Naturally Sweetened Homemade Hot Cocoa Recipe

Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe

This homemade hot chocolate recipe will blow your mind. It’s creamy, delicious, and sweetened naturally without the use of corn syrup or processed 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

Yield 4 servings



  1. Mix together cocoa powder, salt, and optional cinnamon in a medium saucepan. Stir in maple syrup and water.
  2. Cook 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 mixture to reach boiling.
  4. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract.


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 drink can be. If the mixture is too rich for your tastes just add more milk or water.

I like to make big batches of this homemade hot chocolate and store it in the refrigerator so I can quickly heat a mug without starting from scratch each time I’m craving it!

Ditch Instant Mixes for Homemade Hot Chocolate

My favorite part about my homemade hot chocolate 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, but you can use any natural sweetener you’re comfortable with.

Sure, instant mixes may be easier, but if you’ve been paying attention lately, you know that foods catering to our need for instant food gratification almost always have negative health effects.

Commercially-prepared instant hot cocoa mixes contain all sorts of nasty ingredients, like corn syrup (most likely derived from GMO corn), white sugar (most likely from 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!


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  1. 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. Hi

    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! 🙂


    • 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. 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!

    • 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

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