Oh heavens.  If you like chocolate, and especially if you like hot chocolate, you are going to love this.  I posted a different hot cocoa mix recipe last year that I had included in my gift packages.  While it was pretty tasty, this just blows it away.  It’s not surprising that this version is so much better.  After all, it includes vanilla sugar, cocoa powder and a hefty quantity of finely ground chocolate.  It’s certainly the more gourmet of the two versions, and it shows.  The thick, smooth texture and the rich, chocolatey taste can’t be beat.  I have mere tablespoons left after packaging this up for holiday treats, but I’m sure I’ll make another batch very soon that won’t be for sharing ;)



  • 2 vanilla beans
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1½ lbs. good quality semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 9 oz. good quality bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups Dutch-process cocoa powder


  • 01

    Split and scrape the vanilla beans and combine in a large bowl or jar with the sugar.  Work the vanilla seeds into the sugar with your fingers.  Bury the pods under the sugar, cover tightly and let stand overnight (or up to months) at room temperature.  Remove the pods when ready to use.

  • 02

    In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine the sugar, semisweet and bittersweet chocolate, and Dutch process cocoa powder.  Process in 4-second pulses until the chocolate is very finely ground and the mixture is well combined.  Store the mix in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

  • 03

    Combine 2 tablespoons cocoa mix with 8 oz. of very warm milk and stir to combine until well blended.


  • I love hot chocolate drink. Wow….you have made them into gift packs….look gorgeous! Thanks for sharing.

  • Megan

    This stuff is AWESOME!!!!!! Thank you! ;o)

  • Hi Annie! This looks so delicious! Thanks for sharing. I wanted to let you know that Penzey’s Spices sells Dutch Process Cocoa. There’s a shop up by the Trader Joe’s near Castleton on 82nd St. But I live on the south side, so when I don’t feel like making a trip I just order from their website and I get it in 2 days with standard shipping. Just a tip!

  • Yum! This will be a great gift!

  • Mmm this looks simply decadent! I made a homemade hot cocoa mix last year for gifts and it was just ok – no real chocolate in it like this one though.

  • Annie

    Hi Emily,
    Yes, I know about the Penzey’s. That’s why I said “my area” – I just rarely have time to make it up to the north side, as much as I want to. I really want to get there eventually!
    :) Annie

  • These would make awesome gifts with homemade marshmallows to boot.

  • I looove hot chocolate! I cant wait to go home and make this tonight!!

  • I wish I could afford this hot cocoa mix! Yum!

  • Erin

    I’ve been wanting to make a hot cocoa mix, so I’ll have to go with this recommendation! I have a hard time finding Dutch process cocoa as well. I’ve found it at Fresh Market, but it’s really expensive, although I’ve had good luck using the Hershey’s blend.

  • I made this over the weekend too, and it is so so good!! It is going in my treat baskets as well!

  • Kim

    Annie–If you are anywhere near the northeast side of Indianapolis, Frasier’s Gourmet Foods on 96th Street carries Dutch processed chocolate. I bought some there a few months ago.

  • Wow I love hot chocolate! I had never considered making it from scratch before. Thanks for the recipe : )

  • Annie

    Hi Kim,
    If you see my reply to another comment above, the north side in general (and definitely north east) is pretty far for me. I just rarely have time to get up there, as much as I might want to.

  • Cannot wait to try this!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  • This sounds amazing, perfect for packing with cookies for friends and co-workers! I saw a cute idea that would be great with this- a stirrer with a marshmallow dipped in chocolate and then the top dipped in white chocolate and then crushed peppermints to look like a mini-cupcake-perfect for stirring a cup of cocoa!

  • Sheila

    I’ve gotten it at either Marsh, Meijer, or SuperTarget. Sorry I can’t remember which one, but those are the ones I shop at and so it had to be one of them. But I am in on the northeast side so maybe those stores have different stock than elsewhere in the city.

  • I received hot chocolate mix and homemade marshmallows once as a gift and have always wanted to do the same for others. Thanks so much for sharing, this looks great!

  • Ooo Annie you have to get to Penzeys! I did a post just on that store! Oh this cocoa looks good enough to sip from my mac monitor! :)

  • nutmegnanny

    Delicious! I saw this recipe on epicurious and thought it sounded delicious. I’m happy to hear it is:) I will have to try this….yum!

  • Katie

    OMG! This was heaven in a cup. I made it & gave it away as Christmas presents to coworkers who were also in heaven. I even made a pepermint version, using pepermint chips I had on hand. Pure Heaven I say!

  • mkc3888

    I made this lasy night for gifts, and fixed myself a glass with some of the extra. This stuff was amazing! Thank you so much for sharing. My coworkers will love this!

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  • jenniebites

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing this recipe. I just enjoyed a mug and it’s even better than syrupy Starbucks. You’ve saved me at least $9.00/week!

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  • Polly

    Annie, this Hot Chocolate is amazing! I made it for my goodie baskets and also made a batch of the Candy Cane Biscotti to dip in their Hot Cocoa. I found the Dutch powder to be pretty expensive. How crucial is it to this blend? Is there something less costly that might work instead? My husband was in heaven and pretty bummed to find out that he was only allowed the ends of the biscotti for dipping because the rest were for gifts! :) I always turn to your site first when I need something with a special “touch”–thank you for your hard work!! Merry Christmas!

  • Annie

    As I mentioned in the post, you can use Hershey’s Special Dark which is a blend of Dutch process and regular cocoa. It’s more economical, and that’s what I use in this mix.

  • Justine

    I made this. Gave 6 away as gift and ate the rest from the jar with a spoon.. not even sure what it tastes like mixed with milk. But delicious on it’s own!

  • Annie,
    I know this was posted a long time ago, but I’m hoping you remember anyway. Do you recall how many servings this makes? I’m debating about making a full batch or cutting it in half.

  • Annie

    According to Foodie Bride’s blog, it makes about 76 2 tbsp. servings. I still say make the full batch – you won’t regret having it around, and you won’t have to make it again soon. Enjoy!

  • Lydia

    Just out of curiosity, what do you consider “good quality” chocolate? Thank you! =]

  • Annie

    Callebaut, Scharffen Berger, Valhorna, etc.

  • Lydia

    Thank you! Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find any of those kinds near where I live. Would ghirardelli chocolate work?

  • Good day! I just wish to give a huge thumbs up for the nice information you could have right here on this post. I will likely be coming back to your weblog for extra soon.

  • Lydia

    Would ghirardelli chocolate work? I can’t seem to find any high quality chocolate anywhere! :(

  • Annie

    I consider Ghirardelli good quality.

  • Lydia

    Thank you! I appreciate it :)

  • Emily B.

    How many cups of finished mix does this make ? Looks delicious and I want to make it for Christmas gifts!!

  • Emily B.

    How many cups of finished mix does this make ? Looks delicious and I want to make it for Christmas gifts!!

  • Emily B.

    oops nevermind, just found it on the other link :)

  • Emily B.

    oops nevermind, just found it on the other link :)

  • CambriaW

    I made this recipe last night, and it was amazing! I enjoyed every minute of the prep work (all that chocolate!), and the results were worth it. I’m drinking a cup right now!

  • CambriaW

    I made this recipe last night, and it was amazing! I enjoyed every minute of the prep work (all that chocolate!), and the results were worth it. I’m drinking a cup right now!

  • Karen

    Oh, I wish I had thought to look on your site before. I made a mix from an Alton Brown recipe as a gift, and tried the extra. Not so good. I may try this, but with confectioner’s sugar? I would think the granulated would be a little gritty, but I’m no expert!

  • Anonymous

    Actually not gritty at all as long as you use hot enough liquid. The sugar dissolves. I certainly wouldn’t recommend it if I didn’t think it was excellent :)

  • Elyse

    This sounds much better than the usual cocoa mix we make. Would be an excellent gift paired with some homemade marshmallows. Maybe peppermint ones for the holidays ;)

  • Ash

    I had the idea to make marshmallows and hot chocolate mix for homemade presents and this looks like the mix I’ll be giving out! It will go perfect with the chocolate dipped peppermint sticks I have.

  • Susan

    Hi Annie,
    I know this may be silly question, but I would really like to know that.
    Do you think it would be possible to melt the chocolate then add sugar,… and make it as little cubes on sticks ?
    Thank you, because I know my friend really wants this for christmas, but it costs about 5 dollars for two cubes and I think this would be better, but I´m not really sure if it would be good.
    Thank you :)

  • annieseats

    I kind of doubt it but I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure. You can experiment. Good luck!

  • Steph

    I just made this for my cookie trays this year. I didn’t realize how much it made (obviously my fault since it had serving size plus I should have realized when looking at the volume used in the recipe) and I was delighted to have only had to make one batch for my first round of cookie trays! I packed it in regular sized wide mouth mason jars and filled 5 up! I’m going to do more only because of how insanely delicious this stuff is. I used Ghirardelli for the chocolate and Hershey’s special dark blend for the cocoa powder. I saw higher quality chocolate and the all dutch process cocoa powder, but it was pretty pricey. I’m sure this stuff might be better with better quality stuff, but in my opinion it’s AMAZING as is and will definitely use the same ingredients when I make it again. Seriously everyone who has tried it has given me rave reviews. I can’t imagine going back to the little envelopes of mix with hot water again, they don’t even compare! To anyone who thinks about cutting this in half, I wouldn’t, it makes for a great anytime gift (with homemade marshmallows and a cute mug!) and it’s awesome to have around!

  • Olivia Shoemaker

    Hey Annie! I just made some and it’s delicious! I’m wondering if you need milk, or if water would work okay. Thanks!

  • annieseats

    Milk is best. Watery makes it…well, watery. I do not like watery hot chocolate.

  • Julie Wallace

    I really want to make this but I don’t have any vanilla beans to make vanilla sugar with :( Anything else I can use?

  • annieseats

    Vanilla beans are really the best way to go and can be found in the spice section of almost any grocery store, though they are much cheaper online. You could skip them but they add a nice flavor.

  • Beth

    Any suggestions on how to do this without a food processor? (Besides adding one to my Christmas list, haha?) Do you think small batches in a blender might work? Or would it not disperse/mix as thoroughly ?

  • annieseats

    Unfortunately the main function of the food processor here is really pulverizing the chocolate to almost a powder, and I don’t think another kitchen tool would do it as efficiently. A blender *might* if it was a Vitamix, but I think most wouldn’t handle this sort of thing.

  • Mayte

    Do you normally pack the cocoa when measuring?

  • annieseats