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:

hot cocoa ingredients

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:

1. Cinnamon

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.


2. Peppermint

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!)

peppermint hot cocoa

3. Chai

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.

chai hot cocoa

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.

mexican hot cocoa

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.

peanut butter hot cocoa

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!

pumpkin hot cocoa

If you want to get even crazier, check out these to-die-for hot cocoa extras:

vegan marshmallows vegan whipped cream

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