16 Best Cocoa Powder for Hot Chocolate

Almost everyone loves chocolate. Whether eaten in the form of candy, a chocolate mix, shakes, or a hot chocolate drink, it is quite refreshing and can go with any snack at any time of the day.

Cocoa powder is the main ingredient used in making any chocolate consumable at all, for those who take it as a drink, getting the best Cocoa powder for hot chocolate drinks is an added advantage to the refreshing taste it provides.

This is why in this article we will be listing out the best cocoa powder for hot chocolate in the market, tips to keep in mind when buying the best cocoa powder for hot chocolate, and other FAQs. Read on

Where is Cocoa Powder Gotten From?

Cocoa powder is extracted from cocoa beans obtained from the pods. Through fermentation peeling, drying, and finally grinding, the powder is extracted.

Depending on the processing methods, there are two types of Cocoa powder produced which can be divided into natural powder and alkalization powder.

They can also be used as foods like candy, hot chocolate drinks, chocolate ice creams, cakes, and other things that contain chocolate.

Cocoa has a strong irresistible aroma and also has great benefits for your skin, hair, and general health.

Best Cocoa Powder For Hot Chocolate

Out of the many items that contain chocolate, a hot chocolate drink maybe your favorite. And we always want to know a little more about our very favorite things.

People with specific dietary regimens may tend to prioritize organic cocoa blends which are the rawest form of Cocoa powder.

It can be made in two ways either cold-pressing unroasted Cocoa beans or blending roasted Cocoa beans referred to as cacao powder.

This may taste bitter but it gives the most nutritious cocoa powder, it has the highest level of antitoxins and a high level of calorie and protein content which your body needs.

The roasted cocoa beans (cacao) are also as essential as the unroasted, only that during the roasting process, some essential nutrients may be altered.

For those who do not mind whatever process is involved in extracting the cocoa powder for their chocolate, listed below are some trusted brands with the best Cocoa powder for hot chocolate drinks to help you enjoy your favorite drink better.

  • Best Overall: Hershey’s Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • Best Quality Powder: Ghirardelli Majestic Premium Cocoa Powder & Terrasoul Superfoods
  • Best Budget: Anthony’s Organic Cocoa Powder
  • Best Hot Cocoa: Droste Cocoa Powder
  • Best For Health: Navitas Organics Cacao Powder
  • Best Pure: Valrhona Pure Cocoa powder
  • Best With Good Taste: Rodelle Dutch Processed
  • Best For Frosting: Nestle Toll House Cocoa Powder
  • Best Organic Powder: 365 Everyday Value Organic Cocoa Powder
  • Best For Baking: Hersley’s Special Dark Baking & Guittard Grand Cocoa Powder
  • Best For Coloring: The Cocoa Trader Alkalized Cocoa Powder
  • Best For Drinking: Wild Foods Store Cocoa Powder
  • Best For Brownie: Ghirardelli 100% Unsweetened Ground Cocoa Powder
  • Best For Family Use: Cacao Barry 100% Cocoa Powder

Best Overall

Hershey’s Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

Hershey has become a household name whenever the topic of best Cocoa powder is raised.

Hershey’s Cocoa powder is gluten-free and unsweetened which makes it preferable for those who are gluten intolerant and sugar conscious.

It comes in a resealable canister that keeps it safe from insects and makes storage easier for the user. It is mostly used in frosting, desserts, and hot chocolate drinks.

Key Features:

  • Natural, unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Made from 100% cacao
  • It has zero sugar, sodium, and saturated fat
  • Keto-friendly, Kosher certified

Pros

  • Delicious chocolate taste
  • Perfect for making traditional hot chocolate, hot cocoa, desserts
  • Comes in an 8-ounce resealable can
  • Gluten-free, non-GMO
  • Premium cocoa powder
  • Excellent for baking and beverage mixing

Cons

  • Not a good choice if you need a darker color

Best Quality

Ghirardelli Majestic Premium Cocoa Powder

Ghirardelli gives finely blended cocoa powder that is vegan friendly and suitable for baking cakes and desserts. It has a sweet taste and is rich in flavors.

Key Features:

  • It comes in 100% cocoa with 20/22% cocoa butter content
  • Dutch-processed, alkalized product
  • Premium flavor and quality
  • Gluten-free, unsweetened

Pros

  • It has a sweet taste and is rich in flavors
  • Gives your baked goods and beverages the perfect colors
  • No sugar, cholesterol, and sodium
  • It is affordable
  • Nib alkalization for better flavor

Cons

  • Some reviewers say the product is too sweet for them

Terrasoul Superfoods Raw Organic Cacao Powder

If you consider using this product for your hot chocolate, you may want to increase your milk or sugar if you’re looking for a sweet chocolate drink.

It is rich and robust in flavors and vegan-free. It also comes in a resealable bag that makes storage simple.

Key Features

  • Non-GMO, Earth Kosher, Raw, Keto, and Organic
  • Gluten-Free, Vegan
  • Cacao antioxidants provide cellular defense against the effects of free radicals, improving skin appearance and promoting cellular repair and rejuvenation

Pros

  • Rich in flavor
  • Easy to blend
  • Smooth texture

Cons

  • Some reviewers say the product is too sweet for them

Best Budget

Anthony’s Organic Cocoa Powder

This is best for people with specific dietary needs as it is organic and very affordable.

Key Features:        

  • Organic, non-GMO gluten-free
  • No preservatives or artificial ingredients
  • Unsweetened and non-alkalized
  • High in magnesium and is enriched with other essential vitamins

Pros

  • Rich, intense flavor of chocolate
  • Perfect for plant-based, keto, paleo, vegan meals
  • Affordable price
  • Provides impressive health benefits
  • Ideal for baking and cooking
  • Dark and delicious

Cons

  • Poor packaging and the cocoa powder may be leaked during shipping

Best Hot Cocoa

Droste Cocoa Powder

Droste can also be used for frosting, baking brownies, and for cooking foods that require chocolate. But it is the best Cocoa powder for hot chocolate due to its dark, rich, and natural flavor.

Key Features:

  • Rich, dark cocoa powder
  • Made from 100% cocoa
  • Dutch-processed, European-style
  • Non-GMO, gluten-free

Pros                                                           

  • Perfect for making hot cocoa and other beverages
  • No sodium and cholesterol
  • Its sugar content is less than 1g
  • Premium quality, impressive flavor
  • Vegan-friendly, Kosher certified

Cons

  • Poor packaging, the paper packaging can easily be damaged during shipping

Best For Health

Navitas Organics Cacao Powder

This is best when considering the best Cocoa powder for health. It is a smooth natural unsweetened Cocoa powder good for hot chocolate drinks. It is called cacao powder because it is extracted from roasted Cocoa beans.

Key Features

  • USDA Organic, Non-GMO, Kosher
  • Vegan, gluten-free
  • Navitas Organics Cacao Powder is made from single origin, Fairtrade certified, USDA organic cacao beans that have been grown and processed to benefit its farmers, the environment, and your body!
  • A highly nutritious substitute for regular cocoa powder. Per serving, it contains 25% DV magnesium, 10% DV iron, 19% DV fiber, and 195mg antioxidants (flavanols)

Pros                         

  • 100% cocoa
  • Healthier and has more antioxidants
  • Deliciously rich with bold chocolate taste
  • No added sugar
  • Great for baking and smoothies
  • Affordable

Cons

  • It is very bitter by itself, but you can blend it sweetened vegan powder in one’s morning oatmeal.

Best Pure

Valrhona Pure Cocoa Powder

Unlike the regular dark brown appearance, most Cocoa powders come with, this one has a dark reddish hue that makes it stand out. It can be used for baking cakes and chocolate desserts.

Key Features

  • Pure and powerful flavor
  • Palette of subtle flavors
  • Warm red mahogany color
  • Dutch-processed

Pros

  • Sugar-free
  • Incredible fine powder
  • Kosher certified
  • Enhance the flavor of your meal
  • A great choice for delicious chocolate drinks and other gourmet recipes
  • It is also a good choice for making truffles, mousse, and hot chocolate

Cons

  • The lid doesn’t fit very well
  • The calorie content is higher than other products

Best with Good Taste

Rodelle Dutch Processed

If you’re looking for the tastiest hot chocolate, Rodelle provides the best Cocoa powder for it. It is Dutch-processed which reduces the acidity of the cocoa to improve the taste of the powder.

Key Features:

  • Dutch-processed to reduce acidity
  • Come in bulk sizes
  • Rich flavor and dark finish
  • Made from 100% cocoa

Pros

  • Resealable bag for keeping the freshness
  • Consistent result in baking
  • Non-GMO, gluten-free
  • Superior chocolate flavor
  • A great choice for making smoothies and baked goods
  • Dark finish

Cons

  • The product tends to melt under poor storage easily

Best for Frosting

Nestle Toll House Cocoa Powder

Unsweetened Cocoa powder that is blended smooth from natural cocoa and can be used for frosting, baking, and drinks.

Key Features:

  • Made from 100% cocoa
  • The smooth, rich chocolate flavor
  • Unsweetened, natural cocoa powder
  • A great choice for frosting, desserts, and drinks

Pros

  • It is keto-friendly
  • Free of sugar or sweeteners
  • Has no fat and sodium
  • Perfect for various savory recipes
  • It has low calories
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • The product packaging is thin, and the lid is not properly sealed

Best Organic

365 Everyday Value Organic Cocoa Powder

365 Everyday Value is a well-known brand that manufactures healthy and organic products.

This brand’s cocoa powder is a good choice for anyone looking for an organic item. This product delivers the delicious flavor you crave thanks to high-quality and clean ingredients.

Key Features:

  • High-quality ingredients
  • It has an impressive flavor and dark color
  • Kosher, vegan, and organic certified
  • No sugar added, Dutch-processed

Pros

  • Produce from fair-trade cacao beans
  • Has zero sodium and cholesterol
  • Fresh and tasty flavor
  • The packaging is nice
  • A great choice for baking and beverages
  • Has a fair price

Cons

  • We haven’t found any cons yet

Best For Baking

Hershey’s Special Dark Baking Cocoa Powder

Because Hershey cocoa powder is inexpensive and widely available, many people are familiar with this brand. Hershey’s special dark baking cocoa powder is also a fantastic product that should be considered.

The Special Dark version is a Dutch-process product, which means it has been alkali-processed cocoa powder. This product has a lighter, sweeter flavor with less bitter and sour notes.

Keep in mind that this product is only suitable for recipes that call for baking powder.

Key Features:

  • Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • Made from 100% cacao
  • Mildly sweet, balanced, and delicious
  • Sugar-free, sodium-free, and fat-free

Pros

  • An ideal ingredient for classic hot cocoa, chocolate milk
  • A dark color for making Oreo cookie
  • Resealable can for maintaining freshness
  • Low-calorie
  • Ideal for homemade cakes and frostings
  • Non-GMO and gluten-free

Cons                                             

  • This version has a milder flavor than the natural unsweetened version.

Guittard Grand Cocoa

This cocoa powder can also be used for both baking and hot chocolate. It is made specifically to cover both as 51% of the powder is sweet ground which is suitable for a cup of hot chocolate.

Key Features

  • Grand Cacao sweet ground drinking chocolate
  • NON-GMO, peanut-free, gluten-free
  • Red-Dutch process powder and sweet ground chocolate
  • All-natural, real vanilla

Pros

  • It’s thick and super-rich
  • The powder makes a most delectably delicious hot chocolate
  • Ingredients are all-natural and not genetically engineered
  • Not too sweet, not bitter

Cons

  • Its quite expensive

Best for Coloring

The Cocoa Trader Alkalized Cocoa Powder

If you’re looking for the best black cocoa powder? The Cocoa Trader Alkalized is the best brand for you.

Because this product is made from 100% authentic cacao beans and is Dutch-processed, it has the deep black color that your baking recipe requires.

This European-style cocoa powder has a smooth, mellow, and earthy flavor with balanced acidity. One piece of good news for baking enthusiasts is that Cocoa Trader Alkalized cocoa powder can be used as a coloring agent.

Key Features:

  • Dutch-processed, unsweetened
  • The smooth and mellow flavor
  • Strong dark color
  • It is rich in flavonoids, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals

Pros

  • A great natural coloring agent in baked goods
  • Easily dissolve in hot liquids
  • A great gift for health
  • Sugar-free and sodium-free
  • Enriched with iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium

Cons

  • This product is great for coloring, but not great for adding flavor

Best For Drinking

Wild Foods Store Cocoa Powder

This cocoa powder product is a handcrafted product that the artisans cold-press. As a result, it has a fascinating taste and can elevate your favorite beverage to the next level.

This cocoa powder can be used for a variety of purposes, including cooking, drinking, baking, shaking, and so on. Furthermore, it is an intriguing ingredient for hot chocolate, or you can mix it with your morning coffee to improve the flavor.

Key Features:

  • 100% handcrafted
  • Organic, non-alkalized
  • Enriched antioxidants and flavonoids
  • A great choice for Keto coffee, shakes, smoothies, hot cocoa

Pros  

  • Highly versatile
  • It is an added boost of nutrition and taste
  • Vegan and Paleo-friendly
  • Free of sugar, fat, and sodium
  • Rich in vitamins

Cons

  • Quite expensive

Best For Brownie

Ghirardelli 100% Unsweetened Ground Cocoa Powder

To increase the sweetness in any meal, use Ghirardelli’s unsweetened ground cocoa powder to make extraordinary sweet dishes, such as butter-free desserts, decadent brownies, or baking the most delicious chocolate cake.

This product includes a resealable bag for easy storage and to extend the life of the cocoa powder. Because this is natural, non-alkalized cocoa powder, it has a strong flavor and the color and power of dark chocolate.

Ghirardelli ground cocoa powder is also best recommended for your health because it is unsweetened, low in sodium and cholesterol, and reasonably priced.

Key Features:

  • 100% unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Rich and robust flavor
  • Natural, non-alkalized
  • Come from a sustainable source

Pros

  • Kosher certified
  • A perfect gift for baking creations
  • Has zero sodium, sugar, and cholesterols
  • Packaged in a resealable pouch for easy measuring and storage
  • You can easily blend into your favorite smoothies
  • A great choice for making brownies, chocolate chip cookies, muffins, cakes, and more

Cons

  • The pouch can be quite tricky to reseal once opened

Best For Family Use

Cacao Barry 100% Cocoa Powder

 
Cacao Barry cocoa powder is an excellent choice for family use because it comes in bulk size of 2,2 pounds and is reasonably priced. The Extra-brute version has a bright and intense color that is ideal for coating truffles or dusting with amber.

This product contains 100 percent cocoa powder and provides the rich flavor that every baking recipe requires.

This alkalized cocoa powder is also ideal for mousses, creams, ice creams, sorbets, confectionery toppings, and decoration.

The flavor of this product will astound your family, and the large-capacity pouch is ideal for feeding the entire family.

Key Features:

  • 100% pure cocoa powder
  • Large 2.2-pound bag
  • Premium quality
  • Bright and intense color

Pros

  • Perfect chocolate flavor
  • Great price with family-size
  • Rich and full taste
  • A great choice for baked goods and drinks
  • Nice aroma
  • Excellent coverings and decoration

Cons

  • Some reviewers complain about the bitter aftertaste
  • It has a high-calorie level
  • The product doesn’t come with a resealable bag

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Things To Consider When Buying The Best Cocoa Powder

When looking for the best cocoa powder, you may become confused by various cocoa powder items with different features and types.

But don’t worry; I’ve got some pointers to help you make a more informed decision.

When Should You Use Dutch-Processed Or Natural?

When deciding on the type of cocoa powder to use, keep the recipe in mind. If the recipe is mostly leavened with baking powder, use Dutch-processed cocoa powder.

If you’re making a recipe that requires a lot of baking soda, you should use natural cocoa powder.

Is Unsweetened Cocoa Powder a Good Option?

Whether you buy cocoa powder for baking or drinking, make sure it is free of sugar and sweeteners. As a result, you can adjust the sweetness level to your liking. Additionally, using unsweetened cocoa powder is a great option for dieters.

Packaging

Choose a cocoa powder with resealable packaging to keep the cocoa powder fresh for a long time. It will also be easier to store and use.

Paper packaging, in my opinion, is not the best option because it is easily damaged during the shipping process. If you enjoy the taste of the cocoa powder in the paper packaging, you should store it in another container after opening.

Storage

How should cocoa powder be stored? If you store cocoa powder properly, it can last for about three years.

The best way to store cocoa powder is in an airtight container in a dry and cool location.

You should not store the cocoa powder in the freezer or refrigerator because both promote a moist environment that can cause mold to grow on cocoa powder.

Health Benefits of Cocoa Powder

We’ll go over some of the benefits of cocoa powder quickly so you can see why you should start using it right away.

Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease

Polyphenols and flavanols found in cocoa powder help to improve heart health. Furthermore, flavonoids aid in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, whereas fatty acids tend to promote cardiovascular health.

Good For Mental Health

Cocoa powder can improve one’s mood, as well as reduce stress and depression. As a result, pregnant women are advised to consume chocolate to improve their mental health and reduce stress.

Prevent Cancer

Cocoa is high in antioxidants, which can help fight free radical damage, reduce oxidative stress, and lower cancer risk. Cocoa, in particular, is high in polyphenols, flavonoids, and niacin.

These substances can help protect cells, prevent cancer cells from resurfacing, prevent latent cancer cell proliferation, and promote cancerous cell death.

Aid Weight Loss

Cocoa powder makes an excellent gift for those on a keto diet. Cocoa powder can help suppress your appetite, keep you fuller for longer, prevent fat accumulation, and speed up the fat-burning process.

Improve Dental Health

Because cocoa contains antioxidants and antibacterial properties, it can help improve dental health and prevent gingivitis.

Theobromine, which is found in cocoa, can help to protect and strengthen your teeth’s enamel. However, you can only get these health benefits if you use unsweetened cocoa powder.

Hot Chocolate Recipe

In places with cold weather, hot chocolate is a lifesaver; it is taken almost as frequently as water. The best recipe for a hot chocolate drink can make your moments of chocolate drink worthwhile.

Requirements

  • Unsweetened Cocoa powder
  • Granulated sugar
  • Salt
  • Milk
  • Vanilla extract
  • Hot water

Steps

  1. Pour ¼ cup of unsweetened Cocoa powder in a cup
  2. Add ½ cup of water
  3. Add the quantity of milk you prefer
  4. Add the quantity of sugar preferred by you
  5. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  6. Then stir until it is well mixed and serve yourself

Vanilla acts like alcohol, it evaporates when exposed to air which usually reduces the taste of the drink, this is why it is added last just before you consume. It improves the taste of your drink but it is not a necessity.

Hot chocolate add-ins

A little drama on your hot chocolate to make it more fun and alluring won’t hurt, here are some toppings for your hot chocolate drink and other consumables.

  • Chopped peppermint
  • Chocolate chips
  • Caramel sauce drizzle
  • Mini marshmallows

FAQs

What is the difference between Cocoa and Cacao?

To put it simply, cocoa is cacao that has been roasted. Raw cacao powder is made from cold-pressed raw cacao beans.

Cacao powder is slightly more expensive than cocoa powder, but the chocolate flavor of cacao powder is more subtle. Furthermore, raw cacao nibs are ideal for trail mix or smoothies.

Between Cocoa or cacao which is healthier?

Cacao has more protein, fiber, magnesium, and iron, whereas cocoa is also highly nutritious and less expensive. As a result, cocoa powder is the more cost-effective option.

How long can cocoa powder last?

Under proper storage, cocoa powder can last for about 3 years.

Can you use expired cocoa powder?       

Expired cocoa powder will not make you sick, but it will lose its strength. For a few months after the expiration date, the cocoa powder still tastes great.

Conclusion

Having known the best Cocoa powder for hot chocolate, you can choose between the above-suggested brands which have made a name in many households by the consistency in the goodness their Cocoa powder provides.

Be it for baking purposes, for cooking, or a drink, one amongst the listed brands will serve effectively.

Also, brands for people who are on a special diet have been included in the list to cover for all chocolate lovers who intend to enjoy their hot chocolate without risking their health.