15 tasty ways to use the hot chocolate mix in your pantry

A look into a small pot of freshly made hot cocoa with ingredients to make it all around.

There’s a bizarre abundance of hot cocoa powder packets in my pantry.

I’ll buy a box of Swiss Miss, and then someone else in my household will fail to see it and buy another. Then during the holidays, my daughters’ friends will give them red-ribboned mason jars full of hot chocolate packets and marshmallows. And before you know it, we’ve got 1,732 packets of instant hot cocoa populating the cabinet.

Instant hot cocoa is still good to consume for up to a year or two, and I don’t like throwing useable food out if I can help it. What can I do with this bountiful supply? Luckily, there are many, many ways to use hot cocoa powder. Here are 15 I just might try this year.

1. Pour Yourself a Frozen Hot Chocolate Martini

It’s one thing to spike your hot cocoa, but it’s another to turn it into a frozen cocktail. This recipe for a frozen hot chocolate martini makes it easy: It calls for Baileys, vodka, ice and some hot chocolate mix. Just get out your blender and you’ll have it whipped up in no time.

Chocolate martinis garnished in chocolate sprinkles and whipped cream

2. Make Hot Cocoa Cake Frosting

Cake frosting is surprisingly easy to make from scratch. And if you add three packets of instant hot cocoa mix to butter, powdered sugar and a bit of water, you have hot-chocolate-flavored frosting. Now doesn’t that sound better than regular old chocolate?

Chocolate cake slice on wooden table

3. Swirl It Into Your Batter to Marble A Pound Cake

Stir 1/2 cup of hot cocoa mix into a third of your vanilla pound cake batter and then drop spoonfuls of it into the rest of the batter, swirling it to make Food Network’s hot chocolate marble pound cake.

marble pound cake

4. Make Hot Chocolate Cookies

Add 1/2 cup of instant hot cocoa mix to the dry portion of a cookie recipe, as suggested in Spruce Eats’ hot chocolate cookies recipe. Basically, toss it in with the flour, baking powder and salt to make hot chocolate cookies. Add crushed peppermint on top or keep to the traditional hot chocolate motif by adding marshmallows.

5. Add It to Popcorn

Drizzle melted candy disks over your popcorn and sprinkle with a half cup of instant hot cocoa powder. Then let it set. Voila! You’ve got Cookies and Cups’ hot chocolate popcorn.

Popcorns flavored with hot chocolate

6. Roast Pecans With It

Combine two envelopes of hot cocoa mix with sugar and spices. Coat your pecans with egg whites, then roll them in the hot cocoa mixture and bake in an even layer on a cookie sheet at 250 degrees for an hour. Enjoy delicious hot chocolate-flavored roasted pecans, courtesy of Ready Set Eat.

Chocolate Pecans with Cinnamon and Sugar

7. Make Your Coffee Into a Mocha

To make Food.com’s mocha coffee without having to run to Starbucks, mix 3 tablespoons of hot cocoa mix with your instant coffee granules in a mug. Pour hot water over it and stir until it dissolves.

MORE: 7 Boozy Versions Of Hot Chocolate For Adults

mocha coffee

8. Top Your Sundaes With Chocolate Whipped Cream

A true chocolate sundae is positively brimming with chocolate — even in the whipped cream. To make Beyond Frosting’s hot chocolate whipped cream, add three packets of powdered hot cocoa mix to 1 cup of heavy cream and whip in your mixer.

chocolate whipped cream

9. Give French Toast a Chocolatey Boost

Follow Half-Baked Harvest‘s lead — make hot chocolate French toast by mixing 2-4 tablespoons of hot cocoa with the milk, eggs and vanilla that you’ll dip your bread slices into.

chocolate french toast with banana and honey on wooden background

10. Make Chocolate Ice Pops

Enjoy the taste of hot chocolate on a hot summer day! To make Savory Spice Shop’s chocolate pudding pops, toss two packets of instant hot cocoa mix into a bowl with sugar, salt and cornstarch. Add milk and vanilla extract, then boil the mixture. Pour into pudding molds and freeze for four hours.

Chocolate and almond dipped white and dark popsicles, overhead view over a marble background

11. Make Oatmeal More Appetizing

Has someone in your household uttered the words, “Oatmeal again?” Perhaps it’s time to try chocolate oatmeal by adding 1/3 cup of instant hot cocoa mix.

Chocolate oatmeal for breakfast with slices of a ripe banana and pieces of bitter good chocolate in a white ceramic bowl

12. Toss It With Cereal For Holiday Chex Mix

In a gallon Ziploc bag, pour a couple of packets of hot cocoa mix over some Chex cereal, then toss in some chocolate chips and maybe some mini marshmallows. Now you’ve got hot chocolate-flavored Muddy Buddies, as outlined by Mama Loves Food.

MORE: ‘Hot cocoa bombs’ are the most fun way to make hot chocolate

13. Make It Into a Dip for Fruit

If you need to whip up a quick party dip around the holidays, take a cue from BruCrew Life’s easy hot chocolate dip recipe: mix a cup of hot chocolate mix with softened cream cheese, plain Greek yogurt and some marshmallow cream. Place it in a dip dish and surround it with apple, pear and banana slices (or any fruit of your choice). Then sit back and enjoy the compliments from delighted guests!

assorted fruit with chocolate sauce on a plate,

14. Toss It Into Chili

Adding chocolate to your chili can give the dish a richer, deeper flavor, and in a unique twist, this recipe for Smokin’ Scovilles Turkey Chili from Allrecipes includes a packet of instant hot chocolate mix among its spicy seasonings.

Homemade Turkey Chili

15. Mix It Into a Milkshake

To make your next milkshake with hot chocolate, add a few tablespoons of hot cocoa mix to milk and ice cream. Top with whipped cream and a bit of cinnamon, and you can call it “frozen hot chocolate.”

MORE: How to make a hot cocoa charcuterie board

hot chocolate milkshake

By the way, if some of these recipes appeal to you and you don’t have instant hot cocoa on hand, you can make it yourself.  Allrecipes’ hot cocoa mix recipe combines dry milk powder, confectioners’ sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder and powdered non-dairy creamer. Enjoy!

Food, Holiday & Seasonal, Recipes

Related posts

Ice melt test on ice-covered welcome mat
Make DIY ice melt with just 3 common household ingredients
small dog in snow looking up
When is it too cold to walk your dog? Consult this handy chart
Snow covers car in winter weather
Why you shouldn't heat up your car for long in cold winter weather
Woman in blanket (left), snow brush (center), air compressor (right)
11 items you should have in your car during the winter

About the Author
Jennifer Graham Kizer
Jennifer Graham Kizer has written features and essays for over a dozen magazines, including Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Health, Parents, Parenting, Redbook and TV Guide.

From our partners