Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

Cold wintry days, they're made for a steaming cup of hot cocoa. Here's how to make homemade hot chocolate mix, from scratch, the perfect quantity for conveniently serving hot chocolate for a crowd, with tips for serving outdoors. There's a home-size recipe too!

Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix, how to make hot chocolate mix from scratch, for a crowd, for gifts, for home.

So only a crazy man would cook a buffalo. (Yes. You. Read. That. Right.) Whole. (That means 875 pounds of bison on the hoof, 419 pounds dressed and butterflied.) Outdoors. On a spit. Over open flame. And invite 200 people to the party. At a place without walls or electricity. In the middle of De.CEM.Brrr. This would be the very definition of crazy.

So only a crazy woman in charge of everything at the party except the buffalo would decide to go easy on herself and make store-bought hot chocolate – but then check the ingredient list and change her mind. Now that’s crazy.

But it turns out, it wasn’t crazy at all. It was easy! I tested several hot chocolate recipes for one I loved, then adapted the recipe to conveniently serve a crowd.

In the warmth of my kitchen, I mixed the dry Hot Chocolate Mix in bags, just the right amount of mix for adding convenient gallon-size jugs of milk and water later. This made my homemade mix just as convenient as a commercial mix – but far less sweet and without all the processed ingredients.

We heated the hot chocolate in a 30-quart stockpot from an outdoor turkey fryer like this one – it heated up fast and kept the hot chocolate hot all afternoon long. Because a turkey fryer heats liquid so quickly, it took no time at all to mix a new batch when one ran out.

And let me assure you, chocolate-y less-sweet homemade hot chocolate hits the spot on what turned out to be a cold, blustery, gray but dry! December day!

So was Homemade Hot Chocolate for a crowd crazy? Maybe. But then again, maybe falling for the commercial food companies’ processed food is crazier still. Me, I’m sticking to my homemade hot chocolate. Maybe this recipe will make it easy for others to do so too.

ALANNA’s TIPS The Hot Chocolate Mix is rich enough, chocolate-y enough that I think you could easily double the water and milk for twice the volume without serving 'watery' hot chocolate. It’s hard to find hot-drink cups that are the right size – most are way too small or way too big. This matters because cup size makes a huge difference in estimating how many ‘servings’ a single batch will make. The bigger the cups, the more batches you’ll need. Even 'small' cups are 8.5 ounces big (a liquid cup is eight ounces). But many cups hold a full 16 ounces or two cups. I finally found six-ounce cups at a Wal-Mart Superstore. If you’d prefer to use evaporated milk instead of powdered milk, no problem. For the large batch, use eight 12-ounce cans, then add only 1 gallon of water. For the small batch, use two 12-ounce cans, then add only 4 cups of water. I had great luck with low-fat evaporated milk, another way to save a few calories.

HOMEMADE HOT CHOCOLATE MIX as GIFTS Make a batch of the dry mix and distribute among glass jars or another container. Add a label that reads: "HOMEMADE HOT CHOCOLATE MIX For a hot cup of homemade hot chocolate, add a spoonful or two to a microwave-safe mug. Add a splash of hot water and stir well until smooth. Fill the mug with milk and stir again. Heat in the microwave about 30 seconds at a time, until hot. Stir in a splash of vanilla and a few mini marshmallows (optional). Recipe from KitchenParade.com."


Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 10 minutes
    (makes 40 cups hot chocolate)
  • 4 cups sugar (800g)
  • 4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (300g)
  • 8 cups powdered milk (960g)
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1-1/2 gallons water
  • 1 gallon 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup vanilla
  • Mini marshmallows on the side, optional

    (makes 10 cups hot chocolate)

  • 1 cup sugar (200g)
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (75g)
  • 2 cups powdered milk (240g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 6 cups water (1-1/2 quarts)
  • 4 cups 2% milk (1 quart)
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla

DRY MIX Stir together the dry ingredients. Can be done ahead of time, store in plastic bags. For the large batch, if using small garbage bags, double-bagging is recommended.

TO COMBINE Place the dry mix in a large pot. Add a cup or two of hot (if possible) water and stir well until the mixture becomes smooth and creamy. (Do take time to stir well at this stage.) Add the remaining water, the milk and vanilla and gently heat clear through, stirring often. Lower the heat to keep just hot. Throughout, stir the pot all the way through to the bottom so that the bottom doesn’t scorch.

TO SERVE Use a soup scoop to serve, topping each cup with a few marshmallows if desired.

MIX ONLY Per Tablespoon with Slenda/Sugar: 31/50 Calories; 0g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 1mg Cholesterol; 76mg Sodium; 5/10g Carb; 1g Fiber; 4/9g Sugar; 3g Protein. Weight Watchers Old Points .5/1; Weight Watchers Points Plus 1
AS WRITTEN Made as written with Splenda/Sugar, per cup: 129/196 Calories; 1g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 6mg Cholesterol; 278mg Sodium; 18/38g Carb; 3g Fiber; 14/34g Sugar; 11g Protein. Weight Watchers Old Points 2/3.5; Weight Watchers Points Plus 3/5

  • 1 – 4 tablespoons Hot Chocolate Mix
  • Splash of hot water
  • 1 cup milk
  • Splash of vanilla
  • Mini marshmallows, optional

Stir Hot Chocolate Mix and water well in a microwave-safe mug. Stir in the milk. In the microwave, heat the milk 30 seconds at a time until hot, stirring after each 30 seconds. Stir in vanilla and mini marshmallows, serve and savor.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Cup, when mix is made with Splenda/sugar and 1 cup 2% milk, my personal favorite: 165/184 Calories; 5g Tot Fat; 3g Sat Fat; 20mg Cholesterol; 176mg Sodium; 17/22g Carb; 1g Fiber; 16/22g Sugar; 11g Protein. Weight Watchers Old Points 3.5/4; Weight Watchers Points Plus 4/5

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

What Do You Think, Is It Crazy to Make Homemade Hot Chocolate for a Crowd?

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Help me keep it real. Let me know what you think in the comments!

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© Copyright 2010, 2015 Kitchen Parade

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. This is a great idea. I will use it to provide a nuturing activity for staff during the winter. Will serve with a muffin

  2. Alanna, this is great! Thanks so much for the idea. :)

    And I would definitely make homemade cocoa for a crowd - it seems that once the mix is made up ahead of time, it wouldn't be any more trouble than instant anyway - and taste that much better. You go girl!

  3. Wow, a whole buffalo?! That was some party, I bet. I remember when my mother used to make a hot cocoa mix. She also made an instant Russia tea mix that I love to smell when she made herself a mug of it in the mornings.

  4. Andrea ~ Yes, a whole buffalo. Makes a whole chicken seem kinda puny, eh? :-) My mother did instant Russian tea too, it had 'Tang' in it. Does Tang even still exist?!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna