Sick of over-sweetened commercial hot chocolate mixtures? Make your own sugar free hot chocolate mix at home and you can choose to sweeten it however you like. Homemade hot chocolate mix in a jar also makes a great, easy gift.
I can always tell when autumn has arrived. You may think it is the shorter days and the cooler evenings that is the giveaway, but it’s not. The tell-tale signs that herald the changing of the seasons in my house are the dusting of cocoa and the puddles of milk that appear on my kitchen benches after school each day.
The Princess has long been a fan of a large mug of hot chocolate after school. I used to buy her a ready made hot chocolate mix, and she would just stir that into her mug of milk. Sometime last year though, she decided that the pre-made mixes were far too sweet for her and she started to mix her own concoctions.
Next time you reach for a container of hot chocolate mix, just turn it around and read the label. Usually the first ingredient is sugar, followed by cocoa, powdered milk, maltodextrin etc etc etc. When really all that is needed to make a good cup of hot chocolate is cocoa powder and hot milk.
I’m not a huge fan of powdered milk – it leaves some weird chemical taste in my mouth. And whilst I recognise it as a useful convenience food in some situations (camping springs to mind), as I always have cold milk on hand, and I only ever make hot chocolate at home, I feel it is OK to make homemade hot chocolate mix without powdered milk. I also like to add only a small amount of sugar to my own hot chocolate, whilst The Princess adds none. By omitting sugar from the mix as well, we can each add our own preferred sweetener.
However, once you strip away the sugar and the powdered milk, you are left with cocoa powder. And it’s a bit cheeky for me to put up a picture of some cocoa powder and call it hot chocolate mix. Luckily for me, The Princess has been tinkering with her after school snack for a while now, and she likes to heavily spice her drink as a replacement for the sugar. If the dustings on the kitchen bench are to be deciphered correctly, cinnamon is her favourite. The recipe below is hers. Enjoy!
Ingredient Substitutions and Additions
Whilst The Princess loves this hot chocolate mix as is, you could whizz in some chocolate to add a little more depth to the mix. I would use up to 100g of dark chocolate per cup of cocoa powder. Blitz the chocolate with the cocoa powder and spices until the chocolate is very finely chopped, then store in an airtight container. Just be aware that this recipe is currently dairy free, gluten free and vegan, so if you wish it to remain so you will need to be careful about the chocolate you select to add to the mix.
Replace the cinnamon and nutmeg with any baking spice mix. You could also add a little cayenne pepper to give your hot chocolate mix a Mexican vibe.
I think a teaspoon of vanilla powder would make a lovely addition to this mix.
The cocoa powder could also be substituted for carob powder if desired.
Tips for the Best Spiced Hot Chocolate.
It is difficult to recommend a specific amount of hot chocolate mix to add when mixing your own hot chocolate. Everybody has such different tastes. The Princess, however, likes hers dark and chocolatey, and the recommendations in the recipe are hers. You may need to play around a little until you settle on the amount you prefer.
Add any sugar once the milk has been warmed. The sweetness of sugar is dulled by the cold, and you may end up adding more than you need.
The Princess just zaps her cup of cold milk in the microwave. You could also warm the milk gently in a small pot on the stove before stirring in the mix.
Dust your hot chocolate with a little extra cinnamon to truly treat yourself.
Giving Spiced Hot Chocolate Mix As Gifts
Pack this hot chocolate mix in a jar for the perfect last-minute gift. Add some homemade chocolate marshmallows, a small jar of brown sugar (which is lovely with chocolate) and a nice mug, and you have a lovely heartfelt gift anybody would be happy to receive.
The Best Sugar Free Spiced Hot Chocolate Mix
Spiced Hot Chocolate Mix
- 100 g (1 cup) cocoa powder
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- Pinch salt
- 1 cup cold milk of choice (dairy, nut or soy milk)
- Sweetener of choice (sugar, rapadura, maple syrup, stevia etc)
To Make The Spiced Hot Chocolate Mix
- Sift together the ingredients to remove any lumps in the cocoa powder.
- Store in an airtight container, and use as required.
To Make Spiced Hot Chocolate
- Place 2 generous teaspoons in the bottom of a large, microwave-safe mug.
- Fill the mug with your chosen milk.
- Microwave on high for for 1 minute.
- Stir thoroughly to incorporate the mix into the milk.
- Microwave for a further 1 minute.
- Stir thoroughly again, sweeten as desired and enjoy!