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It’s finally, finally cooled off here in Sacramento. It even rained yesterday!! That means it’s hot chocolate season. This year, I decided to get economical and make my own hot chocolate mix.

This cocoa mix is the perfect gift: it’s dairy-free and you can even use it to make pumpkin spice hot chocolate!

hot chocolate mix in jar with scoop

Several years ago, when we lived in Arizona, I started a tradition of sending homemade food gifts to family and friends back in California. The first year I bought everyone some super cute mugs and made homemade hot chocolate mix.

I spent hours mixing the ingredients together, snorting cocoa and powdered milk like a champion. (Seriously, I blew chocolate out of my nose for days.) Then I packaged it all up in cute little bags I’d found online, boxed everything up and sent the packages on their way.

Guess what happened? There is a reason those companies that make zippered bags are so rich. Those little dime-a-dozen cutesy bags? Not good for cocoa mix. They exploded all over the boxes. I cannot imagine what the K-9’s at the airports thought.

I haven’t made homemade hot chocolate mix since and last week I decided I needed to change that. Those packets from the store are (1) not very good and (2) super expensive and silly, especially since I have all the ingredients to make my own already in my pantry.

Also, by making the mix at home I could leave out the powdered milk. That makes this mix dairy-free, which is essential when you have kids with allergies coming over often. #doublewin

Make a Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate using Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix! The cocoa mix is dairy-free!

Now, my daughter may be a purist and just want hot chocolate, plain. But me? I’m a more adventurous gal…when it comes to drinks, that is. I’m up for adding some flavor (peppermint mocha, anyone?) to my hot chocolate.

After I made my mix, I needed to test it out. (#foodbloggerperk) I decided to turn my homemade hot chocolate into a coffeehouse drink and make it Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate.

Um, that was one of the best decisions everrrrrr.

Make a Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate using Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix and International Delight Coffee Creamer!

I simply added 2 tablespoons of International Delight Pumpkin Pie Spice Creamer to my hot cocoa for a delicious fall treat…at home. For pennies! ($3.45 for a latte? No thanks.)

The best part about making your own flavored hot chocolate at home is that you’re not limited to pumpkin spice. International Delight has several seasonal flavors out right now (um, hello Sugar Cookie Creamer??!!) or you can use one of their traditional flavors. They even have fat-free and sugar-free!


This recipe is for the best Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix. It's dairy-free and easy! Use it to make a pumpkin spice hot chocolate!

This recipe is super simple. Just whisk all the ingredients together and store in an airtight container. Or put the mix in a cute jar as a gift, with the directions to make the cocoa on the side. Just make sure if you’re mailing the mix to use a sturdy bag. 🙂

I used powdered sugar instead of granulated in my cocoa. I just feel like powdered sugar melts a little bit better than granulated and it would help the mix stir into the hot milk a little better. (I was right.)

The mix has two kinds of chocolate: cocoa powder and chocolate chips. I used regular Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder. For a more rich flavor, try the special dark. You’ll notice in the instructions that I make you freeze your chocolate chips before grinding them to an almost-powdery consistency. This is an important step – if you grind room temperature chocolate chips in a food processor (or strong blender) you’ll melt them.

You may notice two ingredients in the recipe that you don’t normall see. One is cornstarch. This can be omitted if you really want to, but it makes the cocoa a little smoother when you’re mixing into your milk of choice.

The other mystery ingredient is cinnamon. I like a little spice in my hot chocolate and I’m kind of a cinnamon addict. For a pure, more traditional chocolate, you can omit the cinnamon.

This is the Best Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix! It's dairy-free and easy to make. Use it for the holidays or give it as gifts!

Give this as a gift, or store it for about 2-3 months in your pantry. It’ll last through the holidays and keep you warm in the cold weather. I can’t wait to make this with every flavor coffee creamer…and maybe a little peppermint schnapps too!


hot chocolate mix in jar with scoop

Hot Chocolate Mix {Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate}

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This homemade hot chocolate mix is dairy-free and inexpensive to make at home! Keep it in your pantry for whenever the urge for cocoa hits. Add some flavored coffee creamer for a flavor twist, like a pumpkin spice hot chocolate!
Total Time 20 minutes
Yield 4 cups of mix


For the mix:

  • 4 ounces semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips about 3/4 cup
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon optional

For each serving Hot Chocolate:

  • 2 tablespoons hot chocolate mix
  • 1 cup milk regular, non-fat, almond, soy, or coconut
  • 2 tablespoons International Delight Coffee Creamer for flavor optional
  • Whipped Cream or marshmallows for garnish


To make the hot chocolate mix:

  • Freeze the chocolate chips for at least 10 minutes. Pulse the frozen chips in a food processor until they are small crumbles. (If you don’t do this when they are frozen they’ll melt in the processor!)
  • Whisk together crumbled chocolate chips, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, salt, cornstarch, and cinnamon (if using). Place in a plastic bag or airtight container. Makes 4 cups mix.

To make hot chocolate:

  • Add 2 tablespoons of mix to 1 cup hot milk (use any kind of milk or soy or almond). Stir, serve with whipped cream or marshmallows.

To make pumpkin spice or flavored hot chocolate:

  • Make hot chocolate as directed and add 2 tablespoons International Delight Pumpkin Pie Spice Coffee Creamer (or any flavor) with the mix. Stir and top with whipped cream.
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate

See more of my coffee creamer recipes here!

Click here to see more DRINK recipes!

Connect with International Delight on Facebook and Pinterest!

Hot Chocolate Krispie Treats

Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies

Petite Vanilla Scones {Starbucks Copycat}

Sweets from friends:
Crockpot Hot Chocolate by Something Swanky
Spicy Hot Chocolate Mocha by Diethood
Halloween Oreo Frozen Hot Chocolate by Lauren’s Latest

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.

Last Updated on May 13, 2020

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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  1. Homemade hot cocoa mix is the best! The Pumpkin Spice version sounds fabulous! Pinned!

  2. This would make the most perfect Christmas gift!! I love how cutely you packaged it up too 🙂 The jars and tags are perfect. Pinned 🙂

  3. Your version of homemade hot chocolate mix sounds amazing. I love the addition of cinnamon. And I would for sure add the pumpkin spice creamer to mine. I mean c’mon. A homemade pumpkin spice latte! Who could pass that up?! Pinning!

  4. Wow, that is such a shame about the bags exploding! Live and learn, I guess. I love this idea! Could you use pumpkin pie spice in the mix? Or would that be weird?

  5. I love this hot chocolate mix, Dorothy! What a great idea to give away as gifts. And I love the easiness of whipping this up, too. Pinned!

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