How To Make Hot Cocoa

Hot cocoa is so decadent and delicious, and it only needs 3 ingredients that you probably already have on hand. Enjoy!

How to Make Hot Cocoa

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 that’s you, here we are. How to make hot cocoa from scratch. It only requires 3 ingredients and is ready in moments.

Oh, if you don’t have cocoa but do have actual chocolate, never fear! Here are instructions for making hot chocolate using chocolate chips.

Now, let’s learn how to make hot cocoa!


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.

Sweeten with Sugar


Then add some unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon. Try using a dark chocolate variety for an intense cup.

How to Make Hot Cocoa with Cocoa Powder


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.

How to Make Hot Cocoa fast


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.

How to Make Hot CocoaHow to Make Hot CocoaDSC_4133

It should be thick and dark, like this:

How to Make Hot Cocoa in the microwave


Slowly stir in the remaining milk until incorporated.

Homemade Hot Cocoa


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.

How to microwave hot cocoa

All you need now is a blanket, some marshmallows, and a fireplace.

How to Make Hot Cocoa



Hot Cocoa

How to Make Hot Cocoa

This hot cocoa is made in the microwave but you can instead do it on the stove. Do step #1 in a small sauce pan. Then add the milk from step 2 to the sauce pan. Then heat on the stove until the desired temperature is reached.

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 serving


  • 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp. + 1 cup milk, divided
  • pinch of salt


  1. In mug, stir together sugar, cocoa powder, and 2 tablespoons of the milk until combined and there are no chunks of cocoa powder.
  2. Add in remaining 1 cup milk and stir.
  3. 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, 2019.

How To Make Hot Cocoa
How To Make Hot Cocoa

Christine Pittman

Christine is the Senior Editor and Owner of The Cookful and of COOKtheSTORY and of the podcast Time Management Insider. Her sites reach over 2 million readers per month, which means that things can get a bit crazy. She's constantly writing, taking pictures, editing, recording, interviewing, managing contributors, and, oh yeah, cooking. To say that she wears many hats is an understatement - there are many hats, and also many shirts, shoes, pants, and even the odd cape!