My Perfect Homemade Student Christmas Gift: Hot Cocoa

If there’s one type of gift you will likely never see me give students, it’s a hand-made craft. Don’t get me wrong; there’s absolutely nothing wrong with those types of gifts – I think they’re fabulous. I am just a TERRIBLE crafter!

Luckily, we have Joy Morin at for those types of student gifts. 🙂 She has many great homemade ideas on her site, including paper ornaments, glass ornaments, and mittens.

What my students WILL get from me is some kind of baked good or food item. My favorite is a homemade hot chocolate mix because what kid doesn’t love hot chocolate?!

Let’s pause for an important question.

Do you call it “Hot Cocoa” or “Hot Chocolate”?

I usually say, “Hot Chocolate.” I only used “Cocoa” in the title because it was shorter. Ha! LOL

Tell me what you call it in the comments! 🙂

This post will show you how to put together this fun homemade gift!


Recipe Considerations

Since I’m not exactly a recipe website, I’m not sharing the recipe directly but have recommended ones online you can use (like I do!)

My favorite recipe is from Cook’s Country, but since it’s a paid recipe service, here are some other versions you could try from Pioneer Woman and AllRecipes. 

Consider recipes made with powdered milk, so students only have to add hot water.  Along those same lines, I would advise you to not do the layered-type cocoa mix where you have to dump the whole container into a pot to mix.

What all these recipe mixes have in common:

  • Dry milk powder
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Confectioner’s sugar (dissolves better than white sugar)

(P.S. The only addition to this Cook’s Country is white chocolate chips and a bit of salt.)

Since the Cook’s Country recipe uses white chocolate chips, they have you mix the recipe in a food processor to get the chips into smaller pieces so they will dissolve better/quicker.

Unfortunately, this happens when you process dry powder stuff in a food processor. It’s a blustery mess! LOL

If you use a recipe with just the dry good items and no chocolate chips, a nice big bowl and whisk will suffice and save you a mess!

I had to multiply the recipe quite a bit for volume. It’s a bit hard to see the size of the bowl from this perspective, but just know it’s BIG.


Packaging Up

Now, into jars.

Most recipes call for 1/3 cup of mix to make one 6oz cup of hot chocolate. I like giving them away in 1/2 pint size jars (8oz) as it holds enough to make approximately three cups of hot chocolate -a nice little gift for one student.

If you have fewer students or want to do more, a pint jar would hold enough they could make a large batch of cocoa for 4-6 people.

A funnel can be helpful for transferring the powdery mix into the jars with minimal mess. Otherwise, you could simply use a large spoon to scoop the mix into each jar carefully.

I have to admit the non-crafty person in me would love to just stop at this point and call it good, but it’s Christmas, and a little decoration makes it “happier.” So I bite the bullet and decorate (as simply as possible!)

This particular year I used up leftover gift tags, hot gluing them to the lid.

I think it turned out decently cute!

Don’t forget to include instructions on how much to use in each serving!

Isn’t this a lovely little studio-Christmas setting?

Happy day.

Don’t forget to vote for “Hot Cocoa” or “Hot Chocolate” in the comments! 🙂


More Ideas

Looking for more Christmas gift ideas? Check out these posts:

Christmas Gift Ideas for Music Students: Who Couldn’t Use Another Idea?!

Music-Themed Bookmarks for Student Christmas Gifts

Christmas Gift Round-Up


Have you ever made hot cocoa or another food item for your students? I would love to hear from you in the comments!


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