Are you tired of your boring old regular hot cocoa? Doubtful—hot cocoa is just so good! But if you want to jazz things up just a little bit, we’ve got some super-easy but delicious ways to do just that.
These variations require a good basic hot cocoa recipe to start with. If you already have a favorite recipe, great! If not, though, here’s a real simple recipe for one cup of hot cocoa:
1 cup vegan milk of your choice (I’m using unsweetened rice milk)
1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/3 tsp. vanilla extract
- Whisk these ingredients together in a sauce pan over medium heat (don’t let it come to a boil, though).
- Stir until all clumps have dissolved.
- Adjust the amount of cocoa powder and sugar based on your taste for sweetness.
Now that you’ve perfected a basic hot cocoa, let’s take things to a whole new level:
Cinnamon is the perfect addition to ANY hot cocoa! Just stir 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (or however much you like!) into your cocoa while heating and mix until fully dissolved. Stir it with a cinnamon stick, if you’re feeling fancy.
Peppermint chocolate has to be my favorite of all the holiday-themed flavors, and I know this simple trick will change your life: Add ONE drop of peppermint extract to your cup of hot cocoa to transform it into a chocolaty winter wonderland. (Be careful to not go overboard on the extract—that sh*t is STRONG!)
If you’ve tried chai, then you know how sweet, spicy, and delicious it is! To add it to your hot cocoa, boil 1/3 cup water and let two chai tea bags steep in the hot water for 3 to 5 minutes. Then use that 1/3 cup extra-strong chai in place of 1/3 cup vegan milk when you make your cocoa. If you want it even stronger, you can leave the tea bags in your mug to keep steeping while you sip.
4. Mexican Spice
Mexican spice hot cocoa isn’t just for vegan Latinos! Add a pinch of chili powder and about a 1/4 teaspoonful of cinnamon to your cocoa while heating for a spicy twist.
5. Peanut Butter
This is for all you peanut-butter-and-chocolate fiends out there (including me!). Add a tablespoonful of peanut butter to your cocoa while it’s heating and stir until completely dissolved. Then go to peanut-butter-and-chocolate heaven.
6. Pumpkin Spice
YUM! Start your cocoa as usual, then add 1 tablespoonful canned pumpkin and 1/3 teaspoonful pumpkin-pie spice while heating and stir until dissolved. Forget overpriced coffee-shop holiday drinks—you don’t need to leave your house for this one!