Since cocoa powder is not soluble in water/milk (the physics prevent the molecules of cocoa from entering into the molecules of water/milk) none of the suggestion given will actually work. And given that I tried, before I researched and found out that it is in fact impossible, I do know it to be true. I have tried using butter to dissolve the cocoa powder before adding it to the milk. I've had limited success with that. In time the butter with the cocoa tends to separate. I sweeten with stevia. Does anyone know of something that can be added besides sugar that will allow the cocoa powder to dissolve into the milk molecules?

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    Cocoa powder is not soluble in milk or water even with the addition of sugar. Only the sugar will dissolve. What are you actually trying to make here? What are you using it for?
    – Billy Kerr
    Dec 10, 2022 at 14:57
  • ⬆️ ⬆️⬆️ hot-chocolate. Dec 10, 2022 at 15:17
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    Perhaps have a look at recipes for making Italian style hot chocolate. The milk is often thickened using startch (such as cornflour), and with the addition of pieces of chocolate, not just cocoa powder. The result is generally thicker than what most people would call drinking chocolate, but it is more stable because it's thicker, and the cocoa doesn't separate/settle out as much.
    – Billy Kerr
    Dec 10, 2022 at 15:20
  • Sorry for the typo, I meant starch, cornflour, (aka cornstarch in the US).
    – Billy Kerr
    Dec 10, 2022 at 15:39
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    Insoluble means exactly that - and cocoa is just one example, cinnamon is another.
    – Stephie
    Dec 11, 2022 at 8:21

4 Answers 4


After some bickering & refusal to believe simple 'science' in comments…
Cocoa powder is insoluble - no matter what you do, it will never dissolve. You could grind it to the finest powder known to man & it will still never dissolve in anything you could drink the result of.

Tea & coffee are the same, just easier to see - you extract the flavour from them & discard the solids. Cocoa solids settle to the bottom of the cup, which is actually ideal, as you don't want them in your drink, unless you like a grainy mouthful of spent dregs.

The flavour is in the liquid - the soluble bit that did actually dissolve in your drink.
BTW, instant coffee & many types of 'drinking chocolate' contain no or very little solids - the manufacturer already threw them away for you.

By the same token, butter will never mix with anything water-based either. It also is insoluble.

You can force a solid to stay suspended in a liquid. The result is known as a 'suspension'. It's done basically by thickening the liquid until the liquid is thick enough that the difference in specific gravity of the liquid & solid is insufficient for it to settle through the liquid.

Similarly, you can force a fat to stay in-mixed with a water-based liquid. This is done using an additive known as an emulsifier.
Common kitchen emulsifiers include honey, mustard, apple cider vinegar, aloe vera, gelatin, salt, baking soda - or you could investigate some of the hydrocolloids; including guar gum, gellan gum, and carrageenan… then there's lecithin, soy lecithin, diacetyl tartaric acid ester of monoglyceride, sodium stearoyl lactylate, and sodium phosphates.
Most of those are not going to improve the taste of your drink.

Just keep stirring.


As already answered, it does not dissolve anyway. It's a suspension of fine particulates.

Practical methods to make it clump less (other than mixing with sugar) are:

  • use hot liquid (hot cocoa is easier than chocolate milk)
  • start with making a paste with a small amount of liquid, rather than dumping the cocoa powder into all the liquid (this also allows doing that step hot, and then mixing the paste with cold liquid if you are not after a hot result.)
  • It seems to be obvious that no one has the answer. The suggestion then is that it is not possible to dissolve cocoa powder in water/milk no matter what might be added chemically to the mix. Dec 10, 2022 at 15:20
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    I count three different people with that answer, one as a comment. That is "the answer" unless you want to set a chemist loose with things you might not want to drink, or might only drink once, at the very end of your life.
    – Ecnerwal
    Dec 10, 2022 at 15:30
  • The question: "How do you make cocoa powder soluble in water or milk without sugar?" has not been answered. The comments have basically been that it is not possible. Apparently it may take an acid to modify the cocoa powder granule surface so that it is hydrophilic. There are plenty of acidic foods. Needless to say it is not as instant as mixing stevia with cocoa powder and milk. Dec 10, 2022 at 15:53
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    @JeffreyCaudle you can't make insoluble items soluble...that is what defines them as insoluble.
    – moscafj
    Dec 10, 2022 at 16:45
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    @JeffreyCaudle adding an acid will not suddenly turn the cocoa powder into a water-soluble powder. The question has been certainly answered - sometimes the answer to a "how to do it" question is "it is impossible to do it".
    – rumtscho
    Dec 10, 2022 at 16:45

Cocoa is not soluble in milk. However, you can control the sedimentation by increasing the thickness of the milk, or decreasing the size of the cocoa particles. Non-dairy milks can help with this as well. By the way, it is only the sugar that is dissolving, when you mix it with cocoa, and add that mixture to milk.


Actually baking powder dissolves Hershey's pure cocoa quite well. only a few tiny specks remain, well with coffee any way.

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