As soon as the weather starts to turn cold, Little A starts asking for some of our homemade hot cocoa sweetened with honey. A few years ago I created this hot cocoa recipe using honey as a sweetener instead of sugar. The honey adds a rich flavor with a more subtle sweetness than straight sugar. We’ve been making our homemade hot cocoa recipe for a couple years and forgot how overly sweet store bought hot cocoa is. Last month we were gifted a couple packets of store bought hot cocoa so we decided to try it. It was awful! It was so sugary sweet and we could totally taste the unnatural ingredients in it. Our whole family was so repulsed by the store bought stuff that we couldn’t even finish our drinks!
Our homemade hot cocoa recipe is so much tastier and healthier than the store bought premixed powders. Our hot cocoa is made with wholesome, real food ingredients and no preservatives. Plus it is sweetened with raw honey we harvested from our bee hives so we have the added health benefits of raw honey in our hot cocoa recipe.
This homemade hot cocoa recipe makes about two 1 cup servings. If you want to make more or less, you can easily double or halve the recipe. I find that this recipe is just right for making the perfect amount for Little A and I to each have a delicious mug full of of homemade hot cocoa.
A few years ago, I made the switch from using cocoa powder to using cacao powder. They are interchangeable powders, but cacao powder is less processed than cocoa powder (you can read more about the differences in this article). Cacao powder is considered a rich superfood and a good source of omega fatty acids. Cacao powder is also a good source of magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron and potassium. This is the kind of cacao powder we’ve been using for a couple years. I love the fact that I can make homemade recipes like our chocolate zucchini bread or this one for hot cocoa and use cacao powder and have it be a “healthy” chocolate treat!
Hot Cocoa Recipe With Honey
1-2 TBS (2 for a super chocolaty drink!) cacao powder
2 cups milk (we prefer using organic whole milk for a creamier hot cocoa drink)
3 TBS honey
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract (here’s how to easily make your own!)
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
Add all the ingredients into a saucepan in the order listed. Include any of the optional additions that you choose. Heat on medium heat and slowly whisk together as the milk warms. Make sure the milk doesn’t boil since you don’t want to scald it! Boiling the hot cocoa would also destroy some of the health benefits of using raw honey. Once the hot cocoa is hot and mixed well, remove from heat, pour into mugs and enjoy!
Note: The cacao powder won’t mix well into the milk until the milk warms up so don’t worry if it doesn’t seem to mix together at first!