Malted Hot Cocoa Mix

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You’ve heard the saying before: necessity is the mother of invention. It is so true. And necessity spurned this hot cocoa recipe. Not only were we out of traditional cocoa mix, but I also did not have enough powdered milk to follow this Alton Brown recipe exactly. So, I improvised.

That’s code for: I used whatever I could find in the cupboards.

It ended up that I had malted milk powder. Works for me! The malt and the spices combine with the chocolate for a delicious hot treat. Top it with whipped cream or marshmallows if you like.

We love this cocoa mix and intend to keep a steady supply on hand throughout the fall and winter.

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Malted Hot Cocoa Mix
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: hot cocoa, hot cocoa mix, malted hot cocoa
Servings: 88 tablespoons
Calories: 31 kcal
Author: Jessica Fisher
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 cups powdered milk
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup malted milk powder
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch cayenne
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients until evenly mixed. Store in an airtight container.
  2. To serve: place 2 to 3 Tablespoons of the cocoa mix in a 6-ounce mug. Add water. Stir to combine. Serve hot.
Recipe Notes

Nutritional values are approximate and based on 1 tablespoon of the mix.

Nutrition Facts
Malted Hot Cocoa Mix
Amount Per Serving
Calories 31 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 3mg1%
Sodium 40mg2%
Potassium 59mg2%
Carbohydrates 5g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 29IU1%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 30mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. Love it! We go through a lot of cocoa mix this time of year and this looks delicious.

  2. Sara says

    This sounds really good-going to try it 🙂

  3. I’ve been meaning to make homemade hot cocoa mix forever. You’ve given me the inspiration finally! Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  4. angie says

    Even better than the cocoa recipe was the backdrop for your photos! Where were they taken?

    • Jessica says

      @angie, we went to Mammoth Lakes, CA for our vacation last week. It was beautiful!

  5. I have always wanted to make my own cocoa mix. I will try this! Thank you!

    Everyone is welcome to link to my Must Try Mondays, too.

  6. I think this would make great DIY Christmas gifts. I’m definitely adding this recipe to my list of gifts this year.

  7. Elizabeth says

    Any suggestions for what to use instead of the malt powder? Hubby isn’t a fan, but he loves hot chocolate!

    • Jessica says

      @Elizabeth, oh, just use more powdered milk.

      • Elizabeth says


        After I left the comment I realized the substitution was kind of a no-brainer. 🙂 I am going to put together cute packages of these for Christmas gifts!! Thanks for the idea!

  8. KS says

    Did you use nonfat dry milk? Some commenters regarding Alton Brown’s recipe recommended dry whole milk from the Mexican foods section at the grocery store.

    • Jessica says

      @KS, I used an organic dry milk powder that I bought from Amazon. I’m trying to eliminate the hormones.

  9. Tori says

    what is and where can I find malted milk powder?

    Why use cornstarch and cayenne?

    I am a total newb when it comes to cooking, baking and such.
    Sorry if its a silly question.

    • Jessica says

      I found the malted milk powder with the canned and powdered milks at Walmart. It’s just dry milk. The cornstarch acts as a thickener. The cayenne just gives it an interesting flavor, but you can omit it if you want or if you don’t have it. No question is silly.

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