Why spend top dollar at expensive coffee shops? In less than five minutes, you can make your own delicious ginger spiced hot chocolate in the microwave for a fraction of the cost.
Why you’ll love it: It’s so easy to make but tastes lots better than powdered mixes in packets.
How long it takes: 2 minutes
Equipment you’ll need: microwave-safe mug, microwave oven
You won’t believe how easy it is to make your own hot chocolate. In no time at all, you can be sipping a mug of creamy, chocolatey hot cocoa. The only dish you’ll have to wash is the mug you use to drink the hot chocolate.
I don’t think I’ll ever buy those little envelopes of hot chocolate mix again. You know which ones I’m talking about. The envelopes that have tiny dehydrated marshmallows that never really live up to real marshmallow stature. And why spend money on all that packaging? Bad for your wallet, bad for the environment.
You’ll love this easy ginger spiced hot chocolate. When you’re feeling cold and shivery, you need a warm, sweet creamy mug of hot cocoa. You really do!
For a wonderful treat, make a batch of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, pumpkin streusel bread, or gingersnap cookies with white chocolate and cranberries to go along with your ginger-spiced hot chocolate. Your house will smell like heaven!
I’ll get you started on the recipe here but as always, you’ll find the printable recipe card near the end of the post with complete instructions and nutrition information.
What You’ll Need
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: Cocoa powder can be found in the baking aisle of the grocery store. It’s cocoa beans that have been roasted and dried, with most of the cocoa butter extracted, then ground into a fine powder. It has only 12 calories per tablespoon.
- Powdered Sugar: Also called confectioner’s sugar. Because of its fine texture, powdered sugar is easily stirred into the hot beverage. Regular granulated white sugar would not dissolve as easily.
- Ground Ginger: Found in the spice aisle of the grocery store, ground ginger is pale yellow. It’s usually used in baking, such as gingersnaps or gingerbread muffins, which by the way, would go really well with this hot chocolate!
- Milk: Use the kind of milk you like best. While whole milk makes the creamiest hot cocoa, other types of milk work well, too, including non-dairy milks.
- Garnishes: While not totally necessary, garnishes are what makes a hot beverage really special and feel like a splurge. Keep reading for ideas.
How To Make Homemade Hot Chocolate
Ginger spiced hot chocolate is super easy to make. Select your favorite microwave-safe mug. Measure out a few teaspoons of cocoa powder, add a couple teaspoons of powdered sugar, and a dash of ground ginger. Stir it up a bit so that all the ingredients are mixed.
The mixture you have in your mug is similar to what comes in an envelope but instead of adding water, you’ll add real milk. Choose full fat, 2%, non-fat, or non-dairy, it’s totally up to you. Whisk the milk into the dry ingredients and pop it into the microwave. Heat for a minute or so, stir again, and your hot chocolate is ready to sip.
Isn’t that so easy? And think about it. How much do you think you spent on your mug of hot cocoa? Pennies, I’d guess, compared to three or four dollars at a coffee shop. It’s so economical to make your own, plus you don’t have to leave the comfort of your warm cozy house.
If you’re feeling like a splurge (and why not?), top your hot chocolate with a nice swirl of whipped cream and chocolate shavings. A drizzle of chocolate syrup is fun, too. Or top your hot chocolate with real mini marshmallows! Or you can get fancy with a little candied ginger!
Yes! Don’t overfill your mug to avoid spilling. Make sure you don’t overheat it. Stir it well and test it with a spoon. If it’s not hot enough the first time you try it, continue to heat in 15-second increments, checking the temperature each time.
While this recipe doesn’t call for water, many recipes with powdered milk do. We’ve all heard of superheated “exploding” water so you definitely want to be careful. The FDA recommends adding the hot cocoa mix before heating the water as this greatly reduces the risk of overheating the water.
Not all mugs are safe in the microwave. The glazed finish may contain harmful materials that leach into the hot beverage. Only use mugs that are labeled as microwave-safe.
Make It Your Own
- Adjust the sweetness level by reducing/increasing the powdered sugar.
- No microwave? Heat the hot chocolate on the stovetop, stirring often, until warmed through. You can easily double or triple the recipe, if desired.
- Lactose intolerant or vegan? Use non-dairy milk, like almond or soy.
- Try sweetening your hot chocolate with maple syrup or honey.
- If desired, omit the ground ginger and try ground cinnamon instead. I love to make Mexican hot chocolate with cinnamon and a few drops of vanilla extract. Or add your own homemade pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice, to taste.
Make Ahead Idea
Looking for the convenience of instant hot cocoa? Measure out the powdered sugar, unsweetened cocoa, and ground ginger into a snack-size bag or small container. While you’re at it, make several bags, assembly line style.
When you’re ready to enjoy a mug of hot chocolate, simply pour the contents of the bag into a mug and whisk in the milk. Microwave as directed. So good and easy!
This mix makes a great Christmas gift, too! Or, if you’re looking for a gift that’s a little fancier, try Pop Rocks Hot Cocoa Bombs. Guaranteed to be a hit!
More Warm Drinks
Nothing warms you up from the inside out like hot cocoa! Fill a mug with hot cocoa, snuggle under a soft blanket, and be wrapped in sweet warm cozy happy thoughts. Try:
- Easy Hot Chocolate Recipe (with lactose-free option!)
- Hot White Russian Recipe (for adults only)
- Orange Hot Chocolate Recipe
- Stout Hot Chocolate
- Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate by Nutmeg Nanny – this one sounds delicious!
- 3 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons powdered sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 cup milk (whole milk, 2%, nonfat, or non-dairy)
- optional garnishes: whipped cream, dark chocolate shavings, marshmallows
- In a large microwave safe mug, whisk together cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and ground ginger.
- Slowly pour in milk while whisking.
- Microwave for 60-90 seconds or until hot. Whisk again and serve immediately with desired garnishes.
- You can also make this on the stovetop over low heat. Heat until warm and serve immediately. This method works best if you’re serving a large crowd.
- If desired, omit ginger for more traditional hot cocoa. Or add cinnamon and a few drops of vanilla extract to make Mexican hot chocolate.
- Nutritional information is calculated using 2% milk and does not include garnishes.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.