Salted Caramel Protein Hot Chocolate

~by Nikki

I totally stole this picture. Mine did not do this wonderful drink justice!

First off, I give credit where credit is due. I would not have had ANY conception of this wonderful drink had it not been for my good friend Jupiter6 from OH. She is a stats goddess and anything I know about computing stats, making swaps, etc. I owe to her because I learn by watching and I watched the best!

To my understanding, she got her recipe from Starbuck’s. They have a salted caramel hot cocoa that is…not even remotely weight loss surgery friendly. So she tinkered with it and got it to where the stats weren’t too bad. I like her as-is version very much, but some days I’m low on my protein and, especially when it’s cold outside, this is a YUMMY way to make up the difference.

Here is Jupiter’s original version for those that just want a great hot drink.

For those that need the protein boost, here’s what I did to it:

Salted Caramel Protein Hot Chocolate


1/2 c. Hood Calorie Countdown Skim Milk (this can be hard to find. Regular skim is fine)
8 oz. boiling water
1 heaping tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 scoop chocolate protein powder (I like this kind for this recipe)
4 pumps Davinci sugar free caramel syrup (or if you want to really stick it to the man, buy a bottle of Starbucks sugar-free caramel. Your choice!)
4-6 packets of no-calorie sweetener
About 1/4 tsp of salt (Shari suggests a specific kind. I use regular table salt cuz I’m poor and it works! Usually I end up with a bit more than 1/4 tsp to get the desired effect. If you’re unsure about this whole thing, start with 1/8 tsp and work your way up)

Optional: fat-free whipped cream


In 12 oz. mug, combine your protein powder, sweetener and cocoa powder. Add milk and stir until a thick, smoothe paste forms.

Add boiling water SLOWLY, stirring while you add and then stir some more! This takes some practice but if you do it right, you get a smooth drink with no lumps.

Add your caramel syrup and salt and stir. Now give it a taste. It should be sweet with a small, but noticeable, punch of saltiness. If you can’t taste the salt at all (because salt, in small doses, amps up sweetness so it takes a good bit to get the salt to register), add a bit more until you get to that sweet/salty flavor.

Top with whipped cream and enjoy!

This is my winter bedtime treat! While the kids are having their dessert (yes, I allow them to have sugar desserts sometimes), I have this. No dumping, no guilt–just YUM!


  1. OMG…….I will not let protein powder pass my lips in any other form from this day forth! If I must drink my protein, it shall be in this beverage always! Holy yumminess!!!!

  2. Wow, tried this tonight and OMG SO GOOD. I may start having this for breakfast.

  3. I have not tried my powder warm yet and have been dying to do so. I think I might RIGHT NOW . . .

    Darn, I do not have cocoa powder 🙁

  4. Ok, so I am a little slow on the up take, but oh my good lord. This is one of the best things I have ever tasted (that goes for pre-op too). MMMMCHOCOLATEMMMMMCARAMELMMMMMSALT
    My mouth has never been so happy. And to think I was with my Mom the other day at Borders and she got one of their Holiday Latte's (me grumbling in the background) and I got a skinny vanilla latte. Booh. Boring, and not a Gingerbread Latte. This is tops ladies! Kudos! Keep up the good work and tomorrow I take on Nik's Cinnabon thing for breakfast.

  5. This is absolutely AMAZING!!!! I could not believe how good this was. First try was today and I was dancing in the kitchen, marvelous way to get the protein in!

  6. Super delish, I made the mistake of setting it down & my two little ones drank the other half

  7. what kind of protien powder do you use? my doc office says if i add hot water to mine it will kill the protiens…i use nectar sweets…let me know

  8. I have no idea why surgeon's offices say that. It is NOT true! When you heat protein it changes the protein molecules (a process commonly known as "denaturing") but that does NOT destroy them. Think of it like an egg. When you have a raw egg the proteins are in one form but then you cook it and they change to another. It's still protein just different. It is true that a raw egg is a more easily absorbable form of protein (which is why you often see body builders eating raw eggs) but that doesn't mean a cooked egg is useless to your body. It's got plenty of protein! So does protein powder that is served in a hot drink. 🙂

    Next time your surgeon says that ask him/her to cite their source. That usually leads to them learning this is a myth.

  9. Also, I always put a link in the recipe to the kind of protein powder I use. 🙂

  10. So, I'm a little late to the party…..but OMG this was good… bottle of caramel syrup doesn't have a pump, so I used 1T of caramel syrup…….so very yummie……I ordered the coconut syrup and can't wait to try the "samoa" hot chocolate…..BF, thank you so very much for sharing all your expertise! Best wishes, patty