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Organic Homemade Hot Cocoa Recipe

Monday was our first snow day of the year, so after the kids came in from shoveling and building forts, I decided to experiment with an organic homemade hot cocoa recipe. (Actually, it’s mostly organic.) All the hot cocoa mixes I’ve seen at the store have trans fats, and even the organic mixes have powdered milk. (Read this post about healthy milk choices to find out why that’s baaaaad.)
First, here are a couple pictures I took yesterday:

Building forts in the front yard!

This pic was taken off our deck – don’t the trees look beautiful?


Whisk the following ingredients in a saucepan – use organic ingredients whenever you can:

Note: If you don’t heat it too much, it will retain more nutrients from the raw milk and egg yolks! (Sarah says to heat to 117* F. “Use a food thermometer or a clean finger to judge the temperature: when it feels hot but doesn’t burn, it’s about 117*F.”)

Makes about 6 cups. Use a ladle to serve. The kids love it when I let them drink it from our glass coffee cups, and around Christmas time I’ll plop a small candy cane on the rim for an extra special treat. (I’m on the prowl looking for some all natural candy canes because the ingredient label on most of these is awful. UPDATE: I found some at the health food store in December last year!)


  1. Can you even FIND non-raw cream that isn’t ultra-pasturized? I can’t in our grocery store. Everything, even the organic and the stuff from the local dairy is ultra-high pasturized. I sure was happy to finally find a source for raw milk and cream. It keeps for 2 weeks, too, so who need that ultra-high stuff. :)

  2. Any recommendations on cocoa? I have purchased no artificial flavors, colors or preservative candy canes in my local organic/natural foods store for both the holidays and the cocoa. They taste wonderful, are healthier and are kid approved…

  3. I get my cocoa from our co-op. It is in a 16 oz bag, Frontier Organic, Dutch Cocoa Powder. I have made my own hot chocolate for several years now, but it isn’t as fancy as Kelly’s. Mine is simple: 4 c. whole milk, 1-2 Tbsp. organic sugar, and 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder. I whisk it all together and heat on the stove. The kids like it (it is really all they know), but I did notice that when a neighbor came over for hot cocoa one day, he didn’t finish his (must not be very sweet!).
    Sue E.

  4. If you have a Trader Joe's near you, they sell a pint of heavy cream that isn't ultra-pasteurized (not raw, though) for a very reasonable price. They also carry organic heavy cream that isn't ultra-pasteurized, and for a lower price than other places. I stopped into one of those new small neighborhood Fresh & Easy stores (owned by UK's Tesco grocery store corporation) recently and they had pints of just pasteurized heavy cream for a good price (good prices on nice dark chocolate, too).

    Also, some heavy or whipping creams still have the barely legal minimum butterfat for their category, and they add gums to thicken it artificially. Trader Joe's versions are a higher butter fat %.

    This probably isn't a surprise, but our family takes our hot cocoa unsweetened! My son prefers his made with steamed (frothed) milk from our espresso machine. I prefer mine made with heavy cream and hot water.

    Both versions start with a generously rounded teaspoon of Dutched cocoa (my friend and I split an order to get free shipping, each buying a 2 kilo bag of Callebaut from blended with a Tablespoon or two of hot water to make a smooth paste. (if you are adding a sweetener, like I do for guests, add it to the cocoa now). Then I add half a cup of milk, stir to mix, and then forth it for my son's cocoa.

    If I'm making more than one mug at a time, then I froth a small s/s pitcher of milk separately and add it to the cocoa paste in each mug and stir. That way he can have it our usual way (unsweetened) and his friends can have it the way they expect it.

    For my cocoa, I add several Tablespoons of heavy/whipping cream to the cocoa paste (about a generous half inch in the mug?), stir to mix, then fill up with hot water and stir again. Mmmm. I also sometimes add a shot of espresso for a mocha.

    Cinnamon is nice to add with the cocoa, too. It doesn't mix as well later.

    My friend heats the milk on the stove in a pan, then froths it with a small electric frother (Ikea used to sell a really cheap one for less than $5), then pours it into each mug with the sweet cocoa paste.

    So many variations on method, but cocoa is soooo good!

    I'll put in a plug for iSi cream whippers, too, because ours is getting a lot of use this time of year. Smart & Final has the best prices on the device and the gas charger refills (have to ask for them), but these are also available at better kitchenware stores like Sur La Table and Williams-Sonoma. Pour in the heavy cream, any flavoring extracts or sweetener, put the top on, load the gas chargers into the whipper, shake a bit to mix the gas with the cream, remove the charger cartridge (recyclable steel), then dispense the whipped cream. Remove, rinse, and replace the nozzle before replacing in the fridge. Cream will keep several weeks this way (if the cream holds out).

    You have complete control over what does or doesn't go into the whipped cream for flavor and sweetening (I usually use just cream) and the heavy cream holds its form much better than those cans of "Light" cream full of artificial stuff sold in grocery stores. Of course, if I need a lot of whipped cream at one time, I just whip it in my mixer. The iSi cream whipper is great for an elegant shot of cream here and there on fruit, yogurt, desserts, cocoa, pancakes, etc., though.

    Of course, if you have teenagers, keep an eye on the chargers. Apparently "whipits" (as they are called) are popular for getting a short-lived high. That's why you have to ask for them in the stores. I've never tried it, though. I'm so boring, high quality cocoa and whipped cream with espresso are enough of a high for me.

  5. Ironically, just yesterday I was thinking that I needed to find a good hot cocoa recipe, and why am I *not* surprised that dear Kelly came through?! :) Thanks to you, friend, and to all of the others who sent in valuable comments!

    I have had quite a time trying to find raw cream (still looking, since my raw milk farmer doesn’t have a cream separator). And I agree with the comment that ultra-pasteurized (the UHT kinds) are everywhere! I can find only one place in all of Kalamazoo that sells Organic Valley pasteurized cream. Meijer sells Organic Valley ultra-pasteurized. Suggestion: why don’t a bunch of us request that Meijer picks up the Organic Valley non-ultra kind? There’s strength in numbers! :)

    –Julie L.

    P.S. Where is a Trader Joe’s that offers that non-ultra kind? I’ve been to two (in Ann Arbor and in downtown Chicago) that told me they only sell the ultra-kind. Phooey!

  6. Has anyone had any luck with using Stevia in place of some or all of the other sweeteners? That would make my midwives happier with me. :-)

  7. Hi everyone!

    –Someone told me recently that they saw those same candy canes at the dollar store!

    –We have regular pasteurized cream at our local Meijer! It’s Meijer brand, in a purplish carton! :) I’ve called them to say thank you for having it, so hopefully they’ll continue. (I also wish I could find a source for local raw cream, but our farmer doesn’t sell it either…)

    –Anna, I had never heard of a mini cream whipper before!

    –I use the same cocoa powder as Sue mentioned.

    Let me know if you have any more questions!


  8. Samann,

    I’m afraid to try it, I’ve had bad luck with Stevia before – if you try it, let us know!


  9. Kelly and Samann-
    Just wanted to let you both know that I tried Homemade hot cocoa, with light cream,(pasterized only) and stevia just last night and it was great!
    A note on Stevia: I have found that you need to use pure stevia. Try to find some that has no fillers/ extenders. The kind I use, after trying many, is by NOW, is is organic stevia, nothing else. It comes with the cutest litle spoon! In fact, it is a one ounce bottle, and contains 622 servings. Always add just 1 spoonful to start. You can always add more, but you cant take it back out. If you overdo it, you can end up with a bitter taste ( especially if it has fillers). So take it easy. Personally, Stevia has been the greatest discovery I’ve made. It helped me kick a 20+ year Nutrasweet habit. (Yuck!!).
    Good Luck!

  10. Good morning Henriette…although it may not be morning where you are across the ocean – remind me, you're in England, right?

    I don't know if I'd like chocolate & coconut together, but I'm going to try it – thanks for the tip!


  11. Diana,

    I’ll bet I have the icky kind of Stevia then, I’ll have to try that with the better stuff.


  12. For those of you in Grand Rapids, Heffron Farms also sells non-ultra paturized heavy cream by Country Dairy. Also, where did someone find those candy canes in town, Kelly??? Have a wonderful day drinking your hot cocoa, everyone (here it is snowing like crazy!!!)
    Sue E.

  13. I tried it with some stevia (liquid, with fillers, I’m sure, but it’s what I’ve been putting in my plain yogurt) and it wasn’t sweet enough, and I was afraid of turning it bitter, so I added some agave nectar. The combination seemed to do the trick!

  14. Oh, yum! That looks delicious. We used to get raw milk back when we lived in VA. I haven’t found a reasonable supplier yet here in MD. I love the presentation too! Very cute!

  15. That looks divine! I’m a milk and chocolate lover, so I’m sure I’d love that recipe. Thanks so much for sharing!

  16. mmmmm….just tried this! I left out the honey and just used 1/4 c. sugar. Perfecly yummy!

    We have our own jersey cow and her cream is the best. I am more than happy to give up Swiss Miss!


  17. Meijer also carries non-ultra-pasteurized half and half, and it’s the best price in town! I refuse to give up my coffee… : )

  18. I buy an organic heavy cream at my local grocery store that is vat pasteurized in small batches. And I also purchased a liquid chocolate flavored stevia from Sweet Leaf that really is tolerable, my kids love it, you have to be careful not to use too much, only a few drops per mug. I prefer using cocoa powder and cane sugar for hot cocoa, but the stevia works when I’m in a time pinch and makes a delicious cold chocolate milk alternative. I have also used the lemon lime liquid stevia to make soda alternative. My only question is how processed this stuff is, is it actually healthy? Anyone know?

  19. Stevia is a plant. If you get the green kind, it’s most likely going to be 100% pure plant material, but I won’t swear to that! We bought one this summer at the farmer’s market, but the chickens ate it. I plucked a leaf before buying to see what it tasted like and it was very sweet. I’ve never tried anything but the green powder beyond that though.

    Kelly-your comments in the post mentioned raw egg yolks, but I don’t see that in the recipe. Were simply stating that lightly warmin raw milk or eggs keeps most of the benefits or are there supposed to be egg yolks in the hot chocolate?

  20. I’ve never had green stevia. However, if you take a stevia plant, pick a stem, let it dry, the veins become white and powdery = white stevia.

    I’d also like to know about the egg yolks… do some go in this recipe?

    thanks, for the recipe,

  21. Also, to add to my previous comment: if you put some stevia powder in a jar and add water, let it sit a few days, you get liquid stevia. Therefore, Stevia isn’t processed much at all either way.

  22. You mentioned egg yolks……are they missing from the ingredients list? I am going to make this recipe right away……snow is coming down in TN!

    • Sorry guys, I must not have used egg yolks in my hot cocoa when I originally posted this recipe, but I sure do now! It’s so good and creamy and extra nutritious. I just updated the recipe, thanks for catching that and letting me know!

  23. DeDe-thanks for the clarification. I’m not all that familiar with stevia other than having seen it at the farmer’s market and trying to grow a plant.

    We have dairy goats and use their milk for hot cocoa. I also bought organic chocolate syrup for ice cream and decided to try that for hot cocoa and it works well enough for a quick mug in the morning.

    Kelly-have you not had Mounds or Almond Joy candy bars? A little coconut oil in the hot cocoa tastes just like that!

  24. Thanks for the update, Kelly. I used to make my own “instant hot cocoa” using (ugg!) powdered milk with cocoa and rapadura. But this sounds sooo much yummier.

  25. Hi – you can find great candy canes – at whole foods markets

    I make hot chocolate with coconut milk, raw cocoa and stevia – it is delicious!

  26. A lot of ingredients! Is there a rationale behind 2 kinds of sweetener, egg yolk, milk + cream, etc?

    I just use
    half & half (I find cream to be too rich)
    100% unsweetened cocoa chips or 80-90% dark chocolate baking chunks (best quality available, organic, fair trade,etc.)
    pinch of salt

    I don’t always sweeten it. If I do, I’ll use coconut sugar or rapidura. If I use 100% unsweetened, I need a little sweetener (amazingly the cinnamon cuts down on the need). For the dark chocolate, I don’t add sweetener at all, since there is a little sugar in the baking chunks. My preference is for professional chocolates which have very few added ingredients.

  27. i can’t find anything but ultra pasturized cream around my area. does anyone know a brand that isn’t ultra pasturized?

  28. You must be on the west side of the state. We are near Ann Arbor and just got some light snow and ice.

  29. I’ve been making our hot cocoa with Frontier dutch process cocoa too, as well as adding my homemade vanilla extract. I don’t like the dutch process as much as raw cacao, but it’s cheaper and you’re heating it anyway. I don’t get a lot of raw cream, so I don’t like to use it for cocoa. Much rather put it into ice cream. My kids wouldn’t like it so thick either (with the cream AND eggs). And we eat plenty of our own fresh pastured eggs already. But thanks for the yummy sounding recipe, Kelly. Just lets everyone know that it is a LOT EASIER to be natural than you think!

    and PS, I’m somehow not getting your facebook posts OR email posts anymore. AND I’M A LIFETIME MEMBER…HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?

    • Feedburner drives me CRAZY. When I’m at my computer later I’ll try to go in & delete you so you can resubscribe.

      And I have no idea what’s going on w/ Facebook. Are you subscribed to me at Kelly KitchenKop or to my PAGE: Kelly the Kitchen Kop?


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