Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix

While many people may believe that a pumpkin spice latte the epitome of a fall beverage, to me it is a split between apple cider and hot cocoa. Their allure for me goes beyond just them tasting good; it is also in my memories of them.

Hot cocoa (hot chocolate) brings back memories of high school and college football games. (Okay, the high school football game memories of hot cocoa are tainted by my working the concession stands making and selling a sub-par version of it). I would buy a cup or mug mostly just to hold in my hands in an attempt to get feeling back in my frozen fingers.

Hot cocoa also bring back memories from much earlier days from camping and going at the “cabin.” Whether it was Girl Scout camping or a family gathering at my great uncle and great aunt’s cabin, there was usually a large gallon jar of homemade dry hot cocoa mix made for the occasion.

hot cocoa mix

My mom and my great aunt were usually the people involved in making the mix. They both used the same “recipe” that still holds a special place in my heart…and on my taste buds.

Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix
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  • 1 lb. Nestle Quick
  • 14 to 15 oz. powdered creamer
  • 6.4 to 8 oz. dry non-fat milk
  • 1 c. granulated sugar (I prefer extra-fine granulated, but some people use powdered sugar instead)


  1. Thoroughly combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Store in an air-tight container(s).
  3. To make a a mug of hot cocoa, fill a cup or mug about 1/3 of its capacity with the hot cocoa mix, about 1/3 of a cup for every 8 ounces. (You can fill it to 1/2 of its capacity if you prefer).
  4. Add desired amount of boiling water. (A decadent substitution for the water is milk).
  5. Stir until the powdered mixture is dissolved.


You can add crushed peppermint sticks/candy, mini chocolate chips, broken Andes chocolate, shaved chocolate bars, marshmallows*, ground cinnamon, cayenne powder, nutmeg or other flavorings to the basic mixture.

*If you want to add marshmallows, I like to let them dry out a lot (sometimes it its just a matter of finding a bag that someone did not close up properly) prior to putting them in the mixture. The drier marshmallows do not add moisture (clumps) to the hot cocoa mix and are easily reconstituted with addition of water (or milk).


This is a really economical alternative to buying the boxes of hot cocoa packets.

The mix  also makes great gifts if you put into smaller bottles or jars.  You can add ribbons, etc. and a tag or sticker label with greetings and directions to make a cup.

Not into Nestle Quick and/or powdered coffee creamer?  Check back, I will be posting an alternative recipe that does not use either.


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