DIY Hot Cocoa Recipe and Hot Chocolate Bar


My family consumes aLOT of hot chocolate. It’s a favorite all year round. I have to keep a large supply in my pantry or the natives will get restless. Good thing I have a recipe that makes a big batch so I can always have it on hand.

When I married into the Sears family, one of my favorite things in my mother-in-law’s kitchen was the Cocoa Bucket. She had a Tupperware bin in the bottom cabinet always stocked with her homemade cocoa mix. All of us, young and old, made a bee-line for that tub after playing outdoors in the cold or doing winter farm chores or waking up on a chilly morning.

We have so many good memories of family and friends sitting around the kitchen table, the tea kettle boiling, the sweet, powdery chocolate mixture being scooped into mugs. It seemed to bring us closer together, those steaming hot cups of chocolatey goodness.

I adopted her habit long ago and still keep my own Hot Chocolate Bucket filled. Or try to. Some seasons it’s harder than others to keep it filled. This recipe is easy on the budget and delicious for the tummy. It can easily be altered to suit your taste, making it more or less sweet, more or less creamy.ย  You can make a basic batch for a now-and-then cup of cocoa or a great big mega batch for those choc-o-holics out there.


Sears Family Hot Cocoa Recipe

  • 7 oz Powdered Coffee Creamer
  • 1 box (1.5 lb) Powdered Milk
  • 1 lb. Instant Cocoa Mix (such as Nestle Quik)
  • 1/2 cup Powdered Sugar

Combine all ingredients. Store in air tight container.

To serve, measure 1/3 cup mix with 8 ounces hot water per mug. (Adjust amount of mix to suit your taste)

Optional:ย  Stir in flavored syrup, creamer. Add chocolate chips or peppermint sticks. marshmallows. Top with whipped topping or marshmallow cream.

Recipe can be doubled, tripled, quadrupled, etc.



We raised our hot chocolate consumption to new levels last year when we adopted a new tradition – the Hot Chocolate Bar. Instead of having a big formal dinner at Christmas time when our children and grandchildren gathered at our house, we chose to have an appetizer buffet with a Hot Chocolate Bar for dessert.

For our Hot Chocolate (or Cocoa, if you prefer) Bar I had plenty of hot water available, a tray of our favorite mugs, our Hot Chocolate Bucket well-stocked, and plenty of mix-in’s and add-to’s like caramel and hot fudge and peppermint bits. There were sprinkles and whipped topping, fancy cookie things and mini marshmallow, and oh so much more! HINT: there are TONS of ideas for creating your own Hot Cocoa Bar on Pinterest.

Each guest was allowed to build their own custom-made chocolate concoction masterpiece. Oh what fun! Can you imagine the wide-eyed faces of my little grandchildren when they were given (almost) free reign at the Hot Chocolate Bar!ย  THIS is what happy memories are made of.



Does your family enjoy a cup of cocoa? What do you add when you want to make it extra special?


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  1. My goodness, I LOVE the idea of a hot chocolate bar!! Hot chocolate/cocoa is pretty much our favorite beverage in our house and this would just be an amazing party choice. ๐Ÿ˜€ Also, I’m totally saving this recipe. With how much hot chocolate we go through, this would be awesome!!

  2. The hot chocolate bar sounds like such a great idea. And your hot cocoa recipe definitely looks like something I need to make so we can have it on hand. It would also make a lovely gift. Hmmmm.
    Thanks for stopping by and sharing on Throwback Thursday. Your post was featured this week.

    • It’s something I need to revive, too. It’s been a while since we’ve enjoyed this little tradition ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope it brings your family as much fun and joy as it has ours.
      And how exciting to be featured! I love bringing out my older posts, thank you for hosting and for the feature.

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