Sep 032015


This is the richest, creamiest hot cocoa I have ever eaten. When I as a girl and the church gave us food, they often gave us cans of evaporated milk in the food boxes. I used to make this for my sister and I and we always felt like we had something really special. Later, as an adult, I remember buying hot cocoa from a coffee shop that was supposed to be the very best in the whole wide world. What a disappointment it was when that expensive, supposedly amazing cocoa, couldn’t hold a candle to my old childhood favorite. This stuff is top-notch. An entire batch costs me about $1.20. A 12-ounce serving, equivalent to a large hot cocoa from a coffee shop, costs 60¢. Each time you make this cocoa instead of buying it from Starbucks, you save $3 to $4 per serving. The entire batch, which makes 2 (12-ounce) servings, saves $6 to $8. If you’ll be wanting it later in the day, when you’re away from home, prepare it in the morning and pour into a preheated thermos. It carries as easily as coffee.

If you prefer mocha flavored hot cocoa, replace the hot tap water with leftover coffee from breakfast. Or add 1-tablespoons of instant coffee to the pot while it heats. For Mexican cocoa add a good sprinkle of ground cinnamon. For mint cocoa, add a peppermint stick, broken into bits, and stir it until the candy dissolves. You can also serve the plain hot cocoa with a candy cane as a stirring stick. Festive for the holiday season. And of course, you can always float a marshmallow or 2 on top.

Decadent Hot Cocoa

  • 12 ounce can evaporated whole milk
  • 1-1/2 cups hot tap water
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • Dash Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Measure the water into a 2-quart sauce pan. Add the sugar, cocoa and salt. Warm the mixture over medium heat. Stir until the cocoa dissolves completely. Gently bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a fast simmer and simmer it for about 5-minutes. This will keep the cocoa from sinking to the bottom of the cup when you serve it. Finally add the evaporated milk and stir to blend. Reheat briefly, but don’t boil if you can manage not to. Pour the hot cocoa into smallish cups.

This recipe makes four 6-ounce servings OR three 8-ounce servings OR two 12-ounce servings.

You can double it when you are serving a gaggle of cold children who’ve come inside from sledding. It goes really well with cookies, tomato or vegetable soup and grilled cheese sandwiches on a snowy day. Delightfully smooth and rich.

  3 Responses to “Decadent Hot Chocolate”


    Do you have any idea the calorie count on this? I would be using Splenda instead of sugar so it would be less
    than with the sugar. It really doesn’t look like it would be too much more in calories than your regular hot chocolate mix that I make up at the beginning of the winter. The one with the box of chocolate pudding.

    The only big increase in calories is the evaporated skim milk and it’s double regular strength skim milk but it can be worked into a reducing regime. Just count it as double the calories of regular skim milk.


  2. Maggie-

    Do you have any idea as to the calorie count on this? I would be using Splenda instead of sugar. In studying the recipe, it looks like (to me) that the only ingredient that would elevate the calorie count is the evaporated
    skim milk. It’s double the count of the regular skim milk before it’s diluted.

    Have to give this a try. The stuff you get in the packets is thinner than dish water. I’ve heard one diet guru in the 60s or 70s that put a tiny bit of cornstarch in her homemade cocoa mix and she said it greatly improved it.
    I tried it but I didn’t like it. I may have put too much cornstarch in or didn’t heat it long enough to “cook” the cornstarch. Never tried it again. This sounds really good.



    • 1 cup would have about 130 calories made with splenda and fat free evaporated milk. If you use cornstarch in hot cocoa, plan on no more than 1 teaspoon per 8 ounce cup. Half to 3/4 teaspoon might be better. Remember, 1 tablespoon cornstarch is used to make 1 cup of standard white sauce, so a little goes a long way. I have been making this recipe with 1/2 cup water and the balance of liquid in plain soymilk, this winter. It is so good. My whole family raves. I think it would work nicely with the changes you have in mind. Always lovely to see you Frankie. Hugs right back!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: