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Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix with a Peanut Butter Twist

January 12, 2016

Mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows

Hot chocolate is a must have beverage in the cold winter months. Learn how to make your own basic homemade mix to add to warm milk and also how to give it a peanut butter twist.

COOK + BAKE   |   Updated August 16, 2023

White mug of hot chocolate

Through the cold winter months, there is one thing that should never be too far out of reach.....a steaming cup of hot chocolate.

Every sip on a snowy day takes me back to childhood with memories of building snowmen and digging tunnels through the fluffy white snow while my dad cleared the driveway.

Not being too much of a fan of the cold, those activities never lasted long before I was ready to go inside and get warmed up with a cup of hot cocoa.

A few years ago, I picked up a can of peanut butter hot chocolate mix from Target and became a little addicted. When they quit selling it, I was determined to find a way to make my own version of the hot beverage to satisfy my craving.

There are many recipes out there for homemade cocoa mix involving heavy cream and I'm sure they are delicious. But I was searching for something I could store all winter long in my cupboard and pull out when the desire hits. Something like the box of hot chocolate packets you can pick up at the store, but without all the added unnatural ingredients.

This recipe for Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix is a combination of a couple different Martha Stewart versions that create the perfect shelf-stable hot chocolate for these cold winter days. It is easy to prepare and takes just a few ingredients, all of which you probably already have on hand.

And thanks to Martha, I found the secret to adding that peanut butter twist to the chocolate drink. I think you'll love it as well.

Hot chocolate with marshmallows and a vintage spoon
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Tips for the Best Hot Chocolate Mix

There are a few things to consider before whipping up a batch of this hot chocolate mix:

  • This recipe makes enough for about 30 eight-ounce servings of hot chocolate, but it can be doubled or tripled depending on how much you believe you'll use through the season. The mix will last all winter long if stored in an airtight container in the pantry.

  • The flavor of your hot chocolate depends on the ingredients you use. Choose a good quality cocoa powder for the most flavorful results. Brands like Ghiradelli, Guittard, and Valrhona will give a more nuanced flavor than your basic container of Hersheys. I also recommend looking for something organic if possible.

    The same theory applies to the peanut butter if you're adding in the flavor twist. A generic brand will not give you as great of a taste as a more popular name brand.

  • You may want to add more or less sugar depending on the taste you prefer. Make a small batch, test it out, and then note whether or not you think it needs a different amount added the next time.

Mug of cocoa beside jar of homemade hot chocolate mix

What You'll Need

To make this hot cocoa mix from scratch, you'll need just a few key ingredients.

  • granulated sugar - to sweeten your hot cocoa mix
  • cocoa powder - any unsweetened type will do, but the better the quality, the better the flavor your hot chocolate will have.
  • table salt - helps to enhance the chocolate flavor and cut down on bitterness
  • whole milk - for serving.....the higher the fat content of the milk, the creamier your hot chocolate will be.
  • creamy peanut butter - optional for a special flavor twist

How to Make Homemade Hot Chocolate

Now that have all the ingredients ready, it is time to prepare the homemade mix.

In a large bowl, combine the granulated sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Whisk the ingredients to combine or use a sifter. Be sure to eliminate all of the lumps of cocoa powder. Then store the mix in an airtight container until you are ready to use it.

To prepare the homemade hot cocoa, heat one cup of whole milk just until hot over medium-low heat. Be sure to not let the milk boil. Add 2 Tablespoons of the cocoa mix to the milk and stir well to dissolve. Pour the beverage into a mug and top with whipped cream, mini marshmallows, and shavings of chocolate for a perfectly indulgent cold weather drink.

If you'd like to add the peanut butter flavor, whisk in 4 teaspoons of peanut butter after you have dissolved the cocoa mix and stir until the drink is smooth.

Free Printable Label with Instructions

The mix that I made is being stored inside a tight-sealing glass container from Goodwill.

I tied a tag with baker's twine to the outside so that I don't have to refer back to the recipe every time I want to make the drink. There is a second tag underneath with instructions for the Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate.

If you'd like to do the same, I've put together a free printable tag you can make yourself. Print it out on cardstock that it is durable.

Cocoa with marshmallows in white mug


Learn how to prepare your own hot chocolate mix to add to milk.

Makes 30 servings



  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • Whole milk for serving


TO MAKE THE MIX: Combine the sugar, cocoa, and salt with a whisk, making sure to eliminate all of the lumps of cocoa powder. Store the mixture in an airtight container.

TO PREPARE THE COCOA Heat one cup of milk just until hot over medium-low heat. Add 2 Tablespoons of the cocoa mix to the milk and stir to dissolve. Pour into a mug and top with some whipped cream, mini marshmallows, and shavings of chocolate.

FOR PEANUT BUTTER COCOA: Whisk in 4 teaspoons of peanut butter after dissolving the cocoa and stir until the beverage is smooth.

Frequently Asked Questions


Both natural cocoa powder and Dutch-process cocoa powder will work in this recipe. The Dutch-process version usually has a darker hue and stronger chocolate flavor. For drinking, the type of cocoa you use really comes down to preference.


You can substitute an equal amount of brown sugar for white granulated sugar for use in this recipe. The brown sugar will lend a caramel or molasses flavor to the mix.


This recipe does not use powdered milk so it will last longer than those that do. As long as the mix is stored in an airtight container, it should last a couple of years assuming that your cocoa powder was fresh when the mix was prepared. It will be best consumed within six to eight months.


Homemade food products are often appreciated at the holidays either as a small thoughtful gift for a friend, teacher, or mailperson or as a hostess gift. Pour the mix into a pretty jar and tie on a festive tag. Give the cocoa mix on it's own, or place it in a basket with some holiday mugs and homemade cookies.

White mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows

I hope that you'll enjoy this basic homemade hot cocoa mix this winter as much as I do.

Other Posts You Might Enjoy Making This Winter


RAISIN OATMEAL COOKIES - An old-fashioned favorite

VANILLA PUDDING CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES - Just what you need to enjoy with your cup of cocoa!

POTATO CORN CHOWDER - My favorite way to use up leftover mashed potatoes

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