This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our privacy policy.

Hot chocolate seems to be the staple for cold weather and the holiday season.  There’s something about a hot mug full of rich, chocolately goodness that propels you instantly back to your childhood. When hours of playing in the snow had ended, you’d wander into the house with rosy cheeks and a frosty little nose for a steaming mug of liquid gold – hot chocolate with marshmallows. If you were lucky, you might even find a gingersnap or two. I don’t know about you, but sipping hot chocolate on a snowy evening definitely instigates a flashback to those times and a healthy dose of nostalgia.

I remember sledding for hours on our hometown hill and looking forward to warming up fireside with a hot mug in hands brimming with mini marshmallows that I tried to strategically fish out with every sip.  I’d like to say that attempting to do that is also a distant memory, but who am I kidding, I totally still do that –  minus the whole sledding thing.

Over the last several weeks, I’ve been taking a lot of time to concentrate on homemade, edible gifts that are way better than anything you’d buy in a store.  This Hot Cocoa Mix In A Jar is no exception.  Although it’s a delicious homemade gift on its own –  I couldn’t help whipping up a batch of homemade Vanilla Marshmallows to include for my nearest and dearest.

Making a rich decadent cocoa mix from scratch is almost as easy as ripping the top off of the Swiss-Miss packet and trust me, it’s  much tastier!  With a few simple ingredients including Dutch-process cocoa, confectioners’ sugar and powdered milk, it takes virtually no time to mix up batch. 

Presented in a beautiful shaped glass jar and fancied up with a homemade tag and festive red and white baker’s twine, it’ll look as though you spent hours making a unique and fabulous gift.  And of course the addition of the Homemade Vanilla Marshmallows makes it just a little sweeter! No one needs to know you churned out holiday gifts for the entire family in just a few hours, right?

Tag Info

– The jar seen in the photos is a Weck 3/4 Liter Mold Jar.

If you have a Silhouette Machine and are interested in the shapes and font I used, here is the info:
– Square Tag (Rudolph Reindeer Card) by Loni Stevens cut on light blue card stock with a 4.0 inch width (will be folded in half).
– Mittens (Cocoa, Mittens, and Hat) by KI Memorie cut on red card stock with a 1.0 inch width
– Font used is called Last Words
Baker’s Twine was purchased from Amazon

Hot Cocoa Mix


2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cocoa (Dutch-process preferred)
2 1/2 cups powdered milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch


To Make The Mix

1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and whisk until evenly incorporated.

2. Pour hot cocoa mix into an airtight container and store in a cool, dry place.

To Make Hot Cocoa

Fill a mug half full with the hot cocoa mix and pour in hot water. Stir to combine. Seal the rest in an airtight container. This also works great with warm milk.


Alton Brown recommends adding a pinch of cayenne pepper to the mix; however, I omitted this ingredient.

Source: My Baking Addiction slightly adapted from Alton Brown

All images and text ©

Follow Jamie on Instagram. We love to see what you're baking from MBA! Be sure to tag @jamiemba and use the hashtag #mbarecipes!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Jenny says:

    I must be doing something wrong. I’ve made this three times now and we just don’t like it. It’s chalky and has a distinct salty (not in a good way)and slightly bitter taste. I did add some powdered espresso and that seemed to help but still wouldn’t give this as a gift. I think I’m looking for that creamy and sweet milk chocolate flavor and this isn’t it. The marshmallow recipe is to die for though. Soooo easy and sooo very delicious!!! :)

  2. Kathi says:

    I wonder what milk powder you use. I found skimmed milk powder in our grocery store, but I doubt that it would taste good.
    Has anybody tried it with skimmed milk powder?

    1. Jamie says:

      Kathi, I’m sure skimmed milk powder would work fine. Your hot chocolate would just taste more like the diet versions you can find on shelves.
      – Jamie

  3. Teresa says:

    What is the ratio of the dry mix to water? I’d like to know how many spoons to use. thanks!

    1. MBA says:

      I would use around 3 tablespoons of dry mix for one cup of milk or water. This can certainly be adjusted to for your tastes; however. Enjoy and have a great day!

    2. Jess says:

      Would you say that would be 3T:8oz of water? I wonder because not all mugs are the same size. I want to use this recipe to make hot cocoa for 100ppl. I figure there are 88 T in one recipe. That should make 29c of cocoa right? Thanks!

    3. Jamie says:

      I would estimate that 3TBS of mix be added to 8 ounces of water. I hope this helps.

  4. SC says:

    Hi! I just stopped by and thought this looked awesome. Wanted to make some to give away but I didn’t have any milk powder. Just wondering if we could just leave it out and ask them to use hot milk instead? Also, would you know the amount of milk to use? thank you so much :)

    1. MBA says:

      I have never tried this recipe without the milk powder. Stop back and let us know how it goes. Good luck and have a great day!

  5. Reese Paige says:

    I love this idea. Would you be able to provide a link as to where to get the Weck 3/4 Liter Mold Jar?

  6. Nicole says:

    Can you leave put the powdered milk?

    1. MBA says:

      I’ve never tried the recipe without the powdered milk. Stop back and let me know how this works out. Good luck and have a great day!

  7. Jaz says:

    What is the purpose of the corn starch in this recipe? Could I omit it?

    1. MBA says:

      The corn starch is added to be used a thickening agent. I hope this helps and have a great day!

  8. Eszti says:

    This idea is so adorable, and very doable, no special ingredients needed… You really are a genious! I’m giving this to every friends of mine this Christmas!

    1. Jamie says:

      I hope you enjoy the recipe and sharing it with your friends! Have a very happy holiday season!

  9. K.A.L. says:

    What a great idea for a gift for friends and family around the holiday season. Love this!

  10. Erin says:

    I have made two different hot cocoa mixes for presents and both were huge hits! Going to have to try this one out too.