This Homemade Peppermint Hot Cocoa Recipe is made without refined sugar and is a delicious winter treat!
It is cold outside and the snow just keeps coming. I am trying to embrace the season with the classic foods and drinks that scream winter, like soups, meals made with seasonal vegetables, and of course, hot cocoa.
What would a snowy winter be without being able to come in from the cold and enjoy a mug of hot cocoa?
To make this festive and perfect for the holiday season, I decided to make a peppermint hot chocolate recipe. Oh, man, I’m so glad I did!
When I was growing up, having hot cocoa meant ripping open one of those little packets of processed cocoa mix, pouring in some water, and heating it up in the microwave. As a child, there was no thought that went into what I might be drinking.
Now, as a mom, I have to make the decision between convenience and knowing (and feeling good about) the ingredients. A popular instant hot cocoa packet has the following ingredient list:
- CORN SYRUP SOLIDS
- VEGETABLE OIL (PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED COCONUT OR PALM KERNEL AND HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN)
- DAIRY PRODUCT SOLIDS
- COCOA PROCESSED WITH ALKALI
- CELLULOSE GUM
- NONFAT MILK
- SODIUM CASEINATE
- SODIUM CITRATE
- DIPOTASSIUM PHOSPHATE
- SODIUM ALUMINOSILICATE
- MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES
- GUAR GUM
- ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS
Yikes. That’s a long list of ingredients and there’s definitely some suspect ones I don’t need to consume or want my family to consume.
I have to choose between all of ^^^those^^^ ingredients and the list in a cup of homemade hot cocoa, which includes some very simple pantry staples, nothing sketchy. It becomes a no-brainer. Let’s take a look.
Recipe Ingredients–What You Need
- 1 cup milk–I prefer unsweetened almond milk. Use whatever milk you typically have on hand. Whole milk will provide a rich taste, so if you drink cow’s milk that would be delicious.
- 1 1/2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder–raw cacao powder is more bitter, but can also be used.
- 1 1/2-3 tablespoons liquid sweetener of choice–maple syrup or honey both work well.
- 1 drop peppermint extract–a little bit goes a very long way. You can also use peppermint essential oil if you have it on hand, but it’s even stronger than the extract so one drop may be too much for just one serving.
I can have this Homemade Peppermint Hot Cocoa recipe made in almost the same amount of time, so really, there’s no question which one I’m going to choose.
I don’t need refined sugar to be the number one ingredient in my hot chocolate, and I don’t want corn solids, hydrogenated oils, and other chemicals that I don’t know enough about in there, either.
I love including just a drop of pure peppermint extract in my hot cocoa because I always crave the combination of mint+chocolate, but if you don’t want a peppermint version, you can leave it out for a classic, no-refined-sugar hot chocolate treat.
How to Make Peppermint Hot Cocoa
- In a small bowl, combine the cocoa powder and sweetener and stir until they are combined. Set aside.
- Put the milk in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat. Stir in the chocolate mixture and heat until steaming. Add the drop of peppermint extract. Enjoy!
The recipe is for one mug, but you can easily double, triple or quadruple the recipe to make enough for your family.
This recipe is great for holiday parties! Here are some ideas to make your homemade peppermint hot cocoa festive and fun!
- For the rim you see in the photos, melt some white chocolate chips, and dip the rim of your mug(s) in the melted chocolate. Then, sprinkle with candy cane pieces or crushed peppermint candies. Allow it to firm before using for your mug of hot chocolate.
- If you make a big batch, create a hot chocolate bar and allow guests to choose toppings like high quality miniature marshmallows, whipping cream, chocolate shavings, or a peppermint stick.
- It would also be fun to try some Hot Chocolate Bombs for your holiday party!
If you need a big batch to serve a crowd, you need this Crock Pot Hot Chocolate recipe!
If you’d like to have a healthier version of those store bought hot cocoa mixes on hand that is super convenient, give this hot chocolate mix a try! It just happens to be a dairy free and sugar free hot cocoa mix. You’re going to LOVE it.
One more suggestion: My Maca Root Hot Cocoa is super nourishing and delicious.❤️ It’s another one of my favorite warm drinks.
If you make this Homemade Peppermint Hot Cocoa recipe, or any Happy Healthy Mama recipe, I would LOVE to see it! Please take a pic and share it on Instagram or the Happy Healthy Mama Facebook page and tag me!
Please remember to leave a star rating if you try this, as well. Those ratings really help other readers know which recipes are tried + true and help my blog get found more easily. I appreciate you!
Want more yummy and healthy peppermint recipes? Here you go!
Peppermint Brownies (vegan and gluten-free)
No Bake Chocolate Peppermint Balls (vegan and gluten-free)