Hot Cocoa Mix

Hot Cocoa Mix

Instant cocoa is a fine concept, but most commercial mixes aren’t exactly packed with quality ingredients or flavor. My signature instant cocoa blend will fortify you through winter’s worst. My homemade marshmallows go pretty good with this mix too. Just sayin’.

Hot Cocoa Mix
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  1. 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  2. 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
  3. 2 1/2 cups nonfat dry milk powder
  4. 1 teaspoon fine-grain salt
  5. 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  6. 1 pinch (or more to taste) ground cayenne pepper*, optional
  7. Hot milk or water to serve
  1. Combine the confectioners' sugar, cocoa powder, milk powder, salt, cornstarch and cayenne in a large airtight container. Secure the lid and shake vigorously to combine, and remember to shake prior to every extraction.
  2. To serve: Place 2 tablespoons of the mix in a mug and add about 2 fluid ounces hot water or milk. Stir to combine. Fill the mug with more hot water or milk and enjoy.
  1. * The Aztecs always added chiles to their chocolate. Even a pinch ups the flavor ante quite a bit, and as called for here certainly won't be sensed as "heat."
  2. No matter — this is fast, easy and will keep for a year if kept in an airtight container in a cool place.


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  1. 1

    I bought some powdered whole milk. I did 2 tbsp cocoa, 1 tbsp sweetener, 1 tbsp whole milk powder and a dash of vanilla extract. It was ok, but the powdered milk gave it an odd flavour. If I add a day of cayenne, do you think it would hide that odd taste?

  2. 2
    Cathy Phillips

    This looked like the recipe I’ve been looking for as it called for powdered milk and I had some I was looking to use up. I made it into Mexican hot cocoa mix by adding 2 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. nutmeg, and 1/2 tsp. cayenne to the batch. I made up a test cup with hot water as I was sending to a college student who presumably would not have access to fresh milk in her dorm room. As with all cocoas prepared this way, frankly, it was “meh.” I appreciated that it was not as overly sweet as most packaged cocoa mixes, but it was not creamy at all. It’s definitely better prepared with fresh, non-skim milk. I added in another cup of powdered milk to help compensate but I’m still on the hunt for the perfect cocoa mix. This one has potential but it’s still not it.

  3. 3

    Excellent. However, I substitute regular sugar for the confectioners sugar, simply because the fine power makes me cough. Other recipes call for coffee creamer and vanilla powder. I have NEVER seen vanilla powder whenever I shop. Today I made a batch and made it with regular sugar, nestle’ s cocoa, coffee creamer, cinnamon, nutmeg, 2 shakes of kosher salt, 2 dashes of cayenne chili powder, and 1/2 cup of dry milk. I’ve made this batch mocha style; I’ve added 2 heaping tbsps (or 3 or 4, depending on your taste) of instant coffee. Still, this is an excellent batch. Thank you.

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