Recipe Friday: Hot Cocoa Base

We had our first and second snows of the season. We’ve had winds and freezing rain, and it’s been blustery and COLD (highs in the low 30’s) for a few days. It’s definitely time to break out the hot cocoa.

I decided to go with a concentrated base for this recipe, as it takes up less space in the refrigerator, and I can use just as much as I need for as many servings as I need.

This can be a pretty healthy drink.

  • Raw cacao has many health benefits. Cacao packs in more calcium than cow’s milk. It’s densely packed with iron, magnesium and antioxidants. Cacao can help with issues such as depression, stress, blood pressure and heart health. Cacao has anti-inflammatory properties. Raw cacao contains magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium, and manganese.
  • Use a healthy sweetener. Stevia would work best; however some don’t like the taste of it. I like sucanat. Other suggestions are maple syrup, coconut palm sugar, lucuma, and monk fruit.
  • You can add, either to the base recipe or cup-by-cup, other adaptogens such as maca powder (yum, by the way), matcha green tea, ashwagandha, or slippery elm. Start with ¼ teaspoon per cup.
  • Other add-ins can boost nutrition, such as powdered collagen or bone broth, or a supergreens powder. Add slight amounts at first, to see how it affects the taste.
  • Raw dairy milk is an excellent nutritional drink.
    • Note: If you use raw milk, you will want to make sure that you don’t use it in any process that involves boiling or simmering for very long. Cooking destroys the enzymes and other nutrients in raw milk.
    • Other note: Different milks have different sweetness levels: dairy milk has lactose; rice milk is slightly sweet; plain oat milk is not sweet. So, adjust your sweetener measurements to reflect your milk and preferences.

All the ingredient amounts are just suggestions – you can adapt anything to taste.
This works well with almost any type of milk; I like to use rice milk or oat milk.


  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons instant coffee granules
  • 1/2 cup whatever sweetener, such as sugar or sucanat (use the sweetener that works for you; 1/2 cup of sugar is a starting point)
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao or baking cocoa
  • 1/2 cup dairy or non-dairy milk (or liquid coffee)
  • 3 tablespoons butter (or coconut oil)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups dairy or non-dairy milk to complete base
  • additional milk to make a cup of cocoa


In a small saucepan, whisk together salt, instant coffee, sweetener(s), and cocoa until blended.
Add 1/2 cup milk (or coffee).
Cook and whisk over medium heat until ingredients are blended.
Add butter.
Continue to whisk until butter is melted and the mixture is slightly bubbly. By this time, the mixture should be smooth; if it’s not, continue to gently heat until it is smooth.
Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, then the additional 2 cups of milk. Whisk until all is blended.
Do a little taste test to check the sweetness level; add more sweetener if needed.

Pour into a tightly sealed container and refrigerate. If I scoop out a test 1/4 cup, the rest of the mix fits perfectly into my pint-and-a-half (20 oz) canning jar.
I keep mine up to two weeks. If you’re using dairy milk, it may not keep that long.

To Use:
Shake container well to distribute ingredients.
Pour 1/4 cup of the base mixture and 1 cup of (dairy or non-dairy) milk into a small saucepan.
Heat gently until warm enough for you, or until almost simmering.
Alternatively, pour base and milk into a microwaveable mug and heat in a microwave a minute or so, depending on your microwave.

13 thoughts on “Recipe Friday: Hot Cocoa Base

    1. Yeah, we’re getting an early taste of winter. We felt so blessed to finally see sunshine today! Temps are still cold, and more snow in the next few days – maybe up to half a foot (my husband got the snow blower out and ready today), then a return to more normal fall weather.
      I’m having a cuppa hot cocoa right after I type this. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah. We had 80’s a couple of weeks ago. Looking at 50’s in a couple of weeks, but hovering in teens and 20’s for a while yet.
      I indulged in some hot cocoa this morning – felt so good. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So wonderful and peaceful! Bet you will be in the mood for Christmas soon. We all will appreciate being inside in our cozy homes. All these lockdowns have shown us to appreciate all that we have, especially family and a roof over our heads! Although AZ is not in complete lockdown and we can get out whenever we want with a mask of course!

        Liked by 1 person

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