Homemade Hot Cocoa

by Alli

It’s that time of year again! It’s time to start thinking about curling up on the sofa with a good book, a soft chenille throw, and a cup of steaming homemade hot cocoa with marshmallows slowly melting into swirls of creamy goodness.

Believe it or not, we are kinda, sorta having fall-like weather here in SC. It may be near 80 today (anything in the 70s is considered chilly by my standards). If I crank the air way down low and think about igloos, polar bears, and the time I almost killed myself skiing.

Scratch that last thought about skiing and let’s get back to talking about delicious homemade hot cocoa. 

Instant is Okay But Homemade Is Better

I’ve been known to heat a cup of water and dump in a package of hot cocoa mix. But why would I when it takes such little time to make it from scratch? And it’s so much better. I promise!

Really, it only takes a few minutes to make. You’ll never use that instant stuff again. Well, you may, but why would you want to?

hot chocolate in a copper mug topped with marshmallows

Ingredients for Homemade Hot Cocoa

  • unsweetened cocoa powder
  • sugar (or a low-calorie equivalent of your choice)
  • salt
  • milk (I’ve also used almond milk with great results)
  • vanilla extract
  • marshmallows or whipped cream

Festive Holiday Hot Cocoa

For a festive look, crush peppermint sticks and wet the rims of the cups with water. Press rim into crushed peppermint and you’ve added a festive touch AND a unique flavor. Of course, you’ll want to do this before filling the cups with hot cocoa. 🙂

What To Serve With Homemade Hot Cocoa

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Yield: 6 servings

Homemade Hot Cocoa

hot chocolate in a copper mug topped with marshmallows

A cup of rich, creamy homemade hot cocoa on a cold winter night is so good.

Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes


  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar (or a low-calorie equivalent of your choice)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups milk (I have used almond milk with great results)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Marshmallows or whipped cream


  1. In a 3-quart saucepan, stir cocoa with sugar and salt until mixed. Stir in a small amount of milk to make a smooth paste; stir in the remainder of the milk.
  2. Heat over medium heat until tiny bubbles form around the edge, stirring occasionally. Do not boil.
  3. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Whisk until smooth and foamy. Pour into 6 cups. Top with marshmallows or whipped cream.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 200Total Fat 5gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 20mgSodium 171mgCarbohydrates 30gFiber 0gSugar 17gProtein 9g

Did you make this recipe?

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Javeiya October 7, 2013 - 8:25 am

Yummyy! I love marshmallows. This will be great for winters!

Shirley Wood October 7, 2013 - 2:22 pm

Love the recipe, will have to try it! I love your Christmas mugs. I have the dishes to match those, have been adding to my collection anytime I can find them!

Alli October 7, 2013 - 2:25 pm

May I borrow the dishes that match my mugs? 🙂 I only have the mugs! Would love the dishes!

Shirley Wood October 7, 2013 - 2:32 pm

Would you believe I originally purchased 2 sets at Dollar General a few years ago. I hunt down matching items now at thrift stores and yard sales. I have never seen the mugs like you have though.

Alli October 7, 2013 - 3:37 pm

Wish I would have seen them! I don’t even remember where my mugs came from. I’ve had them forever!

Whitney October 7, 2013 - 5:47 pm

I received some homemade hot cocoa from a blog gift sway some months ago, but didn’t dig in until about 2 weeks ago. Now it’s all gone and I want some more. It had white chocolate chips in it (which I only discovered after the 5 time drinking it) and she included peppermint sugar to go with. So happy you shared a recipe. I need to get on it ASAP!


Alli October 8, 2013 - 7:03 am

What a great gift! I bet the white chocolate chips made it over the top good!

Kristen Campbell October 7, 2013 - 6:19 pm

I can’t wait until it gets cold enough here in Florida to partake!

Alli October 8, 2013 - 7:02 am

I’m waiting for it to be cooler here in South Carolina, as well!

Amber October 7, 2013 - 8:12 pm

Oh my gosh, yummy! I love hot chocolate.

Alli October 8, 2013 - 7:01 am

Me, too, Amber!

Catherine October 7, 2013 - 9:21 pm

Dear Alli, Hot Cocoa is one of my favorite things about the cool weather. There is nothing as delicious as homemade cocoa. This looks wonderful…I love how you dressed it up for Christmas, it is a nice touch.

Blessings, Catherine

Alli October 8, 2013 - 7:01 am

Thanks, Catherine. It’s one of my favorite things about fall/winter.

DesignedByBH October 9, 2013 - 12:04 am

I love homemade cocoa but I always loose the recipes! Pinning yours! 🙂

Alli October 9, 2013 - 7:43 am

Thanks for pinning my recipe. It’s so quick and easy, but really rich and yummy.

Anna @ Northern Homestead October 10, 2013 - 12:18 pm

Growing up my mom would make a big pot of cococa and serve it with homemade crepes. Sweet memories. Thank you for the recipe!

Renee W. October 10, 2013 - 7:44 pm

That looks delish & those mugs are beautiful! I wish it would cool down out here – I’m really craving an evening by the fire with one of these 🙂 ~Renee

Alli October 11, 2013 - 7:57 am

We had a couple of days of cool weather . . . that’s all. 🙂


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