Healthy Hot Chocolate with Cacao Powder

Hot chocolate using cacao powder

There are many times when I like to sit where it’s quiet with my fingers wrapped around a warm drink. It’s comforting and also relaxing.

In these moments, I realize how something familiar can add to the peacefulness of a person and create an overall feeling of euphoria.

Different drinks can have different delights as each brings up a fond memory. Hot cocoa reminds me of a wonderful childhood, clean, crisp air in my lungs at the same time warmth. But not all cocoa is the same, no, I would recommend different recipes depending on your mood. For instance, real cacao, more chocolate, a little bitter, or perhaps you want smooth.

This homemade hot chocolate with cacao powder to me is smooth. It’s made with milk, honey, and a touch of vanilla and it is nutritious. Ready to try it?

Healthy Hot Chocolate with Cacao Powder

Author: Nicki Sizemore


  • 2 cups milk (preferably 2% or whole milk)
  • 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • For a vegan version, use canned coconut milk in place of the regular milk and swap out the honey for maple syrup. 


  1. In a small saucepan, combine the milk, cacao powder, honey to taste (a teaspoon or two should do you), vanilla and a pinch of salt (sometimes I also add a pinch of cinnamon or even cayenne, if I’m feeling racy). Whisk until smooth.
  2. Place saucepan over medium heat, and bring the milk to a simmer, whisking often. Give the hot chocolate a taste—if you prefer it sweeter whisk in a bit more honey. Serve warm.


Do Ahead: The hot chocolate can be transferred to a jar and refrigerated for up to 5 days. Shake or stir it before serving (you can drink it cold or reheat it!).


  • The best hot chocolate is made with cacao powder, which you can find at many grocery stores or online! Raw cacao powder is healthier and richer in flavor than regular cocoa powder. However, you can use a good quality cocoa powder in its place. 
  • It’s important to whisk the cacao powder into the milk before heating it up (it will take a bit of whisking to dissolve). If you add the cacao powder to hot milk it can clump up.
  • I love this small saucepan and mini whisk for making hot chocolate, as well as for oatmeal and sauces.
  • For a vegan version, use canned coconut milk in place of the regular milk (I don’t love the flavor of nut milk in this recipe, but that’s subjective) and swap out the honey for maple syrup.
  • A pinch of salt helps to amplify all of the flavors. 
  • For a Mexican-inspired hot chocolate, add cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  • Refrigerate any leftover hot chocolate for a healthy chocolate milk!
  • Add marshmallows if desired. 

Now if you will excuse me friends, I’m going to find a comfy chair and close my eyes as I take the first sip.

Until next time, stay healthy and free.

Heather Earles
Heather Earles

Heather is married to a retired Special Forces Officer, and they live on a sustainable farm with their four children. She is an established author of inspiration, fiction, and children’s books; a journalist, a stay-at-home mother, and an advocate for healthy living. She publishes a weekly blog and podcast (Herb ‘N Wisdom™) and writes for two newspapers to aid and inspire others. “I want to make people feel good about life.”

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