Learn how to make a homemade mocha that is naturally sweetened and topped with homemade whipped cream. This has quickly become our holiday favorite on weekends and well, almost every afternoon now a days.
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Why do I always crave sugar at Christmas Time?
Today we set up the Christmas tree. I turned Bing Crosby Christmas classics on and sipped this homemade mocha with whipped cream and thought, “ahhhh, the holidays”. I shared this photo over on Instagram:
Had to get the Allison pic in there too 🙂
All year long I try to avoid sugars in my recipes. And I am especially critical of places like Starbucks. I mean, how much sugar is in one of those pumps of flavoring?! (I looked it up, it’s 5 grams by the way. But a grande vanilla latte has 4 pumps, so that’s 20 grams of sugar in one coffee drinks. Yikes.)
But I mean, who doesn’t love hot cocoa and peppermint mochas. They are just so good. That’s why I started making my own. I was determined to make an equally delicious Christmas coffee drink so we could easily whip them up at home. It’s healthier, cheaper, and easier than getting in the car and going to a coffee stand. And… my 2 o’clock sweet tooth is happy!
Why naturally sweetened?
I try to make almost all of my recipes natural. Meaning, no artificial flavors or sugars. Sometimes this is almost impossible (I’m working on a brownie recipe now that has to have some sugar in it) but for the most part that’s my goal.
Sugar is something we all have to look out for. In today’s world, sugar is hidden in almost everything and it adds up quickly. Even things you think wouldn’t have any, like yogurt, salad dressing, and pasta sauce for example. Chain restaurants and food manufacturers add sugar to 1) make food taste better, 2) make you want to buy more, and 3) help preserve the food longer.
While I think striving for 0 added sugar in your diet is the best strategy (because I think some sugar is pretty much unavoidable), this article suggests no more than 24 grams per day.
But if you’re proactive and scan the food label before buying, you will see that so many food products already have more than that in just one serving. Like a flavored yogurt or an orange juice that seems so harmless. That’s why you always have to check the serving size and know how much sugar you’re consuming each day. Too much sugar can cause skin problems, mood swings and crashes (which if you think about it.. then leads to more sugar cravings), and of course there’s diabetes and other diseases.
That is why I make my my recipes naturally sweetened when I can, or at least as little sugar as possible.
How Do You Make a Natural Sweetener?
Try using any of the following to sweeten your food instead of processed sugar:
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (this is the one we like)
Fruit (try adding fresh or frozen berries to plain yogurt for a healthy but sweet snack)
Tips for Making Homemade Mochas
Keep your mocha hot by preheating the mug. Do this by running hot water in the sink and then filling up the mug, letting it sit for a few minutes, then emptying it. I learned this once from someone who worked at Starbucks and said that the coffee loses a lot of its heat from heating up its mug. And I’ve done this trick ever since, because i like my coffee real hot!
Add a pinch of cinnamon to the whipped cream to give it a festive flavor. This is also a great option if you’re opting out of the sugar component!
Use whole milk if available. It gives the mocha that rich and creamy texture.
Just a heads up, this won’t taste like your Starbucks mochas. As I said above, those are packed with sometimes 20 or more grams of sugar. But I promise that once you get used to drinking homemade, you won’t miss it. And now whenever we do go to Starbucks and get something flavored, I only take a couple sips and I’m full!
Adjust the coffee to milk ratio to match your liking. I like to use this ethical bean organic dark roast coffee. It’s always best to freshly ground your beans too for the freshest and boldest flavor.
You can make this decaf, or use a milk alternative like almond or coconut milk.
Use a frother for a foamy latte.
Small stovetop pot
Latte frother (optional)
Homemade Mocha Ingredients
1 cup brewed organic dark coffee (this is our favorite dark coffee)
1/2 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons half and half
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
dash vanilla extract
Homemade Mocha Instructions
Add all the ingredients to a small stovetop pot on medium heat.
Whisk until fully mixed together. Milk should be steaming, but not boiling. Be sure not to over-heat!
Use a frother to thicken (optional).
Pour into mugs and top with homemade whipped cream (recipe below). Enjoy!
How to Make this Into a Peppermint Mocha
If you want the full Christmas experience, make this into a peppermint mocha!
You can do this two ways:
- crush up a candy cane and put it in the milk while it’s on the stove. The natural peppermint flavors will dissolve into the milk.
- use peppermint essential oil. Now one drop would be way too much, so what I do is I take the cap off my peppermint essential oil bottle and fill it with a couple drops of water, then pour that in to the milk. Another option is sticking one end of a toothpick in the oil, shaking it off, and then dipping it into the milk. Of course, make sure you use a pure essential oil, high quality, tested, and safe for internal use, like this one. If you are not sure, Click here to learn more about essential oil safety.
Homemade Whipped Cream Recipe
Whip up together this easy homemade whipped cream to serve with your mocha. This recipe makes enough to save leftovers in the fridge for the next day!
1/2 cup organic heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp sugar (this is one of those times I like to add some sugar, but you could also omit it)
dash of vanilla extract
2 pinches of cinnamon (optional)
Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl or stand up mixer. Mix on high for about 5 minutes, or until cream thickens into whipped cream. Sprinkle some cinnamon on top for a pretty topping.
- 1 cup brewed organic dark coffee
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 3 tablespoons half and half
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- dash vanilla extract
Homemade Whipped Cream
- 1/2 cup organic heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 tsp sugar (this is one of those times I like to add some sugar, but you could also omit it)
- dash of vanilla extract
- 2 pinches of cinnamon (optional)
- Add all the mocha ingredients to a small stovetop pot on medium heat.
- Whisk until fully mixed together. Milk should be steaming, but not boiling. Be sure not to over-heat!
- Use a frother to thicken (optional).
- Pour into mugs and top with homemade whipped cream.
- To make the whipped cream, add all the whipped cream ingredients to a mixing bowl or stand up mixer. Mix on high for about 5 minutes, or until cream thickens into whipped cream. Sprinkle some cinnamon on top for a pretty topping.
To make this into a peppermint mocha, add peppermint. You can do this two ways:
- crush up a candy cane and put it in the milk while its on the stove. The natural peppermint flavor will dissolve into the milk.
- Use peppermint essential oil. Now, one drop would be way too much, so what I do is take the cap off the peppermint oil bottle and fill it with a couple drops of water. Then I pour the cap water into the milk. Another option is sticking one end of a toothpick into the oil, shaking it off, and then dipping it into the milk. Always use essential oils that are tested and safe for internal consumption.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 354Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 59mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 1gSugar: 24gProtein: 5g