Hot Cocoa Mix in a Jar | Gift Idea

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Mmm, homemade hot chocolate mix! What could be better than the perfect drink for cold weather fun? Warm up this winter with a mug of rich and creamy homemade hot chocolate!

Hot cocoa mix in a jar also makes a great gift for someone special. I’ve include a printable gift tag below so you can make this perfect last minute holiday gift and attach it to the jar with some ribbon!

Try this homemade version of one of America’s favorite drinks! And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can use it to make hot chocolate cookies, spiked rumchata hot chocolate, or trendy hot cocoa bombs!

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Why You Will Love This Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

  • Making homemade hot cocoa mix is less expensive than store bought mix.
  • It makes an easy and affordable DIY holiday gift for friends, family, teachers, neighbors and almost anyone else you can think of!
  • Use your homemade mix to make some hot chocolate bombs and hot cocoa cookies and package them all up to make the ultimate cocoa gift for this holiday season.
hot cocoa mix ingredients

Key Ingredients

Dry milk – Powdered milk is dry milk that has been dehydrated so that it is shelf stable. Usually the dry milk sold in grocery stores is non fat dry milk. But you can buy whole milk powder online or at some stores. If you use whole milk powder the drink will be richer and creamier and more like a gourmet hot chocolate mix.

Powdered sugar – I use mostly powdered sugar because it dissolves better in the hot liquid.

Unsweetened cocoa powder – Cocoa powder gives the drink its rich chocolatey flavor! 

Granulated sugar – A little bit of granulated sugar amps up the sweetness.

scoop of cocoa mix

How to Make Hot Cocoa in a Jar

Sifting is important to make sure there are no lumps in the final mixture. Use a flour sifter or a mesh strainer. Start by sifting the powdered sugar into a large bowl.

sifting the confectioners sugar

Then sift the instant dry milk on top of the confectioners sugar. Then sift the cocoa powder on top of that.

adding the cocoa powder

Finally add the granulated sugar and whisk until all the ingredients are well combined.

whisking the ingredients

How to Store

Store the hot cocoa mix in an airtight container for up to 6 months. I like to use a small Mason jar or another decorative jar with an airtight lid. 

Spoon the hot cocoa mix into the jar and close it tightly.

hot cocoa mix in a jar

Cocoa Mix in a Jar Topping Ideas

You can make the hot chocolate even better by adding some extras to the top of the jar. Here are some suggestions.

  • Miniature marshmallows
  • Chocolate chips
  • White chocolate chips
  • Candy canes or peppermint sticks
  • Mints
  • Red hot cinnamon candies

How to Make Hot Chocolate with the Mix

To make a cup of cocoa add 2 tablespoons of the mix to a mug. Then stir in 1 cup of warm milk or 1 cup of boiling water into the mug. Add some marshmallows or peppermint extract for an extra flavor boost.

cups of peppermint hot chocolate

Giving as a Gift

This homemade cocoa mix in a jar makes a great DIY Christmas present. To give it as a gift tie some ribbon around the top of the jar and fasten on one of the printable tags below, which include a printable recipe. Add a candy cane to make it more festive.

gift jar of cocoa mix with gift tag

Printable Gift Tag for Hot Cocoa in a Jar

Print these tags on white cardstock or colored paper for an easy gift giving.

Click for a pdf with 6 printable tags


Does hot cocoa in a jar go bad?

It could go bad, but it would take quite a while. Powdered milk has a shelf life of about 18 months. Over time the flavor of the mix will get less intense and rich however. I suggest using it within 6 months. If you add more perishable ingredients such as marshmallows or chocolate chips it will not stay fresh as long.

Should I make hot chocolate with milk or water?

Either hot milk or hot water will make tasty hot cocoa. Since the cocoa mix contains dry milk it will be creamy even if made with hot water. But it will be richer and creamier if made with milk. Use whichever you prefer.

Find more Homemade Food Gift Ideas

Yield: 10-12

Hot Chocolate Mix Recipe

scoop of cocoa mix

Homemade hot chocolate mix is rich, creamy, chocolatey and the perfect drink for cold weather fun!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • 2 cups instant dry milk 
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar


  • ½ cup chocolate chips, white, milk or semi-sweet
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Peppermint extract 


  1. In a large bowl, sift powdered sugar 
  2. Sift instant dry milk on top of powdered sugar
  3. Sift cocoa powder on top 
  4. Whisk together
  5. Whisk in granulated sugar until well combined
  6. Store in airtight container or jar for up to 3 months


To make hot cocoa, add 2 tablespoon hot chocolate mix to a mug. Then stir in 1 cup hot liquid, such as hot milk, hot water or hot coconut milk. Add toppings of your choice, such as marshmallows or whipped cream.

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hot chocolate mix in mason jar for gifting

Hi, I’m Anne!

I love to cook and I want to share my recipes with you. I believe cooking should be approachable and fun, not a chore. I want to make simple recipes using everyday ingredients that you can make again and again, whether it is for a busy weeknight, a summer cookout or a special dessert. Read more...

2 thoughts on “Hot Cocoa Mix in a Jar | Gift Idea”

  1. I followed this to a tee and had to add about 2.5 morw cups of sugar. It was not sweet at all. Glad I tasted it before giving as gifts, that would have been embarrassing. Please adjust your recipe. Thank you.

  2. I’ve been making my own about 25 years. If you have a preferred flavor (mine is hazelnut) add 1/2 cup flavored powdered coffee creamer to the mix.


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