Wintertime is hot chocolate time! I usually try to avoid processed foods, but I make an exception for this homemade hot cocoa mix.

It’s probably partly nostalgia, since I learned the sugary version of the recipe when I was a kid. But my uncanny talent for scalding milk also has something to do with it. (Besides: it’s easier to tote mix to work than milk; you don’t have to remember how long it’s been in the company fridge!)

This mix is unsweetened until you put it in the cup, so that everyone in the family can use the sweetener of their choice. With sweetener it will still cost you less than half the price of the storebought unsweetened maltodextrin-laden junk. The mix also costs less than the store-bought sugar-laden junk, which makes this our first Price Gloat!!!

Sugar-Free Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix


  • 4 cups dry milk*
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt (optional)

*Note for paleo/primal/whole foods folks: I’m having trouble finding a powdered whole milk without additives of some sort. But I did find organic, nothing-added, non-fat dry milk from Frontier and Organic Valley. (At least it’ll fit in your desk drawer!)

If you have a source for something better, please hit the comments and let us know!


  1. Grab a clean, dry, airtight container (like a coffee can or a canning jar or something).
  2. Dump in all the ingredients and stir well (easier with a coffee can than a canning jar). Shaking well is also allowed.

Makes 5 cups, or 80 tablespoons. Each tablespoon has about 1.4 g protein, 2.4 g total carbs, 0.2 g fiber, and 2.2 g net carbs.

To use: For one cup of hot cocoa, use 1 – 3 heaping spoonsful of mix. Add hot (near boiling) water and the sweetener of your choice, and stir. Add homemade whipped cream or other enhancements as desired.

  1. Recipe adapted from “Homemade Cocoa Mix,” Foods and Nutrition Project Book, published by the 4-H Program of the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service sometime in the late ’70s. I have cut the sugar and rephrased the instructions a bit for the version here.
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2 Responses to Sugar-Free Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix

  1. Erica says:

    Primal/paleo here — I use Maggi brand powdered coconut milk :)

  2. Frugal Jen says:

    Ooooo; thanks, Erica! I didn’t even think to look for non-dairy. That sounds awesome!

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