Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix (perfect for a gift!)

Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix (perfect for a gift!)

This homemade hot cocoa mix makes the perfect gift for the holidays. This is a dairy-free hot cocoa mix, so that everyone can enjoy it by mixing it in the milk of their choice (cow milk, almond milk, coconut milk, etc). This hot chocolate recipe can also be paleo-friendly, if you use the coconut sugar option.

I also give you a whole bunch of creative ideas for additions for the hot cocoa mix, so that you can have fun with the recipe and make it your own. Add this recipe to a mason jar with a pretty ribbon, and you’ve got the perfect gift!

Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix (perfect for a gift!)

The Spirit of Giving…

I LOVE giving gifts during the holiday season to my loved ones. However, it always seems like everyone has enough stuff in their lives, and it can be stressful trying to figure out what people don’t already own. That’s one of the reasons why I love to make homemade gifts for my loved ones. I also feel like the time and effort I spend creating their gifts give those gifts an extra boost of specialness.

I decided to make homemade hot cocoa mix this year for Christmas gifts because it’s easy and creative, and I can adapt the recipe to the needs of everyone. I’ve got organic-only-recipe-people in my life, as well as paleo-only people, and dairy-free people (including myself…huzzah for being lactose-intolerant).

It’s nice to have a hot cocoa mix recipe that I can change for every person.

Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix Ingredients

Most of the recipes that I researched for making my own recipe used dried milk (powdered milk) in the recipe, which I wanted to avoid so that I could make hot cocoa mix for my dairy-free and paleo friends and family.

Since my hot cocoa mix recipe does NOT contain milk, that means you need to add it to warmed milk instead of water.

Let’s take a look at the simple ingredients in my hot cocoa mix:

Sugar: I used organic cane sugar in my hot cocoa mix, however, you can make this paleo-friendly by using coconut sugar instead. You can also use: rapadura, granulated honey, or a sweetener/sugar of your choice.

Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: My hot cocoa mix is very dark-colored. That is because I am a HUGE dark chocolate fan so I used a dark cocoa powder. You can use the normal unsweetened cocoa powder from the store, or get super fancy and buy a gourmet dark cocoa powder. You can also use cacao powder. Be careful if you use dutch-process cocoa powder, because it is more dense than normal cocoa powder. If you uses dutch-process cocoa powder, start with half the amount and test it.

Arrowroot Powder: Arrowroot powder acts as a thickener in this hot cocoa mix and it helps make the hot cocoa frothy and deliciously thick. This is an easily digestible starch, and it is paleo-friendly. If you do not own arrowroot powder, you can use tapioca starch, or you could leave it out and just have a thinner-quality hot cocoa (it will still be tasty!).

Pinch of Salt: Did you know that salt enhances the flavor of cocoa? Don’t skip this salt in this recipe!

Good-Quality Chocolate Bar: If you want to really spoil your loved ones, chop up a fancy chocolate bar and add it to the recipe. It gives an extra creaminess and a boost of flavor to the recipe. I used a part of an organic dark chocolate bar that was 90% cacao. This was a bit too bitter for me to eat in huge quantities, but it was perfect for using in my dark chocolate hot cocoa mix!

Crushed up chocolate for homemade hot cocoa mix


Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix Recipe


  • 1 cup sugar of choice (I used organic cane sugar, see above for more suggestions)
  • 1 cup unsweetened, organic cocoa powder 
  • 1 tbsp. arrowroot powder 
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 3 oz. roughly chopped chocolate (optional)


  1. Chop the (optional) chocolate bar. Put in a food processor with the other ingredients.
  2. Pulse a few times until it is well mixed.
  3. Put in a jar and give away to friends!
  4. Add 2-3 tbsp. of the hot cocoa mix into a mug of warm milk.
  5. If stored in an airtight container, this hot cocoa mix will last at least 3 months.

Recipe additions:

Feel free to add these ingredients (or mix and match!) to make a creative hot cocoa mix!

Mexican Hot Cocoa: Add 2 tbsp. cinnamon and 3 tsp. cayenne pepper to the cocoa mix.

Mint Hot Cocoa: Add 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract to the mix in the food processor.

Chai Hot Cocoa: Add 2 tbsp. mix of ground ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and/or cloves

Mocha: Add some espresso or instant coffee to your hot cocoa mix to make it a mocha mix!

What is your favorite hot cocoa mix? My favorite hot cocoa mix is a dark chococlate Mexican hot cocoa mix. Yum! 

Don’t forget to check out my Cardamom Hot Chocolate recipe too!

Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix (perfect for a gift!)


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