This sugar-free hot chocolate recipe makes the perfect guilt-free indulgence for a cold winter night! A cup of this rich and creamy hot cocoa only has about 50 calories per serving.
Instead of using the standard packet mix, you can easily make your own sugar-free hot chocolate mix for less money and fewer calories! I'll show you how to make a single cup or a larger batch of mix.
This makes a great low-calorie dessert or treat to enjoy when it's cold outside. It's so rich and creamy you won't even miss the added sugar!
For each serving of hot cocoa, you will need:
- 2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Hershey's)
- 2 tablespoon sugar-equivalent sweetener, to taste (I use 1 tablespoon Pyure Organic Stevia, which measures twice as sweet as sugar)
- 2 tablespoon nonfat dry milk powder
- ⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup water
If you have a sweetener that you like to use in your coffee, I would recommend using the same one to make your hot chocolate. I really like Pyure Organic Stevia, which is my sweetener of choice for my coffee. Pretty much any zero-calorie sweetener will work for this recipe and easily dissolve in hot water. You can use Splenda, Swerve, Truvia, Monkfruit, or any other sweetener designed to substitute for granular sugar.
If your sweetener measures 1:1 to sugar, use 2 tablespoons of sweetener for each serving. If your sweetener measures 2:1 to sugar (twice as sweet as sugar), use 1 tablespoon of sweetener for each serving. You can also adjust the amount of sweetener (to taste) if you prefer your hot chocolate more or less sweet.
Substitutions for Dry Milk Powder
Using the dry milk powder is perfect for making pre-made mix to save for later. It is shelf stable and you never have to worry about keeping fresh milk on-hand. It also is super creamy!
Instead of 2 tablespoons of nonfat dry milk powder (about 30 calories) with 1 cup of water, you could use:
- 1 cup of nonfat milk (90 calories)
- ½ cup of nonfat milk + ½ cup water (45 calories)
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (30 calories, keto + dairy-free)
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (40 calories, keto + dairy-free)
- 1 cup water (zero calories, but it will not be as creamy and rich)
To reduce the sugar and carbs from milk, you can use unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk instead of dairy milk (both fresh milk and dry milk powder have a few grams of sugar and carbs).
To make a more indulgent hot cocoa, you could use whole milk or add a splash of heavy cream.
The lowest calorie option is just using plain water, but I think you really need at least a little bit of milk to make it creamy and delicious.
Single Cup Instructions
To make a single cup, mix together 2 tablespoon cocoa powder, 2 tablespoon sugar-equivalent sweetener, 2 tablespoon dry milk powder, ⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract, a pinch of salt, and 1 cup water.
Stir powder and water until well blended. Microwave for about 60 seconds or until hot, and then stir until all of the powder is fully dissolved.
Batch Mix Instructions
To make a larger batch of hot cocoa mix (12 servings), you will need:
- 1.5 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Hershey's)
- 1.5 cups sugar-equivalent sweetener, to taste (I use ¾ cups Pyure Organic Stevia)*
- 1.5 cups nonfat dry milk powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1.5 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 12 cups hot water
You can mix up all of the dry ingredients (cocoa powder, sweetener, dry milk powder, and salt) and store the powder in a mason jar for 2-3 months. To make each serving, add a heaping ⅓ cup of dry mix to 1 cup of water and ⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract. Microwave the liquid until hot (about 1 minute) and stir until well combined.
Hot chocolate isn't complete without some toppings! Here are some of my favorites:
- Mini marshmallows
- Chocolate syrup
- Caramel syrup
- Light whipped cream or cool whip
- Pumpkin pie spice
- Crushed peppermints
- Mini chocolate chips
A small handful of mini marshmallows makes for a delicious low-calorie topping! You can add two tablespoons of mini marshmallows for about 20 calories.
For a sugar-free topping, try sugar-free whipped cream, cool whip, caramel syrup, or chocolate syrup.
How to Store
If you make a larger batch of sugar-free hot chocolate mix, you can store the powder in a mason jar or any other airtight container. Hot chocolate mix will stay fresh in the pantry (room temperature) for 1-2 months.
How to Make it Keto
To make this recipe lower in carbs and more keto-friendly, substitute the dry milk powder and water for unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk, or any other low-carb milk. While this recipe is no sugar added, any type of dairy milk does have a few grams of sugar and carbs per serving. You can use water only instead of milk or use a low-carb milk to further reduce the carbs and sugar.
How to Make it Dairy Free
To make this recipe dairy free, you can use any type of nondairy milk. Unsweetened almond milk is a good option that is both low in calories and carbs! You could also try unsweetened coconut milk.
Calories Per Serving
If you follow this recipe exactly, it has about 52 calories in one cup of hot cocoa. If you use different milk or sweetener options, your calorie count may vary slightly.