Hot cocoa is so decadent and delicious, and it only needs 3 ingredients that you probably already have on hand. Enjoy!
It’s pretty common to think of hot chocolate as coming from a packet. That’s the easiest way to make hot chocolate, for sure. And we even have a packaged hot chocolate brand taste-test comparison for you if you’re thinking of going the packaged route.
But, if you’re like me though, you often crave hot chocolate when you don’t have a handy box on hand.
If you don’t have the packets or just want something a little more special, here we are. How to make hot cocoa from scratch. It only requires 3 ingredients and is ready in moments. If you have sugar, cocoa powder, and milk, you’re ready to make delicious hot cocoa.
Of course, you can use more than the three basic ingredients if you’d like. A pinch of salt works wonder, and some people like some cinnamon or vanilla in their cocoa.
Oh, if you don’t have cocoa but do have actual chocolate, never fear! Here are instructions for making hot chocolate using chocolate chips.
How To Make Hot Cocoa
Step #1 Start With Sugar
Grab your favorite mug from the cupboard. The bigger the better. Add some sugar to the bottom of the mug. Cocoa powder is quite bitter so you may need more sugar than you realize. I go with 2 tablespoons of sugar for 1 tablespoon of cocoa.
Step #2 Add Cocoa Powder
Then add some unsweetened cocoa powder, about 1 tablespoon. Try using a dark chocolate variety for an intense cup.
Step #3 Incorporate With Milk
A little splash of milk just to incorporate the dry ingredients, 1-2 tablespoons. I choose whole milk when I have it because it makes the cocoa rich and creamy. If you have 2% milk, or even soy milk or almond milk, those can be used too. The richness and flavor will be slightly different with different milk choices.
Step #4 Stir To Dissolve
Stir together until no lumps remain and the mixture is smooth. This can take a moment since the cocoa and the sugar don’t dissolve well in cold liquids, but do your best to get them as incorporated as you can.
It should be thick and dark, like this:
Step #5 Pour In Remaining Milk
Slowly stir in the remaining milk until incorporated.
Step #6 Microwave To Heat
Pop it in the microwave for a minute then stir to distribute the heat. Place it back in the microwave and cook for another 30 seconds or until the cocoa is nice and hot.
All you need now is a blanket, some marshmallows, and a fireplace.
- 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
- 2 Tbsp. + 1 cup milk, divided
- Pinch of salt
- In mug, stir together sugar, cocoa powder, and 2 tablespoons of the milk until combined and there are no chunks of cocoa powder.
- Add in remaining 1 cup milk and stir.
- Microwave 1 minute. Stir then microwave for an additional 30 seconds or until hot. Add a pinch of salt and stir.
This post originally appeared in December, 2015 and was revised and republished in December 2022.