King's Cupboard Cocoa
Yes, you can get sugar-free marshmallows too, from La Nouba.
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KAREN HOCHMAN is Editorial Director of THE NIBBLE™.


November 2006

Product Reviews / Diet Nibbles / Diet Beverages

The King’s Cupboard No Sugar Added Hot Chocolate

“Sugar-Free,” Low-Calorie Gourmet Cocoa



CAPSULE REPORT: Most people who need sugar-free hot chocolate or cocoa head for the supermarket shelves and the single-serve packets of Nestle, Carnation or Swiss Miss. The King’s Cupboard, a producer of some of the finest chocolate sauces (including a superb sugar-free chocolate sauce), applies its talents—and its supply of fine chocolate—to turning out a cup of no-sugar-added hot chocolate. You make it with real milk. The taste is real chocolate instead of chocolate-flavored water.

We’ve lived on packets of sugar-free cocoa for years—out of desperation. When on a diet and unable to bear the thought of drinking one more cup of coffee or more diet more sparkling water...thoughts turn to a warm, comforting cup of cocoa.

Alas, the reality of the diet hot cocoa mixes is that their 45 or 50 calories may sound like a good deal, but they don’t buy too much. The mixes are made of a low-caliber cocoa and nonfat milk and generally sweetened with sucralose (the base of the sweetener Splenda®). When mixed with water, the flavor is very thin: The net effect is chocolate-flavored water. The package may suggest adding milk instead of water for a richer flavor, but then your 45-calorie bargain becomes 120 calories (with 6 ounces of nonfat milk).

One just might be better off with the delicious, chocolate-flavored tea sampler from Serendipitea—zero calories worth of tasty chocolate flavors—and, for 120 calories, enjoy a truly delicious, no-sugar-added hot chocolate from The King’s Cupboard, a specialty food producer that uses really fine chocolate and cocoa in its mix.

King’s Cupboard Flavors

The King’s Cupboard,  made with a cocoa base, includes chunks of real chocolate in the mix. This entitles it to be called hot chocolate instead of cocoa—see the difference below). There is a Dark Hot Chocolate flavor and a Mocha Hot Chocolate variation.

Review continues below.


In addition to using top-quality cocoa and chocolate, the products are sweetened with a combination of maltitol, the most expensive and natural-tasting of the sugar substitutes, and sucralose. Using a combination of the sweeteners provides a true chameleon “sugar taste”: No one drinking a cup would realize it was not sweetened with sugar, except that maltitol tastes less sweet, as if only one teaspoon of sugar were added instead of two. One serving of the powder, 2-1/2 tablespoons, has 45 calories, 14 from fat (plus, add the milk calories). There are 13 servings per container.

The Difference Between Cocoa & Hot Chocolate

There is a difference between cocoa and hot chocolate. Cocoa is made from cocoa powder, hot chocolate is made from shaved chocolate bars. Both can be mixed with either hot milk or hot water, but since cocoa powder is defatted, hot chocolate is a richer beverage. It can easily have double the cocoa butter of cocoa powder.

Like Marshmallows?

Try your hot chocolate with La Nouba Sugar-Free Marshmallows, one of our very favorite sugar-free products.

Enjoying Your Hot Chocolate

You can make it on the stovetop, but in just 60 seconds, heat the milk of your choice in the microwave; then add the cocoa powder and stir.  We recommend using a small whisk or an aerolatte to get the best dissolve and a nice froth.

Then, be prepared to enjoy a sip of delicious quality chocolate. The powder itself is delicious—you could enjoy eating a spoonful of it. Along those lines, you can sprinkle it atop cappuccino, on ice cream or wherever else the mood strikes you.


No Sugar Added Chunk Hot Chocolates: Dark Hot Chocolate, Mocha Hot Chocolate


  • 8-Ounce Tin
    Suggested Retail Price

Purchase online at


Prices and flavor availability are verified at publication but are subject to change.


King's Cupboard Sugar-Free Cocoa


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