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

The best hot chocolate mix is creamy, chocolatey, and ready in an instant. I mean, 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 now. We want to simply combine hot chocolate mix with hot water and stir. That being said, we still want it to taste creamy and like it’s at least heard of a cacao nib. 

Over the course of two separate taste tests, the Sporked team gathered some of the top-selling and most popular hot cocoa mixes to find the best hot cocoa mix out there. We used both hot water and milk to taste both versions of these hot chocolate mix brands. Here are the options for the best hot chocolate mix on the market.


hot cocoa mix

Fan Favorite

Land O Lakes Chocolate Supreme

We were absolutely reamed by Sporked readers for not trying Land O Lakes hot chocolate mix in the first round of our hot cocoa mix taste test. This time around, we made sure to try it. And not just one Land O Lakes hot chocolate mix, all of them. Every single flavor. We thought they were good! It’s not the best hot chocolate mix (sorry!), but we like it. This Chocolate Supreme version is our favorite of the bunch. When made with milk, it’s rich and decently chocolatey. Land O Lakes isn’t just a butter company, people! —Jordan Myrick

Credit: Liv Averett / Instacart

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

hot chocolate mix

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 (see: #4) is hockey game or football game cocoa, this is Ice Capades hot cocoa mix. 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. —Justine Sterling

Credit: Liv Averett / Amazon

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

best hot chocolate 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 cocoa mix on a budget. —Justine Sterling

Credit: Liv Averett / Walmart

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

best hot chocolate mix

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 Jordan Myrick guarantee! —Justine Sterling

Credit: Liv Averett / Target

Rating:

9.5/10

Sporks

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 one of the best hot chocolate mix options you can buy at the grocery store. “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. —Justine Sterling

Credit: Liv Averett

Rating:

9.5/10

Sporks

best hot cocoa mix

Best of the Best

Nestle Classic Rich Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix

There is no better hot chocolate 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. —Justine Sterling

Credit: Liv Averett / Instacart

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

Other Products We Tried:
Treat Life, Starbucks Classic, Swiss Miss Lucky Charms, Nestle, Select, Beaumont, Swiss Miss, Sprouts, Numi Drinking Chocolate, Land O Lakes (all flavors), Good & Gather (all flavors)


About the Author

Sporked Staff

The Sporked Staff tastes everything and anything. They are obsessive about groceries and finding the best of any type of food or drink, from frozen fried shrimp to Dijon mustard to gummy candy. And they're always on a hunt for the best new products. When they aren't eating professionally, they're eating recreationally. And often they're browsing grocery store aisles, just for fun.

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  • You need to try Abuelita hot chocolate! Originally comes in a hard bar form but they make mix packages now!

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  • Land O Lakes ftw

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  • I’ll have to try these! Love the sea salt caramel hot chocolate!

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  • Came here to look for Hot Cocoa rankings and you did not disappoint!

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  • Thoughtful! And the Land-o-Lakes has been a sleeper for a while…it’s my favorite but now I’m on the hunt for your number one.

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  • If you want THE best Cocoa go to KingsCoastCoffee. Its only available for a limited time during Christmas time each year. Hands down the best you can buy.

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  • It may be because you are on the west coast and don’t have access to it, but you are missing out on THE best hot chocolate. Tim Horton’s!

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  • Agree that Swiss miss is crap. Especially the KCups. Tasted like water.
    Silly Cow farms is AMAZING! ALL flavors are great. Must me mixed with milk though. Water is a no with those.

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  • If you didn’t try Stephen’s Hot Cocoa, it wasn’t a legitimate ranking.

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  • Try the Silly Cow brand hot chocolates. They are the best.

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  • You need to rerun this including the ghiradelli, Starbucks, ovaltine, and landolakes mixes. All available at Walmarts and targets across the country.

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  • Where’s the land ‘o lakes representation!!

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  • You are missing the best brand ( Land O Lakes)

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    • Or Starbucks

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      • Essential Everyday
        Ghirardelli
        Sillycow Farms
        Stephens
        All of the other flavors put out by these companies

  • Should have thrown the Kroger “Private Selection” Double Cocoa in there. Would have dominated. I’m surprised that Abuelita and Ibarra wasn’t tested here also.

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  • Ok, now taste a latino hot chocolate like “Ibarra” or “abuelita” and prepare to get your mind blown

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    • Hi Lina! Mexican Hot Chocolate is getting its own separate ranking so keep an eye out for it!

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  • I love sporked and have loved having y’all on GMM but I know sometimes you listen to the comments so I just came here to beg you to reconsider land o lakes!

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  • You need to try stevens gourmet. Classic and mint

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  • Ugh, I love your lists, but you seriously missed out by not including Land of Lakes hot chocolate. With that said, keep up the excellent work, but be sure to do your research and try all the products available. 🙂

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  • Tim Hortons is the only hot chocolate! Have to order for delivery most of the time, but so worth it! Land o Lakes up there too, but still Timmy’s for the win 🙂

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  • Isn’t Cadbury sold on US?

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  • Y’all gotta try the Dandelion Chocolate Hot Chocolate. By far my favorite chocolate company, based out of San Francisco.

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  • staff of Sporked.com,
    It is an atrocity beyond measure to have excluded all brands of widely available Mexican Hot Chocolate into your considerations. The Mexican people have revolutionized the modern world of flavored milk, and it is a disservice to all visitors of Sporked.com to have left these out. This letter is not meant to criticize the work of Dutch and Swiss culinarians, but to urge the Sorked.com team to confront the severity of their actions and rectify them. It is recognized that Mexican hot chocolate preparations require more time and care before serving than their powdered colleagues, but this will not be accepted as an excuse for such a dreadful offense.

    Reply
  • You should try Stephen’s cocoa. https://indulgentfoods.com/collections/stephens-hot-cocoa
    My wife and I stumbled upon this brand when visiting Colorado and think they are the best so far. Right above Land O’ Lakes.

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  • A swing and a miss. How did Ghirardelli not make the list? And why didn’t you try the same flavor with different brands to get a better comparison? And you only used hot water? Disappointed with this list.

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  • Y’all need to try Stephens! Sooo good!

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    • Right?! That’s what I said!

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  • Land o lakes is the best, it’s a crime it was ignored. Lol

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  • Land o lakes didn’t make the top list? They are so good!

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  • Thoughts on Land O Lakes? I love the white chocolate flavored one as I’d put that as best alternative in my opinion. But that’s just me.

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  • My favorite from years ago is Land O’ Lakes Hot Cocoa. I haven’t had it in quite a while because unfortunately ALL hot chocolate started to disagree with me for some reason. The mix of hot and sweet really messes with my stomach. Or did. I just haven’t chanced it lately. But yeah if you can find the Land O’ Lakes brand give it a try. They had a few varieties. I remember a salted caramel and a mint one which were both pretty nice iirc.

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  • My favorite is Ghirardelli with semi-sweet chocolate chips

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  • 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

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  • The real answer is Nestlé Abuelita

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

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    • Yessssssss exactly!

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    • Yup… iykyk!! Abuelitas is the only hot chocolate worth drinking!

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  • 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.

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  • Would love a best sugar free cocoa mix recommendation!

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    • Agreed

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

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

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  • Best dairy-free? Swiss Miss!

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    • Swiss Miss isn’t dairy free. Wish it was though.

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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.

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