Hot chocolate. It’s one of the best things in life. It’s sweet, warm and loved by all. Whether you’re looking for the best hot chocolate mix to give to your young children or if you want to enjoy a cup to keep you warm during the winter, a beautiful cup of hot chocolate is always handy to have within reach.
Hot chocolate made its way to Europe in the 1500s when explorer Hernan Cortes brought back cocoa beans and tools to make hot chocolate from his adventures in Mexico - who had been enjoying a bitter, cold and spicy version of hot chocolate since 500 BC. Though it wasn’t until the 1700s that the hot chocolate rose to popularity in London and slowly the rest of the world, it became well-loved when the chilis used in the original Mexican recipes of the drink became hot and sweetened.There are so many different types of hot chocolate mixes on the market today which can be great for finding the best hot chocolate mix that caters to you. Do you enjoy adding marshmallows and cream on top of your creamy cup of hot chocolate? Are you lactose intolerant or want to lose weight? Whatever your desires may be, the perfect hot chocolate mix exists out there and we want to help you find it.
Our best pick is the Swiss Miss Classics Milk Chocolate Premium Cocoa Mix for its low calories, creamy texture and traditional flavours that are loved by not only children but adults alike.
Our best budget is the Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate Pouch which comes in several flavours so you can have many options in your pantry without breaking the bank.
Quick Comparison: Top 10 Best Hot Chocolate Mix
1. Swiss Miss Classics Milk Chocolate Premium Cocoa Mix
With each 3 tablespoon serving the Swiss Miss Classics Milk Chocolate Premium Cocoa Mix contains 120 calories which is great to know if you like to watch your calories throughout the day. It also contains 15g of sugar and 1g of protein in each serving.
This product is made with real milk which is fantastic for those who enjoy a creamy and thick hot chocolate. This may be an issue for vegans or people who are lactose intolerant, however.
There are several ways to make the hot chocolate. With water, you can add 6oz of hot (but not boiling) water to 2 tablespoons of the Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate Mix. The drink should be ready once you stir the two together a few times. Or, you can do the same by replacing the hot water with hot/warm milk. Garnish and decorate the cup of hot chocolate however you desire.You could also use a microwave to do this. Simply pour ¾ of a cup of water into a microwave-safe mug and heat the water on high heat for 1 minute. Once this is done, stir in 2 tablespoons of the chocolate mix powder and your drink is ready.
2. Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate Pouch, Double Chocolate
If you or a loved-one prefers more rich flavours of chocolate, the Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate Pouch will be a fantastic hot chocolate mix to keep in your pantry or to give as a gift.
Each pouch of hot chocolate is created by a precise blend of deep-roasted cocoa beans and hand-selected ingredients, making it a hot chocolate that is mature and rich, and therefore perfect for adults. It’s also just sweet enough, making it not overly-sweet but not too bitter either, adding onto its decadent taste and texture.
Inside the pouch are a balanced blend of cocoa, sugar unsweetened chocolate and real vanilla. There is also an ingredient called sodium caseinate which is derived from milk - making this product unsuitable for lactose intolerant people and vegans.
To make, it is recommended to use hot milk and add this to a couple of tablespoons of the hot chocolate mix, stir a few times, and enjoy. You can add or subtract as much of the hot chocolate mix as you like in order to reach the perfect taste for you.
You can use the stovetop by simply heating 6 oz of milk with around 2 tablespoons of the hot chocolate mix. Make sure to stir this mixture and keep doing so until the hot chocolate is steaming, but make sure to not bring the hot chocolate to a boil.You can also use a microwave. To do this, pour 6oz of milk into a mug or cup and heat on high for around 1 and ½ minutes or until the milk is hot enough for you. When this is ready, stir in 2 or more tablespoons of the hot chocolate mix. Top with your favourite sweets and you’re done!
3. Starbucks Classic Hot Cocoa
Famously known all around the world for its many flavours that can make even the pickiest of eaters turn their heads, the Starbucks Classic Hot Cocoa hot chocolate mix also upkeeps this reputation.
The cocoa that is used in Starbucks’ hot chocolate mix is ethically sourced which allows the company to contribute positively to the environment and cocoa-farming communities.
They make sure the communities and farm they get their cocoa beans from can make the most out of the transaction to improve their environment and communities, which is fantastic if you care about the environment and actively choose to consume foods that don’t have a negative impact on the world.
This hot chocolate is a great balance between tart and sweet making it suitable for baking brownies with too. Each serving of the Classic Starbucks Hot Chocolate has 90 calories in it without any added toppings. It is made from sugar, alkalized cocoa powder, coconut oil and nonfat dry milk to name a few.To make this hot chocolate simply heat the milk in the microwave on high heat for 2 minutes. Add 2 or more tablespoons of the hot chocolate mix in and stir.
4. Land O Lakes Cocoa Classics, Chocolate Supreme
Hot chocolate shouldn't be confined to just one flavour. Sometimes we want to enjoy that typical creamy chocolate taste we're all familiar with, but other times we want our cup of hot chocolate to have a little something extra about it.
If you're the kind of person who appreciates the variety and would like to have many options available, the Land O Lakes Cocoa Classic hot chocolate mixes will leave you and everyone around you enjoying hot chocolate that caters to all individual tastes.
To name a few flavours that Land O Lakes offers, we've got Arctic White which is perfect for those who can't eat chocolate and prefer white chocolate, Chocolate Supreme which is a traditional chocolate flavour, and Chocolate and Caramel which oozes a second layer of sweetness perfect for those with a sweet tooth.
We recommend the Chocolate Supreme flavour as you really can't go wrong with traditional flavours. This product has sugar, nonfat dry milk, whey, coconut oil and cocoa which is processed with alkali to name a few ingredients. As it is made with real milk and cocoa that is produced through the Dutched process (meaning the chocolate is a more vibrant colour and tastes slightly milder compared to natural bitter cocoa).Each serving has 140 calories and is easy to make. Simply add hot water to a couple of tablespoons of the hot chocolate mix as desired and mix well.
5. Nestle Hot Cocoa Mix (Rich Chocolate)
A cup of the rich chocolate flavored Nestle hot cocoa mix is an indulgent treat for any time of day, or even night as it is 99.9% free from caffeine.
Easy to make in the microwave, if you want to make it even more luxurious then you can make it with hot milk instead of water. As well as its rich chocolate flavor, it also has notes of vanilla. This hot chocolate is kosher.
The beans for this cocoa mix are sustainably sourced as part of the Nestle Cocoa Plan which is working with UTZ to help make improvements to the lives of cocoa farmers and the quality of their cocoa. Nestle are also working closely with the International Cocoa Initiative to develop solutions for child labor.So you don’t need to waste any time measuring out your hot chocolate, this comes in a dispenser box of 50 single serve packets and you can also just grab a packet or two to add to your baking.
6. Equal Exchange Hot Cocoa Mix
If you enjoy buying products that have several uses and you enjoy baking, the Equal Exchange Hot Cocoa may be a product to consider.
Coming in several flavours such as Dark Chocolate, Spicy and Cocoa Mix, the Equal Exchange Hot Cocoa caters to those with more experimental and mature tastes, especially if you don’t like overly sweet drinks.
Made from high-quality Dutched process cocoa, this hot chocolate mix is Fairly Traded, USDA Certified Organic, uses Kosher dairy which is certified by the Orthodox Union, made with Fair Trade organic sugar and milk, and manufactured with soy, wheat, milk and eggs which may be unsuitable for people with specific dietary requirements.
These hot cocoa mixes can be used to bake cookies and brownies and can be a great addition to milkshakes and smoothies. Simply add a couple of tablespoons of the mix into your batter/drinks and mix well. To drink in a cup of hot chocolate you can use either hot water or milk. Simply add 2 or more tablespoons of this product into around ¾ of a cup of hot water or milk and stir.
7. GODIVA Chocolatier Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa Canister
Hot chocolate is often regarded as a ‘naughty drink' or treats especially for those of us who try to eat clean more often than not. The GODIVA Chocolatier Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa is great for such individuals as it is made from all-natural ingredients that won't leave us feeling bad.
Such ingredients include sugar, cocoa and milk chocolate which is made from sugar, milk, cocoa butter chocolate liquor and skim milk. This product contains milk and soy so please be mindful if you have such allergies.
Each serving with 3 tablespoons of the hot chocolate mix has a rich, smooth flavour than replicates velvet in your mouth. With only 130 calories and a real milk chocolate taste, the GODIVA hot cocoa is fantastic for those who prefer to avoid the artificial chocolate taste and artificial ingredients.To make, add 3 tablespoons of the powder to hot milk and stir well. You can also add a tablespoon or two into your morning coffee to add a little more flavour.
8. Cadbury Drinking Chocolate
This popular hot chocolate is a favourite in the UK and Cadbury chocolates are found in almost every household in Britain. Thanks to this popularity, the hot chocolate mix is also considered a staple in many homes, making it a perfect drink for both children and adults alike.
To make this drink add 3 big tablespoons of the powder to hot milk and stir. How you choose to heat your milk, whether it's with a microwave or on the stovetop, is entirely up to you.
This drink has 165 calories per serving and is made with sugar, cocoa, salt, artificial flavouring (vanillin) and may also contain wheat and soy. Though this hot chocolate mix is not the most unique or rich, it is one that holds a lot of nostalgia for many people. It’s a great drink to add to your coffees or customise with your favourite toppings as a treat.
9. Serendipity 3 Frrrozen Hot Chocolate Mix
Although hot chocolate is the go-to drink for many on a cold winter day, we often want to enjoy chocolate flavours during the summer too. The Serendipity 3 Frrrozen Hot Chocolate mix is a fantastic option for a cool hot chocolate drink.
The drink is a custom blend of 14 gourmet cocoas mixed in a blender with milk and ice. Depending on how thick you make the drink, you can either use a straw to sip on it or use a spoon to eat almost like a dessert, making it another great option for summer.
Made with sugar, nonfat dry milk, dextrose and cocoa processed with alkali, this frozen beverage comes in at 310 calories per serving. Though not the most diet-friendly option, it makes for a great treat that will satisfy all sweet teeth.
Serendipity 3 is a well-established and famous restaurant in New York that preserves the taste of decadent desserts through generations. The drink itself is a favourite among many who have been to the Serendipity 3 restaurant, and having the option to make it at home for a fraction of the price has left many foodies happy and satisfied.Admittedly, this product is more time-consuming and requires several ingredients to make. To make, add sugar, non-fat milk powder, cocoa, salt all together in a bowl and mix. Then, add the chocolate mix, ice and milk into a blender. Blend until the ingredients are combined but not entirely smooth. Once this is done, pour it into a cup or a giant goblet, add whipped cream and chocolate shavings and enjoy!
10. Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate & Cocoa Gourmet Powder
The sweet ground chocolate & cocoa gourmet powder from the US’ premium baking brand, Ghirardelli, can be used as a premium cocoa powder with milk for hot drinks as well as in your baking and desserts. This has a complex and rich taste which is also sweet.Just to ensure you have plenty of hot chocolate to hand, this comes in a generous 48 oz resealable canister and if you are dairy free, it does not contain dairy although it may contain milk or egg due to where/how it is processed.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Hot Chocolate Mix
There are several things that you must consider before buying a hot chocolate mix. This all depends on your personal preferences, your dietary choices, who you will be buying the chocolate mix for and several more factors.
Hot chocolate has changed drastically since it was first invented. What is now famously known world-wide for its warm and sweet taste, was once known as a cold and bitter drink.
There are a large variety of options to choose from that offer different nutritional values, various flavours, and are made through various techniques and tools. We've got a few things listed down below that you should consider ensuring you pick a hot chocolate mix that you won't be disappointed with.
One of the most important factors to consider is the ingredients within each hot chocolate mix. This is especially important if you are allergic to certain food products. Many hot chocolate mixes, unless specified otherwise, include soy and milk within them which may be unsuitable if you are vegan or lactose intolerant.
Depending on the brand of hot chocolate, there could also be artificial sweeteners and such that are added into the chocolate powder. Once again, if you are wary of such ingredients being put into your body, try to look out for a hot chocolate mix that is more natural and organic over heavily processed and artificial options.
You can easily have a look at the ingredients list on any product by going on each of the company’s websites or looking at the product description section on their Amazon page.
How to Make the Drink
Another crucial factor to consider is the process of how to make a drink. If you will need to use kitchen tools and gadgets such as a microwave, a pan on a stovetop, a kettle or a blender, make sure to check how the drink is made before purchasing the hot chocolate mix. The last thing you would want to do is buy a product that would be inconvenient for you to make.
Another thing to consider is how long it will take to make the drink. If you are busy and do not have a lot of time to send in the kitchen, and a quick and easy option would be better suited for you. If you enjoy being in the kitchen and experimenting with drinks and desserts, then drinks that require more time and effort may be better.
This is also a good opportunity to find out if you will need to add any other ingredients to make sure your drink tastes the best. You may need milk, whipped cream and chocolate shavings depending on your requirements but once again you can find out this information online before purchasing any hot chocolate mix.
Hot chocolate has expanded so much that there is now an entire market dedicated to different flavours of hot chocolate. This is fantastic if you enjoy experimenting with flavours and like to have a variety of options in your pantry.
Some flavours include caramel, chilli and dark chocolate which is exciting. Think about who will be drinking the hot chocolate before purchasing, however. If you have a family with small children they may not enjoy such exotic flavours but instead prefer very sweet and traditional milk chocolate over something more rich and bitter.
Though hot chocolate is not a health-food there are still some benefits that can be obtained when you drink hot chocolate. If you go for a hot chocolate that has a high dark chocolate concentration, you can ensure you get some of the benefits of dark chocolate. For example, dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and has been proven to lower blood pressure and improve blood flow in your body. Of course, this does not mean you should drink hot chocolate excessively, but it is still important to know what you are putting in your body.
Some hot chocolate mixes offer a high amount of calcium. This is great for your bones and teeth and calcium also have many other health factors. If you have children who enjoy drinking hot chocolate, perhaps buying one with a lot of calcium in it will be a better option than buying a hot chocolate mix that does not offer the same calcium concentration.
On top of this, chocolate has been known to help depression and elevate your mood positively. This being said, take into consideration the health benefits of a hot chocolate mix that has caught your attention as this may help you decide if that particular option is the best one for you.
We know that when you have a lot of options it may be confusing and time-consuming to try and pick the best hot chocolate mix. We hope that through this article we have given you some insight on the things you should consider before buying a hot chocolate mix and hopefully we have introduced you to some unique products that may be of interest to you.
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