Why Homemade Hot Chocolate Tastes Better than a Can

Why Homemade Hot Chocolate Tastes Better than a Can

Dennis Weaver Dennis Weaver Dec 21, 2023

Homemade hot chocolate is much better than the hot chocolate mixes that you buy in the grocery store. This article tells you why it's better and how to make it.  It's easy. You'll never want store hot chocolate again.


Four Reasons Why Homemade is Better.

It's amazing what good quality cocoa can do for your recipes. It will make them richer, tastier, and more chocolatey. It's almost like the difference between good European chocolate and old Halloween candy‚ you can easily taste the difference in the quality.

1. The Cocoa is Much Better!

Those old-school German or Swiss craftsmen have been crafting their art for generations. It's gourmet. Imported cocoa just tastes better.

2. It's the Cocoa Butter!

Cocoa butter makes a better cocoa. Grocery store cocoa has eight, maybe ten percent cocoa butter. Really good cocoa has at least 14% to 16% cocoa butter. The cocoa butter in most of our mixes and recipes has 22% to 24% cocoa butter. If your cocoa has enough cocoa butter, it's like drinking fine chocolate.

Gourmet cocoa will be amazing. A higher cocoa butter percentage is like adding real chocolate to your hot chocolate. It makes your hot chocolate richer, darker, and more luxuriant.

The hot chocolate mix in the grocery store doesn't do that. They have have a price point to deal with and they can get away with a lesser cocoa.


3. Real milk just tastes better!

You don't put dry mix on your Cheerios. Why would you put dry milk in your hot cocoa? 

Of course, your hot cocoa mix in the grocery store uses dry milk, and lowfat or nonfat dry milk besides. Your homemade hot chocolate mix is going to taste richer, better than the hot chocolate mix from the grocery store.

4. Make the hot chocolate that you love!

Merri Ann, my wife, loves dark chocolate. I prefer a mellow chocolate. If you're making your own hot chocolate, You can use milk chocolate or dark chocolate. And you can use as much chocolate as you like.

And you can adjust it to suit any member of the family. You can make perfect hot chocolate for everyone.

Which chocolate should you choose?

These three cocoas are very good but they do taste different:

  • Medium Dark Cocoa is what we use when we want a mellower, softer, more milk chocolate flavor. It's still rich and very good but it doesn't have that sharper edge that really dark cocoa has.  
  • Rich Dark Cocoa is what we use when we want pastries and cookies to taste more chocolatey than goods made with store cocoa. It has the classic taste of dark chocolate and with more cocoa butter, more chocolate taste.
  • Belcolade Dark Cocoa will blow you away. It's very nuanced. Your first impression is amazing, a classical fine chocolate taste but it's complex. drifting into a little different impression once it's been in your mouth for a moment. It's a very nice experience.


Of course, your hot chocolate is going to taste a little different depending on which cocoa you choose. Which is best? That's a personal preference--whichever you like best.

hot chocolate

Gourmet Hot Chocolate Mix Recipe

This is an easy foolproof recipe. All you do is mix good quality cocoa with sugar and then add milk. This is going to be richer and darker not just because of the cocoa but because of the fresh milk instead of nonfat dry milk. You can add a little vanilla to adjust the flavor if you like.

If you want your hot chocolate richer, darker, use a little more cocoa.  If you want your hot cocoa milder and sweeter, use more milk.

Yield: Four to six servings.



  1. In a medium pan, combine the sugar and cocoa powder with a whisk until it is uniformly mixed.
  2. Add 1 cup milk and whisk until combined.
  3. Cook and stir over medium heat just until it comes to boiling. Gradually add the rest of the milk while whisking.
  4. Heat through until hot but not boiling.
  5. Add a teaspoon of optional vanilla.


Other spectacular things you can make with really good cocoa:

girls with homemade hot chocolate and chocolate whipped cream

Chocolate Whipped Cream atop Homemade Hot Chocolate

Top your desserts with chocolate whipped cream, not vanilla whipped cream. You can make it with or without cream cheese. You can make it with cocoa or with melted chocolate. They are all good.

Read on to learn more about chocolate whipped cream.


Whipped Cream Frosting with Cocoa

Whipped cream frosting

It's a fine line between whipped cream and whipped cream frosting. The difference is a stabilizer. We typically use meringue powder. (Meringue powder goes in royal icing to make those hard, floral patterns on wedding cakes.)

We use whipped cream frosting whenever we can. It's lighter and not as rich as butter cream with much less fat and sugar. It's delightful.

Read on to learn more about chocolate whipped cream frosting.


Hot Fudge Sauce Made with Cocoa

tin roof sundae

Quality cocoa is critical to a fudge sauce, hot or cold. We used Ramstadt Breda Rich Dark Cocoa with three times the cocoa butter of most store brands.

Learn how to make hot fudge sauce with cocoa.


Make cookies, cakes, and desserts with better cocoa.

If you don't have time to bake from scratch, use our mixes. Here are some chocolate mixes to get you started. We don't use cheap cocoa.


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