Homemade hot chocolate mix is a must-make recipe every year in our house! This recipe makes a big batch that will last weeks through snowy afternoons and nights by the fire. There’s absolutely no comparison between this hot chocolate recipe and store-bought hot chocolate – this is utterly superb!

Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

With the bustling and chronically busy holiday season upon us, sometimes all I want to do is curl up on the couch with a cozy blanket, a book I can get lost in, and a steaming mug of hot chocolate. 

OK, maybe it’s more like that’s all I want to do this time of year but life always seems to get in the way of these things.

Regardless of your crazy schedules, I urge you to take a few minutes in the kitchen to whip up this homemade hot chocolate mix and treat yourself to a divine mug of it.  I can guarantee that this homemade mix surpasses any of the higher quality mixes you can buy and what’s even better is that you control what goes into it.

Hot Chocolate Mix Ingredients

Here’s the super simple shopping list for this hot chocolate mix. Be sure to keep scrolling down to the recipe card for the full ingredient list and ingredient substitution notes!

  • Semi-sweet chocolate
  • Bittersweet chocolate
  • Granulated sugar
  • Dutch-processed cocoa
  • Table salt
  • Espresso powder (an optional but delicious addition)

What Kind of Chocolate?

The great thing about making this mix is that you control the ingredients!

Not a huge fan of bittersweet chocolate? Replace some or all of it with semi-sweet. Or, if you’re feeling a super sweet tooth, add in some milk chocolate. 

A smidge of white chocolate will work great too.

Regardless of the type of chocolate you use, be sure it’s chocolate in block form. You want gooood chocolate for this recipe.

Why Use Espresso Powder?

I add a few tablespoons of instant espresso powder to this mix because I love a shot of espresso in my hot chocolate. It’s almost like a reverse mocha latte!

And, if you’ve made enough chocolate recipes, you’ll know that coffee in one form or another amplifies the chocolate flavor without making the chocolate taste like coffee. So that’s what I was going for here!

This is also the time to consider making a big batch of vanilla sugar in advance of making the mix since you can use it quickly rather than having to wait 24hrs as this recipe instructs.

How to Make Homemade Hot Chocolate

The process – if you can even call it a process – for how to make homemade hot chocolate mix could not be easier. Here’s what you’ll do:

STEP 1: Chop the chocolate. Roughly chopped is perfect here. The food processor will do the rest of the work!

STEP 2: Combine the chopped chocolate, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and espresso powder (if using) in a food processor.

STEP 3: Pulse the ingredients until a powdered mix forms. Don’t over-process the mixture though; the chocolate will start to melt from the heat of the blade the longer the food processor is run.

To make hot chocolate with the mix, simply whisk 2 heaping tablespoons of the mix with 8 ounces of milk or heavy cream. Then warm the mixture until it just starts to steam.

How Much Mix Does This Recipe Make?

The recipe makes a huge amount of homemade hot chocolate mix – almost 2 quarts of dry powdered mix. And because it lasts up to 6 months, it will make the perfect addition to not only Christmas gift packages this year, but also for weeks into the frigid winter months.

Hot Chocolate Toppings and Mix-Ins

I love my cocoa with a heaping spoonful of whipped cream but perhaps some homemade peppermint marshmallows are in my future as well.

If you’re up for a boozy marshmallow, go for these Baileys marshmallows. Otherwise, these plain vanilla marshmallows from New York Times Cooking are absolutely phenomenal!

For a mix-in, salted caramel sauce is always a great idea!

Homemade hot chocolate in a white mug on a white saucer. The hot chocolate is topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

Yield: 2 quarts dry mix
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes


  • 4 cups granulated sugar OR 4 cups vanilla sugar
  • 1 ½ lbs high-quality semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 9 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups Dutch-processed cocoa
  • 3 tbsp instant espresso powder or instant coffee granules (optional)


  1. In a food processor fitted with metal blade, process half of the semisweet and bittersweet chocolates, sugar, cocoa powder, and espresso powder (if using) until finely ground, using 4-second pulses.
  2. Transfer the mix to an airtight container or large zip-top bag. Repeat with the second half of the ingredients.
  3. To serve: Whisk 2 heaping tablespoons of mix with 8 oz of milk (any kind) or heavy cream and heat until steaming over medium heat.

Storage: Store mix airtight at room temperature for up to six months.


This recipe calls for lots and lots of chocolate but feel free to mix and match different kinds.  I'm sure using some milk chocolate in the mix would make for a spectacularly delicious mug of cocoa.  Also, if you can't find Dutch-processed cocoa, try using Hershey's Dark Cocoa. I swapped out half of the Dutch-processed for Hershey's because I was running low on Dutch-processed and the change worked out great.

adapted from Gourmet (December 2005)

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Leave a Comment

  • Ali
    December 15, 2011 at 7:43 AM

    Tara, how are you packaging yours for Christmas gifts?
    Love your website!

    • December 15, 2011 at 8:32 AM

      Ali: I’m putting together a post that will highlight how I’m packaging everything. Look for it this weekend!

  • December 15, 2011 at 8:56 AM

    I have been looking for a good recipe for hot chocolate. I live in the mountains with lots of snow so this recipe is very appealing. Thanks!

  • December 15, 2011 at 9:36 AM

    Tara, you’re killing me. I was all set on being pretty boring and making old staples for holiday gifts, but between this and the Linzer cookies, I am really starting to rethink that plan. Gorgeous photo!

  • December 15, 2011 at 10:41 AM

    Wow, that sounds fabulous. I’ve been looking for a recipe that didn’t include powdered milk- perfect!

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