Best Hot Chocolate Mix: Get Cozy with the Best Hot Cocoa Mix

The best hot chocolate mix is creamy, richly chocolatey, and ready in an instant. Because who has the time to warm milk in a pot and break out the whisk to make hot chocolate with actual cocoa powder, sugar, salt, vanilla, etc.? Some of us have children and cats and partners and needy potted plants. We can’t mess around with multiple dishes and kitchen tools. When we want hot chocolate, we want it easily. We want to simply mix powder with hot water and stir. But we still want it to taste creamy and like it’s at least heard of a cacao nib. 

Luckily for us and other time-strapped or simply impatient hot chocolate lovers, the Sporked team gathered some of the top-selling and most popular hot cocoa mixes to find the best hot chocolate mixes out there. We used only hot water when making each cup so we could assess the mixes at their most bare-boned. There was nowhere for these mixes to hide any flaws in our taste test. Here are the best hot chocolate mixes on the market:


Best of the Best

Nestle Classic Rich Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix

There is no better hot cocoa mix out there than Nestle Classic Rich Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix. It is truly the best hot chocolate mix you can buy nationwide at the grocery store. It is so rich and creamy and chocolatey. Even when made with water, it tastes like it was made with whole milk. That makes it a great accessible and money-saving option. But it wouldn’t matter if you were the richest person in the world! This is still the best hot chocolate mix that we would recommend to you because it really is that good.

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

Trader Joe’s Organic Hot Cocoa Mix

Best Budget

Trader Joe’s Organic Hot Cocoa Mix

Not only does Trader Joe’s cocoa have the best packaging but the beloved/cultish store also makes the best-tasting hot chocolate mix. “It has a nice cocoa flavor,” said Sporked managing editor Gwynedd Stuart. “It’s sweet but not obnoxiously so.” It has a cocoa flavor that stays with you with a pleasantly bittersweet finish. It tastes like real chocolate and that makes it real good. Admittedly, this is the cocoa writer Jordan Myrick currently has in their  pantry. They didn’t come in thinking it would win, but they feel delightfully validated that it did.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

9.5/10

Sporks

Best Flavored

Good & Gather Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa Mix

Good & Gather, aka Target, Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa Mix is the best hot cocoa mix when it comes to unique flavors. Their salted caramel is so rich, salty, and decadent. It tastes like something you’d get at a local coffee shop. Good & Gather also sells hot chocolate mix flavors like double chocolate and peppermint, which are very good too. But for our money, this salted caramel hot chocolate way to go. Jordan promises you will like it. That’s a certified Sporked guarantee!

Credit: Merc

Rating:

9.5/10

Sporks

Great Value Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix

Best Value

Great Value Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix

If hot cocoa isn’t a once-in-a-while treat for you but a regular, everyday beverage, then you should stock up on a few tubs of Walmart’s signature mix. “ It’s a solid, football game-style hot chocolate. (Those from the Northeast can sub “hockey game” in for “football game,” if that makes more sense.) It’s terrifically creamy, even without any milk or actual cream, and it is definitely sweet. You don’t get a ton of authentic chocolate flavor, but it will scratch a hot cocoa itch, making it the best hot chocolate mix on a budget.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Walmart

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

Swiss Miss Indulgent Collection Dark Chocolate

Best Dark Chocolate

Swiss Miss Indulgent Collection Dark Chocolate 

This is the best hot chocolate mix to pick up if you want a more grown-up version of a childhood favorite, for sure. It’s dark and indulgent. It keeps you coming back for sip after sip. If Great Value is hockey game or football game cocoa, this is Ice Capades cocoa. It’s a little fancier—a little more upscale. It’s richer and feels like it’s really warming you up from the inside. It’s the type of hot chocolate you hold with both hands, just under your nose, breathing in the warm, sweet vapors before taking a sip. A cinematic hot chocolate. 

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

Kroger Hot Cocoa Mix

Best Creamy

Kroger Dutch Hot Cocoa Mix Milk Chocolate

Possibly the sweetest of the bunch, Kroger’s mix also produces the creamiest cream-free cocoa of them all. This one also comes with mini marshmallows, which immediately melt into the cocoa—they could be the source of the mix’s creaminess. We’d like this cocoa on a brisk, winter walk. We want it poured into a to-go mug that we can hold to warm up our hands as we stroll the frigid streets or emerge from our ice fishing cabin onto a deeply frozen lake.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Kroger

Rating:

7/10

Sporks

Other Products We Tried:
Treat Life, Starbucks Classic, Swiss Miss Lucky Charms, Nestle, Select, Beaumont, Swiss Miss, Swiss Miss Marshmallow, William Sonoma, Silly Cow, Land O’Lakes

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  • Camino mix (Canadian company) is amazing; the only better hot chocolate I have had is very expensive shaved chocolate mix from chocolate shops. Incredibly delicious.

    Reply
  • Best dairy-free? Swiss Miss!

    Reply
  • Have you ever nestled near a fireplace with Land O lakes coco? That is my favorite one out of all.

    Reply
  • this is so unhealthy but I use swiss miss milk chocolate as my coffee sweetener most days 😅 it’s delicious tho

    Reply
  • Would love a best sugar free cocoa mix recommendation!

    Reply
    • Agreed

      Reply
  • The last time that I had nestle it was just horrible. Nowadays, I only use hot chocolate powder to add to coffee. If I am making hot chocolate, I heat milk and mix in some ovaltine.

    Reply
  • The real answer is Nestlé Abuelita

    Reply
    • The only hot chocolate I drink since I found it is abuelita!

      Reply
  • It’s way too slow/unorganized to go through these Spooked rankings… I like the idea, but with no way to pick between categories just makes this website feel useless.

    It needs a rankings tab and mini sub tabs for things like Chip rankings/Chicken/Beef/Drinks/Sweets/Ice cream/Frozen etc etc

    Reply