Naturally Sweetened Homemade Hot Cocoa Recipe

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Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe

This homemade hot chocolate recipe will blow your mind. It’s creamy, delicious, and sweetened naturally with no corn syrup or even sugar.

My favorite part about the arrival of colder weather is the excuse to have a tasty hot drink in my hand.

Homemade hot chocolate is my winter drink of choice. We mix up a thermos to take along when shopping for a Christmas tree, we sip it at holiday parades while shivering in the cold, and it makes a great companion when I want to relax on the couch and stare at the lights on the Christmas tree.

Thirsty for a chocolate drink that will warm you from the inside out? Check out our rich, delicious recipe (made with natural sweeteners). This homemade hot chocolate is best when topped with homemade naturally sweetened marshmallows!

Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe

Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe

This homemade hot chocolate recipe will blow your mind. It's creamy, delicious, and sweetened naturally with no corn syrup or even sugar.

Prep Time
10 minutes
Active Time
10 minutes
Total Time
20 minutes
4 servings
Estimated Cost



  1. To make this homemade hot chocolate recipe, begin by mixing together cocoa powder, salt, and optional cinnamon in a medium saucepan. Next, stir in the maple syrup and water.
  2. Cook the mixture over medium-high heat, stirring, until it boils. Boil for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. Add milk, stir, and heat. Do not allow the mixture to boil.
  4. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract.

Recipe Video


This recipe makes a very rich chocolate drink. So if you’re used to watered-down, powdered hot cocoa mixes, you’ll be amazed at how creamy and delicious this homemade hot chocolate can be. If the mixture is too rich for your tastes just add more milk or water.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 273kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 121mg | Potassium: 495mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 37g | Vitamin A: 395IU | Calcium: 326mg | Iron: 1mg
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I like to make big batches of this hot cocoa recipe and store it in the refrigerator so I can quickly heat a mug without starting from scratch each time I’m craving it!

Homemade Hot Chocolate vs. Instant Mixes

My favorite part about this recipe is that it doesn’t contain loads of refined sugar like instant mixes. I prefer to sweeten with a natural sugar substitute like maple syrup. For yours, feel free to use any natural sweetener you’re comfortable with.

Sure, instant mixes may be easier, but processed foods almost always have negative health effects.

Commercially-prepared instant hot cocoa mixes contain all sorts of GMO ingredients, like corn syrup (GMO corn), white sugar (GMO sugar beets), partially hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors, and dairy products from cows treated with antibiotics and growth hormones.

Homemade hot chocolate means you control the contents of your recipe and the quality of those ingredients. The purer your ingredients, the more fabulous the recipe will turn out.

Enjoy this homemade hot chocolate recipe and let us know what you think!


About Betsy Jabs

Betsy holds a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Master's degree in Counseling, and for nearly a decade worked as an elementary counselor. In 2011 she left her counseling career to pursue healthy living. She loves using DIY Natural as a way to educate people to depend on themselves to nourish their bodies and live happier healthier lives. Connect with Betsy on Facebookand Twitter.

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  1. Hannah says

    Oh my. Searched for natural homemade hot cocoa and found this recipe… had to make it instantly :b. Amazing!!! My search is over, thank you :). Used almond milk and added some coconut oil, so rich and creamy. I couldn’t believe it.

  2. Georgina says


    Just wanted to let you know that I love this recipe. I have made it with soy milk, rice milk, and coconut milk – they all taste wonderful. I have several major allergies – including gluten and cane sugar – so it is really hard to get my sweets. I decided that I was going to try this as a “cold milk” and it is wonderful as a drink, as well as on my puffed quinoa cereal in the morning!

    Thank you! 🙂


    • Betsy Jabs says

      Wow, I love all the creative ways you’ve tried this! I’m so glad you’re having fun with it. 🙂 Good to know it’s also tasty with other kinds of milk.

  3. Alayne says

    Hi! This looks so delicious! What kind of cocoa powder did you use? I’m so confused by all the different ones on the shelf! Thanks!

    • Betsy Jabs says

      Thanks for the question Alayne…it can be very confusing. We purchase (organic) non-alkaline cocoa powder because it has a richer chocolate flavor. However, for hot cocoa, any kind of unsweetened cocoa powder will work.

  4. Mom says

    Hi Betsy! I love the way this picture looks on the article. I have a proprietary interest in this article since I was there when you wrote it and I advised Matt to use this photo in the article. My only regret is that I did not take advantage of the hot chocolate while I was visiting in person! I loved visiting with you and I thank you again from the bottom of my heart for your wonderful hospitality! Just another note: I really do love your writing style! It has just the right mix of humor and serious information! Love you!

  5. Karen Reilly says

    I have been making home made hot chocolate for my kids for years and my son came up with this idea. He’s into chemistry so I hope you enjoy. He adds a pat of butter to the chocolate so it is less likely to burn and it tastes great. He explained that the burning point of the chocolate is lower than the burning point of butter so, when using the butter with the chocolate not only is the chocolate less likely to burn but the chocolate mixes easier with the sweetener. Sorry about the run on sentences…By the way I tried the almonds for heart burn and I works perfectly especially at 2:00am in the morning. I also had a question about the home-made laundry soap. Can you melt the Phels_Naptha and substitute it for the Bronners castile soap? What would the different proportions be? Thanks for all your hard work.

  6. Rebecca Turner says

    Oh yes when u say u keep a batch in t fridge would u heat and then re heat or mix it cold and then heat when ready to drink?

  7. MomLadyOR says

    Sounds yummy!! I’m wondering if you could replace the maple syrup with maple sugar and the vanilla with powdered vanilla so you could have an “instant packet” and then just add the warm milk? Like for camping. Just a thought!! 🙂

  8. Wynnie says

    Thanks so much for this great recipe for hot chocolate. I too am doing my best to stay away from all the yucky stuff that is added to our food. Since we have maple syrup makers right here on Vancouver Island I can have locally produced product.
    Best of the season to you and your family

    Odd Bird Farm
    Vancouver Island,
    British Columbia

  9. Amanda says

    I will have to try this. My kids love hot chocolate and I’ve been looking for an alternative to the instant stuff. I’m hoping it will work well with coconut milk so my daughter can have hot chocolate again. She’s been missing it since we figured out she’s lactose intolerant. Thanks for a wonderful sounding recipe!

  10. Victoria says

    This sounds yummy. We have an excellent chocolate drink mix here at Reliance Pantry that I’m going to try this recipe with. Thank you for the idea.