There are few things better in this world than warming up with a hot cup of hot chocolate on a cold day.
Hot chocolate is the one hot drink that I truly love, and it’s tough to get much better than traditional hot chocolate (although adding hot chocolate to coffee will elevate it to insane new heights).
But when I’m winding down at night, all of the sugar in regular hot chocolate isn’t my go-to. That’s why I decided to make this low calorie high protein hot chocolate!
We’re going to prep this high-protein hot cocoa mix in bulk, so you can easily whip up a cup of creamy hot chocolate whenever you want.
Each serving contains just 75 calories, packs an impressive 13 grams of protein, and contains just 0.5g of sugar per serving.
And don’t worry, it will still satisfy that sweet tooth of yours.
Ingredients for Protein Hot Chocolate Powder
There aren’t any surprises in this healthy hot chocolate recipe- all we need are a few very simple ingredients.
Traditional hot chocolate mix is mostly just sugar and cocoa powder, and that’s essentially what we are going after here. We’re going to be mixing up:
- Chocolate protein powder
- Powdered Sugar Substitute
- Cocoa Powder
- A pinch of salt
That’s really all there is to it!
Now, since this is a high-protein hot chocolate, the main ingredient is chocolate protein powder. Because of this, it’s super important that you choose a chocolate protein powder that you actually like.
I cannot recommend PEScience’s chocolate truffle protein powder enough. When I first tried it, I immediately thought of hot chocolate, which prompted me to come up with my protein hot chocolate cookie recipe.
The flavor of that protein powder works super well for this recipe, and I highly recommend it (you can use my code “matt” to save 10% on your order if you want to try it). But, I know that not everyone is going to run out and buy the protein powder I recommend, which is okay.
You can use your favorite protein powder in this recipe, but the type of protein powder you use will make all the difference. PEScience is a blend of whey & casein, which I find creates the perfect consistency. Vegan protein powder will likely end up a bit gritty, and whey protein powder should work pretty well, but it will not have quite as creamy of a texture.
Note: vegan protein powder will require additional sweetener to mask some of the earhty flavor (especially for pea protein), so you can add additional sweetener directly to your mix or whisk some maple syrup or honey into your prepared hot chocolate.
Ultimately, you can use any protein powder you like, just be sure you actually like the flavor!
How to Make High-Protein Hot Chocolate
The best part of this recipe is that you can prep the protein hot cocoa mix in bulk, and then whip up your protein hot chocolate whenever you’d like.
All you have to do is mix up all of the ingredients in a bowl, but it’s important that you sift the ingredients into the bowl.
I took a mesh strainer and used it to add my powders to the bowl, and as you can see in the photo below, I was left with quite a few clumps of powdered sugar when I used this method.
If we didn’t sift the ingredients, those clumps would work their way into our cup of hot chocolate, which would certainly not be ideal.
Once everything is mixed up, I keep my homemade hot chocolate mix stored in a mason jar.
You simply can’t beat the aesthetic of a mason jar, but any airtight container will work. This mix is perfectly shelf-stable, so you can save this through the winter to have protein chocolate whenever you want!
When you’re ready to enjoy a hot cup of hot chocolate, all you have to do is scoop your mix into a mug or cup. The serving size is up to you, but I like to split this recipe up into 6 servings, which means each serving is roughly 30 grams.
Heat water or your milk of choice on the stove top or in the microwave until hot. Important note: do this without protein powder!
If you mix protein powder into your liquid before heating, you’ll end up cooking the protein powder, which will lead to an unpleasant consistency.
I actually find that water works really well in this recipe, and the hot chocolate still comes out very creamy, but milk will obviously work great as well. You can use skim milk, 2% milk, or whole milk for extra protein, or go with oat milk or almond milk if you want to go the non-dairy route.
Any kind of milk will work great, but for these purposes, I just stuck with hot water.
To prep the hot chocolate, add a small amount of water to the cup with your protein hot chocolate powder, then mix that up.
It’s essential that you only add a tiny bit of liquid for the initial mix as it will make mixing the powder significantly easier. If you add all of your liquid and then try to stir it all together, it’s going to be much harder to incorporate it all and work out the clumps.
Add the rest of your liquid while stirring, and you should be left with a perfectly creamy hot chocolate.
If you use a different type of protein powder and find that it is not mixing very easily, the best way to work out clumps is to use a hand mixer.
A small hand mixer (or milk frother) is a great way to mix up drinks. I use this method when I need to quickly mix a scoop of protein powder for a protein shake and it always works great.
You can adjust the amount of liquid used per serving to create your ideal hot chocolate, too. Less liquid will lead to a richer flavor, so I always like to start with less and then add more as needed.
8-12 ounces of water or milk should do the trick!
Top your hot chocolate with mini marshmallows, whipped cream, or any other additional toppings you’d like.
Customizing Your Protein Hot Chocolate
The great thing about this recipe is that since we only need 3 main ingredients, you can customize it quite easily.
I played with the ratios a bit, and this was my favorite combination. In terms of flavor, I think it leans slightly more towards dark chocolate than milk chocolate, so you can always add extra sweetener to balance out the unsweetened cocoa powder if you want it slightly sweeter.
Or, if you prefer even more protein, you can add extra protein powder as well.
And don’t think that mixing the powder with hot milk is where it needs to end. Here are some more customization ideas for inspiration:
- Transform this into Mexican hot chocolate with a little chili powder or cayenne pepper.
- Add some peanut butter powder to your mix for a creamy peanut butter hot chocolate.
- Incorporate chocolate chips into your mix to have them melt into the cup for extra creaminess.
More Protein Recipes for The Cold Winter Months
This protein hot cocoa recipe is just one of many delicious ways to hit your protein goals as the weather gets colder. While I would probably put this comforting drink at the top of my cold-weather recipe list, I have lots of great options for you.
Next time you find yourself in need of a comforting treat with a protein boost, try one of these recipes:
- Hot Chocolate Cookies with 10g Protein
- Double Chocolate Protein Waffles Recipe
- Lower Calorie, Lower Carb White Hot Chocolate (Dairy-Free)
- High-Protein Gingerbread Cookies
- The BEST Homemade Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies
- Melt In Your Mouth Snowball Cookies
For 6 Servings (Each serving weighing about 30g)
- Sift the protein powder, sugar, and cocoa powder into a large bowl. I simply use a mesh strainer to sift the powder into the bowl to work out any clumps of sugar or cocoa powder to make sure the mix will be as smooth as possible.
- Add a dash of salt, then mix everything together.
- Store the powder in a glass jar or other airtight container to have a protein hot chocolate mix whenever needed!
How to prepare your protein hot chocolate
1. Weigh out about 30 grams of the mix and add to a mug. You can adjust the serving size as needed, or eyeball two large spoonfuls instead, but I've found this amount to work great.
2. Heat water or milk on the stovetop or in the microwave until hot. I find the flavor of this protein hot chocolate to be perfectly creamy even with water, but milk also works great.
3. Add a small amount of hot liquid into the mug with the powder, mix well with a spoon, and then continue mixing while you add the rest of the water. It's important to initially mix with a small amount of liquid or else it will be too difficult to work out any clumps.
4. For stronger chocolate flavor, use less liquid. Anywhere from 8-12 ounces per serving will work.
5. Top with mini marshmallows or whipped cream and enjoy!
- I absolutely love the flavor of PEScience's chocolate truffle protein powder, and it's what truly makes this protein hot chocolate so delicious. Since protein powder is the main ingredient, it's important to use a protein powder you actually like the taste of. If you want to give PEScience a try, my code "Matt" will save you money on all orders.
- It's very important to add the hot liquid to the protein hot chocolate mix rather than heat everything together. Protein powder will change in consistency when cooked, so you don't want to heat everything together.
- Different brands of protein powder will mix differently, but I can assure you that the PEScience protein powder mixes very well.
- I find that mixing with a spoon works, but you can also use a handheld mixer/milk frother to mix up your protein hot chocolate if you are having trouble getting it to fully mix.
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Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1 Cup
Amount Per Serving Calories 75Total Fat 2gCarbohydrates 6gFiber 3gSugar 0.5gProtein 13g