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Loco for Hot Cocoa

If there’s one thing we love in the winter it’s a creamy cup of hot cocoa! Liquid chocolate topped with gooey marshmallows or fresh whipped cream is a warm and delicious treat. But many hot chocolate mixes are filled with sugar, milk ingredients, and very little of the good stuff — chocolate! That’s why we like to make our own hot chocolate mix at home with cacao powder.

Cacao is well known as one of the world’s most powerful superfoods. But what is it exactly? Think of it as chocolate before it’s been turned into a chocolate bar. When cacao beans are dried, fermented, and heated at a low temperature, they’re known as cacao products versus cocoa. When heat is used, it separates the fatty part of the bean from the rest, which makes up cacao powder. In comparison, cocoa is harvested the same way as cacao but heated at a higher temperature. This higher processing results in a sweeter, less bitter product, but also less nutrients compared to cacao.

That’s why we love cacoa powder, since it’s less processed and provides a dark, rich chocolate flavor. It’s perfect for shakes, smoothies, baked goods, and you guessed it — hot chocolate! Whether you’re vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, or low-carb, there’s a hot cocoa mix for you. Take a look at these three hot chocolate recipes using pure cacao powder for a delicious and nutritious holiday treat.

Maca Cacao Hot Chocolate

Recipe from Love and Lemons

This superfood hot chocolate is a healthy holiday treat. Naturally sweetened with maple and full of cozy flavor from cinnamon, cacao, and maca. Great for winter mornings or a good-for-you dessert!



2½ cups almond milk

2 tbsp cacao powder

1 tbsp maca powder 

2 tbsp maple syrup, or to taste

½ tsp coconut oil

Pinch of cinnamon

Tiny pinch of sea salt


Toppings (optional):

Coconut whip

Shaved dark chocolate



  1. In a blender, mix the almond milk, cacao powder, maca, maple syrup, coconut oil, cinnamon, and salt. (Or, whisk by hand). Transfer to a medium saucepan and heat.
  2. Taste and adjust the sweetness, if desired. If it's too thick, add a little bit more almond milk.
  3. Serve with coconut whip and shaved dark chocolate, both optional. Serves 2.

Mexican Hot Chocolate

Recipe from Be Good Organics

This Mexican Hot Chocolate is made with warming spices and a hint of chili to warm you up from the inside out!



Hot Chocolate Mix:

1/2 c cacao powder

25 g dark chocolate grated

1 tbsp cinnamon

2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder

1/8 tsp chilli powder

2 pinches sea salt

3 tbsp coconut sugar


For Each Serve:

1 tbsp Hot Chocolate Mix

1/2 c water

1/2 c plant-based milk almond, rice, oat, soy, and coconut will all work great here

Extra grated dark chocolate



  1. Mix all ingredients in a glass jar, reserving some of the dark chocolate to top.
  2. To serve, add 1 tbsp of the mix to a mug, 1/2 cup of boiling water and stir to combine, then top up with hot milk. Or if you’re pressed for time, make like you would a regular milky tea - ~3/4 c boiling water and rest cold milk straight from the fridge. Drink and enjoy!
  3. Dry mix will keep in a sealed jar in the cupboard for up to 6 months.

Creamy Crockpot Hot Chocolate

Recipe adapted from Practical Stewardship

This creamy crockpot hot chocolate is a wonderful treat on a cold winter’s day or anytime throughout the holidays!



4 cups coconut milk

⅓ cup coconut sugar or sweetener of choice

⅓ cup Cacao powder

1 tsp vanilla

dash of sea salt

dash of cinnamon


Optional toppings:

Coconut whip or whipped cream

Dark chocolate shavings

Candy cane



  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a 2-quart crockpot.
  2. Heat on high for 1½ hours, or until heated through.
  3. Stir, and serve immediately or turn crock-pot to warm.
  4. To make your hot chocolate an extra special treat, top with your favorite whipped cream, chocolate shavings, and candy cane (optional).

Whether you’re looking for an indulgent drink for one, or a beverage to serve your company over the holidays, hot chocolate is a classic creamy drink to warm you up! Use cacao powder for all your holiday baking needs for a velvety rich and true chocolate taste. What’s your favorite holiday drink?