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Easy Instant Hot Cocoa Mix

Updated on September 24, 2014

The Invention of Instant Hot Cocoa Made Life Easier for Chocolate Lovers

Just the words "Hot Cocoa" bring up visions of comfort, warmth, indulgence, and home to the minds of most people. The creamy richness of a cup of hot chocolate is utter indulgence. This was the drink of royals, merchants and aristocrats. Made from a bean once so valued it was used as currency.

The first "instant cocoa" of sorts was developed way back in 1828 when chemist Coenraad Johannes van Houten of the Netherlands took out a patent on a device which used alkali to separate the cocoa fat from the cocao seeds, leaving a purer cocoa powder behind. This powder, it was found, was easier to stir into water and milk. Combined with sugar to sweeten and a hot liquid such as water or milk, it made the hot cocoa we enjoy today.

Hot chocolate, once a drink reserved only for the rich and noble of Europe was now available to the general public.It has come a long ways from the bitter chocolate once drunk by the Aztecs.

Raimundo Madrazo - Hot Chocolate

Raimundo Madrazo - Hot Chocolate
Raimundo Madrazo - Hot Chocolate

A Matter of Definitions

In America hot chocolate and hot cocoa are used interchangeably to describe this delicious hot beverage, but there is a difference.

Hot cocoa refers to a drink made from cocoa powder.

Hot chocolate refers to a drink made from mixing shaved, ground or other forms of actual chocolate with water or milk, plus a sweetener.

Instant Hot Cocoa is made using cocoa powder to which powdered milk or other dairy ingredients have been added. When mixed with hot water, you have hot cocoa. Thickeners and stabilizers are added to keep the cocoa from separating from the hot water and it generally comes in single serving packets.

Mayan citizen being denied the taste of chocolate
Mayan citizen being denied the taste of chocolate

For the Love of Chocolate

Instant was born

One has only to look at the steps needed to make a steaming cup of hot chocolate to see why instant hot cocoa mixes become so popular.

  1. Heat the milk in a pan.
  2. Add chocolate and stir.
  3. And stir
  4. And stir until the chocolate is all melted and the milk is hot. But don't boil the milk!. You really don't want to boil milk, that makes it taste bad. It wants to be hot without coming to a full boil.
  5. Pour into a mug, add marshmallows, cream, etc
  6. Finally, you get to drink it.

Compare that to a packet of instant hot cocoa mix.

  1. Boil the kettle
  2. Dump the contents of the instant hot cocoa mix into a mug
  3. Pour in the boiling water.
  4. Stir
  5. Add marshmallows, cream, a splash of milk, other toppings
  6. Drink

It's all so easy and convenient. What I don't like about instant hot cocoa mixes though is the amount of stabilisers, preservatives, and sweeteners that are being added to the mix. Surely there must be a way to enjoy the convenience of instant hot cocoa, without the hassles of added artificial ingredients.

There is!

What do you think?

Cast your vote for Easy Instant Hot Cocoa Mix

Preparation Time

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 2 min
Ready in: 7 min
Yields: Makes about 6 cups mix (18 servings)

Easy Instant Hot Cocoa Mix

  • 3 1/2 cups nonfat dry milk powder
  • 2 cups powdered (icing) sugar, sifted (adjust for taste/sweetness)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted


  1. In a mixing bowl combine dry milk powder, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder. Store in an airtight container
  2. For each serving place 1/3 cup of the mix in a mug and about 3/4 cup boiling water.

A Good Hot Chocolate Needs a Good Mug

If you know a chocolate lover, you could make them a jar of instant hot cocoa and present it as a gift along with an appropriate hot cocoa mug.

Have a cup of cocoa - while you sign the guest book

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    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      no need for all that nonsense. a spoon of cocoa and a spoon of sugar and a little cold liquid-milk or water or on very cold nights (!) a splash of whiskey. stir to a paste. add very hot milk.

    • profile image

      boutiqueshops 7 years ago

      This is one of my favorite recipes for instant hot cocoa. I sometimes add a touch of cinnamon for almost-Mexican hot cocoa. =)

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 7 years ago

      I don't think I have ever drunk this although I can remember Milo as a child which perhaps was cocoa? Very well presented lens. Merry Xmas. Blessed by an Angel.

    • bead at home mom profile image

      Teri Hansen 7 years ago

      thanks for sharing the recipe. Will need to give this one a try. Hot cocoa is a constant in our house warm or cold weather. This would save money and I like that.

    • hlkljgk profile image

      hlkljgk 7 years ago from Western Mass

      could be a very sweet gift idea :)

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 7 years ago from Concord VA

      I have this same recipe and my kids and grandkids all love it. It's a LOT better than the mixes you buy.

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 7 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Made this type before. Really good. Hot cocoa is great any time.

    • sirkeystone lm profile image

      sirkeystone lm 7 years ago

      Ok, now I'm thirsty again....

      Great one!

    • ElizabethSheppard profile image

      Elizabeth Sheppard 7 years ago from Bowling Green, Kentucky

      I'll bet this tastes really good.

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 7 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      What a lovely lens about a lovely drink - at least in the winter not this summer!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 7 years ago from Central Florida

      I have my hot chocolate every morning as I never learned to drink coffee. I mix my instant cocoa with vanilla soy and instant cappecino.

    • profile image

      aishu19 7 years ago

      Instant cocoa mix is always good to have around incase you are too tired to many anything! and great CSS done on the lenses

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 7 years ago from Canada

      I do love hot chocolate. Thanks for the ideas!

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 7 years ago

      This looks yummy...if it wasn't 90something degrees outside, I'd make some! Maybe it would be good with ice:-) Seriously, this is beautiful.