cup of hot chocolate, cinnamon sticks, nuts and chocolate on wooden table

6 Recipes for a Better Cup of Cocoa

Winter weather makes you want to cozy up, and stay warm inside.  What better way to keep away from the cold then a piping hot cup of cocoa.  Sure, there’s nothing wrong with a plain cup of cocoa mix and hot water, but these creative hot cocoa recipes are sure to both delight your taste buds as well as make a statement.  Try a few of these out for yourself!

Lavender White Hot Chocolate

If you’re looking to stray away from the traditional, look no further! This hot chocolate recipe is simple and light, but still full of flavor.lavender white hot chocolate

Here’s what you’ll need:

  •  2 cups of whole milk
  • 1/3 tsp lavender buds (adjust according to preference, lavender is quite fragrant)
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Makes one large mug of hot chocolate, or two smaller servings.

Heat up the milk and lavender buds over a medium heat setting. Stir the mixture together until the milk begins to simmer. Remove from the heat source and let the lavender mellow in the warm milk for around 5 minutes.  Remove the lavender from the mixture by using a strainer and then put the milk back onto medium heat.  Now you can add the white chocolate and stir until it is completely melted. Whisk the concoction for 15 seconds or until it becomes frothy.

Be sure to top off this flavorful beverage with whipped cream.  Don’t go overboard however, as this hot chocolate is already very sweet!

Source: This Little Street


Vegan Hot Chocolate

With your typical cup of cocoa, you’ll often taste the sugar more than the chocolate.  The main ingredients in most cocoa mix are sugar and corn syrup because sugar is cheaper than chocolate.  This recipe uses real cocoa powder from the baking section and combines it with the smooth silkiness of almond milk to make a luxurious “chocolate nut” drink.

For this recipe you will need:

  • 8 ounces unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powderhot cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

(serves 1)

To prepare, heat the almond milk in the microwave or on a stove until hot.  Mix in the cocoa powder and sugar, and stir until dissolved. It’s that simple! Since this drink is made with real cocoa, you’re going to notice a considerable difference in taste from your typical hot chocolate – so you may want to add some sugar.


If you’re having trouble finding almond milk, try looking in the dairy section of your local supermarket.

Source: Snack Girl

Aztec Hot Chocolate

Straying away from the well-established norms of the hot chocolate world, this recipe utilizes dark chocolate to give a robust and bold richness to your beverage.  Using the optional “secret” ingredient of cayenne pepper, this cup of cocoa will tingle your tastebuds with rich, full-bodied chocolate tones.Aztec Hot Chocolate

To prepare you’ll need:

  • 6 cups milk
  • 10 oz chopped dark chocolate
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch or two of cayenne (optional)
  • Marshmallows & cinnamon sticks for garnish

makes 4 servings.

In a pot, combine the milk and chocolate and place over low/medium heat on the stove to melt.  Stirring constantly, keep the mixture on heat until the chocolate is completely melted.  Stir in the cinnamon and cayenne and your hot cocoa is done! Serve this drink HOT!

Source: A Beautiful Mess


Milk Chocolate and Peanut Butter Hot Cocoapeanut butter hot chocolate

Not a lot of things go together so well as chocolate and peanut butter.  If you’re a fan of chocolate peanut butter cups, you’ll love this hot chocolate recipe. Here are the ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 5 oz milk chocolate, chopped
  • ¼ cup creamy peanut butter

Combine the milk and cream and warm in a medium saucepan over a medium-low heat.  Once warm, add the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is completely melted and combined. Continue to warm the mixture for about 5 minutes or until thick.  Whisk in the peanut butter until the mixture is smooth.

Source: Martha Stewart

“Pumpkin Spice” Hot Cocoapumpkin spice hot chocolate

It wouldn’t be a complete list without a “pumpkin spice” hot chocolate recipe.  This tasty beverage tastes as good as it smells and is sure to put you in a festive mood. For this warm winter drink, here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 tsp honey or maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice (this can be found in the baking aisle)
  • ¾ cup of warm milk
  • ½ tsp unsweetened dark cocoa or cacao
  • Optional: whipped cream topping

Serves: 1

Mocha Variation: add 1 shot of espresso

Latte Variation: add 1 shot of espresso and omit cocoa

Mix together in a saucepan the honey, spice and cacao.  Warm milk until hot and add to the mixture. Once mixed throughout, pour into a cup and top with whipped cream and a dash of pumpkin spice or cinnamon. Serve immediately.

Source: 100 Days of Real Food

Nutella Hot ChocolateNutella Hot Chocolate

If you are unfamiliar Nutella, it is a sweetened hazelnut chocolate spread that has a vocal and avid fan base.  This recipe uses the spread to create a rich and filling warm drink to keep you cozy during the winter months.  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 1/3 Tbsp Nutella
  • 1 Tbsp Cocoa
  • Tiny pinch of salt

1 serving

In a small sauce pan, whisk all the ingredients together over medium heat.  Keep stirring until the mixture is both well blended and hot.  Pour the drink into a cup and serve with whipped cream and shaved chocolate. Enjoy!

Source: The Hungry Housewife


But what really takes your cup of hot chocolate to the next level? The answer is filtered water. Using a refrigerator water filter, you can remove harsh impurities from your home’s tap water.  By doing this, you can be sure to enjoy a warm, refreshing, and most importantly contaminant-free cup of delicious hot cocoa.

Remember: Hot cocoa can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. Keep your leftovers properly refrigerated. To rewarm, pour
in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.

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