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Homemade Dairy Free Hot Cocoa Mix

by Erin on January 9, 2013

Dairy Free Hot Cocoa Mix Homemade Dairy Free Hot Cocoa Mix

PinExt Homemade Dairy Free Hot Cocoa Mix

So the boys asked the other night for hot cocoa. I don’t ever purchase premade mix because most (if not all) contain nonfat dry milk, so it’s a no-go for us. They started out asking, then it turned to begging and then it quickly turned to pleading.

I decided to appease them with…”well, let me see what ingredients I have in the pantry and maybe I can make up a mix for you.” I found a recipe that uses “vanilla sugar” and cocoa with some salt…easy enough and worth a try. I happened to have some vanilla beans that I ordered a while back from Amazon that I needed to use up…and this is the perfect solution. Also, I used a “higher quality” baking cocoa and I think that helped with the flavor too. (I’m not sure I’d make this with a store brand or cheap baking cocoa.)

This turned out to be so delicious…everyone is loving it! 

Dairy Free Hot Cocoa Mix


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-2 vanilla beans, seeds scraped out
  • 1 cup high quality cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt


Dairy Free Cocoa Mix 3 Homemade Dairy Free Hot Cocoa Mix

1. Blend together the sugar and vanilla beans.

Dairy Free Cocoa Mix 4 Homemade Dairy Free Hot Cocoa Mix

2. Add the cocoa and sea salt and blend together.

Dairy Free Cocoa Mix 5 Homemade Dairy Free Hot Cocoa Mix

3. Store in an airtight container.

Dairy Free Cocoa Mix 2 Homemade Dairy Free Hot Cocoa Mix

4. To mix, add 2-3 heaping teaspoons to 8-10 oz. hot rice, almond or soy milk.

5. Enjoy!

Adapted from Go Dairy Free.

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

DEH January 9, 2013 at 6:02 pm

This looks great! I also recommend Coconut milk for it’s creamy goodness and slightly sweet taste for hot cocoa.


Jen January 10, 2013 at 2:52 am

What a great idea on the Coconut milk!
Is the reason for the salt to balance out the sweetness, or to preserve the cocoa?
Also, is there an alternative to the vanilla beans? I know they’re delicious, but the cheapest I’ve found them is $7 for 2 beans.


Kat January 7, 2015 at 3:38 pm

Here is where I get mine and they are only about $0.64 per a bean, but then again I make vanilla extract and my own chia tea so I use a good amount of them all the time.



Amanda January 10, 2013 at 1:53 pm

The best price I’ve seen on vanilla beans is online at Olive Nation. That’s where I get mine for homemade vanilla extract. Use coupon code “home” you’ll save 10%. They are beautiful when they arrive!
I just discovered your website today and am excited to explore!


darcy January 10, 2013 at 6:19 pm

RE: Cost of vanilla beans:
Food 4 Less or another store where you can buy vanilla beans by the pound makes them the absolute cheapest, as they weigh nearly nothing…so you can just get a few and sometimes they don’t even charge you 🙂


darcy January 10, 2013 at 6:21 pm

OR Vanilla extract works too! Just blend with the sugar only first, about 2 tsp. then add the cocoa and salt – mix well and store all, as shown, in a mason jar! Delish!


Erin February 23, 2013 at 11:25 pm

Thanks for sharing the vanilla extract tip Darcy…I know that I and others appreciate it!



Margie November 14, 2013 at 12:03 am

Absolutely appreciate this tip Darcy….thank you so very much!


Lesley Carol Prince January 10, 2013 at 7:40 pm

Your mix recipe sounds great especially since I have lactose intolerant family members. I don’t like the taste of coconut milk personally but I can understand its ‘sweet allure’. Thanks for the recipe. Like this blog.


Erin February 23, 2013 at 11:26 pm

Rice, almond or soy milk would go great with this too…not just coconut milk!


Jenny January 10, 2013 at 11:07 pm

I am going to try this!! I am lactose intolerant. I like almond milk so I will probably use that!! Thank you for all the work you do! 🙂


Erin February 23, 2013 at 11:24 pm

Great idea Jenny…did it turn out well with the almond milk? I know almond milk is smooth and I think it would go well with this mix!



Karissa January 22, 2013 at 6:33 pm

Yum!! For a summer drink you can use 1/3c of this plus about 6oz of almond, soy, or coconut milk and about 10 ice cubes…blend together and enjoy!! I’m sipping it down now! (In our 80° SoCal ‘winter’.)


Amy Moller February 10, 2013 at 4:54 pm

After a long long search, this is the exact recipe I needed! We don’t need dairy free but cannot use dry milk (preservatives) I mixed it up today and all the children and myself think this is the smoothest, tastiest, easiest cocoa! I took the advice of “darcy” and used vanilla extract since I was out of vanilla beans.
thanks for sharing!


Erin February 23, 2013 at 11:23 pm

Awesome Amy…so glad your family can enjoy cocoa again!



Marie A February 13, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Thankyouthankyouthankyou!!! This is SO yummy. I got vanilla beans at Trader Joe’s during the Christmas season and didn’t have a way to use them. Trader Joe’s also happens to have some high quality Cocoa – so I made this and it is SO yummy. BONUS – It gave me an excuse to use the flour container on my Vitamix. WooHoo


Erin February 23, 2013 at 11:23 pm

So glad you enjoyed it Marie…we love it around here…I’m about to mix up our 3rd batch in a month!



Leesers March 16, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Hi all,

I am on the Atkins Diet, so can I make this mix with a Splenda or Stevia type of sugar-free sweetener?

Any ideas?


Dawn March 25, 2013 at 3:04 am

As a diabetic (along with my mother) I was wondering if there was an alternate for sugar as well and if the measurement would be the same?


Erin May 27, 2013 at 11:32 am

Hey Dawn,

Apologies for the delay. I’m not positive about the diabetic diet and what sugars can be substituted for sugar…Splenda maybe? Not entirely positive about the measurements either, but I think I’ve heard that splenda substitutes 1-1 for other recipes. Maybe do some google research?



Wendy January 7, 2014 at 9:50 pm

I make a similar mix using powdered stevia extract instead of sugar. I prefer the pure extract with no fiber added or blended with other sweeteners like xylitol like this: http://www.amazon.com/SweetLeaf-Stevia-Extract-Powder-9-Ounce/dp/B001EQ5PKE/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1389149205&sr=8-3&keywords=powder+stevia+extract

I start with about 1/2 teaspoon and adjust from there depending on how sweet you prefer.


Merri July 25, 2013 at 2:49 pm

I get my vanilla beans from Beanilla.com they’re super cheap because you skip the middle man. Awesome quality for making my own extracts, just vacumme pack and freeze the extras. I’ve also tried adding sugar free chocolate fudge pudding mix (reduce the sugar/Splenda), and adding dry non-dairy creamer (I like the italian sweet cream kind) with much success. This allows me to add it to just water when I’m camping.

Sugar substitute note: Regular splenda and powdered stevia are 1-1 measurements. Splenda Baking Blend or Bown Sugar Blend are 1-2 (but these do contain some sugar). Liquid stevia is great too if you just add it to the milk alternative, try a vanilla, raspberry, or butterscotch flavor for a little extra yum in your cocoa.


Erin July 30, 2013 at 11:52 am

Thanks for the tips Merri!


4tullys November 5, 2013 at 7:57 pm

This is also CORN FREE! I have a daughter who is allergic to corn and dairy and as you can imagine holiday sweets are hard to come by. You can not use vanilla extract and be corn free, but pure vanilla bean is safe! Also be sure to use sea or kosher salt if trying to be corn free.


Julie Ehrentraut November 24, 2013 at 3:52 pm

I used dutch processed cocoa powder and 1 cup of Domino Light (which is a sugar stevia blend) for those who have sugar issues. It turned out great. For the Domino Light you use half of what the recipe calls for for sugar. Hope this helps! I also use water instead of milk. I did top it off with homemade hemp milk though.


healthy chocolate September 11, 2014 at 9:32 am

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Nicole September 24, 2014 at 1:02 pm

When you say “higher quality” cocoa, where are you finding it. I’ve looked in whole foods, new seasons (another natural, spendy store) and have never been able to find anything different than what I can find at the grocery store


cecialia martin September 24, 2014 at 7:50 pm

too much sugar…. people are allergic to everything else
– why not sugar?


Sewing Susie September 26, 2014 at 7:34 pm

Sugar is part of your body’s normal functioning. Table sugar is one molecule of glucose bonded with one molecule of fructose. As it is processed in you, the glucose gives you a quick energy boost and the fructose, which takes longer to convert to L-glucose, provides sustained energy. Much easier on the body than starch, which is just chains of glucose that are quickly processed.
If you are diabetic, you do need to balance your carb intake. i am insulin resistant, so I need to control the carbs and eat protein with them, to prevent blood sugar spikes and plunges.
Sugar is not poison … just be sensible with it.


Theresa January 14, 2016 at 11:07 pm

Thank you so much for this recipe. We just learned that my husband is lactose intolerant and I have been doing so much research. He has been asking me about hot cocoa and this sounds like the PERFECT solution!


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