DIY Vegan Hot Chocolate Mix
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hot chocolate 2

The other day, I was chatting with a new nutrition client on the phone, and I mentioned that almond milk hot cocoa can be an easy after dinner treat. When she asked for my recipe, and I rattled it off (about a tablespoon and a half of raw cacao, a heaping teaspoon of organic sugar, a dash of cinnamon, some vanilla, plus a cup or so of almond milk, heated), I realized that this most beloved recipe would make a great edible giving idea. I set about making a DIY hot cocoa mix that’s easy to customize, dairy free, and sure to please anyone (vegan or omni). This is what I came up with.


There is plenty of room for you to adapt the recipe I’m about to share based upon what you have. I used raw cacao powder, because I think it has a bolder flavor that cocoa powder. That said, cocoa will work very well, too. You can use any vegan sugar you have–coconut sugar, organic cane sugar, demerara sugar, etc. And after I share the basic “template,” I’ll share some fun variations you can experiment with to make the mix your own.


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DIY Vegan Hot Chocolate Mix

Author - Gena Hamshaw
Yields: 60 servings


  • 2 cups raw cacao powder or regular cocoa powder
  • 1 3/4 cup vegan sugar of choice coconut sugar, evaporated cane juice, demerara sugar, etc.
  • Seeds of 1 vanilla bean tutorial on opening a fresh vanilla bean here
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt


  • Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. For gifting, scoop mixture into individual jars and store for up to three weeks in a cool, dry place.
  • Serving instructions: Add 2 tablespoons of hot chocolate mix to a cup of almond milk, whisk together, and heat till warm. You can add a little extra mix to make the hot cocoa more intense. Enjoy! Makes 3 3/4 cups.
  • Flavor variations:
  • Mexican Hot Chocolate
  • To the regular mix, add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Superfood Hot Chocolate
  • To the regular mix, add 1 teaspoon maca power, 2 teaspoons mesquite powder, and 1 teaspoon reishi mushroom powder
  • Hot Mocha
  • To the regular mix, add 2 tablespoons instant espresso

For gifting, you can use any leftover jars you’ve got! I use leftover nut butter jars, jars from artichoke hearts or roasted red peppers, marinara sauce jars, sundried tomato jars, and so on, and so forth. Get creative–this is your chance to reuse and recycle!


You can write the instructions for preparing the mix and attach it to the jar on a little tag, for your gift recipient. Here’s a batch I made with cinnamon and nutmeg added — yum.


Or, if you don’t feel like sharing, feel free to keep it all to yourself 🙂 I made a batch just for me!


Hope you enjoy it. I’ll be back tomorrow with a nutritious, wintery recipe.


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Categories: Recipes, Vegan Basics
Dietary Preferences: Gluten Free, No Oil, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegan
Recipe Features: 30 Minute or Less, Quick & Easy

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  1. Thank you so much!
    I’m making this as a gift for my boyfriend’s parents, who are both vegan. I found some great quality vegan chocolate at my local organic grocery store that I’m adding to the mix to make it extra-rich!

  2. I love simple, healthy gift ideas!
    This looks wonderful 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!!


  3. If I used vanilla powder instead, as a comment suggested, how much would I have to use to be the same amount as one vanilla bean?
    Thank you :).

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  6. This is such an awesome recipe – a friend of ours is vegan and her birthday is coming up this month, and I’ve been wracking my brain as to what to get/make her. I’m big on making gifts, but most of my standby options aren’t vegan friendly (not a vegan myself), so this recipe is great. I think I will make up a batch and put it in a wee basket with some other homemade vegan gifts to make up a wee pamper pack.
    Thanks again!

  7. Made this today and added in cinnamon/ginger/clove and it’s SO good. Shipped it off to a friend today. Thanks, Gena! xoxo

  8. I LOVE this! I was actually wanting to do a post on DIY cocoa–because it’s so easy, & who doesn’t like hot chocolate, but alas, didn’t get around to it. I have at least one cup of hot chocolate a day, but I use stevia to sweeten mine. Do you have a fave cocoa powder? I found one at Costco that has a lot more iron (15% of DV in one TBS.) than others I’ve come across.

    Anyway–lovely gift!

    • I usually go with whatever is the best deal on Amazon prime! But that’s always good, to find one with iron.

  9. Such a great idea and the vanilla would give it a nice touch. Last year I had time to bake all my friends little Christmas boxes because I wasn’t working full time but this year there is no way that’s happening. I know a couple of people who love baking so I could probably do this with pre-prepared cookie mix too.

    Have you just been keeping and cleaning your old food jars or is there a good website I can buy them off?

  10. I love this idea! I don’t usually crave hot cocoa, but the past couple of weeks I’ve been wanting a nice warm cup of comfort and had wished that I had pre-mixed cocoa on hand. This is the perfect solution! <3

  11. The vanilla and salt sound like those little touches that make it perfection. Love the flavour variations, too. Did you do one with cinnamon at all? I noticed there was a cinnamon quill in the photos

  12. This looks so fun and pretty in the jars, thanks for the inspiration!

  13. Yum! I love making hot chocolate for holiday gifts, it’s pretty much perfect for everyone.

  14. Just made a batch to send to a far-away friend for Christmas. Thanks for the great idea, Gena!

  15. I love it! I am SO over baking this year, but wanted to give cute gifts. These are exactly right! Soooo cute.

  16. Looks delicious! I would make some tonight if it wasn’t 80 degrees in Southern Cali. I will make some soon when the tempeture drops!

  17. This looks yummy, I like a versatile gift, especially with chocolate! Do you think you could increase the “keeping power” by maybe using vanilla powder instead of fresh vanilla bean? 3 weeks doesn’t seem very long, although it probably wouldn’t be around longer than a week!

    • It goes fast, Jill, and I’m sure that 3 weeks was a modest estimate (4 would likely be fine). But the vanilla powder no doubt would give you more time.

  18. This looks so good! I have been craving hot chocolate, and I usually just buy some chocolate almond milk and heat it up, but this looks much better. 🙂 Plus, I’m currently unemployed and trying to be crafty about gifts this year – this would be perfect for my sister! Thanks for sharing!