Delicious Homemade Hot Cocoa Recipe. A combination of cocoa powder, milk, and vanilla make this hot cocoa recipe absolutely delicious! Bonus – this decadently warm and chocolatey drink is ready in minutes.
I’ve kind of put my foot down a little bit recently and have stopped purchasing a lot of ready-made snack items. By ready-made, I mean pantry items like cereal, instant oatmeal packages, hot chocolate, chewy/granola bars and other various quick snacks found in the pantry.
Truthfully, my kids have been abusing them lately – polishing the snacks off within a day of me bringing groceries home and I’m pretty tired of that.
I feel like they’re old enough now that, hey if you’re hungry, make yourself a sandwich or burrito, cook some oatmeal (from the big tub) or eat a piece of fruit! (I think the straw that broke the camel’s back was me walking into the pantry and catching my son pouring an uncooked package of brown sugar cinnamon oatmeal into his mouth!) Plus I believe learning to do for your self is a good life skill. (My little missy is becoming an absolute potato soup in a mug, queen!)
Hot Cocoa Recipe From Scratch
We’ve had a bit of extra chilly weather lately and I was feeling a little guilty about the long cold bus ride home the kids have every day and I thought I would make them a little treat and hopefully warm them up at the same time. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and I have chocolate on the brain, so I thought a mug of Hot Cocoa would definitely hit the spot for them (and me, lol.)
What is the Difference Between Hot Cocoa and Hot Chocolate
In case you were wondering, there is a difference! Hot Cocoa is made with cocoa powder, milk and sugar and Hot Chocolate is made with actual melted chocolate and tends to be a heavier and richer chocolate beverage.
Ingredients in Hot Cocoa
Want to make this Hot Cocoa? Be sure to add these ingredients to your shopping list:
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Vanilla extract
How to Make Hot Cocoa
Have you ever made Hot cocoa from scratch? It’s actually very easy and only takes a few minutes! (Printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.)
- In a saucepan, mix sugar, cocoa, and salt in together and stir in water. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes and the chocolate is silky smooth.
- Add milk to the saucepan and stir the hot cocoa together until hot. Do not allow hot cocoa to boil.
- Remove hot cocoa from heat and stir in vanilla.
- Top with optional hot cocoa toppings and enjoy.
Can I Use Half n Half to Make my Hot Cocoa?
Yes, you can use just about any type of milk to make hot cocoa from scratch. The higher the fat content, the richer more decadent your hot cocoa will be. I prefer my hot cocoa to be made with whole milk and top it with a generous amount of whipped cream, marshmallows and Chocolate Sauce.
DIY Hot Cocoa Tips:
- When heating the cocoa powder with the water and sugar, be sure to stir constantly and combine the ingredients thoroughly until you have a silky smooth “chocolate paste.” Then add the milk to the chocolate. You will then continue to heat the hot cocoa, but make sure to not let the mil come to a boil.
- Like thicker hot cocoa? You can add a bit of cornstarch dissolved in with the milk.
- The trick to the most amazingly smooth and creamy hot cocoa? Sift your cocoa before adding it to the pan!
- Use good quality 100% Unsweetened Cocoa Powder. I like Ghirardelli Cocoa.
- Like Starbucks Hot Chocolate? You can get the same Starbucks taste, by purchasing their Caramel and Mocha Sauces online.
- Another Secret on how to get the freshest (and easiest) Whipped Cream? You have to get one of these Whipped Cream Dispensers! The way these dispensers work, is you pour fresh whipping cream into the dispenser with a bit of sweetener (If that is what you like.) “Charge” the dispenser with a CO2 charger, give the canister a shake and you will have fresh whipped cream in 30 seconds! The cream stays fresh in your fridge (in the canister) for up to 2 weeks! I just love mine and have been using it like crazy.
Can this Hot Cocoa Recipe Be Doubled or Tripled?
Of course! If you click the little scale, 2x or 3x button in the recipe card, it will calculate the amount of each ingredient needed to double or triple the recipe.
Hot Cocoa Toppings and Add-ins Ideas
Topping ideas – Marshmallows, whipped cream, chocolate or caramel sauce, mini dehydrated marshmallows, sprinkles, an additional sprinkle of vanilla powder or even cinnamon.
Hot Cocoa Stir-ins: Spoonful of Nutella, Coconut oil, peanut butter. Add in some mint extract, instant espresso powder or caramel. The ideas are endless!
Homemade Hot Cocoa RecipePrint
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1/8 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup water hot
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups milk
- chocolate syrup
- In a saucepan, mix sugar, cocoa and salt in together and stir in water. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly for abour 2 minutes and the chocolate is silky smooth.
- Add milk to the saucepan and stir the hot cocoa together until hot. Do Not Boil.
- Remove hot cocoa from heat and stir in vanilla.
- Top with optional hot cocoa toppings and enjoy