This hot chocolate mix is made with just 2 ingredients, and can be stirred into your favorite milk for a fast and easy sweet treat. It makes a great DIY gift, too!
Making healthy hot chocolate is already pretty easy, but this jarred version makes it even easier. Just scoop two tablespoons into warm milk, and stir until smooth. It’s so delicious!
What’s in Hot Chocolate Mix?
Many “instant” hot chocolate mixes include powdered milk, but that’s not an ingredient that I keep on hand, so I make this mix using two of my pantry essentials– cacao powder and coconut sugar. That means this mix is dairy-free, and if you’re giving it as a gift, the recipient can use any type of milk they prefer.
I’ve made this with almond milk, oat milk, and hemp milk with great results!
Benefits of Cacao Powder
Want to feel better about drinking hot chocolate? Cacao is noted for being rich in polyphenols, which are naturally occurring antioxidants.
- Cocoa powder may help to lower blood pressure, by improving the nitric oxide levels in your blood. (source)
- Cocoa may help to lower LDL cholesterol (the “bad” kind) and may also have a blood thinning effect similar to aspirin, which may lower the risk for a heart attack. (source)
- Eating chocolate regularly has been associated with a lower risk of stroke and heart disease. (source)
- The flavanols found in chocolate may increase blood flow to the brain, by up to 10% in just 2 weeks. (source)
- One study that looked at chocolate consumption in pregnant mothers found that it may help to reduce stress and boost the mood of their babies, even 6 months after birth. (source)
Both cocoa powder and cacao powder contain these, but cacao powder is known for being less processed, and therefore should retain more of its antioxidant content when compared to cocoa powder.
How Long Can you Store Hot Chocolate Mix?
When making this hot chocolate mix, make a note of the expiration date on your cacao powder and coconut sugar. Whichever one expires first should be the “expiration date” of your hot chocolate mixture. Be sure to write it on the bottom of your jar if you’re making this as a gift.
As long as you keep this mix stored in a dry place, it should be able to be stored for months, or until you use it all! The recipe below should fill up a 16 oz. mason jar (I like to use a wide mouth jar like this one), but you can make smaller 8 oz. jars to make even more affordable gifts.
Hot Chocolate Mix (in a Jar!)
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups coconut sugar
- Combine the cocoa powder and coconut sugar in a large bowl and stir well with a fork or whisk to combine. Pour the mixture into a 16-ounce wide mouth glass jar and seal with the lid until ready to use.
- To make the hot chocolate, add 2 tablespoons of the hot chocolate mix to 1 cup of almond milk (or milk of your choice) in a small saucepan and warm it up until the desired temperature is reached. Serve right away.
Hot Chocolate Mix Nutrition (Per 2 tablespoons): Calories: 58; Fat: 1g, Carbohydrates: 15g, Fiber: 1g, Protein: 1g
For your convenience, here’s a label you can print off and attach to your holiday gift jars:
(Click on the image above for a PDF to download)
Update note: I originally posted this recipe in December 2014, using a 1:1 ratio of cacao powder to coconut sugar. That ratio is not sweet enough for many people (especially my kids!), so I’ve updated the recipe in 2019 to reflect that. This current recipe should be more enjoyable for the general population, but feel free to use a lower ratio of sugar if that’s what you prefer.
Reader Feedback: Do you plan on making any DIY gifts this year? These Gluten-Free Cookies in a Jar are another hit!
Questions and Reviews
What a great idea! I love DIY gifts. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
what is the difference between using raw Caoco powder vs unsweetened cocoa powder?
The taste should be the same, they are just processed differently. As I understand it, raw cacao is thought to have a higher antioxidant content, so I use that version most often, but cocoa powder tends to be more affordable– which might be better if you need to make a lot of gift jars! Since the cocoa will be added to warm milk anyway, there’s no need for it to be “raw.”
I absolutely LOVE that you used coconut sugar. What a great and cute gift for the holidays that can be thrown together last minute. Because lets face it, I haven’t done any holiday shopping yet!
I can’t wait to try this myself! What a cool gift idea. Thanks!
I love this idea. I will make this but substitute the cacao for organic full cream milk powder and add vanilla bean to make my mum a healthier alternative to her beloved white hot chocolates 🙂
Great idea! how long will hot chocolate mix last?
Since both ingredients are shelf-stable, I imagine it will last for a while! I’d check the expiration date on your ingredients, but I’d guess it could last 6 months or so.
My daughter loves your original recipe of hot chocolate and I was wondering how i can make it ready to use so she can do it herself just by adding hot milk. will definately try this version.
Since my original version calls for maple syrup, it wouldn’t work as well as a pre-made mix. It would be wet and need to be refrigerated… nothing like the dry mix people have come to expect. That’s why I used coconut sugar for this version– I think it tastes very similar to my original recipe, but this one is more convenient and shelf-stable!
I make mine at home with raw cacao powder and organic maple sugar. I’ll be doing my mix using the same for gifts! Maple sugar is a bit sweeter than coconut sugar so something to keep in mind (although I don’t think anyone will complain their hot cocoa is TOO sweet). I also have someone in the family who is allergic to coconut so I’ve become used to using the maple sugar. Coombs Family Farms has a great one you can buy on Amazon.
Love this idea. The coconut sugar gives it a wonderful rich taste.
I love this! I will make this as a gift for my work “Secret Santa” next week. Thanks, Megan! I want you to know that I tell my work friends about your website. Many of them are gluten and vegan, so this is a go-to when talking about recipes and food in general. I also use many of your recipes for babies/toddlers, as mine just turned one yesterday!
Hi Megan, can I substitute truvia/stevia baking blend for the coconut sugar? And if yes, would it be 1/2 cup or 1 cup of sugar for the 1 cup of cocoa? Thanks again!
I love these quick DIY gift ideas, and the printable label makes it all the more special. Great idea and anyone would feel good giving this.
I had thought about making this, but the coconut sugar is a bit “thicker” than normal hot chocolate mixes I’ve used, do you find any problems with it mixing with the milk? I was wondering if I should put it though the food processor first. Thanks!
It wasn’t a problem for me at all. The sugar dissolves easily when you stir well– I used a whisk in my small saucepot over the stove.
I’m handing out hot chocolate mixes too!! It seems the easiest and cost effective..I’m obsessed with hot chocolate over Christmas time
What brand of cacao (or cocoa) powder do you use? It seems like I’m always reading bad review of certain ones, so I can never decide which kind to get. Thank for the recipe!
This was delicious and easy! My 9 year old loved making it and feeling grown up for having it for future use! 👍🏽
Great idea! Kids and I made some this weekend for kids for their aunts and grandparents!! Thank you! Had to have a cup too! Soo delish!!
I love this and use 1/2 to 1 Tablespoon in my coffee every morning!