Make the best healthy Hot Chocolate at home with this super simple method that takes about 1 minute. It’s lower in sugar, but full of that creamy, cozy flavor you expect. It’s so darn good to make for (and share with!) the kids.

healthy-hot-cocoaHealthy Hot Chocolate

I’m a big believer that hot chocolate is a must after playing outside in the snow or cold weather and luckily for all of us, it’s so super easy to make at home with pantry staples you likely already have on hand.

My kids love this—and I do too! We do this method when we’re out of mix and it’s a great option to have.

You can make this with any type of milk that you prefer, whether dairy or nondairy, and adjust the sweetness to suit your preference.

TIP: The marshmallows are of course optional. We do love the Dandies brand (their peppermint flavor is the best) if you see them in your store.

ingredients-in-healthy-hot-cocoaIngredients You Need

To make this quick recipe you’ll need:

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Dairy-free: Use any unsweetened plain nondairy milk that you like.
  • You can use maple syrup or sugar in place of the honey.
  • It will work with cacao powder, as well as cocoa powder.

whisking-hot-cocoaStep-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a look at how to make this recipe. Scroll down to the bottom of the post for the full info!

  1. Heat the milk.
  2. Stir in the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Serve (with or without marshmallows!)

TIP: Cocoa powder tends to have little lumps, so whisk vigorously.

What’s the best milk for homemade hot cocoa?

We usually use whole milk, but any milk will work. (Nonfat milk will not create the most creamy results.) If using nondairy milk, choose an unsweetened nondairy option. Or, if it’s vanilla flavor, omit the vanilla extract.

If the milk is sweetened, you may not need the additional sweetener.

Can I make this with water?

You can, but it won’t taste as good. (Water works with store-bought hot cocoa mix, but not so well with homemade hot cocoa.)

Can I make this without added sugar?

Honestly, it tastes best with some honey added. You could also use some granulated sugar and stir it in until it’s dissolved. The serving size is usually on the smaller side, so you really don’t have to stress too much about some sugar here.

hot-cocoa-in-kids-mug

How to Store

If you wind up with leftover hot cocoa, or you want to prep it ahead of time, store it in an airtight container or jar in the fridge for up to 3 days. Warm in 30 second increments in the microwave, stirring in between to evenly heat it.

You can also place it into a small pot over medium-low heat and bring just to a simmer.

Best Tips for Success

  • We usually use whole milk, but any milk will work. (Nonfat milk will not create very creamy results though.)
  • If using nondairy milk, choose an unsweetened nondairy option. Or, if it’s vanilla flavor, omit the vanilla extract. If the milk is sweetened, you may not need the additional sweetener.
  • Cocoa powder tends to have little lumps, so whisk vigorously.
  • Add a little more cocoa powder and/or sweetener as desired.
  • I like the Saco or Hershey’s special dark brands of cocoa powder.
  • The marshmallows are of course optional. We do love the Dandies brand (their peppermint flavor is the best) if you see them in your store.
  • Test the temperature of the milk with your finger or take a little sip to ensure it’s right for the kids.
  • You may also like DIY Flavored Milks, Salt Dough Ornaments, Graham Cracker Houses, and Homemade Chocolate Milk.

I’d love to hear your feedback if you try this recipe out, so please comment below to share. I love hearing how recipes go over in your house!

This post was first published November 2020.

healthy-hot-cocoa

Healthy Hot Chocolate (3 Minutes)

We serve this homemade hot cocoa in little kid-size mugs, but any small cup should work.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 3 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Snack
Calories 88kcal
Servings 2

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1-2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons honey (or maple syrup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • mini marshmallows (optional)

Instructions

  • Warm the milk in a heat-safe container, like a glass measuring cup, in the microwave for 60-90 seconds. (Or warm in a small pot over medium-low heat on the stove top.)
  • Vigorously whisk in the cocoa powder, honey, and vanilla.
  • Top with marshmallows, if using, and serve.

Video

Notes

  • We usually use whole milk, but any milk will work. (Nonfat milk will not create very creamy results.)
  • If using nondairy milk, choose an unsweetened nondairy option. Or, if it's vanilla flavor, omit the vanilla extract. If the milk is sweetened, you may not need the additional sweetener.
  • Cocoa powder tends to have little lumps, so whisk vigorously.
  • Add a little more cocoa powder and/or sweetener as desired.
  • I like the Saco or Hershey's special dark brands of cocoa powder.
  • The marshmallows are optional, of course. We do love the Dandies brand (their peppermint flavor is our fav) and recommend seeing if your store carries them.
  • Test the temperature of the milk with your finger or take a little sip to ensure it's right for the kids.

Nutrition

Calories: 88kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 12mg, Sodium: 53mg, Potassium: 171mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 198IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 139mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

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Comments

  1. I was skeptical at first but this was actually pretty good. I like the basic ingredients and lower sugar compared to the instant packets. My kid’s drank it up! Thanks for this recipe!