• ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup hot water
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 4 cups milk (fat-free, 2%, whole, dairy, or non-dairy)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Combine the cocoa, sugar, water, and salt in a medium saucepan.
  2. Over medium heat, stir constantly until hot. Cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
  3. Stir in the milk and heat, but do not boil.
  4. Remove from the heat and add vanilla; stir well. Serve immediately.

To spice up the hot cocoa you can add a drop peppermint extract, a cinnamon stick, or a pinch of cinnamon at step 2. You can also cinnamon, whipped cream, chocolate syrup, nutmeg, or marshmallows as toppings after you have finished cooking it or put a peppermint in the mug. My favorite thing to add is a marshmallow, a cinnamon stick, and a pinch of nutmeg.