Hot Chocolate Gets a Sugar-Lift

Sooooo, I like hot chocolate.  More recently, I’ve started making it from scratch (and by scratch, I mean the recipe on the side of the Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder box), instead of buying packets, which are way too sugary for me.  (As a side note, the Starbucks hot chocolate packets are pretty good).   The original single-serving recipe calls for 2 tbsp of sugar.  It’s not bad, I love it!  However, this morning, I decided to try honey.  Mostly because we have lots and I don’t want it to harden and be unusable (it’s happened before!), but also because I’ve been wanted to experiment with honey as a sugar substitute.

If I’m being totally honest, I originally thought maybe honey had healthier attributes than sugar, which was my initial drive for the substitution.  After lots of research, I found that it won’t make much of a difference, and if it does, it will be very slight.  If you want to get picky, yes, it’s sweeter than sugar and while teaspoon-for-teaspoon honey has more calories, the thinking is that you’ll use less, perhaps in the long-run lowering your calorie intake from sweeteners.  I think this is probably crap for most people (people like them their sweets!), so I really think taste should be the driving factor.  Don’t take my word for it, check out both sides of the honey versus sugar argument and decide for yourself.  I know I’m not being any healthier and I want a different taste.  I’m happy with that.

Ingredients (adapted from Hershey’s Unsweetened Cocoa Powder box):

  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (dutch processed or other, contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t really make a difference)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • dash salt
  • splash vanilla


  1. Combine cocoa powder and salt in a mug.
  2. Microwave milk until desired temperature is reached. (2 minutes works for me)
  3. Add vanilla and honey to milk, stirring until dissolved.
  4. Add milk mixture to mug and stir until dissolved.

The sugar version of this tastes good of course, but the honey version added just a hint of extra flavor.  I’ll be doing this from now on!


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