Quick & Easy: Rich, Chocolaty Hot Cocoa Recipe

by Texas Homesteader ~ 

Don’t resort to the powdered stuff sold in packets. Homemade hot cocoa is delicious & only uses cocoa, sugar & milk – flavored with vanilla & a few miniature marshmallows floating on top. So easy! (and there’s a secret flavoring ingredient that intensifies the chocolate taste. shhhhh….)

Homemade hot cocoa is delicious & only uses cocoa, sugar & milk - flavored with vanilla & a few miniature marshmallows floating on top. #TexasHomesteader

Grandma Knows How To Make EVERYTHING!

Recently our grandbabies came to stay with us for a couple of days. It was cold and dreary outside, so there was no playing outside for them. So I thought we’d pop some popcorn, plug in a fun movie and enjoy some hot cocoa stirred with a peppermint stick.

But there’s no need to resort to the packets of powdered stuff! Homemade cocoa is delicious & only involves cocoa, sugar and milk, flavored with vanilla with a handful of miniature marshmallows floating on top. Believe me when I say it was a huge HIT with the grandkids!

You see, they already think I ROCK because I treated them to tortilla pizzas for lunch.  But they were absolutely amazed when I pulled out some tortilla-sized tomato leather for the pizzas.

Heck, now they think there’s nothing I can’t do!  LOL!

So I can’t risk pulling out a packet of the powdered instant cocoa mix & losing my “Grandma knows how to make ANYTHING” badge, oh no! Luckily, homemade cocoa is quick & easy.

Secret Chocolate-Intensifying Ingredient

I’ve enjoyed this recipe for a long time now, I originally found it on the Hershey‘s website. But I’ve tweaked it a bit to make it even richer.

You see, when I’m making something chocolate I always substitute cold coffee for at least some of the water in the recipe. It always seems to intensify the chocolate flavor to me.

In this case the amount of water is so small that I just substituted coffee for all the water.

If you don’t have cold coffee, you can just use water if you like. The result will still be delicious! Here’s how I made it:

Homemade Hot Cocoa: Make Concentrated Syrup

First I made a concentrated chocolate syrup by adding the sugar, powdered cocoa and coffee.  This step will blend the cocoa & dissolve the sugar.

At first it seems like there’s no way there’s enough liquid to dissolve the sugar & cocoa, but stay with it. I promise it is!

I simply mixed it all in the pan, stirred it until it came to a boil. Then I simmered it while stirring for about 2 short minutes.

Homemade hot cocoa is delicious & only uses cocoa, sugar & milk - flavored with vanilla & a few miniature marshmallows floating on top. #TexasHomesteader

Pour In Milk

After my syrup was made I poured in the milk, stirring with my whisk until it was hot.

You don’t want the milk to boil, just get it as hot as you’d like to drink it.

When the cocoa was as hot as I wanted, I removed it from the heat and stirred in a bit of vanilla extract.

Then I just ladled it into our mugs. Of course we added a hefty handful of miniature marshmallows too!

Homemade hot cocoa is delicious & only uses cocoa, sugar & milk - flavored with vanilla & a few miniature marshmallows floating on top. #TexasHomesteader

There ya go, rich, decadent hot cocoa – homemade in a flash! My grandchildren are still amazed that (in their eyes at least) grandma can make ANYTHING. 

Superpower Status: Preserved!

Hot Cocoa Recipe

This homemade rich, creamy hot chocolate recipe comes together quickly and is absolutely delicious. #TexasHomesteader

Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Keyword chocolate, cocoa, milk, sugar, vanilla
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author www.TexasHomesteader.com



  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • dash salt
  • 1/3 cup cold coffee can substitute hot water if desired
  • 4 cups milk Whole milk is creamier
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract



  1. Stir together cocoa, sugar & salt in medium saucepan; stir in cold coffee (or water) & cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Simmer while stirring constantly for 2 minutes to fully dissolve the sugar.

  2. Add milk, still stirring constantly. Heat cocoa to serving temperature - NOTE: Do not boil the milk!
  3. When the cocoa is as hot as you want, remove it from heat. Stir in vanilla and ladle cocoa into mugs. Serve with miniature marshmallows if desired.


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10 thoughts on “Quick & Easy: Rich, Chocolaty Hot Cocoa Recipe

  1. Jennifer A

    We would love this at our house! Thanks for sharing on the Homestead Blog Hop! I pinned!

  2. Erlene Amat

    I love making homemade hot cocoa. I make mine a little different, but will definitely have to try your recipe. Thanks for sharing on Merry Monday.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I love how simple this recipe is to make, Erlene. RancherMan (and the grandbabies) absolutely love it! ~TxH~

  3. shelley

    It was cold in the Texas panhandle this last week and was perfect weather for hot cocoa! Thanks for sharing at Over the Moon.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Us too Shelley. Even though our winters are relatively mild we get our share of chilly weather. Hot cocoa sure fits the bill then! ~TxH~

  4. Jennifer S.

    We love homemade hot cocoa. This looks like a great recipe. It’s icy enough this week for us to want some of this. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      It’s supposed to get cold for sure Jennifer. I’ve taken leftover coffee & froze it in a silicone muffin pan 1/3 cup quantities so it will be available for cocoa when that cold wind blows. ~TxH~

  5. Katrin

    Hot Cocoa is always a great idea, even in my neck of the woods where it doesn’t actually get very very cold, but hey, I always enjoy a cup of this deliciousness! Happy 2017 & Thank you for joining us at Sweet Inspiration this weekend!

  6. ColleenB.~Texas

    Once this cold / artic front moved in I mixed up a large batch of the Hot Cocoa mixture. Always handy when the kids come over; just mix with hot water or milk and good to go.
    Extra special; drop in plain chocolate kiss or a few chocolate chips into your hot cup of cocoa. A cup of Hot cocoa sure does taste yummy when it’s so cold outside.


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