Classic Hot Cocoa


A rich, creamy, easy-to-make hot cocoa recipe that will warm you up on the cold winter days ahead. 

My friend Laura from Real Mom Kitchen has a new cookbook, Warm Up Your Winter. It’s Laura’s second cookbook and it’s a cute little, pamphlet style cookbook which includes 20 hot chocolate and cider recipes. Some are from her blog and some can only be found in the cookbook.


What I liked about this cocoa recipe was how creamy and smooth it is. Usually when you make cocoa you mix all the ingredients together at the same time, and then you have a hard time getting the cocoa to dissolve in to the milk. With this recipe, you boil the cocoa and the sugar with a little bit of half and half so the cocoa is dissolved before you add the milk. Of course using half and half and whole milk in your cocoa helps to make it extra creamy as well.

Another thing I liked about this classic hot cocoa recipe was all the variations and fun ideas to change it up. There’s a Skinny Cocoa version, a Peppermint Cocoa version, and one I need to try, a Nutella Cocoa version. . I’m sure there’s a variation that everyone will love. Details on how you can win a copy of Warm Up Your Winter are at the end of this post.

Classic Hot Cocoa

Classic Hot Cocoa


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • Whipped Cream or Mini Marshmallows


In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, cocoa and salt until blended. Then whisk in half and half.

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil.

Simmer 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add milk; stirring constantly, heat until warm. Do Not Boil.

Remove cocoa from heat and whisk or beat until frothy. Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream or mini marshmallows.

Cedar Fork books is giving away one copy of Warm Up Your Winter to one lucky Barbara Bakes reader. If you’d like to enter the Sweepstakes Giveaway, leave a comment on this post before Wednesday, September 25th at noon, MST. The giveaway is only open to residents of the US. Be sure your email address is included with your comment(s). Winner will be chosen randomly, notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen.

Disclosure: Cedar Fort sent me a free copy of Warm Up for Winter, but all opinions expressed are always my own.

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    Leave a Comment:

  1. says

    I am not a summer person as I hate heat, so I am excited at the thought of cooler weather. I have missed my hot tea and look forward to plenty of hot cocoa. I used a Cocomotion machine (it is by Mr. Coffee to make mine. Just plug it in and put all the ingredients in and it heats and froths it, and it is the perfect temperature to drink. I use Penzey’s cocoa powder, and love it. Can’t wait to try this recipe. Thanks for the chance to win!

  2. RaquelM says

    I would really loooooove to warm my winter!!!!! Recipe looks great!!!!! Not to mention I’m a Caribbean girl l, living in Alaska!!!!!!!! First winter ever!!!!!!

    • says

      That’s quite a weather shift. My brother and father live in Alaska. I think the lack of sunshine in the winter would bother me more than the cold and snow. Hang in there. Maybe you can plan a trip or two home for the winter. :)

  3. Savannagal says

    I would love to win a copy of this book. Having a nice hot cup of cocoa or a hot toddy on a freezing cold winter day sitting by the fireplace, reading a good book, sounds wonderful.