Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

I thought that this recipe for fudge was one of the easiest edible Christmas gifts I could post here, and I was right, almost -- but that was before I discovered this homemade hot chocolate mix, which is even quicker to make (though just as delicious). To be honest, I had never been a huge fan of hot chocolate. You see, my experiences with hot chocolate up until recently had been two. In the U.S, I had grown up drinking instant hot chocolate made from packets of Swiss Miss, mixed with water or milk and warmed up in the microwave. While this type of hot chocolate still has a lot of nostalgic value for me, even my 8 year old taste buds could recognize it left a lot to be desired -- though it was a great vehicle for mini marshmallows, it was light on the chocolate flavor, and the consistency was less than ideal. When I moved to Italy, I discovered a far different kind of hot chocolate, one that is similar to melted chocolate and often has to be eaten with a spoon rather than sipped, even tempered with additional sugar or whipped cream if you don’t like your hot chocolate to be so intense. While there is nothing wrong with this (I can’t really argue with a mug of melted chocolate) it can seem more like a dessert than a drink, and can often be heavier than I want.

That’s where this recipe comes in, which made me change my mind completely about hot chocolate and is an absolutely foolproof way to guarantee excellent hot chocolate every time. It has a smooth creamy texture and a pure chocolate flavor thanks to the combined power of the cocoa powder and the semisweet chocolate, balanced out by a hint of vanilla. It is great with a dollop of freshly whipped cream and a great accompaniment to gingerbread (see photo above) but you can also go the American route and top this with marshmallows. Note that the preparation of this recipe is just as easy as it is quick; all you have to do is heat up some milk, add a few tablespoons of mix, and voila, a mugful of perfection.

As I said in the beginning of this post, this would be a great homemade Christmas gift packaged in fancy jars along with instructions for how to prepare it. It is equally nice to make for yourself to have on hand this Winter when the weather is cold and you need something cozy, or just when want to start the day with something a little fancier than coffee. Enjoy! 


1/2 cup sugar
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until the chocolate is completely chopped and the ingredients are well mixed.  Alternatively, you can also chop the chocolate until it is very fine, and stir it into the remaining ingredients.

To use: Heat one cup of milk in a saucepan over medium heat until steamy. Add 3 tablespoons hot chocolate mix. Whisk over heat for another 1-2 minutes, until the mix is completely dissolved and the mixture begins to simmer. Pour into a mug (or use a ladle – I find this is easiest) and top with mini-marshmallows or some whipped cream. Serve immediately. Makes about 1 3/4 cups mix, enough for 9 cups; packs up well in a 2-cup jar. The hot chocolate mix keeps in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 months.

Recipe adapted from smittenkitchen.com and Cooks Illustrated.


  1. Thanks for this recipe! I tried it today and it was delicious.

  2. Only saw this now! So glad you liked the recipe!!! xoxo