Homemade Dark Hot Chocolate Mix

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My goals for this Homemade Dark Hot Chocolate Mix were twofold: One, a mix that would yield a drink with no weird texture, a lovely dark flavor, and not too sweet. And two, to do it without powdered milk.

Powdered milk is in most of the recipes online, which makes sense. It’s super easy and you only need water. The reason I didn’t want that is because so many people these days like alternative milks. One of my good friends has cut dairy because her breastfed baby is gassy; one of my coworkers is vegan. Basically, I wanted to be able to show this recipe to anyone and say, “Here, it’s for you!” (I’ll admit that most chocolate is not vegan; however, I’ve got something to fix that in the recipe notes.)

My inspiration recipe called for cornstarch to help with the dissolving. After two tries, Robby and I agreed that it was actually not doing any favors for the finished texture, so I dropped it. I also like slightly less sweet desserts, so I scaled back the sugar a little.

Ready for the recipe? Put ingredients in food processor. Blend. Ta-da!

(Actually, though, watch out – the food processing turns this into a crazy fine dust that puffed out of my supposedly sealed machine to settle gently on everything in the immediate vicinity. Worth it, just be aware.)

When you want your hot chocolate, heat 8 ounces of your favorite milk. Then add 3 tablespoons of your mix and stir!

The most traditional way would be to heat the milk in a saucepan and whisk in the mix to prevent lumps. I like not dirtying a pan, so I pop my whole milk in the microwave for about 90 seconds, add the mix, and then implement a secret weapon: an Aerolatte milk frother. This was a gift ages ago that I didn’t actually use for lattes, but it’s perfect for blending out cocoa lumps and achieving just a little bit of foam.

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, which took inspiration from Cook’s Illustrated.


Homemade Dark Hot Chocolate Mix

This super-simple recipe produces a cup of smooth, flavorful, hot chocolate exactly the way you like it. Great for a thoughtful gift, or for having that perfect mug whenever you want one!

  • Author: Katie Burroughs
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 minutes
  • Total Time: 7 minutes
  • Yield: About 1.5 cups of mix, or 8 servings 1x
  • Category: drink



6 tablespoons (75 grams) granulated sugar

3 ounces (85 grams) chocolate, roughly chopped (I like standard semi-sweet)

1/2 cup (40 grams) cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt or 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


Put all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor. Blend to a powder. (If you don’t have a food processor, chop up the chocolate as fine as you can stand and mix well with the other ingredients.) Store in a sealed container.

To make a cup of hot chocolate, heat 8 ounces of your favorite milk on the stove or in the microwave. Whisk, blend, or stir in 3 tablespoons of mix. Top with marshmallows and enjoy!


To make vegan: Replace the chopped chocolate with an additional 1/2 cup cocoa powder (which is naturally vegan!)

To change up the flavor: Make Mexican Hot Chocolate (add small amounts of chile powder, cayenne and cinnamon); Mint Hot Chocolate (replace the vanilla with mint extract); Mocha Hot Chocolate (add a couple tablespoons of espresso powder)

Keywords: hot chocolate

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The Burroughs

Katie and Robby Burroughs, writers, photographers, and curators of Bear and Bug Eats.

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