• The Best Homemade Hot Cocoa

    filed under: Food + Drink on December 23, 2011

    Drop everything and make this BEST HOMEMADE HOT COCOA. Check out my tips and tricks for the most flavorful and FUN way to serve hot chocolate!

    The Best Homemade Hot Cocoa

    This is quite possibly the richest and creamiest cocoa I have ever made.  And I lurve it.  It’s like a piece of warm chocolate cake in a cup.

    How to Make Hot Chocolate

    The process is so simple! Seriously, once you try this you will never buy powder packets again. Simply add all ingredients to a saucepan (following the recipe) and heat. I have doubled and tripled this easy hot chocolate recipe and let it simmer on the lowest heat setting. The kids come in from playing outside on a cold day and can help themselves!

    Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe


    Easy Hot Cocoa Recipe

    I add something special to my homemade hot chocolate and that is marshmallows! Not after it’s made, but during! I add the marshmallows right into the pan when cooking. (Then I added more to my cup.  That’s how I roll.) It creates this amazingly rich and frothy cocoa… the texture is like velvet!

    Easy Hot Chocolate Mix Recipe

    Tips, Tricks, Variations

    Another way to make this recipe even more amazing is using a dutch process or special dark cocoa. All the sweetness of the marshmallows really cuts into any bitterness and just leaves you with a perfect cup!

    Homemade hot chocolate is 100x better than anything you can get in a can, and you can totally customize it to fit your tastes. Try adding a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of cinnamon or even a dollop of homemade peppermint whipped cream on top! Sprinkle with more cinnamon or cocoa powder for a decadent hot cocoa experience.

    Try using whole milk instead of skim. My family prefers a thick, rich, velvety hot cocoa experience, and the higher fat content in whole milk certainly helps with that.

    Can you make this crockpot hot cocoa?

    Absolutely! Just add all ingredients (even the marshmallows) to your crockpot on low for about 1-2 hours. I do recommend doubling it for the best crockpot hot cocoa recipe.

    Homemade Hot Cocoa Recipe

    Personalized Marshmallows

    One thing that has really made my homemade hot cocoa recipe legendary is my personalized marshmallows. The recipe is easy!

    You will need:

    1 bag large marshmallows (I have used mini and they work great as well)

    powdered sugar

    non-stick spray

    baking pan/cookie sheet

    alphabet cookie cutters or any shape you prefer

    Heat marshmallows in a microwave safe bowl for 1 minute. Spray cookie sheet with non-stick spray and do a light coat of powdered sugar. Remove bowl of hot marshmallows from microwave and stir until smooth.

    These customizable marshmallows are SO EASY!!

    Immediately pour the marshmallows onto the cookie sheet. Dip your hands in powdered sugar and press the marshmallow down into a flat layer.

    Place marshmallows in the freezer for about 4 minutes. Remove and press your cookie cutter into the powdered sugar, then into the marshmallow. Remove your marshmallow shape and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Repeat until you have all the shapes you want. Place the personalized marshmallow into a cup of hot cocoa or place in freezer until ready to use.

    This trick also works with completely homemade marshmallows, I would just try to make the layer a little thinner if using cookie cutters.

    The Best Homemade Hot Cocoa


        • 4 c milk
        • 1/2 c sugar
        • 1/4 c good quality cocoa
        • 1 1/2 c miniature marshmallows
        • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


        1. In a saucepan combine all ingredients. Cook and stir over medium low heat until the marshmallows are melted, about 10 minutes. (I actually had mine on the stove for about 30 minutes and I just stirred occasionally)
        2. Remove from the heat and pour into mugs.

        Adapted from allrecipes.

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        Did you use the sugar and the cocoa you said you used.. Because Most cocoa is unsweetened… but the 1 you used was sweetend, right? So if we used the cocoa you used would we still be adding in half cup of sugar also with the fourth cup cocoa? Lol

          Regular cocoa is not sweetened. I get it in the baking section at any market.

            What brand of cocoa do you use?

              We made this today with Gherdelli cocoa powder (unsweetened).
              We did organic sugar and homemade vanilla and I mixed cream with milk for a smoother texture…..
              Holy amazing!

          The marshmallows sweeten the cocoa mixture in the pot.

          Where does It say she used sweetened cocoa?

        It is WAY too cold not to have hot chocolate at least once a day. Love the marshmallow trick 🙂

        How much cocoa does this make??

        Replace half of the milk with heavy whipping cream. The taste will be 100 times better and oh so amazing!

        I heat a cup of milk in the microwave for 1-1/2 minutes. In a small glass, I mix 1 tsp Hershey’s baking unsweetened cocoa with one artificial sweetener and a little water. I put this in the microwave for 15 seconds. Mix the chocolate well so it all dissolves then pour it into the milk.

        After the marshmallows melted, the mixture expanded and made quite the mess in my kitchen, but the remaining hot chocolate was delicious!

        I could see this a great Xmas gift. But use instant milk instead. But how much Instant milk?

        I simmered cinnamon sticks in the milk for a short time before adding the rest of the ingredients, take them out before adding marshmallows. I love cinnamon in hot chocolate

        This is literally just the recipe from the side of the Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa container.

          Except without marshmallows in the pan, which then makes it different. 🤨

        Do you have a dry mix recipe for gift giving?

        As soon as I saw this recipe, I made it! I’m a hot cocoa enthusiast, and I am always trying to find the best recipe possible. I was very disappointed. I love the “Favorite Hot Cocoa” recipe on the back of the Hershey’s Cocoa box, and have experimented with different brands and kinds of cocoa. I think I’m disappointed, because I taste all the chemicals in the marshmallows or something. It’s a little too sweet and not enough chocolate flavor for me. My son even said that it tasted similar to Swiss Miss.
        I get the frothiness from adding freshly whipped cream to the top of our hot cocoa. My kids stir it in, then you get pure heaven! Thanks for the recipe!

          Yes, if you don’t like store bought marshmallows then you will not like this recipe… it’s an important ingredient! And yes, those marshmallows do make it extra sweet. VERY sweet. We love it, but tastes will differ. 🙂

        I have actually use the same recipe for years the only difference is a pinch of salt it makes a world of difference.

        I also simmer a couple of cardamom sees with the cinnamon. It gives a subtle flavour but obvs you don’t have to.

        Also, I have been making my own marshmallows. It’s much easier than it sounds and you can add natural flavours. They are truly delicious and I don’t think I could go back to the shop marshmallows now.

        Don't Pass on Dessert!