Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Mix

by Erin

Love salted caramel? Try adding it to your own homemade salted caramel hot chocolate mix! Makes a great gift as well.

Homemade Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Mix.

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This homemade mix was given as part of the gifts to my family this year. After Kate notified me of the depleted Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix stock I had made last year, I took that as a hint/demand for more. Even though the previous recipe was delicious, I always spring on the opportunity to try out a new blend. Salted caramel hot cocoa seemed like a more than safe bet for being delicious.

Making this recipe definitely has a couple more steps (you have to make the caramel first and then pulverize it into powder), but is not as time consuming as it may first appear.

Although noisy it most definitely was. I thought my food processor was dying at first hearing how loud the caramel pieces were whirling around in there, but thankfully all was well. Good thing too because I need to make more of this for myself after trying a sample.

This would also be a great filling to add to the popular beverage bombs, to make salted caramel hot cocoa bombs!

Flavors Beyond Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Mix:

Is hot cocoa mix the same as hot chocolate mix?

Seeing that list above you may wonder what the difference it. To be honest, I didn’t realize there was a difference so those titles are totally arbitrary. Since then however, I have learned that technically most concoctions I have made are hot cocoa.

Hot chocolate starts with a base of thick melted chocolate, to which hot liquids are added to turn it into a drinkable consistency. Meanwhile, cocoa uses cocoa powder, sugar, and other flavorings.

You might argue that my recipes do in fact have real chocolate in them, but I believe the addition of sugar and other flavors tips the scale to being cocoa. Long story short: I should relabel them all including this one to be “Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa Mix”.

Prepared Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa in a mug with the mix in a jar behind it.

One year ago: Bacon and Cheese Egg McMuffin Cups

Homemade Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Mix.


Yield: 4 cup dry (16 Servings) Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat


  • 1-1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder*
  • 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch**
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 6 oz. good-quality bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped***


  1. Line a baking sheet with lightly oiled parchment paper, set aside.
  2. In a medium pan, preferably non-stick, add sugar and place pan over medium heat, allowing the sugar to melt without stirring. The edges and underneath will start to melt first, so gently jiggle the pan to help more of the sugar melt in to the mixture. Keep an eye on it, until it is all melted and has a medium golden color, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the vanilla and sea salt, and gently swirl.
  3. Immediately pour liquid caramel out onto the prepared baking sheet and allow it to cool and harden completely, about 30 minutes. Using the bottom of your pan, a mallet, or rolling pin, break the caramel into small pieces that fit into your food processor.
  4. Place the caramel shards into the food processor and close the lid. Pulse the caramel into a fine powder. Let the powder settle before opening, about 4 minutes.
  5. To the pulverized caramel, add cocoa, dry milk powder, cornstarch, and brown sugar. Pulse a few times to combine, then process for 15 seconds until combined and powdery.
  6. To the cocoa/caramel mixture, add the chocolate. Pulse the mixture a few times to chop and combine, then process for 15-30 seconds more or until the mixture is all combined and powdery.
  7. Store the mixture in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
  8. To make a cup: Add 3-4 tablespoons of mix to 1-1/4 cup hot milk and stir well. Top with whipped cream or a marshmallow.


* Preferably good-quality Dutch process; ** Optional – makes for a creamier, thicker finished product and also helps your mix not clump in storage; *** Preferably from a block, but chocolate chips will work too

Did You Make This Recipe?
I want to see! Tag me on Instagram at @TheSpiffyCookie and hashtag it #TheSpiffyCookie.

Source: Budget Gourmet Mom

Did you make this recipe? I want to see! Tag @THESPIFFYCOOKIE on Instagram and hashtag it #THESPIFFYCOOKIE
Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate in a mug topped with marshmallows.

Post updated 1/30/2023, photo above is the original.

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Jessi @ Quirky Cookery January 12, 2012 - 10:44 pm

Oh my, that takes hot cocoa to a whole new level!

Stephanie December 29, 2011 - 6:22 pm

Ohh, this might be the best homemade hot cocoa mix I ave seen yet!! Love salted caramel!

Lauren at Keep It Sweet December 29, 2011 - 2:45 pm

I would love a big mug of this right now!

Cassie December 28, 2011 - 11:10 am

I love homemade mixes like this one. The salted caramel pushes it over the top for me, sounds perfect, Erin!

Steph@stephsbitebybite December 28, 2011 - 11:06 am

Could this get any better? Um…no…I think not!!

bety December 27, 2011 - 11:00 pm

I can’t wait to make a cup

Tracey December 27, 2011 - 7:18 pm

Oh my word, what a genius idea!! I’ll have to give it a try soon and if I can remember, maybe it’ll be part of my gift baskets next year. I actually tried to make homemade cocoa mix this year, but used subpar cocoa powder and it wound up tasting metallic. Ick!! Lesson learned :)

spiffycookie December 28, 2011 - 8:28 am

Aw that is most unfortunate! You should make a batch of this mix now for yourself instead of waiting until next year :-)

Liz @ Southern Charm December 27, 2011 - 11:15 am

What a great idea for a gift. Love this.

Now … to get a food processor. haha.


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