The Best Hot Chocolate Mixes In 2023

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With fall in full swing and winter quickly approaching, the season for hot chocolate is officially upon us, which means it's time to polish your mugs in preparation. 

This sublime drink originates in Mexico. The Olmec people drank hot chocolate as early as 1500 B.C., per Smithsonian Magazine, but theirs looked a little different than ours does today. While most of us like a sweet sip, the Olmecs' hot chocolate was bitter. They would harvest and roast their own cacao seeds. If they did add a sweetener, it was to ferment the drink.

Today, we have the convenience of grocery stores that sell a variety of premade mixes. To fully prepare you for hot chocolate season, we've rounded up the top mixes of the year. Whether you like your hot chocolate dark and creamy or rich and full of marshmallows, we've got you covered. These are the best hot chocolate mixes of 2023.

How we chose

When it comes to hot chocolate mixes, there are thousands of options to choose from. We're recommending only the best of the best.

We followed a specific method to determine which hot chocolate mixes made the cut on our list. First, we started with which categories to include. We avoided hyper-specific mixes with particular flavors or production methods and stuck to general categories. Once we had our categories locked in, we carefully researched which mixes met those standards. From there, we narrowed it down to a couple of choices per category.

Although we do consider ourselves hot chocolate experts, we didn't rely on our opinions alone. We factored in how well-received each choice is among consumers. Each mix we chose has wide customer appeal as evidenced by the reviews, which were the deciding factors in many cases.

These aren't just hot chocolate mixes we love. These are hot chocolate mixes that are universally loved. And you can't argue with the universe.

Best overall: Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix

Hot chocolate should be many things. First and foremost, it should taste delicious. But the mix should also be easy to dissolve, able to be mixed with whatever liquid you choose, and taste good without having to doctor it up. You get all of that and more in the Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix.

The stuff is powdered gold that turns into liquid gold. Made with a hint of vanilla, it's a fabulous mix that's totally tasty. But don't just take our word for it. Read some of the more than 12,000 reviewers who've given it five stars.

"Ghirardelli's hot chocolate is rich & creamy. I've tried a lot of different mixes ... this one is decadent," one said. "Ghirardelli cocoa powder is a staple at my house for creating my favorite coffee drinks and [it works] SO much better than a syrup in making my favorite Mocha, and also of course it makes delicious (if somewhat sweet) hot cocoa that the kids love!" another added.

As of April 2023, you can snag the Ghirardelli Double Chocolate experience for $10 for a pack of 10 on Amazon.

Best gourmet: Double Donut Dairy Free Hot Chocolate Mix

Hot chocolate is excellent in any form. Whether you're mixing it with a peppermint stick or topping it with whipped cream and cinnamon sprinkles, it's a delicious treat that warms your body and your soul. And although it doesn't have to be gourmet to taste good, hot chocolate goes up a notch when it is gourmet.

Luckily, you don't have to visit a specialty shop to get a gourmet hot chocolate. You can have a cup of your own right at home thanks to Double Donut. This brand infuses flavors into its hot chocolate mix that results in velvety smooth drinks that are amazing. As one reviewer noted, "I love chocolate and this hot cocoa is amazing!"

We suggest giving yourself the complete gourmet experience by serving Double Donut in your nicest glassware and pairing it with a gourmet dessert, like a macaroon or crème brûlée. But no worries, if you don't. It'll still taste amazing on its own.

You can get your own canister of Double Donut for $13 on Amazon.

Best classic: Nestlé Rich Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix

Hot chocolate is a classic dessert drink, and some brands have been serving it to us for years and years. Although lots of brands may be trying to pioneer a new version of hot chocolate mix, there are some old faithfuls that we can always count on when we need a cup of the good stuff.

The best classic hot chocolate mix is Nestlé Rich Milk Chocolate. It's tasty, it's got a great texture, and it's reliable. If you are struggling to decide which brand to buy, default to Nestlé, and you will not be disappointed. The brand has over 150 years of experience making chocolate, so they've nearly perfected their products, including their hot chocolate mix.

Not only is this mix tasty, but it's also cost-effective. As one reviewer pointed out, "This is the best tasting and most economical hot chocolate mix." A classic cup of hot chocolate that agrees with your budget? Now that's hard to beat.

Purchase Nestlé Rich Milk Chocolate for $8.59 via Amazon

Best new: Chamberlain Coffee's Cocoa Grizzly Hot Chocolate

Although we're fans of the classics, we've got to applaud anyone who is trying to bring a new and delicious hot chocolate mix into the world. Enter Emma Chamberlain. The influencer and YouTuber has turned into a full-fledged businesswoman with the 2019 founding of Chamberlain Coffee. The brand has since ventured into hot chocolate.

Its Cocoa Grizzly Hot Chocolate mix is all sorts of goodness in a cup, and we know you'll be satisfied when you taste it. It's organic and chocolatey, and as the packaging points out, the mix can be enjoyed hot or iced. Yes, this is a list of the best hot chocolate mixes, but we have to admit we're intrigued by the prospect of iced chocolate.

Many customers who have already gotten their hands on the mix have left great reviews. "This hot chocolate mix is super delicious. It's been a big hit at my house," one said. "Full of flavor and just so tasty," another added.

To see what all the hype is about, visit Amazon to get a bag of Chamberlain Coffee's Cocoa Grizzly Hot Chocolate for $15.

Best restaurant style: Starbucks Classic Hot Cocoa

We realize that restaurants selling their trade secrets seems a little odd. Who would want to go to Starbucks and buy a latte that someone else made for them when they could make that same coffee at home? Although we see the argument, making your favorite hot drink at home is more economical than buying it at a coffee shop.

With that in mind, we recommend trying the Starbucks Classic Hot Cocoa. It'll give you restaurant-quality hot chocolate without having to go to the restaurant. Although the mix doesn't come with its own barista, it does come with all the flavor and texture of a Starbucks hot chocolate.

The mix has plenty of satisfied customers. "This is the best tasting hot chocolate available for home consumption," one reviewer noted. "This is the very best hot chocolate on the market," a separate reviewer said.

As of April 2023, Starbucks Classic Hot Cocoa is available for $10.35 on Amazon.

Best hot chocolate bomb: Dunkin' Original Hot Chocolate Bomb

We thought that hot chocolate bombs might just be a fad, but it seems they've actually got some longevity. What was once purely a trend is now a staple in the hot chocolate game, and many sellers have joined.

Hot chocolate bombs can be made from scratch at home, but it's a lot easier, and honestly a little more satisfying, to just purchase one. The Dunkin' Original Hot Chocolate Bomb gets our vote as the best.

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, a hot chocolate bomb is a hollow orb of chocolate filled with hot chocolate mix and other tasty goodness. When you place one in a mug and pour your desired hot liquid over it, the outer shell melts to reveal what's inside. Simply stir, and you've got yourself a nice warm cup of hot chocolate. It's the most fun way to enjoy the drink.

As one reviewer points out, the Dunkin' version comes with an extra surprise. "Mixes well with milk and marshmallow filled," a customer said. A tasty drink with marshmallows inside? Sign us up.

The Dunkin' Original Hot Chocolate Bomb is available for $17.29 via Amazon.

Best pods: Two Rivers Chocolate Hot Cocoa Pods

Keurigs aren't quite as popular as they used to be, but if you still have one and prefer to make your coffee or tea via pod, you'll be happy to know that there are plenty of single-use hot chocolate mixes available, too. The best of them? Two Rivers.

Two Rivers makes a well-concentrated hot chocolate pod that has great taste when brewed with water. As a bonus, the brand makes several different flavors, including classic-candy varieties like Sugar Babies, Tootsie Rolls, and Charleston Chew.

Many customers are pleased with their purchases, according to online reviews, and with the variety-pack option, there's a Two Rivers hot chocolate pod to satisfy everyone in your family. "My children and I like every flavor and will definitely buy again," one customer shared. "Perfect to try new flavors or for (a) family get-together so everyone can have what they like," another said.

You can purchase Two Rivers pods for $22.95 via Amazon.

Best with milk: Godiva Chocolatier Gourmet Hot Chocolate Mix

Hot chocolate can be mixed with almost any liquid as long as it's hot, but the most common are water and milk. There are pros and cons to both, but it's important to know which mix is going to taste best with which liquid.

If you are partial to milk, whether that be from a cow or a plant, you're going to want to buy Godiva Chocolatier Gourmet Hot Chocolate Mix. This stuff is creamy and luscious. Mixing it with water will not provide the same richness.

It should come as no surprise that people like this hot chocolate mix from Godiva. This company clearly knows how to make chocolate, and reviewers recognize that. "This is the most flavorful, most rich, and delicious hot chocolate I have ever had," one said. "Love the rich chocolate taste and super easy to make," another customer pointed out. Rich, delicious, and easy to make? Count us in.

As of April 2023, you can purchase Godiva's spectacular hot chocolate mix for $18.50 on Amazon.

Best with water: Mike & Jen's Cocoa Mix

Some aficionados of hot chocolate are willing to die on the hill that the powder should be mixed only with milk, but for various reasons, some people prefer to mix it with water. If that's your preference, you'll want to purchase a mix that is still rich and luscious. And your best bet here is Mike & Jen's Cocoa Mix.

This hot chocolate mix is flavorful and full, and it contains only five ingredients, the main one being whole milk powder. When you add water, you still have that dreamy cup that looks like what was served in the movie "The Polar Express."

Fans of the drink have lauded the brand for its classic flavor and recipe. "It reminds me of the cocoa I grew up with. I love that there are only 5 ingredients and that they're all natural," one customer shared. We couldn't agree more.

If you want to get in on this magic, visit Amazon to purchase for $13.95.

Best with marshmallows: Swiss Miss Marshmallow

If you're of the belief that hot chocolate is best served with marshmallows, turn to the stellar mix that is Swiss Miss Marshmallow. Swiss Miss has been making unparalleled hot chocolate mixes for years. Its marshmallow mix is particularly good.

There's something ineffable about those teeny tiny marshmallows. When they hit the hot liquid, they turn into magical puffs of tasty goodness that everyone is sure to love. It's quite possible you've already tried this mix. If not, check out what those who have tried it have to say. "I have been buying this brand for probably 10 years & it is the only one I buy," one satisfied customer shared.

"While everybody else is grabbing their coffee each morning, I grab this," another reviewer said. If Swiss Miss Marshmallow has the power to turn someone away from coffee, it's obviously worth the hype.

As of April 2023, Swiss Miss Marshmallow retails for $6.92 on Amazon

Best variety pack: Total Indulgence Gourmet Hot Chocolate Mix

If you crave variety in your hot chocolate, turn to Total Indulgence. Total Indulgence makes delicious hot chocolate mixes. It sells a stellar variety pack with flavors such as Classic Milk Chocolate and Deep Dark Chocolate as well as three kinds of cappuccino. It's perfect for anyone with a penchant for rotating through flavors and households with picky drinkers or specific tastes.

As Total Indulgence notes, this is also a great option for gifting. If someone in your life loves hot chocolate, or you're unsure what to give that teacher, boss, or secret Santa recipient in your life, get this variety pack of hot chocolate. Who could possibly be unhappy with that?

One reviewer agrees, saying this variety pack "makes a wonderful gift!" They gave the product 5 stars, writing, "This was a gift for a friend. She said it's delicious & she loves it!" If you don't trust a random person on the internet, perhaps you'll trust two. "Got the variety pack. Worth every penny," another 5-star reviewer said.

You can indulge in Total Indulgence hot chocolate for $18 via Amazon

Best protein: ProtiDiet Hot Cocoa High Protein Drink Mix

Just because you're drinking hot chocolate doesn't mean you can't get some extra nutrients in. If you love the taste of hot chocolate but want it with more protein, check out ProtiDiet Hot Cocoa High Protein Drink Mix. ProtiDiet is designed for weight loss, making it a great option if you want a flavorful cup of hot chocolate without all the calories.

One serving of ProtiDiet contains 15 grams of protein and 90 calories. There are only 5 grams of carbs and 2 grams of sugar, and it's got a bit of potassium, calcium and iron, too.

On top of the extra protein you stand to gain, ProtiDiet Hot Cocoa High Protein Drink Mix is tasty. It's perfect to have after your cold-morning workouts as it'll keep you sated without sacrificing any flavor. As one reviewer said, "I thought it would have a different [taste] because of the protein added but it was so rich!!!!!!"

You can buy ProtiDiet Hot Cocoa High Protein Drink Mix for $29 via Amazon..

Best white chocolate mix: Land O'Lakes Arctic White Hot Cocoa Mix

Not everyone is a fan of regular chocolate, and that's okay. Just because you have a different flavor palette doesn't mean you shouldn't get to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate. Nobody knows that better than Land O'Lakes, which created an Arctic White Hot Cocoa Mix.

Land O'Lakes's white hot chocolate is luscious and creamy. You can mix it with milk or water, and it'll still taste full-bodied. It's so good that we're willing to bet it'll help you convert all white-chocolate deniers into believers.

As one reviewer said, "I liked how rich this White Chocolate hot cocoa mix is." Another customer was particularly enthusiastic about their love for this mix. "This White Chocolate hot cocoa is just a little slice of heaven on Earth!! Do not ever stop making this!!" they pleaded. If Land O'Lakes ever does stop making Arctic White mix, we'll be sure to direct them to this commenter.

As of April 2023, Land O'Lakes Arctic White Hot Cocoa Mix retails for $8 on Amazon.

Best dark chocolate mix: Castle Kitchen Double Dutch Dark Chocolate Premium Hot Chocolate

While milk chocolate wins the popularity contest over its chocolate brethren in a 2021 survey (via YouGov), dark chocolate still has a strong fan base. And because dark chocolate doesn't have any added milk solids, it ranks as a healthier option for chocolate-lovers.

If you love dark chocolate, check out Castle Kitchen Double Dutch Dark Chocolate Premium Hot Chocolate. It's vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free, and, best of all, it has that superb dark chocolate taste. Dark chocolate makes for a great hot chocolate mix because it's so flavorful. Put it in powder form to make into a hot drink, and you've got something that borders on addictive.

As one reviewer said, "Tastes rich, like fancy real hot cocoa like at a French bistro." Another commented, "This has a wonderful aroma and has a smooth, chocolate flavor." How could you not love something fragrant and toothsome that transports you to France the instant you take a sip?

To buy Castle Kitchen Double Dutch Dark Chocolate Premium Hot Chocolate for $12, visit Amazon.

Best milk chocolate mix: Stephen's Milk Chocolate Gourmet Hot Cocoa

Milk chocolate is amazing and tasty, too, though. Although you don't get some of those aforementioned health benefits, you still get what matters most — a delicious cup of hot chocolate. If you're in the market for a milk chocolate mix, Stephen's Gourmet Hot Cocoa is the way to go.

This milk chocolate hot cocoa mix is sweet without being too sweet. It's easy to stir up and blends beautifully into whatever liquid you pair it with. It's fabulous on its own, but you'll also be satisfied using it as a coffee creamer. "I put a teaspoon of it in my coffee each morning. Love that special chocolatey taste!" one 5-star reviewer said.

Another reviewer noted a key feature: "Does not clump." Anyone who's had a powdered hot chocolate mix before knows that many are prone to clumping. And while some people don't mind the clumps, others are vehemently against them. If you're in the latter camp, Stephen's is the way to go.

If you want this clump-free hot chocolate mix for $10.90, visit Amazon.

Best budget: Abuelita Mexican Style Instant Hot Chocolate Mix

Let's face it. Although hot chocolate is a tasty drink that we'd all love to consume in copious amounts, it can be pretty pricy to drink on a regular basis. Double Donut is amazing, but at $1 per ounce, it's more of a special treat than a household staple. To enjoy hot chocolate as much as possible, most of us need an inexpensive option, and we want one that still tastes good.

The answer is Abuelita Mexican Style Instant Hot Chocolate. A Nestlé product, this mix is only $0.31 per ounce, but it's got a gourmet flavor that you'll love. "It's a smooth hot chocolate with a hint, a light touch of cinnamon," one reviewer noted.

Mexican-style hot chocolate has some added spices, but it's not spicy. We think you'll be satisfied. You may even be converted. "Cinnamon always belongs in hot cocoa now!" another reviewer stated.

To keep your wallet and your stomach happy, get Abuelita Mexican Style Instant Hot Chocolate Mix for $2.79 on Amazon.

Best to mix with alcohol: Hershey's Cocoa

If there's one thing that's better than a cup of hot chocolate, it's a spiked cup of hot chocolate. There are thousands of recipes for an at-home hard hot chocolate. We recommend you start with Hershey's Cocoa.

Hershey's Cocoa has no added sugars, no added flavorings, and no milk products — it's just 100% cacao. And though you might think of it as more of a baking ingredient than a hot chocolate base, it's perfect for creating hard hot chocolates because it puts you in control. Whether you're spiking your hot chocolate with Fireball for a cinnamon flavor or Baileys for a creamy drink, Hershey's Cocoa is a top-notch go-to ingredient. As one reviewer said, "Try it, and you won't be disappointed."

You don't have to use it exclusively with alcohol, though. As one customer noted, "I add this to my coffee every morning." It's a versatile drink mix that's been enjoyed by people around the world for years.

As of April 2023, you can buy Hershey's Cocoa for $18.48 visit Amazon.