Learn how to make this Healthy Make Ahead Hot Chocolate Mix. This shelf-stable pantry staple is the perfect recipe to store in your Working Pantry or your Extended or Preppery Pantry. I’ll also show you how to package your hot chocolate mix and top it off with marshmallows to make little homemade gifts or party favors.

Watch the Healthy Make Ahead Hot Chocolate Mix – Shelf Stable Pantry Staple video

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A Better, Healthier Hot Chocolate Mix

A store-bought Hot Chocolate Mix often contains ingredients that you won’t want in your Traditional Foods Kitchen.

Pick up a common powdered instant hot chocolate drink from your grocery store shelf, and you will probably find the following ingredients: Sugar, Corn Syrup, Modified Whey, Cocoa (Processed With Alkali), Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Nonfat Milk, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Dipotassium Phosphate, Mono- And Diglycerides, Carrageenan, Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose, and Artificial Flavors!

Wow!! All that in one mug of Hot Cocoa! I certainly don’t want to drink anything I can’t pronounce! But not to worry. A homemade Hot Chocolate Mix is very easy to make, and it only contains four ingredients:

  • Dry Milk Powder
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • Whole Sweetener, like Sucanat
  • A tiny pinch of salt

That’s it for this healthy Hot Chocolate Mix recipe! 😊

A Shelf-Stable Hot Chocolate Mix

In addition to natural ingredients, another benefit about this Make-Ahead Hot Chocolate Mix is that it is shelf-stable. You can store this mix right in your pantry without the need for refrigeration. And the shelf-life, depending on which type of powdered milk you use, can range anywhere from six months to two years!

If you want to give your Hot Chocolate Mix an extra bit of preservation, you can add a few teaspoons of:

  • Cornstarch
  • Arrowroot powder, or
  • White rice flour

Choose the ingredient that best agrees with your digestion. Any of these ingredients work to keep your mixture from clumping if you live in a particularly humid climate. (I show you how to add arrowroot powder in my recipe video.)

Alternatively, to help keep moisture out of your container, you can use a small silica gel pack tucked into your mix. But don’t worry if you don’t have any of these options. If your mixture clumps a bit, you can easily break up the clumps with a quick stir of your fork.

Preparing Your Mug of Hot Chocolate

When you’re ready to enjoy a mug of Hot Chocolate, all you have to do is add a quarter of a cup of your Hot Chocolate Mix to a mug and top it off with about 8 ounces of boiling hot water. Stir well for about 60 seconds, and then top with marshmallows, if you wish, and enjoy!

For double the calcium nutrition, you can certainly use hot milk as your liquid to make your hot chocolate. Using milk, especially whole full-fat milk, creates an exceptionally rich hot chocolate!

If you enjoy preparing make-ahead mixes to store in your pantry and make your meal prep easier, check out the videos below. I show you how to jar up many healthy make-ahead mixes, including:

  • Baking Mixes
    • Pancake
    • Cornbread
    • Brownie
    • Biscuit
    • All-Purpose (Bisquick Copycat)
  • Cake Mixes
    • Chocolate
    • Spice
    • Yellow
  • Cream of Soup Mix
  • Cookie Mixes
    • Soft Cut-Out Sugar
    • Chocolate Chip
    • Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin
    • Peanut Butter (or other “nut” butter)
    • Snickerdoodle

Store Make-Ahead Mixes in Your Pantry

You can store your Make-Ahead Hot Chocolate Mix as part of your Four Corners Pantry. The following videos will also help you learn more about why you need a Prepper Pantry and how to use Silica Gel Packs, which you can use to keep moisture out of your make-ahead mixes.

Download Your Free 36-Page Pantry List

For an extensive list of the traditional foods you can make and purchase to stock your pantry, be sure to download my free 36-page Traditional Foods Pantry List. This comprehensive eBook is full of links to recipe videos, helpful articles, and more!

And if you’re looking for a printed book full of my traditional foods recipes that shows you how to create a traditional foods kitchen, be sure to order your copy of my new bestselling book, The Modern Pioneer Cookbook.

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Make Ahead Hot Chocolate Mix

5 from 3 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 0 minutes
Preparing Hot Chocolate: 1 minute
Total: 6 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
Learn how to make this Healthy Make Ahead Hot Chocolate Mix. This Shelf Stable Pantry Staple is the perfect recipe to store in your Working Pantry or your Extended Pantry…what we call our "Prepper Pantry."


  • 1 Quart-sized jar with lid (or 8 four-ounce jars, optional)
  • Large glass bowl
  • Whisk


  • 2 cups Dry milk powder Instant non-fat dry milk powder or whole milk powder can be used.
  • 1 cup Cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 2 cups Whole Sweetener such as Sucanat, ground into a powdered form You can also use other whole sweeteners, including maple sugar, coconut sugar, or date sugar. White sugar can also be substituted.
  • 2 tsp Arrowroot powder, optional Cornstarch or white rice flour can be substituted.


  • Fill a large bowl with powdered milk.
  • Using a fine-mesh strainer, add cocoa powder to dry milk powder. Using the strainer will help to make sure that there are no lumps in the cocoa powder.
  • Add salt to the bowl.
  • Add arrowroot powder to the bowl, if using.
  • Using a small grinder or blender, grind the sugar into a powdered form.
  • Add the "powdered" sugar to the bowl.
  • Mix all ingredients together very well using a whisk until fully incorporated.
  • Transfer the hot chocolate mix to a quart-sized jar to store. The shelf life of the mix will be approximately two years if you used non-fat powdered milk. The shelf life will be decreased to six months to one year if you used full-fat whole milk powder.
  • GIFT IDEA: You can put 1/4 cup of the hot chocolate mix into a 4-ounce jar and top it off with marshmallows to make small little gifts or party favors. (See video.)
  • TO RECONSTITUTE: To prepare your hot chocolate, add 1/4 cup of the mix to a mug and add approximately 8 ounces of boiling hot water or hot milk to the mug. Stir vigorously for about 60 seconds until the mixture is completely dissolved. Top with marshmallows, if you wish. Enjoy!



The arrowroot powder to help prevent caking is optional.  You can also use cornstarch or white rice flour.
Find this recipe and video at https://marysnest.com/how-to-make-a-healthy-make-ahead-hot-chocolate-mix/
Copyright © 2020 Mary’s Nest, LLC, All Rights Reserved
Course: Beverages
Cuisine: Americana
Keyword: Healthy Make Ahead Hot Chocolate Mix, Hot Chocolate, Hot Chocolate Mix, Make Ahead Hot Chocolate Mix
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Favorite Make Ahead Mix Supplies

These ingredients and mixing items will help you create the perfect mix:

These supplies will help you store your Make Ahead mix in your long-term pantry:

These supplies will help you package your Make Ahead Hot Chocolate Mix into beautiful gifts:

And check out these additional supplies for your everyday kitchen:

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  1. Mary says:

    5 stars
    Made the hot chocolate and it was delish! I had all the ingredients on hand and it was so simple. I did use monk fruit for the sweetener and it worked great. Thank you!!!

    1. Mary's Nest says:

      Hi Mary, So happy to hear that it turned out well! Love, Mary

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