Homemade Hot Chocolate {Only 3 Ingredients!}

By Rachel Tiemeyer
December 5, 2021

Did you know you can make homemade hot chocolate with only THREE ingredients? Skip the generic brand (made with highly processed, sugary ingredients) and make your own hot chocolate at home!

Ghirardelli Homemade hot chocolate in a white mug

Parents. You know how it goes.

Snow falls from the sky. Kids pillage the home for their snow gear that has been scattered about. You spend 30 minutes helping them get suited up appropriately. Kids play outside in the snow for 5.2 minutes. Kids return to the house and wet snow gear gets piled by the door. The clamoring for hot chocolate begins.

ghirardelli girl blowing on hot chocolate

However, what’s a parent to do if the pre-packaged hot chocolate is running low?

Fear not. We have an easy solution. You can make hot chocolate mix SO EASILY at home.

So, we’re excited to share our 3 ingredient recipe for delicious, all-natural homemade hot chocolate.

ghirardelli hot chocolate with marshmallows

Why Make Homemade Hot Chocolate?

Ingredients matter. As you will find in most of our recipes, we primarily use whole foods, real ingredients. Ingredients you can pronounce. Ingredients your great grandma would recognize.

This is why when I looked at the ingredients in a generic hot chocolate mix, I was shocked.

Ingredients in generic hot chocolate

What IS all that junk? Well, I can tell you, this is NOT real food. Not only is this mix full of highly processed, sugary ingredients, but it also contains corn syrup, artificial flavors, and preservatives.

Whenever possible, we try to make things from scratch. You’d be surprised at how easy it is to make your own things like pizza sauce, croutons, BBQ sauce, and even breadcrumbs.

Even better news is that you can make homemade hot chocolate with only THREE ingredients!

No trans fats, artificial flavors, or preservatives included. You probably have them in your pantry right now.

closeup of homemade hot chocolate mix

What’s in this Homemade Hot Chocolate?

You likely have the ingredients to make hot chocolate mix RIGHT now. All you need is:

  1. Cocoa powder – We recommend Ghirardelli brand or you can use cacao powder if you want a healthier alternative.
  2. Sugar – Plain old white sugar tastes and melts best, but you can use coconut sugar for a little more nutritious alternative.
  3. Milk – Whatever milk you want works (even non-dairy milk like almond milk), but whole milk will make it rich and creamy.

How to Make a Batch of Hot Chocolate Mix

While our recipe below is to make just one cup of hot chocolate, you can easily scale the recipe up and have a batch of the mix on hand. The cocoa powder/sugar ration is 1:1.

To make a batch of mix for 4 servings, put a 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of cocoa powder into a mason jar and give it a good shake. You’ll use 4 tablespoons (of 1/4 cup) of this powder per 1 cup of hot milk.

Now you can have hot chocolate mix ready to roll whenever the first snow flake flies.

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Why Use Ghirardelli Cocoa?

We like Ghirardelli because it’s one of the best powdered cocoas you can get. It rivals speciality high end products but is much cheaper. Its flavor is deep, rich, and velvety.

This hot chocolate recipe will totally work with any type of 100% cocoa powder but we personally love Ghirardelli. You can even buy it on Amazon! Just be sure to get the 100% unsweetened cocoa, not the hot chocolate mix.


3-Ingredient Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x
  • Category: Beverage
  • Method: Mix
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Avoid all the junk in store-bought hot chocolate mix by using just 3 simple ingredients to make your own. This recipe makes the best homemade hot chocolate ever!


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons 100% cocoa powder (We recommend Ghirardelli brand)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup organic whole milk (sub: your favorite milk)


  1. Pour all three ingredients into a small saucepan and heat over medium to medium-low heat.
  2. Whisk constantly until the ingredients are fully combined and the milk is hot.
  3. Serve immediately.


You can pull back on the sugar if you want. 

hands holding ghirardelli hot chocolate

Tasty Tip: The Best Ever Homemade Popcorn is our favorite snack to enjoy with this hot chocolate. Have you tried it yet?

homemade popcorn with coconut oil

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11 replies
  1. Elisabeth says:

    We’ve made this many times this winter!! Kids always love it! I do 1tbsp cocoa and 1 tbsp of sugar to 1 cup of milk and they still think it’s delicious!

    • Rachel Tiemeyer says:

      Yes, 1.5 tablespoons cocoa and 1.5 tablespoons sugar per 8 ounces of milk. It’s the same for store-bought. I’ve made this recipe many, many times. You can try using less (1 T and 1 T), but it just won’t taste like the store-bought stuff. 🙂

  2. Leslie says:

    I love hot chocolate! I’ll be having some when it gets out of the 80’s here. It does get down to 50’s at night which is great! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Holli says:

    Mmmm. This is just want I needed to find today as I do think I have all these things in the pantry. This will go great with our cookies and Christmas movie tonight! Thank you.

    Would love for you to share this with my Season’s Best {Winter Bucket List} Monthly Link-Up. Homemade hot cocoa…what a great item for anyone’s list!


    Thanks for sharing. Always enjoy your blog and ideas!

    Merry Christmas,