Hot Chocolate
Hot Chocolate

As the air gets chilly and the summer fades away, hot chocolate quickly springs to mind. Yes, there are loads of mixes you can buy at the grocery store, but the cost can be insane. Not to mention all of the “extra goodies” that many people do not want to ingest.

For those with dairy allergies, store bought mixes can be out of the question because so many include dried milk powder. There are also a lot of recipes online that include powdered milk, but I opt not to. I just make my hot chocolate with milk instead of water.

Another ingredient commonly included in store bought and recipes is cornstarch. When added to a mix, cornstarch does a couple of things: it helps prevent the mix from clumping and it helps to thicken the hot chocolate.

Cornstarch is not included in this recipe because there is already cornstarch added to commercial icing sugar (aka powdered sugar, and confectioners sugar). I do not feel it needs any extra thickening. If you are allergic to corn products, you can simply use regular granulated sugar. My best advice is to use a blender or food processor to grind up the sugar to a finer consistency. The finer sugar really does make a difference in the smoothness of the hot chocolate.

I prefer using Dutch Process Cocoa for hot chocolate, but Natural Cocoa Powder works fine as well.

Hot Chocolate with Whipped Cream
Hot Chocolate with Whipped Cream

How to Jazz Up Your Hot Chocolate

Now that you have a fantastic base mix, you can drink it as is or jazz it up a bit when you make a mug:

  • Add a dollop of whipped cream, fresh or frozen
  • Add a few grains of cayenne pepper to the cup (or add a pinch to the entire batch)
  • Add a drop or two of vanilla extract to the cup
  • Use a candy cane as a stir stick

The Best Way to Make a Mug

Many people make a mug of hot cocoa by just adding mix to a mug and then filling the rest of the mug with boiling water or hot milk. If you want a creamy, well combined cup of hot cocoa, follow these tips:

  • Place 2-3 Tablespoons of mix into a mug
  • Heat water or milk
  • Place 1/4 of the heated milk or water into the mug and mix well with the cocoa
  • Add any extras: cayenne pepper, vanilla, etc.
  • This will create a paste
  • Then add the rest of the heated milk or water

This will create a creamy texture and avoid the dreaded clumps.


Print Recipe

Servings Prep Time Cook Time
7 5 minutes 0


  • If you do not have Dutch Process Cocoa, go ahead and use Natural Cocoa Powder.
  • Do you like a little extra zing in your hot cocoa? Add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the mix.


  • 120 grams (1 Cup) Dutch Process Cocoa
  • 200 grams  (2 Cups) Icing Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt


Gather all of your ingredients.


Place cocoa in a medium bowl. Add icing sugar and salt.


Stir to combine. Sift this mixture to break up any clumps.


Place mixture in a labelled, clean jar.


Please let us know how you liked it and if you made any changes. We would love to let our readers know about adjustments they can make.

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