Homemade Gifts: Hot Chocolate

image source: ole & shaina olmanson

I crave hot chocolate in the winter. Creamy and warm, it’s the perfect drink to chase away the chilly wind of winter, and it makes a fantastic Christmas or holiday gift. The hot chocolate mix comes together quickly, is easy to package as a gift and even easier to prepare.

The most important part of this recipe is the cocoa. A good cocoa is going to make all the difference in the quality of your final product. I used Scharffen Berger’s Natural Cocoa Powder. Find one you love and trust before mixing it all up.

Then I added just a bit of cinnamon and a dash of cayenne to give my hot chocolate a bit of depth, but you could definitely nestle a vanilla bean sliced open in there for a vanilla-flavored variety.

Hot Chocolate Recipe

Makes: 4 cups of powdered hot chocolate mix

adapted from Alton Brown


  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  • 1 cup whole/2% milk


  1. Sift together all dry ingredients.
  2. Store in airtight containers. I used pint-sized mason jars and topped with a circle of fabric and a raffia tie, but this could be packed into zip-top bags and then into cut paper bags or any other airtight container for gifting.
  3. To make hot chocolate, add 1/4 cup of mix to the bottom of a mug.
  4. Heat 1 cup of milk until hot but not boiling.
  5. Pour milk over cocoa mix while stirring or whisking.

For more chocolate recipes, head over to GoodLife Eats and My Baking Addiction for the Holiday Recipe Exchange!

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