Stafford on October 18, 2018 at 8:22 am

      Hi Maria,
      You can mix this with milk or hot water an cook in the microwave in the mug/cup.
      It wil ltake about two minutes, but you will need to check it every 30 seconds or so,
      Gemma 🙂

  31. Maria Riaz Yousafzai on October 17, 2018 at 7:46 am

    Hi Gemma!
    I want to take this mix with me to college but I can only use microwave there, not stove. How it could be made in a microwave.


    • Gemma Stafford on October 17, 2018 at 8:10 am

      Hi Maria,
      Easy peasey!. If you are adding milk a regular mug will heat through in a minute or so. If you are adding water you can add it boiled from the kettle, either way will be good.
      I hope you get on well in college, head down, hard work! the hot chocolate will help,
      Gemma 🙂

  32. Donna Wright on October 11, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    Can you make this sugar free?
    Any suggestions??
    Love your recipes and all your helpful hints.

    • Gemma Stafford on October 15, 2018 at 10:41 pm

      Hi Donna,

      you can use more of a natural sugar or a substitute. Maybe add the sweeter once you actually make your mug of hot chocolate.


  33. Donna on October 11, 2018 at 7:22 am

    Why do you put cornstarch in this? What arrowroot work the same?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 13, 2018 at 8:20 pm

      Yes arrowroot would work the same. It’s to thicken the hot chocolate 🙂


  34. Brandi on October 10, 2018 at 9:56 pm

    Where can I get a recipe book from you and all the wonderful recipes you have shared?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 11, 2018 at 4:14 am

      Hi Brandi,
      Thank you for that kind thought! The cookbook is on the way. We will have news shortly, and we will tell you all about it then.
      It was a long labor of love, I hope you will like it when it is published.
      good to have you here with us,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Juli on November 24, 2018 at 5:06 am

        The cookbook news is one I have been waiting for. I watch every single video you make but I’d love to give these as gifts to my daughters who aren’t as gung-ho cooks as I am! Your recipes are simple and delicious.

        • Gemma Stafford on November 24, 2018 at 6:09 am

          Hi Juli,
          I am also excited to see this, a labor of love to be sure, and a long birthing process. Thank you for your very kind words, I will certainly be shouting it when it is in my hands!
          Gemma 🙂

  35. May on October 10, 2018 at 11:18 am

    Hi Gemma,love all your posts! I want to make this cocoa mix for my son in college. Can you use this mix with hot water or should it be made with milk only? Not sure if hot water would alter the flavor or if I need to add extra dry milk?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 11, 2018 at 5:06 am

      Hi May,
      You can mix this with water, no issue with that, it will just be a little less rich.
      How lovely to have your son in college, a great time in his life, I hope it all goes as he wishes.
      Get him to download the FREE E-Book in this section of the website, if he has access to a microwave he will not be hungry! (
      Thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

      • May on October 11, 2018 at 12:46 pm

        Thank Gemma!!
        I will. I’m enjoying you recipes so much! I will definitely tell him about the website.. I will too.

        • Gemma Stafford on October 13, 2018 at 3:05 pm

          Thank you, May! 🙂

  36. ES on October 1, 2018 at 10:55 am

    Is dry skim milk sweetened or not in this recipe?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 1, 2018 at 2:59 pm

      Hi there,
      No! Usually this is not sweetened, I have not found a sweetened one!
      Gemma 🙂

  37. Priya Rajasekaran on September 27, 2018 at 9:27 am

    Hello. It’s kind of a silly question but What kind of sugar should I use powdered sugar or superfine sugar?

    • Gemma Stafford on September 30, 2018 at 7:32 pm

      Granulate sugar works great. Don’t use powdered sugar. 🙂


    • Mel on October 20, 2018 at 5:06 pm

      Not a silly question, Priya, I had that one too! Thanks for clarifying Gemma!

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