The Recipe Redux: Rich Hot Cocoa Mix

Rich Hot Cocoa Mix |

I had plans of reduxing an ooey-gooey chocolate dessert for this month’s Recipe ReDux post. But when we ran out of milk last week and my kids instead drank just-as-much-calcium-and-protein-as-milk hot cocoa for breakfast, lunch and dinner, I knew I just had to share the versatile recipe. And when I say versatile, I mean I use it in cooking, in smoothies and to successfully bribe my kids to go outside to run off pent-up energy in the dead of winter.

Most homemade hot cocoa mixes contain dry non-dairy creamer. Of course these creamers contain all sorts of chemicals and fillers which are completely unnecessary for a cup of rich hot cocoa. My recipe contains only powdered milk, baking cocoa and just a little sugar. So kids (or anyone) get the goodness of milk, antioxidants from the dark cocoa, and a little sweetness to make the powdered milk go down. (I was the child of a very frugal mother who at one point in my childhood provided my sisters and I with the dreadful experience of drinking plain reconstituted powdered milk “to save a little milk money.”)

The Cranberry Quinoa Breakfast Cookies are an example of how I use the mix to add some chocolate goodness to recipes. I added 2 tablespoons of mix to the recipe and used dried cherries instead of cranberries. And if you don’t have quinoa, Deanna made the recipe using cooked whole wheat couscous instead (see photo below!) The cookies are a perfect breakfast or snack along side a cup of the cocoa reconstituted with water, or with milk for extra creaminess and double the calcium and protein.

quinoa cookies

Rich Hot Cocoa Mix


  • 2 cups instant dry milk
  • 1/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  1. Mix together dry milk, cocoa and powdered sugar; store in an air-tight container.
  2. To reconstitute 1 serving, stir 1/3 cup cocoa mix into 1 cup hot water or warm milk. Top with a splash of vanilla extract.

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  1. If we ever get any snow here in the Northeast, I’ll make a cup of your cocoa for my 5yo after building snowmen!

  2. it’s been “cold” here in FL the past few days.. and all i’ve wanted is some hot cocoa!

  3. Homemade cocoa is definitely the way to go. This looks delicious and I love the bonus quinoa cookies too-yum! I have a very frugal mom as well :-)

  4. Powdered sugar is so smart! That would dissolve so much easier than granulated sugar.

  5. Hi! I also grew up with powdered milk to save money. This is definitely a healthier option to what many people in France use: the Nestle Quik version. Thanks so much for sharing. The cookies look super scrumptious too!

  6. What a great idea to use the mix in those crazy-good-looking cookies. Not sure which recipe I want to make first. :) Thanks for sharing!

  7. I bet this mix would make great bread and scones as well as those great looking cookies. I love sneaking quinoa into recipes. I have got to try this. Thanks for posting it.

  8. LOVE hot cocoa! Adding quinoa to cookies sounds like an amazing idea! Trying this soon! Thanks! :)

  9. how perfectly simple. my son would have loved some after the snow we had on sunday… maybe i’ll have to mix up a batch! thanks for sharing!

  10. I just pinned this recipe. I need something like this in my collection. Thanks!


  11. this looks delicious, what a great idea for an instant takeaway mixture!

  12. I am so psyched about this homemade hot cocoa mix because my boyfriend consumes hot chocolate at an alarming rate (I am not allowed to preach moderation with this issue 😉 ) So, this recipe will go over well! I can make a giant tub.

  13. So simple, yet so delicious! BTW love the photo.

  14. I can’t believe I’ve never made homemade cocoa mix before. It’s really a no brainer and I will do this in the coming weeks. Thanks!

  15. These look amazing! Gonna put to the challenge my baking skills this weekend and give them a try. Let’s hope for the best!

  16. Marie Spano says:

    WHat a smart idea. I never thought of making my own cocoa. I’ll have to pass this on to my mom who actually has a hot cocoa machine!


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